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Surfshark Review

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Get Surfshark
Surfshark screenshot

Surfshark: Ranked #11 out of 99 VPNs that we tested

  1. Reliable local download speeds of up to 55Mbps
  2. Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. User-friendly apps, quick and easy setup
  4. Connect securely to 50 countries
  5. Very strict zero-logs policy
  1. Manual config required for Linux
  2. Torrenting only permitted in the Netherlands

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux

Price from

Speed & Reliability

Decent speeds but can't compete with the top

Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.

Before using Surfshark:

  1. DownloadMbps

    97

  2. UploadMbps

    96

  3. Pingms

    2

When connected to Surfshark:

  1. DownloadMbps

    23

  2. UploadMbps

    24

  3. Pingms

    6

Download speed without Surfshark: 97Mbps

Download speed with Surfshark: 23Mbps

Our download speed loss when Surfshark is running 76%

While it’s certainly no slouch, Surfshark just can’t compete with the speeds of the best VPN providers. Surfshark’s local downloads are noticeably slower than the fastest VPNs we’ve seen, although they’ll still be more than enough for most casual users.

One thing we can say for Surfshark, though, is the consistency of its connections. There were barely any fluctuations in our testing, with the connection never once dropping.

Surfshark even performed well over longer distances, such as out to Japan and Australia, both of which reached a consistent 20Mbps – while this may not be enough to stream in Ultra HD across multiple devices, it’ll certainly do the job for most everyday users.

Server Locations

Not many locations, but speeds are still high

Globe with a blue flag50Countries
Image of a city landscape64Cities
Image of a pink marker800+IP Addresses

Surfshark’s 64 locations are far from the highest number we’ve seen, but enough to deliver the strongest speeds possible to most users.

800 IP addresses is a small number for sure, but it will see Surfshark keep your anonymity protected, particularly in the more popular locations.

Just beware that Surfshark only provides one single location in Africa and two in Australia.

Streaming & Torrenting

Great for streaming, as long as you use the browser extension

Not only does Surfshark deliver consistent access to Netflix both in the US and the UK, we’re also very pleased to report that it reliably unlocks BBC iPlayer, too.

The only catch is that it needs to be done via a browser extension. The London server will do the trick, but beware that it doesn’t offer the same full encryption as the VPN app itself.

 

Torrenting

While you can torrent on any Surfshark server you like, traffic is actually channeled to servers optimized for it. If you’re in Europe or Asia and outside of the UK, it will be routed through the Surfshark Netherlands server. If you’re in the Americas but outside of the US or Canada, it will route through Surfshark’s Canadian servers.

Those who use their connection for a great deal of P2P traffic should take a look at our list of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Bypassing Censorship

Works in China, with some effort

It may not be the simplest solution for getting around online censorship, but it certainly works.

If you’re in China you’ll need to download a specially configured (free) file from the Surfshark website. This only goes for MacOS, iOS or Android users, though, as the Microsoft Windows version comes with ‘NoBorders Mode’ built-in.

Our recommendation for this purpose is VyprVPN.

Platforms & Devices

No device limit is a real plus

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

All the major desktop and mobile operating systems support Surfshark, with coverage also available via router and Linux – there’s setup guides for all of them on the Surfshark website. There’s no device limit, either, so you can protect everything you own all at once.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

Surfshark can be used with all popular games consoles and streaming devices by connecting them to a configured router. Surfshark has also just released a native app for Amazon Fire TV Stick, which is great news for owners.

For simple, one-click solutions for gaming and streaming devices, you should look into a provider like ExpressVPN, as it offers a MediaStreamer DNS service that’s designed to make this process as easy as possible.

Browser Extensions

Chrome LogoChrome
Firefox LogoFirefox

Surfshark also offers browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, so you can spoof your location and encrypt your web traffic.

We’d recommend using them with the full Surfshark program too, though, as they only cover what goes on in your web browser.

Encryption & Security

Good security with OpenVPN availability

Protocol

IKEv2/IPSec

OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)

Encryption

AES-256

Security

DNS Leak Blocking

VPN Kill Switch

WebRTC Leak Blocking

Advanced features

Double VPN

Split Tunneling

Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.

The Windows app offers you the choice of OpenVPN, our personal favorite, or IKEv2 protocols. If you’re using Surfshark on a different platform then you’ll need to navigate a bit of manual configuration to get OpenVPN.

Its AES-256 encryption is widely regarded as near-uncrackable and our testing confirmed that there are no DNS or IP leaks, plus there’s an ad-blocker and kill switch.

