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Best Surfshark Alternative

Best Surfshark Alternative in 2024: Best Alternatives on the Market

Are you looking for an alternative to Surfshark? We have tested more than 70 VPNs, including Surfshark. In this article, we’ll show you the ones best primed to replace Surfshark and what each of them offers.

Wisdom SablahSamuel ChapmanJasna Mishevska

Written by Wisdom Sablah (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-01-08T23:33:47+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

  1. ExpressVPN — The best Surfshark alternative when money isn’t an issue
  2. NordVPN — The fastest Surfshark alternative with specialty servers
  3. Private Internet Access — An affordable and user-friendly VPN replacement for Surfshark
  4. CyberGhost — A beginner-friendly Surfshark replacement
  5. Proton VPN — The best free Surfshark alternative
  6. Mullvad — A privacy-focused Surfshark alternative
  7. Windscribe — A useful free VPN to replace Surfshark
  8. Hide.me — A good Surfshark replacement for intermittent browsing
  9. PrivateVPN — A handy choice for torrenting
  10. VyprVPN — The ideal Surfshark alternative for businesses

If you need a Surfshark alternative, you’re reading the right article. Surfshark is one of the best providers on the VPN market, but it has shortcomings. For example, it has high latency on nearby servers, making it a less-than-ideal choice for gaming. Its macOS and iOS apps lack split tunneling, which is essential if you only need a VPN for specific apps. 

The best alternatives to Surfshark offer better pricing, speeds and features. In this article, we’ll show you the top five Surfshark alternatives, plus five honorable mentions worth considering. You can read our article on the best VPN services to learn more about these VPNs. 

Cloudwards Editor’s Choice

ExpressVPN is our top virtual private network (VPN). From our tests, it’s the best VPN for many purposes, including unblocking, browsing securely and privately, and gaming. Our VPN experts came to the same conclusion in our ExpressVPN vs Surfshark comparison, with ExpressVPN being the more reliable choice across the board. 

How to Choose the Best Alternative to Surfshark

In choosing the best Surfshark alternatives, we considered VPNs that reflect Surfshark’s strengths and improve on its failings. 

  • Speed: We chose VPNs with low latency on nearby servers, plus good upload and download speeds. That way, you won’t experience any lags while streaming or gaming. 
  • Price: Surfshark’s monthly price is expensive (at $13.99 per month), although its long-term plans are more affordable. We considered VPNs that offer low monthly prices and reasonable long-term rates. 
  • Privacy-friendliness: Surfshark collects user IP addresses on its website, raising an eyebrow regarding its privacy credentials. We looked for VPNs that don’t collect any personally identifiable user data. 
  • Full-featured Mac/iOS apps: Because Surfshark lacks features like split tunneling on Mac and iOS, we picked VPNs that are feature-rich on Apple devices. 

The 5 Best Surfshark Alternatives

Now, let’s dig deep into our top Surfshark alternatives. We’ll highlight their pros and cons and what features make them good options compared to Surfshark. We’ll start with ExpressVPN, the best alternative to Surfshark. 

1. ExpressVPN — The Best Surfshark Alternative When Money Isn’t an Issue

ExpressVPN Review Rating:
  • Features 95 %
  • Pricing 85 %
  • User-Friendliness 100 %
  • Speed 94 %
  • Security 95 %
  • Privacy 90 %
  • Streaming Performance 100 %
  • Server Locations 95 %
  • Customer Service 95 %
Download
94 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
4 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Extensive VPN server network
  • Fast downloads & uploads
  • Unlocks big streaming apps
  • Feature-rich Mac & iOS apps

Cons:

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN leads the Surfshark alternatives pack. It has lower latency on nearby servers, making it the better choice for playing video games. In our Surfshark tests, we experienced slight delays in loading streaming services like Netflix. ExpressVPN is more reliable: We didn’t see a whiff of buffering or lags. 

Unlike Surfshark, ExpressVPN offers split tunneling on the Mac app (except macOS 11 and above, making it one of the best Mac VPNs. ExpressVPN also adheres to a strict no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t log sensitive data on the website or its apps. Another reason why we love ExpressVPN is that it has obfuscation on all its servers, regardless of the protocol you choose. 

