Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are incredibly useful tools for enhancing your privacy, but unfortunately, their websites and marketing material tend to include a lot of jargon. This means that unless you’re already familiar with computer networking, there’ll likely be some parts that go over your head.
That’s where we come in. To help give you a clearer picture of what Surfshark and VyprVPN have to offer, we’ve compiled side-by-side lists of their features. Just as important, we’ll be explaining what each of these does as we go so that you can see how each feature can actually help you during day-to-day browsing. Let’s begin with a quick look at each VPN:
Pricing and discounts
|Subscription periods||One month||One month|
|Six months||One year|
|One year||Two years|
|Special offer||Get 12 months extra free and save 81% overall with an annual subscription||Save 80% by signing up for the two-year plan
|Highest price per month||$12.95||$12.95|
|Lowest price per month||$2.49||$2.50|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
Usually, VPNs reserve their lowest prices for users who are willing to commit to longer subscriptions upfront, and these two are no different. This is especially tempting for a couple of reasons: first, the discounts are particularly steep (starting at 50 percent off) and second, Surfshark and VyprVPN are a little pricey if you choose a monthly subscription.
So what’s the lowest price you can get for either service? By signing up for a two-year subscription with VyprVPN, you can cut the cost from $310.80 USD to just $60; that’s a saving of over 80 percent and essentially reduces the monthly price to $2.50.
Surfshark has a similar offer, effectively giving you an extra year of coverage for free, and cutting the total cost by 81 percent (versus what you’d pay on a monthly subscription). However, after the first two years, this becomes an annual payment, effectively doubling the monthly cost to $5.
Each of these VPNs includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. While you will have to pay upfront, this guarantee allows you to use the service without limits and cancel for any reason. As long as you’re within the first 30 days of signing up, you’ll be eligible for a full refund.
Best Deal for Surfshark:Comparitech readers can get an extra 12 months of coverage for free and save 81% over the two-year period.
Best Deal for VyprVPN:Claim an exclusive 80% discount when you choose VyprVPN’s two-year subscription.
|Simultaneous connections||No limit||5|
|Operating system apps||Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Firestick/ Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Manual install devices||Select routers||Select routers|
|Split tunneling||Yes||Yes (Android and iOS only)|
|Free extras||Automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. Stealth mode. Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.||Automatic wifi protection, VyprDNS|
A great thing about these providers is that they offer apps for a wide range of devices. In fact, Surfshark and VyprVPN even let Linux users install it directly from the command line, whereas many of their rivals require manual configuration. However, Surfshark has a slight edge here since it has two things VyprVPN doesn’t: an app in the official Amazon app store and extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Both services offer split tunneling, which allows you to let certain apps bypass the VPN. However, VyprVPN calls this “Connection per app” and only offers it on mobile devices. There are a couple of other differences, too. For instance, Surfshark has a feature that blocks ads and malware automatically, as well as a stealth (NoBorders) mode for beating VPN-detection measures.
VyprVPN, on the other hand, will connect any time you use a public network and offers a Smart DNS service for bypassing regional restrictions on devices that don’t support traditional VPN apps.
The main advantage Surfshark has is that it lets you connect any number of devices simultaneously. This makes it a strong choice for those looking to secure their entire household. In contrast, VyprVPN only allows five simultaneous connections per account. This is pretty standard and should be enough for most users though.
|Netflix||Multiple libraries including US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, and Japan||Multiple libraries including Canada, US, and UK|
|Amazon Prime Video||US, UK||US, UK|
It’s clear that both of these VPNs excel at unblocking region-locked streaming services. That said, Surfshark performed just slightly better, accessing CBS with ease and unblocking a few more Netflix libraries than its rival.
That’s not to say VyprVPN struggled, though: it allowed us to access some of the most popular Netflix catalogs and even worked with especially difficult services like BBC iPlayer. It’s also worth mentioning that these results aren’t set in stone; they’ll likely change as individual streaming platforms update their VPN-detection measures.
