What happens when you pit two bests against each other? Well, the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison is nothing short of the clash of the titans. Both these services are awesome in terms of server coverage, speed, security, safety, online accessibility, encryption, etc. Further, these service providers are committed to introducing constant innovations and upgrades to offer the best streaming experiences to their customers.
ExpressVPN or Surfshark? Which one is better? Well, this article will give you a clear answer about that. However, we must tell you that finding the better one has not been an easy task for us. We did the Surfshark VPN vs ExpressVPN comparisons from various angles, and the following sections will tell you the results.
Last updated on 28 November 2023
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: A Quick Summary
Before we get into the details, here’s a sneak peek into the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparisons. Based on the number of servers, security protocols, no-logging policy, and other safety measures, ExpressVPN emerges as the clear winner. Also, ExpressVPN is truly superb when it comes to streaming speed and quality.
|Safety / Security||Winner||Loser|
|Pricing and Payment Plans||Loser||Winner|
|Simultaneous connections and operating system||Loser||Winner|
|Customer Support Service||Tie||Tie|
Gear up as the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison is about to start. But hold your horses for a while as we present ExpressVPN, the market leader.
Well, let’s talk about its servers first. Its servers offer impeccable performance and are spread over 94 countries. Further, the makers are upgrading the servers from 1gbps speed to 10gbps. As of now, 70% of their bandwidth runs on these 10gbps servers. Because of all these measures, the servers ensure faster speed. In addition, the TrustedServer technology ensures no gap in privacy and security protections.
Furthermore, the Smart Location algorithm of ExpressVPN ensures that the servers are properly ranked based on distance, latency, and download speed. In simple words, this algorithm helps you connect to the closest and safest server based on your location.
In the Express vs Surfshark VPN comparison table, you have already seen ExpressVPN wins the race. First, ExpressVPN has a one-of-a-kind protocol called Lightway, which places ExpressVPN ahead of other VPNs in the market. The simple reason is that Lightway differs from standard sets of protocols used by other virtual private networks.
Also, the Smart Location algorithm allows you to connect to the fastest server. In addition, the split tunneling technology only encrypts the traffic that needs to be hidden, and thus, it increases the streaming speed.
Network Lock Kill Switch
The network lock and kill switch feature also makes ExpressVPN a trusted name. Further, this feature gives ExpressVPN an edge in our comparison. The kill switch ensures your complete online safety by stopping all your internet traffic when there is a disruption in the VPN connection. Also, this is essential so that your IP address never leaks.
ExpressVPN’s kill switch feature is available on an application and overall system levels. In other words, ExpressVPN will immediately activate its Network lock when the connection is disrupted. So, in such cases, no traffic will leave or enter your device. Once the connection is restored, the network lock will instantly reconnect the traffic.
The protocols used by ExpressVPN are Lightway, OpenVPN, WireGuard, PPTP, etc. This wide range of protocols ensures that the encryption between your device and the connected server is safe. Further, ExpressVPN comes with server authentication certificates, HMAC authentication, control channel encryption, and data channel encryption to bolster your online safety.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN uses an AES-256 bit encryption to make your data practically impregnable for any third party.
ExpressVPN will never track your source or VPN IP address, DNS queries, browsing history, traffic destination, and metadata, thanks to its no-logging policy. This service provider also ensures that sensitive data is removed from the logging history.
As a whole, ExpressVPN has endless reasons to emerge as the winner in the Surfshark vs Express VPN comparison. It is even the service provider that every network specialist and engineer looks up to.
Knowing Surfshark VPN
We need to know about Surfshark before we get into the ExpressVPN Surfshark comparison. This VPN also has many features to make your online experience safe and great. So, let’s start.
CleanWeb to Block Ads and Malware
The CleanWeb feature of Surfshark blocks ads, adware, and malware. Further, it helps you save mobile data and ensure you enjoy the best speed. In addition, it rejects every type of phishing attempt. You can easily activate this feature after you download the VPN.
Wide Server Presence
Surfshark has more than 3200 servers in 65 countries, which is great because it improves accessibility to blocked sites. Further, Surfshark has the NoBorders feature that stops even the strictest streaming site from detecting your traffic. In addition, Surfshark has a double VPN feature or MultiHop, which works by channeling your internet traffic through two servers of the Surfshark VPN.
