SurfShark is an intriguing VPN packed with features, works virtually everywhere, and has one of the finest starting prices available.
SurfShark is a very young, straightforward, yet effective VPN service provider.
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Though some may argue that SurfShark lacks sophisticated capabilities, it more than makes up for its execution of the fundamental duties.
SurfShark is one of the best-known VPN options if you only need the essential VPN capabilities. In addition, you’ll adore the lovely, laid-back logo.
The clean, clutter-free design keeps novices and inexperienced users from feeling overwhelmed. SurfShark is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon, and Fire TV devices.
All required security protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, UDP, and TCP, are available.
SurfShark is a powerful contender in the VPN market, with military-grade security, a Kill Switch, a Dual VPN hop, and a strict no-logging policy.
In addition, there is no cap on the number of devices you may utilize concurrently with SurfShark.
Isn’t it amazing? There’s more to it. Let’s go through SurfShark’s main features and discover what more it has to offer.
Features of SurfShark
SurfShark’s patented Blocker is called CleanWeb. It disables annoying Popups, Trackers, Malware, and Ads.
As a result, SurfShark’s CleanWeb ensures a safe and ad-free browsing experience.
In addition, CleanWeb saves data and increases loading speed by preventing Ads and requests from questionable websites.
SurfShark protects your surfing privacy. It will conceal your IP address using AES-256-GCM military-grade secrecy, standard security procedures, and camo mode.
IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN with IKEv2 are two of SurfShark’s standard security protocols.
Camouflage Mode conceals all of your internet activity, beginning with the use of a VPN. Even your ISP, as per the SurfShark website, will not be able to detect whether you are using a VPN service.
SurfShark’s MultiHop adds an extra layer of defense. MultiHop allows users to connect across many countries, totally obscuring your digital trace. This way, you are fully safe from phishers and trackers.
The SurfShark Whitelister is a function that allows you to circumvent the VPN for certain applications. In other instances, a VPN is not required. Alternatively, using one will generate unnecessary problems.
For example, if the site you want to visit restricts foreign Domain names or if the company you want to use prohibits the usage of a VPN.
You’ll need a VPN that allows certain sites to bypass this without shutting down the entire network. SurfShark excels at it.
VPN customers will swear by VPN companies that have been independently inspected.
As you can see, your private details are quite significant. As a result, you want a VPN service provider you can rely on.
Unfortunately, when a VPN service claims to have a no-logging policy, DNS leak prevention, and high-grade encryption, it is impossible to know unless they accept to be openly audited by a third party.
For openness, a small number of VPN providers have volunteered to be audited. SurfShark is one of them.
Finally, the ultimate test of a strong VPN is in its support. The ideal VPN service would have many channels of communication with its clients and a knowledgeable support team.
SurfShark provides excellent customer service, including live chat, email help, and phone assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
According to their website, they will answer your questions within 24 hours. However, in my experience, the response time is only a few minutes.
Furthermore, the team is technologically competent and well-equipped to handle any difficulties that may arise. These are the most notable characteristics of SurfShark.
Of fact, there’s a lot more to choose from, such as Torrenting, System-wide KillSwitch, and the NoBorder Mode for circumventing geo-restrictions.
So, you should not pass up this opportunity. SurfShark is already one of the most affordable choices on the market. It might be the final push you need to make a decision!
Plans and Pricing
According to our devoted SurfShark price and discounts list, the service’s monthly plan is more costly than others, at $12.95, and purchasing for six months in advance only reduces the cost to $6.49.
The 12 months with 12 months free plan is a terrific value for the first term at $2.49.
However, it doubles to $4.98 for the yearly plan on renewal. The initial pricing tramples over the majority of the competitors.
Even Private Internet Access, one of the most cost-effective VPN services available, lags at $2.69 per month for the very first term of its 2-year plan. The long-term $4.98 isn’t as spectacular.
However, we think it’s decent value for what you receive, and it still compares well to yearly plans from many other large brands (HideMyAss! costs $4.99; Hotspot Shield costs $6.99; ExpressVPN costs $8.32, and ProtonVPN’s Plus plan costs approximately $9.50).
