Surfshark vs Atlas VPN

The ever-growing number of VPN providers on the market only makes your choice all the more difficult. Many VPN services claim to be the best. Some state they have the fastest speeds or the strongest security, for example. Needless to say, verifying such claims is easier said than done. This is where our in-depth VPN comparison posts should prove helpful!

We take two very popular VPN providers in Surfshark and Atlas VPN and put them under the microscope. This post breaks down features into easy-to-digest categories so you can quickly refer to whatever matters to you most. We’ll look at everything from their server speeds to the quality of their customer support. It’s through rigorous hands-on testing that we can then determine which VPN is best for you to use.

Can’t choose between Surfshark and AtlasVPN?

If you’re having trouble deciding between Surfshark and AtlasVPN, we’d recommend trying Surfshark first. This service is extremely fast, secure, and reliable, plus it’s currently available at a steep discount. Leaning towards AtlasVPN instead? No problem: we have an exclusive discount coupon for that provider too!

Our team created an exhaustive comparison of Surfshark and ExpressVPN. Here’s what they found:

Summary: Surfshark vs AtlasVPN


  • Low monthly cost
  • Fast speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • MultiHop servers for extra security

Atlas VPN

  • More than fast enough for streaming
  • Unblocks popular streaming services
  • Connect all of your devices at once
  • Extra features including an ad blocker

Surfshark vs Atlas VPN pricing comparison

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
Subscription periodsOne month, one year, two yearsOne month, one year, three years
Special offer82% discount on two-year plan + 2 months free83% off 2 year plan
Highest price per month$12.95$11.99
Lowest monthly cost$2.30$1.82
One year price$59.76$49.21
Money back guarantee30 days30 days
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

There are a number of similarities when it comes to the subscription plans of Surfshark and Atlas VPN. For starters, both offer monthly and annual subscriptions. However, while Surfshark has a two year plan, Atlas VPN has an even longer three year option. Generally speaking, the longer you’re willing to commit, the more you can save and that’s certainly the case here.

With Atlas VPN’s three year plan, you’ll get 82 percent off. As a result, you pay just $1.99 USD a month ($71.49 for the first three years). Surfshark also has a special offer. This comes with its two year subscription plan. It works out at $2.21 a month ($59.76 for the first two years), which is a discount of 83 percent. So while both discounts are similar, Atlas VPN is slightly more affordable long-term.

Not ready to commit for multiple years? An annual subscription with Surfshark is priced at $47.88. Atlas VPN is marginally cheaper at $39.42 yearly. Monthly VPN subscriptions are useful if you only need a VPN for a few weeks at a time (such as when on vacation). However, they quickly become more expensive if you stick with them for months at a time. Again, Surfshark costs more at $12.95 a month compared to $10.99 with Atlas VPN.

Regardless of whether you choose Surfshark or Atlas VPN, you’re protected with their risk-free 30-day money-back guarantees. You then have a full 30 days to try their services out for yourself and, if you change your mind, request a full refund for your money back.

Best Deal for Surfshark:Pay just $2.21 a month (a saving of 81 percent) when you choose the Surfshark two year subscription.

Best Deal for Atlas VPN:Get 83 percent off with the Atlas VPN three year plan (works out at $1.99 per month).

Surfshark vs Atlas VPN features

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV
Manual install devicesSelect routersSet-top boxes
Free extrasAutomatic wifi protection, ad-blocking and malware-scanning. Extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Stealth mode.MultiHop servers, SafeBrowse
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

Any quality VPN will have desktop and mobile apps for WindowsMacAndroid, and iOS at a minimum and Surfshark and ExpressVPN are no exception. Indeed, apps are also available to download for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. Both of these services now offer a Linux app too, though at the moment, Atlas VPN can’t be installed on a router. In other words, if you’re looking to secure traffic from devices such as games consoles, Surfshark is the better option.

