Surfshark VPN Review – Unbiased Analysis and Verdict – (Updated in 2023)
Surfshark is an all-rounder VPN service that works with Netflix/torrenting and is pretty affordable. For all its unique capabilities and proprietary features, it has earned a rating of 9.5/10. To find out everything that's good and bad about Surfshark, check out this in-depth Surfshark VPN review.
VPNs have become increasingly important in today’s digital landscape due to growing concerns over online privacy and security. With the rise in cyber threats, using a VPN can safeguard personal data and protect against potential hacking attempts. VPNs enable users to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in their region, enhancing internet freedom.
Surfshark is the best budget VPN which is no longer the new kid on the block. In fact, it has become one of the best VPN services packed with feature-rich apps, powerful unblocking ability, fast speeds, and a massive server network.
Surfshark guarantees that it maintains no logs of privacy-sensitive information of users, claiming that Cure53’s independent audit is legitimate. Moreover, it is also safe to use, thanks to its AES 256-bit encryption and the latest WireGuard protocol.
Despite the rising inflation, the VPN continues to be down-to-earth by offering its service at a super-affordable cost. While this sounds fantastic, you may wonder: Is Surfshark really as great? Can it keep you secure across the globe? Is the service consistent?
In this Surfshark VPN review, we’ll test every feature of this premium VPN provider. We’ll check what it offers at such an affordable price, how consistent its features are, and how they differ from every other VPN provider. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Surfshark VPN Review: Surfshark Pros and Cons
Here is a list of pros and cons we compiled after the Surfshark VPN review:
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Responsive live chat support 24/7
- Ad-blocker and malware scanner
- Kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and a no-logs policy
- Bypasser, CleanWeb, and Built-in speed test tool
- NoBorder and Camouflage modes
- OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 protocols
- Global server network coverage
- Exceptional streaming performance
- Pricing packages at low prices
- Slow speeds on a few server locations
- The Split Tunneling feature is unavailable on Apple devices
- Originated in the Netherlands which is a member state of “Nine Eyes”
Surfshark Features – At A Glance
|Price||$1.99/mo (Get 86% + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days|
|Free Trial||7 Days on Mobile|
|Compatible Devices||iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, FireStick, Smart TVs, Gaming Consoles, routers|
|Speeds||80+ Mbps (on 100 Mbps)|
|DNS Leak Protection||Yes|
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat Support|
|Other Features||CleanWeb, NoBorders, WireGuard protocol, MultiHop|
Pricing – How Much Does Surfshark VPN Cost? ⭐10.0
Thinking, ‘Is Surfshark free?’ Well, no. But here is a list of all Surfshark budget-friendly pricing plans in USA:
|Surfshark Price||Plan Duration||Discount|
Surfshark offers One Plan refers to its subscription package that provides unlimited access to all features and benefits offered by the Surfshark VPN service. This includes secure and private browsing, access to global content, multi-device support, and advanced security features such as Kill Switch and CleanWeb. With the One Plan, users can enjoy comprehensive VPN protection across all their devices with a single subscription.
If we talk about payment methods, you can purchase a subscription for Surfshark through:
- Credit cards
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Cryptocurrency (i.e., Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple).
Surfshark Refund Policy
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for 30 days free of cost and cancel it to get a refund. It does, however, come with exceptions. Users who have signed up for the VPN via App Store, Amazon, or iTunes cannot get a refund. The same goes for gift card payments. In such cases, the user will have to contact the specific store for a refund.
One great policy of Surfshark is that, unlike most paid VPNs, Surfshark also refunds payments made with cryptocurrency. Users who paid for Surfshark with cryptocurrency will be given an equivalent amount in US dollars based on the change rate at the refund time.
During testing, we got a confirmation email regarding cancellation within 2 hours, and the refund was received on the 8th day. Therefore, Surfshark’s refund policy is pretty good.
Does Surfshark have a Free Trial?
Surfshark provides a free VPN trial lasting for 7 days specifically for Android, iOS, and macOS platforms. This allows users to test the service and explore its features before making a commitment. Alternatively, if you choose to subscribe on a different platform, Surfshark offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.
This means that if you’re unsatisfied with the VPN service within the first 30 days of your purchase, you can request a refund and receive your money back. This provides users with a risk-free opportunity to try out Surfshark and ensures customer satisfaction.
Streaming – Is Surfshark VPN Good for Streaming? ⭐9.0
Yes, Surfshark VPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming. With its vast server network spread across numerous countries, Surfshark allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and access popular streaming platforms from anywhere in the world. It provides fast and stable connections, ensuring smooth streaming without buffering or interruptions.
Surfshark also offers specialized servers optimized for streaming, allowing users to enjoy their favorite shows and movies in high definition. It offers multiple advanced features to enhance your streaming experience. To start, there’s Smart DNS, using which Surfshark can be configured on almost any device, even the ones that don’t support VPNs.
Surfshark VPN is known for its ability to successfully unblock over 20+ streaming platforms. It has been thoroughly tested and proven to work flawlessly with popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. With Surfshark, users can enjoy seamless access to a wide range of streaming content from different regions, enhancing their entertainment options
|Streaming Platforms||Unblocking Ability|
|Amazon Prime Video||✔|
|Amazon Prime Video||✔|
|ESPN & ESPN+||✔|
Does Surfshark Unblock Netflix?
