• Number of servers: 8/10
  • Speed : 9/10
  • Pricing: 9/10
  • Ease of use : 10/10
  • Reliability and support : 9/10

minimum price:

£9.14/monthly

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Honest Surfshark Review for 2021

Honest Surfshark Review for 2021

minimum price:

£9.14/monthly

Visit Website
  • Number of servers: 8/10
  • Speed : 9/10
  • Pricing: 9/10
  • Ease of use : 10/10
  • Reliability and support : 9/10

works on:

Windows Windows
Mac OS Mac OS
Linux Linux
Android Android
Apple Apple
Chrome Chrome
Firefox Firefox
Apple TV Apple TV
Fire TV Fire TV

Gaming

STRENGTHS

  • Unlimited connections
  • Low prices
  • Unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+
  • Supports torrenting
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • Easy to use
  • Outstanding WireGuard speeds

WEAKNESSES

  • Slower OpenVPN speeds
  • Unintuitive kill switch
  • Delay when connecting to servers

Using the internet today comes with more than a few risks, so using a VPN is a necessity for many users.

Surfshark is one of the leaders in the VPN market, and for good reason. It offers top speeds, a vast server network, and access to streaming and torrenting. What’s more, Surfshark provides a wide range of privacy and security features at a generous price.

But are there any downsides to this provider? Keep reading our Surfshark review to find out!

Speed

Whatever VPN you decide to get, your connection speed will decrease to some extent because of the encryption protocols the data goes through. 

So we decided to run some tests to find out the speed loss when using Surfshark. 

We didn’t experience any significant decrease in speed and concluded that Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs on the market today, with an average speed loss of 30%. That’s even better than widely popular solutions, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Let’s check out the actual speeds we got.

Our non-VPN download and upload speeds were 199Mbps and 198Mbps, respectively. We tested the speed both locally and globally, and here’s what we got. 

The Surfshark performance on a UK server using the OpenVPN protocol was steady with a 164Mbps download and 171Mbps upload speed. On the other hand, on US and Australian servers, the download and upload speeds ranged from 100Mbps to 120Mbps, with an average speed loss of 40%. 

Interestingly, when we used WireGuard, the results were better. The speed in the UK and US averaged at 180Mbps and 110Mbps, respectively. As for upload speeds, London’s average was 160Mbps, while New York’s was around 90Mbps.

Security and Privacy

Below we explore the variety of privacy and security measures that Surfshark relies on.

Encryption

Surfshark uses one of the best encryption standards—AES-256. Governments and security agencies use it to protect classified data, so you can rest assured that your internet activity is safe.

Security Protocols

Surfshark offers a number of VPN protocols so that users have a choice and see what works best for them. OpenVPN is used on desktop devices by default, while IKEv2 is used on mobiles, although both protocols are available for most devices. You can also switch to the newer WireGuard or to Shadowsocks for restrictive countries.

Surfshark OpenVPN

This protocol provides VPN users with fast and safe connections, especially on long-distance servers. Plus, since it’s open-source, it’s consistently updated and improved. 

IKEv2

Partially developed by Cisco and Microsoft, IKEv2 is a safe and speedy protocol that works best on servers in the vicinity. 

WireGuard

WireGuard is a novelty in the world of protocols. Although it has a simpler design than others, it offers excellent security features and minimal vulnerability to breaches. Unfortunately, it’s not available on Linux and FireTV. 

Shadowsocks

This proxy is specifically designed to help you bypass geo-restrictions like the Great Firewall of China. But if you’re not located in restrictive countries, it’s better to use OpenVPN and IKEv2.

DNS Leak Tests

Unsurprisingly, Surfshark passed our tests for IPv6 leaks, WebRTC, and DNS leaks. IPv6 is the latest Internet Protocol (IP), although it’s not yet widely known as IPv4. Since IPv4 is almost out of address combinations, IPv6 will take its place. 

