Surfshark Review 2023

Contents

Surfshark is a great VPN. In fact, it is our number two pick for overall best VPN. Between the kill switch, AES-256 bit encryption, split tunneling, and its ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms, the Surfshark VPN is a great pick for most users.

Surfshark VPN Review 2023 — Is It Actually Worth the Money?

Surfshark provides good security, has fast speeds, and allows unlimited connections, which makes it a good pick for large families. It also has easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, so it’s also a good choice for people who are new to VPNs.

The provider can also access top streaming sites like BBC iPlayer and Max, and it allows torrenting on all of its servers. Plus, it has 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, which makes it easy for most users to connect to nearby servers for fast speeds.

In addition to industry-standard security features, Surfshark also comes with:

  • Bypasser — Surfshark’s split-tunneling tool, which lets you choose which sites and apps are excluded from the VPN tunnel.
  • CleanWeb — Gets rid of ads and blocks connections to malicious sites.
  • Dynamic MultiHop — Send your data through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 server, providing more security.
  • IP Rotator — Regularly changes your VPN IP address without disconnecting you from the VPN server.
  • Smart DNS — Lets you stream on devices that don’t natively work with VPNs, like gaming consoles.
  • Built-in speed test — Lets you test different servers to see which ones provide the fastest speeds.
  • And more…

While I like Surfshark, it has a few issues — it can’t access Disney+, it has slow speeds on very distant servers, and its built-in speed test isn’t accurate. What’s more, it’s missing WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection, and it doesn’t work in restrictive countries like China.

That said, it’s still one of my favorite VPNs in 2023. And it also offers really good value, with very affordable plans that start at just €2.16 / month. You can choose from a 12-month and 24-month plan, and each one is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

�� Overall Rank #5 out of 98 VPNs
�� Servers 3,200+
�� Number of Devices Unlimited
�� Starting Price €2.16 / month
��Free Plan
�� Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

Surfshark Full Review

Surfshark Full Review

I spent the past few weeks testing Surfshark to see if it’s as good as other top VPN competitors — and I can safely say it’s one of the top choices out there. It’s secure, really good for streaming and torrenting, and an excellent value for both individuals and large families.

It allows unlimited connections, which means you can install and connect to the VPN on as many devices as you want — this is great, as most VPNs only allow 5–10 connections.

Surfshark also has some of the most affordable plans on the market, and it backs all purchases with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Surfshark Features

Surfshark Features

Surfshark comes with the following industry-standard VPN security features:

  • 256-bit AES encryption — The VPN uses military-grade encryption to make your traffic unreadable.
  • No-logs policy — Surfshark doesn’t store your IP address or keep logs about your internet activities, such as which sites you access or what files you download. Its no-logs policy has also passed an independent security audit.
  • Kill switch — This feature disables internet access if the VPN connection drops to prevent any data leaks. The kill switch is available on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

I like how flexible the kill switch is — you can configure it to only trigger if the VPN connection drops, or if you’re not connected to the VPN at all (like you can with Private Internet Access). The latter would be useful if you want to be 100% sure you don’t accidentally go online or torrent without first securing your connection with the VPN.

I also think it’s great that Surfshark has RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. With RAM-only servers, all data is written to the RAM instead of the hard drive — so every server reset wipes all data. And perfect forward secrecy changes the encryption key for each VPN connection to prevent hackers from compromising past or future encryption keys.

I’m happy that Surfshark comes with DNS leak protection, but I think it’s a shame that it doesn’t also provide IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection. I ran leak tests while connected to servers in 10+ countries and never saw any leaks, but I still think it’s inconvenient that you need to manually disable IPv6 and WebRTC if you want to be completely protected against these types of leaks — top competitors like ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and NordVPN provide full protection against all leaks by also automatically disabling IPv6 and WebRTC.

Surfshark Features

There are 3 protocols to choose from: WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN. All protocols provide strong security and good speeds, but WireGuard is by far the fastest option.

Android iOS Windows macOS Linux Routers
WireGuard
OpenVPN
IKEv2/IPSec

In addition, Surfshark also comes with the following features:

Bypasser

Surfshark Features

Bypasser is Surfshark’s split-tunneling feature, which allows you to choose which apps and websites use the VPN connection. Bypasser is only available on the Android and Windows apps. During my tests, it worked well, as I was able to surf the web on the browsers I excluded from the VPN.

Bypasser is similar to Private Internet Access‘s split-tunneling tool — but I think Private Internet Access implements split-tunneling better, as it’s also available on Linux and macOS.

CleanWeb

Surfshark Features

CleanWeb is Surfshark’s ad blocker, which blocks ads and ad trackers and prevents you from connecting to malicious sites. CleanWeb is available on the iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TV apps.

In my tests, CleanWeb performed pretty well — I visited ad-heavy media outlets sites, and it got rid of most ads, which made the web pages load faster. However, it wasn’t able to always get rid of pop-up ads. On the plus side, it prevented me from connecting to shady HTTP sites.

While CleanWeb is good, I still like Private Internet Access’ PIA MACE more — it has the same functionality as CleanWeb, but it can also block annoying pop-up ads. Not to mention, it’s also the best VPN ad blocker in 2023.

Dynamic MultiHop

Surfshark Features

Surfshark’s Dynamic MultiHop servers send your data through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 server, adding an extra layer of encryption. One of the best things about this is that you can manually select any 2 server locations for your double VPN connections.

I really like that Surfshark relies on Nexus technology for the double VPN connections which uses Software-Defined Networking (SDN) that connects all of its servers together and essentially routes all your traffic through the entire network of servers instead of just the 1 (or 2 in the case of Dynamic MultiHop connections).

Using the Dynamic MultiHop servers is simple. For instance, I wanted to get a US IP address, so I chose a UK server as my entry point and a US server as an exit point. I like that Surfshark lets you create as many Dynamic MultiHop pairs as you want and saves them all, which means the next time you want to use a certain entry and exit point for your connection, all you have to do is find it on the list and click on it.

Double VPN connections are usually much slower than regular VPN connections due to dual connection — that said, I only experienced a 5–7% slowdown on average when using the MultiHop servers, which is great.

This feature is mostly intended to be used by people who are very security-conscious — I don’t recommend using Dynamic MultiHop servers if you only plan on surfing social media, watching Amazon Prime, downloading files, or gaming.

IP Rotator

Surfshark Features

IP Rotator is a feature that regularly changes your VPN IP address without dropping your VPN connection. IP Rotator is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

I tested this feature and it works well — I ran several leak tests over the course of 20 minutes while connected to a VPN server, and I always had a new IP address every 4–5 minutes. And my VPN connection never dropped during my tests.

IP Rotator provides you with more privacy because it frequently changes your VPN IP addresses, making it very difficult for cybercriminals and advertisers to track your online activities.

Smart DNS

Surfshark provides access to a smart DNS service. This allows you to access streaming services on platforms that don’t natively support VPNs, such as certain smart TV models. While a smart DNS won’t change your IP address or encrypt your traffic, it typically provides faster speeds because there’s no encryption.

You’ll need to perform a manual setup to use the smart DNS, but Surfshark has helpful step-by-step guides. It only took me about 5–8 minutes to configure the service on my smart TV.

According to Surfshark, you can only use the smart DNS to access US sites, such as Hulu and Amazon Prime — ExpressVPN’s smart DNS, called MediaStreamer, also works with US sites, but it can access streaming platforms from other countries too, such as BBC iPlayer.

Override GPS Location

Surfshark Features

This feature lets you match your GPS data with the location of the VPN server you’re connected to. Basically, any mobile app that relies on GPS data to detect your location will think you’re actually located in the same country as the VPN server. The only drawback is the Override GPS Location feature is only available on Android.

It’s useful for streaming, as it allows you to watch videos on mobile streaming apps — with most VPNs, you need to use the streaming platform’s site, as the mobile app will detect your real location if it uses your phone’s GPS data.

My colleague in the US confirmed that this feature works well. He used it to successfully access his home library on the Amazon Prime mobile app while traveling abroad (he wasn’t able to access it when the Override GPS Location feature was disabled).

