Surfshark vs. Atlas VPN 2024 — Which VPN is Better?

Updated on: May 24, 2024
Fact Checked by Eric Goldstein
Gjurgjica Panova Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 24, 2024 Writer

Atlas VPN has been discontinued. As of April 24, 2024, it is no longer available to buy or download. All current users have been transferred to NordVPN for the remainder of their subscription.

Short on Time? Here’s the Final Verdict:

  • 🥇 Surfshark  — Winner in Extra Features, Servers, Speeds, and Gaming. Surfshark comes with more extra features than Atlas VPN, maintains faster speeds for all online activities, has a larger server network, and is much better for gaming.

Surfshark and Atlas VPN are really good VPNs. They come with great security and privacy features, are good for streaming and torrenting, and have user-friendly apps.

Both have essential security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. In addition, Surfshark and Atlas VPN also have:

  • Perfect forward secrecy.
  • An ad blocker.
  • Split-tunneling.
  • Double VPN connections.
  • Features that change VPN IP addresses frequently.

That said, there are some differences between the two VPN providers. Surfshark comes with more extra features, like dedicated IP addresses, a smart DNS, and obfuscation. It’s also able to maintain fast speeds across all servers. What’s more, Surfshark has 3,200+ servers in in 100 countries, while Atlas VPN only has 1,000+ servers in 42 countries.

I used many metrics to compare Surfshark and Atlas VPN, including security, extra features, privacy, servers, speeds, streaming, torrenting, gaming, bypassing censorship, ease of use, plans and pricing, and customer support. Overall, I think Surfshark is much better than Atlas VPN, but I recommend reading the entire article to determine the best one for you.

VISIT SURFSHARK NOW (30 DAYS RISK-FREE)

Surfshark vs. Atlas VPN — Quick Overview

Surfshark Atlas VPN
💸Starting Price Starts at $2.19 / month Starts at $0.49 / month
📱 Number of Devices Unlimited Unlimited
🔐Security 256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Kill switch,
DNS leak protection,
RAM-only servers,
Perfect forward secrecy.
256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy,
Kill switch,
DNS leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy.
🌍 Number of Servers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries 1,000+ servers in 42 countries
⚡️ Speeds Very fast on nearby servers and fast on distant servers Fast speeds on nearby servers but significant slowdowns on distant servers
🎥Streaming Support Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer
🔽P2P Support
(3,200+ servers in 100 countries)

(1,000+ servers in 42 countries)
💻 Apps iOS,
Android,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV,
Fire TV.
Chromebook
iOS,
Android,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV,
Fire TV.
Chromebook
❓Customer Support 24/7 live chat,
Email support,
In-depth support library
Live chat,
Email support,
In-depth support library
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days

Security — Both VPNs Are Secure

256-bit AES Encryption No-Logs Policy Kill Switch Leak Protection RAM-Only Servers Perfect Forward Secrecy
Surfshark
(only DNS leak protection)
Atlas VPN
(only DNS leak protection)

Surfshark and Atlas VPN are great VPNs for securing your data and privacy. They both come with industry-standard security features, including:

  • 256-bit AES encryption. Makes your traffic unreadable, so that nobody can spy on it. Plus, it’s the same encryption that the military uses.
  • Kill switch. Disables internet access if the VPN connection drops to prevent any traffic leaks.
  • No-logs policy. Prevents the VPN from logging data like your internet traffic or IP address.

Both VPNs only provide DNS leak protection. So, you will manually need to disable WebRTC and IPv6 in your browser to prevent these leaks. That said, I ran 5+ leaks while connected to each of these providers, and I didn’t experience any leaks.

Only Surfshark comes with RAM-only servers, which write data to the RAM instead of the hard drive. With each server reboot, data is deleted.

But both providers have perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key used for each new VPN session, so hackers can’t spy on your traffic.

And both VPNs provide access to secure protocols, like IKEv2/IPSec and WireGuard. Each of these protocols provides strong security and really good speeds. Surfshark also has OpenVPN, which is secure but slower than WireGuard and IKEv2/IPSec.

I like how both VPNs allow you to secure your account with two-factor authentication — it requires you to validate each login attempt with a time-sensitive code that’s generated by the app or security key.

