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PureVPN vs Surfshark (2020): Which VPN Should You Get?

When it comes to VPN services, PureVPN and Surfshark have made headway as budget options. For individuals, as well as small or mid-sized organizations, these providers offer relatively inexpensive plans. But given the price, which one should you get? Here, we take a look at how PureVPN and Surfshark fare against each other on key features.

PureVPN vs Surfshark Comparison Chart

NamePureVPNSurfshark
 Surfshark logo
PriceCheck Price at PureVPN.comCheck Price Surfshark.com
HeadquartersHong KongBritish Virgin Islands
No. of Servers2,000+1,700+
No. of Countries140+ countries63+ countries
P2P ServersYesYes
Simultaneous Connections5Unlimited
Internet Kill SwitchYesYes
Supported DevicesWindows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Xbox, RouterWindows, OS X, Android, iOS, Router
TorrentingSupportedSupported
NetflixYesYes
Split TunnelingYesYes
Customer SupportVideo, Knowledge Base, Email, Ticket, Live ChatVideo, Knowledge Base, Email, Ticket
Money-Back Guarantee31 days30 days

Security and Privacy

PureVPN and Surfshark comes with military-grade data encryption and strict, no-logs policies.

Surfshark has discontinued support for outdated protocols, including PPTP which PureVPN still offers. 

In an increasingly digital world, VPNs are fast-becoming a staple for anyone’s online security. Both PureVPN and Surfshark understand this, so their services put premium on user security and privacy. The two providers, for instance, support a number of security protocols—including OpenVPN—and offer military-grade encryption, specifically AES-256. 

Compared to Surfshark, PureVPN also supports older protocols like PPTP. While it’s one of the fastest, it’s one of the oldest too, with outdated security standards. But if security is not your priority and you really just want speedier browsing, it’s good to have the PPTP as an option. In contrast, Surfshark has discontinued support for older protocols. It currently uses the IKEv2 by default, which is ideal for mobile devices. Moreover, the company supports Shadowsocks, an open-source protocol project that’s widely used in countries where VPNs are banned or blocked. 

PureVPN and Surfshark both adhere to strict no-logs policies. For subscribers who want privacy, both providers only require an email address to register. Keep in mind, however, that PureVPN’s no-logs policy has been scrutinized before, following reports that user activity and records were supplied to support a cyberstalking investigation in 2016. But since the incident, the company has updated their privacy policy, which has also been audited by a third-party security firm.

Speed and Coverage

PureVPN leads in terms of extensive server network while Surfshark has the slight advantage when it comes to speed.

Here’s a look at the PureVPN interface, including the locations served.

PureVPN boasts 2,000+ servers across over 140 countries. The network includes dedicated servers for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and browsing. In addition, the server infrastructure is also owned by the company, ensuring protection from third-party access. On the other hand, Surfshark has over 1,700 servers across 63+ countries. It also comes with dedicated torrenting servers that automatically detects P2P traffic, and subsequently switches to P2P-friendly servers for more optimal speeds.

Despite having a medium-sized network, Surfshark delivers an average speed of 40 mbps. With PureVPN, you get around 36-37 mbps. But like most VPN providers, the speed will vary depending on location and user hardware. In some cases, you will get better performance from PureVPN, especially in the US, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. Plus, speed loss on the network is lower compared to Surfshark.

Features

PureVPN makes unblocking streaming sites easier while Surfshark puts a premium on online privacy. 

With PureVPN, you can also access streaming sites through its browser extensions.

PureVPN and Surfshark come with their respective desktop and mobile applications. For something more lightweight, both providers offer browser extensions as well. Surfshark’s come with a free CleanWeb ad-blocker while PureVPN offers WebRTC leak protection for privacy. 

Both providers are capable of unblocking streaming sites, including US Netflix. With either VPNs, you can access several other video-on-demand services, including Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Voot among others. However, PureVPN makes access to streaming sites easier, thanks to its popular websites option. Moreover, this service is also available in its Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Nonetheless, Surfshark is capable of supporting more devices, thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections. With PureVPN, you can only connect up to 5 devices. 

Lastly, a number of free features are available with either providers. For PureVPN, you get an official Kodi add-on, as well as a malware scanner. Surfshark, on the other hand, offers basic privacy protection through its Trust DNS app, which is a secure DNS resolver for Android. 

Pricing

Surfshark comes with impressively low monthly fees for longer subscriptions compared to PureVPN’s plans. 

Here’s a look at the Surfshark mobile application interface. 

For regular plans, PureVPN is cheaper at $10.95/mo, compared to SurfShark’s $11.95/mo. Considering the features and apps you get from either VPNs, these fees are definitely a deal compared to other providers. However, for longer subscriptions, Surfshark’s pricing structure is more affordable. If you sign up for a year, the discounts you get translates to just $3.99/mo. In comparison, PureVPN’s half-year plan is $8.33/mo. Moreover, if you opt for a 36-month subscription with SurfShark, the monthly fee comes out to an impressively low $1.94.

To get discounts on PureVPN, you’ll have to sign up for their paid 7-day trial. Users who continue with the subscription to a 1-year plan do get a 40% off discount, for a $6.49 monthly fee. Surfshark, on the other hand, offers a free trial but only when using their Android or iOS application. Either way, you get a money-back guarantee period of about a month for both providers. Keep in mind that to purchase a PureVPN plan, you’re limited to either credit card or PayPal. With Surfshark, you get additional payment options, including Google Pay and bitcoin. 

Verdict

While PureVPN is recommended for those who prioritize streaming, Surfshark’s price-feature offering is arguably the better deal. 

Despite being budget VPN options, PureVPN and Surfshark offer an impressive suite of features for those looking to secure their online activities. With either VPNs, you get military-grade data encryption, compatibility with a range of apps and platforms, as well as commendable speeds. So which one should you get?

If streaming is your priority, then PureVPN’s more extensive geographical coverage and ability to unblock sites with ease should be right up your alley. Not to mention, it supports faster protocols like PPTP even though it is considered obsolete and less secure.

However, if you want the best value for your money, then opt for Surfshark instead. Even with the discounted price, the company doesn’t skimp on features. It’s a solid VPN provider with comparable, at times even better, performance in terms of security, online privacy, and speed. Plus, you also enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections, as well as access to Surfshark apps across all devices. For as low as $1.94/mo, it’s definitely a deal worth getting. 

FAQs

📌 Which VPN is better for streaming?

Both PureVPN and Surfshark can reliably bypass geo-restrictions and offer access to streaming sites. However, PureVPN’s dedicated list of popular websites for streaming makes it easier to access video-on-demand services on their platform, compared to Surfshark.

📌 Can Surfshark hide your IP address?

Yes. The moment you click “Connect” on any Surfshark app on your devices, your IP address is immediately hidden, and traffic is encrypted.

📌 Can I pay for my Surfshark plan via credit card?

Yes, you can. In addition to Google Pay or bitcoin, you can opt to pay for your Surfshark plan via credit or debit card.

📌 Does PureVPN offer 24/7 customer support?

PureVPN offers 24/7 customer support, through email, live chat, and tickets. Its website also includes a comment box for user suggestions and recommendations.

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Mari Bassig
Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.