What you need to know about the NordVPN and Surfshark merger
If you follow the latest news in the tech industry, chances are you’ve heard of the merger of NordVPN and Surfshark under the former’s parent company, Nord Security. While the services will retain their separate infrastructures, it’s clear that with this move, Nord is looking to become a privacy powerhouse.
Key points to remember:
- Nord Security announced in February 2022 that it would merge with Surfshark – another VPN service – after months of negotiation.
- VPN services will remain functionally independent and retain their own products, but will share technical knowledge.
- The move isn’t entirely unexpected, as other popular VPNs have consolidated under parent companies, including ExpressVPN sold to Kape Technologies, which also owns CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate.
However, what does this mean for consumers of these two excellent VPNs? Is this just strategic industry positioning or is there something more concerning at work? Read on as we take a close look at the merger announcement before speculating on what it might mean for the industry as a whole and for individual users.
Surfshark is now owned by the same company that owns NordVPN: Nord Security.
NordVPN is owned by Nord Security. The company was initially backed by a Lithuanian business incubator called Tesonet, also owned by Nord founder Tom Okman.
What we know about the Nord Security and Surfshark merger
Beginning in mid-2021, the two companies spent months negotiating, before finally announcing the merger on February 2, 2022. The announcement outlined the reasons for the merger, including more focused market diversification, the sharing technical knowledge and the ambition to become the largest Internet security company.
Although the VPN services now share a parent company, the announcement is careful to make it clear that they will continue to operate independently and rely on separate infrastructure and product roadmaps.
What VPN Service Consolidation Means for Users
For now, it looks like little will change for Surfshark or NordVPN users in the immediate future. Surfshark’s statement echoed Nord Security’s statement, making it clear that the two VPN services would continue to operate as separate entities, even though they are both now owned by NordVPN’s parent company. (Read our NordVPN and Surfshark reviews for more details on each VPN.)
However, while there won’t be a noticeable change in the user experience of these products – at least in the immediate future – this type of VPN consolidation is a worrying development for users.
Unfortunately, the merger between the two companies is nothing new in the VPN space. Many of the most popular virtual private networks have already been consolidated under the same owner.
ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate are all owned by the same parent company, Kape Technologies. Additionally, IPVanish, StrongVPN, and Encrypt.me are all owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns numerous technical publications.
The results of these moves can only be bad news for consumers. First, it harms competition by grouping a large number of supposedly competing products under the same corporate structure.
Additionally, the acquisition of technical publications and the products they review by the same company can also lead to a significant conflict of interest that makes it difficult for consumers to know who to trust.
Fortunately, it appears that Nord Security has not yet acquired or “merged” with any tech releases.
Final Thoughts: Nord Security and Surfshark Merge
There you have it, everything we know about the union of NordVPN and Surfshark. While this is undoubtedly a worrying sign that the VPN industry is becoming less and less competitive, it remains to be seen what kind of direct impact the merger will have on users of both VPN providers.
What did you think of our explanation? Do you feel like you understand what happened between NordVPN and Surfshark and why the two separate companies have become one? Do you agree with our concerns about consolidation in the VPN industry, or do you think it’s no big deal? What do you think will be the future challenges of this trend? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for the reading.