Surfshark VPN is a provider that began back in 2018 and has rapidly come to be a favourite of thousands of users. It uses strong file encryption, great speeds, as well as easy to use software application at eye-catching low cost. That’s certainly a remarkable mix that secures Surfshark’s spot on our checklist of best VPNs.
Surfshark initially began with just an Android application and also an internet browser extension. These are undoubtedly laudable success, so we were eager to place this low-cost VPN to the test and also see how it fares in useful everyday use. Check out our full Surfshark review below to read all our searching for pertaining to essential facets like speed, safety, privacy, and also extra.
Surfshark VPN: Quick points
- Ease to set up and to use daily
- Exceptional speed during regular use
- Works with Netflix anywhere in the world
- Low-cost VPN with premium features
- No logs
- Incredible extra features such as AdBlocker, NoBorders Mode, Camouflage Mode, and Whitelister
- Facilitates torrenting
- Excellent client service
- Absence of dedicated IP
- Linux version could be more user-friendly
When analysing all these positive facts, it’s easy to state that Surfshark is fantastic VPN provider and can easily keep up with strong competitors that count with long years of experience, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Keep reading for mode details about this service. In case you want to jump in straight away and try Surfshark VPN right now, use the button below.
Speed – How fast is this VPN?
The speed test results were fantastic. We had no problems during daily use. In some situations, Surfshark has proven to be faster than some of our other VPN providers. So, to summarize, these are our findings:
- Surfshark is a VPN with above-average internet speeds and fantastic performance during daily use.
- Speed tests show great results for download speed
- Streaming videos and downloading files is done quickly with Surfshark
Surfshark speed test results
These are the results of the speed tests we performed with Surfshark. Please note that these measurements always vary by location, internet service provider and time of day. That’s why we’ve also included a speed test of our connection without the VPN to use as a reference.
Speed without a VPN (speedtest.net):
These are the test results on speedtest.net of our connection without a VPN.
Speed with a local server (speedtest.net):
These are results from speedtest.net when we connect to the fastest Surfshark VPN server near our location. We performed this test to show you how fast a server near your location can reach (it also depends on your data plan, of course). The closer the server is to your actual location, the shorter the path your data will have to travel. This means that the delay in speed will generally be less.
As you can see, our ping has increased, although this will hardly affect your experience. Although download and upload speeds have dropped, these results will hardly be noticed in practice. Your Internet connection will still be very fast. This is an excellent result.
Speed connected to a distant server (speedtest.net):
These are the results of speedtest.net when we connect to a random Surfshark VPN server in the United States, far away from us (in this case, the US).
As you can see, the ping of this server is much higher. At the same time, though, the download speed remained pretty much the same as our local server. Upload speed suffered a little drop, but that would be unnoticeable in day to day usage. Even so, Surfshark showed some of the best and fastest speed test results of the VPNs we’ve tested so far.
Note: This difference between servers does not mean that the quality of US servers is worse than our local servers. This just means that servers farther away affect your connection speed more than servers nearby. The American servers are of great quality and remain a great option for watching American Netflix.
Everyday internet speeds
After looking at the speed test results on the US server, we were curious about how Surfshark performs in terms of internet speed. This VPN did not disappoint us: it worked fantastically in everyday use. We tested Surfshark by browsing, watching Netflix, downloading torrents and playing online, surprising us all the time.
Browsing normally, we didn’t notice any difference with Surfshark. Sites loaded quickly. Activities like sending emails, downloading attachments and using social media worked very fast. We also had no problems watching YouTube and Netflix videos. Netflix appeared to load faster than other VPN providers. All this is quite surprising when compared to the speed tests. We can confidently say that Surfshark works perfectly for streaming (especially with Netflix).
The download torrents also occurred effortlessly. We were able to download relatively large files in a short time. What’s more, Surfshark realized that we were using a torrent program and automatically switched from a regular VPN server to a specialized P2P server for easy downloading. We found this effortless to use.
Likewise, we didn’t have any problems with the loss of speed during games. We were able to play on local and US servers without any lag. Even when we tested first-person shooters, we didn’t notice any difference in terms of response time.
Security – Is Surfshark VPN safe?
