Surfshark VPN Review

VPNs, or virtual private networks, are becoming an increasingly popular way to keep your online
activity private and secure. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take a look at popular VPN pick,
Surfshark. We’ll cover key features and explore how they can benefit you. We’ll even compare
Surfshark to some of the other top VPN brands. So read on to find out if Surfshark is right for
you.

Last Updated January 2023

Surfshark
brand logo

9.4

9.4

Exclusive:
82% Off and First 2 Months Free

Highlights
Plans starting at $2.49 per month
Military-grade encryption
Unlimited devices
Strict no-logs policy
Secure & fast protocols
30-day money back guarantee

Surfshark VPN Overview

Surfshark is a VPN service that enables you to stay private and secure online. It does so by establishing a secure connection between you and the internet. With a VPN, all your data traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel. This disguises your IP address and makes its location invisible to everyone.

While Surfshark is a newer VPN service, it has gained quick traction in the market and has been touted for its speed and advanced features by top tech sources like PCMag and TechRadar. Surfshark also enables unlimited device connections, which sets it apart from most other VPN services.

Key Features

Here’s what makes Surfshark eally shine as a fast and safe VPN service:

  • CleanWeb: Block ads, banners and trackers. CleanWeb protects you from malware-infected websites that expose your devices, as well as any phishing attempts you may encounter.
  • MultiHop: Also known as double VPN, this feature increases your security by connecting via two different VPN servers at once. These different VPN locations will minimize the chances of tracking.
  • Cookie Pop-Up Blocker: With this browser extension, cookie pop-ups will be hidden from your screen so you can put them out of sight and out of mind.
  • IP Rotator: Surfshark’s IP rotator changes your IP without disconnecting you from the VPN.
  • Camouflage Mode: Also known as obfuscation, this mode makes your traffic look normal so that even your internet service provider doesn’t know you use a VPN.
  • NoBorders Mode: This mode allows you to successfully use Surfshark no matter where you are.

Extra Features

Surfshark has a base of solid extra features as well, making it a versatile and easy-to-use VPN:

  • Kill Switch: Ensures your activities and sensitive data are never exposed if the connection with a VPN server is lost.
  • Auto-Connect: This feature connects you automatically to the VPN, which means your data is protected at all times and on all networks automatically.
  • Bypasser: Also known as split tunneling, with this feature, you can allow specific apps and websites to bypass the VPN, which helps improve speed.
  • 24/7 Support: Get help anytime you need it via live chat, email or social media.

Device Compatibility

Surfshark is compatible with a wide range of devices, including:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • iOS
  • MacOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Routers

Surfshark can be installed on an unlimited number of devices, which is great for families or those who have a lot of devices to protect.

Installation & Ease of Use

Surfshark is incredibly easy to install and use. Here’s how:

  • Once you’ve purchased your plan and created an account with Surfshark, it will automatically detect what device you’re using and prompt you to download the app. (You can also go to the “Download” tab on the site and download for your device.)
  • Open the downloaded app and log in with your email and password.
  • Once you’re logged in, Surfshark will auto-connect. Choose your server location (or let Surfshark connect you to the closest one), and you’re all set!

Contact Surfshark & Customer Service Information

Surfshark’s customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via live chat, email and social media.

Surfshark VPN Pros & Cons

Now that we’ve covered Surfshark’s key features, let’s take a look at some of the main pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Unlimited devices Not as many total servers as some VPN providers, but available in a large number of countries
Military-grade encryption Split tunneling feature currently works only with Windows or Android devices
Easy to install and use
Ad blocker
High-speed content delivery
Strict no-logs policy
Independently audited
30-day money back guarantee
24/7 customer support

Surfshark VPN Plans & Pricing

Surfshark offers a number of different ways to pay for their VPN service. All options include the same level of VPN service and features. Pricing plans include:

Monthly Plan

With this option, customers pay the base price of $12.95 per month*, billed monthly.

12-Month Plan

With this option, customers are billed $47.88 up front for 12 months of service.* This comes out to $3.99 per month and is a 69 percent savings over the Monthly Plan.