There’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect at once with these VPNs. Most VPNs only allow up to a handful of simultaneous connections so Surfshark and Atlas VPN are particularly good choices for sharing with family. Feature-wise, both VPNs offer split tunneling so you can choose which apps use the VPN connection and which bypass it. This is available on Windows and Android with Surfshark but only Android on Atlas VPN.

Surfshark and Atlas VPN share a few more features in common including an ad blocker. You can also connect to MultiHop (Double VPN) servers which route internet traffic via multiple locations for an additional layer of security. Surfshark sets itself apart however with the option of browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Streaming and unblocking

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
Unblocks Hulu
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks ABC
Unblocks CBS
Unblocks NBC
Unblocks ITV
Unblocks Channel 4
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

There may be times, particularly when you travel on vacation, that you can no longer access your usual websites due to government censorship or copyright and licensing. This may include a news site, online banking account, or your favorite streaming service. The good news is that Surfshark and Atlas VPN are both highly consistent at bypassing geographic restrictions.

We tested both VPNs with various streaming services and had little trouble. Indeed, both worked with Netflix and we were able to access multiple libraries including the US and UK. In fact, Surfshark in particular is one of the best VPNs for Netflix and is able to access more than 30 libraries in total. Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that generally works with DAZN, but Atlas VPN is unable to bypass its particularly tough restrictions.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

Using a VPN isn’t always so simple in China due to the Great Firewall of China. The sophisticated censorship system blocks a wide range of websites and apps. This includes the websites of VPNs such as Surfshark and Atlas VPN. Like most VPNs, Atlas VPN is unable to navigate the wide range of techniques employed such as IP blocking.

Surfshark however, has a traffic obfuscation feature called NoBorders. By disguising your VPN traffic as regular web traffic, it’s able to evade detection by deep packet inspection. This is easily activated via a toggle button in the Settings menu. However, you’ll still need to make sure Surfshark is downloaded and installed ahead of your trip to China due to its website being blocked in China.

Setup and interface

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
Automatic setup wizardWindows, Android, iOS, Linux, MacOSWindows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Main location selectionList-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

With their beginner-friendly apps complete with automatic setup wizard, Surfshark and Atlas VPN make it quick and easy to connect to a server. The desktop and mobile apps alike offer a quick connect button which only requires a single click to connect (Surfshark even has tabs to let you connect to the fastest or nearest available server). Another similarity is that servers are ordered by country in an alphabetical list.

Surfshark’s desktop app offers a little more information in that it displays server load. You can favorite specific servers to find them more easily later. Atlas VPN’s desktop interface is that little bit simpler (although both are nice and easy to navigate). There is however a streaming tab in which you can find servers that are optimized for streaming sites. Surfshark has tabs for Static IPs and for its MultiHop servers.

Mobile apps tend to be even simpler than their desktop counterparts and this is the case for Surfshark and Atlas VPN’s Android and iOS apps. Instead of a side menu where you can access your settings, there’s a space-saving footer menu for accessing servers and settings. Once in settings, the various options can be toggled on or off.

Servers and performance

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
Server countries10049
Total number of servers3,200750+
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

Surfshark comes out on top when it comes to both server quantity and speed. It continues to expand its network which now stands at more than 3,000 servers in 100 countries. In contrast, Atlas VPN only offers a little more than 750 servers in 47 countries at the time of writing.

Chances are, either server network will more than meet your needs. Both have servers in countries including the USCanadaUK, and Australia, for example. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get an IP address from a lower-traffic location like Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, or Macau, Surfshark is the clear winner  here.

Want to know where Surfshark and Atlas VPN offer servers? Here’s a list of countries covered by each:

CountrySurfsharkAtlas VPN
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Hong Kong
Isle of Man
New Zealand
North Macedonia
Puerto Rico
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States

So how does these services stack up in terms of speed? Well, they’re actually quite well matched. In our most recent tests, Surfshark averaged 324 Mbps while AtlasVPN averaged 247 Mbps. This means that they’re two of the fastest VPNs on the market. Both have unlimited bandwidth and are more than fast enough for streaming, torrenting, and playing online games.

