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Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN (2021) | The Final Showdown

Last updated: 8 Jan 2021 | Reading time: 5 minutes | Watch time: 1.5 minutes

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN
Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN

The fight between two VPNs is always interesting. Surfshark is a new VPN client which comes with quite a few tools. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is an experienced VPN service. The blog post explores both and covers Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN (2021).

Table of contents

Quick Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN comparison

Don’t have enough time? The quick comparison will give you enough idea about both.

FeatureSurfshark VPNExpressVPN
PlatformsDesktop, mobile, consoles, router, browsers and smart TVDesktop, mobile, router, browsers, consoles, smart TVs, Kindle Fire, Nook and more
Total servers1700+3000+
Total countries6394
Location test
Speed testD: 50.6 | U: 18.2D: 48.8 | U: 11.8
P2P test✔ (performed better)
DNS leak test✔ (performed better)
Dedicated IP
Max devicesUnlimited5 devices
Free plan
Refund policy30 days30 days
BuySurfshark WebsiteExpressVPN website

Platforms

Surfshark supports popular devices, while ExpressVPN can be installed on more than fifteen platforms. The good thing about Surfshark is that you can use the services on unlimited devices.

SurfsharkExpressVPN
Windows
macOS
Linux
iOS
Android
Chrome (extension)
Firefox (extension)
FireTV, AppleTV, and other smart TVs
Xbox
Playstation
Windows
macOS
Linux
iOS
Android
Chromebook
Nook
Kindle Fire
Chrome (extension)
Firefox (extension)
FireTV, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, and other smart TVs
Xbox
Playstation
Nintendo Switch

Other than above, both offer the router setup, which can protect all the devices connected. ExpressVPN provides the manual setup for Roku and Nvidia Shield.

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

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Locations and servers

Server Comparison of Surfshark and ExpressVPN
Server Comparison of Surfshark and ExpressVPN

Starting with Surfshark, the tool comes with over 1700 servers in over 63 countries. The server list on the website shows all nations, servers, and features.

Meanwhile, ExpressVPN offers over 3000 servers in 160 locations (not cities) in 94 countries. The full list of the servers shows all the locations. Compared to Surfshark, this tool supports more servers, but many servers lack some of the protocols and networks such as IPSec, IKEv2, and P2P, which are essential for maximum speed and protection.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 1 and ExpressVPN: 2

Related: ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN – Honest Comparison (2021)

Tools

Surfshark VPN may be a new service, but the features it offers are high-end. You will get:

  1. IPSec/IKEv2 optimised servers in all countries.
  2. The MultiHope feature connects to a different location first and then to the desired location, increasing privacy and security.
  3. Unlimited devices.
  4. AES-256-GCM encryption which is the highest level of VPN encryption available.
  5. Private DNS on all servers.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers:

  1. AES-256 encryption
  2. Private DNS
  3. TustedServer technology which saves all the VPN data in RAM instead of a storage drive and every time a server restarts all the data is wiped out for extended protection.

Location test

To best conclude this round, I took a test and connected both VPNs to random locations and checked my public IP Address. To pass the test, a VPN should show me a different IP Address and the chosen server’s location. I used the tool called What is My IP Address to perform this test.

Both VPNs did an excellent job of changing my location. The above video shows for one of the cities, but the three other cities (Sydney, New York, and London) were tested.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 2 and ExpressVPN: 3

Speed test

In the next test in Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN comparison, we check the download and upload speed of both. How did I take the test? I connected both to the server in Sydney, which is about 1120 kilometres (720 miles) away from my location and then used Google internet speed check to test the speed of both.

Result:

Surfshark VPNExpressVPN
D: 50.6 | U: 18.2D: 48.8 | U: 11.8

Winner: Surfshark | Score: Surfshark: 3 and ExpressVPN: 3

DNS leak test

What is DNS leak? According to DNSLeakTest.com, DNS leak shows a leak in the traffic travelling from your computer to the VPN server. If a DNS leak happens, hackers and other sources can track your data.

While connecting to a server in Canada, both passed the test. There was one concern, though. ExpressVPN’s connection switched the IP Address. I will not consider it a problem because both IP Addresses were from ExpressVPN, but jumping from one IP to another might compromise the internet speed.

Winner: Tie | Score: Surfshark: 4 and ExpressVPN: 4

P2P test

Peer-to-Peer, also called P2P, is the torrent protocol. Torrenting is one of the primary reasons people use a VPN. As we have already discussed that Surfshark VPN’s all servers support P2P and ExpressVPN offers many P2P optimised servers, the test checks the speed and responsiveness.

After connecting both to the server in Sydney (1120 km/722 miles from my location), the speed of both was promising. Surfshark performed slightly better than ExpressVPN by downloading at 4.4 MB/s speed. The speed of ExpressVPN was about 3 MB/s.

Although the download speed of Surfshark was faster, there are some factors which should be considered.

  1. Both were not tested at the same time. There was a difference of one minute.
  2. Internet speed also impacts.

Winner: Surfshark | Score: Surfshark: 5 and ExpressVPN: 4

Related: Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN | The Ultimate Honest Comparison

Other

This round of Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN compares some core features of both.

SurfsharkExpressVPN
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Private DNS on all the servers
  • Whitelister feature
  • Allows watching other nations’ Netflix
  • Uses AES-256-GCM encryption
  • Allows watching US Netflix
  • Uses AES-256 encryption

Log free service
30 days money-back guarantee

Winner: Surfshark | Score: Surfshark: 6 and ExpressVPN: 4

Pricing

Overall, if you look at the pricing, Surfshark is cost-effective. The prices are as of April 19, 2020.

Surfshark and ExpressVPN Pricing Comparison
Surfshark and ExpressVPN Pricing Comparison

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Which one should you choose?

Well, looking at the overall comparison, there is no doubt that you should try Surfshark. The service is cheaper 👇 on the 2-year plan, and it offers more features than ExpressVPN. Regarding the score, Surfshark leads by 2 points.


Final choice -> Surfshark VPN


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Summary

Surfshark VPN vs. ExpressVPN covered essential topics. I hope the information was helpful. Please share your views about both in the comments down below so we can talk more. You can also subscribe to the newsletter for future updates.

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MultiHope feature first connects to a different server than to the desired server. For example, if you connect to a server in Sydney, the app will connect to a different server and then to the server in Sydney. Does it compromise the speed? Yes, it does. Read more about this feature on Surfshark website.

TrustedServer technology is unique to ExpressVPN. TrustedServer offers extended security by saving all the data to a RAM instead of a hard drive or a storage drive. The data is wiped every time a server restarts which means the user data is saved for a very short amount of time. Read more about this feature on the ExpressVPN website.