Surfshark VPN Review
Over the last few years, the VPN industry has been growing at an exponential rate, with all sorts of VPN providers in the market. Each of these VPN providers promises the best online security tools and features to give you complete online anonymity. With so many choices, picking the best one can be hard. In this Surfshark VPN review, we will go through all the features and safety parameters of this service. Hence, it will be easy for you to decide if it is the right fit for your needs.
Surfshark VPN Review: Summary
Although Surfshark is relatively new to the VPN market, it is already making waves because of its incredible features. This VPN is excellent for continuous and reliable data transfer such as online gaming, streaming, and even torrents. If you're really into streaming, then Surfshark is the best VPN for you. It unblocks most streaming sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. So you can enjoy your streaming content from anywhere and without any issues.
Surfshark VPN: Company Origins
Surfshark VPN is a registered company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). While the British Virgin Islands (a "collection" of Caribbean Islands) are part of the British Overseas Territory, they are not subject to British control or law. This means that the BVI has no data retention laws, and they aren't part of any country groups either. Best of all, their no-logging policy guarantees 100 % anonymity. Hence, your online privacy in entirely secure.
Surfshark VPN Feature Overview
- No log policy
- AES2 256-bit Encryption
- IKEv2 and OpenVPN Protocols
- P2P and Torrent support
- Over 500 plus servers in 50 countries
- Kill switch
- Unlimited devices (simultaneous connections)
- Located in a VPN-friendly jurisdiction
- Available for iOS, Android, Windows, Routers, as well as browser extensions
Platforms & Download
Initially, Surfshark started as an extension on Chrome/Firefox and Android. If you want to get it on Android, simple search for it on Google Play store. Alternatively, to get links to their Chrome and Firefox extension, you can Visit the Surfshark website.
Getting started with Surfshark is very easy.
- Visit the Surfshark website
- Create an account with a working email
- Pick a pricing plan
- Download your Surfshark VPN and start enjoying anonymous browsing
Android, Mac, Linux & Router Apps
Following the success of their Android app, the developers at Surfshark decided to work on apps for other platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS. There’s no actual app for Mac and Linux. However, you can configure it on Mac via Tunnelblick and on Linux via Terminal commands. Also, all the details about setting the VPN are present on their official website.
As for the browser extensions, they are essentially proxy servers, which means you can only use them to secure your browsing privacy within your web browser.
Surfshark VPN: Windows Application
The windows installation file is about 12MB, which is a rather lightweight file. Click on the .exe file to start the installation, then select the installation location. The Installation should not take more than a few seconds.
Surfshark VPN's Windows app is still in its initial stage. Hence, the experience might not be the smoothest. However, they are rapidly developing it. I have received two updates in my one week's review duration.
Once the installation of the VPN is complete, you can start the application, log in with the account details, select a server location and enjoy your online privacy. That's simple enough!
For this Surfshark VPN review, I will primarily use the Windows application.
Surfshark VPN Review: The Interface
Surfshark has a straightforward interface to use and understand. Hence, it is perfect for first time VPN users as well as the experienced ones. There are no unnecessary buttons or drop-down menus to confuse you.
Once you open the app, you'll see the company's logo occupying the center of the screen. Underneath that is the Connect/Disconnect button. You can either connect quickly to the fastest server by clicking on the button or select from the list and connect to your preferred server location.
Surfshark VPN Review: Settings
There is a gear icon at the top right corner of the screen that gives you access to the settings.
From the settings page, you can keep track of the status of your account such as when your subscription will expire, and if the application needs to be updated. The settings page primarily has two categories that you can explore. These are:
Let's take a look at their functions.
You can always stay connected to a secure server from the moment your computer boots up. Combine Start with Windows and then use auto-connect option.
The auto-connect option allows you to pre-select a server. It then automatically connects to that server as soon as the application starts.
Anytime you connect or disconnect from a server, you’ll receive a notification on your screen. This section lets you disable these notifications if you find them distracting.
It is an important feature. To avoid any privacy leaks you can disable your internet connection as soon as you switch off the VPN. Also, it will automatically switch off your internet in case your VPN connection drops accidentally.
Security features like CleanWeb, Kill Switch, Whitelister for apps & Webpages are not enabled by default. However, they are crucial and handy. Therefore, if you want to activate them, this is where you'll do it.
Using this option you can automatically trigger Surfshark VPN connection when you connect to certain WiFi networks. Hence, you can relax whenever you connect to a public network.
This last sub-category on the settings page lets you switch between OpenVPN/TCP, OpenVPN/UDP & IKE protocols.
If your ISP implies measures to block VPN connections then enable NoBorders mode. In addition, you can also send an anonymous crash report.