China’s internet restrictions are some of the strictest in the world. In fact, the so-called “Great Firewall” even blocks access to major social media and messaging services, which can make it difficult for travelers to stay in touch with people back home. Worse, most VPNs are blocked outright, so bypassing Chinese web-filtering is particularly tricky.
Not for Surfshark or VyprVPN users, though. Both services work reliably in China, and VyprVPN even operates a handful of mirror sites since its main website is blocked. It’s still a good idea to install the app before arriving, though, just in case these become inaccessible too. Before you can start using these VPNs in China, you’ll have to activate their stealth modes. Here’s how:
- Surfshark: Navigate to Settings > Advanced and enable the NoBorders feature.
- VyprVPN: Click Customize, then Protocol. Select ChameleonTM 256-bit Encryption.
Setup and interface
|Automatic setup wizard||Windows, Android, MacOS, Linux, iOS||Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS|
|Main location selection||List-based||List-based|
|Extra settings pages||Yes||Yes|
Whichever VPN you choose, you’ll have access to a clean, clear desktop app. Surfshark’s main screen, for instance, features a list of your most recent servers, a quick connection button, and a minimal selection of important tabs on the left-hand side. The server list is broken up, so you can quickly choose between Static IP, MultiHop, or regular servers. The settings, too, are neatly categorized, making it easy to find whatever you need.
VyprVPN follows a similar design aesthetic, with a large quick-connect button right on the home screen. There’s just one settings page, and most features can simply be toggled on or off. Servers can be sorted alphabetically, by region, or by speed, and there’s a search bar in case you’d rather not spend time searching through the full list.
Surfshark is equally user-friendly on mobile devices. Most of the service’s functionality remains too, although some features (such as the speed test) present in the desktop version are missing. Mobile users can change their encryption type to ChaCha-poly1305 (which prioritizes speed over security) and override their phone’s GPS location.
In contrast, VyprVPN’s mobile app is identical to its desktop one. In fact, the only real difference is that the mobile app offers split tunneling functionality, which isn’t present on any other platforms.
Servers and performance
Surfshark and VyprVPN cover a similar number of countries but Surfshark has more than twice the number of servers overall. Hypothetically, with a larger network to spread the load, Surfshark would be more reliable during peak times but this would also depend on how many servers are in each location. As neither VPN provides this information, we can’t say for sure.
To its credit, VyprVPN is slightly faster. It has an average speed of 44 Mbps to Surfshark’s 40 Mbps. Both services are fast enough for uninterrupted HD live streaming, which means they’re capable of handling most day-to-day tasks with ease,
Take a look below to see every country where these providers have servers:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||✔|
|United Arab Emirates||✔||✔|
At first glance, these VPNs seem to have similar networks but one thing, in particular, stands out. VyprVPN offers servers in places like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt: authoritarian countries with especially strict internet restrictions. It fails to provide access to several fairly popular locations, though, such as South Africa, Hungary, and Serbia.
So how exactly is VyprVPN able to offer servers in such far-flung locales? Whenever there’s a risk of government interference, it uses virtual servers. These are actually located elsewhere in the world, but act as though they were really in your chosen country. This is just another layer of protection, though; as both VPNs follow a strict no-logs policy, even if a hostile government had physical access to a VPN’s server, it still couldn’t tell what you had been up to online.
|VPN protocols||OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks||OpenVPN, IKEv2, Chameleon, Wireguard|
|OpenVPN data encryption||AES-256||AES-256|
|OpenVPN control channel encryption||RSA-2048||RSA-2048|
|Cloaking technology||NoBorders obfuscation||Chameleon|
|App security||Kill switch (all platforms)||Kill switch (all platforms except iOS)|
|DNS status||Private DNS||Private DNS|
Both of these providers support OpenVPN and IKEv2 connections, but each has an additional, security-focused VPN protocol. Surfshark lets you connect using Shadowsocks, which only secures browser traffic but can bypass even the strictest VPN-detection measures.
VyprVPN, on the other hand, can use Chameleon, its own protocol that reshapes your data and helps you access services that usually block VPNs outright. Both Surfshark and VyprVPN support Wireguard, a newer protocol that boasts extremely strong security.
