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Surfshark VPN Review

 Rated 4.15 out of 5 
131 user reviews

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more.

Ask Simon About Surfshark VPN

Our Verdict

9.29.2/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

Surfshark is a very good and affordable VPN, full of extra features. It unblocks 10 Netflix regions, Disney+, HBO Max, and many more services. The VPN is also highly secure and well-suited for anonymous torrenting. Speeds could be faster, but Surfshark still offers great value for your money.

Ranked #4 out of 56 VPNs

Surfshark VPN Category Ratings

  • 9.69.6/10
  • 8.68.6/10
  • 9.79.7/10
  • 8.68.6/10
  • 9.39.3/10
  • 88.0/10
  • 9.89.8/10
  • 9.79.7/10
  • 8.58.5/10
  • 9.59.5/10

Surfshark VPN Pros & Cons

  • Excellent budget price
  • Unblocks 10 Netflix libraries
  • Supports torrenting on many servers
  • GPS spoofing tool on Android
  • Diskless servers, Double VPN & rotating IP
  • Unlimited devices policy

  • Unaudited logging policy
  • Kill switch not enabled by default
  • No OpenVPN on macOS
  • Doesn't work with Hulu
  • NoBorders mode not consistent in China
  • Based in the Netherlands (EU jurisdiction)

Why Trust Our Review?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing 56 VPN services using our impartial review process to recommend you the best VPN software.

Here are some of our key VPN testing statistics:

Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Weekly Speed Tests3,000+
VPN Services Reviewed56
Streaming Platforms Tested Daily12
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+
How Much We've Spent On Testing$25,000+

Surfshark is a feature-rich yet inexpensive VPN service. It’s highly secure and all its applications are easy to use.

Reviewing Surfshark revealed how good a VPN it is for streaming Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+.

Surfshark VPN also easily bypasses US sports blackouts, thanks to 25 city-level servers located in the United States.

Our rigorous tests confirm Surfshark VPN is safe to use, and it doesn’t leak your true IPv4 address location. It isn’t yet compatible with IPv6 connections, though.

The VPN doesn’t keep logs of user activity and its apps have many security essentials such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and the WireGuard protocol.

There are also several extra security settings such as Camouflage Mode, malicious URL and ad blocking, MultiHop servers, and more.

Here’s a video showing how easy it is to connect to a Surfshark server on desktop devices:

How to connect to a VPN server using Surfshark on macOS.

Keep reading our review to see why Surfshark is an excellent budget VPN for most internet users.

Surfshark VPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Speed85Mbps
Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionNetherlands (EU Member)
Servers3,200+
IP Addresses3,200+
Countries100
US NetflixYes
TorrentingPermitted
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited
Works In ChinaYes
Support24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price$1.99/mo over 26 months
Free Trial7 Days (Payment Info Required)
Money-Back Guarantee30-day Money-Back Guarantee
Official WebsiteSurfshark.com

Price & Value

Surfshark offers excellent value for your money

9.59.5/10
How is this calculated?

Price & Value for Money receives a rating, but is not factored into our Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating here isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the value it offers overall.

Surfshark is the best value VPN for your money on the market. For just $1.99 per month, you're not just paying for a VPN but a generally useful online security tool.

Ranked #3 out of 56 VPNs for Price & Value

One of Surfshark’s main highlights is its price. It’s not only one of the best VPNs of 2022, it’s also one of the cheapest, which means it’s definitely worth the money.

You can see all the pricing plans here:

  1. Monthly

    US$12.95/mo

    Billed $12.95 every month
  2. 12 Month(s)

    US$3.99/mo

    Billed $47.88 the first 12 months, $59.76 thereafter
    Save 69%
  3. 26 Month(s)

    US$1.99/mo

    Billed $51.74 the first 26 months, $59.76 annually thereafter
    Save 85%

While there are other VPNs available for a similar price, none of them are as fully-featured as Surfshark.

For example, our ZenMate review found the VPN costs just $1.51 per month on an 18-month subscription plan, but its speeds and streaming capabilities are limited.

To see how Surfshark’s pricing compares to other good budget VPNs, see our list of the best cheap VPNs.

Payment & refund options

Surfshark provides a range of payment and refund options, including:

  1. Alipay
  2. American Express
  3. Bitcoin
  4. Mastercard
  5. PayPal
  6. Visa

The most privacy-conscious users will be happy with the choice of cryptocurrencies, although cash payments are not available as of yet. See our Mullvad VPN review for a service that offers this payment option.

