Surfshark offers all the features you want from a top-notch VPN. It has watertight security, uncompromising anonymity, very fast speeds, all for an incredibly affordable price.
Surfshark offers all the features you want from a top-notch VPN. It has watertight security, uncompromising anonymity, very fast speeds, all for an incredibly affordable price.
Since its launch in 2018, Surfshark VPN has managed to penetrate most Top 10s and earn the consumers’ trust.
I wanted to learn whether that trust was warranted, so I set out to answer the key questions, such as:
It turns out this VPN ticks all the boxes, including speed, unlimited simultaneous connections, easy-to-use apps, and even prices, which are better than most competitor’s.
Read my in-depth Surfshark VPN review to see all the test results.
|Rank||#2 out of 215 providers|
|Company location||British Virgin Islands (BVI)|
|Number of locations||60|
|Number of servers||3200|
|Safe for Torrenting||Yes|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat|
|Logging policy||Minimal data collection|
|Free version or trial||7-day free trial for iOS, macOS, and Android|
Surfshark is one of the fastest VPN services in 2021, as our in-house VPN speed testing tool has shown. No matter which country you connect from, this provider will compete with the best of the best.
We regularly run speed tests from servers in the US, the UK, and other countries.
|Download Speed||911 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||829 Mbps|
|Download Speed||688 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||669 Mbps|
|Download Speed||615 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||644 Mbps|
As you can see from the results, the speeds with the WireGuard protocol are really fast, especially if we compare with the competitors that still use OpenVPN. The upload is also way above the most VPNs, no matter which country you choose. So what do these numbers mean, really?
For starters, you should be able to stream 4K (UHD) videos and play online games on your continent, unless your continent is huge. You shouldn’t experience lag during video and VOIP calls, which put the ping limit at 200 ms, but contacting someone on the other side of the globe might take its toll. Finally, downloading a 10 GB torrent file might take less than 3 minutes.
The speeds seem to be increasing each time I update this Surfshark VPN review. There’s obviously a lot of investment going into this VPN. While it is on the TOP of the fastest VPNs list in 2021, I believe its speed will continue to improve.
Surfshark VPN has a solid server list. It consists of 3200+ servers in 60+ countries.
Here’s how the server coverage looks across the globe:
|Africa, the Middle East, and India||6+|
As always, North America and Europe have the best coverage. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the three countries in Africa. Mostly you get South Africa only or no servers whatsoever.
All servers are physical and RAM-only, which means you can expect better performance and more security. Surfshark doesn’t own all of its servers, and few providers do, but I believe it’s only a matter of time.
Surfshark VPN has three different pricing plans, all of which offer the full set of functions, including military-grade encryption, kill switch, and unlimited simultaneous connections:
Note: VPN providers like to change prices often. Secure the best Surfshark deal in 2021.
For an extra $0.99/month, you can get Alert and Search security features. The former informs if your email is leaked, and the latter removes ads logging from the web search.
These are great prices – their 2-year plan is actually one of the cheapest deals on the block. Surfshark VPN has certainly proven their worth, and the prospect of getting a long-term subscription should no longer be particularly worrying. If you can get the tool for just a couple of bucks, I’m inclined to say, “Go for it!”
There are plenty of payment options you can choose from to pay that 2-dollar fee as well. That includes anonymous options, like crypto. There are PayPal, Sofort, Direct Debit, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Giropay, and Webmoney as well, for those interested. Some of the best VPN service providers have overlooked the type of privacy given by a crypto payment option, and it’s a great shame.
Surfshark is also one of the few to offer a lengthy 7-day free trial on Google Play and Apple App Store. This means Android, macOS, and iOS users. Sadly, that’s “no” for Windows and Linux fans.
On the other hand, they shouldn’t worry too much because Surfshark still asks for payment info before unlocking the service. The good thing is that the free trial includes everything you’ll find in a full version.
Surfshark’s refund policy grants a 30-day money-back guarantee to all plans and all devices, so you’re not losing anything if you don’t want to. Getting your money back involves contacting customer support. But since it has a 24/7 live chat, this shouldn’t be a problem.