Winner (Security): It’s a tie

I can’t pick a winner, as both VPNs are really secure. They come with industry-standard features, secure protocols, perfect forward secrecy, and two-factor authentication. However, only Surfshark comes with RAM-only servers.

Extra Features — Surfshark Is The Better Option

Split-Tunneling Obfuscation Blocks Ads Blocks Malicious Sites Tor Support Smart DNS Other Features
Surfshark Dynamic MultiHop,
NoBorders
IP Rotator,
Speed test,
Override GPS Location,
Dedicated IP Address
Atlas VPN SafeSwap, MultiHop+, Data Breach Monitor

Atlas VPN has decent extras, but it can’t match Surfshark, which is one of the most feature-rich VPNs on the market.

Both VPNs come with a split-tunneling feature, which allows you to choose which apps or websites use the VPN and which use your local network.

But only Surfshark has an obfuscation feature, which hides your VPN traffic to provide better privacy. Surfshark also has NoBorders, which lets you connect to specific servers that work on restrictive networks.

It’s great that both VPNs can block ads, ad trackers, and malicious sites. However, I prefer Atlas VPN’s SafeBrowse more, as it successfully blocks all ads. Surfshark’s CleanWeb wasn’t able to get rid of most pop-up ads in my tests.

I like that both providers allow Tor traffic on all of their servers. This means that even if the Tor browser suffers a leak, your real IP address won’t be exposed.

However, only Surfshark comes with a smart DNS, which allows you to use it on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like gaming consoles and smart TVs.

I’m happy to see that both providers have double VPN connections. They send your data through 2 servers instead of 1, giving you extra security. However, Surfshark’s double VPN is more customizable, as it allows you to choose the entry and exit servers.

And either VPN allows you to browse the web with multiple IP addresses. Surfshark’s IP Rotator and Atlas VPN’s SafeSwap regularly change your IP address without dropping the VPN connection. I tested this feature on both providers, and I always had a new IP address every 4–5 minutes with Surfshark and every minute or less with Atlas VPN.

But Surfshark has a few extras that Atlas VPN doesn’t have:

  • Built-in speed test. It allows you to run speed tests to determine which server is the fastest. However, it’s not always 100% accurate.
  • Dedicated IP addresses. For a small extra cost, Surfshark will assign you a unique IP address that’s only yours. Dedicated IPs help you avoid reCAPTCHAs and access bank sites, which normally block shared VPN IP addresses.
  • Override GPS location. This feature allows you to match your GPS data to your VPN IP address.

And Atlas VPN also has a Data Breach Monitor, which can detect if your personal data has been a part of a public leak. It gave me a list of leaks my email had been detected in, and it suggested actions to resolve the issue.

Winner (Extra Features): Surfshark

It’s not a surprise that Surfshark comes out on top — it has a smart DNS feature, an obfuscation feature, a built-in speed test, dedicated IP addresses, and an Override GPS tool, all of which Atlas VPN lacks. However, they both have great extras, like double VPN connections and tools that regularly refresh your VPN IP addresses.

Privacy — Both Providers Have Great Privacy Features

Logs User IP Addresses Logs User Traffic Audited No-Logs Policy Headquarters Open-Source Apps
Surfshark The Netherlands (part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)
Atlas VPN The US
(part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance)

Surfshark and Atlas VPN have top-notch privacy features. They both have strict no-logs policies, which don’t log your personal data. However, only Surfshark’s no-logs policy has been independently audited.

Both VPNs are located within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, which is a group of countries that share surveillance data. However, since they have strict no-logs policies, they have no data to hand over if they do receive such requests.

In addition, Surfshark has successfully undergone other security audits. Its browser extension was reviewed in 2018, and its server network was independently audited in 2021. It’s also great that both VPNs accept cryptocurrency payments, which provide better privacy than regular payments with credit cards.

Winner (Privacy): It’s a tie

I couldn’t pick a winner here. Both VPNs have strict no-logs policies, although only Surfshark’s no-logs policy is independently audited. They are located in countries that share surveillance data; however, their no-logs policies prevent them from having any data to share. In addition, both VPNs accept cryptocurrency payments.