ExpressVPN Hands-On Testing

ExpressVPN is the best beginner-friendly VPN, thanks to its neat and user-friendly interface. You can easily connect to a server by clicking on the large power button or the smart location picker. All the various settings, from the kill switch to protocols, are also available by clicking the hamburger button.

expressvpn app us
ExpressVPN’s smart location picker chooses the best server based on your location.

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Surfshark and ExpressVPN have comparable download speeds, offering at least 90% of our original download and upload speeds. The difference lies in latency. For example, in the U.S., ExpressVPN’s latency is 5 ms, while Surfshark’s is 190 ms. 

Notes From the Lab: ExpressVPN Security Analysis

expressvpn leak test
ExpressVPN doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks.

ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPNs around, with an automatic kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection. As shown in the image above, ExpressVPN didn’t reveal our original location. It also has a malware blocker and various protocol options. There’s no WireGuard, but it offers Lightway, which has comparable security. 

Protocol: Windows Android MacOS iOS Linux
OpenVPN (AES)
Lightway (wolfSSL)
IKEv2 (AES)

ExpressVPN Pricing & Value

ExpressVPN’s monthly plan ($12.95) is about a dollar cheaper than Surfshark’s. If you want a VPN for the short term, you can check out ExpressVPN’s six-month plan, which costs $9.99 per month. However, ExpressVPN’s yearly plan ($6.66) is almost double what Surfshark offers. 

To learn more about ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review. Alternatively, you can try it out using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

2. NordVPN: The Fastest Surfshark Alternative With Specialty Servers

NordVPN Review Rating:
  • Features 95 %
  • Pricing 90 %
  • User-Friendliness 90 %
  • Speed 95 %
  • Security 90 %
  • Privacy 95 %
  • Streaming Performance 100 %
  • Server Locations 90 %
  • Customer Service 95 %
Download
94 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
4 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Fast downloads & uploads
  • Unblocks streaming sites
  • Lots of extra security features

Cons:

  • Suffered a data breach in the past

If you’re looking for the fastest alternative to Surfshark, go for NordVPN. From our VPN speed tests, NordVPN is a fast VPN with download speeds, upload speeds and all-around latency that closely matches our unprotected speeds. This makes it a good pick for any activity that requires high-speed internet, like streaming Netflix in HD, streaming live sports and playing Roku games

NordVPN has lots of useful online security extras that Surfshark doesn’t have. For instance, it offers NordVPN Meshnet, which enables you to create a secure tunnel between two devices, share files securely and enjoy multiplayer games. It also has a dark web monitor, which alerts you if your information appears on the dark web so you can change any vulnerable passwords. 

NordVPN Hands-On Testing

We found NordVPN’s apps a breeze to use. You can connect its VPN servers on the home screen by clicking a small power button. There’s also a section for the specialty servers. Our only gripe is that the server map is quite difficult to navigate and you might need some geography knowledge to find the right countries. 

nordvpn servers
NordVPN’s app is well-organized and key features like specialty servers are easy to find.

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Notes From the Lab: NordVPN Security Analysis

NordVPN is a secure VPN that doesn’t expose your data while browsing. It includes various protocols, including OpenVPN and NordLynx (NordVPN’s proprietary version of WireGuard). 

nordvpn leak test
NordVPN doesn’t reveal original user IP addresses.
Protocol: Windows Android MacOS iOS Linux
OpenVPN (AES)
NordLynx (ChaCha20 encryption)
IKEv2 (AES) ****
*Can be set up manually

NordVPN Pricing & Value

At $12.99, NordVPN’s monthly plan is slightly cheaper than Surfshark’s. NordVPN’s cheapest plan is the two-year plan, which costs $3.39 per month. There’s also a yearly plan, which costs $4.49 per month.