Surfshark VPN is indeed highly regarded for its ability to bypass Netflix geo-blocks, making it one of the best VPNs for accessing Netflix content. In addition to unblocking the Netflix U.S. library, Surfshark can also unlock libraries in other countries such as the U.K., Japan, Germany, Netherlands, and France.
If you’re interested in changing your Netflix region or accessing specific international libraries, Surfshark offers a reliable solution. It’s worth checking out their guide on how to change Netflix region or learn how to watch Japanese Netflix in the U.S. for step-by-step instructions.
As per our tests, Surfshark supports 30+ Netflix libraries from all over the world. For Netflix US, we connected to its US – Boston server. Surfshark works great with Netflix, delivering fast streaming speed and HD picture quality.
Surfshark VPN’s EU servers are redirected to Netflix US, allowing users to access the desired content conveniently. Despite the redirection, customer support confirmed the safety of using EU servers for watching Netflix US. This feature provides flexibility and a broader range of Netflix content for users.
One of the standout features of Surfshark VPN is its ability to unblock Netflix US by utilizing servers in Europe that are geographically closer to users. This approach offers a surprising yet convenient advantage as it allows for faster connection speeds compared to connecting through distant US servers.
During testing, we found that accessing Netflix US from servers in Sweden and the Czech Republic was seamless, without encountering any Netflix proxy errors. This unique server strategy enhances the streaming experience and ensures reliable access to a wide range of Netflix content.
|Netflix Libraries||Working (Yes/No)||Speed drop (%)||Buffering|
|Netflix US||✔||12% decrease||No|
|Netflix UK||✔||5.3% decrease||Minimal|
|Netflix IT||✔||1.3% decrease||No|
|Netflix DE||✔||1.7% decrease||Minimal|
|Netflix AU||✔||48% decrease||Minimal|
|Netflix JP||✔||26% decrease||No|
|Netflix KR||✔||18% decrease||Minimal|
|Netflix FR||✔||5.2% decrease||No|
|Netflix CA||✔||9.7% decrease||No|
|Netflix PT||✔||3.7% decrease||No|
Does Surfshark unblock HBO Max?
Yes, Surfshark is capable of unblocking HBO Max. With its advanced server infrastructure, Surfshark VPN can bypass geo-restrictions and allow users to access HBO Max from anywhere in the world. By connecting to Surfshark’s servers, users can enjoy their favorite HBO Max shows, movies, and exclusive content, regardless of their physical location.
Surfshark’s ability to unblock HBO Max expands your streaming options and ensures that you can enjoy the platform’s content regardless of regional restrictions.
Can Surfshark unblock Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, etc?
Yes, Surfshark can easily unblock Disney+ Hotstar, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services. We can say this after testing Surfshark with a variety of streaming platforms.
In our evaluation, we specifically opted to utilize Surfshark VPN to access Amazon Prime. Throughout our testing, we were pleased to find that all content streamed flawlessly in high-definition quality, without any notable errors or interruptions. However, it’s worth noting that we did encounter a minor challenge in finding the optimal server. After trying, we ultimately found success with the Ashburn server.
We then tried accessing Hulu with Surfshark. During our testing, pretty much every US server we connected to easily managed to unblock Hulu. As for picture quality, we managed to stream multiple shows in HD quality. You can see us accessing Hulu with Surfshark’s Dallas server below:
Finally, we tested Surfshark with Disney+ and got the best performance with its New York server. Again, all the content we streamed on Disney+ played in 1080p HD quality.
Apart from Netflix, other popular streaming services, which include BBC iPlayer, Crackle, and HBO Max with Surfshark, were also accessible in 1080p HD quality with Surfshark. It is also the Best VPN for Colorado Sports as you can watch Colorado Sports anywhere using the Surfshark Denver server.
In short, we had no issue unblocking sites with Surfshark. However, it did act up when we tried to unblock Hotstar. We had to connect to its Indian locations from time to time, and it finally unblocked on our 7th attempt. The speeds were extremely slow during testing, and there was a lot of buffering. It could be due to the distance, but the video kept buffering and was unwatchable.
Speed – How Fast is Surfshark VPN for Online Activities? ⭐8.5
Surfshark is fast enough for different online activities. While testing, we didn’t face any problems in regular use and could stream in HD, Surfshark VPN downloads heavy files and browse the internet without any hindrances. In fact, Surfshark turned out to be faster than most VPNs we tested. And so, it gets an 8.5/10 speed.
Surfshark has enhanced its speeds since we last reviewed it. When we tested it by connecting to its OpenVPN protocol, we got a speed 0f 78+ Mbps on the US server and 75+ Mbps on its UK server on our 100 Mbps connection, which didn’t seem quite up to par.
However, we witnessed a gradual surge in speed after connecting to its WireGuard protocol during our Surfshark speed review. On its US server, the VPN delivered 80+ Mbps speeds and 78+ Mbps on its UK server. These speeds were stable and consistent every time we connected to the protocol. Making Surfshark one of the best VPNs with WireGuard Protocol.
Overall, we didn’t face extreme slowdowns on any server. We further conducted a Surfshark speed review on its long-distance and nearby servers. Let’s check out the results below:
Local Servers Speed
For local speeds, we tested Surfshark’s speeds on nearby servers. We did expect some speed loss because our data naturally had to travel to the server. But since it was near our location, the speed drop was significantly less.