24-Month Plan

With this option, customers are billed $59.76 up front for 24 months of service.* This equates to $2.49 per month and saves you 81 percent over the Monthly Plan. 

Good to know: After the first 24 months, you’ll be billed annually at the 12-Month Plan rate.

*Note: These prices reflect the costs at the time of this review and are subject to change.

Surfshark Free Trial & Money Back Guarantee:

Surfshark’s 30-day money back guarantee offers customers a way to try their VPN service risk-free for a month. The company will issue a full refund if you change your mind.

Surfshark VPN Security & Privacy

Security Features

In addition to their strict no-logs policy and MultiHop and Camouflage Modes, which provide even more protection online, Surfshark offers a number of extra security features, including:

  • 100% Ram-Only Servers: Ram-only servers allow for improved privacy, since they are fully wiped when turned off. All Surfshark servers run on the most recent software updates, do not store any data and are wiped regularly.
  • Private DNS & Leak Protection: Surfshark has private DNS enabled on every server and leak protection when using IPv4 stack.
  • Secure & Fast Protocols: Surfshark’s entire server network supports secure and trusted Wireguard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols.
  • Encryption: Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM encryption, which is the same encryption used by the military.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: Provides an extra measure of security that goes above and beyond other VPN providers.

Privacy Features

  • Strict No-Logs policy: Surfshark never monitors, tracks or stores what you do online. That means no connection or activity logs.
  • Ad & Tracking Blocker: Surfshark prevents tracking and targeted ads to keep your data private. Other popular ad-blocking browser extensions only work with ads, banners and pop-ups on a browser level. With an adblock VPN, you’ll be free from adware and malware on browsers and apps alike.

Surfshark VPN Capabilities

Next, let’s take a look at how Surfshark performs in the areas of speed, streaming, torrenting and bypassing censorship.

Surfshark Download Speed & Performance

Surfshark uses top-quality, fast servers optimized for speed and security. All of their servers have at least a one gigabits per second (Gbps) port connected, meaning the physical connection can handle a lot of traffic. Some go up to two times 10 Gbps per server, and new 10 Gbps ports are added daily. And since Surfshark has servers in 90 countries around the world, you can always connect to a nearby server for the fastest speeds.

In a Surfshark speed test that involved testing speeds from servers around the world, the speeds recorded from a U.S. server located in New York were:

Download: 83.27 Mbps

Upload: 65.59 Mbps

Ping: 251 ms

Is Surfshark Speed Fast Enough for Gaming?

Yes, Surfshark VPN is fast enough for gaming, and if your internet service provider engages in bandwidth throttling, using a VPN will actually improve your online gaming speed.

Streaming & Torrenting

Surfshark is a great VPN for streaming and torrenting. Here’s how if performs in both areas:

Surfshark Netflix & Streaming

Surfshark VPN can bypass geo-restrictions to unblock a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and more.

Surfshark Torrenting 

Surfshark is a strong VPN for torrenting, with speeds fast enough for casual peer-to-peer (P2P) users. Users have reported successful torrenting across the following clients:

  • uTorrent
  • BitTorrent
  • Transmission
  • Deluge
  • Torrentz3
  • qBittorrent

Good to know: Surfshark’s servers that are specifically optimized for P2P are only available in certain locations. To find them, type P2P into the server list.

Surfshark Bypassing Censorship

NoBorders is Surfshark’s feature that allows you to use their VPN through network restrictions. If the app detects that someone is attempting to restrict your network, it will automatically activate NoBorders mode. This will give you a list of servers (and connect you to the closest one automatically) that work best under network restrictions like geo-blocking or government censorship.