Surfshark’s free trial and money-back guarantee

Surfshark offers a seven-day free VPN trial that you can sign up for via iOS and Android devices.

You can access the trial directly from the Google Play Store or Apple App store. You need to download the mobile app, and submit billing details upfront. After seven days, you’ll be charged if you don’t cancel.

However, for Android users Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee kicks in at that point, so you can still get a refund if you cancel within the refund period.

Six months later you can sign up for Surfshark again, and use its money-back guarantee one more time. Overall, that’s 67 days of Surfshark for free.

For iOS users, the Surfshark refund policy doesn’t apply. Consult Apple’s refund policy if you want to claim your money-back after the 7-day free trial.

You can use your free trial account details to log into all the other Surfshark apps without restrictions, including on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

And you can cancel Surfshark twice. After your first cancellation, you can purchase the VPN again and begin another 30-day money-back guarantee period, as long as six months have passed between purchases.

Streaming

Surfshark works well with many streaming services

9.69.6/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for streaming. Currently, it unblocks 10 Netflix regions, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Disney Plus. Hulu remains blocked, though.

Ranked #5 out of 56 VPNs for Streaming

Surfshark stands out for how good a VPN it is at unblocking streaming platforms.

The VPN service works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, Channel 4, and HBO Max.

Surfshark unblocks Netflix effectively

Without a doubt, Surfshark is a top Netflix VPN.

Surfshark unblocks 10 international Netflix libraries, including:

  • Australia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

We easily streamed these different Netflix regions in our tests, experiencing sharp picture quality and no buffering.

Accessing US Netflix using Surfshark

We streamed US Netflix using Surfshark’s Chicago server.

While Surfshark doesn’t have dedicated streaming servers, the vast majority of US servers work with Netflix. In our most recent tests, only the Charlotte and St.Louis servers didn’t stream American Netflix.

Surfshark Streams BBC iPlayer, HBO Max and Disney+

Surfshark’s UK servers all work with BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 and ITVX. This is highly impressive.

Moreover, Surfshark was the first VPN to unblock Disney+ on its release, and has been our top-rated Disney Plus VPN ever since.

Furthermore, Surfshark is a reliable VPN for HBO Max and US Amazon Prime Video.

Unblocking HBO Max using Surfshark

We unblocked HBO Max using Surfshark’s Boston server.

To our surprise, Surfshark still isn’t a good VPN for unblocking Hulu.

Torrenting

P2P servers, fast speeds, but no port forwarding

8.68.6/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

Surfshark is a very good choice for torrenters, but it's not the best. While it has P2P servers with solid download bitrate speeds, it doesn't have port forwarding. Port forwarding isn't essential, but it allows for quicker seeding speeds.

Ranked #13 out of 56 VPNs for Torrenting

Surfshark is a top VPN for torrenting. Its privacy-focused logging policy and high encryption help hide your P2P activity from your ISP.

Also, the VPN’s kill switch stops your IP address from showing if your VPN connection drops. This keeps your download activity safe from any accidental exposures, and lets you torrent safely using Surfshark.

All Surfshark servers allow P2P file-sharing, but some servers are specifically optimized for P2P activity. You can find these servers by typing in ‘P2P’ into the app’s server search bar.

Some servers optimized for P2P include:

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • UK
  • US

These fast P2P-optimized connections let you torrent anonymously using torrent clients like qBittorrent, BitTorrent, Deluge, Transmission, uTorrent, and Vuze.

Surfshark qBittorrent Test

You can use Surfshark to share files anonymously.

You’ll also be able to stream anonymously P2P-based services such as Ace Player, VLC, and PopcornTime

Surfshark doesn’t allow port forwarding

However, Surfshark does not allow port forwarding for security reasons. The lack of this feature means upload (seeding) speeds are very slow at times.

Speed & Reliability

Surfshark's speeds are quick, but could be even faster

8.68.6/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

Surfshark’s speeds are more than fast enough for streaming, torrenting, and other data-intensive activities. It closely competes with some of the fastest VPNs.

Ranked #24 out of 56 VPNs for Speed & Reliability

We tested our connection speed before and after connecting to a server in London, close to our real location.

