Although I have only good things to say about Surfshark, I understand that it might not be up to all VPN users’ liking. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If you, for any reason, don’t like Surfshark as much as I do, or perhaps look for a new VPN provider after using Surfshark, the question you’re probably asking yourself is, what are the best Surfshark alternatives?
Well, my dear reader, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what I’m going to cover today. Below, I’ve listed all my favorite VPN alternatives to Surfshark. And while they also aren’t perfect, the following VPN services are the ones that match and often beat Surfshark in terms of features and performance.
If you’re looking for a Surfshark VPN alternative to keep your online security and privacy secured, the following VPNs should satisfy your needs.
Why Look for a Surfshark Alternative?
As much as I love Surfshark, I know it’s not the perfect VPN service. Sure, it’s affordable and user-friendly, plus the fact it supports unlimited simultaneous connections is a massive advantage. However, it also falls behind many VPNs regarding connection speeds. I’ve also experienced some issues with its kill switch, and that’s not something any user who values its online privacy wants.
Also, while its basic subscription covers pretty much everything you might want from a VPN, some advanced features are only available through the Surfshark One bundle, which costs an additional fee. So yes, all things considered, I understand why some users might look for alternatives to Surfshark.
Overview of the Best Surfshark Alternatives
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If you are looking for the best alternative to Surfshark VPN that outdoes it in several ways, ExpressVPN is for you.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest, most reliable VPNs I’ve used in a long time, and it only gets better with each new update. The connection speed its encrypted VPN tunnel offers is second to none, making it far better for torrenting, streaming, and traditional web surfing.
In addition to the obvious speed advantage, ExpressVPN has servers in over 160 locations across the globe compared to Sufshark’s 100. Plus, I found ExpressVPN’s kill switch much more reliable than Surfshark’s. I also love that you can take advantage of the service’s proprietary Lightway protocol, which is far better online security and demonstrably faster than Surfshark’s WireGuard.
One thing I can pick on is that while Surfshark offers unlimited connections, ExpressVPN offers only five. On the other, many people find Express VPN to be more user-friendly and offer better compatibility across numerous devices like gaming consoles, routes, and Smart TVs. All of this makes it a more versatile alternative, although Surfshark holds its ground here, too, in my opinion.
And last but not least, ExpressVPN also gets regular security audits from PwC, which is only the largest security auditor in the world! Speaking of security, the VPN comes with 256-bit encryption and mainly uses RAM-based servers. In that case, ExpressVPN and Surfshark are practically inseparable.
Now, if streaming is why you were using Surfshark, Express VPN has you covered here, too, because it works for torrenting and streaming. It can access over 15 Netflix libraries and most other popular streaming services, including Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video. However, its performance is superior. While Surfshark works well when torrenting or streaming, I did experience lags or quality drops from time to time. That didn’t happen when using ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN, like Surfshark, comes backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. However, Express VPN is more expensive than Surfshark VPN. If you’re looking for a more advanced Surfshark alternative, though, I can tell you that it’s well-wroth its higher price.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent performance regardless of the device and operating system
- It has servers in over 160 locations globally
- Automatic kill switch that works to ensure a secure VPN connection on the go
- Uses Trusted Server Technology for further security
- The top VPN proxy server works on many devices
- Costs more than Surfshark VPN
- Supports only 5 simultaneous connections
One key difference between NordVPN and Surfshark VPN is the number of servers they offer.
NordVPN has a more extensive network of servers, with over 5,400 in 59 countries, while Surfshark VPN has around 3,200 servers in 100 countries. However, Surfshark does have more server locations, which I find more important than the number of servers.
Speaking of servers, NordVPN has many more specialty servers, like their P2P servers, and ones with Double VPN, for 2x the encryption. Plus, there is the option for obfuscation, ideally suited to bypassing censorship in countries like China. Surfshark offers similar features here, although not as extensive as NordVPN.
One unique feature is that NordVPN also offers so-called Onion over VPN for those who want the VPN for Tor. Surfshark doesn’t have a feature like that. In addition, NordVPN has been able to harden its security to a large extent using 256-bit encryption, along with a kill switch and split tunneling feature that works slightly more reliably than Surfshark’s.
However, the star of the show has to be Nord’s Threat Protection feature, that’s part of the basic subscription plan. This means there is no need to pay an additional fee like you would have to with Surfshark VPN. In addition, NordVPN throws in malware protection and Dark Web monitoring, amongst a few other features.