Good Browsing Speed
Three factors help Surfshark to offer a fast browsing speed. First, it has IKEv2/IPsec, and you can switch to OpenVPN. These advanced protocols ensure a fast streaming speed. Secondly, the servers of Surfshark are optimized for speed. Furthermore, the split tunneling technology or Bypasser allows you to pick the sensitive data you want to encrypt and use two different addresses at the same time.
Surfshark comes with a kill switch feature to ensure optimum safety even when the connection is broken. It is important as it stops unwanted exposure to your traffic. Further, it hides your IP address and makes the file-sharing mechanism safe.
Encryption and No-Logging Policy
While doing our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark review, we also found that Surshark also has powerful encryption. Further, it follows a no-logging policy like ExpressVPN. Surfshark has AES-256-GCM encryption and never tracks or stores the users’ traffic or activities.
During our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark review, we found Surfshark to be a rookie with many promising features. Along with the features mentioned, we also want to highlight some other features of Surfshark in our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark review. Those features are private DNS, camouflage mode, etc.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark Comparisons
Finally, we have arrived at the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison. Both VPNs have their share of great features. However, ExpressVPN snatches the crown in this ExpressVPN vs Surfshark because of its consistency and unbeatable security. Further, even in terms of accessibility, ExpressVPN does a better job than Surfshark and almost all other VPNs in the market.
In the upcoming sections of our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison, we will evaluate different aspects to justify our stand. So, keep reading.
Severs and Covered Countries
This is the first criterion in our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison, and ExpressVPN is a clear winner. If you see the number of servers, Surfshark has more servers (3200+) than ExpressVPN (3000+). However, when we consider the number of countries covered, ExpressVPN covers 94 countries while Surfshark has VPNs only in 65 countries.
It’s not just about the server presence in our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison, and it’s also about how safe the servers are. Both ExpressVPN and Surfshark have obfuscated servers and private DNS. However, ExpressVPN has Trustedserver technology that ensures the least data risk. In addition, the Smart Location algorithm allows you to connect to the best server based on your location for optimized performance.
ExpressVPN wins in speed in our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison. We have already mentioned in our Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN review that ExpressVPN is upgrading its servers from 1gbps to 10gbps. Further, we conducted the Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN review in speed on our 1gbps connections in the USA and UK. In addition, we did the Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN speed test on different protocols.
Thanks to the Lightway protocol, ExpressVPN offered around 560-580 Mbps speed, and Surfshark, with its WireGuard protocol, offered speeds around 450-470 Mbps speed. Further, though both providers claim to have speed-optimized servers, ExpressVPN is more consistent across all its server locations.
Furthermore, to be more sure about the winner, we tested both VPNs on the OpenVPN protocol using the same connection. It helped us declare ExpressVPN as the winner in Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN speed review. On the same protocol and connection, ExpressVPN’s speed was 360-370 Mbps, while Surfshark’s speed was around 150 Mbps.
ExpressVPN is also the winner in terms of security in our Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN review. We considered many factors to declare the winner.
ExpressVPN has AES-256-bit data encryption standard (OpenVPN protocol), which is military grade and used by the US government. Further, this is the encryption standard used by many leading security agencies. On the other hand, Surfshark uses the AES-256-GCM protocol standard. Also, both VPNs allow you to choose the Chacha20/Poly1305 encryption standard.
Nevertheless, on the same OpenVPN protocol, ExpressVPN wins the Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN review for channel control. ExpressVPN has RSA-4096 channel encryption, which is more powerful than Surfshark’s RSA-2048 standard.
Strong Encryption Protocol
It’s a close fight regarding encryption protocol in the Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN comparison. Surfshark uses WireGuard, and ExpressVPN uses Lightway. Both offer good speed while streaming. However, if we talk about security, Lightway is way ahead of WireGuard.
The tunneling protocols common in both VPNs are OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) and IKEv2. Additionally, Surfshark has Shadowsocks, and ExpressVPN has L2TP/IPsec.