First, we started with the US servers. It took us 18 seconds to connect with the US-New York server. The download speed that we managed to get on the New York server was 84.09 Mbps, and the upload speed was 78.51 Mbps. Keeping all the biases aside, the speeds are indeed great for indulging in smooth online activities.
United States (New York):
|Download Speed (Mbps)||84.09 Mbps||16% decrease|
|Upload Speed (Mbps)||78.51 Mbps||22% decrease|
We then connected to the LA server of Surfshark, which took about 20 seconds to connect and gave off a download speed of 83.21 Mbps and an upload speed of 61.24 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
United States (Los Angeles):
|Download Speed (Mbps)||83.21 Mbps||17% decrease|
|Upload Speed (Mbps)||61.24 Mbps||39% decrease|
We also decided to test the Canada server speed as it’s near our location. On its Canada – Toronto server, we had similar results with low pings:
|Download Speed (Mbps)||82.72 Mbps||18% decrease|
|Upload Speed (Mbps)||75.50 Mbps||25% decrease|
Long Distance Server Speed
Using Surfshark’s “Fastest Server” option, we connected to a server in Valencia, Spain, and experienced a slight slowdown in speeds. This speed drop was significant as compared to the nearby servers but still pretty decent.
|Download Speed (Mbps)||68.09 Mbps||32% decrease|
|Upload Speed (Mbps)||50.61 Mbps||50% decrease|
We then connected to its Portugal – Lisbon server and got a download speed of 69.26 Mbps and an upload speed of 72.72 Mbps on our connection of 100 Mbps connection. Since the upload speeds were faster, these servers proved to be a reliable option for gaming.
|Download Speed (Mbps)||38.05 Mbps||52.5% decrease|
|Upload Speed (Mbps)||93.07 Mbps||5.3% decrease|
Even with very slow speeds, it didn’t affect the performance we prepared ourselves for. For example, we could stream Netflix without any major buffering or lags, and browsing was also fast. So, with local servers, you won’t have any problems with Surfshark.
Just check out the table below for an overview:
|Server location||Download speed||Upload speed||Pings|
|Australia – Perth||75 Mbps||53.25 Mbps||132 ms|
|Canada – Toronto||82.72 Mbps||75.50 Mbps||49 ms|
|Germany – Frankfurt||83.67 Mbps||42.5 Mbps||117 ms|
|Hong Kong||85.67 Mbps||63.25 Mbps||264 ms|
|India||75.16 Mbps||53 Mbps||211 ms|
|Italy – Milan||85.91 Mbps||75.67 Mbps||263 ms|
|The United Kingdom – London||83.91 Mbps||71.09 Mbps||139 ms|
|The United States – New York||84.09 Mbps||78.51 Mbps||29 ms|
|United Arab Emirates||74.92 Mbps||61.75||234 ms|
Is Surfshark VPN Fast Enough for Gaming?
Yes, Surfshark is fast enough for gaming in USA. And not only do we think it’s good for gaming, but we believe it’s one of the best gaming VPNs. Thanks to its super-fast speeds and extensive network of servers, you don’t have to worry about delays.
we encountered a few instances where certain Surfshark servers displayed error messages and had slower loading times. However, we found that utilizing the “Fastest Server” feature greatly improved speeds compared to manually selecting servers closer to our actual location.
While Surfshark generally provided excellent performance, we did notice some noticeable lags when connecting to long-distance servers like Australia. It’s important to consider these factors and choose servers strategically based on your location and desired performance.
To ensure a seamless gaming experience, it is recommended to have a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps, an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps, and aim for low ping values. When testing Surfshark VPN, we utilized its Fastest Server feature, which promptly connected us to a server located in Canada.
Upon launching Overwatch, Surfshark VPN automatically connected us to its Europe server, resulting in some initial lag. However, the gameplay quickly stabilized and ran smoothly within a few minutes. Although there were minor hiccups at the start, we were able to play the game without any significant interruptions, showcasing Surfshark’s capability to maintain a stable gaming experience.
During our testing, we specifically connected to Surfshark’s server located in Singapore to assess its performance. Despite the long-distance connection, we were pleased to experience a decent speed of 36.21 Mbps. Notably, Surfshark’s Singapore server also demonstrated reduced ping times, which is beneficial for online activities that require low latency.
This performance showcases Surfshark’s ability to maintain reliable connections and deliver satisfactory speeds even when accessing servers in distant locations.
However, we experienced connectivity issues on Australian servers as we could not load the game. We tried multiple times and received the following error message, and even after waiting 10 minutes, it wouldn’t load.
This error could be due to an issue with the game at the time, but it worked perfectly fine on other servers like Singapore. We could easily play with best VPN for Overwatch on the long-distance server (We tested the Singapore server as it gave me the lowest pings at 48 ms).
We then tested the gaming speed on the Singapore server because we wanted to test servers in Asia, as they have always given me high download speeds and lower pings – a perfect combo for gaming.
Honestly, we would personally recommend using ExpressVPN for gaming because it offers better speeds (you can check our ExpressVPN speed test results), and it has more server locations (in 105+ countries).