In fact, you can also schedule the cancellation in advance and use the VPN right until the last day.
As always, accounts paid in cryptocurrencies aren’t refundable.
There’s plenty of good to say about the privacy and anonymity credentials of Surfshark VPN. Here’s a shortlist of its main features that will keep you safe online:
However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The provider had its browser extensions audited by Cure53, a well-known and respected cybersecurity company. And since July 2020, all Surfshark servers are RAM-only.
Additionally, you’ll get malware blocker (CleanWeb), split tunneling (Whitelister), multi-hop, and “stealth protocol” (Camouflage and NoBorders). This VPN also offers ID protection (Alert), GPS spoofing, and incognito search (Search).
These features combined take Surfshark VPN very close to other security-focused VPN services, like NordVPN or ProtonVPN.
Surfshark VPN implements military-grade encryption, which is used by financial institutions and militaries around the world. It means that there’s virtually no way to break this cipher.
Surfshark currently offers the following tunneling protocols:
In October 2020, this VPN implemented the next-gen tunneling protocol in WireGuard. It’s faster and more secure than any other protocol available. The speed advantage can be clearly seen by checking our VPN speed testing tool results. Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS users can now select WireGuard, which also uses a new ChaCha20 symmetric encryption.
While neither can penetrate the Great Firewall alone, Surfshark VPN has Camouflage and NoBorders modes for use in China.
Surfshark has a great kill switch that will automatically deactivate your internet connection if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This allows the Virtual Private Network to protect your privacy by ensuring your online traffic is always encrypted and is a critical feature for any secure VPN to have.
My tests have shown the kill switch to work reliably each time I deliberately disabled my VPN connection.
The only caveat here is that the Linux app doesn’t have the kill switch turned on by default, and there’s no article on their website telling how to do it. However, the always helpful Surfshark customer support team provided me with the instructions.
My basic tests indicate that Surfshark has no leak issues. I connected to a server in Denmark at got the IP address 184.108.40.206. Then I ran the test and got the following results: no DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks, as the image below indicates.
The IP and DNS addresses shown here are the same as the one I got assigned by Surfshark. If I saw my real IP address, that would mean there’s a leak somewhere.
This service has in-built DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, as well as a private zero-knowledge DNS network. Simply put, unlike many tools on the market, Surfshark VPN keeps your personally-identifiable information hidden.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a British overseas territory with no data retention laws and isn’t involved in any intelligence-sharing agreements, such as Fourteen Eyes. It’s also not subject to any EU data protection laws, unlike its “parent” country.
As the company is subject to BVI laws and regulations, they have the luxury of a meaningful no-logs policy, which states that Surfshark “does not collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection timestamps, network traffic, and other similar data.”
As a matter of fact, if their FAQ is to be believed, Surfshark doesn’t log anything at all, except your email address and billing information, which means that the provider is one of the few actual “no-logs” VPNs out there. That’s extremely rare and impressive, but I would also like to see their policy independently-audited to silence the naysayers once and for all.
In 2018, Surfshark did an independent audit of its Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. Submitting your VPN apps for an independent audit is a commendable move regardless of the results.
The audit was carried out by a respected German cybersecurity company, Cure53, which also performed the very first independent VPN audit in 2017 (kudos to TunnelBear).
In short, Cure53 found only two vulnerabilities, only one of which had any potential to cause problems for users. This is an outstanding result and gives a lot of credence to this VPN service provider.
You can read the full report on Surfshark’s website.
Since the introduction of the Camouflage and NoBorders modes, this service is capable of disguising VPN traffic. These features switch from the default tunneling protocol to OpenVPN with the XOR patch, scrambling your traffic and confusing the censors. As a result, Surfshark VPN is great for China.
You will be able to unblock restricted websites, such as Facebook, and keep your identity protected at all times. Therefore, if you’re a journalist or a whistleblower, you can trust that this VPN will protect you.
CleanWeb is another great feature from Surfshark. It works as an ad and tracking blocker but can also detect malware. Even more, CleanWeb might detect phishing attempts and protect your personal information.