No valueSurfshark
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)205 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)193 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)168 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
No valueAtlasVPN
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)297 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)158 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)356 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$1.82
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan


No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuardIKEv2, WireGuard
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AESAES-256-bit
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-2048RSA-4096
Kill Switch
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

The main VPN protocol offered by Surfshark and Atlas VPN is WireGuard. This newer protocol is faster than rival protocols while maintaining a high standard of security. However, both VPNs also give you the option to use IKEv2, which offers decent speed and is ideal for mobiles thanks to its ability to quickly re-establish connections. It’s worth noting that Surfshark is the only one of the two that supports the open-source OpenVPN protocol.

Connections are secured with 256-bit AES encryption that renders your data effectively uncrackable. Both VPNs use private DNS servers so no third parties have access to your web history.

If the VPN connection were to drop, your data could become vulnerable. A kill switch prevents this by cutting your internet traffic should this happen. This is available via the Surfshark and Atlas VPN desktop and mobile apps.

Of the two VPNs, only Surfshark offers obfuscation with its NoBorders feature. This helps you evade network restrictions in places like China. There’s also automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. AtlasVPN, on the other hand, offers SafeSwap servers that’ll change your IP address every time you visit a new site.


No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
HQ base of operationThe NetherlandsUnited States
Connection logsEffectively none
Activity logsNoneNo logs stored
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, RippleBitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

Like another top-rated provider, ExpressVPN, Surfshark operates out of the British Virgin Islands. One of the reasons for this is that there are no data retention laws. Atlas VPN however, operates out of the United States. This falls under the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, a group of countries that freely share intelligence information. However, Atlas VPN doesn’t keep identifying logs, so there shouldn’t be any compromising information to be found regardless.

Surfshark also operates a no-logs policy, although both VPNs do keep some connection logs. This aggregate data includes connection attempts, but there’s nothing to identify you as a user. You don’t need to provide much personal information to sign up with either Surfshark or Atlas VPN — only an email address. Better still, both VPNs allow you to pay in cryptocurrency should you wish (Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple).

AtlasVPN has had its iOS and Windows apps independently audited to prove that they’re as secure as the provider claims. Surfshark, meanwhile, has undergone an infrastructure audit proving that it doesn’t keep any logs. We’d like to see AtlasVPN do something similar, though it’s off to a good start.

Customer Service

No valueSurfsharkAtlasVPN
24/7 live chatFor subscribers
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time2 hours, 28 minutes45 mins
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$2.30
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan

While Surfshark and Atlas VPN are easy to use thanks to their beginner-friendly apps, you may still have a few questions. The good news is that both offer 24/7 live chat and email support should you need it. Alternatively, you can search their respective help centers for setup guides, FAQs, and more. Surfshark stands out for having a very active YouTube channel (Surfshark Academy) with videos uploaded every week.

In order to test the email support offered by Surfshark and Atlas VPN, we sent each three emails. We then recorded the response time as well as the quality of the reply received. In both cases, our questions were resolved without issue. While Surfshark’s average response time is fairly quick (approximately three and a half hours), Atlas VPN has one of the fastest email reply rates we’ve come across. We received a reply in 45 minutes on average.

QuestionResponse timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Does Surfshark work in China?Six hoursOneYes
Will Surfshark slow down my internet speed?Three and a half hoursOneYes
How do I install Surfshark on my router?One hourOneYes
 Atlas VPN  
QuestionResponse timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Does Atlas VPN work in China?35 minutes1Yes
Will Atlas VPN slow down my internet speed?40 minutes1Yes
How do I install Atlas VPN on my router?1 hour1Yes

The Winner: Surfshark

Surfshark Jun 2023

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

This was a relatively close contest because both VPNs excel in multiple areas. Atlas VPN provides fast speeds, strong streaming ability, an unlimited connection allowance, and plenty of extra security features including MutliHop servers. However, there’s little it offers that Surfshark doesn’t (indeed, Surfshark also has all of the aforementioned features and more). It’s for this reason that Surfshark is our overall winner.