We found Surfshark to be a relatively secure VPN provider. We’ve come to the following conclusions about Surfshark’s security:
- Surfshark’s headquarters are located in the British Virgin Islands, but appear to operate in England
- Surfshark is a secure VPN with strong encryption protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks, Wireguard and L2TP)
- It is possible to connect to two VPN servers (MultiHop)
- Surfshark allows you to activate a kill switch to protect your internet connection when the VPN connection drops
- Surfshark does not keep logs
- You can pay with Bitcoin to create a Surfshark account, and you just need to provide your email address and password
- Surfshark does not track user-specific data, but uses anonymous information to determine server load and identify potential connection issues.
Wide array of protocols
Surfshark has AES-256-bit encryption and uses, among others, the two most secure protocols at the moment : OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. This shows that they are clearly not willing to compromise when it comes to the security of their users. In addition, Surfshark also offers a protocol that was specifically designed to bypass censorship, specifically censorship in China: Shadowsocks. This protocol is an encrypted proxy.
In specific cases, users also have the possibility of L2TP, although Surfshark warns that this is not as secure as other available protocols. However, it can be much faster than OpenVPN.
Surfshark recently released the new WireGuard protocol for all Android, Windows, iOS, macOS and Linux users. Wireguard uses the ChaCha20 encryption algorithm. The strength of this open source VPN protocol lies in its ease of use, security and high speed.
To switch to WireGuard, Surfshark users need to update their apps to the latest version. They can then choose the protocol manually in the settings.
Surfshark has a no logs policy . They have gone out of their way to ask for as little personal information as possible so you can use their VPN. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need any information. Like other providers, they will need your email address to create an account and payment details so they can process your payments. We’ll talk more about that later on.
Second, Surfshark, like most VPNs, needs certain data that allows them to monitor the service. For example, they use anonymized data to record the volume of traffic on their servers and to know if there is a connection problem. However, these issues do not seem to be tied to a specific user, they are related to the general use of the servers and the service. As mentioned, they have a strict no-logs policy , and we didn’t find anything in the service’s rules that contradicted this.
Also, Surfshark recently migrated to a RAM-only server network , which means there is no more data on physical servers. This type of storage ensures that all data is automatically deleted when you log out. Therefore, your data will only be stored temporarily and cannot be recovered later. More and more VPN providers are moving to RAM-only servers because they offer more privacy.
What’s more, Surfshark is one of the first VPNs to offer two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that login takes place in two steps, which is an effective way to protect against all types of online attacks. You can read more about two-factor authentication here. For Surfshark Alert users, this 2-step authentication is mandatory, while the ‘normal’ Surfshark user can choose to use it as extra protection.
What information does Surfshark need?
All you need to do to create a Surfshark account is your email address and a password. So, if you make sure that these two pieces of data don’t contain any information about you, you should be fine.
If you want to be even more anonymous, we recommend that you pay for your subscription using an anonymous service such as Bitcoin. If you prefer to choose a service like PayPal, you will need to share some information from your PayPal account to make the payment.
How easy it is to use Surfshark VPN?
Surfshark stands out for its ease of use. Their software is very easy to use because it has some super convenient options. Also, customer service is easy to reach. Based on our experiences with Surfshark, we came to the following conclusions:
- Surfshark is a very user-friendly VPN
- Surfshark’s software is intuitive and easy to understand
- Creating and managing an account is simple
- Installing Surfshark software is easy
- Surfshark is unfortunately not that good for Linux users
- Surfshark customer support responds quickly and is operated by real humans
- Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN providers and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- The multilingual support meets only some languages
The Surfshark installation process is very simple . For mobile devices, you can download the app from the App Store or Google Play. On a Mac or PC, just click on the corresponding icon on the website.
The installation goes something like this:
- Choose a subscription plan and complete the purchase process
- Log in to the Surfshark website
- Click on your operating system icon
- Open the executable (.exe) file you downloaded
- Follow the installation wizard steps
- Open the program by clicking on the link
- Log in using the login details you registered
- If you want, choose a server and activate Surfshark
Surfshark design and ease of use
The design and ease of use of the Surfshark software are the best features of this VPN. Once you log in, you won’t be overwhelmed with countless options and settings. Instead, you only see the things that matter to the average VPN user. All options and settings include a clear description, and all menus are easy to navigate.
Surfshark does not require you to manually select the right server for what you plan to do online. Just connect to Surfshark’s VPN, and it will automatically recognize when you are about to download a torrent and switch to a P2P server. In this case, you will not have to manually select a P2P server, as the program will do it for you. Plus, all US servers seem to work with Netflix, and you can even set up a double VPN tunnel effortlessly. All these separate elements make Surfshark an excellent performing and easy to use VPN.