Apart from that, ExpressVPN stands out thanks to its cipher block chaining technology. This technology ensures that no one can decrypt packet data without having access to the one before it. Some will try to place the NoBorders feature of Surfshark as its equivalent. However, the cipher block chaining technology is far superior in its performance.
Ad and Malware Blocker
ExpressVPN comes with a DNS adblocker feature. This feature stops your device from getting connected to many advertising domains. Further, the Threat Manager feature of ExpressVPN protects your device from getting connected to malicious sites.
Surfshark comes with CleanWeb technology for blocking ads and malware. This technology is also great for stopping phishing attempts.
Both VPNs have private DNS on their servers. As a result, the private and encrypted DNS will protect your DNS or Domain Name System requests. Therefore, no unwanted entity will be able to track your IP address with your website’s URL. We are confident that ExpressVPN has private DNS on every server. However, we have doubts regarding the same when it comes to Surfshark. That is why we will give ExpressVPN an edge in our Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN comparison.
Then again, make a note in our Express VPN vs Surfshark VPN that these service providers have a kill switch. Simply put, your internet traffic and IP address will not leak even if the VPN connection is interrupted. However, the twist of the network lock makes ExpressVPN score higher in the Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison. Because of this feature, ExpressVPN has application-level and system-level kill switches, while Surfshark only has system-level kill switches.
ExpressVPN and Surfshark both have specialty servers. The specialized obfuscated servers of ExpressVPN ensure that no streaming site can detect that you are using a VPN. Further, Surshark has NoBorders mode serving the same purpose.
Server Security and Security Infrastructure Audits
In our Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison, we found that both VPNs are close regarding server security. However, since ExpressVPN has a one-of-a-kind Lightway protocol and its channel encryption is stronger than Surfshark, we trust ExpressVPN more for server security.
Now let’s do Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison in security infrastructure audits. Surfshark is audited by Cure53. In 2018, the report confirmed that no severe security threats were found. However, there were instances of minor vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the Cure53 report in 2021 announced the service free of vulnerabilities.
Further, the independent infrastructure audit of ExpressVPN is done by PWC.
Privacy and Anonymity
In our Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison, we think both services are equal in terms of privacy and anonymity. We have checked the following factors to derive our result.
While doing our Surfshark vs ExpressVPN assessment, we found that ExpressVPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. So, this VPN service is out of the 5 and 14 eyes surveillance. Further, the British Virgin Islands do not have stringent data retention laws by telecommunication companies. In addition, the location of the headquarter makes ExpressVPN free of any intelligence-sharing alliances.
However, Surfshark’s headquarters in the Netherlands is under 14 Eyes surveillance. Nevertheless, the 14 Eyes surveillance is not as stringent as the 5 Eyes. So, the headquarter location of Surfshark is neither the best nor the worst.
User Information Required to Sign Up
While doing our Surfshark vs ExpressVPN assessment, we could sign up anonymously with a temporary email address, which is the same for Surfshark. Further, ExpressVPN and Surfshark both accept cryptocurrencies. Therefore, neither service provider collects or stores sensitive data while signing up.
In our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN review, we must tell you that both VPNs follow strict no-logging policies. ExpressVPN will never keep a record of your browsing history, DNS queries, and traffic destination. Surfshark’s no-logging policy ensures that your online activities and connection are not tracked or throttled.
User Data Storage
Surfshark and ExpressVPN do not store sensitive user data. So, in this regard, they are at par in our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison. ExpressVPN will collect data about the activated applications and application versions. The VPN will also store the dates on which you are connecting to it and the server location you are selecting. Further, it will track how much data (in MB) is transferred regularly.
Surfshark will only store the information for creating and authenticating your account. Further, it will store crash reports and some other anonymized data to ensure a smooth run of the application.
Unblocking Streaming Sites
ExpressVPN is the sure-shot winner in unblocking streaming sites according to our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison. See, both VPNs have a wide server base, but ExpressVPN servers have a presence in more countries. Therefore, when it comes to streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any site from anywhere, ExpressVPN has no match. Further, ExpressVPN has the Smart Location algorithm, telling you to choose the server for the best speed and safety.
Again, ExpressVPN wins the Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison regarding torrenting. ExpressVPN’s servers are optimized for P2P. So, irrespective of your chosen server, you will get the best speed and safety. In other words, you can call ExpressVPN a tailor-made VPN for torrenting.
