• Free version: Yes
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • OS: Windows / Mac / Linux
  • Mobile apps: Android & iOS
MINIMUM PRICE:
$ 2.49 /month
Visit Website

Surfshark Review - Great on All Fronts

Few services excel at practically everything, but Surfshark somehow manages it. Read our review below to find out more about this well-rounded VPN.

Surfshark Review - Great on All Fronts
MINIMUM PRICE:
$ 2.49 /month
Visit Website
  • Free version: Yes
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • OS: Windows / Mac / Linux
  • Mobile apps: Android & iOS
  • Number of devices: Unlimited
  • Zero-log policy: Yes
  • Killswitch: Yes
  • DNS Leak protection: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Popcorn Time, Disney+, etc.

Best For

BEST LONG-TERM VPN PLAN

STRENGTHS

  • Amazing customer support
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fairly secure
  • Very stable

WEAKNESSES

  • Could be cheaper
  • Not the fastest VPN

PRICING PLANS:

1 Month

$12.95/month

6 Months

$6.49/month

24 Months

$2.49/month

Rare are the VPNs that don’t cost a fortune yet offer a lot. At first glance, Surfshark sure seems like one that breaks the mold, but is it? Our in-depth Surfshark VPN review uses real data and testing to determine this.

What Is Surfshark

Surfshark is a VPN that combines a full feature set with stability and great support. It’s quite simple to use, so it’s particularly suitable for beginners.

Surfshark Features

Right off the bat, we should take a look at the most important features of Surfshark.

Cross-Platform VPN

Not all VPN services develop apps for many platforms and devices. Luckily, Surfshark does. Next in our Surfshark VPN review, we’ll show you on which devices you can use the service.

All major operating systems—Windows, Mac, and Linux—are supported.

Browser extensions are in the mix too (in this case, Chrome and Firefox). On top of all those, there are Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, and FireTV apps.

Because its free trial only lasts seven days, we at HostingTribunal can’t say that this the best free VPN for Firestick, but you can try the service and decide whether it’s worth your money.

Number of Devices

If you’re thinking about downloading the Surfshark app, you probably want your online identity to be protected across all platforms. Or perhaps you want to share the service with your friends or family.

No problem—you can use Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. This is an enormous step up from other VPNs as they usually allow a maximum of 10 active connections.

Points of Access

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. To top it off, the entire Surfshark network works with a private domain name system (DNS) for additional privacy.

Split Tunneling

Surfshark uses Whitelister—a split tunneling solution that allows you to choose which part of your internet traffic to go over the VPN. As its name suggests, it can whitelist sites, IP addresses, and applications that you don’t need a VPN for. This allows you to access content that might be disrupted by the VPN (like banking sites) without constantly switching the service on and off.

While this feature works only on smartphones in most cases, with Surfshark, it is available for the desktop version as well. At the time of writing this Surfshark VPN review, you can use Whitelister on Windows and Android.

Surfing from China

A question commonly discussed in Surfshark and other VPN reviews is whether they can bypass the Great Firewall of China. Once again, this provider doesn’t disappoint. Thanks to the Shadowsocks tunneling protocol, Surfshark can bypass China’s brutal censorship so you can access content freely.

Surfshark Security

So far, we’ve covered the basic functions of the service. In this section of our Surfshark review, we’ll analyze its security features.

Logging Policy

Surfshark doesn’t keep logs of your activity. The British Virgin Islands jurisdiction allows it to enforce a zero-log policy because there’s no obligatory data retention law there.

Security Protocols

Surfshark supports four encryption protocols. OpenVPN happens to be the most reliable and has an open-source code. IKEv2 is quite fast but is favored on smartphones.

WireGuard is a new yet simple and elegant solution. Last but not least, Shadowsocks is the go-to protocol for restrictive countries such as China.

It’s no surprise that the point-to-point connection is not supported, as such a form of encryption is largely obsolete by today’s security standards. The Surfshark app already focuses on four much better protocols, so it does not use outdated ones like PPTP or L2TP.

Encryption

This VPN service relies on military-grade AES 256 to set up an encrypted connection. This is great news for your privacy and security, as that is the safest encryption around.

Automatic Killswitch

Unlike some other VPN providers, Surfshark has a killswitch. However, there are some peculiarities to it. This won’t necessarily affect your experience (or the ruling of our Surfshark VPN review), but it is something you should keep in mind when using the service.

Let us explain:

The killswitch disables your internet connection entirely when the VPN drops as it should. The problem is that it doesn’t notify you when that happens. This leaves you wondering why you’re disconnected until the issue is fixed. Even though this doesn’t last long, it can be annoying.

On the bright side, the kill switch continues to work even when you close the app so that you are protected at all times.

The lack of notifications is worrisome when the killswitch is not enabled. You’ll be exposed when the secure connection drops because you won’t be notified when that happens.

Bitcoin Payments

Another feature one could expect to be mentioned in a 2021 Surfshark review is the option of making cryptocurrency payments. With Surfshark, you can pay with Bitcoin and further increase your cybersecurity.

Speed

Surfshark is definitely a fast VPN, but it’s still about half as quick as ExpressVPN and NordVPN. (You can find out more about how it measures up to its competitors below in this Surfshark review.)

The VPN speed highly depends on the tunneling protocol, among other factors. This VPN service reaches maximum speeds with WireGuard. The combination between Surfshark and OpenVPN is not that successful—it results in much lower speeds. Still, you can be sure that you won’t have any issues with streaming or torrenting, especially with WireGuard.