Local Speed Test results before using Surfshark VPN:

  • Download Speed: 99Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 99Mbps
  • Ping: 1ms

Local Speed Test results with Surfshark VPN:

  • Download Speed: 84Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 91Mbps
  • Ping: 14ms

Download speed loss when Surfshark VPN is running: 15%

Surfshark’s same-country local connection speeds are very good, dropping just 15% to 85Mbps. If you’re in the US and connect to a nearby US server, you can expect similar results.

The VPN’s speeds have been consistetnly improving over the years, in part thanks to the upgrade of many servers from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. Some servers in the US, Canada, Germany, France and more are already upgraded, with more scheduled.

While Surfshark is reasonably fast on short-distance connections, rivals Private Internet Access and NordVPN recorded even faster speeds.

Surfshark’s long-distance speed tests

Surfshark’s speeds over long-distance connections are also good.

We connected to its US, Australia, Canada, and Germany servers from our London office and measured our connection speeds before and after.

We recorded an average speed loss of 42% when connected to the US, and 40% connecting to Australia.

This is not unusual for long-distance connections, though VPNs like Hotspot Shield recorded speed losses of just 17% on US servers.

Here are Surfshark’s full long-distance speed results:

USA: (New York)

  • Download: 58Mbps (42% slower)
  • Upload: 77Mbps

Japan:

  • Download: 58Mbps (42% slower)
  • Upload: 59Mbps

Germany:

  • Download: 72Mbps (27% slower)
  • Upload: 93Mbps

Australia:

  • Download: 59Mbps (40% slower)
  • Upload: 58Mbps

Surfshark’s international speeds are good and stable across the board, with speed loss consistently under 50% when connecting to servers very far away.

Surfshark’s speeds compared to other VPNs

In addition to testing VPN speeds manually, we’ve also developed an automated VPN speed test tool that constantly tests VPN speeds around the world.

Tests run automatically four times per day, and test connection speeds are capped at 100Mbps to recreate a typical home internet connection.

The graph below compares Surfshark VPN’s average loss of internet speed to other popular VPNs for New York to New York connections:

Provider speed comparison chart

Use our Speed Test Tool to see Surfshark’s worldwide speeds.

Surfshark’s VPN speeds have been improving month by month, and the gap with faster VPNs is narrowing down.

Moreover, Surfshark is now regularly beating CyberGhost in many speed tests.

Privacy & Logging Policy

Surfshark VPN is safe and private

9.79.7/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

Surfshark isn't 100% zero logs, but it's pretty close to it and very safe. The VPN collects some aggregated performance data, but no sensitive or identifiable information. The company recently moved from the British Virgin Islands to the Netherlands, which isn't the best move for privacy.

Ranked #15 out of 56 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Surfshark does not keep user activity logs or connection data. The service’s logging policy is sensible and privacy-focused, but not completely zero-logs.

To be specific, Surfshark VPN collects:

  • Aggregated performance data
  • Unsuccessful connection attempts
  • Frequency of use

While Surfshark isn’t a no-logs VPN by definition, it comes close to it. It doesn’t collect personally identifiable data, meaning it won’t store your internet activity or originating IP address.

The VPN service’s privacy policy states the following:

“To maintain a perfect quality of our Services and provide you with efficient support we collect diagnostics information and monitor crash reports on our apps. The information we collect contains aggregated performance data, the frequency of use of our services, unsuccessful connection attempts and other similar information.”

There are some very minor causes for concern in the above wording.

Firstly, we were alarmed by the phrase “other similar information.” A good privacy policy is as specific as possible – it’s unclear what “similar information” entails exactly.

Secondly, Surfshark collects advertising identifiers – unique, resettable IDs for advertising provided by third parties. You can opt out of personalized ads by adjusting the settings in your app.

In addition, there has still been no independent audit of Surfshark’s logging policy, specifically.

Without a confirmed audit, there’s always room for doubt around logging practices. Many major VPN companies, like ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, have already done so to earn even greater trust.

It’s worth noting that there’s a separate privacy policy for its BlindSearch and HackLock features.

BlindSearch collects an aggregated number of performed searches, and HackLock stores your email address. Both tools are separate from the main VPN applications.

In the spirit of transparency, Surfshark publishes the number of government agency requests it receives on its warrant canary page. As of writing, it has received zero requests for information.

Surfshark Warrant Canary Feature on the Surfshark Website

Surfshark has a warrant canary on the website.

Surfshark is based in the Netherlands

Surfshark is owned by Surfshark Ltd, whose CEO is Vytautas Kaziukonis.

In 2018, the company was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) where there are no intrusive data retention laws or practices and is widely viewed as a privacy-haven.

In 2021, the company moved to the Netherlands, renaming itself to Surfshark B.V. in the process.

The Netherlands is a member of the European Union, and the Nine Eyes intelligence sharing network. While this move isn’t the best for privacy, Surfshark insists no Dutch laws force it to collect user data.

The Netherlands jurisdiction shouldn’t be an issue as long as Surfshark continues to maintain its current logging policy.

Surfshark’s merger with NordVPN

In early 2022, Surfshark merged with Nord Security, the company behind NordVPN, to form one company called Cyberspace.

As a result, Surfshark and NordVPN now work together to improve their services while also maintaining some independence as separate entities.

This merger isn’t surprising; many VPNs are now being consolidated under larger companies, like Ziff Davis and Kape Technologies.

Security & Extra Features

Surfshark has many advanced settings for greater security

9.89.8/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

Surfshark's apps are packed with additional settings. Alongside the industry-standard protection, including a kill switch and AES-256 encryption, it operates diskless servers for extra security. There's also a Surfshark One bundle that includes an antivirus, private search engine, and security alert system.

Ranked #1 out of 56 VPNs for Security & Extra Features

ProtocolsAvailable in Surfshark VPN
IKEv2/IPSecYes
L2TP/IPSecNo
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)Yes
ProprietaryNo
PPTPNo
SoftEtherNo
SSL VPNNo
SSTPNo
TLS VPNNo
WireGuardYes
EncryptionAvailable in Surfshark VPN
AES-128No
AES-192No
AES-256Yes
BlowfishNo
ChaCha20No
SecurityAvailable in Surfshark VPN
DNS Leak BlockingYes
First-party DNSNo
IPv6 Leak BlockingNo
Supports TCP Port 443No
VPN Kill SwitchYes
WebRTC Leak BlockingYes
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in Surfshark VPN
Ad BlockerYes
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNYes
Smart DNSYes
SOCKSNo
Split TunnelingYes
Tor over VPN ServerNo
Tracker BlockerYes

Surshark is an exceptionally safe VPN service. It includes all of the essential security features you would expect from a top-tier VPN service.

You’ll benefit from robust encryption, secure protocols, IP and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch on all applications. We also found no evidence of IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.

The kill switch isn’t enabled by default, though. Surfshark needs to fix this, but for the time being you’ll have to go into the app’s settings and switch it on.

AES-256 encryption is used on all platforms, with ChaCha encryption also available for Android users.

Surfshark’s strong VPN protocol selection

WireGuard is now the default protocol used on most of Surfshark’s apps, though you can choose IKEv2 in the settings menu.

OpenVPN is only available on Windows. If you want to install it on macOS, you have to do it manually.

Protocol selection in the Surfshark Windows client

Protocol selection in the Surfshark Windows client.

WireGuard and OpenVPN are both very fast and secure protocols, however WireGuard used less bandwidth in our tests.

Surfshark uses RAM-based servers

Following in ExpressVPN and NordVPN’s footsteps, Surfshark has moved away from hard drive technology and now operates a completely diskless, RAM-only server network.

This vastly improves security, as information cannot be physically extracted from the servers, and it enables central management of the whole network. Very few VPNs have this feature.

Surfshark’s extra features

Surfshark is filled with advanced security features, built to enhance your experience and safeguard your data.

Here’s a list of the VPN’s advanced security features:

  • Surfshark Search (formerly BlindSearch) is a private search engine designed to allow users to search the web with no ads or trackers. You can add BlindSearch, along with an Surfshark Antivirus and HackLock, to your existing subscription for an extra $1.49 per month.
  • Camouflage Mode, also known as obfuscation. This is a technology that disguises your VPN traffic to make it look like ‘normal’ browsing. This means even your ISP can’t tell you’re using a VPN.
  • CleanWeb is Surfshark’s proprietary ad, tracker, and malware blocker. It is not turned on by default.
Enabling CleanWeb in the Surfshark Windows client

Turning on CleanWeb in the Surfshark Windows client.

  • Cookie pop-up blocker prevents annoying cookie banners appearing whenever you visit a website. This is exclusive to the Chrome browser extension. To be clear, this isn’t a privacy feature, it just stops you seeing pop-ups.
  • MultiHop, sometimes known as Double VPN, routes your traffic via two different VPN servers instead of one. This additional step makes you harder to track, though it may reduce connection speeds.
Surfshark's MultiHop Server List

Surfshark’s MultiHop server locations list.

