Surfshark Review

According to a survey conducted in 2019, 74% of respondents in the US expressed a level of alarm about online privacy. That’s a perfectly reasonable fear, given the headline-making data thefts, breaches, hacks, and malware attacks we hear about on a regular basis. Rising concerns about privacy have led to a boom in virtual private networks.

It’s for exactly this reason that we’ve written a Surfshark review. Everyone should be able to surf the web without fear of voracious predators lurking in the depths.

Key features:

  • MultiHop feature
  • RAM-only servers
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Warrant canary

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Supports most platforms
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Easy to use
  • Built-in malware and ad blocker
  • Very fast connection
  • Pricey month-to-month plan
  • No free trial for PCs and Macs

Price

The first thing you probably want to know is how much this VPN is going to cost you and if you could get the same service with a free VPN. Although there are many VPN providers that offer free and trial service periods, you will never find the best VPN among them. That’s because their services are limited and sometimes unsafe.

The purpose of a limited VPN service is to get you to purchase a full subscription – there’s no mystery there. These can be a solid option for those who rely on VPN services only occasionally.

The VPNs you should watch out for are the ones that offer full functionality at no cost. What’s the catch? They have to make their money somehow.

What they do is bury you with ads. They sell your browsing data or other personal information. Most of them also cut corners when it comes to security measures and speed.

Free VPN service is a nice idea, but the market’s offerings are understandably unsatisfying. In the real world, the best VPN to use would be affordable, full-featured, and trustworthy. That’s Surfshark in a nutshell.

Every one of Surfshark’s features is available with all three of its plans. The price plans are distinguished only by term. The longer the subscription, the lower the monthly fee.

Another incentive for choosing long-term plans is given to potential customers in the form of frequent and large discounts that are applied to the six-month and 24-month plans.

The current Surfshark VPN prices are:

  • 1 month: $12.95
  • 6 months: $6.49/month (50% discount)
  • 24 months: $2.49/month (80% discount)

The first plan is billed monthly, the second every six months, and the last one right after signing up and then annually after the first two years.

Surfshark’s month-to-month plan is a bit costly compared to market rates, but the other two plans are very affordable. Surfshark provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you aren’t satisfied with something regarding this service – or you would just like to test it out – you are entitled to a full refund within 30 days of making your purchase.

Free Trial

You can download Surfshark to your Android or iOS phone and get a seven-day free trial. It’s a good way to sample the product before making a commitment. You must provide payment information to apply for the free trial, and if you don’t cancel within seven days, you will be charged. Regrettably, there’s no such trial for Mac or Windows computers. That’s acceptable – many paid VPNs don’t offer any kind of free trial version at all. And you can always use the money-back guarantee as a de facto 30-day trial period.

Payment Methods

Surfshark offers a full assortment of payment methods:

  • Credit cards: American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ripple, Ether

Cryptocurrency support is especially valuable for those who have a high interest in protecting their online privacy.

Ease of Use

In this part of our Surfshark review, we will tell you about Surfshark’s installation process and user interface.

Installing Surfshark is pretty straightforward. You download it and click to start the installation. Once the installation is complete, the app launches automatically. New users must create an account to log in.

If you’ve ever used a VPN before, the user interface should feel familiar. There’s a quick-connect button on the right side of the screen. After you click on it, Surfshark connects you to the fastest (or if you prefer, the nearest) server available.

One of the factors that place Surfshark among the top five VPN providers is the large number of servers it has. More than 1,700 servers, located in 63 countries, are listed on the left side of the screen. The bubbles next to them indicate how many people are using them at that moment. You can save your favorite servers and view them in the favorites tab.

With Surfshark, you can choose to have your IP address remain the same every time you use the VPN. To do so, you just have to select one of the servers with a static IP address.

Another tab reveals the MultiHop option – a great VPN feature for those who want an extra layer of privacy and security. A MultiHop connection simply means that your web traffic is routed through two or more Surfshark VPN servers.

Features and Compatibility

Surfshark’s MultiHop and single-IP features aren’t the only tricks it has up its sleeve. The first noteworthy benefit of subscribing to this VPN is that you can use it on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. This puts Surfshark ahead of its competitors since most other top-rated VPNs limit you to five or 10 devices.

You can install Surfshark on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, and Amazon Fire Stick. If you’d prefer a lightweight solution, you can opt for Surfshark’s browser extensions for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These will also work on Brave, Opera, and most Gecko-based browsers.

You can also set up Surfshark on your router. This might reduce your speed unnecessarily, however, and some of the VPN’s features won’t be available to you.

For devices that don’t support VPNs, Surfshark provides a Smart DNS feature.

CleanWeb is Surfshark’s built-in ad and malware blocker. We tested it against some of the most ad-filled websites we could think of and it performed exceptionally.

During our review of Surfshark, we were pleased to see that there was a split tunneling option as well. Turning your VPN off and on again every time you access a trusted website or use an app that doesn’t work with a VPN can become tedious really fast. Smart tunneling means Surfshark can run VPN sessions alongside conventional browsing traffic simultaneously. You can find this feature in the Surfshark app under the name Whitelister.

