Surfshark Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Features

4.8/5

Speed & Performance

4.8/5

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Mobile App

4.5/5

Customer Support

4.8/5

Pricing

4.9/5
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Surfshark Pros:

Surfshark Cons:

Surfshark is a relatively new VPN provider that has made big strides in recent times.

You may have noticed a lot of advertisements and online marketing for Surfshark over the past year or so. I know I certainly have.

It has quickly grown to become one of the most popular VPNs, and the reason why it’s one of the most popular is simple: it is easy to use and you can connect unlimited devices with just one account.

So I was definitely excited to see what they had to offer and whether or not they’re VPN lived up to the hype.

Overview

Surfshark is located on the British Virgin Islands and it recently launched back in 2018. 

By doing a little bit of digging online, it was evident that Surfshark not only has head offices in the British Virgin Islands but they have team members working across the world as well.

The fact that Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands is good news. This is a British Overseas Territory aligned with British Common Law and it is politically stable. 

There are currently no intrusive data retention practices or laws in place. You will also be pleased to know that this location is outside of the 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Five Eyes surveillance agreements. This means that foreign governments cannot compel any business to collect or share user logs. 

I do wish there was a little bit more information about the company behind Surfshark, but at least they know how to be secretive! 

In terms of the server network, it is a big one. There are more than 1,800 servers that are spread across 66 countries. 

This does not make it the biggest server network in the VPN market, as companies like HideMyAss! and CyberGhost have more. However, there is more than enough diversity amongst the servers to keep you happy. 

If you’re looking to connect to a VPN at city-level, 12 countries give you the ability to do this at the moment. This includes the US, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Canada, Russia, Poland, India, France, and Australia. 

You also have the option of selecting between physical and virtual locations. You can easily tell whether a server is virtual or not. On the Mac app, the virtual servers will be listed separately. On the Windows version, there is a small ‘v’ next to the virtual servers. 

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Speeds

After I performed several tests, Surfshark showed an average drop of 20% on connections with a local service. The international connection dropped by an average of about 25%.

These are good numbers for a VPN. I would say it is incredibly fast! However, we should keep in mind that this is a new VPN, therefore, it may not have that many users yet, which, in the long term, may reduce the speed of it.

Nevertheless, I tested it while doing everyday activities, and it’s proven to be considerably quicker than the average VPN, so there is a lot to like here.

There are a few other VPNs that I have tested that have been around for quite some time and deliver good speeds. This includes ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Security

There are a lot of great features that you will get with Surfshark. This includes a feature that blocks ads and malicious links. But let’s start by looking at the logging policy…

What is Surfshark’s logging policy?

I have closely looked at the security policy that Surfshark has in place. It is not a fully no-logs policy. However, it seems sensible and trustworthy. 

Surfshark does not keep logs on connection data or user activity, and the jurisdiction is a privacy haven. 

So, what does Surfshark collect?

  • Frequency of use
  • Unsuccessful connection attempts
  • Aggregated performance data

While this is not a no-logs policy, it is probably as close as you can get. The main way to take away from this is that Surfshark does not collect any data that can be personally identifiable. This means that no info is collected concerning your location, IP address, or browsing activity. 

Your billing information and account details will be stored so that payments can be processed. This is not unusual behaviour. However, if you do not feel comfortable with this, I would recommend using a third-party payment service or cryptocurrency to make your payment. 

Security features

As touched upon, you are going to get a lot of great security features when you choose Surfshark. Surfshark includes an automatic kill switch on all native applications, leak protection, a selection of secure protocols, and robust encryption

There does not seem to be any evidence of WebRTC, DNS, or IP leaks either. 

AES-256 encryption is used across all platforms. The default protocol used is IKEv2. However, you can head to the settings menu and choose OpenVPN if you would prefer. Read my review on the OpenVPN protocol to find out everything you need to know. I would definitely recommend going for this option. 

What I really like about Surfshark is that it has added a number of advanced security features that a lot of other VPNs simply do not have.