Special mentions should also go to the MultiHop feature, which routes your traffic through two different VPN servers for extra security (albeit slower speeds) and its split tunneling, which keeps you connected while letting certain apps operate outside of the VPN.

Logging Policy

A truly no logs VPN

Surfshark doesn’t collect any user logs whatsoever – fantastic news for privacy advocates. You can see Surfshark’s privacy policy in full here.

The only identifying information it knows about you is your email address (for registering your account) and billing (in case you want a refund). These are in no way connected to what you do while using the service.

Jurisdiction

Where is Surfshark based?

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, one of the most sensible jurisdictions in the world.

There are no obligatory data retention laws in the British Virgin Islands, and it has no connection to any global government data sharing schemes – your personal data is well and truly safe.

There’s also a warrant canary on the Surfshark website that provides a daily update on the company’s interactions with law enforcement: to this day it has never received a gagging order, warrant or National Security letter.

Ease of Use

Simple, great looking app

How to Install & Set Up Surfshark

Surfshark’s app looks great, which is always helps things, and it’s responsive to use, too.

The Surfshark app is so minimalistic, in fact, that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was oversimplified. However all the settings to control the more advanced features of the VPN are hidden away behind a single settings menu – they’re smartly grouped and clearly labelled so there’s never any doubt as to what you’re doing.

Browser Extensions

Surfshark definitely has one of the easiest VPN browser extensions around. Just click the shark fin on your browser and location options pop-up. Click one and watch it swiftly connect.

Customer Support

Fantastic around-the-clock support

24/7 Live chat support
Online Resources

You won’t find around-the-clock live chat support as snappy and well-informed anywhere else at this price point – in fact, most VPNs as cheap as Surfshark won’t have it at all. Agents were always standing by to answer our questions quickly and pleasantly.

Surfshark’s online help sections don’t have the same level of depth as we’ve seen from some higher-scoring rivals, but they cover off the basics well. You can always sent off an email for anything that’s not covered.

Pricing & Deals

Extremely good value for money

Surfshark Coupon

Surfshark Pricing Plan

VPNs as good and as cheap as Surfshark are few and far between. A two-year subscription to Surfshark costs just $1.99 – an 83% saving over the month-by-month cost and a real deal.

Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee period is one of the more generous offerings we’ve seen, and it truly is no-questions-asked – just hop on to the 24/7 live chat and let the support agent know that you want to cancel.

There’s also a seven-day free trial if you’d rather see what you’re in for before investing.

  1. Monthly

    US$11.95/mo

    Billed $11.95 every month
  2. 12 months

    US$5.99/mo

    Billed $71.88 every 12 months
    Save 50%
  3. 2 years

    US$1.99/mo

    Billed $47.76 every 2 years
    Save 83%

All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee

Payment Options

Surfshark offers the usual range of payment options including most credit and debit cards as well as AliPay.

Privacy-conscious users will be pleased to hear you’re also able to pay for Surfshark with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. You can’t currently pay with PayPal.

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You’ve read our expert review - read on for reviews from real users.

User Reviews

 84% 
4.2 out of 5 stars

Based on 15 reviews

  1. 5 star
     0% 
    (9)
  2. 4 star
     0% 
    (3)
  3. 3 star
     0% 
    (1)
  4. 2 star
     0% 
    (1)
  5. 1 star
     0% 
    (1)

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Write a review

Best Positive Review
 100% 

It's speedy and foolproof

Verified Purchase

It's a good service for non-techies. It's easy to use and app looks clean with all important information at the front. Speed is good too.

Best Critical Review
 100% 

Worth my money

Verified Purchase

I'm quite happy with Surfshark. It's still missing a kill switch on Android and has only 500 servers. However, they have fire tv app which works great with Netflix. It was worth the money.

Showing 1-3 of 15 Reviews
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  1.  100% 

    Worked without any interference

    Bought it a few weeks ago, because I wanted to watch Eurovision (you can't watch it in the US). This provider worked without any interference or speed problems. I am definitely using it in the future for my travels if I need to unblock other websites or smth.

  2.  100% 

    Good provider

    I've been using Surfshark VPN for quite some time now and have to admit that the product is great. Kudos to the customer support for being helpful with every question I had.

  3.  60% 

    Firestick disconnects

    Have got 2 yr plan and has worked ok on desk top however have loaded onto firestick and wont stay connected. Been on chat numerous times now and left frustrated

See all 15 Surfshark user reviews