We may earn affiliate commissions for the recommended products. Learn more.

Norton VPN vs Surfshark VPN: which one is better?


Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN are two significantly different virtual private networks, although they were released just a year apart. Unlike Norton, with over 30 years of experience, Surfshark emerged as a cybersecurity newcomer in 2018. But does that automatically mean Norton's superiority compared to Surfshark?

Surfshark is an award-winning, feature-rich VPN with excellent streaming and torrenting capabilities. On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN is a compact app often bundled with a top-notch antivirus. In the same way, Surfshark also offers an antivirus, so picking between the two can get tricky.

This article will thoroughly analyze privacy features, connection speeds, application design, cybersecurity benefits, and more. You'll have no trouble choosing one by the end of this Surfshark VS Norton Secure VPN comparison.

Surfshark vs Norton VPN

Let's overview the key Surfshark vs Norton differences before going into the specifics. Norton Secure VPN is pricier as a stand-alone app that costs $59.99 in the first year for 10-device protection. Meanwhile, Surfshark costs $47.88 and does not limit simultaneous connections. Surfshark also works with most major streaming platforms, compared to only a few on Norton's side.

Surfshark VPNNorton VPN
⭐ Rating:
4.7
4.2
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #42#6 out of #42
🖥️ Servers:3,200 + servers in 100 countries1,000 + servers in 29 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Price:From $2.19/monthFrom $2.49/month
🔥 Coupons:Surfshark VPN coupon 83% OFFNorton VPN coupon 58% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols:WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreBBC iPlayer, Max
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, and iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:Unlimited10
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, email supportLive chat, 24/7 phone support, FAQ

Surfshark vs Norton VPN pricing

Both top-tier VPNs offer tiered pricing plans. The first difference is that Surfshark offers monthly subscription plans starting from $10.99month. Meanwhile, the stand-alone Norton Secure VPN starts from $29.99/year to secure one device. You will get the best value by picking a more extended subscription, but unlike Surfshark, Norton includes its VPN only on higher-tier bundles. Therefore, Surfshark is the cheaper VPN of the two.

PlanSurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Free versionNoNo
Monthly$10.99/month, unlimited devices
-
One year$2.79/month, unlimited devices
$2.49/month for 1 device
$3.33/month for 5 devices
$4.99/month for 10 devices
Two years$2.19/month, unlimited devices
-
Risk-free trialYesYes
Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE
Get up to 58% OFF Norton VPN!

Norton Secure VPN does not offer a monthly subscription, and you must pay the yearly price upfront. Meanwhile, Surfshark's monthly subscription is costly, considering the price drop on annual and bi-annual subscriptions.

Norton's best plan costs $3.33month to secure 5 devices for one year. Although it is more affordable than Surfshark's one-year plan, the latter is more than two times cheaper if you choose the two-year plan, costing merely $2.79/month. Furthermore, Surfshark does not limit concurrent connections, so you can use it on any device you like without paying extra.

Regarding payment options, Surfshark accepts credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Norton is more limited and does not allow paying via cryptocurrency, which is disadvantageous if you don't want your VPN subscription linked to a credit card.

Norton outperforms Surfshark only in the free-trial category, offering a 7-day free on any device and a 60-day money-back guarantee. Surfshark's 7-day free trial is limited to Android, iOS, and macOS with a shorter 30-day money-back guarantee.

Wrapping up
Surfshark wins against Norton VPN in the pricing category by being more than two times cheaper to secure unlimited devices for just $2.79/month. Meanwhile, Norton VPN secures 10 devices if you invest $4.99/month.

Security overview: Surfshark vs Norton VPN

Sticking to VPNs and leaving the antiviruses aside, Surfshark outperforms Norton Secure VPN with more robust online privacy protection and an independent no-logs audit. To be precise, Surfshark offers more security features and uses the superior WireGuard protocol for enhanced protection, while Norton VPN has fewer extra perks.

SurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
Tunneling protocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec
RAM servers✅ Yes❌ No
Jurisdiction
The NetherlandsUnited States
No-logs policyAuditedAudited
Kill switch✅ Yes✅ Yes
Ad blocker✅ Yes✅ Yes

Surfshark offers OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols, the last of which is considered the best contemporary VPN tunneling protocol. Norton Secure VPN works on OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec protocols. They also ensure data security but, as we will see shortly, fall behind regarding speed and auditability.

Surfshark vs Norton Secure VPN also significantly differ regarding privacy and logging. Although both use industry-standard AES-256 encryption to make user online activities indecipherable to third-party spectators, Surfshark has a 100% RAM-only server infrastructure. Relying on RAM means the servers clean all data when rebooted or unplugged, which practically eliminates the chances of a data leak.