But keep in mind that although Surfshark passed our leak tests, the company still recommends disabling IPv6, so you’re fully protected, as Surshark does not yet fully support IPv6 addresses.

As far as WebRTC leaks, Surfshark passed this test too. Even when we video chatted, our IP addresses weren’t exposed. 

Kill Switch

Surfshark also features a kill switch that will automatically block your connection if the VPN drops. While it’s a useful feature, it doesn’t come with some minor setbacks.

For one thing, it doesn’t turn on automatically, so you have to make sure to enable it manually from the settings bar, or otherwise, it won’t work. You also don’t get notified whether it’s on or off. 

Multihop

Surfshark features Multihop, which enables you to route your internet traffic to two VPN servers simultaneously. It’s also known as a Double VPN, and it adds a layer of security and helps tackle possible breaches. 

NoBorders Mode

This mode will help you avoid any internet blocks and access streaming services or any other restricted websites. The feature automatically detects restrictions and offers you a list of servers that work best to bypass them.

Camouflage Mode

Surfshark has Camouflage mode, which is especially useful for people who live or travel to countries with rigid censorship laws. With this feature, available on all operating systems and devices, you’ll be able to make your VPN connection look like a regular one to both your ISP and the government.

Jurisdiction and Logging Policy

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands (as is ExpressVPN), a self-governing territory with little to no data retention requirements.

Surf shark VPN claims to have a no-logging policy, which means nothing is out in the open for third parties. The only thing that Surfshark collects is the information you provide to log onto the VPN and the billing data. However, your IP address, history, and connections will not be revealed. 

RAM-only Servers

In July 2020, Surfshark announced it’s using diskless RAM servers only, which means that nothing is stored on the provider’s servers. 

Two-Factor Authentication

In addition to diskless RAM, Surfshark also upgraded to two-factor authentication, which increases security with codes that only the user knows. 

CleanWeb

Surfshark also offers a CleanWeb feature that blocks ads, reduces malware danger, and dodges possible phishing attempts. Keep in mind that you have to turn this feature on manually. 

Split Tunnelling

Surfshark’s take split tunnelling is called Whitelister, and it works like any other similar feature—it lets users route certain websites and apps through the VPN connection, while others go through your regular one.

One of the great things about Whitelister is that you don’t have to keep connecting and disconnecting from Surfshark when you’re working on different servers. The downside is that it only works on Windows and Android, although this is the case with most VPNs, including widely popular ones like HotSpot Shield.

Servers and Server Locations

Recently, Surfshark added more servers, reaching a total of 3,200+ in 65 countries. Six of those servers are based in the UK. Surfshark has locations in London, Glasgow, and Manchester. 

Surfshark’s server park may be smaller than that of NordVPN, which has over 5,000, but seems to hold its own against another big player on the market—ExpressVPN, which has a bit more than 3,000.

Virtual Locations

Surfshark also uses virtual locations to help users have a better and faster connection. For example, you might be connected to a UK server, when in fact, the actual physical server is located in Germany. Surfshark’s virtual locations are based in Chile, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

Static IP Servers 

Our research for this Surfshark VPN review reveals that this provider uses static IPs in some countries. While this might make it a bit easier for potential hackers to track you, it does make signing into your accounts much easier—this way, you won’t have to verify your identity every time you log in. 

Surfshark’s Primary Uses

Below we look at a few common uses for VPNs in general and whether Surfshark supports them.

Streaming

Surfshark unblocks Netflix, letting users access multiple libraries. On top of that, it automatically connects you to the US server, so you won’t have to waste time looking for the best connection. And it’s not just Netflix—Surfshark can easily unblock Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and even the tricky BBC iPlayer.

Torrenting

When we tested the Surf shark torrent feature, the access was secure, and the speed was superb. It even transferred us to a P2P-optimised server immediately when we opened a torrenting app.

It should be noted, though, that automatic connections can affect speed. Choosing the server manually might download files faster. But either way, torrenting is safe and anonymous.

