User Review( votes)
As one of the cheapest VPNs on the market today, Surfshark has lately been offering great pricing discounts but what does its low cost say about quality?
Surfshark also claims to be an all-round VPN service with all the features you need to browse the web anonymously, unblock geo-restricted sites such as Netflix, and stay safe while using public Wi-Fi.
In this Surfshark VPN review, we look at some of the key features of the VPN to help you decide if it does meet your privacy and other VPN needs.
One of the best things about Surfshark is its location.
The VPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, which happens to be a secure offshore location outside the jurisdiction of the United States and other Internet surveillance alliance countries. The British Virgin Islands don’t fall under any data-sharing alliance of countries.
The country doesn’t have strict data retention laws like the US which means no government can legally request and access information about your personal and internet activities.
Surfshark No-Logging Policy
Another big plus for Surfshark is its strict no-logging policy. The VPN doesn’t store your personal and browsing data at all.
We took the liberty to confirm this claim from their support desk and were reliably informed that the VPN provider neither collects nor keeps any of your data such as sites visited, bandwidth used, browsing history, network traffic, session information, connection time stamps, and IP addresses among others.
Surfshark Encryption and Security Protocols
Surfshark does indeed live up to its claim of having the highest levels of security. The VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to ensure that the traffic passing between your device and the VPN’s servers cannot be hijacked and decoded even by the most brute force attack. AES 256-bit encryption is a reliable standard used by banks, governments, and the military.
Surfshark also secures your data using three security protocols namely OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks. For the best combination of security and speed, I recommend either IKEv2 or OpenVPN, which is the gold standard when it comes to security protocols.
Surfshark offers OpenVPN on all the major platforms and devices including Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Firestick, and Amazon Fire TV. macOS users, however, need to configure OpenVPN manually using third-party apps such as TunnelBlick. Alternatively, you can easily use the IKEv2 protocol on your macOS device.
Shadowsock is a proprietary protocol from Surfshark and is only available on Android and Windows platforms. It’s an encrypted proxy which means that it can only protect your browser traffic rather than the entire device. According to Surfshark, the encrypted proxy can even penetrate the Great Firewall of China.
As an additional layer of protection, Surfshark offers a MultiHop feature that gives you double encryption bypassing your data through two servers. This extra protection makes it even more difficult for hackers to monitor and track your online activities.
Surfshark Kill Switch and DNS or WebRTC and IPv6 Leaks
Surfshark comes with a kill switch on all its native apps. A kill switch is an important feature that instantly blocks all Internet traffic to keep your real connection safe if the VPN connection drops suddenly due to a technical issue.
According to our tests, the Surfshark kill switch feature works perfectly on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Surfshark also allows you to turn the kill switch feature ON or OFF in the General Settings menu. For maximum security, I recommend leaving the kill switch on at all times.
I can also confidently report that from our tests, we never encountered any DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks while using Surfshark VPN. The VPN comes with in-built leak protection in all its servers.
Surfshark VPN Speed
Another important factor to consider in a good VPN is its speed, given that every VPN normally drops your internet connection speed when using it.
A good VPN shouldn’t have a significant drop in speed that would negatively affect your streaming, torrenting, or browsing experience. Surfshark has reliably good speeds on most of its servers.
Our VPN speed test on different Surfshark servers revealed average speeds of 41.8 Mbps download, 15.2 Mbps upload, and a ping of 50ms.
Surfshark Servers and Server Locations
Surfshark has a global network of over 1,700 servers spread across 63 countries. While this may not be a bigger number of servers compared to other leading VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and Cyberghost, it’s much higher than other competitors including VyprVPN which has 700 servers, and PrivateVPN which has 150 servers only.
A good number of Surfshark servers are located in the US, which is known for having many of the most popular geo-restricted streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.
The VPN also boasts of having a large number of servers in other countries such as the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, and India just to mention a few.
A good server distribution globally means that you will always have a reliably fast server close by wherever you go.
Surfshark Netflix Unblocking
The good news is that Surfshark does indeed unblock Netflix, which means that you can stream any Netflix content wherever you are worldwide as long as you are connecting via the VPN.
We also found that Surfshark can unblock other streaming sites including Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and HBO GO. It’s no surprise why many people talk of Surfshark in their online reviews as one of the best streaming VPNs.
Surfshark is a great option too if you are looking for a VPN for torrenting. The VPN allows P2P file sharing on all of its servers.
In fact, most of its servers are already optimized for fast and reliable torrenting. Surfshark is compatible with major P2P clients including uTorrent and BitTorrent.
It also works perfectly with popular streaming players such as VLC, Ace Player, and Popcorn Time.
Surfshark Unlimited Connections
Surfshark supports all the major platforms and devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, and routers.
Another great benefit Surfshark customers get is the ability to connect the VPN to unlimited devices from the same account.
Surfshark offers three pricing plans based on the period you want to prepay for. The longer the plan you choose the more savings you make.
Their pricing structure is as follows:
- 1-month plan at $11.95 per month
- 12 months plan at $5.99 per month
- 24 months plan at just $1.99 per month
Longer subscriptions come with bigger discounts. Surfshark also offers its customers a 7-day free trial period to test the service. Each plan also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark has an excellent 24/7 active customer support desk ready to offer quick assistance whenever you run into a problem while setting up or using the VPN.
You can easily contact Surfshark support via a ticket request system or for faster service via their 24/7 Live Chat support. I found the Live Chat support fast, helpful, and extremely friendly.
Surfshark Pros and Cons
- Reliable encryption standard and protocols
- Ability to connect to unlimited devices
- Excellent speeds
- Good location
- Netflix unblocking and support for P2P file sharing
- 24/7 Live Chat support
- Rather pricey on a month-to-month subscription but quite cheap on long term plans
Surfshark Review Conclusion
Surfshark is located in a VPN-friendly country away from surveillance alliances. It offers great privacy to thanks to its strict no-logging policy.
It’s a recommended VPN choice if you want a VPN with fast speeds for streaming and torrenting, unblocking Netflix, and high levels of security and privacy.