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PureVPN vs. Surfshark Comparison Review

PureVPN and Surfshark are two of the most popular VPN providers. The two share quite a lot in common, but one has to be better than the other at the end of the day.


The difference between Surfshark vs. PureVPN boils down to aspects such as server network, tunneling methods, privacy and confidentiality, the maximum number of devices supported, and pricing. Surfshark has a smaller server network, supports three protocols only, is based in a 9-Eyes country, but supports unlimited devices. On the other hand, PureVPN has a bigger server network, supports 7 protocols, is based in a privacy-friendly country, and supports up to 10 devices.

Comparison Table

๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ PlatformsPCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming ConsolesPCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming Consoles
๐Ÿ’ป Devices10Unlimited
๐Ÿ“œ Encryption256-bit AES encryption256-bit AES encryption
๐ŸŒ ProtocolsPPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPSec protocol.IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
๐Ÿชช JurisdictionBritish Virgin IslandsNetherlands
๐Ÿคท Logging PolicyNo Logging100% No Logging
๐Ÿ–ฅ Server Network6,500 servers in over 78 countries3,200 servers across 65 countries
๐Ÿงช Leak TestsNegativeNegative
๐Ÿ“บ Streamingโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ
๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ Torrentingโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ
๐ŸŽฎ Gamingโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง Support24/7 live chat, FAQ24/7 live chat, FAQ
๐Ÿ†“ Free VersionโŒโŒ
โŒ› Free Trialโœ”๏ธ (Paid)โœ”๏ธ
๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ Guarantee31-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee

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Surfshark Pros
  • All-round protection across PCs, mobile devices, routers, consoles, etc.
  • It can be used to unblock all geo-restricted streaming sites
  • Surfshark has salient features, for example, MultiHop and Camouflage Mode
  • The VPN has a strict no-logging policy
  • Surfshark allows for unlimited connections simultaneously
PureVPN Pros
  • PureVPN is slightly cheaper compared to Surfshark
  • This VPN has better reviews on Trustpilot, one of the trusted consumer review sites
  • PureVPN offers all-around protection on desktops, mobile devices, routers, consoles, TV sticks, etc.
  • PureVPN supports 7 tunneling methods, otherwise known as protocols
  • It is based in a jurisdiction that is not part of the global surveillance alliances
  • Boasts a wide server network of more than 6,500 servers in over 78 countries
Surfshark Cons
  • Surfshark has a smaller server network compared to PureVPN
  • Support for Shadowsocks proxy no longer available
  • Expensive subscriptions compared to PureVPN
  • Surfshark supports only three protocols
PureVPN Cons
  • PureVPN limits simultaneous connections to a maximum of 10 devices
  • PureVPN’s logging policy can’t be fully trusted
  • This VPN has higher speed losses than Surfshark

Surfshark vs. PureVPN Comparison Review

In this main segment of this Surfshark vs. PureVPN comparison review, find out how the two VPN providers compare. We have compared the two based on important factors considered when buying a VPN. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Brand Trust

On the market, there are many VPNs. Some are trustworthy and reliable, but some are not. So, before buying a subscription, it’s important to assess the brand’s trust. So, which of the two VPNs is the best?

Surfshark Brand Trust
Established in 2018, Surfshark is an award-winning VPN owned by Surfshark Ltd. It has a good reputation on most consumer review sites. At the time of writing, Surfshark has a rating of 4.3/5 after 11,700 reviews on Trustpilot.

The brand was named the best VPN in 2020 by CNN and was a finalist in Cyber Security Awards 2019.

2. Supported Devices

The next aspect we considered is the supported devices. The best VPN should support all your devices for all-round online security and privacy. In addition to the types of devices supported, it’s also essential to check the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously.

Surfshark Supported Devices
Surfshark is a reliable VPN that works with multiple devices. It works with all computers, be it Macs, Linux, or Windows PCs. Besides PCs, Surfshark supports both Android and iOS devices, routers, TV sticks, PlayStation, and Xbox.

The best thing about Surfshark is that there is no limit to the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously.

3. Usability

In this age, VPNs are not just for the computer nerds, hacktivists, and cybersecurity professionals; everyone needs to be wary of their online security and privacy. That said, the best VPN should be user-friendly so that anyone, regardless of their technical skills, can use it. So, which of the two VPNs has the best usability?

PureVPN, just like Surfshark, also has excellent usability. To get started, click the โ€˜Get PureVPNโ€™ button at the top right side of the homepage. You will then be redirected to the available plans. Choose a plan, select the payment method and complete the transaction.

In the final step, download the PureVPN client software and choose a preferred server. This procedure works on mobile devices and PCs. However, for devices such as gaming consoles, and routers, the process is slightly different, but there are plenty of tutorials online.