Some of my favorite include the following:

  • MultiHolp – This is also known as a double-VPN. It is a helpful feature if you are especially privacy conscious. This will route traffic via two different VPN servers rather than one. This added encryption layer makes it significantly more difficult to track, yet connection speeds may be reduced. 
  • CleanWeb – This is a proprietary ad, malware, and tracker blacker. You will need to turn this on, as it is not switched on by default. 
  • Camouflage Mode – You may also know this as the name “obfuscation.” This is a type of technology that will disguise traffic on your VPN so that it appears like typical browsing. This means your ISP won’t even be able to tell you are using a VPN.
  • Kill switch – I always advise looking for a VPN that has a kill switch, and so I was very happy to see that Surfshark included this feature. This ensures that no sensitive data or information is leaked if your connection drops.

  • Whitelister – Finally, the whitelister feature is another exciting one. This is a split-tunneling feature that enables specific predefined websites and applications to bypass the VPN tunnel. You can easily access this by going to the sidebar menu of the app and choosing the Features option.
  •  

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Ease of use

The interface is one of the main advantages associated with this VPN. One of my favorite features is that when you choose the quick connect, the system will automatically choose the server that is going to be the fastest for you.

At the top of the screen is where you’ll find the location option, and you can choose one of the different services in 60 different countries. You can use the loading icons for every server to determine which one may be the ideal choice for you.

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Torrenting

I would recommend Surfshark as a good option if you need a VPN for torrenting purposes. It has strong encryption and a sensible privacy policy, helping you to hide your P2P activity from your Internet Service Provider.

It is also a VPN with a kill switch, which means your IP will be protected should your connection drop out for any reason. This ensures that your sensitive information and seeding activity are kept safe from any accidental exposure. 

P2P file sharing is permitted across all of the servers on Surfshark. However, there are some servers that have been optimised for P2P specifically. This includes servers in the UK, Singapore, Norway, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Denmark, US, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Canada. 

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Unblock streaming services

If you are looking for a VPN that can unblock streaming services, Surfshark is an exceptional option. I have used it to unblock a wide range of streaming services across the world.

Surfshark unblocks Netflick in the US and plenty of other international Netflix libraries can be unblocked too, including the UK, Singapore, Norway, Japan, India, France, Brazil, South Korea, and Australia.

Other streaming services that can be unblocked include the likes of HBO Max, Sky, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more. 

Can you bypass the Great Firewall of China?

Surfshark is a great VPN to choose if you’re looking to bypass stringent VPN blocks in highly censored locations like China. 

One of the best features for fighting against Internet censorship and restrictions is the NoBorders Mode, so I definitely recommend checking this out.

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

Compatibility

You won’t have any trouble in terms of compatibility. Surfshark is compatible with all major platforms, including Fire OS, iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. 

There are no limits in terms of the number of devices that can be connected at the same time as well, which is great for families and teams especially, as most companies tend to limit simultaneous connections to five at one time. 

Games consoles and streaming devices

Through the Apple TV apps and Amazon Fire Stick apps, Surfshark has more to offer for streaming devices. 

You will also be able to access content that is geo-restricted with your Apple TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or SmartTV by changing the DNS address your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has provided. You can use the Smart DNS technology offered by the VPN to do this.

Browser extensions

There are browser extensions available for users of Surfshark, including browser extensions for the likes of Firefox and Chrome

Customer support

The good news keeps coming with Surfshark because their customer support is great as well. The live chat system works effectively, and the customer support agents are helpful, friendly, and fast. 

There is also an online ticketing system as well, which I found to be effective, with quick replies to my queries. 

The online help section will also be of use to plenty of you. It includes a FAQ section, troubleshooting, installation guides, and a knowledge-base that has everything from billing information to set-up tutorials.

Pricing

There are a number of different pricing options for you to choose from with Surfshark. These plans differ based on the length of your contract.

The three options include a one-month contract, 12-month contract, and a 24-month contract.

The 24-month contract is the best option. You will be billed £37.20 every 24 months, enabling you to save £190.56 in total! This equates to just £1.55 per month. When you consider that the one-month plan is billed at £9.49 per month, you see the massive difference!