This tool works on all major platforms, including browsers and Amazon Fire TV. Using it on your smartphone can save mobile data and even increase browsing speeds. After loading all those ads and pop-ups takes a toll.
Most VPN providers call this feature “split tunneling.” Surfshark’s Whitelister allows users to choose apps that can function outside the VPN tunnel. It’s especially convenient when you want to protect only certain activities and run others at full speed.
For example, you may want to use a VPN to protect your torrenting and watch Netflix in 4K simultaneously on your smart TV. Also, some websites might not work if they detect you using a VPN. Finally, with Whitelister, you’ll be able to access your network devices, such as printers.
Also known as Double VPN, MultiHop is a feature that connects you to two VPN servers instead of one. This means much higher security, thanks to the double-encryption of your data. MultiHop is great for those who seek maximum protection online, including journalists and political activists.
Surfshark lists all possible Double VPN connections next to the regular server selection. One thing to note: your connection will be considerably slower, so this mode is not recommended for day-to-day use unless you don’t have a choice.
Camouflage mode, or “stealth VPN,” disguises your VPN traffic, so it looks like it’s coming from a regular connection. It’s a useful feature because some websites block VPNs and in some countries, using them is illegal.
NoBorders mode aims to unblock every possible online resource. This includes geo-blocked content on streaming sites, social media, or anything that your government bans. These modes switch your tunneling protocol to OpenVPN with the XOR patch. It scrambles your traffic and makes it more difficult to detect through Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
Alert is an innovative security solution for protecting your ID. This ID leak protection feature has been integrated into all client apps.
It’s especially relevant in the age of data breaches because it warns users when their passwords, social security numbers, and other sensitive details get leaked. It comes as an additional service together with Search for $0.99/month.
This feature routinely scans leaked databases, looking for password and email matches. If it finds any, the user will receive a notification. Alert enables you to change your credentials on time, minimizing the damage caused by data leaks and breaches.
Search is an alternative to the major search engines, such as Google or Bing, that are known for displaying ads and taking quite some of your data before giving away your search results.
This feature removes the ads and tracking from the organic search and ensures that your privacy remains intact and your patience untested.
This feature comes together with Alert and is offered as an optional “privacy beyond VPN” package. The price is $0.99/month, and I would say it’s worth the money, especially when Surfshark is among the cheapest VPNs you can get.
Also known as GPS spoofing, GPS override is a feature for Android uses who want to add an extra layer of protection. While a regular Virtual Private Network connection changes your IP address, GPS override also hides your device’s physical GPS location.
It’s an optional feature that is not on by default and can be enabled from Android app settings.
When activated, any app that will request the user’s physical coordinates will be overridden with the VPN server coordinates. So when a web service wants to access a user’s GPS data, it will see him in the US while, in fact, that person is in the UK.
Very likely, yes. Surfshark has apps for all the major desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There are also dedicated apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick & Fire TV. Finally, you can download browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
And here comes the best part: Surfshark VPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that you can protect all devices during the family reunion with one account. You don’t even have to manually configure it on your router, which would otherwise be the only way to connect as many devices as you want.
All apps are pretty similar across the platforms and also easy-to-use. The settings are well explained, so you can instantly decide if you want it turned on or off. And if you want to learn more, I recommend our article on how to use Surfshark.
Regarding ease of use, the Surfshark desktop apps are as simple as A-B-C. The interface is clean and intuitive, while most settings can be found with a click of a button.
Connecting to VPN servers is just as easy – just click on Locations on the left sidebar menu and choose your preferred location from the list of cities and countries. Physical servers are sorted by region, while virtual and P2P servers are on separate lists.
You can get under the app’s hood by pressing the white Settings gear. There, you can toggle the startup and auto-connection options, as well as tinker with the security features.
Thankfully, the Mac app is just as secure as the Windows version. Both use military-grade encryption, kill switch, and other features. This is relatively rare – most VPNs release limited macOS apps, which is not the case with Surfshark.
The Linux app works with Ubuntu and Debian. It doesn’t feature a GUI and has a command-line interface instead. Moreover, its kill switch is turned off by default, and there’s no information on turning it on. This means that Linux users should either find a way to activate the kill switch themselves or ask live chat support for help.
Surfshark mobile apps, both on Android and iOS, are lightweight and simplified versions of their desktop counterparts. The security is almost as good as what you’d get on PC or Mac, with several minor caveats.
Most importantly, the Android version has its own kill switch, so you no longer have to use the native Android version or a third-party app to complement the Virtual Private Network. It also offers to turn on the Override GPS location feature, which hides your phone’s physical location.
You can get the Surfshark Android app from Google Play or just download it directly as an APK file from their website. The Surfshark iOS app is available from the App Store.
Surfshark has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. They are essentially proxy services – you can use them to secure your browser traffic and nothing else. In other words, if you want to use torrents, try one of the regular clients or run the VPN some other way.
However, these browser extensions are not only about hiding your IP and encrypting your traffic. They also include the CleanWeb feature, which takes care of ads, tracking, malware, and phishing attempts. What’s more, both add-ons have been independently audited by Cure53 security testers.
The Chrome extension has been downloaded over 300,000 times, a number that’s dwarfed by the likes of ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Naturally, the Firefox version is even less popular, with just 35,000+ users.
In addition to the apps for major platforms, Surfshark VPN also has dedicated apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick & Fire TV.
Additionally, its website has instructions for manually configuring your router, so you could use it to protect your entire home network. This provider supports a bunch of different models and makes, including DD-WRT, AsusWRT, OpenWRT, and Tomato, among others. You can also manually setup the VPN on Chromebook, pfSense, and Raspberry Pi.
Last but not least is the Smart DNS feature. It allows you to unblock websites and streaming platforms on your Apple TV, other smart TVs, and game consoles. With your PlayStation or Xbox, you will also be able to play online games in other regions.
The process of downloading and installing Surfshark is pretty straightforward. You can get it from their website or, in case you’re using a smartphone, from Goole Play Store or Apple Store. In any case, you should start by purchasing the subscription.
Here’s what you need to do:
Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for streaming. It’s fast, has an Amazon Fire TV app, unblocks multiple Netflix libraries, and offers plenty of other streaming platforms.
Thanks to the Smart DNS feature, you will be able to stream your favorite shows and movies on a bunch of devices that don’t have the client app. This includes game consoles, Apple TV, LG TV, Samsung TV, and other smart TVs.
Does Surfshark work with Netflix? According to its website, this VPN is great for Netflix and streaming other geo-blocked content. Well, it turns out to be true.
I’ve tested Surfshark for Netflix from Europe and found that it can unblock Netflix in every region I tried, including the US, the UK, Canada, and Japan libraries. I recommend choosing servers in these countries as they offer a wide selection of content.
What’s more, Surfshark VPN can unblock Peacock, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming platforms. The speeds should be good enough to stream in 4K (UHD), thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol. Of course, the main factor will be your internet connection.
Besides, this VPN doesn’t have specialized streaming servers, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
I would also recommend Surfshark for Kodi any day of the week. Actually, it’s among the best VPNs for Kodi in 2021, even though you have to configure it manually. Another option is to use the Zomboided VPN manager add-on.
For the best Kodi experience, you need a fast and secure VPN connection. Surfshark delivers in both categories, providing some of the industry’s best speeds together with military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, and a reliable kill switch.
Installing Surfshark on Fire Stick is an excellent choice. It will unblock virtually all streaming options while also securing your connection. This VPN has an app for Fire TV, which means setting it up will be a breeze.
Thanks to its extensive server list and exceptional performance, you should have no problem watching your favorite movies and TV shows in 4K video quality without buffering. Finally, Surfshark is great for Kodi, so you’ll be able to use both with your Fire device.
Surfshark is one of the top (if not the top) VPN for Twitch. You’ll be able to access this platform from anywhere in the world and steam anonymously. This VPN can deal with censorship (China) and IP bans in no time.