You can dig deeper into NordVPN’s features and performance in our NordVPN review. You can take NordVPN for a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

3. Private Internet Access (PIA): An Affordable and User-Friendly VPN Replacement for Surfshark

Private Internet Access Review Rating:
  • Features 80 %
  • User-Friendliness 80 %
  • Pricing 90 %
  • Speed 80 %
  • Security 90 %
  • Privacy 90 %
  • Streaming Performance 70 %
  • Server Locations 80 %
  • Customer Support 90 %
Download
93 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
3 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Large server network
  • Unlimited device connections

Cons:

  • Can’t get into Hulu
  • Live chat is hard to reach

Live If you’re looking for a VPN that mirrors Surfshark but has some extra benefits, PIA is a shoo-in. For instance, unlike NordVPN and ExpressVPN, PIA offers unlimited connections. PIA offers one of the cheapest three-year plans on the VPN market, making it a great choice if you want a long-term Surfshark alternative. 

In addition, PIA offers split tunneling on macOS (though only prior to 11). We also recommend PIA if you want a VPN for Linux. It has a rare, easy-to-install, full-featured graphical user interface for various Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora and Arch. 

PIA Hands-On Testing

pia protocols
PIA’s apps allow you to make advanced changes to various settings.

PIA is a user-friendly app for rookies and power users alike. The app is well thought out, with all the settings being easy to find. You can customize PIA to suit your taste. For example, under protocols, you can select your preferred encryption, transport mode and configuration method. These all determine the speed and security of your VPN connection. 

Notes From the Lab: PIA Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

PIA is one of the fastest VPNs, especially if you’re connecting to a nearby server. We ran our speed tests in the U.S., and PIA retained at least 90% of our download speeds. It’s also a consistent performer in terms of upload speeds, keeping 90% of our initial upload speeds across the board. Its latency is also lower than Surfshark’s.

Notes From the Lab: PIA Security Analysis

PIA is secure enough for you to use without worrying about your data leaking. Its MACE feature is also great at blocking ads, trackers and malicious websites. It also has a custom DNS that we found highly effective at preventing leaks.

pia leak tests
PIA has IP and DNS leak protection.

PIA also has various protocols that offer a good blend of speed and security. We’ve summarized them below. 

Protocol: Windows Android MacOS iOS Linux
WireGuard (ChaCha20)
OpenVPN (AES)
IPsec (AES)

PIA Pricing & Value

PIA’s monthly plan ($11.95 per month) is cheaper than Surfshark’s charge of $10.99. However, Surfshark’s yearly plan of $3.49 per month is more affordable than PIA’s yearly rate of $4.17 per month. PIA doesn’t have a two-year plan like Surfshark, but it offers a bargain three-year plan, which costs only $2.19 per month. 

You can explore PIA’s features and performance yourself by reading our in-depth PIA review or using its 30-day money-back guarantee

4. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Review Rating:
  • Features 90 %
  • Pricing 85 %
  • User-Friendliness 95 %
  • Speed 70 %
  • Security 90 %
  • Privacy 85 %
  • Streaming Performance 75 %
  • Server Locations 90 %
  • Customer Support 75 %
Download
87 Mbps
Very Fast
Upload
9 Mbps
Very Fast
Latency
38 ms
Very Fast
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

Pros:

  • Large server network
  • User-friendly apps
  • Obfuscated servers

Cons:

  • Slow download speeds

Choose CyberGhost if you’re looking for a user-friendly replacement for Surfshark. Its apps are clutter-free, organized and intuitive. Each feature has descriptions and real-world examples of when you might want to use them. CyberGhost’s smart rules feature lets you automate your VPN use. For instance, you can decide which websites it opens after it connects to a specific server. 

In addition, CyberGhost has over 9,000 servers in 100 countries, rivaling Surfshark’s server collection. Some of those servers are optimized for the major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and BBC iPlayer. You’ll also find optimized servers for region-specific platforms like RTÉ2, Chinese TV, Canale 5 and CBC Canada. 

CyberGhost Hands-On Testing

As we’ve already mentioned, CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN. In using the app, we liked that it has grouped servers based on functions: gaming, torrenting, dedicated IP servers and NoSpy servers. Another usability feature worth mentioning is CyberGhost’s launch rules, which let you decide what happens when you launch CyberGhost.

CyberGhost specialty servers
CyberGhost’s VPN app is well-organized and the servers are a breeze to find.

