Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN Review

SurfShark is still considered a young contender in the VPN service market. Only recently launched, the service has been able to grow exponentially in a short period, all thanks to its useful features, reasonable discounted price plans, and robust refund policy, privacy policy, and customer support.

In the beginning, the VPN service showed great promise. It claimed to offer unlimited streaming access, torrenting, and reliable, speedy service thanks to its hundreds of servers spread across 50 countries across the world.

Helpful features like the built-in Kill Switch, Whitelister, and split tunneling make it user-friendly and versatile. In this Surfshark vpn review, we take a deeper dive to look at the offerings of SurfShark and how it compares to other similar VPN services in the market. 

Pros

  • Impressive range of features
  • Optimized for streaming
  • Offers advanced encryption
  • No Log Policy
  • Adblocker available
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support
  • Several payment options available
  • Efficiently unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube Red.
  • 15 Surfshark Netflix Libraries
  • Offers one subscription and unlimited devices

Cons

  • Email support not active enough
  • Little to no information about the parent company

Surfshark Website: https://surfshark.com

Surfshark Security

Security

When it comes to selecting the best VPN on the bases of the best security provider, Surfshark has proved through the years that it is amongst the very few VPNs that offer the best security.

Surfshark provides unbreakable security features including leak protection, AES 256-bit encryption, Kill switch, other security protocols as well as several other additional features that help you keep your data connections safe and secure.

Does Surfshark work in China?

surfshark not works in china

Well, finding a VPN service that works in China is becoming more difficult than ever! Because China has become more active than ever in blocking VPN service in China.

According to our experience and Surfshark reviews (users-experience based) located in China – Surfshark fails to work in China. 

surfshark china

However, you can try Shadowsocks – an open-source encrypted proxy that may help you bypass strict internet censorship.

Industry Standard VPN Protocols

surfshark VPN Protocols

Surfshark offers two tunneling protocols:

  • OpenVPN
  • IKEv2/IPsec

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a widely preferred VPN because of its feature-rich and reliable. The VPN provides wide range encryption protocols that allow flexible connection for network switching that helps unblock geo-restrictions and use streaming services like Netflix.

OpenVPN is among the most popular VPN protocols that secure site-to-site and point-to-point connections. Their OpenVPN protocol available in Surfshark can be set to either UDP or TCP, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. TCP offers reliability but lacks speed, whereas the TCP is faster but has low functionality.

Surfshark is also beta testing Shadowsocks protocol for Windows and Android.

For the convenience of users, switching between the two protocols in Surfshark is easy and hassle-free. You can find it in the protocols section, located in the advanced options in the settings.

Surfshark Other Features

The best thing about Surfshark is that it comes with a handful of useful features that users can benefits from, such as:

Versatile

Surfshark is available for most devices out there, which makes it extremely versatile, especially for people who use more than a single device. You can find a version for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS, along with browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.

Whitelister™ 

This feature enables you to create a white list of apps and websites that will be bypassed by the VPN when it is in use.

TOR Compatible 

Surfshark allows its users to enjoy a higher level of privacy through TOR for anonymous communication.

Camouflage Mode 

You can hide the fact that you are using a VPN from your ISP.

Kill-Switch 

Only available for Windows, Mac, and iOS, the kill-switch feature makes it easy to shut down the software quickly.

Router Compatibility

The SurfShark is compatible with any router that supports OpenVPN.

Unblock All Restricted Websites 

Surfshark’s biggest claim is that it can unblock all restricted websites on cable internet and Wi-Fi.

Surfshark Encryption

Encryption

Surfshark works with a secure AES-256-CBC/AES-256-GCM encryption, with OpenVPN and IKEv2 VPN protocols with easy switching capability.

Most experts suggest sticking to OpenVPN for optimal and reliable security. However, for the macOS and iOS app users, IKEv2 is selected by default. Nevertheless, manually configuration is also available.

Surfshark Netflix Compatibility and Online Streaming

One of the most significant advantages Surfshark has is that it has now been “officially approved by AV-Test in the first-ever VPN providers’ test” they ran. For this reason, Surfshark now has an improved stance on security and un-blocking capabilities.

AV-Test acclaims Surfshark & commends our streaming capabilities

To test Surfshark’s unblocking capabilities, we tried accessing the geo-restricted content on Netflix. Surfshark most definitely impressed us as it bypassed Netflix geo-restrictions.

