Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN (2021) | The Ultimate Comparison

Last updated: 10 Apr 2021

Surfshark vs ProtonVPN
Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN

Two new VPN tools, Surfshark and ProtonVPN, offer more features than half of the VPNs. What features are the same, and what’s missing? The blog post explores Surfshark vs ProtonVPN (2021).

Disclaimer: Even though the links below are affiliate, I have never promoted a tool because of money. From the beginning of this website, the true goal has always been providing 100% honest information.

Quick Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN comparison

Short on time? This table will give you enough idea about the two. For a detailed comparison, read the text.

FeatureSurfsharkProtonVPN
Servers3200+
(full list)
1467
(full list)
No. of countries6554
Location test✔️✔️
Speed test (wi-fi)D: 43.8 Mbps
U: 11.7 Mbps
D: 41.6 Mbps
U: 14.2 Mbps
DNS leak protection✔️✔️
P2P test✔️✔️
256-Bit Encryption✔️✔️
Dedicated IP✔️
Max devicesUnlimitedPlan dependent
Free plan✔️
WebsiteSurfsharkProtonVPN
Quick comparison

Platforms

SurfsharkProtonVPN
Windows
macOS
Linux
iOS
Android
Chrome
Firefox
Smart TVs
Playstation
Xbox
Router setup
Windows
macOS
Linux
iOS
Android
Chromebook
AndroidTV
Router setup (limited)
Platforms comparison

Overall, Surfshark supports more platforms than ProtonVPN.

Winner: Surfshark | Score: Surfshark: 1 and ProtonVPN: 0

Servers

Regarding the location and servers, Surfshark gets the win. The tool offers over 3200+ servers in 65 nations as of updating this blog post. ProtonVPN contrarily supports 1467 servers in 54 countries. The full list of Surfshark and ProtonVPN is available on the official website.

Winner: Surfshark | Score: Surfshark: 3 and ProtonVPN: 1

Protocols

The server number is not enough. A VPN must offer strong protocols for a faster and secure connection. After all, the protocol is responsible for speed and security. In this case, both offer the same protocols.

SurfsharkProtonVPN
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
IPSec/IKEv2
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
IPSec/IKEv2
Protocols comparison

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 4 and ProtonVPN: 2

Streaming support

Supported Streaming Services - Surfshark and ProtonVPN
Supported Streaming Services – Surfshark and ProtonVPN

Geo-restricted is popular these days, and if not all, most of the premium VPNs offer to access geo-restricted websites. The image above shows the services both support. The names are taken from official and public websites.

Related: VyprVPN vs. ProtonVPN

Overall, both support quite many streaming services in multiple regions. This round is a tie because we are unsure about the actual number of supported services.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 5 and ProtonVPN: 3

Location test

A VPN’s location changes when it changes your IP Address to the desired server. The above video tests capabilities of both by connecting Surfshark to a server in Finland and ProtonVPN to a Germany server. I also connected both to servers in other countries, and every time, both were successful.

LocationSurfshark VPNProtonVPN
Berlin, Germany
Helsinki, Finland
Sydney, Australia
Switzerland
Location test

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 6 and ProtonVPN: 4

Speed test

Speed Test - Surfshark VPN vs ProtonVPN
Speed Test – Surfshark VPN vs ProtonVPN

How was the speed tested? Both offer an option to connect to the fastest server, but I did not choose that option because one VPN might choose a server in a different city or even a country. Thankfully, both offer servers in Sydney, about 1160 km (721 m) from Adelaide.

Related: CyberGhost vs ProtonVPN

The screenshot in the middle shows the speed without the VPN. It’s astonishing to see that the download speed of both VPNs was faster than the normal speed. Surfshark was faster than ProtonVPN regarding downloading, while for upload speed, the opponent was the winner.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 7 and ProtonVPN: 5

DNS leak test

DNS Leak Test - Surfshark VPN and ProtonVPN
DNS Leak Test – Surfshark VPN and ProtonVPN

While using a VPN, a DNS leak shows a leak in the traffic flowing from your device to the VPN server. If a DNS leak happens, the sources can track your data.

The test was conducted using the DNSLeakTest tool, and it showed no leaks after connecting to a server in Canada. In the results, as you can see that there is only one IP Address on both sides of the image.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 8 and ProtonVPN: 6

P2P test

The peer-to-peer (P2P) network is responsible for torrent downloading. As it has already been discussed, all the servers Surfshark offers are P2P friendly, and on the tests, the downloading speed was promising every time.

ProtonVPN also supports P2P. While connecting, the app shows a P2P sign next to the server name. Although ProtonVPN does not offer as many supported servers, even connecting to a regular server allows downloading torrent files (tested in Australia).

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 9 and ProtonVPN: 7

Additional features

The last round in Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN explores some additional features of both.

Common features

Surfshark

Related: Safe Watch for Popcorn Time Review & Tests

ProtonVPN

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 10 and ProtonVPN: 8

Pricing

Surfshark vs ProtonVPN - Pricing
Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN – Pricing

Surfshark is cost-effective, but ProtonVPN offers a free plan to enjoy the medium speed and connect to a few servers in three countries.

The visionary plan of ProtonVPN is expensive because it also offers the ProtonMail Visionary subscription. The best feature a VPN can offer is unlimited devices, so you and your many family members can enjoy the VPN. The prices are as of the 8th March 2021. Check out the up to date price list on Surfshark and ProtonVPN websites.

Which one is for you?

In Surfshark VPN vs. ProtonVPN, most of the rounds were a tie. Server count and platforms are the only features different in both. Surfshark is a clear winner of this comparison. Although, while testing, Surfshark took longer to connect most of the times.

Surfshark VPN does not offer any trial, but their customer service is good. I purchased the service for this article, but I contacted them about a free trial as well, and they offered me a three months trial to test the service and refunded me the money. Read the response they emailed to me here.

If you don’t use the VPN for P2P and want to change your location and encrypt your data, then a ProtonVPN free plan would do the job. Of course, the speed won’t be great. For a user looking for a long term VPN, Surfshark is cost-effective.

Final score: Surfshark: 10 | ProtonVPN: 8

Try

Summary

Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN covered the most important features. Thanks for reading. I hope the blog post was helpful. What do you think of both? Which VPN do you use? Please share your views in the comments below so everyone can choose the right VPN tool.

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