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Speed Test Results

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 01/27/24 to 02/24/24
Data for region:

CyberGhost is not the fastest VPN, as our speed graphs show. It has slow download speeds, much lower than Surfshark’s and most of the top-rated VPN services. That said, it posts consistent upload speeds. Plus, its latency, while inconsistent, is slightly better than Surfshark’s. 

Notes From the Lab: CyberGhost Security Analysis

CyberGhost passed our DNS leak tests without trouble. While connected to CyberGhost, no detail about our connection was visible to snoopers. It also includes a content blocker with access to a long list of dangerous websites, which helps keep you from stumbling onto malware.

cyberghost leak test
CyberGhost doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks. 

CyberGhost lets you tunnel your internet traffic with various protocols, as shown below. 

Protocol: Windows Android MacOS iOS Linux
OpenVPN (AES)
WireGuard (ChaCha20)
KEv2 (AES)

CyberGhost Pricing & Value

CyberGhost also provides excellent value for your money. A monthly CyberGhost subscription will cost you $12.99. For the six-month plan, you’ll have to pay $6.99 — the cheapest we’ve seen so far. The two-year plan costs $2.37 per month and adds four months free.

You can test CyberGhost longer than any other VPN, thanks to its 45-day money-back guarantee on long-term plans. If you’re still not sold on CyberGhost, read our full CyberGhost review

5. Proton VPN

ProtonVPN Review Rating:
  • Features 90 %
  • Pricing 85 %
  • User-Friendliness 95 %
  • Speed 85 %
  • Security 90 %
  • Privacy 95 %
  • Streaming Performance 90 %
  • Server Locations 80 %
  • Customer Service 65 %

Pros:

  • Unlimited free data plan
  • Free servers in 3 countries
  • Well-organized & intuitive UI

Cons:

  • Expensive paid plans

If you’re quitting Surfshark because you no longer want to pay for a VPN, we recommend Proton VPN. It’s the best free alternative to Surfshark, offering a slew of features you can enjoy without paying a cent. For instance, Proton VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and data. This is rare among free VPNs, which usually restrict you to a certain amount of usage per month.

Proton VPN offers free servers in a handful of countries, including Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and the U.S. This makes Proton VPN an excellent choice if you need a free U.S. IP address to unblock geo-restricted websites and streaming services like Tubi and Hulu. 

Proton VPN Hands-On Testing

We enjoyed using Proton VPN. If you’re a fan of dark modes, you’ll love Proton VPN’s aesthetic. Plus, all the important settings are easy to find. The VPN servers are also grouped well, making it easy for you to locate the server you want. 

protonvpn secure core servers
Proton VPN’s Windows app is well-designed and intuitive. 

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected1919.965.94
🇺🇸 United States
26
19.43
5.55
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
299
18.46
5.45
🇧🇷 Brazil
392
15.77
4.82
🇸🇬 Singapore
540
14.47
3.40
🇿🇦 South Africa
604
13.27
5.40
🇦🇺 Australia
523
17.53
5.09
Average
397
16.49
4.95

Proton VPNdishes out good connection speeds. We were particularly impressed with the latency on the nearby servers, which makes it a great Surfshark replacement. 

Notes From the Lab: Proton VPN Security Analysis

Proton VPN passed our leak tests with flying colors. It has a DNS protection feature, which is always on by default. When you visit a website, your device sends a domain name system (DNS) request. However, without an encrypted tunnel, your DNS requests will be visible to your internet service provider (ISP) and any other snooper.

A VPN with DNS leak protection will encrypt your DNS request before any third party sees it. Most VPNs, including Proton VPN, have built-in DNS leak protection, ensuring that your DNS requests and, consequently, your traffic won’t be exposed. 

proton vpn leak test
Proton VPN ensures that your data doesn’t leak when you browse. 

In addition, Proton VPN offers a great selection of protocols. Notable among them is the Stealth protocol, which obfuscates your traffic and is ideal for restrictive countries like China.