To use this feature, you need to manually enable a few Android settings, but the whole process is very straightforward, especially since Surfshark provides an in-app guide. When I enabled this feature, it only took me about 2–3 minutes to do it.

Dedicated IP Addresses

Surfshark Features

Surfshark lets you buy a dedicated IP address for a small monthly fee — this IP address is only available to you, so no other VPN users will be able to use it.

The VPN offers dedicated IP addresses in 4 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. If this isn’t enough for you, consider trying NordVPN instead, as it has dedicated IPs in 10+ countries.

A dedicated IP is great if you want to access sites that block shared VPN IPs, like bank sites. It can also help you avoid annoying reCAPTCHAs when browsing.

Built-In Speed Test

Surfshark Features

Surfshark provides access to a built-in speed test, which lets you test different server categories (such as Recommended, P2P, or Recent) to see which servers provide the fastest speeds. The speed test is very easy to use, but it’s only available on the Windows app.

Unfortunately, Surfshark’s speed test results aren’t 100% accurate — when I ran a speed test for Recommended servers, the app only recommended 3 servers in nearby countries (Hungary, Moldova, and Serbia) instead of recommending a local server in Romania. I ran my own speed tests using a third-party speed testing tool, and I had the fastest speeds while connected to Surfshark’s Romanian server.

I also don’t like how Surfshark doesn’t rank the fastest server first, which forces you to scroll through a list of 70+ server locations to find the server with the fastest speeds.

Support for Tor Traffic

Surfshark Features

Surfshark supports Tor traffic on all of its servers, which allows you to securely surf .onion sites and the dark web on the Tor browser. This way, if Tor suffers a leak, your real IP address won’t be exposed and only the VPN’s IP address would be leaked.

I like that Surfshark makes it pretty easy to use the VPN with the Tor browser — all you have to do is connect to any of Surfshark’s servers and then open the Tor browser.

But I honestly prefer NordVPN for browsing on Tor, as it lets me surf Tor sites using regular browsers like Chrome and Firefox, which is more convenient.

Camouflage Mode

Surfshark Features

Camouflage Mode is Surfshark’s obfuscation feature, which hides VPN traffic and makes it look like regular internet traffic. Camouflage Mode is available on all of the provider’s apps and servers and is very easy to use — it’s automatically enabled when you use the OpenVPN protocol to connect to a VPN server.

Unfortunately, Surfshark’s reps told me the VPN doesn’t work in restrictive countries. This is a shame, as the primary reason you would use Camouflage Mode is to bypass a government firewall that blocks VPN connections, such as China.

However, Camouflage Mode is good for preventing your ISP from seeing your VPN traffic. I must caution, though, that using Camouflage Mode slows down your VPN speeds due to the additional layer of encryption added to hide your VPN traffic. In my tests, my VPN speeds were around 70% slower with Camouflage Mode enabled, which caused websites to take up to 5 seconds to load and HD videos to buffer frequently.

I honestly think other top competitors provide better obfuscation — for example, ExpressVPN also supports obfuscation on all of its servers, but it also supports it across all of its protocols, which is more convenient. Plus, it consistently works in restrictive countries, and its obfuscated connections are much faster.

NoBorders

Surfshark Features

NoBorders provides a list of servers that are able to circumvent network restrictions. You can manually enable this feature, but it also turns on automatically when the VPN app detects that you’re using a restrictive network. NoBorders is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

This feature would be useful for people using college or workplace Wi-Fi networks, which might restrict access to certain sites. Still, it’s a shame it also doesn’t work in restrictive countries. If you need help accessing the web in a restrictive country, you’re better off with ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access — they consistently work in restrictive places like China and Russia.

Surfshark Privacy & Security

Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy. It doesn’t collect your IP address, and it doesn’t monitor what sites you access or what files you download. It only retains your email address (for communication purposes) and connection timestamps, but they are deleted 15 minutes after you disconnect from the VPN server.

Surfshark has also had its no-logs policy audited — I’m really happy to see this, as it makes it very easy to trust the provider.

Surfshark Privacy & Security

In addition, the VPN has also undergone 2 other security audits by cybersecurity firm Cure53. One of the audits tested how secure Surfshark’s browser extensions are, while the other audit focused on the provider’s server infrastructure. Both audits concluded that Surfshark’s browser extensions and server infrastructure provide great security.

Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, (a group of countries that share surveillance data with each other). But even if the authorities ask the provider for user logs, Surfshark can’t hand anything over because it doesn’t keep any.

Surfshark Speed & Performance

I ran speed tests by connecting to a VPN server in all 100+ countries where Surfshark has a server, and I experienced a 71% slowdown on average. But I’m based in Romania, which has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, so the slowdown wasn’t as bad as it seems — I still maintained fast browsing, streaming, and torrenting on local, nearby, and distant servers. That said, I experienced very noticeable slowdowns on very remote servers in Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

First, I ran a speed test without being connected to the VPN to get a baseline for my speeds:

Surfshark Speed & Performance

Next, I used Surfshark’s quick-connect feature (called Fastest Server), which automatically connected me to a VPN server in Romania. My speeds decreased by about 54%, which is a big drop, but my online speeds were barely affected — websites loaded instantly, and HD videos and 4K videos loaded instantly and didn’t buffer.

Surfshark Speed & Performance

Next, I manually connected to a server in the US, and my speeds decreased by around 60% — even so, I still maintained fast speeds, as sites continued to load instantly, HD videos loaded instantly and didn’t buffer, and 4K videos only took 1–2 seconds to load and there was only minor buffering at the start of the videos. Plus, it only took me 6–7 minutes to download a 9 GB file.

Surfshark Speed & Performance

Finally, I tested a very distant server in Japan, and I experienced a whopping 99% slowdown! My speeds were severely affected — it took websites 6–7 seconds to load, HD videos on Amazon Prime loaded in 3–4 seconds and there was noticeable buffering at the start, and 4K videos took up to 10 seconds to load and there was very noticeable buffering and quality drops while skipping through them.

Surfshark Speed & Performance

Overall, Surfshark maintained very fast speeds on local, nearby, and distant servers, but its speeds slowed down considerably on very remote servers. There are honestly top competitors with much better speeds out there — for example, ExpressVPN (which is the fastest VPN in 2023) maintains lightning-fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting across all of its server locations.

Surfshark Servers & IP Addresses

Surfshark comes with 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries, which is on par with top competitors like ExpressVPN (servers in 90+ countries). That said, if you’re looking for a VPN with similar coverage but more servers, I recommend CyberGhost VPN, which has 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries.

Many of Surfshark’s servers are physical servers, meaning they’re actually located in the country you connect to. The provider also has virtual locations, which provide you with an IP address from the country you connect to, but the actual server is located in a different country. I like how Surfshark is transparent about using virtual locations, as it clearly marks them with a V inside the app. I wish it would also disclose where the servers are actually located (like ExpressVPN does).

I also like how you can enable speed metrics in Surfshark’s apps, namely the server ping (how long it takes for your device to communicate with the VPN server) and the server load, which shows how many active users are connected to a VPN server. These metrics help you find the fastest servers. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to miss the button that turns on the speed metrics, so I wish Surfshark would display the speed metrics by default, like Private Internet Access and Proton VPN.

The provider’s server network is powered by its proprietary Nexus technology, which connects all of its servers together — that way, user traffic is routed through a whole network of servers instead of just one server within the network. This allows Surfshark to optimize its traffic to provide faster, more stable connections, and to also provide better privacy by regularly changing users’ IP addresses without disconnecting them from the server.

Surfshark also has Dynamic MultiHop servers in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, which send your data through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 server to provide better security. And you can also set up your own double VPN connection by choosing your desired entry and exit servers.

Surfshark also has dedicated IP addresses for a small extra cost, which are only assigned to you. Dedicated IPs are useful for avoiding reCAPTCHAs and accessing bank sites (many bank sites block shared VPN IP addresses). The provider has dedicated IP addresses in several countries, including the US, the UK, and the Netherlands.

Surfshark Streaming Support

Surfshark Streaming Support

Surfshark works with 50+ streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Max, and BBC iPlayer. However, it doesn’t work with Disney+ — unlike ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

I think it’s great that Surfshark accesses 15+ Netflix libraries. I asked my colleagues in the UK and US to test it, and they confirmed they could access their local libraries while connected to Surfshark. The provider also works with other popular libraries, like Netflix Japan and Netflix Brazil.

Surfshark Streaming Support

I also like how the VPN provides access to a smart DNS. This is convenient since it allows you to access your favorite streaming sites on devices that don’t work with VPN apps.

Overall, Surfshark is good for streaming — it has a smart DNS and accesses 50+ streaming services, including top streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The only drawback is it doesn’t work with Disney+.

Surfshark Torrenting Support

Surfshark Torrenting Support

Surfshark also has good torrenting support. It allows P2P downloads on all of its servers, which are located in 100+ countries. This is really good, especially since some competitors limit you to P2P servers in only a few countries (Proton VPN only has P2P servers in 15+ countries, for example).

It also works with top P2P apps like uTorrent and Vuze. In my tests, I had no problems accessing any of the popular torrent sites and I was able to download a couple of P2P files.

qBittorrent
Vuze
Deluge
uTorrent
BitTorrent
Transmission

That said, it’s missing extra torrenting features that top P2P VPNs like Private Internet Access include, such as port forwarding (lets you connect to more peers for faster downloads) and SOCKS5 proxy support, which changes your IP address but doesn’t use encryption to provide much faster speeds.

Surfshark is also great for securing your P2P traffic since it comes with a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, and CleanWeb, which protects you from shady torrenting sites and ads from loading on torrenting sites. I also ran leak tests before torrenting with the VPN, and didn’t experience any leaks.

Overall, Surfshark is a solid pick for torrenting — it supports P2P traffic on all of its servers, works with popular torrent clients, and provides great security for torrenting.

Surfshark Gaming Support

Surfshark Gaming Support

Surfshark is a solid choice for gaming. I put it to the test with a few rounds of Dota 2, and I was generally pleased with its performance.

On local servers, Surfshark maintained a steady ping, I had pretty fast speeds, and there was minimal lag that I barely even noticed. Plus, I only had to wait for around 2–3 minutes to download a 1 GB game update of 1 GB.

However, on more distant servers, I noticed a slight increase in ping. Another 1 GB update took a bit longer to download, around 6–7 minutes, and there was some noticeable lag during gameplay. The good news is the lag was minor and didn’t affect my game all that much.

Surfsharkalso protects against Distributed- Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, which can force you offline. And the VPN provider has anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers, so even if someone tries to attack the VPN server IP address that you’re connected to, they won’t be able to.

And the provider also supports manual router setups, so you can configure it on your router to game with it on devices that don’t work with VPN apps, like gaming consoles. That said, if you’re mainly interested in using a VPN on your router for gaming, I’d go with ExpressVPN since it has a dedicated router app that’s really simple to install and use.

Overall, Surfshark provides a good gaming experience. It provides smooth connections on nearby servers, prevents DDoS attacks, and has router support.

Surfshark Government Bypassing

Surfshark is not the best option for getting around government firewalls in restrictive countries like China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia — the provider’s support reps confirmed the VPN doesn’t work in those places.

If you’re in a restrictive country, check out ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access — they consistently work in restrictive regions without any issues.

Surfshark Government Bypassing

Surfshark Plans & Pricing

Surfshark Plans & Pricing

Surfshark has 3-tier based subscriptions and paid monthly and yearly plans. It allows unlimited connections (just like Private Internet Access and TunnelBear), which is great — the industry average is usually 5–10 simultaneous connections.

The VPN’s subscriptions are called Surfshark Starter, Surfshark One, and Surfshark One+. Surfshark Starter starts at €2.16 / month and includes all the VPN features, so it’s the one I recommend. Surfshark One adds a private search engine, an antivirus, data breach monitoring, and Alternative ID (which creates online aliases and safe email addresses for you) for €3.02 / month.

Surfshark One+ includes all of the previous features, but you also get access to Surfshark’s data removal service for €5.62 / month. With this, Surfshark will remove all of your data from company databases and people search sites. However, this service is only available to users in the US, Canada, UK, and European Union.

Surfshark accepts credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and different cryptocurrencies. All purchases are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Surfshark has apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TV. It also comes with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The provider also supports manual router setups, so that you can use the VPN on devices that don’t natively support it, like gaming consoles — but if you’re interested in doing that, I recommend picking ExpressVPN instead because it has a router app that’s easy to install and use.

It’s easy to download and install the provider’s apps — it only took me about 1–2 minutes to install the iOS and Android apps, and just 2 minutes to install the macOS and Windows apps.

How to Install Surfshark (Just 3 Simple Steps):

  • Step 1: Subscribe to Surfshark. Choose the plan that’s best for you and create an account.
  • Step 2: Download and install the apps. Simply follow the on-screen instructions in the installation wizards.
  • Step 3: Launch the VPN app. Find the server you want to connect to and click on it. That’s it! You can now securely surf the web.

Android

Surfshark Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

I like Surfshark’s Android app, as it’s easy to use. It comes with a quick-connect feature, the interface is simple to navigate, and all settings and features come with helpful explanations.

The Android app is also feature-rich — only the speed test is missing, but that’s not a huge drawback, as it’s not very helpful. Also, the Android app provides exclusive access to the Override GPS Location feature, which matches your GPS location to the VPN server’s location.

iOS

Surfshark Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Surfshark’s iOS app is just as user-friendly as its Android app. I’m a fan of how it connects you to servers with 1 click, there’s a search function to quickly find the servers you want, and it’s simple to enable and change all settings and features.

The iOS app is missing the speed test, the Override GPS Location feature, and Bypasser, but most VPNs don’t provide split-tunneling on iOS — TunnelBear is one of the only providers that includes that feature on its iOS app.

Windows/Mac (Desktop)

Surfshark Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Surfshark’s desktop apps are simple to navigate, as the interface is intuitive. It’s also simple to manually find and connect to a VPN server — it only took me 4–5 seconds to do it. You can also quickly check the status of your VPN connection, like confirming whether or not your location is hidden and your VPN IP address.

Both the Windows and macOS apps provide access to similar features, but the macOS app is missing Bypasser and the built-in speed test. However, the lack of the built-in speed test is not a huge drawback, as it’s not very accurate.

Browser Extension (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Browser Extension (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Surfshark’s browser extensions are very secure, as they include an ad blocker and cookie pop-up blocker, as well as a data breach alert, which tells you if a site has experienced a data breach in the past, and a malware alert tool that warns you before visiting shady sites. You also get WebRTC leak protection, which isn’t available in the Surfshark app.

The ad blocker and the pop-up blocker work pretty well — although I did see some pop-ups here and there, I generally barely ever saw any ads, including on ad-heavy websites.

You get access to all of the provider’s servers, which is pretty impressive. Private Internet Access’s browser extension, for example, only lets you use servers in 20+ countries.

I think it’s great that the browser extensions include split-tunneling (Bypass list), which lets you exclude sites from the VPN tunnel and choose which IP addresses should bypass CleanWeb, which includes the ad and cookie pop-up blocker, as well as the data breach and malware alert.

Overall, Surfshark’s browser extensions are secure and user-friendly. They let you split-tunnel websites, protect you from ads and malicious sites, and include all servers that Surfshark offers.

Router Support

Surfshark works on routers, but you’ll have to manually set it up. The good news is Surfshark can be set up on a lot of popular routers, including AsusWRT and DD-WRT.

Surfshark goes the extra mile to make the setup process user-friendly by offering detailed, step-by-step guides on how to make the VPN work on all supported routers. This is a relief since the process can get a little technical and it’s different for every router. When I tried to configure Surfshark on my router, it only took me about 15 minutes. That said, I still prefer ExpressVPN because it has a dedicated router app that’s easier to install and use.

All things considered, Surfshark is a good option if you’re in the market for a router-compatible VPN. It supports a variety of routers and has easy-to-follow setup guides on its website.

Surfshark’s Apps: Is Surfshark Easy to Use?

Surfshark has apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TV. It also comes with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The provider also supports manual router setups, so that you can use the VPN on devices that don’t natively support it, like gaming consoles — but if you’re interested in doing that, I recommend picking ExpressVPN instead because it has a router app that’s easy to install and use.

It’s easy to download and install the provider’s apps — it only took me about 1–2 minutes to install the iOS and Android apps, and just 2 minutes to install the macOS and Windows apps.

Android iOS Windows macOS Linux
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Kill Switch
Bypasser (Split-Tunneling)
CleanWeb
Dynamic MultiHop
IP Rotator
Override GPS Location
Speed Test

Surfshark Customer Support

Surfshark Customer Support

Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support, email support, and a great support library. Although it doesn’t have phone support, I don’t see this as a huge downside — Surfshark has more than enough support channels and phone support isn’t that common among VPN providers.

Ensure you’re using a provider with a comprehensive support library. Tutorials with visuals, FAQS, and step-by-step guides are invaluable. If you find most answers within the library, you’ll save time by not needing to reach out to customer service.

Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support, just like ExpressVPN. I put it to the test several times and was connected to a live chat representative in less than 10 seconds on each occasion. All reps I talked to were super friendly and very helpful.

Surfshark Customer Support

I also tested the provider’s email support by sending email messages at random times of the day. I usually received a reply in less than a day, and the answers were always useful.

Is Surfshark Worth the Money in 2023?

Surfshark has strong security, fast speeds across most servers, and supports unlimited connections, which makes it good for large households. Its apps are also beginner-friendly and available for most platforms.

In addition, Surfshark can access popular streaming sites, such as Netflix, Max, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. It also allows P2P traffic on all 3,200+ of its servers, which are located in 100+ countries.

On top of essential security features, the provider also comes with extras. It has Bypasser (its split-tunneling tool), CleanWeb, which is a VPN ad blocker, and IP Rotator, which changes your VPN IP addresses without dropping your connection. Also, it has Multihop servers that send your data through 2 VPN servers, and a built-in speed test.

But Surfshark isn’t perfect. For starters, it doesn’t work with Disney+, its speeds are slow on very distant servers, CleanWeb doesn’t block pop-up ads, and the built-in speed test is inaccurate. Also, it lacks WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection, and it doesn’t work in restrictive regions.

Surfshark offers multiple pricing plans, including a very cheap long-term plan, and it backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Surfshark safe?

Yes, as Surfshark comes with essential VPN security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy that has been audited. It also has advanced security features like RAM-only servers (every server reset wipes all data) and perfect forward secrecy (which changes the encryption key for each VPN session so that hackers can’t compromise it). Plus, it has extra security features, including CleanWeb, which protects you from malicious sites, and MultiHop servers, which add an extra layer of encryption to your connections.

Is Surfshark free?

No, Surfshark doesn’t have a free plan, but its paid plans are pretty affordable and also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Does Surfshark work with Netflix?

Yes, Surfshark works with Netflix. It works with multiple Netflix libraries, including in the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia. Surfshark also maintains very fast speeds for streaming, so you can have a smooth streaming experience.

Surfshark is also good for streaming other popular streaming services. These include Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max — but unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Disney+.

Is Surfshark good for torrenting?

Yes, Surfshark has good P2P support, as it allows torrenting across all of its servers and works with popular torrent clients, such as qBitorrent and Vuze. It also has a kill switch, which protects you from data leaks while torrenting, and an audited no-logs policy to ensure it doesn’t collect your P2P traffic.

Does Surfshark work in China?

No — several Surfshark reps confirmed the service doesn’t work in that country. So I recommend using ExpressVPN instead, as it consistently works in restrictive countries like China without any issues and also provides excellent security and privacy features.

How fast is Surfshark?

Surfshark is a pretty fast VPN. It maintains decent speeds on local and nearby servers, and it even has good speeds on distant servers. But if you connect to servers that are pretty far away from your location, you might experience some slowdowns.

That said, there are much faster VPNs on the market. The fastest I’ve ever tested is ExpressVPN — it has super-fast speeds for all online activities across all of its servers.

How can I turn on Surfshark’s Camouflage Mode?

You need to change your protocol to OpenVPN. Once you’ve done that, Surfshark will obfuscate all of your traffic, no matter what server you connect to.

Camouflage mode is great for hiding your VPN traffic and bypassing some network restrictions, but it doesn’t work in countries like China that ban or restrict VPN use. If you need obfuscation to gain access to the open internet in such places, I recommend ExpressVPN, as it’s great at circumventing government firewalls.

Does Surfshark have a Linux app?

Yes, Surfshark has a Linux app with a GUI. The app is very easy to navigate, lets you mark servers as Favorites for 1-click connections, and even has a search function so you can easily find the server you’re looking for. It also comes with CleanWeb, which is Surfshark’s ad, tracker, and malware blocker.

Surfshark’s Linux app is missing some features, including IP Rotator, which is available on all other Surfshark apps, the built-in speed test, and split-tunneling (which most VPNs don’t have on their Linux app anyway). But, overall, it’s a decent app for Linux.

Surfshark Review 2023

Surfshark Review (Sept 2023): Powerful VPN for a Great Price

We’ve tested Surfshark’s VPN servers from around the globe.

It delivers on many fronts like speed and encryption, while also providing a host of additional features to help you boost your privacy online. Keep reading for the full review.

Surfshark has been consistently ranked as one of the top VPNs in the market, including being the first service to receive AV-Test’s seal of approval. It’s also the only provider to get its first independent audit the very year it was released. As VPNs go, Surfshark is an excellent choice all around and is one of our favorites here at VPNOverview.

If you want to know how well this VPN actually performs, continue reading our full Surfshark review.

Surfshark: A Short Review

What We Liked

  • Unlimited connections
  • Unblocks streaming services like Netflix with ease
  • High-speed performance
  • Secure protocols and no-log policy
  • Easy installation and usage
  • Affordable subscriptions
  • Torrenting works
  • Useful extra features, like adblocker, stealth VPN, and split tunneling

What We Didn’t Like

  • Linux client not that great

After testing Surfshark, we concluded that its reputation as one of the best VPNs is well-deserved. First, the VPN dishes out excellent speeds, even outperforming NordVPN, the overall best VPN for download speeds. Its upload speeds and latency are equally top-notch, making Surfshark a great choice for high-quality streaming and gaming.

In terms of server networks, Surfshark holds its own. It has a server footprint in 100 countries, far more the many of the top VPNs. And its servers are reliable too. We were able to unblock all streaming services we tested, from Netflix to Disney Plus. So you can enjoy your favorite sports, shows, and movies with a Surfshark subscription.

Surfshark’s security features are impressive. It offers OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and WireGuard protocols, which give you a good mix of security and speed. There’s an automatic kill switch to ensure your traffic is always hidden. Surfshark abides by a strict no-logs policy, which independent third parties have verified. Useful extra features such as CleanWeb (adblocker), NoBorders Mode, Camouflage Mode (stealth VPN), and Bypasser (split tunneling) give you extra layers of privacy and protection.

If you’re budget-conscious, Surfshark offers affordable pricing, considering the collection of features it boasts. Plus, it has unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can use it on as many devices as you want.

Overall, Surfshark VPN has many great qualities and performed exceptionally during our extensive tests. This is why we gave it a total score of 9/10.

Need a little more context? Below, we’ve poked, prodded, and laid bare everything Surfshark has to offer in our full Surfshark review.

Specifications Surfshark

�� Price From $2.30 a month
�� Operating systems Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
�� Connections Unlimited
�� Payment methods PayPal, Other, Credit card, Cryptocurrency
�� Protocols OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard
�� Torrent options Torrenting allowed
�� Money-back guarantee 30 Days
�� Logs No Logs
�� Works with

Speed — How Fast Is Surfshark?

Score scale 9.5/10

Our Surfshark VPN connection speed tests show some pretty phenomenal results. We didn’t face any disconnects or slowdowns during everyday use and could browse the web, stream HD videos, and download large files without any hiccups. In fact, Surfshark is faster than many other VPNs we’ve tested. That’s why it gets a 9.5/10 for speed.

Here’s a brief overview of what we’ve found:

  • Surfshark VPN dishes out amazing speeds across the board.
  • Our fastest connection saw us retain about 95% of our usual download speed.
  • We experienced no major fluctuations during daily use.
  • Even faraway servers produce strong speeds, though pings can suffer.

Speed test results for Surfshark

We ran several speed tests on Surfshark from our base in the Netherlands. The aim was to try different Surfshark servers and evaluate the impact on download and upload speeds.

First, we checked Surfshark’s latency, upload, and download speeds without a VPN connection to gauge the speed drop-offs. Next, we tested Surfshark’s speeds in at least one country on each continent. This gave us a bird’s eye view of how Surfshark performed. We’ve summarized the results in the table below.

Note:

Your actual speeds might differ depending on various factors, including your starting speeds, internet connection and location. So, view these values as an indicator of potential speeds.

Server Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Ping (ms)
No VPN 203.13 247.24 3
Fastest server (Amsterdam) 192.59 230.07 6
The Netherlands 193.15 230.46 5
UK (London) 192.77 223.34 61
Germany (Frankfurt am Main) 193.75 229.47 18
Spain (Barcelona) 194.25 227.27 46
Mexico (Mexico City) 75.5 28.94 349
United States East (New York) 167.99 219.05 182
United States West (Los Angeles) 132.28 63.82 310
Canada (Montreal) 164.06 24.83 217
Brazil (São Paulo) 127.95 225.71 405
South Africa (Johannesburg) 133.01 209.12 469
Japan (Tokyo) 121.94 147.88 490
Australia (Sydney) 119.14 33.2 300
Argentina (Buenos Aires) 63.45 31.58 347
Portugal (Lisbon) 186.56 223.01 53

When we connected to servers in Europe, close to our testing location, we did not experience a significant impact on our upload and download speeds. We were able to maintain at least 94% of our initial speeds on the European-based servers we tested. Our latency on those servers increased, but not by much.

Pound for pound, Surfshark’s upload and download speeds are some of the best and fastest speed test results of any of the VPNs we’ve tested, making it one of the fastest VPNs. Here’s a quick comparison against our most recent download speed test results from other top-drawer VPNs:

  • Surfshark’s fastest server maintained 94.81% of our initial speed.
  • ExpressVPN’s fastest server gave us 58.94% of the download speed we started with.
  • With CyberGhost, we saw download speeds peak at around 93.20% of our starting speed.
  • NordVPN, our all-around best VPN, held 93.30% of our starting speed.

The server that Surfshark VPN chose for us wasn’t actually the fastest, but there was very little difference between that and the fastest server we found ourselves.

For distant servers in countries such as Brazil, Australia, and South Africa, our speeds dropped slightly, and our ping increased. Again, compared to other VPNs that we’ve tested, Surfshark’s latency is better than most.

It’s noteworthy that Surfshark’s speeds are not a flash in the pan. We have tested VPNs for many years, and Surshark has always been a top performer.

Speed during daily use

Based on our test results in this Surfshark review, especially the speeds we got on the U.S. server, we expected our everyday connection speeds to be great. The VPN didn’t disappoint: it ran seamlessly during everyday use. We tested Surfshark VPN whilst surfing, watching some of the best shows on Netflix, downloading torrents, and playing online games, and it provided a fast, stable connection every time.

VPNs can slow down your connection; it’s a natural result of using such a service. But while browsing, we didn’t notice Surfshark’s effect on our internet speeds at all. Loading websites, emailing, downloading attachments, and browsing social media went very smoothly. We had no issues watching videos on YouTube and streaming content, either.

Netflix even appeared to buffer faster than we’ve seen with other VPN providers. We can confidently say that Surfshark VPN is an ideal choice for streaming (especially Netflix).

Torrenting wasn’t an issue with Surfshark VPN. We managed to download relatively large files in no time. What’s more, Surfshark automatically detected that we were using a torrenting program and switched from a regular VPN server to a specialized P2P server to facilitate the download. This was a nice touch, and it actually boosted our download speed.

On top of this, we didn’t experience any lag while gaming. We connected to both local and US servers without noticeable delays. We tested graphics-intensive, first-person shooting games like Battlefield 2042 to see how the Surfshark VPN would hold up. There was a slight latency drop, but it was marginal. The gameplay wasn’t affected at all.

Safety — How Secure Is Surfshark?

Score scale 9/10

After analyzing Surfshark’s security features, we’re confident that the VPN provider can offer you a high degree of protection. From masking your true IP and encrypting your traffic, to not logging personal data, Surfshark passes every test with flying colors. That’s why we give it a 9/10 for security.

Here are a few key takeaways in terms of security:

  • Surfshark VPN supports OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and the super-secure WireGuard.
  • This provider does not keep any harmful logs – as recently guaranteed by a Deloitte audit.
  • This VPN comes with an automatic kill switch.
  • Surfshark offers powerful security features that block ads, whitelist websites, and offer increased levels of security.
  • Surfshark has a NoBorders Mode for areas with strict censorship, GPS-Spoofing options, and a Camouflage Mode that prevents your ISP from seeing that you are using a VPN.
  • To create an account, you simply provide your email address and payment info.

Protocols

Surfshark offers AES-256-GCM encryption (which is faster than regular AES-256 encryption) and uses some of the safest VPN protocols currently available to VPN providers: the WireGuard and OpenVPN protocol. Clearly, there’s no compromise when it comes to users’ security.

  • OpenVPN is an open-source tunneling protocol. Because this protocol is open source, a vast community of security-focused developers continues to test, update, and enhance the protocol’s standards. Surfshark offers options for UDP or TCP on all major operating systems.
  • WireGuard is a newer protocol that’s available for all Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, and Linux users. It uses the ChaCha20 encryption algorithm and is incredibly fast. WireGuard has under 4,000 lines of code (while OpenVPN has 400,000+), which reduces loading times and vulnerabilities hackers might exploit.

Additionally, Surfshark offers the IKEv2/IPsec protocol for mobile users.

Although Surfshark no longer offers Shadowsocks, the encrypted proxy that was specifically designed to bypass censorship in China, it offers its NoBorders mode. This feature helps users bypass censorship in restrictive regions. During our Surfshark tests, we were impressed by this feature’s performance because it detects restrictions on your network and recommends the most optimized servers. This means that you’re better protected without sacrificing performance.

Access in China, however, is inconsistent. Our tests showed that it was possible to go online in China while connected to Surfshark, but you might have to try many different servers. Even then, your location and provider might determine whether Surfshark actually works or not.

Finally, Surfshark offers perfect forward secrecy, no matter what protocol you choose. Forward secrecy constantly changes encryption keys, so if there’s ever a breach, the stolen keys become useless once you turn your VPN off.

Logging and privacy

Surfshark VPN has a no-logs policy and makes every effort to record as little personal information as possible for its VPN to work. Like most other providers, Surfshark needs your email address to create an account, as well as your payment details.

Furthermore, Surfshark — like most VPN services — requires certain other information to monitor their service and prevent abuse. For example, they use anonymized information to keep track of how busy their servers are and to see if there are any connectivity issues. But these issues aren’t traceable to a specific user. They only cover the general use of their servers and VPN service.

The bottom line? Surfshark doesn’t appear to be keeping any logs that would risk your privacy. Their strict no-logs policy was verified by independent security audits in 2018 and 2021. In December 2022, Deloitte once again audited and confirmed the legitimacy of Surfshark’s policy, emphasizing that your data is safe with Surfshark. This has landed this VPN service a place on our list of best no-log VPNs.

Surfshark also uses a RAM-only server network, which means that there is no information stored on any hard drives: data is automatically deleted with every server reset. As a result, the information cannot be retrieved afterward. More and more VPN providers are switching to RAM-only servers because they offer more privacy.

In addition, Surfshark is one of the first VPNs to offer two-factor authentication (2FA), meaning you can log in via two steps. For Surfshark Alert users, this two-step authentication is mandatory, while the “normal” Surfshark user has the option to use it for extra protection. We strongly recommend using 2FA across all of your accounts, where available.

