Surfshark has a great combination of a low price, streaming performance, and a sleek interface that rivals more expensive VPNs. It is easily one of the most affordable VPNs available today. You can install Surfshark on all devices thanks to its unlimited device policy.
Surfshark is a great option if you are looking for a low-cost VPN service. It combines low prices with high-quality apps and lots of functionality to make it the best of both.
It boasts a network of more than 3,200 servers across 65 countries, unlimited simultaneous connections with a single plan, industry-standard AES256-GCM encryption and a wide range of protocols. But, can it actually live up to its promise in practice?
We review Surf Shark in detail and discuss the features that make it a contender and a favorite among both new and seasoned users. It will be clear whether there were any compromises made in order to keep the cost low or if this is a top-of the-range VPN that you are really getting for a few bucks a month.
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60 Second Review
Although shorter plans can be more expensive than longer ones, you will get the lowest monthly rate at $2.49 per month if you sign up for 2 years. You might even be able to get it at a lower price with regular discounts and deals. Surfshark, for Black Friday, offered 3 months free, dropping the monthly price to $2.21 per month.
The price of your renewal will increase after the initial term. However, be aware that the small print may not be as clear.
Surfshark offers all the essentials like AES256 encryption and more than 3,200 servers. But you will also have tons of extra features such as MultiHop which allows you route through multiple servers at once.
A split tunneling feature is available, which can be used to torrent and separate your connections. There’s also a kill switch for Mac and PC. The kill switch failed in our stress testing, but it is very unlikely that this will happen in real-world usage.
Surfshark is more than just a simple tool. It offers a wide range of advanced features. GPS spoofing and URL and ad blocking, multihop (routing through multiple servers simultaneously for increased privacy), wide P2P support and additional password tech to alert you of any leaks. You can also hide your device from other users on the same network using the ‘invisible devices’ mode. These are not difficult options.
Surfshark’s logs are impressive. Its base in the British Virgin Islands is also a positive. A significant improvement was its 2021 server audit.
WireGuard can be used to speed up speeds, reaching around 475Mbps. Although it isn’t class-leading, it is certainly not a slouch. OpenVPN speeds ranged from 100 to 110Mbps, which was disappointing. However, this isn’t a perfect result and most users will still use WireGuard.
Surfshark shines in streaming. You’ll be able unblock Netflix, iPlayer and Hulu as well as Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. There isn’t much to improve in this area.
The customer service is excellent, with live chat and articles available. Although not the best, they are sufficient for most issues. Although the live chat is largely script-driven, it’s comprehensive and can be used to offer helpful advice in specific circumstances.
Surfshark is an excellent VPN. Its attractive price is what makes it so appealing.
Surfshark recently updated its iOS, Android and widget-supporting apps.
All Mac apps now work seamlessly with the M1 chip.
Split tunneling is now available in Surfshark’s browser extensions. This is an excellent feature that provides a real benefit.
Surfshark completed a security audit of all its servers, even though the complete report was not released. This is, as usual, a great thing to see and only enhances our opinion of Surfshark.
Surfshark on Paper
Servers: More than 3,200
Supported platforms: Windows, Mac and iOS, Android, Linux. Fire TV, Apple TV, Other TVs, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Chrome & Firefox (browser extension)
Simultaneous connections: Unlimitted
Split tunneling: Yes
Kill switch: Yes
Supported protocols are: WireGuard and OpenVPN UDP and OpenVPN TCP. IKEv2
British Virgin Islands
Support available 24/7 via live chat, email and knowledgebase
Surfshark VPN Price: How much does it cost? Is there a Surfshark Free Trial?
Surfshark’s monthly service cost doesn’t seem very reasonable when compared to other providers. It’s actually more costly than its competitors at $12.95 per monthly.
The price drops to $6.49 a month if you pay six months in one payment. This is still a very expensive plan. However, if you choose the two-year plan you will notice a significant drop in cost. The 24-month plan, which is the longest available, costs $2.49 per month. This price is lower than almost every premium VPN.
At the time of writing, however, there is a VPN deal available that provides three additional months on the 2-year plan. This brings the monthly cost down to $2.21. Great value.
While some users may be put off signing up for a long plan, it is so cheap compared to other VPN services that it is completely worth it. Surfshark’s first two years will cost you $59.76 for a one-time payment. NordVPN is $83.88 per year.
However, there’s a “but” here. Although the $2.49 per month price may be tempting, you should be aware that renewals will cost you $4.98 per month. Although it’s cheaper than other options, we recommend keeping this in mind once the first two years have ended.