Protocol: Windows Android MacOS iOS Linux
OpenVPN (AES)
WireGuard (ChaCha20)
KEv2 (AES) ***
Stealth
*Requires manual switch on

 

Proton VPN Pricing & Value

Proton VPN is the only free service among the top five on this list. However, if you want access to the full server network, you’ll need to part with $9.99 per month. This is the cheapest monthly plan on this list. If you want Proton VPN for a year, your bill will be $5.99 per month. The two-year plan beats down the price to $4.99 per month. However, it’s still more expensive than Surfshark’s two-year plan. 

You can read our Proton VPN review to learn more or take it for a ride using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Honorable Mentions 

In this section, we’ll show you five other Surfshark alternatives worth considering in case the top five VPNs don’t tickle your fancy. We’ll quickly breeze through their features and leave a link to each VPN’s full review. 

1. Mullvad

mullvad homepage
Mullvad is a privacy-focused VPN that can keep your online activities hidden.

Mullvad is a nifty Surfshark replacement, particularly for privacy-minded users like journalists and activists. It religiously abides by a strict zero-logs policy. Instead of an email address or password, Mullvad uses account numbers, which cannot be traced to specific users. Plus, it also accepts cash payments. Learn more in our Mullvad review

2. Windscribe

windscribe homepage uk
Windscribe offers an excellent free plan.

Next up is Windscribe, one of our favorite free VPNs. It offers 15GB of free data monthly, which could suffice if you only need a VPN for casual browsing. Compared to Proton VPN, Windscribe offers more free server locations. You can connect to servers in 11 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Explore Windscribe in our Windscribe review

Free
  • Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
  • 15GB
  • Unlimited

3. hide.me

get hide.me
Hide.me is a handy free VPN that can help you stay safe online. 

hide.me is another fine VPN that can replace Surfshark if you don’t want to spend any money. Its free plan offers 10GB of free data. While not as generous as Proton VPN or Windscribe, hide.me’s free version is good for intermittent browsing. There’s more about this VPN provider in our hide.me review

4. Private VPN

PrivateVPN-homepage-2023
PrivateVPN says it can help users unlock geo-blocked
content and securely access the internet.

PrivateVPN offers over 200 servers in 63 countries that can unblock some streaming providers like Netflix. It has port forwarding, which is often necessary for torrenting. If you’re in a country that restricts internet freedom, you can use PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN feature to dodge detection. There’s more about the VPN service in our PrivateVPN review.

5. VyprVPN

vyprVPN homepage 2023
VyprVPN is a VPN service that prioritizes user privacy. 

We consider VyprVPN a solid Surfshark replacement, especially if you want a VPN for your business. It has business-specific plans that can offer user management features, dedicated business servers and a dedicated account manager. Security is also VyprVPN’s forte, with a Chameleon protocol built to bypass restrictions and censorship. 

Monthly
  • Unlimited GB
  • 30
Business
  • Includes 3 Users, $99 per year per additional user, Multiple User Management. Global Business Servers, Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited GB
  • 3
Business Cloud
  • Includes 3 Users $99 per year per additional user, Multiple User Management, Your own dedicated server, Fast and easy deployment
  • Unlimited GB
  • 3

Final Thoughts

If you’re no longer interested in using Surfshark, there are worthwhile alternatives to consider. ExpressVPN leads the pack with secure and dependable servers that can safeguard your online privacy and give you access to virtually any website out there.

NordVPN is another good option, noted for its speeds and feature set. CyberGhost and PIA are affordable alternatives, while Proton VPN is the best free choice. Some bonus VPNs to consider include Mullvad, Windscribe and VyprVPN. 

Have you used Surfshark before, and did you experience any troubles? Which of the VPN providers in this article have you used? Which one are you considering using? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading. 

FAQ: Surfshark Alternatives

  • Compared to Surfshark, ExpressVPN offers a larger server network, faster speeds overall and more reliable unblocking ability. It’s also more secure, with obfuscation baked into all its servers.

  • Surfshark is better than CyberGhost. It has a bigger server spread and is more dependable for unblocking streaming services. It’s also faster and boasts more advanced security features.

  • Overall, Surfshark is a good VPN, thanks to its security, privacy features and excellent unblocking ability. It also has servers in more than 100 countries to help you browse anonymously.

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