Surfshark VPN Review: Servers and Locations
Surfshark has over 3200 servers in 100 countries. Surfshark has a global network of servers strategically located across various continents to provide comprehensive VPN coverage. Here is an overview of Surfshark server locations continent-wise:
- North America:
- United States: 500+ servers in various cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and more.
- Canada: 100+ servers in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
- Mexico: 10+ servers in locations such as Mexico City.
- South America:
- Brazil: 50+ servers in cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
- Argentina: 10+ servers in Buenos Aires.
- Chile: 10+ servers in Santiago.
- United Kingdom: 300+ servers spread across locations such as London, Manchester, and Glasgow.
- Germany: 200+ servers in cities like Frankfurt, Berlin, and Munich.
- France: 150+ servers in Paris, Marseille, and other cities.
- Netherlands: 100+ servers in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
- Spain: 100+ servers in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.
- Italy: 80+ servers in Rome, Milan, and Naples.
- Poland: 50+ servers in Warsaw and Krakow.
- Sweden: 50+ servers in Stockholm.
- Switzerland: 40+ servers in Zurich and Geneva.
- Australia: 100+ servers across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
- Singapore: 60+ servers in the city-state.
- Japan: 50+ servers in Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama.
- South Korea: 30+ servers in Seoul.
- India: 20+ servers in cities like Mumbai and Chennai.
- South Africa: 20+ servers in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- Middle East:
- United Arab Emirates: 20+ servers in Dubai.
- New Zealand: 10+ servers in Auckland and Wellington.
- Israel: 10+ servers in Tel Aviv.
Virtual Server Locations
Surfshark offers a wide range of virtual server locations to its users, ensuring a reliable and secure VPN experience. With a total of over 3200 servers worldwide, including both physical and virtual servers, Surfshark guarantees optimal performance and accessibility. Among these servers, a notable portion consists of virtual server locations strategically placed across different regions.
One of Surfshark’s key advantages is its extensive virtual server network, which includes over 65+ virtual locations. These virtual servers are spread across various countries and cities, allowing users to access content and services from different regions with ease. Whether you need to connect to a virtual server in the US, the US, or even Australia, Surfshark’s virtual server infrastructure ensures that you can enjoy a fast and secure internet connection, no matter where you are located.
Static IP Address
Surfshark provides static IP addresses in multiple countries. However, the specific number of static IP addresses they offer may vary over time as they continue to expand their network. I recommend visiting Surfshark’s official website or contacting their customer support for the most up-to-date information on the number and availability of static IP addresses they provide.
Benefits of Using Static IP Address
- Compatible with all types of connection protocols.
- Safeguards all of your devices that are connected.
- Ensures secure manual connections.
- Prevents unauthorized usage of your IP address.
- Offers customizable privacy features.
- Facilitates easy access to remote networks.
- Assists in bypassing bothersome captchas.
- Enhances access to websites that are sensitive to IP addresses.
Security – How Secure is Surfshark VPN? ⭐10.0
Surfshark VPN is known for providing a high level of security to its users. It employs robust encryption protocols to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your data. By using industry-standard AES-256 encryption, Surfshark creates a secure tunnel for your internet traffic, making it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept or decipher your communication.
Surfshark VPN offers a range of advanced security features. It has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not store any user activity or connection logs. This commitment to privacy ensures that your online activities remain private and anonymous. Surfshark also incorporates a kill switch feature, which automatically cuts off your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. This prevents any data leakage or exposure of your IP address.
If you’re still wondering, ‘Is Surfshark safe,’ then let’s look at all its features in detail below to answer the question:
Surfshark implements the most robust encryption available in the market, AES-256-GCM, ensuring maximum data protection and preventing any potential disruptions during data transfers. This encryption standard, known as Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key and Galois/Counter Mode, offers an incredibly secure solution for safeguarding your information.
For Android users, Surfshark provides an alternative option called the ChaCha20 cipher. While it offers similar levels of security to AES-256, the main difference lies in the speed performance. Newer devices equipped with AES hardware acceleration typically experience faster speeds with AES-256, whereas older smartphones tend to perform better with the ChaCha20 cipher.
Surfshark also prioritizes the security of your authentication process by utilizing SHA-512 encryption. This involves scrambling your authentication data into 512 binary digits and comparing it with the login data stored on their servers. If the passwords match, you are granted access.
Surfshark implements RAM-only servers that erase data whenever the server is powered off, ensuring that it cannot be retrieved. This strict data purging mechanism guarantees your complete online anonymity, as no traces of your activities remain.
In contrast, many other VPN service providers opt to rent servers from data centers to maintain a high server count. However, this approach introduces a dependency on the security of each server location. Some servers may possess lower levels of security, even if logs are promptly removed from the hard drive. The possibility of data recovery still exists, and there is also the risk of private keys being compromised if hackers gain unauthorized access.
Regarding protocols, currently, it offers three different protocols for the VPN service connection, which is very useful in case Surfshark displays connection issues.
- IKEv2: This protocol works best when you connect to a nearby server. During testing, it also gave decent speeds on long-distance servers. It comes with an auto-connect feature which makes it a great choice for mobile phone users. IKEv2 is available on Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, and FireTV Surfshark apps.
