This post is the most complete review of Surfshark out there.
Surfshark VPN is a new VPN, about few years old, but in that short time, with its super fast speed, outstanding performance and 1040+ servers in 61+ countries, it has become one of the top VPN in the VPN market.
It is relatively a young VPN service incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, which gives it a serious advantage over competitors headquartered in areas with mandatory data retention laws since it is not located within countries with international spy organizations, such as the Eyes network.
You have nothing to worry about as I have laid out the necessary tips on things you need to know about this VPN service before using it.
I hope you are ready to learn?
Let’s Dive in…
I made this post in such a way that even a 10-year-old can understand. Below is a list of what I will be covering today. You can click on any of the links to take you directly to the content.
- About Surfshark (Overview)
- Compatible Devices
- Features of Surfshark
- Speed and Performance
- Price (Free or Paid version)
- Privacy and Security
- Pros and Cons
If you are ready, let’s go there!!
1. About Surfshark (Overview)
These big-named VPN companies are mostly the popular options for privacy-focused web users. However, smaller companies have started to emerge and gain traction.
One of the most powerful new VPN provider currently is Surfshark.
Surfshark is a compelling young VPN service incorporated in the British Virgin Islands just like the popular ExpressVPN which gives it a serious advantage over competitors headquartered in areas with mandatory data retention laws or within reach of many international spy organizations, including the Eyes network.
It is noted as a incredible, fast and feature-rich VPN majorly use for streaming, online gaming, torrenting, and other data-heavy operations.
They give all the desirable feature a good VPN should offer, including military-grade encryption, impressive high speeds, and the ability to unblock content (websites and regional), 24 / 7 customer support, very affordable subscription rates and many more.
If this provider claims are anything to stand by, then they truly deliver. I was truly impressed with the reliability, fast speeds, strict no-logs policy, and advanced encryption.
2. Compatible Devices
Surfshark can perform in a wide range of platforms and devices. It even supports different kinds of routers, ensuring total protection.
A reliable and well-developed VPN should be able to support all of the currently popular platforms. That one of the reason we are happy to see Surfshark being compatible with pretty much any platform out there, both desktop and mobile.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebooks.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Web Browsers||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.|
|Routers||AsusWRT, DD-WRT, and Tomato.|
|Other Devices||Amazon Fire OS.|
We have been following the development of this VPN for a while now. A year ago, it offered a modest range of native apps, which is something that has completely changed in the meantime.
Currently, you will see native applications for different platforms and devices.
Let’s also not forget to mention that this VPN is compatible with many routers as well. You can use it via OpenVPN configuration files, and there’s a sizeable list of supported devices.
Even though setting up a VPN on a router might look like a complicated task, all you need is a trustworthy guide.
It’s worth the effort since this is how you can protect all your Web-connected devices at once.
When you visit Surfshark’s website, you’ll also see that this VPN is also compatible with Xbox and PlayStation consoles. However, in those cases, we’re talking about a ‘Smart DNS’ feature, which means that you can count on unblocking certain Web services.
3. Features of Surfshark
Surfshark might look like a simple VPN, but it is powered by advanced tech, such as a kill switch, zero-knowledge DNS, and plenty more.
We’ve come up with so many set of features that any capable and reliable VPN needs to offer. So, let’s take a quick look at what you can expect from this VPN ‘Surfshark’.
|VPN Features Checklist|
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||YES|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
Surfshark covers the basics quite well. Once you connect to any remote server, a new IP address will be given to you. This allows you to ‘alter’ or change your physical location allowing you to unblock websites, including the most popular media streaming platforms.
That is, if your favorite TV show is not showing in your country, you can change your location to a place that allows streaming of that show, giving you access to stream your favorite show without being blocked
To further enhance your Web browsing experience, there is a special feature called ‘CleanWeb’ that this vpn uses to blocks advertisements, trackers, and malware.
There’s also a capable kill switch used to make sure your real IP and your private files are not exposed in a situation your VPN connection drops.
And what is more, Surfshark offers a way to route your traffic via two secure servers, and this particular feature is called MultiHop.
Also, it is important to mention that this VPN provider employs a strict no-logs policy and zero-knowledge DNS. It implies that your private data will truly stay private, even after you connect to the Web.
And finally, we should not forget to mention two recently released features, called ‘HackLock’ and ‘BlindSearch’ (these two are available as an add-on to your subscription, available for $0.99 per month).
The first one is designed to check whether your email address has been compromised in the past. More precisely, it will give you a list of previous incidents that might have exposed your email address and password (after checking your email address, that is).
To stay secure, you should change your password to something unique.