  • Surfshark Alert is a breach detection tool that scans the web in real-time, checking that your email and login information hasn’t been leaked online. This feature comes as an added bundle with BlindSearch and Surfshark Antivirus.
  • Surfshark Antivirus is an antivirus tool available on Windows and Android. It offers real-time protection against malware, viruses, and apps that do things on your device without your permission.
  • Rotating IP automatically changes your IP address every 5-10 minutes while keeping you connected to the same server location. This adds extra anonymity.

    Surfshark’s rotating IP feature on macOS.

  • Bypasser is a split tunneling tool that lets you define which applications and websites shouldn’t use the VPN connection. You can find it in the sidebar menu of the Surfshark app, under ‘Features.’ It’s not available on iOS or Mac.
Surfshark's Bypasser split-tunneling tool

Surfshark’s Bypasser split-tunneling tool.

  • Surfshark’s VPN kill switch prevents your true IP address from leaking if your VPN connection drops. To enable it on Windows, toggle the setting in the app’s security menu. On Android devices, you’ll need to enable it manually in the device settings.
Enabling the Kill Switch in Surfshark's Windows client

Enabling the Kill Switch in Surfshark’s Windows client.

To clarify, Hacklock, Surfshark Antivirus, and Blindsearch are add-ons that are part of the Surfshark One bundle, which costs an extra $1.49 per month.

Surfshark also developed an Android-only GPS spoofing feature found under Virtual Location.

GPS Override feature in the Surfshark Android app

The GPS Override feature on Surfshark Android.

It lets you easily change your GPS location and bypass geo-blocks set by MLB and other mobile apps.

Surfshark uses high encryption standards

The VPN service has also gone the extra mile to include a two-factor authentication (2FA) option for its users too.

For more technically minded users, Surfshark’s encryption uses an RSA-2048 handshake and HMAC SHA256 data authentication.

Perfect Forward Secrecy is implemented through the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange (DHE), meaning encryption keys are not reused between sessions, for an added layer of security.

Surfshark’s Server Network Audit

In 2021 Surfshark commissioned an audit of its server infrastructure. This was performed by Cure53, a Germany-based IT security firm.

The full audit identified some ‘medium’ level security concerns, which the Surfshark team swiftly handled.

The report concludes:

“The overall outcome should be regarded as good and the testing team has no doubt that the Surfshark maintainers have a clear understanding of security and privacy challenges associated with being a VPN provider.”

It’s good to see Surfshark commissioning audits of its server security, something very few providers do. While some issues were identified, these were fixed quickly.

Surfshark’s doesn’t leak IPv4, WebRTC, and DNS data

Surfshark uses private DNS on every server to protect your DNS requests.

We tested this on our VPN leak test test tool by connecting to a US server from our office in London, and recorded zero DNS, IPv4, or WebRTC leaks using its apps.

You can also see leak-free results when using Browserleaks.com:

Surfshark doesn’t support IPv6

Surfshark currently has no IPv6 support. Instead, it re-routes IPv6 connections to IPv4.

That’s fine, but we’d like to see Surfshark made compatible with IPv6 connections. For example, Hide.me has full IPv6 support.

It also means Surfshark won’t work at all if you have a new IPv6-exclusive router.

There are no viruses or malware in Surfshark’s apps

Surfshark is virus-free too. We scanned the VPN software for any malicious files and it came back completely clean:

Surfshark’s Android app doesn’t contain malicious trackers

We also scanned the Android app for trackers that could potentially compromise your privacy, using the εxodus tool. Here’s what we found:

Surfshark’s Android app has four trackers for Google Analytics, GoogleCrashLytics, Google Firebase Analytics, and AppsFlyer.

We often find analytics trackers in VPN apps. They help VPN services maintain high performance and understand how users interact with app features.

Other top VPN apps have similar trackers in place, although Astrill VPN contains zero trackers.

The use of AppsFlyer is a little more concerning. This advertising tracker “uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for big data analytics.”

It’s not uncommon for VPNs to use AppsFlyer, though, and its privacy policy states that it doesn’t share data with third parties.

No intrusive Android app permissions

The Surfshark Android app contains 16 permissions, which dictate the level of access the software has to your mobile device.

