VPNs are becoming must-haves for those looking for ultimate security and online freedom, and in this Surfshark VPN review, we’ll be exploring one of the most popular solutions on the market.
Is it worth the investment in 2023? Well, in this post, we’ll aim to answer any questions that you may have by exploring everything from its features to its pricing, security, speeds, and more.
Let’s dive right in!
Surfshark VPN Review: Pros and Cons
As with any tool, there are both positives and negatives to keep in mind, here are some of the key pros and cons as expressed by Surfshark’s users:
- Supports all popular protocols
- Consistently unblocks leading streaming platforms
- Allows unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Military-level encryption and a strict no-logging policy
- Ample servers located around the globe
- Offers static and multi-hop server connections
- The monthly subscription can be costly
- Lacks split tunneling for iOS
- There are limited features for macOS
What is Surfshark?
Surfshark was founded in 2018 and it has taken the world by storm because it truly offers loads of value for money — but what is it?
Put simply, Surfshark is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that allows you to protect yourself online by hiding your IP address and your online activity through private encrypted servers.
So not only can you surf the web safely, but by hiding your location and activity, you can also explore geo-restricted websites and streaming content that is off limits in your country.
In other words, with a reliable VPN like Surfshark you get complete online freedom and security to explore the world wide web in all its glory without having your data snooped on and accessed by third parties.
We’ve mentioned that Surfshark offers users immense value for money, so let’s take a closer look at the pricing.
You have the option of a monthly, yearly, or a 2-year subscription plan — here’s what they’re priced at:
- Monthly — $12.95/month
- Annual — $3.99/month
- 2-year — $2.49/month
You can also add Surfshark’s antivirus protection, real-time data breach alerts, and the no ad and cookie tracking browser for a total of just $1.49/month extra.
Is it worth the investment? We certainly believe it is — but if you’re not 100% sure whether it’s for you, there is a 7-day Surfshark free trial that you can test.
And, if you commit and find that you’re unsatisfied, Surfshark also comes with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee!
To put into perspective what a bargain this VPN is, we’ve compared Surfshark prices with other leading VPNs:
|Service||Monthly Pricing||Cheapest Plan||Simultaneous Connections|
|Surfshark||$12.95||$2.49/month (2-year plan)||Unlimited|
|NordVPN||$11.99 to $13.99||$3.29/month (2-year plan)||6|
|CyberGhost||$12.99||$2.29 (3-year plan)||7|
|ProtonVPN||$9.99||$4.99 (2-year plan)||10|
|ExpressVPN||$12.95||$8.32 (1-year plan)||5|
As you can see from the above table, the real value comes in when you consider that Surfshark, unlike most, lets you have unlimited simultaneous connections on one subscription!
And the magic certainly doesn’t end there as you’ll see when we further explore Surfshark’s capabilities in the sections that follow.
Surfshark VPN Speed and Performance
Although there are various factors at play that can impact your speeds — such as the server distance, your connection speed, and the protocol you’ve chosen — overall, you’ll find that Surfshark offers incredibly competitive speeds.
Furthermore, you’ll find a minimum of 1Gbps ports on every server, with several boasting up to 10Gbps!
It’s certainly safe to say that with Surfshark, whether you’re using the WireGuard protocol or another, you shouldn’t have trouble maintaining a solid connection.
But, don’t take our word for it, here are some of the many, many customer reviews praising Surfshark for the superb speeds and connection stability:
You can expect download and upload speeds ranging from 390Mbps to over 981Mbps — way up there, making it one of the fastest VPNs around.
Of course, this will vary if you use a different protocol, for example, OpenVPN on TCP sees average speeds of around 300Mbps for both upload and download tests. These lightning speeds also mean that Surfshark is one of our best gaming VPNs.
And this brings us to the next part of our Surfshark review — how good it is for streaming.
Is Surfshark Good for Netflix and Streaming?
Surfshark’s unblocking capabilities are impressive, and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best Netflix VPNs and overall, one of the best streaming VPNs.
You’ll have no issue unblocking leading streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, HBO Max, Disney, Hulu, Apple TV, and many others including Netflix, of course.
In fact, you can easily access the US, UK, Italy, Canada, Australia, and even Japan Netflix libraries with ease!
And thanks to the WireGuard protocol, Surfshark gives you reliable and fast performance for a buffer-less streaming experience (without compromising your security).
