There have long been rumours about links between NordVPN and Surfshark, and it’s no wonder: both companies were founded by Lithuanians in the same city.
However, both are separate companies using their own infrastructure, even if the servers they use are mostly rented rather than owned and operated.
Now, a deal has been finalised which will see Nord Security – which runs
NordVPN – merge with Surfshark. It’s a “strategic partnership” that both companies say will allow them to share technical knowledge and “enable more focused market diversification”.
Importantly, this doesn’t mean that
Surfshark’s VPN service is being merged with NordVPN. They will both continue to operate as autonomous VPN companies. The agreement doesn’t change the privacy policies or terms of service of either company.
Surfshark’s head of communications, Dominykas Dimavičius, told Tech Advisor that “There will be no changes in how Surfshark operates as a company or in the solutions we develop. Looking from a broader perspective, both companies have different approaches to building services and focus on different audiences and regions.”
While both are VPN services, they do offer other security tools, with Nord Security having a password manager – NordPass – and NordLocker, which is encrypted cloud storage.
Meanwhile, Surfshark has its identity protection service, Alert.
If you’re already a Surfshark or NordVPN subscriber, nothing will change. You’ll still use the same apps as you do now and you’ll have access to the same servers and features: no more, no less.
Nord Security will be the parent company of both NordVPN and Surfshark. Nord Security also owns
Atlas VPN which, funnily enough, also has a Lithuanian CEO based in Vilnius, the capital city.
It isn’t uncommon for a company to own multiple VPN services, though.
Take Kape, for example. It owns Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, Zenmate and –
most recently – ExpressVPN.
Then there’s J2 Global, which owns six VPN services including SaferVPN, Encrypt.me, IPVanish, StrongVPN, ibVPN and Buffered VPN.
For most VPN users, the parent company is of no relevance, but given that VPN services rely on users’ trust, these things should be transparent.
Things become murkier when the parent companies also own publishers which review VPN services. J2 Global owns PCMag, for example, and Kape bought Webselenese in 2021 which runs various websites including VPNmentor.com.
Obviously this is a conflict of interest. PCMag fully acknowledges this link in reviews of VPNs owned by its parent company, and there’s no evidence it has ever changed rankings to favour the VPN services its parent company owns.
Look at the rankings on VPNmentor and Wizcase (both owned by Kape) and you’ll find Kape-owned VPNs topping their VPN charts.
Nord Security does not own any review websites (that we’re aware of), but in any case, none of this affects existing users.
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