Surfshark vs Windscribe

When it comes to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), it’s easy to find yourself inundated with the variety of available options. Two services that have been growing in popularity recently are Surfshark and Windscribe.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a seasoned programmer to figure out which VPN to use. To help you make the right choice, we’ve curated this side-by-side comparison of Surfshark and Windscribe.

In this guide, we help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each VPN, their security setups, some advanced features, and how they will affect your routine usage of the VPN.

Want the quick answer? Surfshark is our winner. Read on to find out all of the important details and how we came to that conclusion.



  • Allows unlimited connections
  • Extensive server network
  • Ultra fast, reliable speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • Airtight security with a strict no-logs policy
  • Can reliably access most popular streaming platforms


  • Offers a free plan
  • No limit on simultaneous connections
  • Smaller server network
  • Offers fast speeds, strong security, and privacy
  • Can access popular streaming services abroad

Surfshark vs Windscribe pricing

The highest month-on-month subscription fee is $12.95 and $9.00 for Surfshark and Windscribe respectively. Each of these prices represents great value for money especially if you consider that both offer unlimited device connectivity and robust security. What’s more, both VPN services offer tremendous discounts on their yearly and multi year plans. This makes them great picks if you’re looking for long term protection.

The Windscribe Pro subscription sets you back only $4.08 per month if you pay once per year. And if you’re a team of 5 users, it could drop down to $3 per month per account using the ScribeForce plan.

The price reductions for Surfshark are so significant that if you’ve settled your heart on the one-year plan, you might as well go for the two-year plan. The 24-month upfront cost of Surfshark is $59.76, which essentially is $2.49 per month. No debate; this is the best pricing on the market.

On top of that, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. What this means is that you can try out the service for one month and have your money reimbursed if you’re not impressed.

While Surfshark offers a one month risk free period, Windscribe boasts an entirely free subscription plan. However, Surfshark has the most affordable pricing plan for an all inclusive premium service.

BEST DEAL FOR SURFSHARK:Cut the monthly cost by over 80% with Surfshark’s two year deal.

BEST DEAL FOR WINDSCRIBE:Build your own plan and pay a minimum of $1.00 per active user per server location every month.

Streaming and access to restricted sites

Surfshark is the better option for users looking to stream frequently. Part of the reason behind this is that it can access several libraries of popular streaming services abroad.

When it comes to Netflix, for example, Surfshark performs exceptionally well and can access the service regardless of the server you choose. If it can’t access a particular library, it will simply redirect you to Netflix US.

While Surfshark performed admirably in this area, Windscribe can only provide reliable access to Netflix US. In the numerous tests we conducted, Windscribe did provide secure access to either Hulu or Disney+.

Notably, Windscribe doesn’t expressly mention streaming in its marketing. Rather, its primary mission is privacy and security. If you’re in the market for a good VPN provider for comfortable streaming, feel free to check out our recommended VPNs for streaming.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

China is known for some of the farthest reaching internet restrictions globally and will block most VPNs entirely. However, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs that work in China, as long as the proper configuration is implemented. To browse safely and anonymously in China with Surfshark, simply turn on the NoBorders feature (Settings > Advanced > NoBorders).

Despite researching widely, we weren’t able to find out whether Windscribe works in China. We had to contact their support department, who said Windscribe should work from anywhere. If you can’t wait to connect from China, you can read our detailed article on the best VPNs that work in China based on 59 tests.

Notably, the Great Firewall currently blocks access to both Surfshark’s and Windscribe’s websites from China. It’s therefore vital to ensure you install your preferred VPN service before arriving in China.

Setup and interface

You don’t have to be that tech savvy to use either VPN’s desktop apps. Surfshark’s desktop app follows a “less is more” approach, with the main screen having a quick connect button. It gives you the option of connecting to the fastest P2P server as well as quick access to your most recently used servers.

Surfshark’s interface has settings that are spread across three tabs, with one having a dual submenu feature. While this isn’t a major issue, it can make finding a given setting slightly challenging.

Surfshark’s mobile app is similar to the desktop version, except that the sidebar runs along the bottom of the screen. Regardless, most of its security features are available and expanded upon in most cases. The Android app lets you send smaller packets to conserve data on mobile wifi. You can also choose between Surfshark’s kill switch or the one built into the OS.

The Windscribe interface is remarkably easy to use, whether you’re using the desktop or mobile apps. From the general menu, any user can easily control the app’s behavior on boot and startup to configure the language and appearance.

Even if you’re a beginner, the simple layout of the desktop app allows you to navigate the app and tweak settings without any hassle regardless of how busy the UI is. The same goes for the Android and iOS apps. As a result, Windscribe slightly outperforms Surfshark in this category.

Servers and performance

Without a contest, Surfshark has the larger server network of the two. It has over 3200 servers in 65 countries including Paraguay, Liberia, Nigeria, Russia, and the UAE. Notably, this is a feat that most of its competitors can’t replicate.