Surfshark Servers and Locations
Slow connection speeds are a soul killer and server options can impact your connection, so the more the merrier!
Thankfully, besides Surfshark’s WireGuard technology, their server count and coverage around the globe help ensure quality speed and performance are maintained.
This means that regardless of where you are in the world, you should have no issue connecting to a server of your choice on any continent as you’ll have over 3,200 server options spanning over 160 locations in a whopping 95 countries!
Overall, Surfshark has loads of server coverage spanning every corner of the globe (including the largely forgotten continents like Africa and the Middle East, plus locations like Japan and Hong Kong!).
Here’s a comparison of how Surfshark compares to other top VPN solutions in terms of server count and coverage:
|Service||Server Count||Location Coverage|
As you can see from the above table, NordVPN boasts a large number of servers but it doesn’t offer the coverage that Surfshark does.
Our Surfshark review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t explore some of its most noteworthy features, so here are the key ones that you’ll want to know about:
You might find that you don’t want to be connected with Surfshark when you’re accessing certain websites or apps (for example, banking apps).
This is where this feature comes in handy as you can add websites or apps to exclude or whitelist, or choose what specific apps you’d like to route through the VPN connection.
This is essentially split tunneling of your data, which means that you’re allowing some of it to pass through the internet as normal (or unencrypted), and the rest through the encrypted tunnel.
This feature is available on Windows and Android but will be coming to other devices soon.
This feature lets you say goodbye to those annoying ads and stop cookies from tracking your every movement on the internet — whether in a browser or app.
This also means that you’re able to protect your data and device from harmful malware and phishing attacks — a feature that we’re sure everyone will welcome with open arms.
If your connection to the VPN server is lost, this feature ensures that you’re automatically disconnected so that your data and your location aren’t visible to any prying eyes. Once the connection is secure again, you’ll be reconnected.
You should have no issue downloading content from leading torrenting sites like uTorrent and BitTorrent, etc.
Plus, Surfshark is perfect for torrenting because all of the servers are optimized for P2P downloads, and although your speeds will largely depend on your connection, and the number of seeders, you’ll have no bandwidth and data caps.
As the name of this feature suggests, this lets you use the Surfshark app even in countries where it’s heavily restricted.
This, paired with the powerful military-grade encryption and features like IP rotating and ‘Camouflage mode’, means you can rest easy that your online activity is hidden.
This lets you securely free yourself from internet control and censorship.
Menacing viruses are forever on the rise and risk threatening anybody — from Trojan horses to other malware, protection is important.
And Surfshark understands this, which is why Surfshark One comes built-in with powerful antivirus protection — in fact, Surfshark is one of the best antivirus solutions on the market.
Besides this, the Surfshark app also has all the security features you’d be looking for — we’ll delve into that next.
Is Surfshark Safe?
As one of the best VPN apps, Surfshark doesn’t take security lightly. In fact, it’s by far one of the safest VPNs on the market, here’s an outline of the key security measurements taken to protect your data and activity on the web:
- Secure Protocols — You have the option of some of the most reliable protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard
- IP Address Rotator/Randomizer — Without losing connection to the VPN, your IP will change regularly to improve your privacy on the internet
- GPS Spoofing — Match your GPS location with your chosen server location
- Strict ‘No -Logging’ Policy — None of your activity is tracked, monitored, or stored
- AES-256 GCM Data Encryption — The most powerful encryption standard to safeguard your data
- Multi-Hop Connections — Improve your security by connecting to two servers (in different locations) at the same time
- RAM-Only Servers — Data automatically gets erased when the server is off and can be removed remotely if the data is at risk of third-party involvement
I’m sure that you’d agree that it’s pretty clear that Surfshark takes its users’ safety incredibly seriously, and to put your mind further at ease, they’ve done a couple of independent audits too.
Privacy and Audits
As we mentioned in the previous section, Surfshark has had independent audits from Cure53 — which concluded with positive results. In fact, you can read the entire report on the Surfshark website — again, we love the transparency!
“To sum up, Cure53 is highly satisfied to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN proxy extension, especially given the common vulnerability of similar products to privacy issues.”
Overall, with no data breaches or noteworthy privacy and security concerns, we and many others (including Cure53), believe that Surfshark is a reliable VPN provider that takes your security and privacy very seriously.