PureVPN Usability

Getting started with Surfshark is pretty straightforward. The first thing to do is click the ‘Get Surfshark’ option. Next, select your preferred plan and finish by creating an account.

Now that you have an account, download and install the Surfshark client software, sign in, and choose a server. For PCs and mobile devices, this is the procedure, but for routers, gaming consoles, and other devices, it is not all that easy. But there are plenty of resources to help you out.

PureVPN Usability

4. Security

One of the most important considerations when choosing a VPN is security. Now, under security, there are two crucial aspects; encryption and protocols. So, how do the two VPNs compare?

(a) Encryption

The encryption technology of a VPN can be the deal maker or breaker. For starters, encryption refers to how the VPN encodes all your data to prevent unauthorized access. So, how does the encryption of the two VPNs compare?

Surfshark is an advanced VPN that uses industry-leading Advanced Encryption Standard 256-GCM encryption to safeguard all your crucial data against unauthorized access from snoopers. This is alongside SHA-256 hash authentication and RSA-4096 key exchange. For starters, AES 256-bit is the industry standard when it comes to encryption. It’s virtually impossible to execute a brute force attack as it would take over 2,117.8 trillion years even when using a supercomputer.

Surfshark Usability

PureVPN is similar to Surfshark when it comes to encryption technology. It also deploys an Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt your data. Using a cipher algorithm, the AES 256-bit key guarantees airtight security. Here again, it’s safe to say that it’s impossible to perform a brute force attack on systems secured using AES 256-bit encryption. When it comes to data authentication, PureVPN uses SHA 1 or SHA256, while the handshake is RSA-2048 with RSA-4096 as the fallback.

PureVPN Usability

(b) Protocols

On the other hand, protocols are a set of rules that determine how data is routed from the device, be it a PC, mobile device, router, console, or any other device, to the VPN server. VPN protocols are also known as tunneling methods. So, which is the best choice in terms of protocols?

PureVPN Protocols
One of the areas PureVPN beats Surfshark is the supported protocols. PureVPN supports seven tunneling methods, while Surfshark has only three. Users can select PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IPSec protocol.

5. Security Extras

Besides the encryption technology and tunneling methods, it’s also essential to assess if the VPN on your wishlist has any security extras.

Surfshark comes with plenty of security extras. First is DNS and leak protection, so you are always safe when browsing. We conducted rigorous tests to determine whether Surfshark leaks DNS or IP addresses, and the results were negative. Another extra worth mentioning is CleanWeb, a suite that includes ads trackers, malware blockers, and phishing blockers.

Surfshark also has a kill switch that disconnects your device when the VPN connection is lost and Bypasser that enables users to select the apps they want to connect to the VPN. Last is Camouflage Mode, which hides your activity, making it impossible for anyone, including your ISP, to know that you are using a VPN.

Surfshark Security Extras

Just like Surfshark, PureVPN also packs several extras. First is protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, so you are guaranteed anonymity always. Another feature is an internet kill switch that protects you immediately when your VPN connection drops.

With PureVPN, you also get complete anonymity such that even your ISP won’t know that you are using a VPN; thus, speed throttling won’t be a concern.

Last is split tunneling which allows users to split internet traffic between the encrypted VPN network and the local ISP. With this feature, you can choose which traffic will be routed via the VPN network.

6. Privacy and Confidentiality

Besides security, it is also crucial to ascertain the privacy and confidentiality of the VPN you are about to purchase. Here, there are two key aspects to consider; the VPN’s jurisdiction and the logging policy. So, which of the two VPNs in this review take the crown?

(a) Jurisdiction

A good VPN should not be located in a jurisdiction that is part of any surveillance alliances, talk of 5-Eyes, 9-Eyes, and 14-Eyes. Countries that are members of these surveillance organizations can coerce the VPN to share users’ data, so privacy and confidentiality is not guaranteed.

PureVPN, on the other hand, was based in Hong Kong, but the company shifted to the British Virgin Islands, their current location. Fortunately, the BVI is not a member of any global surveillance alliances.

(b) Logging Policy

While a VPN may be in a jurisdiction that is part of any surveillance alliances, a strict no-logging policy assures users of their privacy and confidentiality.

PureVPN moved to a location keen on protecting surfers’ online privacy and confidentiality and has a strict no-logging policy. But then, considering the company helped the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to nab a cyberstalker, this VPN doesn’t guarantee 100% confidentiality. PureVPN logged a connection time to one of its servers in the above case and stored the VPN user’s real home IP address. So, be mindful of what you do with PureVPN.

7. Server Network and Distribution

Another crucial aspect to consider when buying a VPN is the server network and distribution. Go for a VPN with many servers, highly specialized for different online activities, such as torrenting, P2P sharing, streaming, etc. The servers should also be spread globally.