If pricing is your primary goal, long-term plans like ZenMate ($1.64 per month for three years) or Ivacy ($1.33 for five years) may be worth considering.
Surfshark’s 7-day free trial for Android, iOS and Mac offers you enough time to try out the service.
We prefer something longer with Windows support, but it seems unreasonable to complain when many companies don’t provide any trials at all.
SurfShark goes above and above with its payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrency, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and AliPay.
But if, after all of this, you join up and discover that the firm isn’t for you, don’t worry – a 30-day money-back assurance covers you.
Surfshark does not maintain user logs and secures your link with AES 256 security and a kill switch.
Privacy and Logging
The privacy features of SurfShark begin with the VPN fundamentals: secure protocols (OpenVPN UDP & TCP, WireGuard, IKEv2), AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch to limit internet access and avoid identity breaches if the link fails.
But that’s only the beginning. To limit the possibility of outsiders spying on your activity, Surfshark uses its private DNS on each server.
Furthermore, the option to employ a second VPN hop (link to Paris, for example, before leaving the SurfShark network in New York) makes it much more difficult for anyone to monitor your movements.
SurfShark, like ExpressVPN, is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which means it is not obligated to retain a record of user activity.
Surfshark does not collect the following information, according to a FAQ page on logging: ‘Input and output IP addresses; Surfing, downloading, or buying history VPN providers you use; Used capacity; Session information; Connection system logs; Network traffic.’
According to the FAQ, the firm’s only information about you is your email and payment details.
Surfshark used to gather certain anonymous, aggregated metrics – performance statistics, frequency of system use, failed connections, incident reports – but that information has been erased.
We’re not sure why, but it’s not only because Surfshark no longer records this data; the Windows program Settings box still contains a ‘Collect anonymous failure reports’ option.
However, if you’re dissatisfied, you can limit this data gathering by turning off the ‘Crash reports’ feature (which isn’t available with all VPNs), and generally, there’s nothing unusual here.
Surfshark’s website states that it has undergone a security assessment performed by the German security firm Cure53.
However, the investigation was confined to Surfshark’s browser extensions, so it didn’t determine anything about logs or other back-end operations.
And, given that it occurred in November 2018, we’re not convinced it informs us anything valuable about the service as it now exists.
Nonetheless, it’s encouraging to note that Cure53 discovered only two minor flaws and stated that it was ‘very happy to find such a solid security posture on the SurfShark VPN extensions, particularly given the frequent vulnerability of comparable products to privacy concerns.’
Surfshark looks to be saying and doing the right things on the whole, but we’d want to see more.
Those who are familiar with other VPNs will recognize Surfshark’s Windows app.
It was simple to get started with SurfShark. We downloaded the Windows client and selected the registration option, but we can also pick a plan and make payment from inside the installer, with no need for a third-party browser.
The Windows client UI is more adaptable than others, adjusting to its screen size as you resize it, much like a good design.
The client resembles any other VPN software at its most basic, with a Connect button, status information, and a list of available locations.
However, when you expand or maximize the client window, it reformats to display additional panels and choices.
It is simple to connect. When you press the button, desktop notifications will notify you when Surfshark joins and disengages, and the interface will change to show your new virtual region and IP address.
Although the Location list does not indicate latencies, server load indicators emphasize your best (and worst) alternatives, and a Favorites system allows you to manage frequently used servers.
A Static IP list allows you to connect to sites in Germany, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States and receive a fixed IP on each one, but it will be the same each time you access it.
It might be useful if you need to access an IP-restricted connection while using the VPN, but bear in mind that every other Surfshark client may use the same IP address, so you’ll need some additional verification.
When you right-click the SurfShark system tray icon, instead of the normal basic text menu, a small app window appears.
It enables you to connect to the quickest server, select one of your most recent destinations, or launch the full program interface.
Surfshark also has a MultiHop function that routes your traffic across two VPN servers for extra protection.
A MultiHop tab routes your data across two VPN servers, guaranteeing that an attacker will not know your true IP address even if the exit server is hacked.