Register now at Surfshark
Surfshark recently launched SurfsharkOne, which includes the standard VPN features as well Avira-powered antivirus and data breach monitoring, and privacy-friendly internet searching. This bundle is a great deal for $1.99 per month, and we see many customers opting for it.
You can try the service on Mac, iOS or Android for seven days free if you want to test it out. While this trial isn’t long and Windows is not an option, there are many similar VPN providers that offer no trial. If you are really interested in trying the service, signing up is a good idea. You can also take advantage of the 30-day guarantee to get your money back if the service doesn’t meet your expectations.
You might be surprised at the number of payment options available. Surfshark can be paid with any of the most popular credit cards, cryptocurrencies, PayPal and Alipay. You can also pay via Amazon Pay.
Surfshark is how secure?
Surfshark’s Whitelister panel allows you to create whitelists that include IP addresses and websites you wish to redirect around the VPN. This is similar to split tunnelling. If you find that the VPN has disrupted an app or website, whitelisting them should resolve the problem.
The Whitelister can be set up to ensure that only your preferred apps and sites are routed through Surfshark. It worked flawlessly when we tried it. This feature was not available for mobile users, so we were happy to see it in a desktop application.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb function blocks ads, malicious content and web trackers. We tried it and were not impressed with the results. Using a tool like uBlock Origin allows you to block more content while having greater control over the action.
You can activate the VPN automatically by starting Windows. It’s also possible for you to switch between protocols depending on your security requirements.
Surfshark’s kill switch is one of its most important security features. If your VPN connection is lost or damaged, this allows you to automatically disconnect from the internet. We had some issues with it.
First, there is no place for compromise. The kill switch disables internet access unless the VPN is enabled. Surfshark must be running in order to use the internet. It is better to cut the connection if it is lost while you are using VPN. This is the most common method used by VPN providers. It allows a user to browse normally without the VPN activated.
Second, no notification was sent to indicate that the kill switch was activated and our connection was forcibly cut.
One of our tests consisted of simulating a Windows Surfshark Service failure and closing an IKEv2 link. The kill switch was not activated in this case, which is admittedly rare. The app displayed ‘Connected’ even though it was terminated.
The kill switch works well in everyday use and we had no issues with it when we tried to simulate a situation that is unlikely to occur in real life.
Is Surfshark allowed to keep logs?
Surfshark’s location in the British Virgin Islands means that local laws do not require Surfshark to log any VPN-related activities. This policy is similar to ExpressVPN’s.
Surfshark’s log policy is detailed on the FAQ page. In short, Surfshark doesn’t record IP addresses, internet activity, VPN server location history or bandwidth usage. It also doesn’t track information about sessions.
Only an email address, information for billing and some anonymized statistical data are all that is kept. This can include performance and statistical data, as well as crash reports.
Surfshark was audited twice in 2018 by Cure53, which focused on browser extensions. The second audit took place in 2021 and involved a more detailed audit of its servers. Both audits were positive and all the risks identified were addressed.
Surfshark: How fast?
Surfshark offers a fast VPN. We experienced no connection problems during our tests. The connection speeds were also good.
OpenVPN’s results were disappointing when we tried it on a UK data centre capable of 1Gbps. The average speed was between 100 and 110Mbps. WireGuard was able to deliver speeds up to 475Mbps, which is more than enough for most users. This is slightly slower than what we experienced in the last round of testing.
We were able to run the same test using OpenVPN speeds slightly higher at 170Mbps from the US. WireGuard speeds were not as fast as those in the UK, at 300Mbps. However, it is very unlikely that this will be an issue as most people don’t have connections exceeding 100Mbps.
Surfshark is capable of providing excellent connections. If you are using a regular domestic phone line, it will not have any significant impact on speed. Providers like IPVanish and NordVPN almost double Surfshark’s WireGuard speeds if you need to make the most out of gigabit connections.
Surfshark is great for streaming
Surfshark’s exceptional streaming capabilities make up for some of the less impressive performance numbers. Surfshark’s streaming capabilities are superior to other VPN providers that claim the same, but they don’t always live up.
Surfshark is a Netflix VPN and has been extremely reliable. In recent months, Netflix has made changes to its VPN blocking technology, so that almost all VPNs on the market have seen a decrease in their ability.
We were able to access US Netflix from five different locations. However, the UK, Canada and Australia weren’t available in our tests. This is not surprising, as only ExpressVPN or ProtonVPN were able to access Netflix outside the US.
Surfshark, however, is a top-notch option.
