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Surfshark Review

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Our Score8.6
User Rating
 84% 
(12 User Reviews)

Streamlined VPN for beginners looking to browse and stream securely.

What we like
  • Reliable local download speeds of up to 55Mbps
  • Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • User-friendly apps, quick and easy setup
  • Connect securely to 50 countries
  • Very strict zero-logs policy

A good all-round VPN, Surfshark is a top choice for security, privacy, and price. You won’t find a much better VPN for such a low monthly fee.

Its speeds can’t compete with the very best on the market, and it isn’t terribly good with torrenting, but if you’re new to VPNs or simply a casual user then it’s a strong choice.

Pricing & Deals

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

Surfshark Coupon

Surfshark Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
2 Years
US$1.99/mo
Save 83%
Billed $47.76 every 2 years
12 Months
US$5.99/mo
Save 50%
Billed $71.88 every 12 months
1 Month
US$11.95/mo
Billed $11.95 every month
Get Surfshark30-day money-back guarantee

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

The 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.

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 with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. You can't currently pay with PayPal.

Speed & Reliability

While it’s certainly no slouch, Surfshark just can’t compete with the speeds of our highest-scoring providers. Peak local downloads are noticeably slower than the fastest 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.

Downloads peaked at 55Mbps in London (we test in the UK) and averaged around 50Mbps across the rest of Europe, which is fast enough to do pretty much anything you want online without breaking a sweat.

We were impressed with speeds connecting out to the US, coming in at around 35Mbps, as this is quicker than we’ve seen from most other providers at this price point.

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.

To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

50Countries50Countries
64Cities64Cities
800+IP Addresses800+IP Addresses

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

800 IP addresses is a small number for sure, but it should see your anonymity protected, particularly in the more popular locations. Just beware that there’s only one single location in Africa and two in Australia.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

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

All the major desktop and mobile operating systems are here, 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.

Browser Extensions

Chrome LogoChrome
Firefox LogoFirefox

There’s also browser extensions available 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 program too, though, as they only cover what goes on in your web browser.

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. It’s 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.

Streaming & Torrenting

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 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 is a little more complicated. While you can torrent on any 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 Netherlands server. If you’re in the Americas but outside of the US or Canada it will route through the Canadian servers.

Encryption & Security

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.

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

Bypassing Censorship

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.

Privacy

Logging Policy

Surfshark doesn’t collect any user logs whatsoever – fantastic news for privacy advocates.

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

Based in and functioning under the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is in one of the most sensible jurisdictions in the world.

There are no obligatory data retention laws there, 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

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

It’s 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.

Getting Started

Downloading and installing Surfshark is pretty simple, even if you’ve never used a VPN before. It’s largely self-explanatory, but should you get really stuck Surfshark offers a series of step-by-step installation guides.

  • Installing software
  • How to use the app

Customer Support

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 this cheap won’t have it at all. Agents were always standing by to answer our questions quickly and pleasantly.

The 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.

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Reliable local download speeds of up to 55Mbps
  • Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • User-friendly apps, quick and easy setup
  • Connect securely to 50 countries
  • Very strict zero-logs policy
What we like less
  • Manual config required for Linux
  • Torrenting only permitted in the Netherlands

Surfshark is a streamlined, user-friendly VPN that offers incredible value on the two-year subscription, and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee means you can thoroughly test out the service before purchase.

It offers reliable speeds on local connections, but high latencies and torrenting restrictions will prompt gamers and P2P users to look elsewhere. Consistent access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer is always good to see, though.

Surfshark offers a high level of privacy, and its logging policy combined with privacy-friendly jurisdiction is really reassuring.

It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a simple, hassle-free VPN solution for general browsing and streaming.


Surfshark User Reviews

 84% 
4.2 out of 5 stars

Based on 12 reviews

  1. 5 star
     0% 
    (7)
  2. 4 star
     0% 
    (3)
  3. 3 star
     0% 
    (0)
  4. 2 star
     0% 
    (1)
  5. 1 star
     0% 
    (1)

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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 12 Reviews
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  1.  40% 

    dissapointed

    I am very dissapointed with surfshark it changes my ip address perfectly on my lapto p but never changes m y ip address on my 2nd generation tv fire stick no matter how many times i try. I chose the 2 year plan but wont be renewing it.

  2.  100% 

    Cool service.

    Fast to connect. Work for my seedbox, a small wifi/3g router, Winsow$, ubuntu, and android... both with app or with manual configuration...

  3.  80% 

    It exceeded my expectations

    It's cheap, fast and really easy to use. Though, true I wish they had more location supporting torrents. Their support told me that only US, UK, Canada and Netherlands support it right now. Though I don't have any major speed drops while downloading as I'm near UK and Netherlands.

See all 12 Surfshark user reviews