There are 14 routes available, with the first server serving as your initial connection. Thus, even if the end server is hacked, the attacker will still receive an anonymous IP address.
A Whitelist panel allows you to create safelists of programs, websites, and IP addresses that circumvent the VPN (a more advanced version of the split-tunneling function seen with providers like ExpressVPN).
If Surfshark breaks a specific website or app, putting it on the list should resolve the issue. Alternatively, you may configure the Whitelister to transport just your specified apps over the VPN.
That may be more beneficial if you only use SurfShark for one or two things, such as torrenting, configure your torrent software to connect over the VPN, and everything else will utilize your regular connection.
It performed as described for us, and it’s wonderful to see a VPN service offering this degree of desktop split-tunneling capabilities.
Some VPNs, such as ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and ProtonVPN, offer split tunneling-type solutions on Windows, but most keep the function for their mobile applications.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb function prevents advertising, trackers, and harmful URLs from being shown.
However, we’re not sure how successful this will be, as, in our brief tests, we discovered that specialized solutions like uBlock Origin banned more advertising and provided greater control.
A NoBorders option attempts to let you connect to the internet in countries where VPNs are frequently prohibited. Surfshark doesn’t detail what this does, but it likely tries to disguise your traffic somehow.
More traditional capabilities include running the VPN alongside Windows or changing the protocol to WireGuard, OpenVPN UDP, TCP, IKEv2, or Shadowsocks.
It may enable Surf Shark’s kill switch from the options menu.If the VPN fails, a kill switch is available to disconnect your internet connection. It also works, although not as well as we’d want.
Our first problem is that it is only accessible in its most severe form, in which the kill switch prohibits you from ever accessing the site unless you are linked to SurfShark.
It’s nice to have that more secure alternative, but we’d also like to be able to activate the kill switch only if the connection breaks inside a VPN session.
If it does activate, you may still stop the app and utilize your regular connection to the internet alternatively.
Another problem was that, while the kill switch effectively stopped our network traffic when we forcibly stopped the VPN, it displayed no notice to notify the user.
So if you’re surfing and the VPN disconnects, all you’ll notice is your internet connection failing for no apparent reason.
It may just take a few seconds until the application reconnects, but it’s still somewhat inconvenient.
Even if you are unaffected by getting your internet disconnected for a few seconds, we believe the app should notify you that the connection has been lost.
What if a certain server is unreliable and does this every few minutes? The user must be aware.
The problem worsens if the kill switch is not activated. If the VPN goes down, your link will not only stay operational but there will be no notice.
And, as we discovered, the app periodically failed to rejoin, again without informing the user, exposing your identity and data for an extended period.
SurfShark’s Windows client needs some improvement, but it’s usually simple to use and has many features to explore. For example, the SurfShark Android application’s user interface looks like this.
Mobile VPN apps are sometimes considerably less feature-rich than their desktop counterparts, but Surfshark’s Android version is surprisingly close.
There’s a similar or same UI, a similar location list, multi-hop connections, CleanWeb’s ad, malware filtering, and split tunneling for apps and sites with the Whitelist.
There is the same WireGuard, OpenVPN or IVEv2, and Shadowsocks protocol support as before. It also has a kill switch to safeguard you if the VPN goes down.
The Android VPN app also includes additional features such as a choice of encryption techniques AES-256-GGM or Chacha20Poly1305.
So, it may result in faster speeds, ‘use small packets’ ability to improve effectiveness with some phone carriers, and the ability to link to the VPN instantaneously when you access mobile, managed to secure, or unprotected networks.
But suppose any of this doesn’t function as it should. In that case, you can write bug reports, raise or explore tickets directly from the app, eliminating the need to open your browsers and waste time searching for the appropriate section of the support site.
Surfshark’s iOS app has a similar appearance and feels to its PC version.
The scenario is similar to Surfshark’s iOS VPN app: the appearance and feel are quite identical, and you’d get the kill switch, a selection of protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard), and other features.
Recent minor but nice features include the option to select your preferred language from the inside app and refresh your VPN profile to resolve connectivity difficulties, perhaps.
It’s an outstanding arrangement, particularly for the iOS end of the spectrum, which is sometimes short-changed in terms of functionality compared to other platforms.