Servers — Surfshark’s Server Network Is Better

Number of Servers Number of Countries Virtual Locations P2P Servers Obfuscated Servers Dedicated IP Addresses
Surfshark 3,200+ servers 100
(3,200+ servers in 100 countries)

(3,200+ servers in 100 countries)
Atlas VPN 1,000+ servers 42
(1,000+ servers in 49+ countries)

Surfshark’s server network is much better — it has 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, while Atlas VPN has 1,000+ servers in 42 countries. With Surfshark’s larger server network, you’re less likely to encounter overcrowded servers, which cause slowdowns.

Surfshark also uses virtual servers. These servers still give you an IP address from the country you connect to, but they’re physically located in a different country. I ran tests on 5+ virtual locations from Surfshark, and they always provided me with the correct IP address. What’s more, Surfshark clearly marks which servers are virtual on its apps.

Both VPNs allow P2P traffic on their servers, so you can download files no matter which server location you use. However, only Surfshark has obfuscated servers across its entire server network.

Surfshark also comes with dedicated IP addresses — they’re available for a small cost, and you get a dedicated IP address from several countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.

What’s more, both VPNs support double VPN connections. Surfshark has Dynamic MultiHop servers that support custom double VPN connections. Atlas also allows double VPN connections, but they work differently as the exit server changes at random.

Winner (Servers): Surfshark

Surfshark has a significantly larger network than Atlas VPN. Plus, even though both VPNs allow P2P on all servers and have double VPN connections, Surfshark still comes out on top because it has obfuscated servers and dedicated IP addresses.

Speeds — Surfshark Has Faster Speeds

Website Load Time HD Video Load Time 4K Video Load Time Time to Download a 20 GB File
Surfshark Instantly
(on nearby servers)
2–3 seconds
(on distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
1–2 seconds
(on distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
4–5 seconds
(on distant servers)
12–13 minutes (on nearby servers)
19–20 minutes (on distant servers)
Atlas VPN 3 seconds
(on nearby servers)
5–6 seconds
(on distant servers)
5–6 seconds
(on nearby servers)
6 seconds
(on distant servers)
8–9 seconds
(on nearby servers)
13–15 seconds
(on distant servers)
29–30 minutes
(on nearby servers)
42–44 minutes
(on distant servers)

In my tests, I had the fastest speeds with Surfshark. Atlas VPN’s speeds were great on nearby servers, but there were significant slowdowns on distant servers.

I was really impressed with Surfshark’s speeds across all servers. On nearby servers and websites, HD videos and 4K videos loaded instantly, and a 20 GB file took 12–13 minutes to download. On distant servers, I experienced minor slowdowns — sites loaded in 2–3 seconds, HD videos in 1–2 seconds, 4K videos in 4–5 seconds, and the same 20 GB torrent took 19–22 minutes to download.

I don’t recommend Atlas VPN to users that need to connect to distant servers. When I tested its distant servers, websites and HD videos loaded in 6 seconds, and 4K videos took 13–15 seconds to load with buffering in the beginning. Plus, it took me 42–44 minutes to download a 20 GB file.

Winner (Speeds): Surfshark

Surfshark is the clear winner. In my tests, Surfshark provided me with fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting on nearby and distant servers. On the other hand, I experienced significant slowdowns with Atlas VPN on distant servers.

Streaming — They’re Both Great For Streaming

Number of Streaming Services the VPN Works With Works With Netflix Works With BBC iPlayer, Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Smart DNS
Surfshark 50+ Works with all sites except Disney+
Atlas VPN N/A

Both VPNs provide great streaming support. Surfshark claims to work with 50+ streaming services, while Atlas VPN couldn’t provide me with an exact number, but it still works with top platforms.

Both VPNs work with Netflix, but you have more chance of accessing your local library with Surfshark, as it claims to work with 15+ Netflix libraries. On top of that, both work with other popular sites like Max, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer (confirmed by my colleagues in the UK). However, only Atlas VPN works with Disney+.

Only Surfshark comes with a smart DNS feature, which allows you to use the VPN on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Winner (Streaming): It’s a tie

I think both VPNs are great picks for streaming. They both work with Netflix and other popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. Only Atlas VPN is compatible with Disney+, but only Surfshark comes with a smart DNS.