Surfshark VPN Servers & Surfshark Server Locations

Surfshark has more than 3,200 servers in 95 countries, which gives users a lot of options when it comes to choosing a server. This list is not exhaustive, but here are some of Surfshark’s server locations by region:

Americas

United States: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

Mexico: Mexico City

Argentina: Buenos Aires

Brazil: Sao Paulo

Europe

United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester

France: Bordeaux, Marseilles, Paris 

Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt

Italy: Milan, Rome

Asia Pacific

Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Japan: Tokyo

Thailand: Bangkok

The Middle East & Africa

South Africa: Johannesburg 

Israel: Tel Aviv

United Arab Emirates: Dubai

Surfshark Comparisons & Competitive Analysis

Surfshark is a great VPN service, but how does it compare to other popular VPN providers? Here’s a look at how Surfshark stacks up to the competition.

Surfshark vs NordVPN

While Surfshark and NordVPN share the same parent company, Nord Security, the two popular VPN providers have some differences to consider

  • NordVPN is pricier and their plans are structured differently, with extra features available at each level, such as a cross-platform password manager, data breach scanner and one terabyte of encrypted cloud storage; Surfshark’s plans are priced lower and all pricing options include the same features
  • NordVPN offers dark web protection and a dedicated IP address, where Surfshark does not
  • NordVPN has more servers (5,500+) but in fewer countries (59) than Surfshark
  • Surfshark allows for unlimited device connection, while NordVPN caps out at six

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN, like Surfshark, is a popular VPN service provider. Here’s a rundown of the similarities and differences between the two companies:

  • While both companies have a similar price for their monthly payment plan, ExpressVPN is much more expensive for their 12-month plan option, and they don’t offer a 24-month plan like Surfshark
  • Both plans offer a 30-day money back guarantee and 24-hour support
  • Surfshark allows unlimited device connections; ExpressVPN caps out at five

Our Verdict

Surfshark proves its worth with a large collection of privacy tools, an easy-to-use app and unlimited device connections. We recommend it for anyone who has a large number of devices, this is a feature that sets Surfshark apart from other VPN providers. We also love that Surfshark is super affordable and offers extra security features and modes, a 30-day money back guarantee and 24/7 customer support. Surfshark also has a handful of other products beyond their VPN service to help increase online protection, like Surfshark One and Incogni. Overall, Surfshark is an excellent choice for those looking for a strong and reliable VPN service.

Surfshark VPN FAQs

What is Surfshark?

Surfshark is a virtual private network (VPN) service. The company is based in the Netherlands, and its service allows users to browse the internet anonymously and securely, as well as unblock websites and access geo-restricted content. 

Surfshark is one of the newer VPN providers on the market, but it has quickly become a popular choice among users due to its user-friendly interface, low price and robust security features.

Does Surfshark keep logs?

No, Surfshark does not keep any logs of your activity while using their service. Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, where there is no obligatory data retention law, which makes for a perfect location for a VPN provider.

Does Surfshark work with Netflix?

Yes, Surfshark does work with Netflix. It’s one of the many streaming services that Surfshark supports. In addition to Netflix, Surfshark also works with Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ and many other popular streaming services.

How to use Surfshark? 

Surfshark is super easy to install and use. After you sign up for a plan and create an account, follow the prompts to download the app on your device. To start using Surfshark, simply choose a location and click the “connect” button and you’re set to browse the internet without any restrictions.

Who owns Surfshark?

Surfshark is a subsidiary of Nord Security, the parent company of NordVPN, and was founded by Vytautas Kaziukonis in 2018.

Where is Surfshark based?

Surfshark is a VPN service company based in the Netherlands. This location is known for its user privacy rules, as there is no obligatory data retention law, which means Surfshark is not required to store logs.

Methodology

The Consumer Rating Difference

Behind Our Best Pet Insurance Ratings

We make choosing the best VPN easy with expert reviews and rankings.

Here’s the methodology behind our ratings:

icon

Comprehensive Overviews

From unique offerings and plan details to coverage, pricing and more, we cover it all in our detailed reviews.
icon

Pricing Details

We break down how much each VPN costs, noting everything that’s included under each tier.
icon

VPN Comparisons

With so many different services available, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. We compare VPNs and take a look at what each company offers, their pricing, their coverage and more.
icon

FAQs

In case the review wasn't enough to, we also include several FAQs to help ensure you have all you need to make an informed decision.