Conducting an in-depth Surfshark VPN review, we noticed the 2018-established network is fast becoming a more prominent player in the VPN sector. Despite being relatively new, the company has achieved remarkable growth over the past few years.
This page will cover Surfshark’s servers, locations, security protocols, pricing, speed, and performance. We’ll also walk you through the availability of a free plan, and how SurfShark performs on various devices. Find out if this is the best VPN for streaming, torrenting, bypassing censorship, and other functions.
Surfshark VPN provides a complete solution to safeguard your online privacy. Its strong features and extensive server network ensure secure browsing on all your devices. Here’s a quick overview of its basic specs.
This section of our Surfshark VPN review will explore the network's server locations, performance, pricing plans, and distinctive features in more depth.
Surfshark VPN boasts an impressive server network spanning over 3,200 servers in 100 countries. The server locations cover the globe, with a strong representation in Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as more unique locations like India, China, and Russia. This widespread coverage grants users many server options, enabling them to effortlessly overcome geo-restrictions and enjoy global content.
Alongside physical servers, Surfshark employs virtual servers in specific locations. In terms of server types, the VPN offers versatility to suit different user needs. Their standard servers deliver reliable and fast connections for general browsing and streaming. Surfshark VPN reviews also mention P2P servers optimized for file sharing and torrenting, ensuring high-speed and secure transfers.
Based on a comprehensive Surfshark VPN test conducted by our team, the network scored decent results. Contrary to the usual decrease in upload and download speeds and increased latency associated with VPNs, Surfshark performed exceptionally well. It exhibited outstanding download speeds with a mere 4.98% reduction compared to the baseline.
However, its upload speeds experienced a noticeable decline, showing a significant reduction of 61.2% compared to a straight connection. Additionally, Surfshark VPN demonstrated a substantial increase in latency, registering a 78.3% rise. Nonetheless, the VPN’s WireGuard speeds proved exceptional, averaging 950Mbps. While OpenVPN connections achieved slightly lower speeds of 120-190Mbps in the US, they remain sufficient for most online activities. Notably, Surfshark VPN excelled in streaming, effortlessly unblocking popular platforms such as Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
When examining the Surfshark pricing structure, the regular monthly plan may not appear particularly appealing. At $12.95 per month, it is relatively pricey compared to some competitors. However, opting for an annual subscription reduces the price to $3.99 monthly, while selecting the two-year plan offers an even more substantial price drop.
The 24-month plan, priced at $2.49 monthly, significantly undercuts other premium VPN providers. Moreover, throughout the year, there are occasional deals that lower the price below $2, offering excellent value for users. Although committing to a longer-term plan may deter some users, considering the affordability of Surfshark compared to similar services, it is undoubtedly worthwhile.
The initial two years of access to Surfshark require a one-time payment of $59.76. It is important to note that while the monthly price during the initial term is $2.49, upon renewal, it increases to $4.98 per month. Although still cheaper than many alternatives, users should consider this adjustment when the initial two-year period expires. Let’s summarize these premium plans with a table.
|1 Month||12 Months||24 Months|
|Billed as $12.95||Billed as $47.88||Billed as $59.76|
Surfshark VPN sets itself apart with an array of advanced features that elevate user privacy and security. Among its exclusive offerings is Double VPN, which fortifies data encryption by doubling its layers. MultiHop enables users to seamlessly connect to multiple VPN servers in succession, augmenting their online anonymity. Camouflage Mode conceals VPN usage, effortlessly bypassing VPN blocks.
CleanWeb is a powerful ad-blocking feature, shielding users from intrusive ads, trackers, and malware. Whitelister empowers users to selectively bypass the VPN for specific apps or websites. Split tunneling enables simultaneous traffic routing through both the VPN and regular internet connection, providing greater flexibility.
The kill switch feature adds an extra layer of protection by instantly severing the internet connection if the VPN connection falters. Surfshark's NoBorders mode allows users to overcome censorship and access restricted content in countries with stringent internet controls. These cutting-edge technologies and features make Surfshark VPN an all-encompassing, dynamic, and unrivaled solution for safeguarding online privacy and security.
Surfshark VPN provides a range of essential security features that individuals can utilize to enhance their online safety. Let's delve into these as we continue our Surfshark VPN review.
One of the notable security features offered by Surfshark VPN is its kill switch. This feature automatically disconnects users from the internet if their VPN connection is interrupted. Recently, Surfshark has made improvements to how the kill switch operates. Previously, it functioned as an all-or-nothing mechanism, blocking internet access entirely unless connected to a Surfshark server. However, the kill switch now operates in a more typical manner, cutting off internet connectivity only if the Surfshark VPN drops while allowing normal browsing if the user chooses not to activate the VPN.