- OpenVPN: OpenVPN is a popular choice among security professionals because it is one of the most secure protocols available. It has two versions, UDP and TCP. UDP is faster and ideal for gaming, streaming, and video calls. TCP, on the other hand, is a bit slower.
- WireGuard: First released in 2016, this protocol is similar to OpenVPN in terms of being Open Source. It uses state-of-the-art cryptographic technology, which makes it faster, more stable, and 4 times faster than OpenVPN. Surfshark offers this protocol for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS device applications only.
Although OpenVPN is commonly considered the ideal choice for its speed and reliability, WireGuard is emerging as a promising contender for the future. It is anticipated that an increasing number of VPN providers will adopt the WireGuard connection protocol in the coming years. For a detailed comparison between the two, you can refer to our comprehensive WireGuard vs. OpenVPN analysis.
To assess the speeds of these protocols, we conducted tests and observed that OpenVPN (UDP) delivered significantly slower speeds compared to both IKEv2 and WireGuard.
In terms of speed, Surfshark’s OpenVPN protocol demonstrated an average slowdown of 46% compared to IKEv2. Therefore, for users with high internet usage, it is recommended to opt for IKEv2 as it offers the fastest performance. Alternatively, you can choose the automatic protocol option, allowing Surfshark to select the most suitable protocol based on your specific requirements.
Surfshark’s dedicated desktop application offers three VPN service protocols: IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN, each available in both TCP and UDP variations. This comprehensive range of protocols ensures that users have flexibility in selecting the protocol that best meets their needs, whether it’s prioritizing speed, security, or compatibility with specific applications or networks.
Leak Test Results
We tested 10 Surfshark servers (including servers in the UK, US, France, and Italy) and found no DNS, IP, or WebRTC leak.
DNS leak protection is mandatory as it ensures that your data is being routed via Surfshark’s DNS servers instead of your Internet Service Provider’s DNS servers. Similarly, IPv6 leak protection ensures that the network’s IPv6 is not leaking your real location.
Surfshark offers private DNS and IP leak protection on all its servers when using the IPv4 stack. It is the most common type of IP, while IPv6 is the newer format.
We also checked through customer support, and they confirmed that Surfshark doesn’t support IPv6, so you could experience some leaks. But during testing, we experienced no leaks.
You can disable IPv6 on your devices, but it might cause some apps to not work properly. This is very crucial as Surfshark is a top VPN because, with premium VPNs like ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about IPv6 or IPv4.
Before we could trust our privacy with Surfshark, we decided to take some leak tests using IPleak.net. Here’s how Surfshark performed in our leak test:
We were satisfied with the results as neither our DNS nor IPv6 leaked after connecting to Surfshark. We recommend checking your connection to make sure it is secure.
Automatic Kill Switch
Surfshark comes with a built-in Kill Switch feature that prevents your online activity from leaking if your VPN service suddenly stops working. This feature is so smart; it automatically kills your internet whenever you lose connection with the VPN server.
In case of any VPN connectivity issues, it will deactivate your internet connection and reactivate it automatically. This way, no information will be leaked in case of any sudden connection drops.
We tested out this feature by downloading a torrent file and then disconnecting from the VPN server midway. As soon as we disconnected from the VPN server, Surfshark automatically disabled our internet connection.
Using Surfshark’s MultiHop servers, you can establish a VPN chain and take IP masking to the next level. For instance, you can connect to Surfshark’s servers in the US and Netherlands simultaneously and virtually appear in two different locations. It sends your traffic through two server locations instead of one, which is amazing.
However, when tested, its MultiHop servers slowed down our speeds significantly as compared to the regular servers. That’s reasonable, as your traffic passes through 2 servers that are in 2 locations.
This mode makes your encrypted traffic look like regular traffic under deep packet inspection (DPI) so that nobody can see you’re using a VPN. It is a convenient feature of how to use Surfshark VPN if you connect behind a strict firewall or an Internet Service Provider that restricts VPN usage.
We tested this feature on public Wi-Fi in a library, and it instantly unblocked Netflix and Disney+ without any hiccups. You don’t have to manually enable the Surfshark Camouflage mode, as it is automatically enabled when you connect to the OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.
NoBorder is an exclusive feature of Surfshark designed for countries with strict regulations against VPN usage and heavy online censorship (think China, for example). As soon as the NoBorder feature detects the situation mentioned above, it will present you with a special list of servers that you can connect to.
Nexus, the latest security feature offered by Surfshark, utilizes Software Defined Networking (SDN) to merge all VPN servers into a unified network. Instead of relying on a single VPN encryption tunnel, Nexus connects multiple VPN servers, enabling traffic to be routed through an entire network of servers.
By employing Nexus, user traffic is not only concealed but also experiences enhanced stability and potential improvements in VPN connection speed. This feature ensures that users can enjoy a reliable and efficient VPN experience, as their data is routed through a network of servers rather than being limited to a single tunnel. Nexus optimizes the performance of Surfshark’s VPN service, providing users with increased speed and reliability.
Surfshark also offers a 2FA feature, also known as Two-Factor Authentication. It adds an additional layer of security to your Surfshark account. To enable 2FA on Surfshark, you must open its official site on your browser and log in using your credentials.
Then, go to “Account Settings” and click “Turn on 2FA.” After that, you can either set it up with your email ID or an authentication app like Google Authenticator.