Furthermore, NordVPN is consistently faster than Surfshark. In addition, it uses the proprietary NordLynx internet protocol, which guarantees excellent performance with strict security. That enhanced performance, plus its support of P2P connections on most servers, makes NordVPN a fantastic option for unblocking geo-restricted content and torrenting.
Plus, the company has a no-logging policy in place, which underwent not one but two audits by the PwC. Other features include 24/7 support, an easy-to-use app, a better-looking app, and reliability. All of which is bundled with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Overall, if I were to choose a Surfshark alternative, NordVPN would be one of my first choices
Pros and Cons
- Excellent military-grade encryption makes it perfect for business use
- The use of NordLynx protocol ensures top-tier business network security
- Threat protection features
- Double VPN that offers twice the security
- Brilliant interface
- which makes network management and regular use easy
- Prices vary depending on the country’s VAT status
- I’ve experienced some connection issues with Windows
- but it’s rare
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access (PIA)Expert Review
One of the key features of PIA is its fast and reliable VPN network, which provides users with high-speed internet browsing and streaming capabilities
It offers robust encryption protocols, such as AES-256-bit encryption, to ensure that user data remains private. PIA also has a strict no-logging policy, ensuring user data is not stored or sold to third-party advertisers. So, at first glance, it doesn’t differ much from Surfshark.
The first significant difference is PIA’s global server network which boasts a whopping 30,000 servers spread across 84 countries. Compared to that, the 3,200 servers offered by Surfshark look, to put it lightly, underwhelming.
However, its server network isn’t the only factor why PIA is one of the best Surfshark alternatives. It also offers a range of additional features, including ad blocking, malware protection, and port forwarding. In addition to this, PIA has been adding so-called NextGen servers to its roster. Essentially, these are PIA-owned servers, ensuring the provider has full control over them, which boosts their overall security and privacy.
Surprisingly, where PIA falls behind Surfshark is the overall performance. From my tests, its speeds were actually lower than Surfshark’s. That did impact my streaming experience. And while its extensive number of servers allows Private Internet Access to help unblock websites and most popular streaming platforms, I have to say Surfshark did better work regarding the overall internet connection performance.
The good news is that PIA is very affordable, not only matching but also beating Surfshark’s prices. Also, in addition to its paid plans, PIA offers a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows users to try the service and decide if it meets their needs.
Pros and Cons
- Strict no-logs policy
- An excellent set of app reviews
- A massive server network
- Easy to use and understand interface
- More affordable than Surfshark
- PIA is based in one of the so-called 5 Eyes countries
- the USA
- Support isn’t on par with what its competitors provide
CyberGhost VPNExpert Review
In many ways, CyberGhost is an excellent Surfshark alternative with a matching price point.
Its pricing is similar to what Surfshark offers and with the same features (almost). However, most people will be able to save the most with a 3-year subscription. Plus, those worried about not liking the service get a 45-day money-back guarantee, a highly attractive option.
How is CyberGhost better than Surfshark? In several ways, yes. For starters, CyberGhost offers a much more extensive VPN server network, which boasts over 8,900 servers in 100 countries. Surfshark’s server infrastructure consists of a little over 3,200 servers in 100 locations. That’s quite a difference.
Having many servers means that people can access BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix in many regions of the world. Plus, they can download and upload files using a torrent. To top it off CyberGhost has a strict no-logging policy, and their reports are transparent.
And speaking of reports, these are published every 3 months, so users have a full picture of how good or bad (for that reason) the security is. That’s a massive advantage for those worrying about their online privacy and security. Surfshark, while transparent about its logging policies, isn’t as open about its security as CyberGhost.
Speaking of quality CyberGhost VPN has excellent quality support for both WireGuard and OpenVPN, so you get to take advantage of a quality anonymous VPN network without worrying about a slow internet experience. As for the speeds of its VPN internet connections, CyberGhost matches those offered by Surfshark when using WireGuard. It does, however, offer better speeds when using OpenVPN.
The drawback of using CyberGhost compared to Surfshark VPN is that the latter is more user-friendly. While CyberGhost VPN has worked on improving usability, it’s still less under-friendly compared to other VPN services.
However, the lack of user-friendliness is balanced by CyberGhost’s support for Firestick TV and a host of routers that allow users to utilize many possibilities. Plus, the service comes with 24/7 live chat support, available in three languages, which is excellent for people who are not English speakers.
