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Surfshark VPN review

Privacy and access to geo-restricted content on unlimited devices.

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Surfshark is one of the best VPN providers in the industry as it provides an impressive platform - 1700+ servers, coverage for all the major platforms (and then some), support for all the popular VOD services and torrenting, no limitations on the number of simultaneous VPN connections, and a whole bunch of other great features and extras.

Pros

  • Unblocks all Netflix content and more
  • Its 2-year plan is incredibly cheap
  • Heaps of advanced features and extras

Cons

  • Support website lacks content

Surfshark offers access to a large server network counting more than 1700 units scattered across 63 countries, apps for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, and FireOS, extensions for Firefox and Chrome, and a whole list of outstanding features, including the Smart DNS system that unblocks content on smart TVs, game consoles, and so on, where this VPN can be installed manually.

(Image credit: Future)

Unlike most other VPN providers that typically put a strict limit on how many devices can connect at the same time (like three or five), Surfshark makes no such restrictions, so it’s one less thing to worry about.

(Image credit: Future)

The clients are not only rich in useful features, but also easy enough to download, install, and use. For example, the Windows app connects and disconnects in just a single click, and you’re getting a list of available Locations with server load information, as well as a Favourites list for your most used locations. Bonus features include MultiHop that gives you another layer of privacy by directing your traffic through two different VPN locations available as part of 13 preset routes.

There’s also a split-tunnelling feature which Surfshark calls the Whitelister. Basically, it allows the creation of whitelists for apps, websites, and IP addresses that are safe enough or have to be let through your regular Internet connection to work properly. To keep pesky ads, trackers, and malicious links as far away from you as possible, Surfshark deploys its CleanWeb feature, while the NoBorders mode will try to get you online in places that usually block VPNs.

(Image credit: Future)

 This VPN vendor’s mobile apps are more complex than you’d expect, following the same principle as the desktop versions, including Multihop connections, CleanWeb, a killswitch, the same protocol combinations, and the Whitelister. Android even has a few bonus features, like the choice of which encryption method you’d like to use, be it AES-256-GCM or Chacha20-Poly1305. You can also enable the option to automatically connect to the VPN whenever accessing various categories of networks, or the ‘use small packets’ option which provides better performance with certain mobile networks. 

Plans & pricing 

At $11.95, Surfshark’s monthly subscription certainly isn’t the cheapest out there. However, the annual subscription will cost you $5.99/month (billed annually), which is certainly a solid discount. Switch to the 2-year plan and the price drops dramatically, to only $1.99/month (billed every two years), which makes it one of the most inexpensive packages in the industry. You can pay via credit cards, cryptocurrencies, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and even AliPay.

If you’re not sure you’d like a long-term commitment with this provider, have no fear - Android, iOS, and Mac users are eligible for a 7-day free trial, while Windows users will have to rely on a still very acceptable 30-day money-back guarantee.

Privacy & logging 

Starting with the basics like the AES-256 encryption, secure protocols that include OpenVPN UDP/TCP and IKEv2, and a kill switch (blocking your entire Internet access when you’re not connected to a VPN), Surfshark increases your privacy with its own private DNS on every server, double VPN hop options (connecting to one VPN location, leaving the Surfshark network in another), and more. There’s also an alternative protocol called Shadowsocks which helps bypass Internet blocks in places like China.

The no-logging policy is set in stone - the provider promises there will be no collecting of your incoming and outgoing IP addresses, VPN serves you used, session information, activity history (including downloads, browsing, and purchases), connection times, used bandwidth, or network traffic. It’s upfront about the things it does collect as well, which includes certain aggregated and anonymous stats it needs to perform seamlessly, such as frequency of its use, crash reports, and other performance-related information.

In an effort to prove it means business, Surfshark has invited the German Security firm Cure53 to perform a security audit of Surfshark’s browser extensions and, needless to say, the provider passed with flying colours. That said, we’re still to see some confirmation of the no-logging claims.

(Image credit: Future)

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that demands no user activity logging or sharing such information with the authorities. 

VOD & torrents 

Not only does Surfshark provide access to 15 localised Netflix versions, but it supports plenty of other video-on-demand (VOD) services as well. This means Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, CBS, and others. It also enables access to many other services normally censored in certain regimes. 

(Image credit: Future)

Downloading and uploading large files via torrenting clients is supported as well thanks to the servers of which most are P2P-optimised, although this is not very overtly advertised by the provider. There are also guides on the best torrenting practices. 

(Image credit: Future)

Support 

If you encounter any problems with the platform, make sure to go to the provider’s solid support site where you’ll find various helpful materials, be it setup guides, troubleshooting articles, frequently asked questions, and more. That said, the support website does lack some information (like more details about the NoBorders mode) and it could’ve been better organised in general. 

(Image credit: Future)

Should you still have issues, you can contact the always approachable customer support, and we do mean always. The live chat assistance is at your disposal 24/7, and you can also reach them via email through a contact form on the website. 

Final verdict 

Surfshark is an inexpensive and very capable VPN provider that will get you a long list of advanced features hardly seen among the competition, regardless on which platform you install it. Some of the highlights include the Multihop and NoBorders features that extend the functionality of this already every useful platform, as well as the lack of limitations on simultaneous connections, unblocking of various popular VOD (and other) content, and torrent support.  

The Verdict
5

out of 5

Surfshark VPN review

Surfshark is one of the best VPN providers in the industry as it provides an impressive platform - 1700+ servers, coverage for all the major platforms (and then some), support for all the popular VOD services and torrenting, no limitations on the number of simultaneous VPN connections, and a whole bunch of other great features and extras.