Before Surfshark VPN:

Before Surfshark VPN

After Surfshark VPN:

After Surfshark VPN

Surfshark does not only unblocks Netflix, but it also helps in improving the video loading speed. We were able to enjoy high-quality videos at a much faster loading speed.

When it comes to other online streaming sites, including Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, Surfshark impressed us again by unblocking geo-restricted content on these online streaming sites. 

If you are an online movie or anime streaming fan, then you will be impressed by Surfshark’s unblocking and connection security capabilities. We tested Surfshark on a few of the best online movie and anime streaming sites, and we were thoroughly impressed by Surfshark’s performance. 

Surfshark Torrent Compatibility

Torrent

What if you are caught torrenting? The question that puts many torrent fans away from torrenting!

What if we tell you that you can enjoy torrenting safely with Surfshark! Yes! We have thoroughly tested it, and according to us, Surfshark is an excellent VPN for safe torrenting. All Surfshark servers fully support P2P file sharing. Also, most of the Surfshark servers are optimized for torrenting specifically.

No matter if you are looking for the safest VPN for downloading free torrents from the best torrent sites or you wish to use a torrent software like uTorrent or BitTorrent – we assure you that Surfshark VPN is ideal for safe torrenting.

Surfshark does an excellent job of masking your identity and P2P activities from your ISP. For the best torrenting speeds, we highly recommend you use servers from the UK, the US, or the Netherlands.

Surfshark Performance and Speed Test

We tried and tested Surfshark on four different locations worldwide. Surfshark showed impressive results as it maintained 36 percent of the base speed in three tests. The multiple security features help it perform more efficiently and provide reliable speed and performance on all platforms.

What we noticed was that the download speeds were excellent in the United States, Germany, and Hong Kong. Following are our speed test results:

We started our test at 71.65 Mbps download speed.

speed test 1

After enabling and being automatically connected to our nearest and fastest Surfshark VPN (US) server, we observed an impressive 68.48 Mbps download speed. This means that Surfshark caused a negligible 3.16 Mbps to download speed drop.

speed test 2

After enabling and being automatically connected to our nearest and fastest Surfshark VPN (US) server, we observed an impressive 68.48 Mbps download speed, which means that Surfshark caused a negligible 3.16 Mbps to download speed drop.

speed test 3

When we tested the download speed in Germany, we were surprised to receive a decent 30.48 Mbps download speed score.

speed test 4

The download speed results from Hong Kong were impressive – 36.5 Mbps is quite an impressive download speed score.

speed test 5

All in all, Surfshark impressed us by maintaining consistent download speeds and performing impressively in all of our selected VPN server locations. However, it is a smart idea to test the speed according to your location because speeds can vary according to the location.

Surfshark Browser Extensions

Browser Extensions

Surfshark recently announced that, according to a recent service audit by Cure53, Surfshark stands out for its robust security specifically for the extremely rare VPN browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Cure53 is highly credible for VPN audits as it is an industry-leading web security service provider with a team of highly experienced web security experts.

The audit report concludes, “Two members of the Cure53 team, who examined the scope in November 2018, can only conclude that the tested applications make a very robust impression and are not exposed to any issues, neither in the privacy nor in the more general security realms.”

This audit report and its findings will help Surfshark improve its credibility in the VPN industry. It will help them retain their existing customers. Also, new customers will have another convincing factor to “Reasons why should you choose Surfshark over other VPN service providers.”

Surfshark Ad blocker

Ad blocker

Surfshark also provides an effective ad blocker with its VPN service. CleanWeb efficiently blocks ads, malware, and trackers. Having an ad blocker with your VPN is essential to add additional security to your data and improve overall data privacy.

We gave Surfshark’s CleanWeb ad blocker a test by browsing through ad-heavy websites, and we were fully satisfied with CleanWeb’s performance at blocking a sufficient amount of ads.

Our only complaint with Surfshark’s CleanWeb ad blocker is that it was unable to completely block all the ads, which makes us question the level of ad and malware security that Surfshark promises. Therefore, we would like Surfshark to improve their ad-blocking feature in future updates.

Surfshark Log Keeping Policy

Surfshark Log Keeping Policy

One of the biggest worries of the VPN users is that the VPN service’s log keeping the policy.