Surfshark becomes even more valuable under two optional modes. Camouflage mode hides the fact that you’re using a VPN. Its only drawback is that it’s exclusive to Windows, Android, and iOS. The second is the NoBorders mode, which lets users in even the most censured of regions utilize the internet however they want.

Like all of the market’s best paid VPNs, Surfshark has a kill switch to make sure that you’re safe in situations when your VPN connection fails. It does so by disconnecting you from the internet before unencrypted data can flow directly, revealing your identity. As soon as your VPN connection is re-established it will reconnect you.

Extra Features

For just $0.99/month, you can add two new Surfshark products to your online privacy toolkit.

The first addition to this VPN’s repertoire is the Surfshark Alert feature. It notifies you if any of your sensitive data shows up in a leaked database on the dark web.

The second is BlindSearch, a search tool that is not currently integrated into the Surfshark app. You use it by going onto surfshark.com or by locating it on your account’s user dashboard. It’s a completely private, ad-free search engine.

Privacy and Security

We’ve alluded to some of the ways Surfshark protects you from online threats. Let’s take a look at some additional features and security measures.

We start with Surfshark’s location. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no obligatory data retention law. This means Surfshark isn’t legally required to keep VPN logs – and it doesn’t. Surfshark’s privacy policy clearly states that data such as IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, and connection time stamps are not collected.

The only information Surfshark does review and store are your email address, encrypted password, basic billing information, and order history. The company needs this data to make your account work. Deleting your account and all of its accompanying information is always an option, barring any extenuating circumstances like outstanding credits or legal, tax, audit, accounting, and fraud-prevention responsibilities that Surfshark has to fulfill.

We greatly appreciate Surfshark’s transparency, which is further showcased by its warrant canary. The canary is a voluntary statement companies can use to inform users that they have or have not received requests for user data by government or law enforcement agencies. If you’re looking for the best private VPN money can buy, look for a warrant canary on the homepage.

Aside from hiding your IP address, Surfshark also encrypts all data that travels over its network with the latest AES-256-bit encryption. Pair this with an excellent selection of protocols and you’ve got yourself a fast and reliable connection across all devices.

The protocols are:

  • IKEv2: macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, and Fire TV apps
  • OpenVPN: macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, Fire TV, and Linux apps
  • Shadowsocks: Android and Windows apps

We can’t neglect to mention that this VPN has its own private DNS on each server.

Finally, Surfshark announced in the summer of 2020 that all 1,700 of its servers are now diskless. RAM-only servers are becoming a differentiating feature among top VPN providers, which makes perfect sense. They don’t store user data because they lack media to store the data on. The servers are rebooted regularly, and it’s as if you were never there at all.

Streaming

This VPN review would be incomplete if we didn’t cover Surfshark’s streaming capabilities. The most important piece of information we’d like to give you is that Surfshark unblocks Netflix. Not only that, but the quality of the connection is superb. You shouldn’t have any trouble streaming in HD.

Other streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and HBO GO pose no obstacle for Surfshark either.

Having assessed its performance thoroughly, we consider it the best VPN service for streaming that the market currently has to offer.

Torrenting

Surfshark allows P2P sharing on all of its servers, and its effect on torrenting speed is insignificant. For the best results, you do have to pay attention to how crowded a server is before connecting to it.

Every P2P client in existence is compatible with Surfshark, including uTorrent, BitTorrent, qBittorrent, Vuze, and Deluge. Surfshark’s top-notch security measures guarantee you a worry-free torrenting experience.

Customer Support

The Surfshark customer-service team can be contacted 24/7 via live chat or by submitting an online request form. In our experience, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds for representatives to respond. If at any point you encounter an issue you can’t resolve yourself or by looking through the informative documents at Surfshark’s help center, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the company’s customer service agents. They are very good at their jobs and will most likely be able to resolve your problem quickly and easily.

Conclusion

To review Surfshark properly, we did our best to rummage through every one of its metaphorical nooks and crannies. We can honestly say that it’s far superior to most of the VPN options we’ve tried. Its monthly service plan might be a bit costly, but with the quality of service we’ve seen, signing up for a longer subscription doesn’t seem like a risky investment.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Supports most platforms
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Easy to use
  • Built-in malware and ad blocker
  • Very fast connection
  • Pricey month-to-month plan
  • No free trial for PCs and Macs

FAQ

Is Surfshark better than NordVPN?

Both are excellent VPN services. NordVPN has more servers, but it limits you to six devices, while Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Surfshark is a bit more budget-friendly in the long run, but NordVPN has been around longer. We suggest taking a look at a few Surfshark vs NordVPN reviews and deciding which sounds like a better match for you. You won’t be disappointed with either VPN.  

Is Surfshark good for Netflix?

Yes. Surfshark can give you access to 15 Netflix libraries, which is more than most other VPNs. Additionally, if you choose the right server, you will be able to view content in HD.

Is Surfshark a Chinese company?

No. Surfshark is owned by Surfshark Ltd., which is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. 

What is the best VPN to use?

We recommend ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN. For limited but free options, you can’t go wrong with Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN, or TunnelBear. Our Surfshark review can give you more information.

Surfshark Review
Price $2.49/mo
Visit Website