Security-wise, these services are pretty evenly matched. Both use 256-bit AES encryption and 2048-bit RSA keys, so there’s no need to worry about anyone being able to see what you get up to online. There’s also a kill switch built into both services, which stops sending data the moment your connection to the VPN drops. It should be noted that VyprVPN doesn’t offer this feature on iOS.
|HQ base||British Virgin Islands||Switzerland|
|Connection logs||Some but no identifiable data||None|
|User details for signup||Email address||Email address|
|Anonymous payment options||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple||None|
Regardless of which provider you choose, you can rest assured that your activities are safe from snoopers. This is because both services are based in privacy-friendly countries with no mandatory logging laws. Equally important, neither VPN keeps any logs that can identify you. Surfshark only stores basic information (such as failed login attempts) for diagnostic purposes and VyprVPN has been independently audited to verify its no-logging claim.
It’s a little unusual that VyprVPN doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments given its strong focus on user privacy. In contrast, Surfshark accepts three of the most popular cryptocurrencies, making it fairly simple to sign up anonymously.
|Dedicated IP address possible||No, although static IP servers are available||No, but can be configured via VyprVPN Cloud|
There are a couple of differences between these VPNs, but let’s start with what they have in common. They each used shared address allocation systems, meaning that everyone on a given server shares the same IP address. This provides an additional layer of anonymity, since it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell which user visited a particular website.
Neither service offers dedicated IP addresses as standard. Surfshark has specific servers that always have the same IP address, but you’ll be sharing these with other users. VyprVPN Cloud can be configured to use static IP addresses, but this is designed for businesses and is an expensive ($349 per year) and roundabout way of doing things if it’s just for personal use.
|Live chat||Yes (Zendesk)||Yes (outsourced)|
|Average email response time||3 hours||8 minutes|
|Searchable knowledge base||Yes||Yes|
You’ll never have to wait too long for support with Surfshark or VyprVPN, as both operate a 24/7 help desk. However, VyprVPN will only reply to enquiries sent from an email address that’s linked to a paid account. If you can’t find an answer to your question in either service’s knowledge base, you can get in touch over email or live chat. You may also be able to find a relevant video guide on Surfshark’s YouTube channel. Note that although VyprVPN has a YouTube channel too, it only hosts ads, not support material.
Most of the time, live chat is the best way to get answers to your questions. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to access this service. For instance, it might go offline temporarily, or perhaps you’re in China and can’t visit the website at all. We sent each provider three questions to see how responsive they are to email enquiries. Here are the results:
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|Can I install this VPN on a Raspberry Pi?||1 hour, 46 minutes||1||Yes|
|Exactly what information do you log about me?||1 hours, 33 minutes||1||Yes|
|Is torrenting allowed on any server?||5 hours, 43 minutes||1||Yes|
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|Can I install this VPN on a Raspberry Pi?||5 minutes||1||Yes|
|Exactly what information do you log about me?||12 minutes||1||Yes|
|Is torrenting allowed on any server?||8 minutes||1||Yes|
Surfshark responded fairly quickly to our questions, but on this occasion, we waited more than an hour each time. In comparison, VyprVPN replied within 15 minutes every time. It’s worth mentioning that response times vary, and may be longer during peak hours, but still, this is a very promising result.
Both services answered our questions satisfactorily using a mix of pre-written and personalized responses. If there was a corresponding support article in the knowledge base, we were usually linked to it, and staff encouraged us to contact them again with any further issues.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Make no mistake, both Surfshark and VyprVPN are fantastic services with a lot to offer. VyprVPN, for instance, manages to provide cutting-edge security features (including the Wireguard protocol) without compromising on speed, unblocking ability, or ease of use. It even works reliably in China, which is especially rare.
For most people, though, Surfshark is the better option. It has just as strong a focus on security, and goes slightly further than VyprVPN in a few areas. For example, it accepts cryptocurrency payments, which VyprVPN doesn’t. Additionally, it unblocks a wider range of region-locked services and doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect simultaneously. Whether you want to stream TV from back home while traveling or just browse the internet privately, Surfshark would be an excellent choice.