Three of these permissions are considered ‘special’ or ‘dangerous’ according to Android’s protections levels, including:

  • Access to your camera
  • Access to the contents of your SD card
  • Permission to modify and delete the contents of your SD card

These permissions are unnecessary for a VPN application designed for privacy. We’d like to see these removed, or at the very least explained, in future app updates.

Server Locations

Secure network of 3,200+ servers in 100 countries

9.39.3/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

Surfshark has an excellent server spread across 100 countries, as well as different types of servers. CyberGhost and PIA VPN have more extensive networks, but on the plus side Surfshark covers 25 city-specific IP address locations in the United States.

Ranked #11 out of 56 VPNs for Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag
100 Countries
Image of a city landscape
100+ Cities
Image of a pink marker
3,200+ IP Addresses

Surfshark has a large network of over 3,200+ servers in 100 countries.

The network isn’t as large as CyberGhost’s server network, but it’s extensive enough to satisfy most users.

The majority of servers are in Europe, as with most VPN services. And like most other VPNs, coverage in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East is rather limited. However, Surfshark recently invested in servers for Saudi Arabia and Ghana.

Surfshark's server list

Surfshark servers as listed on its website.

Wide range of US city locations

One of Surfshark’s highlights is the provision of city-level choice in 12 countries:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • UK
  • US

Surfshark’s server coverage in the United States is especially good, with 25 city-level server locations. This is optimal for users looking to get a US IP address with a VPN.

Furthermore, the three VPN server locations in Canada – Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver – cover both Canadian coasts.

100 servers in five Australian cities is great coverage, too.

Surfshark recently removed its Russia servers, so you can no longer get a Russian IP address, though.

Surfshark’s static IP server locations

The Surfshark’s apps list different types of servers, too.

Windows users will see options for static IP, virtual servers, and MultiHop.

Mac users will see labels for physical, virtual, P2P, and MultiHop.

Static IP servers assign an IP address that remains the same whenever you use that server. This allows for faster speeds and easier access to geo-restricted content.

Surfshark's static IP server locations list

Surfshark’s static IP server locations list.

While on paper this poses a greater privacy risk, in reality many people will be using the same IP address. It’s highly unlikely your web activity on that static IP address can be linked to you.

Surfshark’s multihop server locations

Surfshark also provides access to MultiHop servers, sometimes called Double VPN.

Multihop servers add an extra layer of security, by ‘bouncing’ your traffic from one encrypted server to another, and then onto a website or application.

Surfshark's static IP server locations list

Surfshark’s static IP server locations list.

Surfshark's MultiHop server locations list

Surfshark’s MultiHop server locations list.

This double VPN connection reduces speeds, but it brings added privacy and security.

Surfshark uses some virtual server locations

Surfshark allows users to choose between virtual locations and physical locations.

Virtual locations assign an IP address in a country of your choice even if the actual server is located elsewhere. These servers are marked with a small ‘v’ on the Windows app, and listed separately on the Mac app.

Virtual servers allow Surfshark to cover more locations around the world, and can often lead to better speeds.

However, if the actual server is much further from your physical location than advertised, you may see a drop in performance.

Surfshark’s virtual server locations include:

  • Albania
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Slovenia

Surfshark caps server congestion at 40%

To prevent server congestion and slow internet speeds, Surfshark caps its servers at 40% capacity.

If you attempt to connect to a server that’s reached 40% capacity, you will be automatically redirected to a less-congested server. This ensures smooth performance for all Surfshark users.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Surfshark bypasses aggressive web censorship

88.0/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

Surfshark gets around the Great Firewall of China 30% of the time, which is a better result than most VPNs. While it's inconsistent in China, Surfshark is a reliable anti-censorship VPN in countries like Turkey, UAE, and Russia. This is thanks to its obfuscation technology, such as NoBorders mode.

Ranked #14 out of 56 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

Surfshark has clearly put a lot of work into bypassing aggressive online censorship.

We can confirm it’s currently one of the best VPNs to circumvent web blocks in countries like Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

According to out test results, it’s also capable of getting around the strictest Chinese censorship, but only 30% of the time. Astrill, on the other hand, works 100% of the time.

Surfshark Unblocking YouTube in China

We accessed YouTube from China using Surfshark.

Surfshark’s anti-censorship tools

Its additional anonymity features allow Surfshark to work reliably in highly-censored countries.

Camouflage Mode is an obfuscation tool designed to make your VPN traffic appear as normal traffic, disguising your VPN usage from ISPs and thereby eluding web censors.