Take it all together, and they are great apps that are well-implemented, simple to use, and a welcome change for anyone tired of losing VPN capability on smartphones.
Surfshark’s performance was evaluated using a variety of speed testing services.
With a 1Gbps link, we evaluated SurfShark speed from a US location and a UK data center, giving us plenty of opportunities to explore what the service could accomplish.
We loaded the newest SurfShark software on our test computers, connected to our nearest place, and measured download speeds with sites like SpeedTest (the site and command-line application), TestMy.net, and Netflix Fast.com.
We gathered at least five results from each location, repeated each test utilizing up to three procedures each time, and conducted the whole test set in both mornings and nighttime sessions.
At 165 to 170Mbps, the UK OpenVPN results have been below average. During early studies, the majority of the best VPNs achieved speeds ranging from 250 to 350Mbps.
SurfShark, on the other hand, has a secret weapon in the form of WireGuard compatibility, and switching methods saw download speeds jump to 550-700Mbps.
In contrast, US speeds are dismal, with OpenVPN reaching 100 to 150Mbps, IKEv2 just 40 to 45Mbps, or even WireGuard only 15 to 210Mbps.
It places it well below top US performances such as TorGuard (410 to 480Mbps), StrongVPN (590 to 600Mbps), and ExpressVPN (490 to 630Mbps.)
When all of this is considered, Surfshark appears to be capable of delivering a very respectable performance.
The speeds you’ll observe will, however, be highly dependent on your region and target servers.
Therefore it’s critical to take the trial and do your performance testing. In all of our testing, Surfshark was able to bypass Netflix.
If you’re wary of VPNs that make vague claims about their unblocking skills but never make any real commitments, SurfShark is for you.
Not only will the firm state right away that it unblocks Netflix, but it also lists the almost 20 countries where it is now available (US, France, Japan, Italy, Australia, and more.)
It wasn’t just a case of excessive marketing bluster. From each of our 3 test sites, we were able to view US Netflix.
BBC iPlayer can be more difficult to use at times, but not this time. Surfshark easily circumvented their VPN restriction, granting us access from our 3 test UK locations.
The good news continued flowing, with Surfshark successfully unblocking both US Amazon Prime and Disney +, giving it a flawless 100 percent in our unblocking testing.
Instructions on how to set up SurfShark on Chromebooks are also included in the support manuals.
If Surfshark does not function for you, the support website has installation and setup instructions, troubleshooting guides, FAQs, and other information to help you get started.
There is a lot of valuable material, but the organization may be a challenge, and the site does not always display the most relevant papers first.
For example, if you choose ‘Get Started,’ the first item at the top of a list is ‘How and where to Enable Night Mode?’
The page then provides setup instructions for various systems, although it’s not always simple to discover what you’re looking for.
To check, go to ExpressVPN’s Windows Setup page and look for instructions to set up an app, OpenVPN GUI, or physically configure the service on Windows 7 or 8, with a separate tutorial for Windows 10.
When you go to SurfShark and search for ‘How to set up SurfShark VPN on Windows,’ you’ll receive application installation instructions.
There’s many distinct OpenVPN and manually setup articles, but you’ll have to look for them in the Manual Setup guide.
It’s not tough, but it wouldn’t be required if Surfshark organized and presented their papers better.
If you have any problems, assistance is available via live chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We tried it while attempting to figure out what was wrong with our connection and received a pleasant response in under 60 seconds.
Even if you’re having trouble finding anything on the website, it’s worth starting a chat session since you could solve the problem sooner than you expect.
While many VPNs fall short in one or more areas, such as performance, server location, or safety, SurfShark stands out as a solid all-arounder.
With many features, no connection limitations, and a reasonable price, this service is already deserving of your attention.
Nevertheless, Surfshark Black Friday bargain reduces the price even further, and the best part is that it is available right now.
As a result, now is a perfect moment to secure a high-quality VPN for a low cost.
SurfShark is a strong and low-cost VPN with a slew of sophisticated features.
There are certain drawbacks, but on the whole, the service should be on your list.