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Nord Security and Surfshark take on ExpressVPN with huge VPN merger

Nord Security and Surfshark logos on a grey and blue background
(Image credit: Nord Security)

In the past year or so we’ve seen a number of VPN acquisitions and mergers, and this week has brought what could be the biggest yet – Nord Security and Surfshark joining forces to shore up their places as leading cybersecurity providers.

As outlined in NordVPN’s blog post (opens in new tab), the merger is intended to "help both companies to align on a strategic level, better satisfy the needs of our customers, and prepare for future challenges." Both brands also explicitly state that NordVPN and Surfshark will remain separate entities, with independent teams, road maps, and customer bases.

It’s worth noting that this merger isn’t an total surprise. Just days ago TechRadar reported (opens in new tab) that NordVPN and Surfshark share links with business incubator Tesonet, and that both are moving bases of operations to the proposed Cyber City in Vilnius, Lithuania.

There’s a notable parallel between this merger and Kape Technology’s acquisition of ExpressVPN in late 2021, but while that deal closed sooner, discussions between Nord Security and Surfshark were underway before news of ExpressVPN and Kape's partnership was made public.

The biggest cybersecurity brand around?

This isn’t the first display of dominance from Nord Security in recent times. In October 2021, Nord acquired freemium provider Atlas VPN, and now the behemoth appears to have all the bases covered – a free VPN in Atlas, a quality cheap VPN in Surfshark, and a premium provider in NordVPN.

Due to the fact that none of the parties involved have been publicly floated on the stock market, it’s not currently possible to report on how much each merger or acquisition has been valued at – but an IPO far greater than ExpressVPN’s near-1 billion dollar valuation isn’t hard to imagine.

What’s next?

While the aim of this merger isn’t explicitly to develop a wider suite of cybersecurity products under one provider, it’s clear that this is the direction the industry is headed. 

Nord Security currently offers NordVPN, cloud storage service NordLocker, password manager NordPass, and business VPN NordLayer, while Surfshark One comprises the standard VPN, antivirus, a secure search engine, and a tool that alerts users of breaches of personal information.

However, the simplest demonstration of this intent is Nord’s move away from the NordVPN moniker, and the embracing of the overarching Nord Security brand.

We can only imagine that these technologies will be shared between the Nord Security brands, and as such it’s likely only to be a matter of time before your VPN is a one-stop shop for all your cybersecurity needs. How long that will take, though, is anybody's guess.

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.