While these may be virtual servers given the tight political situations in these countries, there’s no noticeable difference between using a virtual server and a physical server.

We contacted Surfshark’s customer support directly to inquire about the implications of operating servers in Russia. A support representative claimed that since their servers are configured to keep zero logs, there’s no sensitive info that’s accessible to the government hence there’s no risk.

Both VPNs offer speeds that are fast enough for HD streaming. However, Surfshark tops this category with an average speed of nearly 324 Mbps compared to Windscribe’s 55 Mbps.

Compared to Surfshark, Windscribe currently has servers in 63 countries and 110 cities, making it pretty much a middle-of-the-road provider. In practical terms, this implies Surfshark’s users are spread among a higher number of servers, resulting in less strain on the network.

With Surfshark, you’ll likely experience minimal latency, and high speed connection allowing you to browse and stream without interruptions. For what it’s worth, Windscribe offers impressive speeds, though in theory, it’s more likely to struggle during peak demand.

Surfshark vs Windscribe security features

Both of these services allow you to connect using the OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Wireguard protocols. Wireguard is easier to audit and relatively fast over long-distance connections. They also use the nearly uncrackable 256-bit AES channel encryption that scrambles your traffic using a secret key so that anyone snooping can only see meaningless data.

Windscribe also uses the 4096-bit DHE-RSA key to ensure your device communicates with your VPN server privately. In contrast, Surfshark uses 2048-bit RSA keys, which are secure but not quite as future-proof.

Both VPNs have a kill switch on every platform so you can stop your data transfer whenever you lose connection suddenly. What’s more, both VPNs use private DNS servers to ensure no third party ever has access to your internet traffic.

Finally, each service has its own cloaking technology to ensure safe and anonymous browsing wherever you go. Surfshark has its own proprietary software called NoBorders that reshapes your traffic, hiding patterns that signal you’re using a VPN.

Privacy and logging

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country with no mandatory data retention laws and is far from the influence of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes security alliances. However, Windscribe is located in Canada (Ontario), which is a Five Eyes member. See our comprehensive analysis of data privacy laws and government surveillance by country to gain deeper insight.

Nevertheless, both of these services take user privacy very seriously and keep no logs that could personally identify you. Surfshark only keeps limited information like how often you use the service and whether the app has crashed. It’s possible to sign up for Surfshark anonymously using a throwaway email address. You can also pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for extra privacy.

Similarly, Windscribe logs limited information such as the monthly bandwidth usage and timestamp of the last active connection. What’s more, Windscribe has an ad and tracker blocker called R.O.B.E.R.T. that works through DNS blackholing.


Both Surfshark and Windscribe use shared address allocation, meaning everyone who connects to a particular server shares one IP address. The beauty of this is that with numerous users accessing different sites simultaneously, it’s extremely hard to tell who is doing what.

Neither Windscribe nor Surfshark offers specialized anti-DDoS servers. However, any VPN should be able to protect you from DDoS attacks, given that the vast majority of them use NAT firewalls to disregard unsolicited requests.

Furthermore, because the impact will be spread over an entire server network rather than a private router, most small and medium-scale attacks will be absorbed in no time. This significantly reduces the impact of attacks against your IP address.

Customer service

Both providers take customer support seriously, allowing you to get in touch easily and access the expansive, searchable knowledge base. Surfshark has 24/7 live support which we found out responds to customer inquiries within seconds. If you can’t access live chat support, say in China, you’ll get help via email support in just a matter of hours.

Windscribe also offers live chat support via the chatbot Garry, which we tested and found can respond in under a minute. You can also access a support FAQ and knowledge base apart from a Support Ticketing System. We strongly recommend the latter if you run into any technical issues and can’t find an answer on the FAQ page or knowledge base.

The winner



Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

This was a very close contest between two great VPNs. Windscribe has impressive speeds, offers reliable security and privacy features, has no connection limit, is considerably affordable, and even has a generous free plan. That makes it an excellent day-to-day choice for privacy-oriented users.

However, we feel that Surfshark takes the win, all things considered. For one, it’s more affordable if you pay for 24 months upfront. It also boasts a larger server network, offers lightning speeds suitable for HD streaming, and can access most popular streaming platforms including those that Windscribe can’t. On top of that, it works exceptionally even in countries like China and Russia.

Whether you’re looking to torrent, stream, or just browse privately, Surfshark would be an excellent choice. So if you’re in the market for a true zero-logs VPN that can handle anything you throw at it, you should go for Surfshark.

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Surfshark vs Windscribe FAQs

Does Windscribe work in China?

No, Windscribe will not work in China. The Chinese government has been cracking down on VPNs and blocking them from working properly within the country. If you’re looking for a VPN to use in China, Surfshark is the better option.

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