Another thing is that CyberGhost will not work in countries like China or the UAE, where using VPNs is banned by the government and, thus, the internet service provider. So, if you’re in such a country and must bypass censorship, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, or a few others in this lineup will be a better choice.
Pros and Cons
- Pricing is similar to Surfshark but with an arguably better service
- Over 9k servers across 100 countries
- Live chat in 3 languages
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t work in some countries like China
- It isn’t as user-friendly as Surfshark VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN Service
Hotspot Shield VPN ServiceExpert Review
Hotspot Shield is known for its fast connection speeds and ability to unblock geo-restricted content, making it a popular choice for streaming and online gaming.
It offers a free version with limited features and a paid version with more advanced features, such as unlimited bandwidth, access to more servers, and the ability to connect up to five devices simultaneously.
Currently, Hotspot Shield has 1800 servers spread across 80 countries. That’s a decent selection, although it’s not as extensive as what Surfshark and some of its alternatives offer.
Regarding security options, Hotspot Shield has 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. The built-in auto protection feature automatically turns on Hotspot Shield when it detects your device is connecting to public WIFI. That last feature caught my attention immediately as something every VPN service provider should offer.
Regarding user experience and compatibility, Hotspot Shield works on Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, Amazon Fire, iOS, Android TV, and even as a Chrome extension. Plus, it can be configured to work with a couple of select routers. That latter puts it ahead of Surfshark, which doesn’t offer such a feature. On the other hand, I find its five available simultaneous connections underwhelming, especially compared to Surfshark’s unlimited connections.
The good news is that Hotspot Shield’s interface is as easy to use and understand for newbie users as Surfshark VPN. So, it’s great for anyone looking for a simple VPN server solution that they can just pick up and start using, trusting it will work as advertised.
Regarding performance, its speeds aren’t as impressive as some other Surfshark alternatives on this list. Still, Hotspot Shield offers a decent experience, and I didn’t experience too many significant drops when streaming or torrenting.
So, overall, Surfshark and Hotspot Shield are overly closely matched when it comes to performance and features. However, I have to say that Hotspot Shield’s pricing looks slightly over the top. Surfshark is a more affordable option, especially when buying a long-term subscription.
Pros and Cons
- It does not retain any logs which can identify you
- Servers are located across 80 countries and counting
- Automatically connects when it detects public wifi
- Decent streaming and torrenting VPN option
- Offers only five simultaneous connections
- Slightly overpriced
ProtonVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service offered by Proton Technologies AG, a Switzerland-based company best known for its secure email services.
ProtonVPN offers a range of privacy and security features to protect users’ online activities, including strong encryption, a strict no-logging policy, and a secure core network that routes traffic through secure servers in privacy-friendly countries like Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden.
Where ProtonVPN shines is its approach to security. While Surfshark is a safe and reliable VPN service, ProtonVPN takes things to another level. For starters, the company has a zero logs policy and uses military-grade encryption technology. That way, even if your network traffic is intercepted, decrypting it would be near impossible.
ProtonVPN supports several security protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec. Its kill switch is probably the most reliable I’ve ever used, which ensures data privacy by automatically disconnecting from the internet if the VPN connection drops. It also offers the option to use Tor over VPN for an added layer of anonymity.
Now with all this security, users would assume that the resulting connection will be slow, and they would be wrong in assuming it. I experienced no issues when streaming content or torrenting. My tests were also more than positive, with Proton practically matching Surfshark regarding speed performance.
Regarding its server network, ProtonVPN has a wide range of server locations across the globe, including in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, which enables users to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in their region. In general, users can take advantage of almost 1,800 servers spread across 64 countries. Not a bad selection, although not as extensive as Surfshark’s and some of its alternatives.
What I like about this provider is that Proton offers a feature called Secret Core servers. These are servers located in physically secure locations across privacy-friendly countries, adding yet another layer of security for ProtonVPN users.
As for the user experience, ProtonVPN’s interface is easy to understand. I had no trouble finding all the significant features. What is more, with advanced features tucked away, the app is even more straightforward to use than Surfshark’s. It also offers a more sleek and modern design.
Pros and Cons
- VPN accelerator feature
- User-friendly apps across all significant operating systems and devices
- Unlimited data
- Split tunneling and kill switch features work reliably
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Customer support is limited
- Slightly disappointing server network
Tunnelbear Virtual Private Network
Tunnelbear Virtual Private NetworkExpert Review
TunnelBear is a virtual private network (VPN) service that offers secure and private browsing for users across the globe.