Surfshark and Linux
Surfshark is also available for Linux users. The app is available for Ubuntu and Debian specifically. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near the Linux options offered by other competitors like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. However, users of other distros can use manual OpenVPN servers. Below you will find a brief summary of our experience with Surfshark on the Debian system.
The number of servers available to Linux users is somewhat limited compared to Surfshark’s general server network. Instead of the full amount of servers, Linux users have access to around 102 servers spread across 61 countries. Unfortunately, the quality of your connection depends heavily on the server you select.
Some of Surfshark’s servers can compete with the best VPN providers out there. Others can barely reach a quarter of the normal internet speed. As such, be sure to run a quick speed test when connecting to a new server to see if you have selected a good one.
But the most worrying thing is that Linux users often suffer from DNS leaks or transparent proxies when connecting to Surfshark. This issue can be resolved if you have some experience with Linux, or thanks to the provider’s customer service. However, this kind of problem shouldn’t even happen.
Fortunately, the software is easy to use. Installation is effortless and the commands you need to learn are few and intuitive. Surfshark also has some extra features, such as automatic selection of the best available server, the kill switch, MultiHop, as well as the possibility to switch between UDP and TCP servers.
Unfortunately, these extra features don’t make up for DNS leaks, transparent proxies, or the unsightly quality of servers. Also, generally, these features are not even available. Due to all these negative aspects, Surfshark is off our list of best VPNs for Linux.
Prices and payment methods
Surfshark is very reasonably priced. Like most other VPNs, you get discounts if you subscribe for a longer period. A monthly subscription costs $12.95 a month, a half-year subscription costs $6.49 a month, and a two-year subscription costs just $2.49 a month. On the website, these prices are also available in Euros, Canadian and Australian Dollars, Chinese Yuan and British Pounds.
Surfshark also offers the option to purchase two additional privacy features for an additional $0.99 per month. These are Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search. Surfshark Alert scans the web and notifies you when your email address is leaked, and Surfshark Search is a way to search without seeing ads or recording your information.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for users who have not violated the Terms of Service. Also, you can use the subscription on an unlimited number of devices. Payment methods include the following options:
- Credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover Card)
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (using CoinGate or CoinPayments)
- Other local payment options such as Sofort (a common payment method in the EU) and Direct Debit.
Note : The main currency Surfshark uses is the US Dollar. This explains why the price you might see in other currencies (the pound for example), depending on where you live, changes a little bit constantly. This depends on whatever the dollar value is at any given time.
Surfshark has excellent customer service. When we tried to use the chat, we were met by a real person within a minute. Initially, we were unable to access US Netflix, but the agent was able to help us address this issue quickly.
We also value the fact that we can talk to a real person in chat. We did not receive any automatic response and were treated with kindness. It was a relief compared to certain VPNs out there.
Surfshark server network
These are the conclusions we came to regarding Surfshark’s server network and locations:
- Surfshark has an excellent server network of over 3200 servers in 65 countries
- All servers support P2P traffic
- You don’t need to select a P2P server manually
- There are a plethora of American servers, and they all seem to work with Netflix
- Surfshark has special MultiHop servers that allow you to connect to two VPN servers at the same time for double protection
- Surfshark does not give users the option to get a dedicated IP address
Number of servers and locations
Surfshark has over 3200 servers in 65 countries. You can find Surfshark servers in the following countries:
- Europe : Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
- Americas : Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, United States
- Middle East and Africa : Israel, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates
- Asia Pacific : Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Dedicated IP address
As of now, Surfshark does not offer a dedicated IP address. However, you can connect to the same server with the same IP address if you choose a specific server. However, this is not always the case: if you select the “optimal location” option, it is likely that you will be connected to a different server each time you connect. This is because Surfshark looks at the volume of traffic on a variety of servers and decides the one that offers the best performance at the moment.
However, in the last update, Surfshark added some servers with “static” IP address . That is, the IP address of these servers will always remain the same. However, we do not recommend using these servers at this time as they appear to be shared rather than dedicated.
However, theoretically, you can use these servers to access websites and apps that block your access from another IP address normally used by you, in addition to enjoying a certain level of protection, due to Surfshark’s encryption and VPN tunnel. However, we have not tested whether this system actually works, so we cannot guarantee that it is viable or even a good way to access these services.
