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ExpressVPN vs NordVPN vs Surfshark – which one to choose?


NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark are the most popular VPN providers available. These excellent premium VPNs offer robust data security, high speeds, and tools to enjoy streaming and torrenting without buffering. However, which one of them is the best?

All three VPN providers come with market-standard encryption to secure your data, kill switches to prevent leaks, split tunneling to customize your connections, and Smart DNS to make the streaming experience easier and more enjoyable.

However, these VPNs also differ quite a bit. NordVPN and ExpressVPN have their proprietary tunneling protocols, Surfshark offers unique features like Alternative ID and GPS spoofing, and NordVPN has a built-in malware detection tool.

In this NordVPn vs Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison, we test these three VPNs based on their security, performance features, servers, streaming and torrenting capabilities, ease of use, and overall price-to-value ratio. Ultimately, we will name one of them as the best VPN overall.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN vs Surfshark VPN: highlights

Top choice
NordVPNSurfshark VPNExpressVPN
⭐ Rating:
4.9
4.7
4.3
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #42#2 out of #42#4 out of #42
🖥️ Servers:6,100 + servers in 61 countries3,200 + servers in 100 countries3,000 + servers in 105 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logsNo logs
💵 Price:From $3.39/monthFrom $2.29/monthFrom $6.67/month
🔥 Coupons:NordVPN coupon 67% OFFSurfshark VPN coupon 79% OFFExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!
🔒 VPN protocols:OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:6Unlimited8
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chatKnowledge base, 24/7 live chat, email supportKnowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat

NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are all excellent VPN clients to choose from; however, each of them has its strengths:

  • Price. If you’re looking for the best price-to-value ratio, then Surfshark is the winner.
  • Security. All three providers have excellent security features. However, NordVPN and Surfshark take it further with malware detection tools.
  • Performance. If you are seeking the speediest provider, then NordVPN is the best for you.
  • Compatibility and setup. All three VPNs have excellent apps and detailed setup guides. However, for the best app performance, NordVPN would be the top choice for the best app performance, and ExpressVPN for versatility, thanks to its router applet.
  • Features for streaming and torrenting. NordVPN or Surfshark would be the most reliable for streaming or torrenting.
  • Additional features. Surfshark does offer excellent extra tools like an antivirus suite and data removal services.

Overall, all three VPNs are excellent choices, but NordVPN surges forward, followed closely by Surfshark in second place and ExpressVPN in third.

Plans and pricing

The cheapest option out of the three is Surfshark. This VPN provider offers the most affordable options for monthly, yearly, and two-year plans, the best deal coming with the longest subscription and costing only $2.29/month.

While slightly more expensive than Surfshark, NordVPN offers budget-friendly plans, especially with longer commitments. The best deal comes with the longest 2-year plan and costs only $3.39/month.

The most expensive option is ExpressVPN. Even the longest-term subscription plan is at least twice as expensive as NordVPN and Surfshark’s best deal plans. In addition, ExpressVPN offers the longest of a 1-year long subscription, which costs $6.67/month.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
Free version❌No❌No❌No
Best dealGet NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF + gift!Get 79% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREEGet ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!
Monthly plan$12.99$10.99$12.95
1-year plan$4.99/month$3.99/month$6.67/month
2-year plan$3.39/month$2.29/month
Free trial7-day mobile free trial7-day mobile and macOS free trial7-day mobile free trial
Money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee

All three providers offer various plans based on your price range. The longer the subscription plan, the better deal you get with it. In addition, NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

All three providers come with a 7-day free trial available on mobile devices (Surfshark’s supports macOS as well). You only need to download the app from either the Google Play Store or the App Store and create your new account. After that, you can set the VPN apps on any other device compatible and enjoy the full versions of these apps for free for 7 days.

For payment methods, you can pick from various options. From credit cards to Google Pay or even Cryptocurrencies. NordVPN offers the most extensive coverage of payment methods, both traditional and completely anonymous (crypto).

Payment methodNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
Credit card
PayPal
AmazonPay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others)

Surfshark limits the payment methods. While you can purchase it with credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and crypto, it doesn’t accept AmazonPay or Apple Pay.