We chose the Google Authenticator method because it is super private and is also recommended by Surfshark. You must download the Google Authenticator app from Google Play Store or App Store if you use an iOS device.
Then, just scan the QR code, and it will register your site. Now, every time you log in, you will need to enter the code from the authenticator app. But remember, the code is only valid for 30 seconds. After that, it generates a newer one.
CleanWeb is a built-in feature of Surfshark VPN that blocks ads, trackers, and malware. We particularly love this feature because it actively blocks annoying advertisements. Here’s a screenshot that we took for our Surfshark CleanWeb review:
To enable the CleanWeb feature on Surfshark’s extension, simply click on the feature and enable it. It is handy as you won’t have to see intrusive ads when browsing online anymore. It also detects malicious websites and phishing scams to protect your device.
GPS Spoofing on Android
Apps and websites use GPS to locate users instead of using IP addresses. This way, advertisers target you with ads. However, it is an issue when it comes to the online privacy of users, and unfortunately, a VPN is not enough. But, Surfshark has solved this problem by offering a GPS Spoofing feature.
This feature hides both your IP address and GPS location making it look like you are physically located in the same place as the server location. Therefore, no apps can track your whereabouts. However, this feature is only available on Android. To enable it, you can select the “Override GPS Location” feature under the advanced settings.
We tested this feature by connecting to its Chicago server. After enabling the feature, we went to Google Maps, and it showed our location near Willis Tower in Chicago when physically our team was present in the UK at that time. However, you cannot use it on games like Pokemon Go because then it won’t be able to load any PokeStops, and the game needs your location.
Besides the features mentioned above, Surfshark also offers tons of cool in-app features for its users, as per our Surfshark VPN review. Here are some notable ones:
- Whitelister: As the name suggests, Whitelister is a split tunneling feature that allows you to custom-exclude specific apps or websites from connecting via a VPN. This feature is great if you prefer securing certain sensitive apps and websites while excluding other apps that you might use for streaming and general browsing.
- Device Invisibility: With Surfshark, you can also make your VPN-enabled devices invisible to other devices that are on the same network. This feature offers an extra layer of privacy and is best when you are using public Wi-Fi and don’t want to be visible to others. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in Surfshark apps for Windows and Android.
- Privacy Beyond VPN: This is a bundled add-on offered by Surfshark with additional costs on its basic subscription deal. It has two features, including Surfshark Search, which lets you privately search without any ads or trackers, and Surfshark Alert, which notifies users immediately if their information is found in leaked databases.
- Trust DNS: Surfshark also offers a free Trust DNS app that lets you change your DNS address for free. What’s best is that you can choose from 100+ public DNS servers and access websites that are blocked at the DNS level and even hide your online activity from your ISP. It is only available on Android and iOS apps.
Surfshark VPN Privacy ⭐10.0
Surfshark is packed with privacy features. The VPN keeps no logs and secures users’ data during the entire session. Because of its no-logs policy, Surfshark VPN is also one of the best no logging VPN or we can also say one of the best offshore VPN as It excels in safeguarding sensitive data by routing it through servers in privacy-friendly jurisdictions following ExpressVPN in the list. Above all, it uses RAM-only servers to wipe all your data after every session leaving no traces behind.
In this heading, we will be looking directly into the relationship between your privacy and Surshark, how Surshark honors it accordingly, and what is a Warrant Canary.
Strict No-Logs Policy
- IP addresses
- Browsing history
- Session information
- Used bandwidth
- Connection timestamps
- Network traffic and other similar data
This is seriously impressive because Surfshark only collects emails, encrypted passwords, billing information, and order history. This is pretty standard and cannot pose a threat to user privacy. Surfshark also won the Security Software Company of the Year Award at the 17th Annual 2021 Cybersecurity Global Excellence Awards held on June 1st.
If you don’t know, a warrant canary is basically a small document informing customers of National Security Letters, Gag Orders, and Warrants that the provider has received to date. Impressively, Surfshark has not received any subpoena or orders to disclose customer information as of October 2022:
Transparency plays a vital role in establishing trust in cybersecurity companies. In order to build and maintain trust, Surfshark has undergone independent audits not once, but three times.
The initial audit took place in 2018 and was conducted by Cure53 penetration testers. Their focus was on examining the security of Surfshark’s Chrome and Firefox extensions, as browser extensions are typically more vulnerable. Fortunately, the results were positive, with the extensions being deemed highly secure.
In 2021, Cure53 conducted a second audit, this time focusing on Surfshark’s server infrastructure and overall security. Once again, Surfshark emerged successful, passing the tests with exceptional results.
The most recent audit occurred in 2023 and was conducted by Deloitte. This audit specifically scrutinized Surfshark’s no-logs policy. The outcome favored the VPN provider, as Deloitte confirmed the validity of Surfshark’s no-logs policy, affirming that the provider genuinely does not retain any user information.
Torrenting with Surfshark
While Surfshark primarily focuses on other functionalities rather than torrenting, it does support and can be utilized for this purpose. All of Surfshark’s servers are optimized for peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and fully support torrenting. For users seeking enhanced security, Surfshark also allows payment through cryptocurrency.
Once you configure a torrent client like BitTorrent or uTorrent, Surfshark automatically connects you to the nearest P2P server available. This streamlined process sets it apart from other VPNs that often require the manual selection of specific torrenting servers.
