ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark Review

Two major players in the VPN client market go head-to-head, but there is one clear winner in this grudge match.
  • pro
    More countries covered
  • con
    Limited number of devices
  • pro
    More affordable
  • con
    Fewer servers
John Brandon
Editorial Lead, TV, Streaming, & VPN
Read More
September 09, 2020
2 min read

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ExpressVPN has proven once again that it is a powerhouse of the VPN market, but a few VPN clients do question that superiority. One is Surfshark, which beats out ExpressVPN in a few key areas—namely, the number of devices you can use (with Surfshark, it’s unlimited) and the price. That said, we still think ExpressVPN is more powerful overall and has a better value in the long run, even if it’s close.

ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark: Prices

Surfshark is more affordable, especially if you sign up for a year.

Judged solely on price, Surfshark is a much better deal. It costs a bit less than ExpressVPN when you pay by the month, but if you sign-up for the annual plan, it costs only $1.99 per month. That’s significantly less and one reason to consider the upstart challenger, although ExpressVPN is still the better value overall.

Prices and plans
Price (1 mo.)
Price (12 mo.)







Data effective 7/7/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

ExpressVPN still wins by a longshot in terms of the number of servers available (it’s almost double that of Surfshark) and countries available for the connection. More importantly, we rated ExpressVPN higher overall due to the clear and useful interface, better branding, and better performance in our tests.

ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark: Number of servers

There’s no contest in this comparison of total servers available.

ExpressVPN boasts over 3,000 servers available for the connection, which is almost double the number available with Surfshark. If you travel overseas or want to connect to an alternate server in the US, you can trust that the connection will be available, fast, and reliable. You can also find a good workaround for connecting to a server that lets you bypass any restrictions as far as where and how you connect.

ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark: Number of countries

The countries available for connection are a bit closer.

Surfshark offers 63 countries available for your connection, which is still a ways off from the ExpressVPN total of 93 but a healthy number. In fact, Surfshark has more countries available than most of the competition. Sadly, the combination of total servers and total countries for those servers is still far less than ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark: Number of devices

Here’s where Surfshark is the clear winner.

If there is a chink in the ExpressVPN armor, it’s the fact that ExpressVPN lets you connect from five devices—a fairly typical number. However, Surfshark doesn’t actually restrict how many devices you can use with one account. That’s completely unique in the VPN market as far as we’ve discovered.

ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark: Which is better?

As we mentioned, Surfshark does look appealing. It doesn’t restrict how many devices you use, and the annual price is low. However, it’s still not quite as good as ExpressVPN.

  • Pricing: Surfshark. Very low cost per month for the annual plan.
  • Number of servers: ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers.
  • Number of countries: ExpressVPN. The number of countries is also much higher.
  • Number of devices: Surfshark. There are no restrictions on the number of devices.
John Brandon
Written by
John Brandon
John Brandon is an Editorial Lead at covering TV apps, services, and devices. He also covers the VPN market currently. He has a long history as a journalist and author. His articles have appeared in many magazines including Wired, Popular Mechanics,, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Relevant Magazine. His hobbies include disc golf, reading books, and watching obscure Netflix documentaries. Contact him at

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