When deciding between Surfshark and PureVPN for your VPN needs, you're likely considering factors like cost, security features, and overall performance.
Distinguishing between VPN services can be challenging as they often make similar promises and use technical language that can be confusing. Unfortunately, Surfshark and PureVPN are no exception in this regard.
To simplify the decision-making process and save you valuable time, we’ve created a clear side-by-side comparison. We will detail and clarify each feature, benefit, drawback, and pricing plan for both Surfshark and PureVPN.
This will allow you to make an informed choice that aligns with your specific requirements.
Surfshark vs PureVPN – Which is best?
If you’re in a rush, we recommend Surfshark.
It’s the best budget-friendly VPN we’ve tested. It offers unlimited device connections on a single, cost-effective plan. With access to 3,000+ speed-optimized servers in over 100 countries, it can effectively handle all your favorite streaming sites. Plus, Surfshark is packed with extra privacy tools missing from PureVPN (and many other more expensive competitors).
While PureVPN boasts a larger server network (6,500+) and is suitable for streaming, it falls short in terms of advanced features, user-friendliness, and speed compared to Surfshark. PureVPN’s only standout feature is its torrenting capabilities – which outmatch Surfshark.
However, for all purposes except torrenting, we’ve found Surfshark much more powerful.
Surfshark and PureVPN provide similar pricing options, accommodating different preferences with monthly, yearly, and two-year plans.
Surfshark's two-year plan stands out with an impressive 84% discount, bringing the cost down to just $2.29 per month. Similarly, PureVPN offers a two-year plan with an 82% discount, resulting in the same $2.29 per month rate.
However, while PureVPN and Surfshark have the same price range, Surfshark is much better value. You get unlimited device connections, more advanced security, and faster connections.
Both Surfshark and PureVPN offer money-back guarantees, with Surfshark providing a 30-day guarantee and PureVPN extending theirs to 31 days. You can explore various features, such as connection speeds, server locations, and device compatibility, before committing to a subscription.
Which has better features?
Both Surfshark and PureVPN are compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, smart TVs, and routers.
They also offer essential features like kill-switches, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and other various VPN protocols. A kill-switch ensures your data remains secure by blocking internet access if the VPN connection is interrupted.
Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections, which makes it easy to install the VPN across all your devices on a single subscription – without worrying about data limits or licenses. You can even share it with your family or friends.
PureVPN supports up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is still impressive, but falls short of Surfshark's flexibility for multi-device use.
With Surfshark, you'll also get extra features like CleanWeb (an integrated ad blocker), Whitelister (advanced split tunneling tool, which we’ll explain later), dark web monitoring for data security, and much more.
PureVPN offers some excellent customizable encryption settings, which advanced users will appreciate.
Overall, Surfshark offers a more comprehensive set of advanced features, enhancing your online privacy and safety to a greater extent compared to PureVPN.
Are routers supported?
Surfshark is compatible with every kind of home Wi-Fi router, allowing you to safeguard all your devices connected to your home network simultaneously.
Installing Surfshark on your devices is a straightforward process. They provide a user-friendly step-by-step guide that simplifies the installation, requiring no technical expertise. Most installations can be completed in just a few minutes. However, it's worth noting that certain router models or firmware updates might present compatibility challenges, so you'll have to take extra steps.
PureVPN also supports popular routers like Asus, DD-WRT, and Tomato. They offer a comprehensive installation guide on their website for setting up the VPN on your router. However, PureVPN doesn’t recommend router-based configurations because of speed limitations.
What websites do they access?
Surfshark is the best streaming VPN available. It offers high-speed connection from over 3,200+ servers across 100+ countries. It also has robust security protocols and a range of customizable tools that ensure its compatibility with all the major streamers.
Surfshark can reliably access over 29 different Netflix libraries and provides access to various other streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, SkyGo, ABC, NBC, and CBS, among others.
In contrast, PureVPN can access most streaming sites, but struggles with some popular ones. We occasionally got Netflix proxy errors using it, indicating that Netflix was blocking the VPN. It also doesn’t work with ITV in the UK.