Surfshark uses a private DNS on each of its servers, providing an additional layer of protection to prevent third parties from accessing your browsing activity. This means that even if a malicious actor gains access to the exit server, they cannot trace your IP address. Surfshark offers users 15 different server routes to choose from. The first route determines the connection location, which can be selected from options such as the UK, USA, Germany, Singapore, France, the Netherlands, India, or Australia. The second route determines the exit location, dictating where it appears to others that you are located. Users have a range of choices for the exit location, including Germany, France, Singapore, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden, Hong Kong, the UK, or the USA.
Surfshark offers a unique MultiHop feature that enhances security by routing your traffic through two VPN servers. With the MultiHop tab, your data is passed through two VPN servers, ensuring that even if the exit server is compromised, your actual IP address remains protected. There are a total of 12 available routes to choose from. The first server in the route determines your initial connection, with options including the US, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Australia. The second server determines the location you will appear to be from the perspective of the outside world, with choices such as France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, the UK, and the US.3
Surfshark has introduced Nexus as a cutting-edge security innovation, leveraging Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology. Unlike traditional VPN connections that route through a single tunnel to a server, Nexus connects users to a network of VPN servers before directing them to their chosen location. Surfshark's rationale behind Nexus is to address potential security and privacy concerns associated with using a single server and IP address. By utilizing Nexus, Surfshark aims to obscure traffic, provide stability, and improve the overall VPN experience for Surfshark users.
This feature automatically rotates your IP address at regular intervals, ensuring a continuous VPN connection while making it increasingly difficult for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or unauthorized third parties to track your online activities. This added layer of security enhances your privacy and further safeguards your online anonymity.
Relying solely on a VPN may occasionally not provide sufficient protection for safeguarding your personal information on your mobile device. Certain websites and applications utilize your GPS to determine your location instead of relying on your IP address. Surfshark has effectively addressed this issue through a distinctive GPS spoofing feature, which creates the illusion that you are physically present in the exact location as the VPN server you are connected to. By masking both your IP and GPS, this feature ensures that apps can’t trace your location for marketing or any other purposes.
iOS and Android users can make the most of a 7-day free Surfshark VPN trial. Windows users can hop onto a paid plan and use the 30-day money-back guarantee if SurfShark turns out to be less than they expected. By choosing a paid plan, you gain access to a wide range of advanced features, including unlimited device connections, ad blocking, the MultiHop functionality, and specialty servers
Is Surfshark VPN good on a wide range of devices? This section of our VPN review covers the VPN’s compatibility with different operating systems and platforms.
Surprisingly similar to its desktop counterpart, Surfshark's Android version of the VPN app maintains most of the same features. While it adjusts the interface for smaller screens, it offers comparable protocol support, kill switch, static IP, Multi-Hop, and other functionalities. In fact, the Android app even outperforms desktop editions in certain aspects.
It includes features like “auto-connect on accessing untrusted networks” (unavailable on Windows) and the split tunneling Bypasser system (unavailable on Mac). Additionally, the Android app introduces new mobile-specific features, such as the ability to 'Override GPS location' to align your device's GPS with the connected VPN server, making it harder for apps to track your real location.
Surfshark VPN reviews also mention an option to 'use small packets' can potentially enhance performance on specific mobile networks. If any issues arise, you can conveniently send bug reports and access support tickets directly within the app, saving you time and the hassle of searching through the support site.
Surfshark's iOS app maintains a similar visual and functional experience as its desktop counterpart. The iOS VPN app offers familiar features, including a kill switch, multiple protocol options (OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard), and more. Recent additions, though small, enhance the user experience with convenient widgets for simplified connectivity and the ability to report bugs directly from within the app. It is worth noting that software for Apple's mobile operating system often lacks certain features found on other platforms, but Surfshark's iOS app defies this trend with its impressive capabilities.
Surfshark's Windows client bears a resemblance to other VPNs, with some notable features. While ping times aren't displayed by default, a “Refresh speed metrics'' option can retrieve and display them with a single click. A Search box allows for quick location searches (e.g., typing ATL shows Atlanta), and a favorites system enables saving preferred locations.