Torrenting — Both VPNs Have Good P2P Support

P2P Servers Works With Top P2P Apps Port Forwarding SOCKS5 Proxy Support Kill Switch No-Logs Policy
Surfshark 3,200+ servers in 100 countries ✅ (independently audited)
Atlas VPN 1,000+ servers in 42 countries

I recommend both VPNs for torrenting. Surfshark allows P2P traffic on all of its 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, and Atlas VPN allows torrenting on all 1,000+ servers in 42 countries.

What’s more, both providers work with popular P2P apps, such as qBittorrent, Vuze, and Deluge. I tested over 5 different P2P apps while connected to both VPNs, and I never experienced any issues.

It’s also great that both VPNs provide good security for torrenting. They both come with a kill switch and a strict no-logs policy. However, only Surfshark has a verified no-logs policy. I also like that they come with ad blockers that block ads on P2P sites and protect you from shady torrenting sites.

I also ran some leak tests before torrenting with each provider. Luckily, I never suffered any leaks. Moreover, I ran torrent IP leak tests to ensure P2P apps can’t reveal my real IP address while connected to each VPN. My real IP address was never displayed, only the VPN’s IP address.

Winner (Torrenting): It’s a tie

You get great P2P support with either VPN provider. They both have large P2P networks and work with popular P2P apps. Plus, they both provide strong security features for torrenting.

Gaming — Surfshark Has Better Gaming Support

Ping on Local Servers (Macedonia) Ping on Distant Servers
(the US)
Lag-Free Gaming Anti-DDoS Protection Router Support Cloud Gaming Support
Surfshark 19–23 ms 152–168 ms
(only minor lag, not game-breaking)
Atlas VPN 28–32 ms 200–206 ms
(noticeable lag sometimes)

Surfshark has better gaming support than Atlas VPN. When I played a few matches of Dota 2, I experienced low ping and fast speeds on nearby and distant servers. But with Atlas VPN, I had higher ping, slower speeds on distant servers, and noticeable lag at times.

Both VPNs have anti-DDoS protection — so if anyone tries to DDoS you when you’re connected to one of Surfshark’s or Atlas VPN’s servers, they wouldn’t be able to do it.

However, only Surfshark has router support. This will help you game with a VPN on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Unfortunately, neither of the VPNs has cloud gaming support.

Winner (Gaming): Surfshark

Surfshark is a better choice for gaming, as it has faster speeds and low ping on all servers. It also has router support, so that you can game with a VPN on your Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option

Obfuscation Works in China Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option Works in Russia Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option Works in Iran Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option Works in Indonesia Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option Works in Saudi Arabia Bypassing Censorship — Neither Provider Is a Good Option
Surfshark
Atlas VPN

Neither VPN is good for using in restrictive countries. Surfshark comes with an obfuscation feature, but it doesn’t work in restrictive countries, while Atlas VPN doesn’t have an obfuscation feature.

Instead, I recommend getting ExpressVPN, as it consistently works in restrictive countries.

Winner (Bypassing Censorship): None

I don’t recommend either VPN. Instead, check out ExpressVPN, as it works in restrictive countries like China, Russia, and Iran without any issues.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are Really Easy To Use

iOS App Android App Windows App macOS App Linux App Smart TV App Router Support Other Apps
Surfshark
(Android TV, Fire TV)
Chromebook
Atlas VPN
(Android TV, Fire TV)
Chromebook

Surfshark and Atlas VPN have apps for all major platforms — iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, Fire TV, and Chromebook. However, only Surfshark has router support.

Both providers have great mobile apps. They’re very intuitive, have a quick-connect feature that allows you to connect to the fastest server automatically, and provide detailed explanations for most settings.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are Really Easy To Use

I also like how the desktop apps are user-friendly. However, I think Surfshark’s Windows app is more feature-rich, as it comes with a built-in speed test and split-tunneling.

Also, Surfshark provides helpful router setup tutorials, so manually configuring it on your router shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

Winner (Apps & Ease of Use): It’s a tie

I think both Surfshark and Atlas VPN have great apps. They are available for most major platforms, including iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, Fire TV, and Chromebook. Plus, all of their apps are intuitive.