In addition to the standard possibilities, Surfshark also offers very useful extra features:
- Surfshark offers a number of features that block ads, whitelist websites and provide higher levels of security
- US servers and servers in other countries work with Netflix
- Surfshark gives you access to around 18 different Netflix libraries
- You can download torrents with Surfshark safely and easily
- Surfshark has a NoBorders mode for strictly censored areas, GPS-Spoofing options and a cloaking mode that prevents your ISP from seeing that you are using a VPN
MultiHop, Whitelister and CleanWeb
All three of these Surfshark features worked fine during our testing. The CleanWeb managed to block ads that other blockers had allowed. The MultiHop option offers a little more security, but has a negative impact on internet speed. After all, your data traffic will go through two VPN servers instead of one.
The Whitelister applications and sites allows you to connect to specific applications and sites that you trust using its own IP address instead of the VPN server (split tunnel). This can be very practical in some situations.
What’s more, Surfshark has recently added two new options: Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search. The Surfshark Alert is an option that you can use to notify you when your email or passwords are at risk of being compromised.
The Surfshark Search is Surfshark response to anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo. However, both Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search are paid expansions of the regular Surfshark subscription.
Surfshark and Netflix
Surfshark aims to unblock Netflix for all VPN users. During our testing, all US servers worked fine with Netflix . In addition, Surfshark also allows you to access Netflix content from other locations. The provider tries hard to keep the library of 15 different countries available for its users. These countries are the United States, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Norway, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Poland, France, Canada, Turkey, Sweden, Singapore, Taiwan, Portugal and the Netherlands.
If you use the server from a different location to access Netflix, you will automatically be redirected to American (US) Netflix. On its website, Surfshark tells you that you can order any Netflix library you want to access, but it’s not on their list. They can unlock this content for you.
If you still can’t access Netflix with this wonderful system, contact the Surfshark support team. Customer service live chat is efficient and usually solves your problem. The team can help you with the right server you need to connect to or try to resolve the issue internally. They often resolve issues presented within a few minutes. All in all, Surfshark is a great choice for watching Netflix and other streaming services.
Surfshark and torrents
The Surfshark has specialized P2P servers that hold it extremely safe when downloading torrents . You don’t need to manually select these servers: they are activated automatically when you open a torrent program. The VPN server will recognize P2P traffic and connect you to a P2P server. We even suspect that it might automatically connect you through MultiHop servers. This means additional protection from intruders.
NoBorders and cloaking mode
Surfshark also has two different VPN modes in addition to its regular VPN service. These are cloaking mode and NoBorders mode . The camouflage mode ensures that even your ISP does not see that you are using a VPN. NoBorders Mode is a mode in which, even in areas of strict censorship, you can use the Internet freely.
Recently, Surfshark added a GPS spoofing function to its service. GPS spoofing allows you to change your virtual location even when it is not based on your IP address. Surfshark’s GPS Spoofing option is only available on Android for now.
Surfshark compared to other VPNs
Surfshark is a VPN provider that came out of nowhere and quickly reached one of the top positions in our top 5. In fact, it is a superb VPN provider for a very cheap price, which makes it an excellent choice for most users of VPNs. But how does Surfshark compare to other top VPNs? Read the articles below to find out.
Surfshark VPN: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any questions about Surfshark? We are here to help you. Just click on the questions below to read the answer.
Is Surfshark safe?
Surfshark is a very secure provider. This service only uses the two most secure and popular protocols, OpenVPN and IKEv2. Surfshark does not store any logs and only needs your email address to create your account.
Also, its headquarters is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is good for the privacy of its users. However, they seem to actually operate from the UK.
Does Surfshark work with Netflix?
Surfshark works perfectly with Netflix. With its servers, you will be able to access the collection of 15 different countries on Netflix, including the US, UK, France, Germany and Turkey version. If you use a Surfshark server that is not located in one of these countries, you will be automatically redirected to the US version of Netflix.
How much does a Surfshark subscription cost?
Surfshark is one of the best and cheapest VPN providers today. You can subscribe for 2 years for just $2.49 per month. A 6-month subscription costs $6.49 per month, while a monthly subscription costs $12.95.
Is Surfshark fast?
Surfshark practically did not affect our internet speed during daily use. Still, tests have proven that this is not the fastest VPN provider on the market, which would be ExpressVPN. We noticed a significant drop in download and upload speed. However, this drop was not very noticeable as we used the VPN extensively.
How do I set up Surfshark VPN on my smart TV?
The easiest way to do this is using a Windows PC with Windows 10 that has Surfshark VPN installed. After that, you can use your PC as a mobile hotspot and connect your smart TV to it. In this way, your smart TV will be connected to Surfshark, just like your PC. This is a simple process.