Norton Secure VPN's kill switch is available only on Windows and Android devices, compared to Surfshark's all major operating systems (yes, including Linux!) Additionally, both neutralize trackers and block ads that could contain malware. Surfshark also offers three browser extensions with an upgraded CleaWeb 2.0 version, which includes a data breach alert.

Wrapping up
Both VPNs are private and secure, but Surfshark offers more cybersecurity benefits. Unlike Norton, it issues in-app personal data leak alerts, offers three web browser extensions, and a kill switch on all platforms.

Jurisdiction and logging

When it comes to jurisdiction, Surfshark and Norton VPN are equals. Norton operates from Tempe, Arizona, US, a country that’s a founding member of the Five Eyes Alliance. Similarly, Surfshark is in the Netherlands, which is a Nine Eyes Alliance country. Both jurisdictions have robust data retention and sharing laws, but that does not necessarily mean these VPNs log user data. However, neither provider emerges as the superior option since both are based headquartered in sub-optimal regions.

In their privacy policy, Norton and Surfshark explicitly state they do not collect and store user data. To verify this, we turn to independent no-log audits. Surfshark trusted one of the Big Four accounting firms, Deloitte, to check its compliance with the no-logs policies and successfully passed the test. Norton does not have an independent no-logs audit, which means you have to trust them with your data on a promise-like basis.

Privacy

Surfshark VPN is the better option regarding online privacy because there are no warning signs in its privacy policy and its no-logging claims were audited by a third party. The VPN is transparent about collecting data solely for diagnostics and service delivery, such as registration information (to identify the user account) and encrypted passwords (to authenticate the user). Furthermore, Surfshark deletes any leftover details 15 minutes after the user disconnects from the server.

Similarly, Norton also claims to collect data solely for service maintenance, like the operating system version and language, installation errors, etc. However, a troublesome statement makes us doubt the product’s intentions to protect customer privacy. Norton may also collect device identifiers if it notices suspicious behavior that violates its Terms and Conditions.

Although we never recommend using a VPN for illegal activities, we must ask what Norton considers suspicious behavior and how it identifies it. After all, VPNs are supposed to keep users' online activities private, even from the VPN service provider.

Which is faster: Surfshark or Norton VPN?

Surfshark is faster than Norton VPN because it employs the cutting-edge WireGuard tunneling protocol. Meanwhile, Norton Secure VPN lacks any alternatives that can offer comparable speeds. However, that doesn’t mean it is significantly slower than Surfshark VPN. Our tests showed that Norton is still good enough for lag-free streaming and web browsing, but it’s not quite there with the fastest VPNs on the market.

Features overview

Regarding feature variety, Surfshark wins against Norton Secure VPN. Surfshark is among the most developed VPNs optimized for streaming, torrenting, unrestricted internet access, and privacy protection. On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN only provides the basics with limited torrenting support and a few quality-of-life features.

SurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Smart DNS
Dedicated IP
Double VPN
Obfuscated servers
P2P support
Split tunneling
Ad blocker
Dark web monitoring
RAM-only servers

Norton Secure VPN lacks specialty servers, Smart DNS to optimize streaming, and dark web monitoring is available only in its antivirus bundle. It can automatically connect you to its VPN servers on insecure Wi-Fi networks, but Surfshark also lets you customize auto-connect. Norton also doesn't have obfuscated or double VPN servers and no dedicated IP, which is beneficial for securing online banking operations.

Specialty servers

Unlike Surfshark, Norton Secure VPN has only one specialty server category – Torrent-Optimized Region servers. As you might have guessed, it is optimized for peer-to-peer traffic, which we'll discuss in detail further.

Meanwhile, Surfshark brings a lot more to the table. Its MultiHop servers are a double VPN feature that routes web traffic through two servers instead of one. Thus, MultiHop provides bonus online privacy by securing traffic entry and exit points. Moreover, you can manually select the entry and the exit server for a preferred combination, but be ready to sacrifice some connection speed.

Specialty Camouflage servers scramble your VPN traffic to make it look like regular HTTPS traffic to bypass VPN blocks in countries like China, Russia, and Iran. You will also find the NoBorders feature with the same goal that automatically kicks in whenever Surfshark detects network restrictions.

Lastly, for $3.75/month, you can order a dedicated IP address in these countries: US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Hong Kong.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to separate apps that utilize the VPN tunnel from the ones that use the standard ISP connection. For example, you can separate uTorrent from Wolt because the latter requires your actual geographical location to deliver orders, and the former demands additional encryption for risk-free file sharing.