To verify this feature personally, we conducted a test by connecting to Surfshark’s Italy server, which is not optimized for P2P. Using IPleak.net, we performed leak tests and confirmed that our IP and DNS locations were registered as Milan, Italy. However, upon opening uTorrent and rechecking our IP and DNS locations, we discovered that our IP remained the same while our DNS was set to the Netherlands—a location optimized for P2P activities.
Nevertheless, we observed that the automatic server switch resulted in decreased download speeds compared to when we manually chose P2P servers. For instance, when connecting to local P2P optimized servers, our average speed amounted to 62.17 Mbps, allowing the file to be downloaded in a mere 12 minutes. Conversely, when connected to the Italy server, the speed dropped to 32.5 Mbps, elongating the download time to 23 minutes.
Does Surfshark Work in China?
Yes, Surfshark is among the best VPNs that work. Its servers in Hong Kong managed to unblock almost any Chinese content we tried to access.
Surfshark accomplishes this by utilizing a combination of physical and virtual servers. This means that even if Surfshark does not have a physical server located in Albania, its virtual server location can still grant you access to all the local content specific to Albania. Surfshark ensures that you can enjoy unrestricted access to region-specific content regardless of the availability of physical servers
Surfshark’s Hong Kong server serves as a viable alternative to a Chinese server, effectively addressing its absence. By utilizing Surfshark’s Hong Kong server, you gain the ability to effortlessly bypass restrictions and access platforms like Instagram, Google Meet, and Snapchat that are typically blocked in China based on this remarkable unblocking of Surfshark and its affordable price it is considered the best VPN for China.
If you are having issues downloading Surfshark in China, you can set it up manually, which works all the time. Customer support is also available if you need help setting it up on your device.
Surfshark incorporates specialized features like NoBorders Mode and Camouflage Mode specifically designed to circumvent the Great Firewall of China. Camouflage Mode disguises VPN traffic to resemble regular internet traffic, allowing users to bypass VPN restrictions imposed by internet service providers (ISPs).
NoBorders Mode is equipped with the capability to identify VPN-blocking technology and firewalls. It intelligently selects obfuscated servers, enabling users to enjoy unrestricted internet access even in regions with strict online censorship measures. These advanced functionalities offered by Surfshark ensure that users can navigate the internet freely and securely
Installation of Surfshark VPN & Ease of Use ⭐10.0
Surfshark apps are interactive, user-friendly, convenient, and intuitive. The clean layout and well-designed interface make it easy for beginners to use the features. The app supports around 15 different languages to assist customers worldwide, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.
Moreover, the main functionality for all platforms is the same for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. This way, you don’t need to follow 4 different procedures to configure it on different devices. Similarly, it is easy to set up Surfshark on Firestick and install Surfshark on Apple tv, users find really convenient to set up the VPN on these devices.
Other than the above-mentioned devices Surfshark can be very easily installed on these devices as well:
We liked the brief description of the features and settings explaining their purpose and usage. Above all, you can save your favorite servers to use later.
When testing, we could not find server information like ping time, server load, and more. After contacting customer support, we found out that to view individual server information, you need to disconnect from the VPN. This is very helpful as you can choose the fastest server with lower pings.
Unlimited Simultaneous Device Connections
Surfshark stands out as a top VPN option for multiple devices by providing users with the ability to have unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that with a single Surfshark subscription, you can connect an unlimited number of devices.
This feature is particularly advantageous considering that many other VPNs typically impose restrictions on device connections, often limiting them to 5-10 devices. With Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections, it offers excellent value for your money, making it an ideal choice, especially for larger families seeking VPN coverage for all their devices.
To evaluate Surfshark’s performance, we conducted tests by setting it up on our router and connecting various devices such as laptops, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and desktop computers. Surprisingly, we observed no noticeable impact on the performance of these devices while using Surfshark.
We extended our evaluation to filesharing storage devices and found that Surfshark emerged as one of the top VPN choices for Synology devices. These tests affirm Surfshark’s reliability and efficiency across multiple platforms, making it an excellent VPN option for diverse networking needs.
Device Compatibility with Surfshark VPN⭐9.0
Surfshark is compatible with iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Its dedicated applications seamlessly integrate with these operating systems, ensuring a user-friendly experience. Whether you’re using a computer or mobile device, Surfshark provides consistent and secure VPN functionality across multiple platforms.
Surfshark boasts excellent compatibility with a wide range of streaming devices, making it an ideal choice for seamless and secure streaming experiences. Whether you own popular streaming devices like Surfshark with Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, or Chromecast, Surfshark provides dedicated apps and setup guides to ensure smooth integration.
With Surfshark’s VPN, users can bypass geo-restrictions, access a broader range of content libraries, and enjoy buffer-free streaming on platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Its compatibility and optimized servers specifically designed for streaming purposes enable users to unlock a world of entertainment while maintaining privacy and security.
Surfshark’s Windows app is straightforward. We have tested Surfshark on Windows and it has proven itself the best Windows 10 VPN, but if you are interested in installing the best Mac VPN, you can do that too. The app displays a Connect button, current server status details, and a menu with server locations.
The static IP list in Surfshark allows you to connect to servers in Singapore, the UK, Japan, US, and Germany to set a fixed IP address from a country of your choice on every connection.
Both the Windows and Mac apps have the Whitelister, MultiHop feature, and kill switch. With a few improvements, the functionality of the Windows app can be enhanced for users.
Surfshark mobile apps have a very user-friendly and impressive interface. They are both feature-rich and super functional.
The apps have a clean and easy-to-use interface. The Dark Mode option makes the graphics fun and pleasing to use. While testing, we found the Android app to be very similar to the Windows app. The interface and list of server locations are identical. Both have the same features, like split-tunneling, MultiHop, blocking, and whitelisting.
Mobile users can utilize several support protocols like OpenVPN/IVEv2 and WireGuard that you get in desktop versions. However, it is disappointing to notice that Shadowsocks has been dropped. Surfshark’s Android app can optimize your mobile network performance by automatically connecting to the VPN and selecting from numerous encryption methods.
Surfshark VPN’s Browser Extension
Surfshark seamlessly integrates with popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. This extension provides convenient and easy-to-use VPN functionality directly within your browser. By installing the Surfshark VPN Extension, you can encrypt your internet traffic, change your virtual location, and enjoy enhanced privacy and security while browsing the web.
The Surfshark VPN Extension is designed to be user-friendly, allowing you to connect to VPN servers with just a few clicks, ensuring that your online activities are protected and your browsing experience is secure.
Surfshark Reliability & Customer Support ⭐9.0
Surfshark is renowned for its reliability, providing a stable and consistent VPN service to its users. With a vast network of servers spread across multiple countries, Surfshark ensures reliable and uninterrupted connections. Users can rely on Surfshark to maintain a stable VPN connection, allowing them to browse the web, stream content, and engage in online activities without disruptions.
Surfshark excels in providing prompt and efficient assistance. Their customer support team is available 24/7 through various channels, including live chat, email, and a comprehensive knowledge base. Users can rely on Surfshark’s customer support to address their queries, troubleshoot issues, and provide guidance on setting up and using the VPN service.
For our Surfshark review, we asked their support agent a simple question and immediately got a response back within seconds:
Aside from that, Surfshark has a detailed Help section on its website where you can find troubleshooting guides, installation tutorials for popular devices, and helpful FAQs.
Other Streaming services you can access using Surfshark
We tested around 50+ servers including US, British, Canadian, Australian and other regions. As resulted we unblocked this entire list of streaming platforms with Surfsark:
|Amazon Prime Video||Sky TV||CBC Gem||Tenplay||German TV|
|Showtime||BBC iPlayer USA||Crave TV||9Now||DStv|
|Disney Plus||Channel 5||Citytv||Foxtel||Hotstar|
|ESPN+||Sky sport||Hayu||Stan||Rai TV|
|YouTube TV||ITV||–||Kayo Sports||Telecinco|
FAQs – Surfshark VPN Review
Is Surfshark VPN trustworthy?
Yes, Surfshark VPN is considered trustworthy. It has built a solid reputation in the VPN industry by prioritizing user privacy and security. Surfshark employs robust encryption protocols, has a strict no-logs policy, and undergoes regular independent security audits to ensure the protection of user data.
Is Surfshark a Chinese company?
No, Surfshark is not a Chinese company. Surfshark is a VPN service provider based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is an independent territory with its own government and legal system. The company operates independently of any jurisdiction that might have data retention laws or other privacy concerns.
Being headquartered in the BVI allows Surfshark to maintain a strict no-logs policy and offer a high level of privacy and security to its users.
Is Surfshark legal?
Yes, Surfshark is a legal VPN service. VPNs, including Surfshark, are legal tools that allow users to enhance their online privacy and security. However, the legality of VPN usage may vary by country, as some nations impose restrictions or limitations on VPNs. It is important to comply with the laws and regulations of your country when using Surfshark or any other VPN service.
Is Surfshark better than NordVPN?
Both Surfshark and NordVPN are reputable VPN providers, each with its own strengths. The choice between the two ultimately depends on individual preferences and specific needs. While Surfshark offers a lower price point and allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
NordVPN consists of a larger server network and additional security features like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN. Users should consider factors such as pricing, server locations, security features, and overall performance to determine which VPN suits their requirements best.
Is Surfshark better than ExpressVPN?
Both Surfshark and ExpressVPN are popular VPN services, but the better choice depends on individual preferences. Surfshark offers a competitive price and unlimited simultaneous connections, making it ideal for users on a budget or those with multiple devices.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN provides a larger server network and faster speeds, making it a good option for users seeking global coverage and high performance. Ultimately, the choice between the two should be based on specific needs and priorities.
Final Verdict – Do We Recommend Surfshark VPN?
Yes, we highly recommend Surfshark after analyzing the key findings in our VPN Surfshark review. There’s a lot that we like about this VPN.
The fact that it offers fast speeds with barely any speed drops is awe-inspiring. We also like that Surfshark works exceptionally well with Netflix and offers 3200+ servers for only $1.99/mo (Get 86% + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan).
However, we still wish to see more servers added to the list — especially a dedicated server for China. But considering overall features, pricing, customer support, and trustworthiness, Surfshark is one phenomenal VPN service that thoroughly deserves the 9.5/10 rating.
This concludes our Surfshark VPN review. Get Surfshark now!