The Mac app resembles the Windows version but lacks a Bypasser feature for selective VPN bypassing. However, it still offers static IPs, Multi-Hop VPN, WireGuard and OpenVPN support, a kill switch, and CleanWeb for ad and malware blocking. Additionally, the Mac app includes an exclusive feature of auto-connecting to the VPN when accessing untrusted networks. Overall, Surfshark's Mac app balances power and user-friendliness with a solid range of functionalities
Surfshark provides browser extensions for Chrome (Chrome 80+), Firefox (91.1+), and Edge. Installing the extensions is as simple as searching for "Surfshark" in the respective stores and adding them. Despite being simplified, Surfshark's browser extensions offer more functionality than other VPN extensions.
They hide IP addresses, prevent WebRTC leaks, bypass geo-blocks, and include the CleanWeb feature with ad blocking, data breach alerts, and malware protection. However, these extensions only encrypt browser traffic, making them useful mainly for unblocking streaming sites. For complete device protection, using the full Surfshark app is recommended.
The FireTV app mimics the Android version, with most of the advanced features. It is compatible with 2nd generation Fire devices or newer. Additionally, Surfshark seamlessly integrates with Android Smart TVs, offering native compatibility. Installing the app on these devices is as straightforward as installing it on any other Android device. Simply search for Surfshark in the Play Store and proceed with the installation process.
While Surfshark can be set up on a router, it is recommended to use the dedicated apps for optimal performance. Manual installation requires compatible firmware with OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IKEv2 clients. Installing new firmware is complex and risky. Most advanced features available in the apps are not accessible on routers. Some routers support split tunneling and different security protocols, but not all. Manual configuration of VPN servers is necessary, making server switching more cumbersome than the app's convenience.
Smart DNS feature enables users to connect devices, such as PlayStation, Xbox Series X/S, PS4/5, and Nintendo Switch. Setting up Smart DNS on gaming consoles, like the Xbox Series S, is quick and easy. By logging into Surfshark via a web browser, selecting VPN > Manual Setup > TV or console, and copying the provided DNS codes into the console's network settings, the setup process takes only a couple of minutes. It's important to note that Smart DNS does not provide encryption, IP address modification, or the security features offered by a full-fledged VPN.
Surfshark's website offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies the sign-up and subscription process. It provides comprehensive information about the VPN's features, pricing plans, and advantages. The top section displays the current VPN status and a list of recently used servers. In the middle section, users can easily select a server to connect to, with options categorized by country or optimized for specific activities like streaming or torrenting.
The bottom section offers various settings, including protocol customization, Kill Switch activation, and DNS server selection. Surfshark ensures customer support through articles and a live chat feature, facilitating prompt assistance. Many Surfshark VPN reviews confirm that canceling a plan is straightforward, as clear instructions are provided on the website.
Both the mobile and desktop VPN apps are well-designed with a similar design, offering smooth navigation and a seamless user experience without intrusive pop-ups. Overall, Surfshark delivers a positive user experience from start to finish, making it a top choice for both VPN beginners and experienced users.
Surfshark VPN is a streaming aficionado's dream come true. It’s arguably the best VPN for unlocking popular streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, and Disney+, liberating you from pesky geo-restrictions. With Surfshark, you can indulge in a global smorgasbord of content, savoring your beloved shows and movies without constraints.
The VPN goes above and beyond by embracing P2P file sharing and torrenting, ensuring secure and incognito connections for seamless downloading and sharing of files. Its blazing-fast speeds and purpose-built servers facilitate a flawless experience for avid torrent downloaders.
Per our Surfshark VPN review, the network employs obfuscation techniques that make it challenging to detect VPN traffic. With its strict no-logs policy, your browsing activity remains completely private and secure. With an extensive network of servers spanning over 100+ countries, including those with strict censorship regulations, finding an unblocked server is made easy. The VPN can bypass censorship from the countries China, Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Our Surfshark VPN review determined that the VPN presents a comprehensive and cost-effective solution to safeguarding online privacy and enriching internet experiences. Surfshark guarantees reliable connections and the ability to access content from diverse regions with an extensive server network spanning the globe and features like GPS spoofing, ad blocking, and MultiHop connection.
Despite its lack of effectiveness in the ad-blocking feature, it remains one of the top VPNs, as it delivers consistently whether streaming, torrenting, or circumventing censorship. The user-friendly interface, competitive pricing plans, and effective unblocking capabilities contribute to Surfshark's popularity among VPN users.
For detailed information on its reliability and security features, we recommend referring to our comprehensive Surfshark VPN reviews and other guides.
For the latest updates on streaming capabilities and tips on optimizing your streaming experience, please consult our reviews.
To fully understand Surfshark's specific device limitations and compatibility, refer to our reviews.
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