ExpressVPN also doesn’t accept AmazonPay, but other transactional options are covered.

Wrapping up
Surfshark is the winner of the price category. This VPN is the most budget-friendly option, offering various plans for different time durations. It does lack a few different payment options, like Apple Pay and AmazonPay, that NordVPN accepts. However, it still covers various transaction ways.

Security overview: NordVPN vs Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark offer excellent security features that protect your device and data from online threats. Even though Surfshark is based in country that is a part of the 9-Eyes Alliance, its multiple security audits prove that this VPN doesn’t collect any of the user data. In addition, all three of these VPNs work on RAM-only server infrastructure.

All three providers – NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, offer comprehensive security packages that ensure your data security while browsing online.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
EncryptionAES-256 and ChaCha20AES-256 and ChaCha20AES-256 and ChaCha20
HashSHA-512SHA-512SHA-512
RAM servers✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
A member of the 5-Eyes, 9-Eyes Alliance?❌No✅Yes❌No
No-logs policyAuditedAuditedAudited
Kill switch✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Ad blocker✅Yes✅Yes❌No
DNS leak protection✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes

In addition to these privacy tools, extra features like a kill switch, ad blockers, and leak protection tools ensure your sensitive data won’t leak or be hacked by online malware threats.

Wrapping up
NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark offer comprehensive security tools to ensure your data anonymity and protection online. Therefore, there’s no clear winner in this category.

Infrastructure

NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN all come with reliable kill switches. We’ve tested each provider’s kill switch tools and can ensure that they work reliably and will prevent your actual IP address from leaking if your VPN connection is interrupted or drops completely.

All three of the providers work with RAM-only servers. This means your data and logs aren’t stored on hard drives. Instead, the data is wiped with every server restart. So, there’s a lesser chance of your data being leaked, stolen, or used for marketing purposes.

In addition to not collecting user data, all three providers use the market-standard and unhackable encryption – AES-256. This way, your data is so encrypted that even if cyber criminals somehow would get their hands on it, they wouldn’t be able to access its contents.

NordVPN testing leak protection

Privacy

Two out of three VPNs on this list are based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction – NordVPN is based in Panama, and ExpressVPN is in the British Virgin Islands. On the other hand, Surfshark headquarters are located in the Netherlands, a part of the 9-Eyes Intelligence Alliance.

The countries in the 5, 9, and 14-Eyes Intelligence Alliance have the right to monitor their citizens’ activity online and share it among the alliance members if the need arises.

However, there’s no need to worry about Surfshark’s base country since the VPN provider has a strict no-logs policy. This means that Surfshark doesn’t collect any data about your activity online, and, therefore, cannot share it with anyone. That, added to the RAM-only servers infrastructure, ensures that all three VPN providers ensure excellent data security.

Logging

All three VPNs on this list come with strict no-logs policies audited by different cybersecurity firms. NordVPN’s no-logs policy has been audited by PwC twice, and it found the claims of not collecting users’ data to be correct.

PwC also audited ExpressVPN, and the company also confirmed the legitimacy of its no-logs claim. Surfshark has also gone through the independent audit of its no-logs policy by Deloitte, which also found no issues with the information log policy.

Speed

All three of these providers are amongst the fastest VPN providers on the market. Two out of three use their own proprietary protocols – NordVPN with NordLynx and ExpressVPN with Lightway, while Surfshark employs the industry standard, the speedy WireGuard tunneling protocol.

We’ve tested the three VPNs with their best-performing protocols to see what speed results we can obtain in different locations at the time of reviewing these services.