4. Speed and Performance
On average, Surfshark though recently released, surprised us by throttling our Web connection speed by up to 28.5% which isn’t that bad for a newly released VPN service. To test the performance of Surfshark, we are first going to test the speed of our ‘naked’ connection.
It will give us the baseline data to work with, and then we’ll check a few nearby and remote servers offered by this VPN. So, let’s get started.
First, we’ve done a speed test without using a VPN. With the result from the image above, you can see from the image above, we got 486.73 Mbps. Of course, that’s for downloads. When it comes to uploads, we got 48.56 Mbps.
First, we connected to a sever nearby thus, allowing Surfshark to find an optimal location. After a few moments, we were connected to a server in our own country, and we did another speed test. Surprisingly, this VPN did not throttle our Web connection in a big way. Our results were 402.57 Mbps for downloads and 45.93 for uploads as seen above.
Next, we’ve wanted to test a remote server, in the USA. These are typically overcrowded as numerous users want American IPs to unblock content. So, when we connected to a server in New York, we got 291.97 Mbps for downloads and 43.35 for uploads.
To make sense of these numbers, we’re going to put them into a table and calculate by how much Surfshark throttled our Web connection, on average. So, here it is.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||486.73 Mbps||48.56 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||402.57 Mbps||45.93 Mbps||17%|
|Remote Server||291.97 Mbps||43.35 Mbps||40%|
Judging from the above table, we can hereby say that the performance of Surfshark was expected. The closer you are to a server the higher the speed, so it all depends on where you’re located. Servers found in the USA are usually under a heavy load, so you can expect more noticeable throttling with those.
5. Price (Free or Paid version)
Surfshark has different subscription plans and different price points so that you can choose a plan that best fits your needs and budget.
No matter which plans you choose, you’ll have access to all the same premium features.
Discounts are offered on longer subscriptions, which makes the service much more affordable.
There is a 7-day free trial if you download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store, and a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
A variety of payment methods are accepted, including:
- Major credit cards (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover)
- Amazon Pay
- Google Pay
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum)
6. Privacy and Security
Surfshark promises not to keep any of your personal information and it effectively blocks anyone from tracking you online.
In this segment, let’s take a close look at this 3 different aspects: encryption, logging, and DNS leaks. Each of these should tell us how well this company takes care of your sensitive data. Take a look.
Supported Encryption Protocols
Surfshark offers strong AES-256 encryption that’s enabled by default. This level of encryption is used in major financial and government-based institutions, which tells a lot. Even though there aren’t many available VPN protocols, you will reap the most significant benefits of using OpenVPN even though IKEv2 can also keep you protected on the Web. It means that even newbies and less skilled users will be highly protected right from the start.
Not every VPN provider will take care of your data in the best way possible. That’s the reason why we published an article on the best VPNs with no-logs policies.
We’re happy to say that Surfshark can join this list, as this VPN promises not to collect a single file about your Web browsing.
DNS Leak Test
Finally, we also checked if this VPN leaks our private data as they claimed. So, we connected to a remote server and then ran a DNS leak test. The purpose of this test is to establish whether websites only see our ‘virtual’ location and other types of information. Detecting a leak would confirm that this provider does not keep you secure enough. Luckily, there was no DNS leak with Surfshark.
Surfshark keeps all users safe with robust AES 256-bit encryption which is the hugest form of encryption a VPN offers and provides optional ChaCha encryption for Android users.
It supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, as well as Shadowsocks protocol for Windows.
Shadowsocks is an open-source encrypted proxy. It’s another helpful tool to bypass strict internet censorship, especially in areas like China.
OpenVPN is the best connection for security so its usually best to stick with it. Surfshark’s macOS and iOS apps use IKEv2 by default, but you can manually configure an OpenVPN connection if you prefer.
Windows, iOS, and Android apps allow you to choose between TCP and UDP OpenVPN connections.
8. Pros and Cons
- Safe & private connection
- Multi-hop connection available
- Available on many platforms
- Good speed
- Strong global server presence
- Smooth streaming of geo-blocked content
- Great prices
- Smooth user experience
- Dodgy customer service
- Weak social media presence
- Allows P2P from all servers
Fast and reliable VPN that’s perfect for streaming and torrenting
Surfshark offers a very impressive service, especially when you put into consideration that it is a relatively new provider.
If you’re looking for a fast, reliable, and secure VPN for streaming, torrenting, and protecting your privacy, Surfshark is an excellent option.
This brings us to the end. Hope I left nothing out?
If you enjoyed this article and appreciate the time and effort I put into developing it, let me know right away in the comment section.
Also, tell me:
Have you downloaded any VPN yet? If not download and install a Surfshark, try it out and let’s know your experience in the comment section.
Or maybe you have a question let me know in the comment section.
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