This feature is automatically activated whenever you connect with the OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) protocol, and is the main reason why Surfshark works in high censorship nations.

NoBorders Mode is specifically built to beat internet restrictions and censorship. It detects when you’re connected to a restricted network or in a censored country, and automatically redirects your traffic elsewhere.

Surfshark NoBorders Mode

Surfshark’s NoBorders mode.

While NoBorders Mode is likely to work in countries like Russia and Turkey, our China tests show that it has only worked 14% of the time over the past year to get around the more advanced Great Firewall.

Surfshark also used to have a Shadowsocks protocol option, an open source proxy that often bypasses strict web censorship. In November 2021, the company removed Shadowsocks from all its apps.

Device & OS Compatibility

Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections

How is this rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

Surfshark is compatible with every major platform including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire OS. It also comes with an unlimited device allowance, meaning you can use Surfshark VPN on as many devices as you wish. You can also install it on router.

Apps

Surfshark is available to download and install on these devices:

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  6. Router

Surfshark has built native applications for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It also runs a Command Line Interface for Linux Ubuntu and Debian operating systems.

The Surfshark website has helpful setup guides for all devices.

Surfshark was also one of the first VPNs to support the new M1 chip from Apple. This is ideal for users of the new iMac and Macbook.

Surfshark offers unlimited VPN connections

There is no simultaneous device limit. You can use Surfshark on all your devices with just one Surfshark subscription.

This is a great benefit that very few VPN services offer, with most imposing a limit of five devices.

Surfshark is compatible with several routers

If Surfshark doesn’t have a native app for a device you own, you can always install the VPN on your router.

Surfshark’s software is compatible with DD-WRT, Tomato and AsusWRT routers. Any device connected to the router will use the VPN connection, if enabled.

The manual router setup area in our Surfshark account

The manual router setup area in our Surfshark account.

Games consoles & streaming devices

Surfshark is available to install on a wide range of consoles and streaming devices, including:

  1. Apple TV
  2. Amazon Fire TV
  3. Android TV
  4. Chromecast
  5. Nintendo
  6. PlayStation
  7. Roku
  8. Smart TV
  9. Xbox

Surfshark can really enhance your streaming experience, especially on Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV.

Surfshark has a good Fire TV Stick app

The VPN’s native Fire TV Stick app is very well made, and it unblocks many streaming services like HBO Max, Netflix, and YouTube.

Surfshark's app for Amazon Fire TV Stick

Surfshark’s app for Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Because Surfshark allows P2P traffic on most servers, you can also use the VPN to stream P2P-based apps anonymously.

Surfshark’s Smart DNS tool works well

Surfshark also offers Smart DNS and Trust DNS (on Android and iOS only) features.

Both proxy tools let you use Surfshark to unblock video content on devices such as Apple TV, games consoles and Smart TVs. Both tools work by changing the DNS address set in your device.

The Smart DNS settings page in our Surfshark account

The Smart DNS settings page in our Surfshark account.

While Smart DNS lets you access geo-blocked streaming and gaming content, it doesn’t provide the same security level as a normal VPN connection, because your traffic isn’t encrypted.

Browser extensions

You can install Surfshark browser extensions as part of an active VPN subscription. It can be added to these browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Microsoft Edge
  3. Firefox

Surfshark’s browser extensions are safe and independently audited.

Surfshark's web browser extension

Surfshark’s web browser extension.

Surfshark’s Chrome, Firefox and Edge browser plugins are proxies with very few settings. They spoof your IP location, but don’t encrypt your connection so they don’t hide your web activity like full VPN software does.

The Chrome extension does offer a very useful cookie pop-up blocker, and there is a website safety warning and fake news warning option.

Ease of Use

Easy setup & user-friendly apps

9.79.7/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

Surfshark has some of the best designed VPN applications on the market. Even with all the features they come with, they're still smooth, user-friendly, and effective.

Ranked #2 out of 56 VPNs for Ease of Use

Surfshark’s native applications are well-designed, functional, and easy to use.

The interfaces are clear and VPN beginners will have little trouble using the apps. There are also plenty of customization tools to personalize your VPN experience.

All the native apps have a kill switch, NoBorders mode, CleanWeb, and access to MultiHop servers, which you can find in the application’s settings menu:

How to change your connection settings in Surfshark's desktop application.

However, there are some differences between platforms, with some features only present on certain devices.