So, if your main goal is to expand your streaming horizons without limitations, Surfshark is the clear winner.
If you plan to watch Netflix’s global content or access your local library from abroad, we suggest choosing Surfshark over PureVPN.
While both VPNs can access the US, UK, Canada, and Japanese libraries – Surfshark goes further with Australia and several European countries.
Surfshark also boasts a larger server network in more countries that includes dedicated streaming servers. As a result, it's generally faster and more reliable than PureVPN, and there’s less chance of experiencing network congestion.
Both Surfshark and PureVPN are reliable VPNs for torrenting and P2P file sharing. They offer dedicated torrenting servers, ensuring both speed and security during your torrenting sessions.
Both VPNs adhere to strict "no-logs policies” verified by independent auditors. That means neither VPN records your online activities while their service is active.
Both Surfshark and PureVPN feature an automatic kill-switch that automatically disconnects your internet if the VPN connection experiences even a momentary interruption. So there’s no risk that your internet service provider will detect your torrenting activities, minimizing any potential flags.
Additionally, they are compatible with popular torrent clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, and qBittorrent, simplifying the integration of the VPN into your torrenting workflows.
Surprisingly, even though PureVPN was initially built for P2P and torrenting (and has a much bigger server network), our testing found Surfshark to be faster and more secure when downloading and uploading files via torrenting apps. That’s mostly due to Surfshark’s more advanced features and lightweight apps.
Setup & usability
Surfshark and PureVPN have easy-to-install and use apps on the most popular devices (including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux), and provide detailed setup and configuration guides.
Both VPNs make connecting to a server instant, with "one-tap” connection buttons. Surfshark offers manual server selection in a list format, while PureVPN offers a server list and a smart location feature that automatically selects the server for your needs.
Both VPNs also offer 24/7 customer support, including live chat and email support, to assist users with setup and troubleshooting.
Overall, we prefer using Surfshark’s apps. They’re well-structured, look nicer, and offer advanced tools and extra features like dark web monitoring and dedicated server options for streaming, torrenting, privacy protection, etc.
Surfshark also offers more stable connections, making it simpler to use.
Surfshark's mobile app has a user-friendly interface, making it the best choice for beginners. However, PureVPN's mobile app offers more advanced features and customization options tailored to experienced VPN users.
Regardless of your choice, both VPNs ensure smooth streaming and torrenting experiences on your mobile device, accompanied by the added security of a kill-switch to protect your data.
Both Surfshark and PureVPN have auto-connect and split tunneling features. Split tunneling allows you to select which apps use the VPN to connect to the internet, while others maintain your local connection. So, for instance, you can access an overseas Netflix channel while still using your local banking and map apps.
Should you encounter any issues or have questions, both Surfshark and PureVPN offer responsive customer support to assist out.
However, we’re giving this round to Surfshark, because it's easier to use.
Performance & speed
|ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average)||41.0 Mbps||66.6 Mbps|
PureVPN boasts an extensive network of over 6,500 servers, spanning more than 70 countries worldwide. In contrast, Surfshark offers 3,200+ servers located in over 100 countries.
If you're after speed, Surfshark consistently delivers fast connections across its server network, making it great for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. PureVPN also performs reliably, but its speeds vary depending on server location and network load.
In our tests, Surfshark achieved an impressive speed of 323.6 MBps when connected to the nearest US server, with only a minimal speed loss of less than 10 MBps when connected to a more distant UK server.
Comparatively, PureVPN's speed was somewhat slower, reaching 140 MBps when connected to the nearest server. However, both VPNs maintain stable connections with low latency, ensuring smooth real-time online experiences.
|IPv6 leak protection|
|WebRTC leak protection|
Both Surfshark and PureVPN offer comprehensive security features. This includes protection against IPv6 and WebRTC leaks, support for multiple VPN protocols (L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard), and robust 256-bit AES encryption (the same standard used by government agencies, banks, and the military.