Compatible Operating Systems and Devices
Surfshark works on practically any device — Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, plus the Amazon FireStick, routers, and gaming consoles. And, you even get Surfshark extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge!
Let’s take a closer look at the noteworthy apps and their ease of use and functionality.
Surfshark for Windows
The Windows app is incredibly easy to download and it’s by far the best of the bunch as it has the majority of the Surfshark features.
It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11 devices and it certainly has a sleek, user-friendly interface that’ll make navigating through the app a breeze even if you’re not tech-savvy.
Connecting is easy too — the connect button lets you access the closest server, or you can set up that you automatically connect to your favorite location when you’re online:
You can also mark servers to be added to your favorites list to make it easier to access when you want to, and you’ll find that this is particularly helpful when you consider that, unfortunately, the locations aren’t organized in alphabetical order.
Nevertheless, you can search for locations easily and check their latencies at a glance to know how busy they are. Plus, you can choose a protocol of your choice and run speed tests to find the best servers of the bunch.
What we like most though is that, unlike other VPN providers that save their split tunneling feature for their mobile apps, Surfshark gives it to you on desktop too.
You can also toggle features on and off with ease — including the Kill Switch protection, CleanWeb, connection alerts, and advanced settings like the NoBorders mode.
Surfshark for MacOS
The macOS app can be downloaded from the Surfshark website or through the Apple Store, and although it appears to be no different from the Windows version, there are some noteworthy differences.
To start with, you can’t adjust the window as you can on Windows devices, and there’s no Bypasser feature to allow you to split tunnel your connection.
Nevertheless, overall, you still get loads of functionality and unlike on the Windows app, the server locations are displayed alphabetically on macOS devices.
Surfsharks Mobile Apps
With Surfshark, whether you’re on mobile or desktop, you get a very similar experience — but as with Windows and Mac versions, the iOS version is slightly different in terms of functionality.
For example, GPS spoofing and split tunneling are available on Android but are lacking on the iOS app — nevertheless, when compared to many VPN providers, you get a solid app packed with functionality with Surfshark.
Plus, unlike most, you also get the WireGuard protocol for top-notch security and performance, and most of the high-end functionality like the Kill Switch and NoBorders features.
Overall, it’s incredibly easy to navigate and you get the option of light or dark mode on both the desktop and mobile apps.
Surfshark VPN Download: Step-By-Step Guide
Getting started with the Surfshark app couldn’t be any easier, simply:
Step 1 — Head over to the website to create an account.
Here you’ll create an account and start your Surfshark download, either on the website or on Google Play or the Apple Store. And remember that you have the 7-day Surfshark free trial to test the VPN risk-free before committing to a paid plan:
Step 2 — Input your Surfshark login details.
Once downloaded, the app will open up automatically. Enter your email address and password to get started.
Step 3 — Find a server by clicking the ‘Connect’ button:
You can set your default location to the fastest or nearest server by clicking the 3 lines as shown in the image above.
Once you’re connected, ‘Connect’ will change to ‘Disconnect’, and you can click the arrow for in-depth details related to your connection status:
It’s literally as easy as that! And the rest is really straightforward, but if you do find that you’re unsure, be sure to check out Surfshark’s in-depth, step-by-step guides for further instructions.
Although everything has been incredibly impressive so far in this Surfshark review, it doesn’t get much better than the customer service — no really, feel free to take a look at the Trustpilot reviews yourself! Here are a couple of the countless happy customer service reports:
These are echoed by loads of positive Surfshark Reddit VPN reviews, and it’s pretty safe to say that Surfshark’s customer support is one of the leading reasons why it’s rated 4.4/5 on TrustPilot.
There’s no doubt that with Surfshark, you’ll have fantastic support with 24/7 live chat and email technicians, plus if you’re in a pickle, you’ll likely also find that the website guides and FAQs section are super informative too.
Conclusion: Is Surfshark the Best VPN?
Need we say more in this Surfshark review about whether or not it holds up to its promise of fantastic security, competitive speeds and unblocking capabilities, and superb value for money?
We doubt it — you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better VPN tool than the Surfshark app.
It’s jam-packed with features and it lets you connect to an unlimited number of devices with just one subscription (at just $2.49/month on the 2-year subscription might we add!).
You’ll find that complete peace of mind and internet freedom usually comes at a higher price point with most leading VPN tools — but with Surfshark you get more, for less.