Furthermore, this service can help avoid bandwidth throttling, which is pretty common among the ISPs. When you turn on the VPN, they can’t tell what you’re doing online, so you get the full speed even while streaming.
Surfshark is very good for torrents. Thanks to its WireGuard tunneling protocol, the speeds are very fast, and the security credentials almost faultless. You can also choose to protect only your P2P activities with the Whitelister (split tunneling).
This provider is not shy to invite torrenting fans to try their service, and it doesn’t discriminate against P2P traffic. Even more, they say that they are compatible with all P2P clients.
I liked that torrenting is allowed on all servers, and there are no bandwidth limits. What’s more, a Virtual Private Network located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and keeps no logs is always a good choice for P2P activities. There are also anonymous payment options for those who want extra safety.
Surfshark VPN has great customer support. Here are your options when you need help:
Their 24/7 live chat is excellent. The waiting times are short, if any, while the agents are helpful and polite. And I’m basing this assumption on more than a few instances.
Next, I tried submitting a request. The questions that I sent using the form were answered in a couple of hours or so. There was only one instance when it took longer to get an answer, but again, such response times are still a goal for many VPNs.
The FAQ is pretty short, with entries that link to dedicated support articles. There are about a hundred tutorial pages and more than fifty dedicated to general info and billing.
Overall, while Surfshark has considerably expanded its self-help section, I would still use live chat to put most of my concerns aside.
After making a thorough investigation for this Surfshark review, I can confidently say that you should get this VPN before it raises its prices.
They’ve done well to cover the basics – security, jurisdiction, speed, support, etc. – and have taken steps in unique directions. Rarely do you see a paid Virtual Private Network with no limit to the number of simultaneous connections and a real zero-logs policy.
Between that, with an anonymous signup process, an option to pay in cryptocurrencies, and WireGuard support, Surfshark is already one step ahead of the competition. Here’s a quick list of its core strengths:
To me, it seems just a matter of time until we get more features and from Surfshark VPN that will further strengthen its already solid position among the industry’s best.
Surfshark is not a good VPN. It’s an excellent VPN. You would be hard-pressed to find top-notch protection and the best speeds for such a low price. Consider trying this service risk-free – it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Both Surfshark and NordVPN are top-class providers. We have them at the top of our best VPNs list. However, Surfshark is cheaper, so if you don’t see any feature that only NordVPN has, I recommend trying the former first.
The answer to this question depends on the country and its laws. As of now, Surfshark VPN is illegal in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Zimbabwe. VPNs are legal but regulated in Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and China. If you’re traveling to any of these countries, I strongly recommend installing the VPN on your devices before the visit.
Surfshark is a cheap service. Its prices start from $2.49/month and the monthly option costs $12.95. Also, if you want the Alert and Search features, that’ll be $0.99 extra.
Surfshark has 3200+ RAM-only servers in 60+ countries, which is a pretty good global coverage. Almost two-thirds of those countries are in Europe, followed by over 10 in the Asia Pacific. The Americas and the Middle East have decent coverage as well, with at 10 and 5 countries respectively.
Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a privacy-friendly jurisdiction with no data retention laws. BVI is not a part of the Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliance.
To test if Surfshark is working, you should check for IP and DNS leaks after connecting to a VPN server. There many leak testing sites, such as ipleak.net, available. If you see your real IP address instead of the server’s in the test results, that means your VPN is not working. However, this shouldn’t be the case with Surfshark because it features a robust DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection.
You can install Surfshark VPN on Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV by simply downloading the dedicated app and following installation instructions. One thing to note is that neither Virtual Private Network supports the 1st generation Amazon Fire devices.
You can stream Peacock outside the US with Surfshark VPN. Launched in 2020, this NBC Universal platform gives you Parks and Recreation, The Office, and other beloved series. To watch NBC’s Peacock, you simply have to launch the VPN and select any server in the US.
Jan is a cybersecurity and consumer protection specialist focused on investigations that help readers navigate the complex infosecurity sphere. His research and commentary has been featured in Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, ZDNet, The Mirror, Entrepreneur, and many other leading publications around the world.