Log keeping policy depends on where the VPN headquarters is located. Surfshark’s VPN headquarter is located in the British Virgin Islands. Due to this reason, Surfshark does not have to follow any mandatory data retention.

Surfshark’s ideal location allows it to have a strict “No Logs Policy.” Therefore, you can be sure about the fact that no information or member’s data will be shared with database management companies or even with law enforcement agencies for safety or investigation purposes.

Thus, when it comes to data safety and log keeping, Surfshark proves to be the best VPN service with a strict “No Logs Policy.”

Surfshark Pricing, Refund Policy and Free Trial

Pricing

Among the many great things about Surfshark is its affordability, especially when compared to other VPN available in the market today. Currently, you can get a 24-months plan of the VPN, which includes free online protection for an additional three months for a pocket-friendly price of $1.99/month only, this offer is an 85% discount off the original price and is usually up for grabs.

Besides the discounted offer, Surfshark offers two subscription plans, which aren’t as affordable as one might hope. A single month’s subscription offers no discounts and offers the least value for money. The 12-months plan comes with a generous 50% discount, but it is by no means comparable to the sizable 85% discount offered on the 24-month plan.

Following are the Surfshark pricing plans available currently:

  • $11.95 for a single month plan
  • $5.99/mo for 12 months
  • $3.49 per month for 24 months

Surfshark also offers amazing discounts. Their Cyber Monday offer included $1.99/mo for 24 months with an additional three months free.

SurfShark accepts online payment via credit cards, Google Pay, PayPal, and Cryptocurrency, including Ripple, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.

SurfShark Refund Policy

Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means your investment is protected, and if you are unsatisfied with the service, you can claim a complete refund.

However, refunds cannot be claimed on gift cards or prepaid cards purchases, so you should keep that in mind before you make the transaction.

Surfshark VPN free trial

Surfshark VPN offers a 7-day free trial for the Android and iOS apps, which allows you to get a feel of the service before you buy a plan.

Surfshark Smart App

Most people assume that VPNs are “too complicated” for them! However, that is not the case when you talk about the Surfshark VPN review. For people who are new to VPN services, they are unsure about how to use VPN and what features does it provide. Undoubtedly, there are a few VPNs that are indeed too complicated for new users.

What we love about Surf shark is the smart app that allows its users to browse through its features easily. The intelligent app interface makes Surfshark a one-click VPN. You can open the app, sign in, and that is it! You are connected to Surfshark!

All you are required to do is wait for it to connect with your nearest server location. Once it connects, you can all change the location – if required.

Smart App 1
Smart App 2
Smart App 3

Surfshark Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness

If you haven’t guessed it, Surfshark is all about protecting your privacy, and it, therefore, follows a strict no data logging policy. Although, Surfshark isn’t bound by any mandatory data retention laws of the British Virgin Islands, where the company is based.

The Surfshark’s privacy policy stipulates that it doesn’t maintain logs of the following user information:

  • IP addresses
  • Connection timestamps
  • Network traffic and other similar data
  • Browsing history
  • Session information
  • Used bandwidth

Surfshark collects standard information, including emails, billing information, encrypted passwords, and order history.

Surfshark Customer Support

Customer Support

The SurfShark website features helpful FAQs, setup guides, and tutorials to help you avoid any issues.

However, if you still need help, Surfshark customer support is prompt and reliable. Live chat facility, is the best way to connect to a knowledgeable customer support representative and can provide swift solutions to technical queries, in a matter of moments.

Understandably, email support isn’t as quick and usually takes a few hours to get to a resolution.

Final Verdict

recommend

After thoroughly testing Surfshark, We are thoroughly impressed by the overall service and features of Surfshark. For $1.99 per month, Surfshark is not only the most affordable VPN currently available, but it is among the few VPNs that offer such an impressive range of features and security for such an affordable price.

The only drawback of Surfshark that we observed is the limited number of server locations, especially China. A little more information about the parent company will also help improve the trust factor.

All in all, Surfshark is a highly trustable and affordable VPN service that provides a range of features that help you seamlessly protect your data and connection.

So, the question is – do we recommend Surfshark? Well, Yes! We highly recommend Surfshark; especially, if you are looking for a VPN easy-to-use, feature-packed VPN that won’t break your bank.

Mark is a cyber security enthusiast. He loves to spread knowledge about cybersecurity with his peers. He also loves to travel and writing his travel diaries.

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