Surfshark doesn’t have a wide server network. There are only 3,200 servers across 65 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. These are RAM-only servers with a single 1Gbps port on all servers and offer unlimited bandwidth. Additionally, new 10Gbps ports are added daily.

Surfshark Servers

PureVPN carries the day when it comes to the server network and distribution. This one boasts 6,500 servers in over 78 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, Africa, and Oceania.

With speeds of up to 20Gbps, these are highly specialized servers. For example, there are specific servers for dedicated streaming, VoIP servers, P2P optimized servers, etc. In addition, PureVPN has virtual servers in the United States.

PureVPN Servers

8. Speed and Performance

You should also consider the speeds and performance of the VPN you are about to purchase. This is because all VPNs cut down internet speeds because of the multiple transfers from one server to another or when there are many users on one server. Speeds and performance vary from one provider to another. We tested Sharksurf and PureVPN. Below are our findings.

๐Ÿ“ฅ DownloadpurevpnSurfshark
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA(CA)88Mbps/100Mbps73Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada90Mbps/100Mbps71Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom84Mbps/100Mbps68Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany88Mbps/100Mbps64Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France82Mbps/100Mbps68Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ“ค UploadpurevpnSurfshark
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA(CA)79Mbps/100Mbps68Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada84Mbps/100Mbps66Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom77Mbps/100Mbps62Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany67Mbps/100Mbps59Mbps/100Mbps
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France72Mbps/100Mbps57Mbps/100Mbps

9. Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming

Besides online security and privacy, VPNs come in handy in the entertainment scene. They can be used to unblock geo-restricted content and access offers. But then, their performance in streaming, torrenting, P2P sharing, and gaming is different depending on the provider.

Surfshark is an excellent choice for those who want to stream, torrent, and share files via P2P networks. It managed to unblock most Netflix platforms and other streaming sites, including Kodi, Paramount+, Popcorn Time, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.

When it comes to torrenting and P2P sharing, it also gets the job done as long as you are connected to P2P-friendly servers. Surfshark was also exceptional in gaming.

It protects users from swatting, DDoS attacks, and bandwidth throttling. It can also help gamers play geo-blocked video games, access new releases, and take advantage of geo-blocked discounts.
Surfshark Gaming
PureVPN is also suitable for streaming and torrenting. We managed to unblock all the popular streaming sites, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayers, Kodi, etc. The streaming was smooth even when playing 4K content. This VPN also has P2P-friendly servers.

They are marked and were up to the task during our tests. PureVPN is also a gaming VPN that will suffice to prevent DDoS attacks, swatting, and bandwidth throttling. You can also rely on it to play geo-blocked games, play early releases, and access discounts.
PureVPN Gaming

10. Customer Support

The support options available for users is also an important consideration when buying a VPN. You don’t want to deal with a provider that doesn’t address issues promptly. So, how does the customer support of these two VPN providers compare?

PureVPN also understands that customer is king. This VPN is pretty easy to use. In addition, there is a robust customer support team across multiple channels. The best option is live chat, available 24/7. Here again, we tried contacting the agents and got a response almost immediately.

PureVPN also has an email address displayed, an email ticketing system, and social media pages. Last is a Help Center where users can get plenty of guides and a detailed FAQ section.

11. Plans, Pricing, Free Trials, and Payment Options

In this last round of this Surfshark vs. PureVPN comparison review, find out about the plans and pricing of these two providers, and importantly, the payment options.

2-year planMAX $3.85 / mo
PLUS $3.21 / mo
STANDARD $1.96 / mo
Starter $1.99 / mo
One $2.69 / mo
One+ $3.99 / mo
1-year planMAX $6.24 / mo
PLUS $5.82 / mo
STANDARD $3.74 / mo
Starter $3.49 / mo
One $4.09 / mo
One+ $6.49 / mo
6 monthsโŒโŒ
monthly planMAX $20.95 / mo
PLUS $16.95 / mo
STANDARD $10.95 / mo
Starter $10.99 / mo
One $14.99 / mo
One+ $21.99 / mo

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Wrapping Up

Well, it’s hard to call a winner in this PureVPN vs Surfshark comparison review as both providers have advantages and disadvantages.

Go for PureVPN if you want a cheaper VPN provider with more security protocols and an exclusive product for businesses. It also boasts a wider server network, so it’s more reliable. On the other hand, Surfshark is ideal for those who want a VPN that allows for unlimited device connections. It also guarantees online privacy and confidentiality courtesy of a strict no-logging policy and unblocks all major streaming sites.

The Cheaper VPN on the market
๐Ÿ† 4.7โ˜…
2 year plan
๐Ÿ”ฅ Save 80% ๐Ÿ”ฅ
1 year plan
๐Ÿ”ฅ Save 60% ๐Ÿ”ฅ