Both VPNs provide IP address obfuscation tools that effectively hide the fact you are using a VPN, enhancing the privacy of your online activities. However, PureVPN relies on the OpenVPN protocol to achieve this, which is quite slow. In contrast, Surfshark has built its own proprietary obfuscation tools, Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode, which are more efficient.
Additionally, both Surfshark and PureVPN utilize self-hosted DNS servers to run their networks, reducing the risk of data exposure to third parties like Google.
However, as we’ve demonstrated through this review, Surfshark has much more advanced features than PureVPN – and that’s true when it comes to security, too. Its built-in, custom-made security tools work much more effectively than PureVPN, while still delivering better connection speeds.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||Hong Kong|
|User details required for sign up?|
|Anonymous payment options?|
The first thing to note is where both VPNs are located: Surfshark’s HQ is in the British Virgin Islands, one of the most privacy-friendly places on Earth. PureVPN, originally based in Hong Kong, relocated its headquarters to the British Virgin Islands due to the introduction of China’s National Security Law in Hong Kong. This move was made to benefit from the strong data protection laws in the British Virgin Islands.
While we trust PureVPN's commitment to privacy and safeguarding your data, we’re still much more comfortable using Surfshark.
In terms of privacy policies, both VPNs adhere to the industry standard "no-logs" policy, ensuring they never store or share your data. This means they cannot be compelled to disclose your information. They operate RAM-only, diskless servers that are regularly wiped to prevent any lingering residual data within their networks.
Surfshark goes the extra mile by offering additional privacy features like MultiHop, which routes your traffic through two VPN servers for enhanced security, even though it may slightly impact your connection speed.
PureVPN, on the other hand, offers advanced options such as customizable encryption settings. However, these will only appeal to advanced users and should be adjusted with caution.
|Free trial||7-days (macOS and mobile apps)||No|
|Money-back guarantee length||30 days||31 days|
Surfshark and PureVPN provide reliable 24/7 customer support, accessible via live chat, support ticketing, and email.
While both VPNs offer round-the-clock live chat, Surfshark tends to have slightly faster response times, particularly during evening hours. They have comprehensive knowledge bases that cater to your needs, with Surfshark excelling in addressing common questions.
PureVPN stands out with detailed guides that include screenshots and step-by-step walkthroughs for various issues. For more complex inquiries, both VPNs' ticketing and email support systems generally provide responses within the same day.
Methodology: how we compare VPNs
We used a series of rigorous tests when reviewing Surfshark and PureVPN – the same tests we use on every VPN.
If you’re trying to decide the best VPN for you, our criteria and metrics will help you make an informed, unbiased selection. Here’s a quick overview of what we look at in each VPN:
- Security: We reviewed each VPN's encryption standards, protocols, leak protections, and other tools to ensure they can keep your data, location, and identity hidden.
- Large server networks: We connected to servers belonging to VPNs located across the globe to ensure they deliver fast, reliable, and secure connections.
- Fast connections: We tested the speeds of each VPN’s servers and ensured they were fast enough for streaming, gaming, video chats, and much more.
- Access to content: We checked whether the VPNs work with popular streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and that they can bypass censorship.
- Ease of use: Just because VPNs are incredibly technical doesn’t mean they should be challenging to use. We only recommend beginner-friendly VPNs.
- Value: The best VPNs offer affordable, simple subscription models with generous money-back guarantees.
You can check out our comprehensive VPN review process to test Surfshark and PureVPN for yourself.
Surfshark clearly surpasses PureVPN in almost every aspect.
Despite having a smaller server network (3,000+ compared to PureVPN 6,500+), Surfshark's servers are distributed across more than 100 countries, resulting in faster speeds and superior connectivity worldwide.
Surfshark offers better access to popular streaming platforms, industry-leading security and privacy features, user-friendly apps, and the significant advantage of unlimited device connections.
So, while they cost roughly the same, Sufshark packs exponentially more value and performance than PureVPN. Also, it works in China (just in case you have a holiday planned).
You can take full advantage of Surfshark's 30-day money-back guarantee to experience its exceptional performance and features risk-free.
Or take a look at our other head-to-head reviews of the top VPNs available: