Surfshark Review 2019: A Fast, Secure, and Reliable VPN
SurfShark is one of the new entries in the world of online privacy. Despite that, this prodigal VPN is already making waves due to its impressive features and powerful performance.
With its ultra-fast servers and intuitive apps, this service is gradually catching up to the best VPN Providers.
Admittedly, the prospect of a new VPN providing smooth service excites me a great deal. However, for the interest of privacy-seekers around the world, I have put on my skeptical hat for this Surfshark review. Let’s see how it performs.
Look out for any other newcomer VPN in the industry in our Top VPN Reviews.
Surfshark Pros and Cons
Right of the bat, let me summarize the main features of this service
- 30-day refund policy
- No logging policy
- Multihop feature
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Kill switch
- Work with Netflix
- Supports P2P networking
- Speeds require improvement
- Relatively small server network
- Somewhat expensive pricing
Price and Plans: How much does it Cost?
Surfshark offers three simple plans whose price depends on the duration of your subscription. All of these plans come with a complete of features offered by the VPN.
Quite simply, the VPN offers the following packages:
- $11.95 for a month
- $5.99/month for 12 months
- $1.99/month for 24 months
As you can see, this is somewhat standard pricing strategy where the longer plans offers superior discounts.
But to be blunt, even the yearly plan of this VPN is rather expensive. $5.99 a month for the annual package is a bit too much, especially considering that this VPN is relatively new in the industry.
For the given price, there are other established brands, offering similar features. They also have a proven track record, so is Surfshark worth it? This Surf Shark VPN review answers your question.
When it comes to payment options, this VPN is pretty well rounded. You can pay for the subscription with PayPal and a wide-variety of credit cards. The privacy conscious customer can also opt for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Surfshark refund policy applies to desktop versions of the app i.e. for Windows, Linux, and mac OS. The money-back guarantee is valid for 30 days if you are unsatisfied with the service. But in order to receive the said refund, one has to comply with Terms of Service of the VPN.
In addition, the subscribers who used gift cards or prepaid cards at the time of purchase are not eligible for refunds.
Security Features: Tools against Online Threats
The ultimate goal of a VPN is to keep your connection safe from the prying eyes of vigilant agencies and hackers. Hence, in this part of the review, I will discuss the features that arm this VPN to protect your private information.
Protocols and Encryption
The dedicated client of Surfshark packs OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols along with AES 256-bit encryption.
OpenVPN is the industry standard protocol and is widely considered as the best technology for securing sensitive data. Meanwhile, IKEv2 is less capable than OpenVPN but it used by smartphone users as it requires less battery than the latter.
The encryption level offered by the provider is also extremely proficient and can thwart the most advanced hackers.
With multihop, you can establish a chain of VPNs and make yourself untraceable on the web.
Understandably, some you might consider this feature as bit of an overkill. But consider this; we never know what government agencies are up to these days.
Maybe they are working on tools that can make normal VPN connections looks like child’s play. Maybe they have already achieved this feat.
Whatever the case is, multihop does provide you an extra layer of security. Something that can come in handy against advanced surveillance techniques.
CleanWeb is a built-in feature of the VPN that blocks ads, trackers and malwares. This tool keeps malicious software away from your device, thus providing you with peace of mind.
The client of this VPN comes with an in-built Kill Switch that prevents IP leaks. It does this by killing your internet whenever you lose the VPN connection.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
I previously mentioned that this VPN is a bit expensive. Well, perhaps this is the feature that makes it worth your while.
Surfshark puts absolutely no limitation on how many simultaneous connections you can establish. This means that you can secure entire household or even a small business with a single VPN account.
Talk about getting your money’s worth.
SurfShark Servers: Fast and Furious
The server list of this VPN is expanding so fast than it is hard to keep up. As of today, the VPN is boasting 500+ servers from 50 countries. Believe me, the numbers were a lot lower just a month ago.
As it shows above, almost the entire planet is covered with this VPN’s servers. The providers have included servers from all continents except Antarctica (Of course).
Regardless of how impressive the server list is, it all gets down to the actual performance of the servers.
Now, this brings me to an important point; the servers of this VPN are exceptionally fast.
While using this VPN for streaming video content, I experience no buffering at all. The gaming experience was also seamless with little to no lagging.
Despite all this, I would like put my skeptic hat back on and remind the readers that SurfShark is a relatively new service. This means that it has low number of users, which usually results in faster speed.
We will have to wait and see how this VPN holds up once the subscriber count eventually increases.
Unblocking Netflix is not as simple as it used to be. With the streaming giant putting its foot down against geo-dodging software, the VPNs are falling like a House of Cards in front of Netflix’s firewall.
So, are there still some services that can unblock the popular streaming site? Well, Stranger Things have happened.
To see if SurfShark has the capability to unlock the hidden treasures on Netflix, I conducted several tests in my blog surfshark Netflix.
The result showed that this VPN unblocks geo-restricted content on Netflix without much difficulty. I guess this an aspect of the VPN service, where Surfshark takes the crown.
Like Netflix, torrenting allows you to watch a wide variety of content. It can also be used download software, eBooks and what not.
But there is a downside to this seemingly harmless tool. While you download a torrent, your connection remains exposed to a barrage of harmful entities.
To conduct torrenting in a secure manner, you need a VPN. However, some VPNs strictly prohibit downloading torrents through their servers.
Thankfully, SurfShark is not one of those VPN providers. It provides P2P compatible servers that allow you to download torrents without a worry in the world.
The speed test results for Surfshark were obtained using a base Internet connection of 30 Mbps. I tested the UK and US servers for this Surfshark VPN review to see how it performs on the two most commonly used servers across the world.
The download speed in the UK server measured more than 21.57 Mbps whereas the upload reached 18.83 Mbps. This is not exceptional but still remarkably good considering the base speed is 30 Mbps.
The US speed dropped a bit, clocking 18.98 Mbps on download and 15.32 Mbps on upload.
As such, the speed performance is decent. However, the real test of Surfshark will lie in its consistency in the long run, since VPNs decline in performance when their customer base increases.
Surfshark Netflix Speed
Surfshark users as of yet have had no trouble accessing streaming services like Netflix using any region of their choice. So I put the streaming speed of this service to the test using Netflix’s Fast.com, an Internet speed measurement tool.
Here are the results using the UK and US servers:
The UK streaming speed of Surfshark is surprisingly good as evidenced by this test result. You should have no trouble watching UK Netflix with this VPN.
The US server performed a little slower than the UK one, but it is still considerably fast to allow you to stream the largest Netflix library i.e. US Netflix.
Cross Platform Availability: Works on Multiple Devices
Until very recently, the VPN was only available through the Android app and its browser extensions. The Android app was still a work in progress and the Surfshark extensions provided minimalistic security to the users.
However, all that has changed now. Surfshark has recently released dedicated clients for Windows, iOS and has updated the Android app. Although the Windows app is categorized beta version, it is still a solid VPN client.
Surprisingly, there is no app available for Mac OS users and they have to set up this VPN manually on their system. Same is the case for the Linux users.
On a related note, the providers have also made the VPN compatible with DD-WRT, Tomato and AsusWRT routers.
Surfshark for Chrome
Surfshark VPN extension for browsers includes one for Chrome. The Chrome app offers quite basic features and is essentially a proxy add-on. You can use it to bypass geo-restrictions, but don’t except any strong security or privacy mechanisms from it.
Surfshark VPN Free Trial
The providers offer a 7-day free trial for its iOS and Android versions. For these devices, there is no refund policy, which only exists for desktop systems. I don’t think that’s too big of a problem, since a 7-day trial is a good enough time for a user to decide whether the service is worth purchasing for full version or not.For more details read our surfshark free trial blog
Surfshark Review: Ease of Use
This VPN has designed a user-friendly client for Windows that comes with several nifty features. The app sports a simplistic outlook and is extremely easy to navigate.
Although still a beta version, the app has advance security tools such as a Kill switch, CleanWeb and Split tunneling.
The thing that impressed me most about this client was that it connected and disconnected almost instantly. Usually, this an area where many VPN clients struggle.
While using the VPN for this SurfShark VPN review, I discovered that Kill switch and CleabWeb features are not automatically turned on.
Hence, make sure to enable these features from the setting section for extra layer of security.
All in all, Surfshark has quite a modest user interface that is extremely simple to use for the layman. It might seem too bland to users that are accustomed to fancy visuals, but it gets the job done without any gimmicks.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but simplicity has a charm of its own. So, I think Surfshark has done a great job keeping it simple and intuitive to use.
Customer Service: 24/7 Live Chat
To get help from the providers, users can turn to the support section of the provider’s website. Here, they will find useful information in the form of FAQs, Setup guides and other tutorials.
But if these options prove to be insufficient, users can contact the VPN in two ways:
- 24/7 Email Ticketing
- Live Chat
Now, lots of VPN services claim to provide 24/7 Live Chat and sometimes, this claim is nothing more than a farce. SurfShark on the other hand, live up to its promise.
You can contact the agents of this VPN at any time of the day and they will be at your assistance
Generally, VPN services do retain some information about their customers. Most of the times, they store the email address, billing information and some other data that helps them improve their service.
This is very much the standards in the VPN industry. Netizens should not tolerate any service retaining their personal information without clearly informing about this beforehand.
The information stored by this VPN cannot be used to track your location. And to put the cherry on the top, the VPN providers are based in British Virgin Island, a place with no mandatory data retention laws.
How reliable is it?
The reliability of a VPN stems from its ability to function without breaking, and delivering good performance in a consistent way.
When I tested the service after Surfshark VPN download, I found it working smoothly without disconnecting out of the blue or fluctuating in speeds. In addition, it does not suffer from DNS or WebRTC leaks, which consolidates its place as a secure and trustworthy VPN provider.
As such, Surfshark is a reasonably reliable and high-performing VPN provider.
How to Install Surfshak
Surfshark is very easy to install:
- Visit Sufshark’s pricing page
- Choose a suitable subscription plan
- Create a new account
- Choose payment method
- Download the installer file
- Start installation
- Launch the VPN and enjoy its amazing features
SurfShark Reddit Review
Of course, this review would be incomplete without a quick look at Reddit, the home of vocal VPN subscribers.
A user on reddit confirms that SurfShark works in China. However, keep in mind that Chinese censorship tactics are unpredictable and it is better to keep a Surfshark VPN download file before you travel to China. It is hard to say how long this will last.
Surfshark has received outstanding reviews so far from users on trustpilot. Although there are only 17 reviews published on the website yet because it is still a new product, there is not a single poor or even average review yet.
This is extremely promising and highlights the excellent performance of the VPN. I hope it continues to live up to the expectations of users in the future as well.
If Surfshark didn’t quite satisfy you, there is no need to fret. There are plenty of other options in the VPN industry you can choose from such as:
SurfShark entices customer’s interest with blazing fast servers, cross-platform compatibility, powerful security features and easy access to geo-locked content.
Over and above, this VPN has taken customer support to another level with its 24/7 Live Chat support. And not to forget, its server list is growing in tandems.
If all this is not enough to pique your interest than your thirst for online privacy might be insatiable.
I conclude this SurfShark review by recommending this VPN to all the readers. Hop on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.