Gaming 

Surfshark is available for Xbox and PlayStation, which is uncommon even with gaming-optimised VPNs like CyberGhost. We experienced no lags or any problems whatsoever when playing video games on every server we tried, including long-distance ones.

Supported Platforms

You can download Surfshark on all the leading operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. 

What’s more, you can install it as an extension for Chrome and Firefox, which acts more as a proxy than a VPN. The only available features on these browsers are the no-logs policy, CleanWeb, Private DNS, and Hide Your IP. In addition, you can use Surfshark on AppleTV and Amazon’s Firestick. 

Windows and Android 

On Windows and Android, you can get the full VPN experience. The interface is straightforward, and you have all of the features included. The Android Surfshark app even has a switch between encryption methods and GPS spoofing, which adds protection to your location and IP address. 

Mac and iOS

The macOS and iOS apps have pretty much the same interface as the Windows and Android ones. Unfortunately, these operating systems don’t include the Whitlelister feature.

Tor Compatibility

We also tested the compatibility of Surfshark with the Tor network. It was simple to use, and there were no issues except for the decreased speed, which we expected.

Simultaneous Device Connections

One of the biggest selling points of Surfshark is its offer of unlimited simultaneous connections. Most other VPNs out there, such as HMA and CyberGhost, offer only five or six connections at a time or have options to add more if you pay extra.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Surfshark doesn’t disappoint. This VPN is one of the lowest-priced ones on the market. It offers three subscription types:

Monthly plan  £9.14/month
Semi-annual plan  £27.48/every six months; £4.58/month
Two-year plan £42.17/year; £1.76/month

Whichever plan you choose, you’ll get a 30-day money guarantee, which is plenty of time to change your mind if you’re not happy with any aspect of the service.  

The prices are budget-friendly compared to other VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

As for payment methods, Surfshark accepts credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover), Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, and PayPal.

Customer Support

Surfshark has an extensive FAQ section with information about all kinds of issues and scenarios. You can also contact the company via email or live chat (available 24/7). 

For example, if you faced the issue of Surfshark not working on Firestick, you could easily find the solution on the official website. If that doesn’t work, the reps available through live chat are bound to be of help.

Surfshark has a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, which is better than most providers, including widely used ones, such as TunnelBear.

Want to Consider Other Options?

Despite Surfshark’s stellar performance, it’s always good to explore your options. Below we compare this provider to a couple of heavyweights on the VPN market.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN

Both VPNs have exceptional privacy and security features—both are in jurisdictions with no data retention requirements and have diskless RAM servers that ensure your information is never stored.

In our experience, NordVPN’s customer support is a bit more helpful than Surfshark’s, but the latter has lower prices.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

Once again, both Surfshark and ExpressVPN are top players in the VPN market with excellent speed and security. But if a super-fast connection to far-away servers is among your priorities, you might want to go with ExpressVPN as it offers a bit higher speeds for longer distances. 

However, its plans are a bit pricier, so Surfshark is the better solution for budget-conscious consumers.

Bottom Line: Is Surfshark Worth It?

Surfshark is fast, secure, and feature-rich, so it’s definitely one of the best VPNs currently available. 

It’s an excellent solution if you want to unblock streaming services and play video games while keeping your data safe. It provides military-grade encryption, unlimited connections, and compatibility with all major platforms. 

Despite minor issues, like slightly slower speeds on long-distance servers, we couldn’t find anything to complain about for this low-priced, reliable VPN.

FAQ

What is Surfshark?

Surshark is a virtual private network service that protects your data on the internet and allows you to torrent and access streaming platforms.

Is Surfshark a good VPN?

Surfshark provides all the features that a good VPN can offer—speed, protection, and, best of all, unlimited connections.

How to use Surfshark VPN?

This VPN is widely known for its simplicity and ease of use. All you need to do is download the app, sign up, and connect to your preferred server. Check out our Surfshark review above for more details.

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