On the other hand, Surfshark is a good choice for torrenting but is not as great as ExpressVPN. All the servers of Surfshark are not optimized for torrenting. Yes, the app will automatically link you to the server best for torrenting. However, this means you have a limited number of torrent-optimized servers, which may reduce speed.
Price and Plan
If you want to assess Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN in terms of pricing, Surfshark is a winner. Let’s compare. The one-month subscription charges for both VPNs are the same, and both will cost you $12.95 per month with tax for a one-month plan.
ExpressVPN has a six-month plan, charging you $9.99 monthly with taxes. However, the best plan offered by ExpressVPN is its 12-months plan. ExpressVPN is offering a 49% discount and a 3-month free subscription along with this offer. So, for the first 15 months, ExpressVPN will charge you $6.67 per month. However, the charges will be billed once for 15 months.
Now, let’s come back to Surfshark. Along with the monthly plan, it also has a yearly and 2-yearly plan. The yearly plan is available at a 69% discount. The charge for this plan will be $47.88 for the first 12 months. The most beneficial plan of Surfshark is the 24-month subscription plan. You will get a whopping 83% discount and a 3-month free subscription on this plan. Further, the cost will be $59.76 for the first 27 months.
The discount coupon codes for both VPNs will be applied at the checkout on choosing the right plan. In addition, the payment options accepted by ExpressVPN are:
- Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club International credit cards
- UnionPay, SoFort, and many others
Surfshark, on the other hand, accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover credit cards. You can also pay via PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies.
It’s a tie in this Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison for the money-back guarantee. Both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Further, Surfshark and ExpressVPN have come up with a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS mobile users.
If we talk about features, ExpressVPN will be the hands-down winner in this Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison. See, if you talk about features like kill switch and split tunneling, both VPNs have that. However, as already discussed in detail, the security, accessibility, and privacy features of ExpressVPN are more powerful and reliable than Surfshark.
Simultaneous Connections and Operating System
Surfshark is a Winner in terms of simultaneous connections and compatible operating systems in the Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison. As a VPN, Surfshark offers support to unlimited devices with a single connection. However, ExpressVPN will only support five devices at a time. Both VPNs work with Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems.
While doing the Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison, we found that both services have friendly customer service. Both VPN services have 24/7 live chat support and ticketing systems. Further, they have brilliant email support. The support email ID for ExpressVPN is firstname.lastname@example.org. On the other hand, the Surfshark support team can be reached at email@example.com.
While doing our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN assessment, we emailed at both addresses. The average response time from the ExpressVPN service team was around 50 minutes. However, the Surfshark team took around 2 hours to revert.
Surfshark and ExpressVPN have a free knowledge base in terms of FAQs and blogs, and video tutorials. However, neither of the customer service team is available by phone.
Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers. These answers will help you compare Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN and understand which one is better.
Is ExpressVPN better than Surfshark?
Yes, ExpressVPN is better than Surfshark. ExpressVPN, being the veteran, has a server presence in more countries with private DNS on every server. Further, have a look at our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison, and you will know how ExpressVPN excels in speed, privacy, and security.
Is ExpressVPN faster than Surfshark?
Yes, ExpressVPN is faster than Surfshark. All the servers of ExpressVPN are speed optimized. Further, thanks to its Smart Location algorithm, it will always allow you to connect to a server that will offer the best speed and safety based on your location. In addition, its Lightway protocol has no match and is loved by all for its blazing speed. You can read our Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN speed comparison to know more about why ExpressVPN beats Surfshark in speed.
Does ExpressVPN offer any deals?
Yes, ExpressVPN offers a 49% discount and a three-months free subscription on its yearly plan. Further, you already know from our comparison that ExpressVPN comes with a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS users. In addition, every plan is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
After a 360-degree Surfshark VPN vs Express VPN comparison, we can announce that ExpressVPN is the clear winner. No one can beat ExpressVPN in speed, safety, anonymity, and privacy. ExpressVPN is also brilliant for torrenting and unblocking the leading streaming sites from any part of the world. So, the crown goes to ExpressVPN.