Plans & Pricing — Both VPNs Are Affordable

Starting Price Free Plan Simultaneous Connections Payment Options Money-Back Guarantee
Surfshark $2.19 / month Unlimited credit/debit cards
PayPal
Google Pay
Amazon Pay
cryptocurrencies
30 days
Atlas VPN $0.49 / month Unlimited credit/debit cards
Google Pay
PayPal
Klarna
cryptocurrencies
30 days

Both VPNs have affordable plans. However, only Atlas VPN has a free plan. It gives you access to 3 server locations but limits your data to 5 GB per month. I like that both VPNs allow unlimited simultaneous connections. So, you can use either VPN on as many devices as you want.

Surfshark has a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan — the longest plan provides the best value, and it starts at only $2.19 / month.

Atlas VPN has monthly and yearly plans, starting at $0.49 / month. It costs the same price regardless of what plan you choose.

Both providers accept multiple payment methods, including credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, both providers have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Winner (Plans & Pricing): It’s a tie

Surfshark and Atlas VPN offer low-cost plans and unlimited simultaneous connections. What’s more, they both accept multiple payment methods and offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Support — Both VPNs Provide Great Customer Support

Live Chat Email Support FAQs Tutorials Troubleshooting Guides Phone Support
Surfshark ✅ (24/7)
Atlas VPN

Surfshark and Atlas VPN offer multiple customer support platforms. They include resources like frequently asked questions (FAQs), setup tutorials, and troubleshooting guides.

Surfshark has 24/7 live chat support. In my tests, I never waited more than 10 seconds to connect with a representative, and each rep provided me with detailed, accurate responses. Atlas VPN has live chat support as well, but it’s only available at random times of the day.

They both come with excellent email support. It took less than a day to hear back from each VPN’s customer representative, and the replies were very informative.

Winner (Customer Support): It’s a tie

I’m happy with both VPN’s customer support. They come with excellent email support, FAQs, in-depth tutorials, and troubleshooting guides. However, only Surfshark has 24/7 live chat support, while Atlas VPN provides live chat support, but not round the clock.

Overall Winner: Surfshark

Surfshark stands out in many metrics — it has more extra features, including dedicated IP addresses, a built-in speed test, and a smart DNS. It’s also able to maintain fast speeds across all servers and has excellent streaming and gaming support. It also has a vast server network of 3,200+ servers in 100 countries.

Atlas VPN has several points in its favor, including great security features, P2P support on 1,000+ servers in 42 countries, user-friendly apps, and affordable plans. Unfortunately, it has slower speeds and lacks some important features like obfuscation.

Overall, I think Surfshark is better than Atlas VPN. It comes with more extra features, maintains fast speeds across all servers, has a larger server network, and better streaming and gaming support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Surfshark better than Atlas VPN?

Yes, according to my tests. Surfshark outperforms Atlas VPN because it’s able to maintain fast speeds across all servers and has excellent gaming support. What’s more, it has a larger server network of 3,200+ servers in 100 countries. It also provides extra features, like a built-in speed test, dedicated IP addresses, and a smart DNS feature. That said, I couldn’t choose a winner when comparing customer support, security, privacy, streaming, torrenting, ease of use, and pricing.

Which is better for torrenting — Surfshark or Atlas VPN?

Both VPNs are great options for torrenting. Surfshark allows torrenting on all of its 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, while Atlas also allows P2P traffic on all 1,000+ servers in 42 countries. They both work with popular P2P apps and provide strong security features for torrenting.

Do Surfshark and Atlas work with Netflix?

Yes. Surfshark claims to work with 15+ Netflix libraries, including the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia. Atlas VPN’s reps confirmed that it only works with Netflix US, so it’s not such a good pick if you’re outside the US.

Is Surfshark faster than Atlas VPN?

Yes, Surfshark had faster speeds than Atlas VPN in my tests. Surfshark is able to maintain fast speeds for browsing, streaming, gaming, and torrenting on nearby and distant servers. While Atlas VPN provided me with fast speeds, I experienced noticeable slowdowns on distant servers.

Read more about the best VPNs in 2024

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About the Author
Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 24, 2024

About the Author

Gjurgjica is a cybersecurity writer who is driven by her passion for the written word and anything tech-related. When she is not in the role of a Safety Detective, she can be found wrapped in a comfy blanket, binge-watching her favorite shows.