Home » Surfshark VPN Review – Everything You Need To Know About Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Review – Everything You Need To Know About Surfshark

by Julia
Surfshark

Surfshark VPN can improve your online privacy by routing all of your web traffic through an encrypted connection to a remote server, but that security comes at a cost—in the case of Surfshark VPN, in dollars and cents. Surfshark VPN is our most recent Editors’ Choice for VPNs, but it is also one of the most expensive. However, with unlimited device connections, an improving and expanding product, and excellent apps, the company does a good job of justifying that cost. A third-party audit has also supported Surfshark VPN’s claims. Surfshark VPN continues to stand out in a crowded field.

What is the price of Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark VPN costs $12.95 per month, compared to an average of $9.90 per month for the services we tested. This places Surfshark among the most expensive VPNs we’ve reviewed, far exceeding the $9.99 per month charged by Mozilla’s VPN or the 5 euros ($5.03 at the time of writing) per month charged by Mullvad VPN, our Editors’ Choice VPN. Checkout 14 Best Free VPN For Torrenting Reddit 2022 – Techlion.

Surfshark VPN, like many others, offers steep discounts for long-term commitments. An annual plan costs $47.88 and is renewed for $59.76 the following year. A two-year plan costs $59.76 as well, but it renews at the same price after the first two years. While this is a little perplexing, the annual renewal price is still significantly less than the $67.73 average for the VPNs we’ve reviewed. Long-term plans do save money, but we recommend starting with the shortest subscription possible to ensure the VPN works for you and then upgrading to a longer subscription plan if you decide you like the service.

Surfshark VPN subscriptions can be purchased with major credit cards, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and a variety of cryptocurrencies via CoinGate or CoinPayments. Other services, like IVPN and Mullvad VPN, accept cash payments. IVPN is a cheap Editors’ Choice winner known for its focus on transparency and privacy.

If Surfshark VPN is too expensive for you, there are plenty of cheap VPNs and even a few worthwhile free VPNs to consider. Proton VPN is one of the few free VPNs that does not restrict user traffic.

Surfshark

While the monthly plan is pricey, Surfshark VPN provides excellent value for money. Surfshark VPN, unlike the vast majority of VPNs, allows you to use an unlimited number of devices with a single account. Most companies disconnect you after five simultaneous connections. The only other VPNs we’ve tested that don’t have a limit on simultaneous connections are Avira Phantom VPN, IPVanish VPN, and Windscribe VPN.

What Do Your Dollars Buy?

The real strength of Surfshark is the features that are rarely seen. For example, Bypasser is a split tunnelling tool that allows you to choose which apps and websites use the VPN connection. It’s useful because some websites block VPN access, so you’ll need to disable it to access them. Surfshark’s solution is very clean and far more user-friendly than competitors’.

Another feature that is frequently missing from VPN services is multi-hop, which establishes a VPN connection to a server and then redirects your traffic to a second VPN server for added security. Surfshark’s multi-hop connections are limited to the ones that the company sets up for you, but you can set up a multi-hop connection between any two of IVPN’s servers.

Surfshark currently does not provide VPN access to Tor, which is available through NordVPN and ProtonVPN. Tor does not require a VPN to use, but this type of one-button access is convenient. Also check Surfshark vs Nordvpn 2022: Which is Better Option? 

Many VPN providers charge extra fees for add-ons to your base subscription. NordVPN and others provide private, static IP addresses, which are useful if your VPN connection is blocked. Surfshark VPN does not sell dedicated IP addresses, but it does provide customers with free access to static servers. Anyone who connects to a Surfshark static server shares an IP address with everyone else.

Surfshark VPN offers a custom DNS service called Smart DNS as well as an ad-blocker called CleanWeb. These are both fairly common among VPNs. Surfshark Alert, which works similarly to HaveIBeenPwned(opens in a new window) and alerts you if your accounts have been compromised, and Surfshark Search, a privacy-conscious search tool. Both Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search are available for an additional $0.99 per month.

Surfshark One, in addition to its privacy tools, is available from the company. This security suite combines the core VPN product with antivirus protection for only a few dollars more per month or $96 per year (discounted to $65.76 for the first year). Surfshark One goes above and beyond the meagre claims made by most other VPNs about detecting malicious sites by offering real-time protection and on-demand virus scanning. Unfortunately, the antivirus features performed dismally in our hands-on testing. Existing Surfshark users should stick with the VPN for the time being and look for dedicated antivirus elsewhere.

The most intriguing new features of Surfshark VPN are happening behind the scenes. Surfshark Nexus is the company’s effort to transform its fleet of discrete servers into a full-fledged network (Opens in a new window). According to the company, this will enable several new privacy features that are currently not possible with the current VPN design. The first feature to be released is the IP Rotator, which assigns you a new IP address on a regular basis without disrupting your connection. We are excited to test these features as they become available.