  • Baseline: 1 ms ping/ 500 Mbps download/ 500 Mbps upload
NordVPN (NordLynx)ExpressVPN (Lightway)Surfshark (WireGuard)
US479 Mbps download/ 448 Mbps upload458 Mbps download/ 423Mbps upload469 Mbps download/ 269Mbps upload
UK477 Mbps download/ 444 Mbps upload454 Mbps download/ 305 Mbps upload473 Mbps download/ 397 Mbps upload
Canada473 Mbps download/ 467 Mbps upload444 Mbps download/ 368 Mbps upload468 Mbps download/ 265 Mbps upload
Germany489 Mbps download/ 472 Mbps upload459 Mbps download/ 389 Mbps upload475 Mbps download/ 447 Mbps upload
France484 Mbps download/ 444 Mbps upload470 Mbps download/ 406 Mbps upload474 Mbps download/ 470 Mbps upload
Japan454 Mbps download/ 80 Mbps upload428 Mbps download/ 286 Mbps upload484 Mbps download/ 128 Mbps upload

During tests it becomes clear that NordVPN is the fastest of all three of the services. NordVPN has performed better with both download and upload speeds, while Surfshark was a close second (in some of the locations, it was even slightly faster than NordVPN). ExpressVPN provides stable connections throughout the different server locations.

In addition to these results, we’ve also calculated, throughout a certain period, how much speed, on average, each provider retains. Based on our calculations, NordVPN with the NordLynx tunneling protocol can retain up to 90% of the initial speed, Surfshark with WireGuard keeps 86% of the connection speed, and ExpressVPN with Lightway up to 77%.

Even the lowest retention rate is impressive and can ensure lag-free browsing, streaming, and torrenting experiences.

Wrapping up
NordVPN is the fastest VPN out of the three compared providers. It retains most of the original speed (around 90%), ensures stable connections for browsing and streaming, and its own NordLynx technology offers the best performance results overall. Surfshark follows in second place with very speedy connections.

Features overview

ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark are all top-rated premium VPN providers offering excellent features with their subscription packages.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
SmartDNS✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes (MediaStreamer)
SmartPlay✅Yes❌No❌No
Dedicated IP✅Yes✅Yes, static IP❌No
Double VPN✅Yes✅Yes❌No
Obfuscated servers✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
P2P support✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Split tunneling✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Web filters✅Yes✅Yes❌No (tracker blocker only)
Dark web monitoring✅Yes✅Yes❌No

When comparing the three providers – NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, it’s apparent that the first two provide more vaster features package than the latter. Not only do NordVPN and Surfshark cover the basics, like split tunneling, Smart DNS, and P2P support, but they also come with ad blocker features, Dark web monitoring, and many other tools.

WRAPPING UP

NordVPN and Surfshark are the winners of this category. These providers offer various useful features in their subscription packages, while, in comparison, ExpressVPN lacks quite a few tools.

Smart DNS

Smart DNS tool enhances the streaming experience by allowing you to unblock streaming platforms without traffic encryption or a VPN tunnel. In addition, it works on devices that don’t support VPN apps.

ExpressVPN calls this feature MediaStreamer; when we tested it, it worked well with smart TVs but struggled with gaming consoles.

NordVPN and Surfshark also offer this feature, and it’s simply called Smart DNS. With both providers, it worked well, and we had no issues setting it up with smart TVs or gaming consoles, and unblocking streaming services was very simple.

Specialty servers

ExpressVPN only offers one type of specialty serverobfuscated servers, which help to bypass strict internet and VPN restrictions without your connection being identified as coming through the VPN tunnel.

On the other hand, NordVPN has a much larger variety of optimized servers for certain purposes that you can pick from.

NordVPN specialty servers options

However, you should note that some servers will only appear with an appropriate tunneling protocol.

Here’s what you can get:

  • Dedicated IP – you can purchase a static IP address to always connect through the same IP address. These servers are only available with the OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
  • Double VPN – combines two VPN servers to create a VPN-to-VPN connection for maximum privacy purposes.
  • Obfuscated servers – these servers hide your VPN tunnel to appear as a regular HTTPS traffic, which is especially useful when connecting to the internet in countries with high censorship rates.
  • Onion over VPN – these servers combine the Tor network with VPN connections. This way, your connection goes through the VPN server and several Tor nodes, which makes it extra difficult to track the online activity back to you.
  • P2P – even though NordVPN supports torrenting on all of its servers, picking the P2P-specific servers will give you a slightly better performance while downloading or sending peer-to-peer files and data.

Surfshark also offers various specialty servers you can connect to instead of regular servers.