Although this block is the easiest to navigate, we were able to view content on US YouTube. We were also able to access BBC iPlayer from all three locations we tested in the UK. Also, we had success with Disney+ as well as US Amazon Prime. It was a full house.
Surfshark is an excellent streaming VPN and we recommend it to get the most from your subscriptions.
Surfshark torrenting is great
Surfshark can also be used to torrent, but this is not its primary function. Surfshark supports P2P for most servers. Users can also opt for anonymity by paying with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Whitelisting is another function that Surfshark could be useful for users who want to torrent. The whitelisting feature allows you to select a torrent client and allow it to drive traffic through the VPN, while all other traffic is routed through a regular connection.
How simple is Surfshark installation?
It is very easy to connect to Surfshark the first time you install it. We downloaded the Windows app from Surfshark’s website for this review. We were surprised to discover that we could sign-up and pay for the service at the same time as the installation.
All we had to do to start the VPN was tap the connect button. Once we have connected, a notification on the desktop will appear to inform us. After selecting, the interface displayed our IP address.
Surfshark desktop apps are amazing!
We have already covered how easy it is to set up Surfshark’s Windows application. Surfshark was tested as a Windows 10 VPN. However, a client is available for Mac VPN installation.
The interface is flexible and adaptable. We were surprised at how easy it was to change the size. The app shows information about the current server status and a menu listing server locations before you can resize it. Expand the interface to reveal more options and panels.
The list of locations does not explicitly indicate latency. However, icons are used to flag the best options. The Favorites tab allows you to store the most frequently used locations.
Surfshark’s Static IP List allows you to connect to servers located in the UK, Japan and the US. You can also have a fixed IP address for each connection from any country you choose.
Surfshark has a NoBorders mode. This clever technology will allow you to log in to your VPN from countries and jurisdictions that are not usually allowed. It is especially useful for China VPN.
The Windows client includes MultiHop, Whitelister and a kill switch, as we have already mentioned in this review. The same features will be found in the Mac app.
While the Windows app could use some improvements, we were impressed with its functionality and ease of use.
Surfshark's Mobile Applications are Amazing!
Surfshark’s mobile VPN is an impressive option. While some VPN providers may view mobile apps as an afterthought or a secondary concern, Surfshark’s iPhone VPN & Android VPN are very functional and loaded with advanced features.
The apps look great and are easy to use. It’s easy to use and makes it feel well-rounded, such as the dark mode (pictured above on iOS).
We tested the Android app for this review and found it to be very similar to the Windows client. The interface is similar, the server locations list is identical, and you can use the MultiHop, split-tunneling and whitelisting features.
Mobile users have access to multiple support protocols, including OpenVPN/IVEv2, WireGuard and Shadowsocks. They also have the same kill switch as the desktop version.
Surfshark’s Android App allows you to optimize your mobile network performance, connect to the VPN automatically in certain situations, and choose between multiple encryption methods, AES256-GGM and Chacha20Poly1305.
You can send bugs reports, raise tickets, or search support questions directly from the app without needing to go to the main support site.
The iOS app also replicates this functionality, except for the Android-specific features such as split tunneling and variable encryption options (unavailable in any form on iOS).
Surfshark’s browser extension is amazing!
Surfshark offers two browser extensions: one for Chrome, and another for Firefox. Although this is a limited number, ExpressVPN and other providers offer additional versions for Edge. However, the extensions from Surfshark are well-rounded.
Surfshark offers many key features that can be used with either browser extension. Surfshark’s private DNS technology allows you to connect to more than 3,200 servers across 65 countries. CleanWeb ad- and malware blocking is also available.
Surfshark also has a split tunneling option in its extensions. It’s great to see developers investing effort in an area that is often overlooked by VPN suites.
Surfshark offers what customer support?
Surfshark offers a dedicated support website where you can find the answers to many of your questions. Although it covers a wide range of topics, FAQs, guides and tutorials are included.
While most of the content is about setup issues, there are some running queries. Despite this, most articles are not as detailed as you would expect and could use more detail.
There are many things that could be improved in order to make it easier for you to find the information you need. If you search for iOS, type “iOS” into the search box. You will see a list of articles about iOS issues such as how to install Surfshark in an iOS device.
It would be better to have an option like ExpressVPN’s customer service, which covered all iOS-related issues in one document.
Live chat staff are available to assist you if you need it most. We are impressed by the ease of use of Surfshark’s live chat at this price point.
Surfshark is a powerful VPN that’s packed full of features at an affordable price. Although it does have some minor problems, including slower speeds than the best, the company has made significant improvements to its service recently. For example, WireGuard integration is now available for Android and iOS apps.