In particular, Surfshark is faster and has a much larger network of servers (over 3,000 in 65 countries). It’s also only marginally more expensive than Atlas VPN making it the best value VPN of the two. Whichever VPN you choose, you’ll benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the VPN service risk-free.

Surfshark Coupon
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

See also:

Methodology: How we compared Surfshark and AtlasVPN

Even services that look and operate in similar ways can be extremely different under the hood. That’s why it was so important for us to accurately document every feature, specification, and tool Surfshark and AtlasVPN had to offer. Below, you’ll find a few of the most important areas we examined, and what we looked for in each of them:

  • Network: First off, we take a look at how many servers a provider has and, more importantly, where they’re located. A higher number of supported countries is better, since this increases the amount of available content and theoretically means a lower distance to the nearest server.
  • Performance and reliability: We perform regular speed tests on leading VPN providers to better track their performance over time. To account for the inherently random nature of the internet, we run nine tests (using three servers at three times of day) for each before averaging the results. This approach ensures that VPNs with inconsistent speeds don’t manage to slip through.
  • Cloaking ability: VPN-blocking systems are used by public hotspot owners, repressive governments, and even popular streaming services. We test providers against some of the most stubborn, like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, as well as checking to see if they work in places like China.
  • Security and privacy: Among other things, we look for the presence of industry-standard encryption, support for major connection protocols, kill switches, leak prevention tools, and a no-logs policy. We also take a look at VPNs’ audit histories since these provide proof of their privacy claims.
  • User-friendliness: We’re big fans of anything that makes a service easier to use. This might be task-specific servers, 24/7 live chat, or simply having apps for a wide range of platforms.
  • Price: Although this shouldn’t be the only thing you base your decision on, it is still very important. We’ll always let you know if there’s a free plan, trial, money-back guarantee, or discount code available so you can keep the cost as low as possible.

Looking for more info? Our VPN testing methodology post explains exactly how our team puts services through their paces.

Surfshark vs AtlasVPN: FAQs

Which is faster: Surfshark or AtlasVPN?

It's suprisingly difficult to compare the speeds of two VPNs since performance is impacted by numerous factors including distance from your chosen server, how many other users there are, and which protocol you're using.

That said, in our latest speed tests, Surfshark delivered higher average speeds than AtlasVPN. It averaged over 320 Mbps while Atlas averaged close to 250 Mbps. It's worth noting that these were run on at least a gigabit connection, so your actual speeds may be lower if you have slower base speeds. In short, these are two of the fastest VPNs available and should be able to handle whatever you throw at them.

Does AtlasVPN work on Linux?

For a while, AtlasVPN was one of the only major providers that didn't support Linux. That all changed with the introduction of a command-line app for Ubuntu (support for other distributions is coming soon).

This app maintains all of the functionality of its Windows and MacOS apps, and the command syntax is very simple. As such, you'll be able to connect quickly (or even automatically) and can spend more time doing the things you're interested in, rather than constantly consulting the reference manual.

Can I stream Netflix while connected to Surfshark?

Netflix has some of the strictest VPN-detection tools of any streaming service. This means that it'll block most VPNs outright, causing errors or greatly reducing the amount of content you can watch. Of course, as well as being a nuisance, disconnecting your VPN to stream means you might forget to turn it back on, leaving your data unsecured.

Thankfully, Surfshark can help you stream Netflix safely from anywhere. It can reliably access multiple Netflix libraries and actually redirects you to the US version of the site if you're using a server from a country whose library it doesn't support.

Does Surfshark or AtlasVPN offer a free trial?

Atlas VPN actually has a free tier that allows you to try it out before you buy. However, you'll only be able to choose from three server locations and are limited to 5GB of data per month. Instead, we'd suggest just purchasing a one-month plan; these give you full access to all of the features (including 24/7 customer support and SafeSwap servers) and since there's a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can just claim a full refund before the month is over if you're in any way unsatisfied.