Both VPNs offer split tunneling on Windows and Android devices, which is called Bypasser on Surfshark's app. Similarly, neither Norton nor Surfshark provides it on iOS and macOS devices because of specific Apple restrictions. Adding app exceptions is particularly easy on either app.

Smart DNS

Many streaming-friendly VPNs implement Smart DNS technology to extend geo-block evasion to devices that do not support native VPN apps, like Smart TVs and gaming consoles. Instead of changing the IP address, it modifies the Domain Name System servers for the same result: streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Max notice a local DNS server and grant access to local content libraries.

Surfshark provides a manual Smart DNS setup. We must pinpoint that it requires your original IP address and does not encrypt traffic. That means you can access geo-blocked content, but your activities will remain visible to your ISP. Norton Secure VPN does not offer a Smart DNS feature and is far from the best streaming VPN.

Ad blocker

One of a few additional Norton Secure VPN benefits is an ad blocker. We verified its efficiency using AdBlock tester, where Norton received a satisfactory 86 points out of 100 and removed banners, static and GIF images, and various advertising pop-ups. We then tested it with the Can You Block It tool to eliminate more pop-ups and video ads – great results!

Similarly, Surfshark uses its CleanWeb feature to block ads. This tool uses DNS filtering to block domains that host ads, so you can expect a much smoother and clutter-free browsing experience after turning it on. Surfshark also offers an upgraded CleanWeb 2.0 version on its browser extensions that also disables pop-ups, neutralizes malware, and checks for data breaches.

Wrapping up
Norton cannot keep up with Surfshark's vast array of cybersecurity and privacy protection features. Even its robust ad-blocking capabilities pale compared to Surfshark's innovative CleanWeb 2.0 approach and specialty servers.

Server locations

A hefty server number and sufficient worldwide coverage are paramount for any fully developed VPN. Surfshark has thrice as many VPN servers in thrice as many countries, easily outperforming Norton Secure VPN. See more details in the table below.

SurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Servers3200+Undisclosed
Countries (total)10029
Virtual locationsYesUndisclosed
Specialty serversYesNo

Although Norton does not reveal the exact server number, online reviews agree on approximately 1000. Still, we believe it's better to know for sure than to speculate. Its worldwide server spread is below average, with only 29 countries to choose from.

On the other hand, Surfshark has servers in 100 countries, outperforming most VPNs. While it uses virtual servers in countries like India to comply with its no-logs policies, it doesn't affect the result of providing a genuinely global service. Currently, Surfshark has a 3200 server network, which is more than enough to ensure high connection speeds and unrestricted internet access.

Which VPN is better for unblocking streaming platforms?

Unblocking streaming service libraries is a popular VPN use. We tested both with the most popular streaming service providers for a comprehensive Surfshark VS Norton comparison. Let's start with the results table.

PlatformSurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
HBO
YouTube TV
Disney+

During our tests, Surfshark effortlessly unblocked the most popular streaming libraries. A vast worldwide server network, Smart DNS, and the WireGuard protocol guarantee buffer-free content access. Its excellent connection speed is sufficient to stream Netflix Japan, and 18 US server locations provide access to state-specific Max, Disney+, and Hulu libraries.

Norton Secure VPN struggles to unblock most streaming services, except YouTube TV, which we had no trouble accessing. After several tries, it unblocked Max (previously known as HBO Max) and BBC iPlayer, but you will have to spend some time switching between servers. This VPN is not designed for streaming, so we recommend sticking with Surfshark or looking at the best streaming VPNs list for alternatives.

Wrapping up
Surfshark easily unblocks popular streaming services like Netflix, Max, and Disney+. Meanwhile, Norton Secure VPN only works with but a handful, showing the best results only with YouTube TV.

Torrenting

Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs in the market, which makes it one of the best VPNs for torrenting. As such, it easily defeats Norton VPN in the P2P department due to its subpar performance in this category.

All Surfshark's servers are optimized for P2P traffic, and we encountered no issues using it with torrenting clients like uTorrent, BitTorrent, Transmission, and Deluge. We tested its speed, torrenting a 3GB file on a 296Mbps baseline internet connection for an average of 2 minutes and 18 seconds of download time.

Surfshark is much faster compared to Norton Secure VPN. Although the latter has specialized P2P servers (called Torrent-Optimized Region in-app), we cannot recommend using it for torrenting. The same 3GB file took more than an hour to download, with speed fluctuating from 2 to 8 Mbps.The troublesome privacy policy statement regarding suspicious activity monitoring is a deal breaker regarding peer-to-peer traffic. Lastly, some Reddit users report receiving warning messages from Norton regarding torrenting, which is a deal breaker.

