Surfshark has made a name for itself as a top virtual private network option in the market today. It offers affordable pricing across all its plans, provides fast and reliable speeds and doesn’t skimp out on user security and functionality.

Norton Secure VPN, on the other hand, is a VPN from popular security and antivirus provider Norton. While it offers good VPN speeds, it has a small server network and doesn’t include any standout features to set it apart from competitors.

  • Surfshark VPN: Best for most businesses looking for a high-quality VPN with fast speeds, strong security and affordable pricing.
  • Norton Secure VPN: Best for Norton 360 product users who need basic protection and a simple-to-use VPN application.

Surfshark vs. Norton Secure VPN: Comparison

Surfshark VPN
Norton Secure VPN
Our rating4.6 / 53.0 / 5
Security protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec
No. of servers$3,2001,000–2,000 (reportedly)
VPN server locations100 countries28 countries
Data breach monitoringYes (Surfshark Starter)Yes (via Norton 360)
Simultaneous device connectionsUnlimitedUp to 10 devices
Free trial or free versionMobile free trialNone
Starting price$2.79 per month (annual)$2.49 per month (annual)

Surfshark vs. Norton Secure VPN: Pricing

Surfshark’s subscriptions revolve around their main VPN service, with add-ons as you go up with each paid plan. All premium Surfshark plans allow unlimited simultaneous device connections, while Norton only allows up to 10 devices connected all at once — depending on the plan you purchase.

SEE: How to Use Norton Secure VPN (A Step-by-Step Guide) (TechRepublic)

Norton Secure VPN can also be purchased with other Norton products as part of its Norton 360 bundle of services. If you’re not keen on its other software, you can also purchase the VPN as a standalone product.

For more on Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN, check out our full Surfshark review and full Norton Secure VPN review.

Surfshark pricing

Surfshark offers three subscription tiers: Surfshark Starter, One and One+. Starter provides basic VPN functionality, an ad blocker and a masked email generator. Meanwhile, One adds onto that with real-time email breach alerts, an antivirus and webcam protection.

Surfshark Starter
Surfshark One
Surfshark One+
1 month$15.45 per month$15.95 per month$17.95 per month
1 year$2.79 per month$3.19 per month$5.09 per month
2 years$2.19 per month$2.69 per month$4.29 per month

Finally, One+ includes all features plus data removal from company databases and from people search sites. While I wish Surfshark offered a free version, it does have a free trial of its mobile app and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its applications.

Norton Secure VPN pricing

Norton is unique in that it bases its VPN pricing on your desired number of device connections. This is opposed to most VPNs, which categorize their prices depending on contract length.

1 device$29.99 first year or $2.49 per month
5 devices39.99 first year or $3.33 per month
10 devices$59.99 first year or $4.99 per month

One nitpick I have with Norton Secure VPN’s subscriptions is that their prices are for the first year only, with a possible increase after the first year upon renewal. I would’ve preferred it if Norton offered the same price past the first year of subscription — especially since this isn’t uncommon among other providers.

Fortunately, Norton has a 60-day money-back guarantee, which gives users ample time to test their software and request for a refund during the allotted time.

Surfshark vs. Norton Secure VPN: Feature comparison

Security protocols and encryption

Winner: Surfshark

Both Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN utilize AES-256 encryption algorithm for their VPN services — which is good to see, especially since AES-256 is considered the industry standard and arguably the most secure encryption algorithm today.

SEE: How to Use Surfshark VPN (A Step-by-Step Guide) (TechRepublic)

The deciding factor is that Surfshark includes OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2 security protocols, which, for my money, are the three best protocols we want in a modern VPN. This is in comparison to Norton, which lacks the modern and speed-oriented WireGuard security protocol.

Surfshark's server list and quick-connect button.
Surfshark’s server list and quick-connect button. Image: Luis Millares

To Norton’s credit, its Secure VPN also offers both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. But for users who want a mix of both security and speed in tunneling protocols, Surfshark is best for you.

VPN server network and locations

 Winner: Surfshark

In the server department, Surfshark comes out on top with its 3,200 servers across 100 countries. On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN has a much smaller 28-country server network, with a reported server count amounting to only 1,000 to 2,000 servers.

Main Norton Secure VPN user interface.
Main Norton Secure VPN user interface. Image: Luis Millares

Server infrastructure is one of Norton’s main downsides, as its 2,000-server count is much smaller than the average 3,000–4,000 server networks we see on average with modern VPNs. Its country spread is also miniscule compared to Surfshark, restricting users’ ability to access geographically diverse regions worldwide.

If your main goal with a VPN is to access geo-restricted content, I recommend Surfshark given its far larger server count and location spread.

Third-party audits and independent testing

Winner: Surfshark

While both VPNs offer no-logs policies claiming they don’t record user data, only Surfshark has undergone a third-party audit, which has confirmed that it is truly no-logs. Surfshark’s independent audit was conducted by Deloitte in 2023, where it was found that the VPN provider had properly configured its internal systems “in accordance with Surfshark’s description of its no-logs policy.”