Surfshark Multihop servers list

Here’s what you can choose from:

  • MultiHop – the same as DoubleVPN, your connection goes through two VPN servers. Thanks to Nexus technology, Surfshark allows you to pick the entree and exit locations for your VPN connection.
  • Dedicated IP – a purchasable IP address that you can use to always connect with the same IP address.
  • Static IP – different from Dedicated IP because it doesn’t require purchasing. You can pick one server you’ll always connect to; however, other people can also use the same server.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to customize what apps and websites require a VPN tunnel and which don’t. This way, you can easily set up, for example, to exempt your banking app from connecting through a VPN tunnel, even with the VPN enabled. Alternatively, you can also customize your connections, so you would always have to launch Netflix with a VPN enabled.

All three VPNs on this list offer a split tunneling feature. Surfshark calls it Bypasser, which can be accessed through the Settings page. There, you can enable the tool and select what apps require a VPN tunnel and which don’t by clicking “Add website or IP addresses”.

bypasser surfshark 1

NordVPN doesn’t have a specific name for this tool, and the setup process is similar to Surfshark’s. You can find split tunneling in the Settings tab, where you can enable it and customize what apps require the encrypted tunnel connection.

nordvpn-split-tunneling-feature

Unfortunately, NordVPN and Surfshark only have split tunneling on Windows and Android devices.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN offers more compatibility – its split tunneling feature is available on Windows, macOS, and Android devices. It works the same as NordVPN and Surfshark ones.

ExpressVPN split tunneling

Web filters

Web filters are software that prevents you from accessing or interacting with malicious pages or features online. In essence, it works like an ad blocker.

Unfortunately, ExpressVPN only offers protection against trackers with its Threat Manager feature. Alternatively, NordVPN and Surfshark have dedicated tools to block ads and prevent online threats from targeting your data and device.

Surfshark has CleanWeb, which blocks trackers and ads by blocking known IPs associated with malware, adware hosts, and trackers. This feature works on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions.

NordVPN has Threat Protection, which, in addition to blocking ads and trackers, also identifies malware threats and prevents you from visiting malicious sites.

Additional features

All three providers also have some additional features that we’ll review quickly.

Here’s what ExpressVPN offers:

  • Router applet. ExpressVPN offers an easier way to set your VPN up on a router. This is especially useful when you want to cover more devices than ExpressVPN supports with its singular subscription (8 devices at most).
  • Password manager. This newest feature is currently available for Android and iOS devices only. You can also protect your login credentials to enhance your online security.

To learn more, check out our detailed ExpressVPN review.

NordVPN also has some extra tools to add to an already excellent feature package:

  • Meshnet. This feature allows you to create an encrypted network connecting up to 60 devices simultaneously. Meshnet lets you stream, create LAN parties, and browse online for free. You don’t even need to be a NordVPN subscriber to use this tool.
  • Presets. This feature allows you to create your custom VPN settings. This way, you can make your preferred type of VPN connection.
  • Dark web monitoring. This feature continuously checks for any leaked data on the dark web.

Learn more in our NordVPN review.

Last but not least, Surfshark’s extra features include:

  • GPS spoofer. With this feature, you can spoof your Android device’s GPS location, which helps to trick websites that track your geographical location.
  • Alerts. This feature monitors your sensitive data and informs you about any possible leaks.
  • IP rotator. Automatically switches your VPN IP address every other minute.
  • Alternative ID. Generates a fake online identity and email to prevent data leaks.

Check out our Surfshark review for more information.

Extra value

You can splurge and get additional tools that NordVPN and Surfshark offer to enhance your data and device protection.

  • Surfshark antivirus – it's compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android devices. For an extra cost of $48.86/year, you can purchase the Surfshark One package and get the VPN and antivirus suite. Surfshark Antivirus interface
  • Incogni – with the Surfshark One bundle, you can also get this tool that helps you remove your information from data broker sites. Alternatively, you can purchase Incogni as a standalone product for $6.49/month.

For an extra cost, NordVPN offers:

  • NordPass – a premium password manager to secure all your credentials in one place, generate impenetrable passwords, and autofill your information. You can get it for $1.24/month.
  • NordLocker – this is an encrypted cloud storage where you can safely store up to 2TB of data. You can get it for $3.99/month.

Server locations

All three VPN providers have large server fleets in geographically various locations. NordVPN offers over 6100 servers in 61 countries. In comparison, Surfshark offers fewer servers but in more countries – 3200+ servers in 100 countries.

ExpressVPN no longer publicly states how many servers are available. However, the last time the data was available, it was over 3000 servers in 105 countries. That’s neither the largest server fleet nor does it cover most countries.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
Servers6100+3200+3000+
Countries (total)61100105
Virtual locationsNoYesYes
Specialty serversYesYesYes

Lastly, NordVPN and Surfshark come with extra specialty servers; for NordVPN, that includes Dedicated IP servers, Double VPN, Obfuscated, and Onion over VPN servers. Surfshark offers MultiHop, Static IP, and Dedicated IP servers.

Wrapping up
NordVPN is the winner of this category because it offers the largest server fleet out of the three. While NordVPN has the least number of server countries, it offers broad geographical coverage for its servers. Surfshark has come in close second place thanks to the vast list of geographically various servers, virtual locations, and specialty servers.

China and countries with restricted Internet access

Some countries (like China, Iran, and others) have stringent laws against VPNs. Whether they have entirely banned the use of VPNs or have heavily restricted what services can be used. Additionally, these countries usually actively monitor their citizens’ online activities.

Luckily, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark have all been previously tested to work in China and other restricted countries to ensure anonymity online and help bypass internet restrictions and censorship.

Wrapping up
NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN offer features like obfuscated servers to help bypass internet censorship, the Great China Wall, and VPN restrictions. These VPNs have been tested to work in countries where the internet and VPN use is heavily censored.

Torrenting

All three VPNs support torrenting and are rated as one of the best VPNs for torrenting; however, not all of them perform as well while downloading P2P files.

NordVPN supports torrenting on all of its servers and has specialized servers for P2P connections. This allows for speedy and secure downloads. In addition, this VPN has a SOCKS5 proxy for better speeds.

Surfshark also supports torrenting on all of its servers and doesn’t throttle the speeds. So you get to enjoy speedy and secure P2P connections.

Lastly, ExpressVPN also supports torrenting on all servers; however, the speed drops can be quite noticeable. So if you intend to share files that are larger, it might take a while.

Wrapping up
NordVPN is the winner of the torrenting category. It’s the most optimal VPN for torrenting, providing excellent speeds, security, and support for P2P connections.

Streaming and Netflix performance

All three providers are excellent for streaming. With a vast list of servers, reliable tunneling protocols for a high streaming experience, and the ability to bypass content restrictions, no matter which VPN out of NordVPN, Surfshark, or ExpressVPN you pick, you’ll enjoy easy streaming.

PlatformNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
Netflix✅ Yes (Most popular country libraries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan)✅ Yes (Most popular country libraries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan)✅ Yes (Most popular country libraries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan)
Amazon Prime Video✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Hulu✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Max✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
Disney +✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
BBC iPlayer✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes
YouTube TV✅ Yes✅ Yes✅ Yes

During our tests with NordVPN, this provider had no issues unblocking different Netflix libraries, including the US, Japanese, German, and many other locations. In addition, the streaming quality was excellent, and we didn’t encounter any lags.

NordVPN unblocks Netflix Japan

This VPN also works with other popular platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Max, Hulu, etc. It also works with less popular streaming platforms like Crunchyroll and iQiyi.

Surfshark showed the same results as NordVPN. It accessed different Netflix libraries (like Australian, Japanese, the US, and others) from the first time, and we had no issues with streaming in HD quality.

Surfshark unblocks Netflix US

Like the competitor, Surfshark also unblocks all the other popular streaming platforms, including Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and others.

Last but not least, ExpressVPN also performed well. It unblocked various Netflix libraries, even if we had to try twice with several server locations. Ultimately, the stream quality was excellent, and we encountered no lags or buffering.

ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix Germany

Thanks to ExpressVPN’s capabilities to bypass various geo-restrictions, this VPN will work with various other streaming platforms. The list includes Hulu, Max, YouTube TV, and many others.

Better yet, all three of these VPNs have SmartDNS features (ExpressVPN calls it MediaStreamer), which allows you to easily set up a VPN on devices that don’t support VPN apps.

Wrapping up
All three VPNs are equal when it comes to streaming. NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, all work with various streaming platforms, easily bypass geo-restrictions, and have additional features to enhance the viewing experience.

Platforms, intercase, and ease of use

Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN excel with their easy-to-set-up and use applications. These VPNs are very user-friendly and cover a large scope of different devices.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressvpn
Supported OSWindows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Other software and devicesKodi, Android TVs, Fire devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Chromecast, and moreAndroid TVs, Fire devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, and moreAndroid TV, Fire devices, routers, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox devices, and more
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi
Simultaneous connections6Unlimited8
Usability levelEasyEasyEasy

All three VPNs offer dedicated apps for different OS and are compatible with various other devices, like streaming sticks and smart TVs. In addition, you’ll be able to get different browser extensions and connect on multiple devices.

While Surfshark covers the largest number of devices (since it doesn’t restrict the number), it doesn’t give this VPN that much edge when you can set up NordVPN (that supports up to 6 devices) and ExpressVPN (that supports up to 8) on a router and cover any device connected to your Wi-Fi.

Wrapping up
All three providers offer excellently developed VPN apps that are compatible with various devices and OS. They also offer multiple device support.

Desktop apps

NordVPN Windows and macOS apps are very similar in their appearance. Both come with a map interface and essentially the same features. The apps are easy to navigate for beginners and allow for customization for more experienced users.

Additionally, the macOS has two NordVPN versions available – the one from the App Store, which is a little more limited, or the full version that can be downloaded from the official website.

While testing this app, we found it to be one of the easiest to navigate. In addition, there’s plenty of customization that you can do.

nordvpn-desktop-app

Surfshark also has excellent apps for Windows and macOS users and a dedicated app for Linux.

The Windows app is the most developed one, while the macOS version lacks split tunneling. Otherwise, both versions are very easy to use, and the interface looks the same.

Updated Surfshark Windows interface

Like with NordVPN, Surfshark also has two app versions available for macOS – one from the App Store and the official website. However, the App Store version doesn’t work with the Surfshark One bundle, so you won’t be able to get the full package with an antivirus tool.

ExpressVPN Windows and macOS apps offer the same features available for both versions. In addition, the apps look simplistic and are easy to navigate and use.

macOS ExpressVPN app

The ExpressVPN desktop app doesn’t offer a map interface, which can be an aesthetic choice, but for those, who like picking their servers from a map, then, this might be a drawback. We didn’t find this to be an issue during our tests.

Mobile apps

All three VPNs offer better-developed Android apps than the iOS ones. In contrast, the Android versions are the same as the desktop ones.

NordVPN has an excellent Android app with full functionality. It’s feature-rich and very easy to use. In addition, both Android and iOS apps have a map interface.

ios-app-ui nord 3

However, the iOS app lacks a configurable kill switch and split tunneling features.

Surfshark offers an impressive Android app with features like Bypasser and GPS spoofing that other competitors don’t provide. In addition, both Android and iOS apps are modern and easy to navigate.

surfshark-android-version 4

The iOS app version lacks Whitelister and GPS spoofing tools, making it slightly weaker than the Android one.

ExpressVPN’s mobile apps look exactly the same as the desktop versions. However, the iOS version lacks split tunneling and shortcut features that are available on Android.

In addition, while testing this app, we found it very easy to navigate and customize our experience.

expressvpn android interface

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN vs Surfshark: video review

Tired of reading? Check out our video on NordVPN vs ExpressVPN vs Surfshark to see how these three VPNs compare and which we deem the best out of the bunch.

Customer support

All three premium VPN providers offer the exact same customer support options for their customers. That includes both knowledge bases and the ability to contact support agents.

NordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
24/7 live chat
Email
Phone line
Guides or articles
FAQs

NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark offer 24/7 live chat and email support. This way, you can provide constant support with whatever issues you have and receive a direct answer. We tested the response times of each provider, and the waiting time was similar as well – we waited 5-10 minutes for the initial response. Then, the solution was provided to us momentarily.

Alternatively, you can solve your problems by checking the available guides or FAQ pages. All three providers have extensive libraries of guides and articles to help you through whatever issue you’re dealing with.

Wrapping up
No matter which provider you pick, you’ll get access to an extensive array of customer support options. That includes 24/7 live chat, email, guides, and FAQs. The agents are quick to respond and very helpful, based on our experience.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Reddit upvotes

Overall Redditors rates all three – ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark, very favorably. These VPNs are constantly top recommended by VPN users for various reasons, whether for streaming, torrenting, or securing your data online.

ExpressVPN is seen as a reliable option that many Reddit users vouch for. It’s considered good for many purposes, including security, streaming, and torrenting.

ExpressVPN Reddit comment positive

Redditors praise Surfshark not only for its performance but also for its budget-friendly prices. It has stood the test of time, and people still rave about their experience using this VPN even after a long time.

redditors-about-surfshark

NordVPN, according to Reddit users, is one of the best value-for-money VPNs. This provider’s features package, performance, and security are rated very highly, and it’s said to have a very appropriate price for such various tools.

opinion about nordvpn on reddit

Which is better – NordVPN, Surfshark or ExpressVPN?

NordVPN is the overall winner of this comparison. The three VPN giants – NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, are all excellent services that are topping the VPN market. They have excellent features, performance, and security tools; however, the one that is just slightly better is NordVPN.

The one provider with the most won categories, NordVPN is an excellent tool to protect your data online and enjoy browsing quickly and without any restrictions. This is the top choice for streaming and torrenting, making this VPN the best tool you could purchase.

CategoryNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPN
Price
Protection
Speed
Features
Server locations
China
Torrenting
Streaming
Ease of use
Customer support

Surfshark has been crowned as the second-best VPN in this comparison. Its budget-friendly prices, excellent speed performances, features package, and streaming and torrenting capabilities prove that this is one of the best VPNs to select for your daily online life.

Last but not least, ExpressVPN is another premium VPN provider that ensures excellent protection for your data while browsing online. Even though it came third on this comparison, it’s still a very impressive and reliable tool. We wish it extended its feature package to fit its higher price tag.

Comparison methodology

Here, you can see the criteria we used to analyze NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark for this comparison. We tested all three providers in detail for each category to determine which one is the best out of the three.

  • Pricing. We looked for the best quality-price deals to determine which of these three VPNs is best. In addition, we looked for free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Security tools. The best VPNs offer extensive security features package that ensure the best data and device protection from online threats and surveillance. Therefore, we checked what features each provider offers to determine which one will be the best to secure your data.
  • Speed performance. All VPNs slow down your speed; however, the best VPNs will not majorly impact your internet speed. Therefore, we tested all three providers' performance and how much of the original speed they retained to select the fastest one. This way, you’ll get a quality VPN that ensures lag and buffer-free browsing, streaming, and torrenting experience.
  • Features included. We looked for additional features that enhance your security and browsing experience, whether that is an ad blocker, malware detection, or specialized servers.
  • Server network. We analyzed the server coverage these providers had to note how successful these VPNs would be with bypassing geo-restrictions, avoiding censorship (by connecting to a different server), and the likelihood of dealing with overcrowded servers.
  • Streaming. To select the best VPN for streaming out of NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark, we tried their capabilities with different streaming platforms to note which ones were easy to access and which were impossible. In addition, we also check for video quality when making our decisions.
  • Torrenting capabilities. Some users purchase VPNs for torrenting, so we test the providers’ capabilities with P2P connections, security, and performance.
  • Ease of use. The tools should be easy to use for both beginners and experienced users. So, we test the different apps to see how easy it is to set up, navigate, and customize your experience.
  • Customer support. Top VPNs need to provide various customer support channels for their customers. Therefore, we test the available help options and how efficiently you can obtain help.

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