Wrapping up
Norton Secure VPN is unsuitable for torrenting due to low download speeds and a worrisome privacy policy. Surfshark is an excellent torrenting VPN with an audited no-logs policy and P2P traffic support on all its servers.

Platforms, interface and ease of use

Norton Secure VPN and Surfshark offer neat and user-friendly applications. Both are effortless to navigate, but we must stress Norton's lack of browser extensions and Linux support. Combine this with its limited simultaneous connection support and you can see why Surfshark VPN is better in the device compatibility category.

SurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Supported OSWindows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, and iOS
Dedicated Linux app
YesNo
Other software and devicesAndroid TVs, Fire devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, and more
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, Brave
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimited1, 5, or 10
Usability levelEasy Easy

Surfshark is one of a few VPNs that offers a Linux app with a neat GUI instead of only utilizing its command line. Unlike Norton Secure VPN, it also works on Smart TVs and gaming consoles because it uses Smart DNS technology.

Surfshark also offers three browser extensions that provide more than just a quick IP change. They can block cookie pop-ups, turn off ads, and even issue malware and data breach alerts. Norton does not offer any VPN browser extensions; the only extension it provides is for rating website security on search engines, but that's an entirely different software.

Wrapping up
Surfshark is a much better multi-platform VPN because it does not limit concurrent connections and has an app on all major operating systems. Moreover, the three browser extensions ensure online safety without installing additional software.

Simultaneous connections

Surfshark does not limit concurrent connections, meaning you can secure all devices with a single purchase. Furthermore, this family-friendly VPN allows account sharing with your friends and relatives if you don't resell it or otherwise abuse the sharing policies.

Norton Secure VPN lets you secure 1, 5, or 10 devices, increasing the price for each tier. Although it cannot compete with unlimited device support, ten maximum devices is still a solid number, outperforming renowned VPN brands like NordVPN (10 simultaneous connections) or ExpressVPN (8 simultaneous connections).

Desktop apps

Let's start with Norton Secure VPN, which has two desktop app versions. One is bundled with its antivirus, and the other is a stand-alone app. Norton VPN has a minimalistic design with the server list on the right, the On/Off button on the left, and split tunneling, kill switch, and AdBlock features behind the gear icon on the top.

You can expand the server list and choose a country, but unlike Surfshark, Norton does not allow selecting a specific server. Its macOS app is nearly identical but does not offer split tunneling and, more importantly, lacks a kill switch.

Surfshark's app is slightly more complex because it offers more features and customization options. You can select specialty servers on the left side or connect to a chosen country. Once connected, it will display the tunneling protocol, VPN IP address, and used bandwidth on the right.

Similar to Norton's Windows version, Surfshark has two apps for macOS. One is available on Apple's App Store, and the other on Surfshark's website. We recommend downloading Surfshark from the Apple App Store as it offers more tunneling protocol options. However, due to Apple's limitations, you cannot use split tunneling or NoBorders features on macOS.

Mobile apps

Norton Secure VPN Android and iOS apps have a nearly identical minimalistic design with separate tabs to choose a VPN region or enable auto-connect on the bottom. However, that's where the similarities end because its iOS app does not support split tunneling and lacks a kill switch, an essential mobile VPN component.

We particularly enjoyed Surfshark's Android and iOS app customization options. It has Dark Mode, and Android users can enjoy a unique GPS spoofing feature to prevent location leaks. As expected, the iOS app does not offer split tunneling but also lacks a GPS spoofer. Otherwise, both apps are nearly identical and easy to navigate.

Customer support

Customer support is the only category where Norton Secure VPN outperforms Surfshark by a slight advantage. It offers a professional 24/7 live chat; you can call Norton via phone; the online knowledge base is vast and informative.

Similarly, Surfshark also provides a 24/7 live chat and great self-help articles but uses email instead of phone line support. We prioritize the phone line option as some VPN issues require a hasty solution instead of waiting for an email response.

To get a better view, we contacted both via live chat and got a quicker response from Surfshark. However, at that time, Norton's website had a high call volume disclaimer that must have slowed down the response rate, but we still managed to contact them via phone.

Wrapping up
Norton Secure VPN has a vast and informative online knowledge base and urges you to call them if you encounter any VPN issues. It wins this round by a slight advantage as Surfshark only offers email instead of a live voice chat.