SEE: Is a VPN Really Worth It in 2024? (TechRepublic)

On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN is yet to undergo any third party audit or independent testing at this time. Despite being a popular security provider, I highly encourage choosing a VPN that can offer verifiable data concerning its no-logs policy.

Performance and speed

Winner: Tie

Surprisingly, I found both Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN performed well in terms of speed and stability. The two VPNs performed similarly in day-to-day use of regular browsing, researching and streaming content, as well as when I conducted upload and download tests.

One caveat I have to mention is that Norton Secure VPN’s smaller server network may hinder its ability to offer users consistent speeds across different locations. Because server speed is dependent on how close you are to a server’s location, you’ll have a higher chance of getting good speeds with Surfshark, given its more diverse location count.

For example, if you use Norton Secure VPN and are in a country that’s not offered on its server network, you’ll likely experience slower speeds or a less reliable connection.

Despite this, my testing showed both VPNs can provide consistently fast and stable speeds — provided your location is accommodated by the VPN’s server network.

Standout security features

Winner: Surfshark

Aside from its base VPN functionality, Surfshark boasts a number of additional features geared towards increased security. With its Starter plan, you have access to an antivirus, real-time breach alerts and a private search tool.

A completed scan via Surfshark’s antivirus.
A completed scan via Surfshark’s antivirus. Image: Luis Millares

The nifty thing here is that they’re all accessible within the Surfshark VPN app itself, allowing users to use Surfshark as a sort of security hub in one desktop application. On the other hand, Norton offers comparable solutions like antivirus software and dark web monitoring, but these are all separate services that aren’t integrated within the VPN itself.

With Norton Secure VPN, you get an ad and tracker blocker, split tunneling and a kill switch, and that’s it. While these are good features, Surfshark offers these same features in its app as well.

Norton Secure VPN security features.
Norton Secure VPN security features. Image: Luis Millares

Ease of use

Winner: Tie

In terms of user experience, Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN both come with desktop applications that are easy to use and pleasant to look at. Surfshark does a great job of organizing its application and categorizing its security features intuitively.

Surfshark user interface.
Surfshark user interface. Image: Luis Millares

On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN is also user-friendly and takes a more minimalist approach compared to Surfshark. This may be a product of its more basic VPN software with a lack of additional features, but it’s undeniable that the app can provide a seamless experience nonetheless.

Norton Secure VPN interface.
Norton Secure VPN interface. Image: Luis Millares

Surfshark pros and cons


  • 100-country server network.
  • Consistently fast speeds.
  • Has WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2.
  • Affordable pricing across plans.


  • No free version.

Norton Secure VPN pros and cons


  • Fast and stable VPN speed.
  • User-friendly application.
  • Can be bundled with other Norton products.


  • Miniscule server network.
  • Hasn’t undergone a third-party security audit.
  • Lacks standout security features.

Should your organization use Surfshark or Norton Secure VPN?

In my opinion, it’s clear-cut that most organizations should opt to use Surfshark over Norton Secure VPN. While Norton Secure VPN performs well, it simply lacks many features we expect in a modern VPN.

In particular, Norton Secure VPN’s server network spanning only 28 countries is too small compared to Surfshark’s 100-country and 3,200-server network and infrastructure. Surfshark also includes more standout security features, such as a built-in antivirus and real time breach alerts, compared to Norton’s more basic VPN offering.

SEE: 10 Myths about Cybersecurity You Shouldn’t Believe (TechRepublic Premium)

I also give the win to Surfshark in terms of third-party testing, as its security audit offers a far safer bet to consumers and businesses. I’m hopeful that Norton decides to have their VPN tested by independent security experts in the future, but for now, Surfshark is the smarter choice.

Not to mention Surfshark’s affordable pricing, easy-to-use application and consistently fast performance — making Surfshark our winner for this head-to-head VPN comparison.

I only recommend Norton Secure VPN to businesses that are already invested in Norton’s security products and just want additional VPN functionality with their current suite of solutions. Otherwise, Surfshark should be your pick between the two.


My comparison of Surfshark and Norton Secure VPN involved hands-on time with both VPNs and an extensive assessment of each service’s features, cost and real-world performance.

To evaluate each product, both VPNs were scored on everything from their pricing to their security protocols. In particular, we took into account five main pillars with their corresponding weights:

  • Pricing (20%).
  • Core VPN features (30%).
  • Ease of use (15%).
  • Customer support (30%).
  • Expert analysis (5%).

I also supplemented my findings with real-world user feedback and reputable reviews to round out my analysis of both products.

For speed and performance, I tested both VPNs on a Windows computer and ran them through Ookla’s public Speedtest. Finally, I also considered how each VPN could best cater to different types of users, use cases and organizations.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays