The VPN industry continues growing and new names are appearing in the market to fulfill the need for security of internet users all over the world. There are already many well-established VPN services available, but that doesn’t mean that there is no room for more high quality options. Surfshark is one of the latest VPNs to have been released in the market and while it is still quite new, it is already earning a good reputation due to its powerful unblocking functionality and excellent customer support. Surfshark operates from the British Virgin Islands, which is a great location in terms of privacy. In this review, we’ll find out more about the advantages of using Surfshark and will go through all the aspects that you need to be aware of, before you subscribe to this provider.
Privacy and Security
Let’s start discussing security, one of the most important aspects of a VPN. In this area, Surfshark shows why it is gaining popularity and getting ahead in the race to reach a high place in the list of the best VPNs. This provider uses AES-256-GCM encryption, which is has become the standard for top security. Surfshark combines it with SHA12 authentication hash and 2048-bit DHE-RSA key exchange. In addition, it uses perfect forward secrecy. The protocols supported are OpenVPN and IKEv2, two solutions that are known for the good level of security and reliability that they offer. OpenVPN is considered by many as the leading choice due to its security, but IKEv2 has its own benefits such as speed and good performance with mobile devices. Both protocols are safe to use, which is why Surfshark focuses on them. The military-grade encryption and solid protocols used by Surfshark allow you to keep your internet traffic protected from prying eyes and security threats.
Privacy is also crucial and this is also a category in which Surfshark shines. As we mentioned earlier on, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands. The reason why this is an ideal location for a VPN is that there are no mandatory data retention laws. This means that Surfshark is not required to keep any logs, which is why it can offer a policy that respects your privacy. They don’t monitor or keep records of your online activities. No data that could be used to identify you, is ever collected. Surfshark won’t log details such as the bandwidth used, the servers you connect to, the websites you visit, the content you access, IP addresses, or anything else that could compromise your anonymity and privacy. If you wish to opt out of sending anonymous crash reports, the option can be turned off under the Advanced menu.
The only data that Surfshark collects is your email address (for troubleshooting, contact and connection purposes) and billing information, which is only used in case a refund is requested. Since Surfshark doesn’t keep any logs that could jeopardize your privacy, and it is based in a location that is not part of the Five Eyes or other surveillance groups, you can enjoy the internet without concerns.
It is also worth mentioning that there is a warrant canary that will alert users about any law enforcement requests or gag orders. Bitcoin is supported as method of payment, which confirms Surfshark’s commitment to offering a service that allows privacy-conscious to keep their data protected and to preserve their online anonymity. As we will see in the next section, Surfshark also supports advanced security features to keep your data safe from eavesdroppers.
IP and DNS Leak Test
Surfshark has implemented private DNS on every servers, which prevents leaks. We confirmed that there were no breaches, thanks to Surfshark’s zero-knowledge DNS technology. In addition, Surfshark offers IPv6 leaks and WebRTC leaks protection. Kudos for passing multiple tests across many different server locations.
Dedicated VPN apps make things easier for users, particularly for those who don’t have previous experience with VPNs. Surfshark has apps that are compatible with popular platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, MacOS and Fire TV. Having dedicated apps means that the installation process is pretty simple and fast. You just need to download the app that is specifically designed for the platform you are using and once it is installed, you are ready to go. If you want to use a router instead, don’t worry, Surfshark will also work with your device, although you will need to configure the VPN manually. There are helpful installation guides on the website, so you shouldn’t have any issues with this process. In addition, Surfshark offers web browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. These are also convenient solutions, but keep in mind that they are only intended to secure your browsing, instead of your entire traffic like the VPN client does.
The app has some room to grow, starting with the server list which provides no details such as ping response or load. But those are small design details. One of the things that really sets Surfshark apart from other VPNs is that it supports unlimited simultaneous connections. Most providers have a limit in the amount of devices that you can use at the same time, but Surfshark will allow you to run the VPN on as many devices as you want.
To bypass censorship and geographical restrictions, you can connect to over 500 servers in 50 countries including Sweden, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Chile, United States, India, Norway, Brazil, United Kingdom, Argentina and Russia. It is worth noting that Surfshark is one of the providers that is still working well in China. If you are in that country and need to overcome the Great Firewall, Surfshark could be the answer. Furthermore, if you have Netflix and want to get around the geo-blocks that this streaming platform has implemented, you will be glad to know that Surfshark is also effective in this case. Now, let’s talk about speed. The tests showed that Surfshark can provide consistently good speeds across its network. Overall, we noted that the servers in the US East Coast provided faster results than those in the West Coast. However, this may be different for you and it depends on factors like your location and the speed of your internet connection.
Surfshark is designed to boost the security of your connection and that will also allow you to enjoy access to a wider variety of content. Surfshark meets the core requirements for any VPN (it protects your data and allows you to bypass restrictions), and it adds features that contribute to make your experience even safer and more versatile. The kill switch ensures that your real IP address and identity are not exposed at any stage. Even if the VPN connection fails for some reason, the kill switch will prevent that your confidential data gets leaked. As Surfshark states, this feature is a safety net that is in place to keep your data protected, no matter what.
Additionally, an ad, pop-up and tracking blocker is included under Surfshark’s trademark name CleanWeb. It’s basically an all in one ad and tracker blocking extension built-in the VPN app and turned on by default for a safer more enjoyable browsing experience. Users can also add websites and applications in a whitelist in order to bypass the VPN connection when used. Wi-Fi security options are also available to avoid connecting to public networks without first connecting to a VPN server.
Then we have MultiHop, another practical solution that will gives you more control over the security of your connection. With MultiHop, you get an additional layer of protection through a double VPN chain. You connect first to a VPN server and then to your preferred VPN location, which doubles up your security. Although Surfshark does not provide the ability to customize your Multihop double VPN connection down to selecting each server, the current selecting of entry and exit servers is fairly distributed. One could expect to see a greater reduction on internet speeds when using Multihop, but some servers tested surprisingly fast regardless.
Netflix and Streaming Test
As expected, no leaks usually means successfully unblocking Netflix US, Hulu, and other streaming services of your choice. I was able to access my favorite platforms from different regions with no detection, but remember that email accounts such as gmail, and historic cookies can also be a cause for VPN detection. Ensure to log out of all web accounts, followed by clearing your cache and cookies for better results. Server speeds tested really well, providing enough speed for multiple high definition streams.
One month of service costs $11.95 USD, but you can reduce the monthly price by extending the length of your subscription. A full year of service costs $71.88, meaning that the price per month is just $5.99. The price is even lower if you pay in advance for two years of Surfshark. The price is only $47.76, which makes the monthly price as little as $1.99. Surfshark is so confident about its VPN solution, that it offers a 30 day money-back guarantee. You can pay using cards, PayPal, Stripe, TrustPay, Sofort or crypto currencies like Bitcoin for better payment privacy. Considering there are no limits on simultaneous devices, the service adds an undeniable value for businesses or users who wish to have the ability to run VPN clients on dozens or more devices for the whole family.
The website features a Help Center where you will find tutorials, set up guides, FAQ section and all the information that you may need to know about Surfshark. If you require personalized assistance, you can contact the Support Team via live chat or email. We tried the live chat and received a detailed and friendly response within seconds. You can reach out to them at any time, any day with your questions.