What is missing from all Surfshark apps is latency and server load information. This data helps with selecting faster servers, which services like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost offer in-app.

Surfshark’s Windows client

Surfshark’s Windows software is standard-looking, with simple navigation options on the left-hand-side.

The main dashboard features a large Quick Connect button to automatically connect you to the most optimal server based on your location.

Connect Options in the Surfshark Windows client

The three different connection options you can choose from.

The menu is a sidebar condensed to just a few options: main screen, locations, settings, and features.

The server locations list in the Surfshark Windows client

The server locations list in the Surfshark Windows client.

In the server locations list there are also options for static and MultiHop servers. There’s also a favorites system to manage the locations you most commonly connect to.

Unlike the Mac client, there is no easily accessible list of P2P servers on the Windows app. You have to use the Smart Search and click the P2P option.

There are also no server loads or ping times in the server locations windows. We want these added, so users can easily find the best-performing server for their location.

On the flip side, the Windows app has added customization options, including Dark Mode and Mini Mode.

The Surfshark Windows app in Dark Mode

The Surfshark Windows app in Dark Mode.

Also, you can also use the VPN from the system tray icon. Right-click it and quickly connect to the fastest server, or choose your most recent location without opening the full application.

To switch between protocols (OpenVPN, Wireguard and IKEv2), click on ‘Settings,’ then ‘Advanced.’

To enable features like the VPN Kill Switch, Auto-connect, Bypasser, and Clean Web, click on ‘Settings’ and then ‘Connectivity.’

Surfshark’s macOS client

Surfshark’s Mac application is similar to the Windows client, but the locations are listed as an even simpler side menu for navigation.

Surfshark's Mac application

Surfshark’s Mac application.

You’ll also see options between Physical, Virtual, P2P and MultiHop servers made much more prominent compared to Windows.

The Settings menu just above the servers is also nicely presented on Mac.

The Features menu gives you one-button access to tools such as HackLock and BlindSearch, which means they’re never too far away.

This type of access is exclusive to the macOS client, though. Windows users will find these extra tools by navigating to their Account area on Surfshark’s website.

Surfshark’s Android and iOS apps

Surfshark’s mobile apps are also attractive and easy to use. All the features and functions work well on mobile devices for both Android and iOS.

Surfshark's Android application

Surfshark’s Android application.

The apps are similar to their desktop counterparts, which is uncommon. The interface is the same and you’ll find many of the same features, including CleanWeb, the kill switch and MultiHop connections. Bypasser is absent on iOS, though.

Both mobile applications run WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.

As mentioned earlier, the Android app also offers GPS spoofing, as well as a ‘Use Small Packets’ setting to improve network performance.

Customer Support

Helpful 24/7 live chat support

8.58.5/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

Surfshark has a helpful website for support and a quick and friendly 24/7 live chat. We found that agents struggled with in-depth technical questions, but you can always refer to the email ticketing system for comprehensive answers.

Ranked #17 out of 56 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in Surfshark VPN
24/7 Live Chat SupportYes
24/7 Email SupportYes
Email Support via Online FormYes
No Support AvailableNo
Tutorial VideosYes
Online ResourcesYes

Surfshark provides fast, friendly, and helpful customer support with 24/7 live chat and a ticketing system available.

There’s also an online help section featuring installation guides, troubleshooting, an FAQ, and a knowledgebase.

To access Surfshark’s live chat simply head to the website and click the Chat icon in the bottom right corner of the page.

We found the company’s customer support team to be fast and informative, and we got an answer to our query in under a minute.

Surfshark live chat support

Surfshark offers quick and friendly live chat support.

However, technical questions might take a little longer. When we asked about ChaCha encryption, our support agent took a while to respond and their answer was lacking in detail.

If you have a particularly technical question, we recommend using Surfshark’s email ticketing system instead.

The Bottom Line

Surfshark review summary

We highly recommend using Surfshark. It’s a high-quality, secure, and reliable VPN service.

Its native VPN applications come with a great array of advanced features, and they easily unblock streaming websites like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+.

Surfshark is a particularly good VPN for beginners, with its 24/7 live chat support ideal for newbies requiring help using a VPN for the first time.

While there are still some issues with the VPN service, all in all Surfshark VPN is an impressive yet very affordable service.

If you’re looking for unrestricted streaming and torrenting capabilities, or unlimited simultaneous connections, then Surfshark represents excellent value for your money.

Additional research by David Hughes

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