Surfshark VPN Review: Privacy & Security
In this section, we will be looking at the features that enable Surfshark VPN to protect your online private data efficiently.
Protocols and Encryption
Surfshark is a dedicated VPN service with both IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, as well as AES 256-bit encryption. The VPN industry considers OpenVPN as the standard protocol. Also, OpenVPN is regarded as the best technology when it comes to securing user information and platform support.
On the other hand, IKEv2 is faster and more secure than OpenVPN. However, it is not supported widely on many platforms. IKEv2 is most popular among smartphone users as it is not as power intensive as OpenVPN.
In case you have confusion in selecting the Protocol, select Automatic. Doing so will allow Surfshark to select the best protocol for you.
This security feature lets you set up a VPN chain that can make you utterly untraceable on the internet. You may feel that this feature is a bit overwhelming. However, note that the MultiHop feature is not for everyone.
The MultiHop option gives you an additional layer of Privacy. It eliminates any risk of privacy leak by routing your data through teo different proxy servers.
MultiHop is the best security feature needed to combat more aggressive surveillance techniques. You might have already heard about such a feature in other VPN's. However, not a lot of VPN providers give this option. Surfshark VPN now joins this exclusive club.
It is an in-built Surfshark feature that blocks trackers, malware, and ads. CleanWeb does exactly as the name suggests. It analyses and prevents all malicious software at the server level. Hence, your devices are much safer and clean while browsing anonymously.
Website & App Whitelister
In case you do not want all your apps or certain websites to use the VPN connection, this is the option that will help you. With Surfshark VPN's whitelist option (previously known as Split Tunneling) you can select the apps that will bypass the VPN. Hence, these apps will work at the best speeds with your actual ISP.
Surfshark VPN Review: Speed Test & Performance
I have made several speed tests with Surfshark VPN across several servers. Their servers seemed to perform consistently over multiple tests and rechecks. This makes Surfshark an excellent VPN for gaming and using streaming services.
Speed Test Review
I am performing these speed benchmarks using Fast.com. Also, running a DSL Reports speed test at the same time to check variations in speed.
US - New York
More Speed Tests
US - Miami
UK - London
Canada - Toronto
Surfshark VPN P2P support
Surfshark also supports P2P transfers. The torrent speeds on all their servers were above average. Could the speeds have been better? Yes. However, considering that they are still a reasonably new VPN, the torrent speeds were quite impressive.
Surfshark VPN automatically connects or switches to a server that supports P2P as soon as P2P traffic is detected. This auto-switching is an excellent feature to keep your safe.
Does Surfshark VPN Provide good speeds?
At this point, Surfshark VPN has just over 500 plus servers in 50 countries worldwide. It still manages to give decent performance in every speed test. I was getting upto 70 Mbps speeds using US & UK Servers in particular.
One of the reasons for its impressive speed lies is the fact that it is still new. Compared to established VPN providers, the servers have a smaller user base. Therefore, it also means that the load on them is quite low.
Additionally, Surfshark VPN uses AES 256-GCM, which is extremely fast and secure. Hopefully, they stay consistent while also improving on their services.
Surfshark VPN Review: Support
The support team is very active. I have pinged their live chat several time over a week's time. Be it any time of the day I have received instant response. I hope their support remains this responsive over the time as they grow. As of now, I will give them full marks on support.
Is Surfshark VPN worth your money?
After looking at all the features that SurfShark has, I will safely remark that it is definitely worth your money. Let's take a look at their subscription pricing.
Since there's no data and device limit, you can enjoy Surfshark's protection as long as you have a subscription. What's more, with one VPN account, you can protect all your devices.
Surfshark offers three simple plans, and the price depends entirely on the length of the subscription you prefer. The normal plans include:
1 Month Plan
Billed every month
24 Months Plan
USD 286.80 USD 47.76
Billed every 24 months
12 Months Plan
USD 143.40 USD 71.88
Billed every 12 months
It is safe to say that Surfshark has one of the best quality/price ratios and if you're looking for an easy to use VPN that is well configured, fast, and robust, then Surfshark is worth a try.
Surfshark has multiple payment options such as Paypal, AMEX, Discover etc. Also, you have cryptocurrency as a payment option.
They also have a generous 30-day money back guarantee, so if you're not satisfied with a particular plan, you can get a refund.
My remarks to end this Surfshark VPN review, is that it may not be the most popular service in the VPN world right now, but it is indeed comparable to some of the best VPNs in the industry.
Surfshark is reasonably fast, has several excellent privacy and security features, supports torrenting, and even unblocks Netflix. With the feature list and continuous updates, Surfshark is undoubtedly on its way to join the top VPN club.