All of the plans come with the 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are not happy with the service you receive, you can make a request for a refund. 

There are some extras that you can add to your plan if you wish. For an extra £0.75 per month, you can benefit from BlindSearch and HackLock.

BlindSearch enables you to search efficiently and privately with no logs or ads. You can get organic and unbiased results within milliseconds. HackLock will enable you to get alerts right away if your email appears in leaked databases. 

There are a number of different payment options for you to choose from, including cryptocurrency, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and all major credit cards. 

Summary

If you are looking for a VPN that ticks all of the boxes, Surfshark certainly falls into that category. It is one of the newer VPNs on the market, and it has certainly made a lot of noise so far.

I have definitely been impressed to see what Surfshark has to offer. It will be interesting to see how the speeds hold up once more and more people use this VPN. However, as it stands, there is not much to complain about in my opinion!

Does Surfshark sound right for you?

Join and get access to exclusive content, tips and more!

you may also like...

ibVPN Review

TurboVPN offers a free service, but is it worth your time? Read my thoughts in…
Read more

PureVPN Review

Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN has been running for over 13 years now and has…
Read more

VPN.ac Review

One name that is usually overlooked is VPN.ac. Should you be paying attention to this…
Read more

VPNArea Review

Is VPNArea a good choice? Discover more about this vPN provider, which is based in…
Read more

Secure VPN Review

SecureVPN boasts a kill switch and supports torrenting. Discover more about this VPN solution.
Read more

Hide My IP Review

Hide My IP has servers in 123 different countries around the world. Discover whether this…
Read more

FrootVPN Review

If you are looking for a low-cost, basic VPN, FrootVPN is certainly worth considering. Find…
Read more

BTGuard Review

Boasting high levels of security, BTGuard is a VPN well worth considering, but is it…
Read more

Browsec Review

From security to speed; discover everything you need to know about Browsec VPN.
Read more

Avira Review

Known for their antivirus product, Avira brought a VPN out in 2016. Read my full…
Read more

vpn.ht Review

Vpn.ht was created back in 2014 by the company known as Wicked Technology. is it…
Read more

VPN.S Review

VPN.S, also known as VPNSecure, is a solution worth considering if you are looking for…
Read more

SaferVPN Review

SaferVPN describes itself as the fastest and simplest VPN on the market. Bold claims! Does…
Read more

IVPN Review

Incorporated in Gibraltar, IVPN has a small server network. However, it comes with some great…
Read more

Proton VPN Review

ProtonVPN is based in the friendly jurisdiction of Switzerland. A great start, but does the…
Read more

PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN is a user-friendly VPN that is good for streaming purposes and combines effective encryption…
Read more

Tiger VPN Review

Based in Slovakia, TigerVPN has more than 300 servers across 42 countries. Is it right…
Read more

Ivacy Review

Ivacy has been around for quite some time now, and it certainly offers some great…
Read more

OpenVPN Review

OpenVPN is an open-source software application that many VPN providers use today. Discover more.
Read more

TorGuard Review

TorGuard is based in the United States, but can we get passed this poor jurisdiction?…
Read more

Buffered Review

Buffered VPN was recently absorbed into encrypt.me. From speeds to security, I assess this VPN…
Read more

HIDE me Review

Hide.me is a VPN that ticks a lot of boxes, especially in terms of streaming.…
Read more

AVG Review

AVG is a brand that is known around the world for its antivirus product, and…
Read more

AirVPN Review

KeepSolid offers robust VPN services for both the business and also the individual user. Delivering…
Read more

AceVPN Review

Acevpn has servers across more than 50 locations worldwide, but is it worth downloading?
Read more

ZenMate Review

ZenMate is a German VPN provider that will allow you to safely browse the internet…
Read more

IPVanish Review

IPVanish boasts an impressive line up of over 1000 servers across 60 countries. They’re by…
Read more

VyprVPN Review

A solid VPN that offers insanely good security and anonymity. From only £3.63 per month,…
Read more

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN allowing you to connect to 4,952 servers worldwide. It’s well…
Read more