Ease of Use

This one is known as a particularly simple VPN to use because it does everything just right in this regard. First of all, the Surfshark VPN download, setup, and payment processes are made extra easy—you can do all this directly from the installer. With just one click, the VPN connects you to the nearest server to boost your internet speed. It’s also very easy to add a new device to your account—all it takes is a single Surfshark VPN login. All versions look and function quite similarly to further facilitate the use of the service.

Accessing the free trial is a bit tricky. You have to download the app on Android, Mac, or iPhone, choose the free trial option, and sign up. Afterward, you’ll be able to use the VPN on all devices and try it for free for seven days. The process is explained in more detail in Surfshark’s customer support database.

Streaming

Even though Netflix is notorious for its geolocation blocker, this VPN manages to get around it without breaking a sweat. You can use Surfshark to stream on Netflix and access content banned in your country. You can also stream HD content on other platforms like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and even Popcorn Time.

Torrenting

The best VPN service providers usually have servers dedicated to torrenting, but not Surfshark. However, this is a P2P-friendly service, which makes it a fantastic choice for this file-sharing method. What’s more, Surfshark supports P2P clients such as BitTorrent. All in all, this is definitely one of the top 10 VPN services for torrenting.

Surfshark Prices

Even though most VPN providers don’t offer a free version or trial, they often have a money-back guarantee. The difference is that you have to pay in advance, but you don’t need to provide a reason when requesting a refund.

The same goes here—Surfshark isn’t free, but it is fully refundable for 30 days. Still, if you want to download a truly free VPN, you should look somewhere else.

All Surfshark plans include the same benefits—unlimited devices, 24/7 customer service, and virtually all features listed above. But not all of them are affordable.

The shortest plan will set you back $12.95 per month. That’s much more expensive than most of its competitors. The six-month subscription is a little cheaper—$6.49 per month.

Surfshark pricing seems more reasonable when you consider the two-year plan—only $2.49 per month. You have to pay $59.76 in one go for the first two years, after which you’ll be billed annually.

Support

Surfshark customer service is excellent. You can get in touch with support staff agents through the live chat or the ticketing system. The staff is always quick to reply to your questions and extremely helpful. So much so that even users who didn’t end up using this VPN left a positive Surfshark review.

If you prefer to solve the issue on your own, you can consult the rich information base. Surfshark’s help center is filled with useful articles, divided into categories for easier navigation. There’s also a search bar to look up specific questions and an FAQ section.

Surfshark User Reviews

Users are satisfied not only with the support department but with the service overall. 84% of users on Trustpilot gave the VPN four or five stars, amounting to an average rating of 4/5. This could be partly because the Surfshark team replies to users on the platform—in some cases, they provide solutions on the spot. But the main reasons are its ease of ease, the number of supported devices and, of course, customer support.

If you look for a Surfshark VPN review on Reddit, chances are you’ll come across a positive one pretty soon (even though there’s a fair share of critiques). That’s not that usual for this social network, which suggests that although not flawless, the service is pretty good.

Pricing is among its biggest downsides. Other than that, we came across several Surfshark reviews where people report problems with the VPN connection. For some, Surfshark doesn’t work at all, for others, it crashes randomly. If you encounter such an issue, chances are support will help you solve it promptly.

We Recommend Surfshark for

Its huge set of features, stability, and great support make it an excellent choice whether you need it for streaming or to increase your security. If you’re worried about identity theft, this is a great way to ensure your online safety. The number of supported devices and simultaneous connections make Surfshark even better.

Surfshark Alternatives

If you are not satisfied with Surfshark, here are some alternatives you can use.

Surfshark vs NordVPN

Surfshark is a bit cheaper and can be used on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. But that’s about as far as its advantages over NordVPN go. NordVPN wins in nearly every other aspect, especially when it comes to speed and features (read our NordVPN review to find out what they are). That is, unless you’re a gamer—then Surfshark will win you over with its low latency.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

NordVPN and ExpressVPN go toe-to-toe in most aspects. Both of them are widely considered to be the best, so it’s unsurprising that ExpressVPN also surpasses Surfshark. Once again, Surfshark wins in terms of pricing and the number of devices you can connect.

Still, if those aren’t that important to you, consider ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Read our ExpressVPN review to find out what it offers before you decide.

Surfshark vs Windscribe

These two are much more similar, but Surfshark takes the cake here. It is cheaper and better in terms of features and the number of available servers.

Windscribe has a free version and a few other tricks up its sleeve (check out our Windscribe review for the full list). But the fact that Surfshark wins this competition despite its lower speed says more than enough.

Verdict

Although it can’t compete with the frontrunners, Surfshark is nothing short of amazing. It’s not the fastest VPN, but it has a multitude of features and allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It’s also a solid choice for streaming and fantastic for gaming and torrenting.

If you don’t trust us, remember that nearly every Surfshark review on Reddit is positive. The only aspect users critique is Surfshark’s pricing. Still, with the two-year plan, the cost is completely affordable.

FAQ

How to use Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark is surprisingly easy to use. The installer will guide you through the login and payment process. After that, you just need to change the settings to your liking and hit the Connect button.

Is Surfshark safe?

Yes. It offers four different tunneling protocols, avoids the obsolete point-to-point connection, and uses the best encryption method around. It will certainly make sure that your online footprint stays clean.

Is Surfshark VPN good?

Absolutely! If you didn’t catch that from our Surfshark VPN review, we’ll say it again—this is an excellent VPN. It doesn’t measure up to the industry’s frontrunners, but it offers more affordable costs and the opportunity to connect unlimited devices.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.