While VPNs are effective tools, they cannot solve all of your privacy and security concerns. There are numerous methods for tracking you online. We recommend that you use the privacy tools built into most browsers as well as a standalone ad-or tracker-blocker. It’s also worth noting that the free Tor anonymization network makes tracking your online activity even more difficult. We strongly suggest using a password manager to make unique, complicated passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication wherever possible, and using antivirus software.

Protocols for Surfshark VPN

A VPN connection can be established in a variety of ways. We prefer OpenVPN because its open source roots mean it has been thoroughly tested for potential flaws. OpenVPN’s heir apparent appears to be WireGuard. WireGuard, like OpenVPN, is open-source, but it employs newer technology and is said to be much faster than other protocols.

Surfshark

Surfshark’s Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows apps support the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. Android, iOS, and macOS all support the IKEv2 protocol.

Servers and locations for Surfshark

With so many server locations to choose from around the world, you’re more likely to find one close to home or wherever you’re going, and it gives you plenty of options for spoofing your location. Surfshark’s servers cover 95 countries, which is well above average and threatens ExpressVPN’s country count dominance. HMA VPN still has the most countries covered of any VPN provider we’ve seen, but it heavily relies on virtual locations (more on this in a moment).

Surfshark

Surfshark provides above-average coverage of South America and Africa, both of which are frequently overlooked by other companies. Surfshark also provides servers in countries with restrictive internet policies, such as China, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. We’d like to see more competitors follow in the footsteps of Surfshark.

Is Surfshark VPN reliable?

A VPN provider could very easily spy on your traffic or monetize your activity. That is why it is critical to understand the company’s privacy policy as well as the legal framework in which it operates. Surfshark VPN appears to be doing a good job of protecting user privacy based on our observations. However, security is only effective when trust is present. If you don’t trust a company, look elsewhere.

Surfshark VPN’s Privacy Policy(Opens in a new window) and Terms of Service(Opens in a new window) are extremely readable, with breakout sections that explain concepts in plain English. Editors’ Choice winner TunnelBear VPN takes a similar approach, and other businesses should follow suit. But in the most recent version of the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, we found some mistakes that Surfshark VPN should fix.

Surfshark VPN emphasises in its policy documents that it does not log IP addresses, browsing history, bandwidth usage, or network traffic. That is precisely what you want to hear from a VPN provider. The policy also states that the company does not log connection timestamps, which is partially correct. According to the terms of service, the company logs connection timestamps but deletes them 15 minutes after you terminate your connection. When we contacted Surfshark VPN, we were informed that this was done to prevent people from abusing the company’s unlimited simultaneous connections by connecting an absurd number of machines. That makes sense, but Surfshark VPN should clarify this in its privacy policy. The company does collect data, such as anonymized aggregate analytical data, account information, and billing history. This is fairly common among VPNs. On the other hand, Mullvad VPN has taken steps to collect much less information than its competitors by getting rid of recurring subscription payments.

Unblocking Apple TV with Surfshark

Surfshark

We didn’t expect much from Surfshark because Apple TV is a difficult service to unblock. But we were proven incorrect.

Surfshark has access to a number of major Apple TV libraries. The overall experience was positive. While it took a few tries to find the right server, once we did, everything went smoothly.

This is an excellent choice for a VPN to use with the Apple TV streaming service.

Unblocking HBO Max with Surfshark

Surfshark

Surfshark is excellent for unblocking HBO Max. We had no problems accessing or signing up for the website.

The streaming experience itself could have been better. We noticed some lag, but we’re not sure if it was caused by Surfshark or by technical issues on HBO Max’s end.

Nonetheless, Surfshark allows you to watch HBO Max shows.

Surfshark Unblocking Hulu

Surfshark

 

Hulu Unblocker works like a charm when it comes to unblocking Hulu. We had no trouble getting to the streaming platform when we were connected to one of Surfshark’s US servers.

The viewing experience was also enjoyable. There was no lag in the show, and there was no downtime. Everything worked as it would have without the VPN. Surfshark did an excellent job here.

Is Surfshark suitable for torrenting?

Yes, Surfshark is a good torrenting option because its servers are fully optimised for P2P downloads. We were able to download torrents from all over the world with no problems, so it seems that all Surfshark servers are set up for torrenting.

It worked on every torrenting client we tried, including:

  • uTorrent
  • BitTorrent
  • Transmission
  • Deluge
  • Torrentz3
  • qBittorrent

We’ve noticed some significant drops in speeds with no bandwidth limits or data caps; they’ll still be primarily related to your original download connection and the number of seeders.

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