Kill switch

A kill switch is an essential security feature for any VPN. As the name suggests, it instantly “kills” your internet connection if your VPN malfunctions unexpectedly for whatever reason. This prevents data leaks (like your real IP address) and keeps you protected whenever your VPN falters.

Surfshark offers a kill switch on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can turn it on by going into the settings in the Surfshark app, and we can confirm that it functions as intended.

Surfshark Nexus

Surfshark Nexus is the VPN’s latest upgrade to improve security and user experience. Nexus is an innovation based on software-defined networking (SDN) technology. It connects users to the VPN’s entire network of servers instead of connecting them to an individual location (or subgroup of servers).

Connecting every user to the entire network and moving their traffic around could cause latency or security concerns, but it seems to us that Surfshark is handling the risk well. The Nexus infrastructure has already been deployed into the current Surfshark VPN. The full features are being gradually rolled out. This process began in 2022 and is continuing into 2023. These features include:

  • IP Rotator: Automatically changes your IP address every five to 10 minutes while your VPN location stays the same
  • IP Randomizer: Gives you a new IP address each time you visit a new website or open a new app
  • Dynamic MultiHop: Allows you to pick your own entry and exit points for MultiHop

At the time of writing, only the “IP Rotator” feature was live. You can activate this feature by following these steps:

Screenshot of Surfshark, Rotating IP turned on notification

  1. Go to “Settings” in the Surfshark app.
  2. Click on “VPN Settings.”
  3. Scroll down and tap “Advanced Settings.”
  4. Click the slider behind “Rotating IP” so it turns green.

To us, Nexus appears to be an improvement for Surfshark users’ online privacy. Now, you will be able to rotate between servers without losing the VPN connection, protecting your real IP address from being intercepted.

MultiHop, Bypasser, and CleanWeb

Surfshark offers multiple extra features that help keep you safe online. Three of the big ones are MultiHop, Bypasser, and CleanWeb. All of these did exactly what the provider said when we tried them for this Surfshark review.

The MultiHop option allows you to “hop” from one VPN server directly to another, providing additional security. Essentially, all of your traffic now goes through two encrypted connections. Unfortunately, this does have a negative impact on your internet speeds. After all, your traffic has to go through two VPN servers instead of one.

Surfshark screenshot MultiHop

If you’re looking for a split tunneling feature in Surfshark VPN, you’ll be happy with their Bypasser. This tool allows you to connect to specific apps and websites you trust using your own IP address instead of that of the VPN server.

CleanWeb is Surfshark’s ad blocker and worked surprisingly well during our tests. It was even able to block ads that managed to slip past some of our best ad blockers.

NoBorders and Camouflage Mode

Surfshark also has two different VPN modes on top of its regular VPN service. These are Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode.

Camouflage Mode is Surfshark’s version of “obfuscation technology.” It’s primarily designed to disguise your VPN traffic to bypass any content filtering and makes it more difficult to monitor your activities. It runs automatically when you pick OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) as your protocol.

If you’re located in a region with restricted internet, NoBorders Mode allows you to access the internet freely. When Surfshark detects any kind of restrictions on your network, it automatically enables the NoBorders mode. This gives you a selected list of servers that perform well despite network censorship.

Screenshot of Surfshark settings, NoBorders option highlighted

Unlike Camouflage Mode, you’ll have to enable NoBorders yourself via your VPN Settings menu.

GPS spoofing

Recently, Surfshark has added a GPS spoofing function to its service. GPS spoofing allows you to change your virtual location, even when it isn’t based on your IP address. Surfshark’s GPS spoofing option is only available on Android for now.

This feature is useful if you want to cloak your real GPS location on apps such as dating apps or BeReal. Do keep in mind that using this feature also means you won’t be able to use Google Maps and similar platforms as easily.

Setting up this option takes some extra care and time. Here’s a rundown of the process:

    In the Surfshark software, go to “Settings” in the bottom right corner, then click on “VPN Settings.”

Screenshot of Surfshark, Settings

Scroll down and click on “Advanced Settings.”

Screenshot of Surfshark, VPN settings

Click the slider next to “Override GPS Location” so it turns green.

Screenshot of Surfshark, Advanced settings

Likely, Surfshark VPN will tell you that you need to adjust your phone’s settings to allow you to override your GPS. If so, go to your phone’s “Settings” (the cogwheel on your main screen) and scroll down to “About Phone” at the very bottom.

Screenshot of Android phone, settings

  • Scroll to the bottom of the “About Phone” menu until you see “Build number,” and tap this option seven times. Fill in your pin, and your device will tell you you’re a developer.
  • Go back to your phone’s “Settings,” click on “System,” and unfold the “Advanced” menu at the bottom.

    Screenshot of Android phone, system settings

    Tap “Developer Options.”

    Screenshot of Android phone, System settings unfolded

    Scroll down and tap on “Select Mock Location App,” and select “Surfshark.”

    Screenshot of Android phone settings, Developer options

  • Go back to the Surfshark app and tap “VPN” in the bottom left corner.
  • Connect to a server of your choice.
  • You’ll now be connected to the VPN server of your choice, and your GPS will match the location of that server.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, notification, GPS location changed

    Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search

    Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search are only available in the Surfshark One package, which is an all-in-one solution that includes more than just the VPN service.

    Surfshark Alert will notify you when your email or passwords might be in danger of being compromised. Surfshark Search is Surfshark’s answer to the anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo.

    Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search Extra Options

    On top of these smaller tools, Surfshark One also includes a separate antivirus program. The Surfshark One package costs $1.49 per month on top of your regular plan. If you’d like to know more about the antivirus software specifically, you can read our full Surfshark One review.

    Does Surfshark leak your data?

    VPN services can leak data in a number of ways, including through IP leaks, DNS leaks, or WebRTC leaks. Much like a leaky pipe drips water, a VPN leak can allow data to slip through the encryption protocol, potentially exposing your real identity, location, or your browsing activity. So, as part of our Surfshark review and all of our VPN reviews, we tested for common data leaks.

    And Surfshark did not disappoint. It passed our leak tests with flying colors. Below we give you more information on how we tested Surfshark VPN for data leaks.

    First, we checked for IP leaks using our handy IP checker tool. Surfshark passed this test.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, IP leak test

    Next, we used a different service to test for DNS and WebRTC leaks. It’s good news all around — Surfshark didn’t leak our data.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, DNS leak test Screenshot of Surfshark, WebRTC leak test

    Regardless of the location we tested, Surfshark kept both our original IP address and VPN use secret. The following image gives an overview of the effectiveness of Surfshark VPN at keeping us hidden in different countries worldwide.

    Infographic showing Surfshark leak test

    So, to summarize, Surfshark keeps no logs and won’t leak your data. Couple that with strong encryption protocols and its Camouflage Mode, and we’re super satisfied with Surfshark’s approach to security.

    What information does Surfshark need?

    All you need to create an account with Surfshark VPN is your email address and password. Follow our advice on creating a secure password, and you’ll have little to worry about in terms of data privacy.

    If you want a completely anonymous VPN purchase, we recommend buying your VPN with cryptocurrencies. Should you choose to pay with a service like PayPal instead, you will have to link your PayPal account in order to complete the payment. Since PayPal is tied to your real name and address, this payment method offers less anonymity.

    Usability — How User-Friendly Is Surfshark?

    Score scale 9/10

    Surfshark excels at user-friendliness. Their software is very easy to use because it manages to make its extensive features highly accessible. On top of that, customer service is easy to reach and very knowledgeable. We give it a 9/10 for user-friendliness.

    During our research for this Surfshark review, we arrived at the following conclusions:

    • Surfshark’s website and apps are very easy to use.
    • The app installation is quick and effortless.
    • Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN providers and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    • The customer support team is skillful and quick to respond.

    Surfshark’s website and installation process

    The Surfshark website is very well-organized, not too busy, and all the important information is right at your fingertips. This made navigation simple and straightforward as we moved around the website.

    They’ve kept the “My Account” section of the website as simple as possible. There are a couple of buttons for downloading software for specific devices and operating systems. You can also see when your subscription will end, and there’s a button for changing your password and one for logging out.

    As a result, managing your Surfshark account is very easy.

    Installing Surfshark is incredibly straightforward too. On mobile devices, you can download the Surfshark VPN app from the App Store or the Play Store. On Mac or PC, simply click the relevant icon on your account dashboard. We tested each app for our Surfshark review, and we had no problems with any platform.

    Screenshot of Surfshark website Dashboard, Apps and extensions window

    Here’s a step-by-step guide for installing Surfshark:

    Screenshot of Surfshark, pricing plans

    Log in to the Surfshark VPN website.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, website login page

    Click on the icon of your operating system to download it.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, dashboard

  • Open the .exe file you downloaded.
  • Go through the steps of the installation wizard.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, installation wizard

  • Open the Surfshark app once it’s installed.
  • Log in with the Surfshark login information you created for your account.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, app login page

    If you want, select a server, then enable Surfshark.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, connect to a server

    Surfshark’s appearance and ease-of-use

    Surfshark VPN’s UI is incredibly simplistic, and it’s one of the most user-friendly VPNs in the market. You don’t need to be a tech whiz to understand all the options available to you.

    Once you’ve signed in, you won’t be overwhelmed by countless options and settings. Instead, you’re only shown settings that matter to the average VPN user. All options and settings include a clear description, and different menus are easy to navigate.

    Surfshark Software

    You don’t have to worry about manually selecting a Surfshark server for specific tasks, such as streaming or downloading torrents. Simply connect to Surfshark’s VPN, and it will do most of the work for you. For example, we didn’t have to manually select a P2P server, as the program took care of it for us.

    Moreover, all American servers appear to work with Netflix, and you can even set up a double VPN tunnel. This routes your connection through two VPN servers, further concealing your identity. All these separate elements make Surfshark a very user-friendly VPN.

    You can also connect to individual servers in certain countries. We were able to pick specific servers in specific regions. You can check the servers list to see how many servers are available in certain regions. To connect to a specific Surfshark server, just head to the “Specific IPs” section and select one.

    Surfshark on Mac

    Many service providers tend to falter when it comes to installing their VPN on macOS, but Surfshark rides the wave pretty well. It worked seamlessly on a MacBook Pro with macOS Monterey. Surfshark VPN also works perfectly with the latest Apple M1 Pro chip, so you don’t need to worry about tinkering in the Command Terminal to get it running properly on macOS.

    Screenshot of Surfshark interface on Mac

    Also, as you’ll see in the pricing section below, you can take advantage of a seven-day free trial on Mac. If you need a robust VPN for Mac, you can’t go wrong with Surfshark.

    Surfshark on Linux

    Surfshark is also available for Linux users. Specifically, the terminal app is available on Ubuntu and Debian distros. Unfortunately, this does not even come close to the amount of Linux options available from competitors like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, which offer support for other distros too. Users of other distros can make do with manual OpenVPN servers, however.

    Our experience when using Surfshark on a Debian distro is two-sided. On the one hand, the client is quite user-friendly. The installation is a piece of cake, and the selection of commands you have to learn is limited and intuitive. Surfshark VPN on Linux also includes a number of neat extra features, such as an automated selection of the best available server, a kill switch, multihop, and the ability to easily switch between UDP and TCP servers.

    However, the number of servers available to Linux users is somewhat limited compared to Surfshark’s overall server network: about 102 Surfshark servers are spread across 61 countries.

    The quality of our VPN connection varied wildly: some of Surfshark’s servers offered blazing-fast speeds, while others barely managed to achieve a quarter of our normal internet speed. We’d advise running a quick speed test when you connect to a new server to gauge the difference.

    Of greater concern is the fact that Linux users tend to suffer from DNS leaks or transparent proxies while connected to Surfshark. This problem can be resolved with the help of Surfshark VPN’s customer service, but it shouldn’t be occurring in the first place.

    In summary, this is one area of our Surfshark review where the service falls a little short. If you want a reliable VPN to use on a Linux system, there are better VPNs for Linux than Surfshark out there, like ExpressVPN and PIA.

    Surfshark’s browser extension

    Surfshark’s dedicated browser extension works for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge and allows you to use the VPN exclusively within your browser. Usually, we’d recommend the regular software to protect all of your internet traffic, but Surfshark’s extension comes with some useful extra options:

    • Netflix VPN blocks bypassing: In the rare case that Surfshark’s software doesn’t work with Netflix, the browser extension provides a simple solution. Connect to the right server, clear your cookies, and enjoy your favorite Netflix show.
    • Ad blocker: Instead of downloading a separate ad blocker extension, you can use Surfshark to block advertisements and trackers within your browser.
    • Pop-up blocker: Use Surfshark’s blocker to stop annoying cookie consent pop-ups while browsing.
    • Data breach alert: While the extension is active, Surfshark will warn you about sites with a history of data breaches by displaying a thin red line at the top of the screen.
    • Malware alert: Similar to the data breach alert, Surfshark will monitor malicious activity and warn you if it finds anything suspicious.

    The browser extension works well for its purposes. Just make sure you turn on the relevant features to take advantage of everything Surfshark has to offer. Moreover, the browser extension is an especially good solution to get around streaming blocks and can be downloaded for free directly from the Surfshark VPN website.

    Pricing and payment methods

    Surfshark is very reasonably priced. It’s one of the cheapest options around, and they have discounted deals active throughout the year. As with most other VPN service providers, you receive a discount when you subscribe for a longer period.

    Pricing plans

    • Surfshark 24 months $2.30mth Deal View offer
    • Surfshark 12 months $3.99mthView offer
    • Surfshark 1 month $12.95mthView offer

    On their website, these prices are also available in euros, AUS/CAN dollars, Chinese yuan, and pound sterling.

    Payment methods for Surfshark include the following options:

    • Credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Card)
    • PayPal
    • Google Pay
    • Amazon Pay
    • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (using CoinGate or CoinPayments)
    • Other local payment options, such as Direct Debit

    Please note: Surfshark VPN uses the US dollar as its main currency, so the price in other currencies (e.g., the pound) may vary. On top of that, appropriate VAT/sales taxes might be added to the final costs depending on your location.

    Additionally, if you are interested in enhancing your online security even further with this VPN provider, you’ll be glad to know that Surfshark offers more than just a VPN. For just $1.49/month, you can opt for the Surfshark One package that offers an antivirus solution, an alert to let you know if your email address has been leaked, and a search feature you can use to browse without ads.

    How does Surfshark’s money-back guarantee work?

    Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee as long as you abide by their terms of service. You can use this refund option to try Surfshark for free for a full month, and after that, you can cancel Surfshark if you want. Moreover, one subscription can be used on unlimited devices.

    Surfshark offers a seven-day free trial on macOS, iOS, and Android. All you have to do is download the Surfshark VPN app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, sign up for an account, register your payment method, and start the trial.

    Your card will be charged after seven days unless you choose to cancel. In case you accidentally keep a subscription, you’re still eligible for Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee, so it’s a win-win either way.

    Get Surfshark for free – for longer!

    Did you know that you can use Surfshark for free for up to two years? While the money-back guarantee is great, you’ll have to subscribe for extended use. But with the refer-a-friend program, you can extend your free period.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, earn free months

    When you subscribe, you’ll receive a custom link, which you can find under the “Settings” menu in your app. If your friend signs up with the link and sticks around for a month, you’ll earn free subscription extensions! Here’s how it works:

    • Invite one friend (Iron): 1 month free
    • Invite three friends (Bronze): 2 months free
    • Invite five friends (Silver): 3 months free
    • Invite ten friends (Gold): 6 months free
    • Invite 20 friends (Platinum): 12 months free

    The only downside is that Surfshark doesn’t specify how many invites you must send to hit “Diamond” status and gain 24 months for free. In our opinion, convincing 20+ friends to sign up could be hard enough! But few other providers offer such incentives, so this was a great addition to see.

    Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections

    One of Surfshark’s unique features is that you can use it on an unlimited number of devices. This is perfect if you need a VPN for multiple devices or you want to share your subscription with friends and family. You and your friends can even pool resources together to purchase a Surfshark subscription.

    Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections offer is impressive because most top VPNs cap the number of devices you can connect to at the same time. For example, you can use NordVPN on only six devices simultaneously, while ExpressVPN caps it at five.

    Customer service

    During this Surfshark review, we discovered that Surfshark VPN provides an incredibly clear and intuitive Help Center. You can find it tucked away under the “Resources” section of the website. It covers everything from installation guides to connectivity issues, with plenty of FAQs. We were quickly able to locate answers to our questions.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, help center

    You can reach out to Surfshark’s customer support agents through email. If you want real-time support, you can use the chat function. Note that you’ll have to go through a chatbot first. However, you can switch to a live agent whenever you want.

    In our experience, we were assisted by an actual employee within a minute. We reached out because of initial problems with watching American Netflix, and customer service was able to help us fix our issue in no time.

    Screenshot of Surfshark, live chat

    The support agents were patient, kind, and helpful, and we were able to resolve the problem.

    Server Network – Can Surfshark Unblock the Internet?

    Score scale 8.5/10

    When it comes to VPN server infrastructure, we’re primarily interested in server quality and the sheer number of available server locations. Bigger server networks increase your chances of bypassing online censorship and geo-restrictions with a foreign IP address. This also helps with server lag caused by overcrowding. Surfshark’s current server configuration earns an 8.5/10.

    These are the conclusions we arrived at regarding Surfshark’s server network and locations:

    • The Surfshark VPN server network has an impressive list of 3,200+ servers across 100 countries.
    • Surfshark includes about 40 virtual server locations.
    • You have access to different Netflix libraries all over the world.
    • You can download torrents safely and easily.
    • Surfshark offers dedicated IPs with an anonymous dedicated IP option.

    Number of servers and locations

    Surfshark has 3,200+ servers across 100 countries. If you’re looking for a specific IP address, you can find Surfshark servers in the following countries:

    • Americas: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela
    • Asia Pacific: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau SAR China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam
    • Eurasia: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan
    • Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
    • Middle East and Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates

    Some of Surfshark’s servers are virtual servers. This means the server could appear to be in a particular country, although the physical infrastructure is in another country. The main challenge with using a virtual server is that you might face slow response times.

    As of the time of writing, Surfshark had about 40 virtual servers in countries such as India, Ghana, Mexico, Monaco, and Laos.

    Surfshark and streaming (Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)

    Surfshark VPN is one of the better premium VPNs for evading geographical restrictions, particularly for streaming. While other providers have often briefly lost access due to blocks, Surfshark is generally quite adept at unblocking streaming platforms, and you can definitely use it if you want to watch Netflix with a VPN.

    Surfshark can also unblock several other streaming services.

    Platform Can Surfshark unblock it?
    Netflix
    Disney Plus
    Hulu
    BBC iPlayer

    It’s good news all around. Thanks to features like NoBorders and dedicated streaming servers, Surfshark is an excellent choice for unblocking streaming platforms.

    In case you still can’t access Netflix or another platform with this VPN, try the browser extension. Don’t hesitate to contact Surfshark if you’re struggling to access a service. Their live chat works effectively and can usually help.

    In short, Surfshark is among the best VPNs for streaming content online.

    Surfshark and torrents

    Surfshark has specialized P2P servers that can help users avoid the legal pitfalls of torrenting, although we advise all our readers to check their local laws on torrenting before downloading anything. You don’t have to manually select Surfshark’s servers: they are automatically activated when you open a torrenting program.

    The VPN server will recognize the P2P traffic and connect you to a P2P server. We even suspect it might automatically connect you via MultiHop servers. This means added protection against prying eyes.

    This is a welcome addition to Surfshark’s VPN service. Some providers don’t support torrenting. Others don’t take a stance on it but secretly limit your speed if you participate in P2P file sharing. So, to see Surfshark VPN actively supporting your torrenting efforts? That’s a huge plus in our book.

    Dedicated IP address

    While conducting our latest research for this Surfshark review, we discovered that Surfshark had added a dedicated IP address feature. This static IP address is assigned to the user instead of the server. This is different from Surfshark servers with a static IP address.

    With static IP servers, you will always get the same IP address. However, they are still shared with others and are not dedicated. The benefits of choosing a Surfshark dedicated server include:

    • Improved unblocking: Some websites have strict access controls and may block or limit access from shared IP addresses. Having a dedicated IP address can help you bypass those types of restrictions.
    • Better reliability and speed: With a dedicated IP address, you have a consistent IP address that is less likely to change, providing a more reliable and faster VPN connection.
    • Less likely to be blacklisted: Shared IP addresses in VPNs can sometimes be blacklisted by certain websites or apps due to the actions of other users who may have used that IP address when spamming or committing other illicit activities. With a dedicated IP address, your online activities are isolated from others, reducing your risk of being affected by IP blacklisting.
    • Reduces the number of CAPTCHA requests: Using a dedicated IP address cuts down the number of CAPTCHA prompts you get on Google and other sites. We got a lot of “prove you’re not a robot” requests while testing Surfshark’s servers. Although these prompts can be resolved with a few clicks, it can get a bit annoying to have to do it repeatedly.

    There are some privacy risks associated with dedicated IP addresses. They tie back the fact that these types of IP addresses are more traceable than shared IP addresses.

    However, Surfshark has users covered with their anonymous Dedicated IP option, which deletes all information about your Dedicated IP address stored in their database. Currently, Surfshark offers dedicated IP addresses for a few locations in the U.S., the UK, and the Netherlands.

    Our Experience With Surfshark

    To conclude, Surfshark is a great VPN for most users. It’s reliable, secure, fast, can connect unlimited devices, and works well for browsing, streaming content, downloads, and torrents.

    At the same time, it boasts great features like a kill switch, ad blocking, GPS spoofing, and access to varied Netflix libraries. On top of that, its affordability makes it a great alternative to using free VPNs that often come with limitations and security issues.

    Surfshark VPN holds its own in the league of top providers. It’s even expanding into the antivirus realm and recently created its own data deletion service called Incogni. This service contacts data brokers and requests that your information is deleted from their records. Hence, you enhance your online privacy without having to lift a finger, as Surfshark does it for you.

    We’re sure you’ll have an amazing experience with this VPN provider, but in case you want to compare this Surfshark review to other options, we’ve got detailed articles covering just that. Check out the links below to learn how Surfshark VPN holds up against the other top VPNs we recommend.

    • Surfshark vs. ExpressVPN
    • Surfshark vs. NordVPN
    • Surfshark vs. CyberGhost

    Surfshark VPN Review: Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have a question about Surfshark? We’re here to help. Simply click the question you’re interested in, and the answer will appear.

    Is Surfshark safe?

    Surfshark is a very secure provider. It uses the two safest and most well-known protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard. As our Surfshark review shows, this VPN does not keep logs and only requires your email address in order to create an account. Moreover, it offers countless additional security features to protect your online presence.

    Does Surfshark work with Netflix?

    Surfshark works with Netflix perfectly. When you use their servers, you’ll be able to access the Netflix library of dozens of different countries, including the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, and Turkey. If you use a Surfshark server that isn’t located in one of these countries, you’ll automatically be sent to the American version of Netflix. Surfshark is, without a doubt, one of the best Netflix VPNs out there.

    What does Surfshark VPN cost?

    Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN providers out there. You’ll be able to get a two-year subscription for just $2.49 a month. A twelve-month subscription comes down to $3.99 a month, while a monthly subscription will cost you $12.95.

    How fast is Surfshark?

    Surfshark very fast and barely affects your internet speed during daily use. In fact, it is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. Surfshark does cause a minor decrease in download and upload speeds, but that does not affect browsing, streaming, or downloading activities, which makes Surfshark a good VPN for everyday use.

    Is Surfshark any good as a VPN?

    Surfshark is a great VPN. In fact, it is our number two pick for overall best VPN. Between the kill switch, AES-256 bit encryption, split tunneling, and its ability to unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms, the Surfshark VPN is a great pick for most users.

    Is Surfshark VPN legal?

    Yes, Surfshark and other VPN services are perfectly legal in most countries, including the United States, most of Europe, and other Western nations. However, some countries such as China, Russia, and Iran may have bans and restrictions on VPN usage.