Founded in 2011, Canada-based TunnelBear primarily focuses on providing a user-friendly and easy-to-use VPN service. At least, that’s what they say.
One of the key features of TunnelBear is its user interface. Compared to Surfshark VPN, which already has a very user-friendly design, TunnelBear’s interface is even more intuitive and straightforward for newbie users, making it easy to connect to the VPN and protect their online activities. It also offers robust encryption protocols, such as AES-256-bit encryption, to ensure user data remains secure and private. The features are quite basic, though, including a kill switch and split tunneling.
TunnelBear has a global network of 3,000 servers across 48 countries, providing users with the ability to access content that may be restricted in their region. It’s not as extensive as Surfshark’s network, especially regarding server locations, but it’s more than enough to offer fast and convenient connections wherever in the world you are.
Interestingly, TunneBear uses the WebRTC protocol allows browsers to communicate without going through a third-party server or one in between. This ensures faster speeds, especially for video chat, file transfers, and live streaming applications.
The downside to using WebRTC is that each device communicating with the other must share IP addresses. This means, in theory, a website can use this to detect a user’s real IP address. This isn’t good, but during testing, I found that TunnelBear prevents this from happening. In other words, it passes the WebRTC leak test.
Regarding unblocking streaming services, TunnelBear doesn’t do a particularly great job. I tried to access several platforms via TunnelBear VPN, including Netflix and Disney Plus, and it didn’t work. Connection speeds also weren’t overly impressive.
The good news is that TunnelBear is very affordable, almost matching Surfshark’s pricing. That said, if you’re looking for a more basic and intuitive VPN app, TunnelBear is an excellent Surfshark alternative.
Pros and Cons
- Strict no-logs policy
- Has a fully functional free version
- Probably the most intuitive VPN app available (across all devices)
- Slow VPN connection speeds
- Doesn’t work well when unblocking streaming services
Windscribe VPNExpert Review
Founded in 2016, the Canada-based Windscribe focuses on providing a user-friendly and customizable VPN service.
The service makes it easy for users to connect to the VPN and access their favorite content via an intuitive interface.
Now, at first glance, Windscribe might not be the best Surfshark alternative. For instance, its server network of 400 servers in 62 countries looks very underwhelming compared to Surfshark’s 3,200. Its offer of features also looks more limited, and while its performance isn’t that bad (at least from my experience), Surfshark is a bit more reliable when it comes to connection speeds.
Where Windscribe matches Surfshark is the number of available simultaneous connections. Both services don’t set any limits here, which is great. It also supports all the same operating systems and devices, offering excellent user convenience and flexibility. The service also offers a range of customizable features, including blocking ads and trackers, customizing your firewall settings, and setting up a proxy gateway. Surfshark isn’t as customizable, nor does it offer a proxy gateway.
Also, in addition to its paid plans, Windscribe offers a free plan that provides users with 2GB of data per month. Of course, the free VPN version is more limited than paid plans, but it’s a good option for people seeking only basic VPN protection.
Speaking of paid plans and apps, there are apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android. In addition, there is an extension for Opera, chrome, and Firefox. If that wasn’t enough, you could set up the VPN for Kodi, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV, and other OpenVPN software.
What is more, despite the large selection of features, Windscribe is easy to use, which adds significant value, especially for newbie users. Add to that a relatively affordable subscription, and you get an excellent Surfshark alternative, even if it doesn’t offer as extensive protection.
Pros and Cons
- It is loaded with advanced features and various settings
- Unblocks Prime Video
- Disney Plus
- and others
- Excellent value for money with various billing options
- No live chat support
- Lower speeds than some other Surfshark alternatives
As you can see, there are many VPN alternatives to Surfshark VPN, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Some are on par regarding features and pricing, while others are better but more expensive.
Ultimately, the best VPN for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities. Researching and comparing different VPNs is essential to find one that meets your needs. Make sure to find one with the features and security that matter most to you. For instance, if you want to unlock Netflix in specific locations, ensure the VPN can do that.
In my experience, ExpressVPN is a no-brainer for streamers because it unlocks Netflix and because the servers are super fast, but there are many others worth considering. However, if you’re looking for a VPN that not only matches Surfshark but also beats it in numerous aspects, ExpressVPN would be my top choice to consider, followed by NordVPN and Private Internet Access.