Surfshark vs Atlas VPN: which VPN is better?
Both Atlas VPN and Surfshark rank among the best VPN services and are well-known providers. Surfshark is notable for its ability to unblock a myriad of different streaming platforms, while Atlas VPN – its generous free version. But how to know which one’s better?
For this reason, I have completed a side-by-side comparison of how these providers perform in terms of security, features, pricing, usability, streaming performance, and many more aspects.
After this detailed read, you should be able to get a better understanding about the strengths and weaknesses of each provider and make an informed decision whether Surshark or Atlas VPN is right for you.
Surfshark vs Atlas VPN
When comparing both Atlas VPN and Surfshark, you can see that the overall winner is Surfshark. This VPN offers a larger server selection, better unblocking capabilities, and stronger security features than Atlas VPN.
On the other hand, both providers offer similar speeds, allow torrenting, and have extensive customer support options. Yet, even if being on a slightly pricier side, Surfshark wins over Atlas VPN because it offers a much better overall value.
|🥇 Overall rank:
|#2 out of #42
|#10 out of #42
|3,200 + servers in 100 countries
|1,000 + servers in 42 countries
|📖 No logs policy:
|Surfshark VPN coupon 79% OFF
|Atlas VPN coupon 86% OFF
|🔒 VPN protocols:
|WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
|IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard
|🍿 Streaming services:
|Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more
|Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
|📥 Simultaneous connections:
|Knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, email support
Netflix and streaming performance
|Amazon Prime Video
When it comes to accessing geo-restricted media services, both providers can be categorized as good streaming VPNs. However, Surfshark unblocks more streaming platforms, more Netflix libraries, and has Smart DNS which makes it a better VPN for streaming than Atlas VPN.
We’ve easily managed to unblock around 30 Netflix libraries with Surfshark, including the most popular ones like the US, the UK, Japan, etc. During the tests, we also didn’t have any trouble accessing other platforms, like Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streaming sites.
Atlas VPN, on the other hand, unblocks almost 3 times less Netflix libraries compared to Surfshark. We’ve managed to access 11 libraries, including the US, UK, and other countries. However, Atlas VPN doesn’t have a Smart DNS feature which might be quite unfortunate for those who want to stream on gaming consoles or Smart TVs.
Plans and pricing
Both Surfshark and Atlas VPN offer unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning that a single subscription can cover all of your devices. However, Atlas VPN is overall cheaper than Surfshark.
|Check Latest Discounts
|Check Latest Discounts
Monthly Surfshark and Atlas VPN subscriptions are the most expensive options. Surfshark would cost you $10.99 per month and Atlas VPN – $11.99. Even though the latter is cheaper, it isn’t a wallet-friendly choice for sure.
If you extend your subscription duration, the prices of both providers drop dramatically. Surfshark costs $3.99/month and Atlas VPN charges $3.29/month with a 1-year plan. But the best savings come with the 2-years subscriptions – $2.29/month for Surfshark and $1.64/month for Atlas VPN.
In terms of payment options, Surfshark accepts credit cards, PayPal, Sofort, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Giropay, WebMoney, and cryptocurrencies. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee included with all subscriptions.
Atlas VPN is a little bit more restrictive with payment methods – you can pay with credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies as well. Restrictions also apply for the 30-day money-back guarantee since you can only use it with a 2-year subscription.
But what’s worth mentioning is that you can use a free Atlas VPN version while Surfshark only offers a 7-day trial that is free of charge. Despite the limitations (monthly 5 GB data cap, 3 locations, and 2 simultaneous connections), the free version is still a great option if you want to try the service for longer than a week before committing to a long-term plan. Just beware, that you’ll receive slower speeds as well.
Surfshark vs Atlas VPN: which is more secure?
|AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20-Poly1305
|AES-256-CBC and ChaCha20-Poly1305
Both Surfshark and Atlas VPN take security and privacy very seriously. They use advanced encryption ciphers and hash functions as well as follow strict no-logs policies – all to secure your sensitive information, like passwords.
Similarly, Atlas VPN was independently audited by VerSprite. The examination focused on iOS penetration testing and only revealed medium-to-low risk issues that couldn’t be used to compromise users’ privacy.
However, RAM-only servers are one of the key reasons why Surfshark security measures are superior to Atlas VPN. In simple terms, this provider not only doesn’t collect personally identifiable information but also deletes operational data (user ID and the timestamp of connection) every 15 minutes.
VPN service infrastructure can be built to ensure strong security. That’s exactly what Surfshark’s RAM-only servers are for. They run on Remote Access Memory (RAM) instead of the traditionally used Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). Thus, the usage logs, like user ID and the timestamp of connection are wiped every 15 minutes.
Additionally, such infrastructure decreases the risk of breaches. For example, if malicious threat actors infiltrate spyware on HDDs to track activities and data, it could stay for as long as the IT professionals notice a breach. With RAM-only servers, it would be removed automatically after a reboot.
Unfortunately, Atlas VPN doesn’t have RAM-only servers which makes Surfshark definitely a stronger option for security.
Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, while Atlas VPN – in the United States. Unfortunately, both providers are headquartered in countries that have intelligence sharing agreements with other regions.
The United States is a member of the 5-Eyes countries and the Netherlands participate in the 9-Eyes agreement. However, both Surfshark and Atlas VPN have strict no-log policies, meaning that they do not collect personally identifiable information about their users. Therefore, even if they were asked to share data, they wouldn’t have anything to give.
Surfshark’s no-log promises have been independently tested and confirmed by Cure53. Also, according to our research, the only information that it stores is the user ID and time stamp of connection. But even that data is deleted within 15 minutes thanks to its RAM-only servers.
Atlas VPN also doesn’t log personally identifiable information other than the signup data, which includes name, email, and payment methods. These details are required to manage accounts and subscriptions and are stored for a limited time.
Speed comparison: Surfshark vs Atlas VPN
When comparing the speeds, it’s essential to look at what tunneling protocols VPNs are offering. Luckily, both providers support the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol which is known to help deliver speedy services.
In this Atlas VPN vs Surfshark speed comparison, we’ve actually tested the speeds when connected to 3 different locations (the US, Canada, and the UK) with WireGuard. You can see the results in the table below.
|253 Mbps download and 275 Mbps upload
|243 Mbps download and 270 Mbps upload
|225 Mbps download and 284 Mbps upload
|227 Mbps download and 165 Mbps upload
|269 Mbps download and 237 Mbps upload
|247 Mbps download and 282 Mbps upload
- Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
Overall, both VPNs offer similar speeds. However, Surfshark is slightly faster than Atlas VPN if you look closely and compare download and upload speeds side by side. The only notable exception is the upload speed in the UK. Atlas VPN has better upload speeds when connected to a server in the United Kingdom.
But all in all, both Surfshark and Atlas VPN are fast and can be a great option if you need speedy VPN services.
In terms of available features, both providers have a lot to offer. For example, they have specialty servers, the split tunneling feature, and necessary web filters to help you stay safe online. The only difference is that Atlas VPN doesn’t have Smart DNS which is useful if you want to enjoy streaming on gaming consoles or Smart TVs.
In addition, when testing the apps individually, we’ve noticed that Atlas VPN also offers split tunneling only on Android, while Surfshark includes it on its Windows app as well. Furthermore, Surfshark’s web filters showed 47% effectiveness compared to 27% by Atlas VPN when we tested the best VPNs with ad blockers. So, in this case, small details add up and truly reveal which’s the winner.
Streaming devices, such as the PlayStation console or some Smart TVs, do not always have native VPN support. In simple terms, you can’t install VPN apps to unblock and stream geo-restricted content on them.
However, Surfshark offers a Smart DNS feature which allows setting up a VPN connection on devices without the need of a VPN app. You can activate it on your main account dashboard and get DNS addresses that you can then set up on your devices.
Unfortunately, Atlas VPN doesn’t offer Smart DNS. Despite that, it still has dedicated apps for a wide variety of devices, including Fire TV gadgets and Android TVs.
VPN service providers offer specialized servers to help users achieve better experience in specific use cases, like torrenting or streaming. When comparing Atlas VPN vs Surfshark, I’ve noticed that both providers have a relatively wide range of specialty servers to choose from.
For example, if you’re focused on accessing content in heavily censored regions, Surfshark has MultiHop and obfuscated servers (a.k.a. Camouflage Mode). All of its servers are also optimized for P2P file-sharing activities which gives great speeds when torrenting.
Additionally, Surfshark has dedicated IP servers, which means that you get your own exclusive IP not used by ayone else. It’s useful if you’re trying to access geo-restricted content and want to avoid being blocked by the streaming platform’s anti-VPN technology. You can currently get a Surfshark dedicated IP for an addditional price in six locations, but that number is subject to change.
Atlas VPN offers MultiHop servers just like Surfshark. Plus, it has servers optimized for streaming to help you achieve a buffer-free and seamless streaming experience.
If you're focused on security, Atlas VPN also offers SafeSwap servers in 3 locations – The Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States. Once connected, they rotate your assigned IP address when you browse and ensure that your true location is hidden.
With the split tunneling feature, you can decide which portion of your internet traffic is rerouted through a secure VPN connection. This way you can, for example, only use a VPN when accessing online banking apps on your smartphone.
It’s important to mention that Atlas VPN supports split tunneling only on Android devices. Surfshark calls this feature the Bypasser and offers it for Windows and Android devices as well.
Unsecured browsing online can be dangerous and lead to suspicious websites where there’s a risk of potential cyberattacks. Luckily, both Surfshark and Atlas VPN have implemented web filters to protect your browsing activities.
Surfshark calls this feature the CleanWeb. It blocks known IPs associated with malware distribution sources to stop intrusive ads and trackers. During our tests, Surfshark’s web filters were 47% effective in blocking dangerous websites and removing pop-ups, banners, and other types of ads.
Atlas VPN’s web filters appear as the Shield feature and also protect you against malicious sites and intrusive ads. However, it showed 27% effectiveness during our tests which is significantly less than what Surfshark is offering.
In terms of server selection across different countries, Surfshark definitely has a better offering than Atlas VPN. You can choose from over 3200 servers in 100 countries all over the globe. 38 of them are in Europe, 14 in Asia and Oceania, 9 in the Americas, and 4 in Africa.
In comparison, Atlas VPN only has 1000+ servers in 42 countries. The majority of available locations are in Europe, 25 to be precise. Then, there are 5 in Asia and Oceania, as well as 6 in the Americas.
Also, Surfshark has virtual servers that are not physically located in a country but allows you to get that country’s IP address. For example, it’s the best VPN for India since you can avoid government tracking but also enjoy the perks of unblocking popular Bollywood movies.
However, both providers have specialty servers. Surfshark’s offering includes obfuscated, P2P-optimized, and MultiHop servers while Atlas VPN has streaming-optimized, SafeSwap, and MultiHop servers.
We’ve tested both providers to find out if these are VPNs suitable for torrenting. All of Surfshark’s servers are P2P-optimized and it also worked with the most popular torrenting clients, such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, Transmission, and others.
Atlas VPN, on the other hand, doesn’t have specialty servers dedicated to torrenting activities, but it worked for us as well. Even the free Atlas VPN version supports downloads from P2P file-sharing networks.
Platforms, interface and ease of use
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
|Other software and devices
|Android TVs, Fire devices
|Android TVs, Amazon Fire Sticks
When it comes to compatibility with different devices, both Atlas VPN and Surfshark support all major operating systems. They have dedicated apps for mobile and desktop devices that are user friendly and easy to use.
In addition, these providers are even compatible with Android TVs and Fire TV devices, plus gives unlimited simultaneous connections. These are great perks for those who want to enjoy streaming with their family and friends.
The only difference between these two VPNs is that Surfshark also has browser extensions and a modern app for Linux. Atlas VPN, on the other hand, doesn’t offer extensions and works on Linux through a terminal. But besides that, both providers are equally good in terms of compatibility with different devices.
You can enjoy a user-friendly, functional, and intuitive Windows app regardless of whether you choose Surfshark or Atlas VPN. They are easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. However, neither has a server map, and you have to choose servers from a list.
While Atlas VPN and Surfshark apps for Windows offer similar functionality, it’s different when it comes to macOS. For example, Surfshark has two separate versions for Mac and they have less features than the Windows app. Atlas VPN, on the other hand, provides a fully functional app for macOS with a smooth experience.
The most notable difference between the two providers is their offered experience with Linux. For example, you get a modern and graphical Linux VPN app from Surfshark while Atlas VPN doesn’t have a GUI and works through a terminal.
When comparing Atlas VPN vs Surfshark Android apps, it’s hard to find many differences. Both are of superb quality, include all the necessary features, and have a clean interface.
However, that’s not entirely the case with iOS apps. With Atlas VPN, you get all the same features available on Android, except the split tunneling. Surfshark’s iOS app, on the other hand, is more limited – there is neither the GPS spoofer nor the Whitelister feature. Apart from that, it’s still a solid app.
|24/7 live chat
|Guides or articles
Getting help within a few moments after an issue or question arises is not a problem with either of these providers. Both have 24/7 live chat which you can use to get support directly from a dedicated agent. We’ve tested this customer support option ourselves and both Surfshark and Atlas VPN agents were professional and helpful.
The next best alternative to get answers is email support. It usually takes a little bit more time before you receive a response but not more than a few hours from both providers. If you’re more into tackling issues yourself, you can also find useful how-to guides, FAQ, and informative articles on Surfshark and Atlas VPN websites.
Surfshark vs Atlas VPN – which one wins?
|Ease of use
Overall, Surfshark is a better VPN service than Atlas VPN. It offers better protection, more features, and better unblocking capabilities. For example, its already strong encryption is also backed up by RAM-only servers to ensure top-class security and privacy. That’s something Atlas VPN doesn’t offer.
Also, Surfshark has more servers across the globe and easily unblocks around 30 Netflix libraries out of 60 available ones. Even though its subscription prices are slightly higher than what Atlas VPN is asking, the price and quality ratio makes it definitely worth it.
However, Atlas VPN has its own strengths as well – feature-rich mobile apps, streaming-optimized servers, and a generous free version. If any of these aspects resonate with your needs, it can be a solid VPN choice too.
More VPN comparisons from Cybernews
Which is better – Surfshark or Atlas VPN?
When comparing these two providers, Surfshark is a better option than Atlas VPN. It has more servers in different countries, unblocks more streaming platforms, and provides faster speeds. However, both of them are among the best VPNs in 2024.
Is Atlas VPN trustworthy?
Yes, Atlas VPN is a legitimate VPN service provider that takes security and privacy seriously. It uses advanced encryption to protect your information and operates under a strict no-logs policy. The combination of these practices ensures that your sensitive data is not accessible to anyone, except you.
Does Atlas VPN work with Netflix?
Yes, Atlas VPN works with Netflix and unblocks 11 libraries, including the US and the UK. It also has specialty servers for streaming that help you achieve a buffer-free streaming experience when watching your favorite movies and TV series.