Compare Surfshark and Norton VPN with other VPNs

BrandNordVPNIPVanishExpressVPNCyberGhostPureVPNAtlas VPN
ReviewNordVPN reviewIPVanish reviewExpressVPN reviewCyberGhost reviewPureVPN reviewAtlas VPN review
Rating
4.9
4.5
4.3
4.2
4.2
4.1
Starting price$3.09/month$2.19/month$6.67/month$2.19/month$2.11/month$1.64/month
Servers6300+ servers in 111 countries2200+ servers in 52 countries3000+ servers in 105 countries11500+ servers in 100 countries6500+ servers in 65 countries1000+ servers in 42 countries
Simultaneous connections10Unlimited8710
Unlimited
Based inPanamaUnited States (part of 5-Eyes)British Virgin IslandsRomaniaBritish Virgin IslandsUnited States (part of 5-Eyes)
LoggingNo logs, independently audited twice by PwCNo logs, independently audited by LeviathanNo logs, independently audited by Cure53No logs, independently audited by DeloitteNo logs, always-on audit by KPMGNo logs, not audited
StreamingNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTubeNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube

What do Redditors think about Norton VPN and Surfshark?

Reddit is an excellent source of personal product reviews and first-hand experiences. The r/VPN and r/Privacy subreddits have over 1 million subscribers combined, so you can be sure they will leave no stone unturned discussing VPNs.

Norton receives no love on Reddit, mainly due to its anti-torrenting stance. Here's what one Redditor says:

Reddit review

And these are no groundless claims. Another user posted a link to Norton's website with a warning message indicating Norton VPN has detected torrenting activities. It's clear that Norton Secure VPN is not as private as genuine no-logs VPN providers. Another Reddit user states:

Reddit review 2

Surfshark, on the contrary, receives more positive than negative Reddit comments. One user praises its torrenting capabilities:

Reddit review 3

Surfshark's negative comments mainly stem from unreliable connection and casual streaming blocks, for example:

Reddit review 4

However, inconsistent streaming experience haunts even the best VPNs, as streaming services like Netflix and Hulu regularly improve their VPN detection algorithms.

Other users positively compare Surfshark with the best of the best:

Reddit review 5

To summarize, Norton's anti-torrenting is a deal breaker for Reddit users. Meanwhile, although Surfshark has its ups and downs, it does protect users' online privacy and offers sufficient speed for peer-to-peer traffic.

Surfshark and Norton VPN comparison methodology

Here are the main criteria we used to provide you with an elaborate Surfshark vs Norton Secure VPN comparison:

Cybersecurity features. We scrutinized the encryption algorithm, tunneling protocols, and mandatory features like the kill switch and RAM-based servers to verify which VPN is safer.

Logging. A VPN is not good if it collects and shares users' online activities. We considered jurisdiction, privacy policies, and independent no-logs audits to confirm dedication to privacy protection.

Server network. An elaborate, speedy server network is a must to ensure sufficient browsing speed and unrestricted internet access.

Geo-block evasion. Many use VPNs to access worldwide Netflix and other popular streaming services and libraries. Smart DNS that bypasses geo-blocks on SmartTVs and gaming consoles is a great advantage.

Pricing. There's no need to overpay when so many high-quality VPNs are available. A noteworthy VPN must provide additional benefits without exceeding the average market price.

P2P support. Many ISPs ban all torrenting traffic, which often prevents the use of legitimate file-sharing platforms. A good VPN hides P2P traffic from the internet service provider and lets you torrent risk-free.

Customer support. A VPN is complex networking software that sometimes requires advice from a professional. That's why customer support is paramount when choosing a reliable VPN.

Surfshark or Norton VPN – which one wins?

Surfshark is an undeniably superior when compared to Norton Secure VPN. Its offers a greater number of swift and secure servers, and the app is filled with additional benefits that Norton lacks.

CategorySurfsharkNorton Secure VPN
Price
Speed
Features
Protection
Streaming
Torrenting
Server locations
Ease of use
Customer support

Surfshark outperforms Norton Secure VPN in nearly all categories, tied up only regarding ease of use and losing the customer support battle. Otherwise, it has more features, allows risk-free torrenting and unrestricted streaming, and does not limit concurrent connections.

Norton is a time-tested cybersecurity brand oriented at antiviruses, which makes their VPN secondary. However, it doesn't mean that Norton Secure VPN is lousy – it just cannot compete with the best VPN newcomer of 2018, which is now among the best contemporary VPN services overall. However, unless you specifically plan on buying a more expensive Norton 360 bundle, we strongly recommend choosing Surfshark.

FAQs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedmarked