Surfshark VPN review: Is It the Best and the Cheapest VPN Provider

 

Surfshark VPN Review

The most affordable VPN on the market is Surfshark.  You get a VPN and a more comprehensive internet security tool for just $2.30 a month.

CONTENT LAYOUT

A BRIEF REVIEW OF SURFSHARK VPN IN TABULAR FORM

·        Surfshark VPN Key Data

·        Pros and Cons of Using Surfshark VPN

·        Pricing & Rating

·        Refund and Payment Choices

·        Free trial and money-back guarantees

ADVANCED FEATURES OF SURFSHARK VPN

·        CleanWeb

·        NoBorder ( or Border-Free) Mode

·        Multiple Hop Servers

·        Rotation of IP addresses

·        Fixed IP servers

·        Paid Add-ons

·        Unlimited Connections and Data

OTHER UNIQUE FEATURES OF SURFSHARK VPN

·        Surfshark VPN Speed

·        Wireguard for speed

·        How to increase Surfshark’s VPN speed

·        Surfshark VPN Review: Ease of Use

·        Surfshark desktop app

·        Surfshark Preferences/Settings

·        Mobile Apps

·        The Browser Extensions of Surfshark

·        Surfshark VPN Review: Security

·        IKEv2 & OpenVPN

·        WireGuard in details

·        Surfshark Privacy

·        Information Gathered by Surfshark

·        Compliance with GDPR

·        Surffshark Streaming Performance (is excellent)

Surfshark Review: ServerS and Their Locations

·        Surfshark Nexus Servers

·        Locations of MultiHop VPN Servers

·        Locations of Static IP Address VPN Servers

·        Torrenting servers

Surfsharks Customer Support

Surfshark Alternatives

Surfshark FAQ

 

A BRIEF REVIEW OF SURSHARK VPN IN TABULAR FORM

Data Cap

Unlimited

Speed

85Mbps

Logging Policy

Anonymous Server Usage Data (No Logs)

Data Leaks

No

Jurisdiction

Netherlands (EU Member)

Servers

3,200

IP Addresses

3,200+

Countries

65

US Netflix

Yes

Torrenting

Permitted

Simultaneous Connections

Unlimited

Works In China

Yes

Support

24/7 Live Chat

Cheapest Price

$2.30/mo over 26 months

Free Trial

7 Days (Payment Info Required)

Money-Back Guarantee

30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Protocols

WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks

Streaming

10/10

Other Streaming Services

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer

Kill Switch

Yes

Protocols

WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks

Value for Money

9/10

Lowest Monthly Cost

$2.49

Money Back Guarantee

30 days

Official Website

Surfshark.com

Surfshark Top Alternatives

NORD VPN (Top Recommended), Express VPN, Atlas VPN, Namecheap VPN etc.  

Check Reviews >>>

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Pros and Cons of Using Surfshark VPN

Pros of using Surfshark VPN include:

• Numerous features

• Affordable

• Our testing showed good speeds.

• Friendly client service

• Unbreakable security

• Unblocks every significant streaming service

• Compatible with BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix

• All applications have a kill switch

• Superb speeds

• 365-day live chat

• Employed in China

• No logging

• unlimited devices

• Enables P2P

Cons of using Surfshark VPN

American testing with varying speeds

Sites could gather IP addresses

Some servers do not support torrenting.

 

Pricing & Rating

Surfshark VPN Rating

The cost is one of Surfshark’s primary selling points. Not only is it among the finest VPNs of 2022, but it’s also among the least expensive.

All of the price options are available here:

Duration

Monthly

12 Month(s)

2 Year(s)

 

Prices

US$12.95/mo

US$3.99/mo

US$2.30/mo

Billing

Billed $12.95 every month

 

Billed $47.88 billed the first 12 months, $59.76 thereafter

Save 69%

 

Billed $59.80 the first 26 months, annually thereafter

Save 82%

While there are other VPNs available for a similar price, none of them are as fully-featured as Surfshark.

 

 

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Refund and Payment Choices

There are several payment and return methods offered by Surfshark, including:

·        Alipay

·        American Express

·        Bitcoin

·        MasterCard

·        PayPal

·        Visa

The availability of cryptocurrencies will satisfy even the most privacy-conscious consumers, even though cash payments are not yet possible. For a provider that accepts this kind of payment, check out our review of Mullvad VPN.

Free trial and money-back guarantees

You may join up for a seven-day free VPN trial from Surfshark using an iOS or Android smartphone.

Advanced Features of Surfshark VPN

One of the VPNs with the most features is Surfshark. It does a good job of covering the essential VPN capabilities and then adds a few special add-ons.

It features an automatic kill switch, like the majority of VPNs nowadays. If the VPN connection breaks, Surfshark’s kill switch function will turn off your internet. Additionally, it features split tunneling, which is what is known as “Bypasser.” You may select which applications use the VPN tunnel and which ones do not using this function. To go around the VPN, you can select particular websites or IP addresses.

CleanWeb

Surfshark review

Surfshark’s virus and ad blocker is called CleanWeb. Although there are several ad-blocking browser addons, CleanWeb prevents advertising from loading in all programs, not just browsers.

Even on mobile devices, it functions, albeit some elements in games with plenty of ads may be disabled. You are also prevented from visiting websites that are known to contain malware.

NoBorder ( or Border-Free) Mode

You may count on Surfshark’s NoBorders mode to come to your aid if you’re in a nation that prohibits the usage of a VPN or the internet. NoBorders automatically detects network limitations and is toggled on by default. If it does, it will change the server list to a carefully chosen group of places using servers that are particularly set up to get through internet restrictions like China’s Great Firewall.

Multiple Hop Servers

14 linked server locations, referred to as MultiHop servers, are made available through Surfshark.

By using VPN servers located in two different countries, this functionality ensures that even if one server’s security is compromised, your IP address will remain anonymous. As you’ll notice in the “speed” section below, these servers will somewhat slow down your speed compared to the standard servers.

You can only connect to predetermined pairings of servers at the moment, but Surfshark is working on allowing you to select the two servers you wish to hop between.

Servers with several hops add an additional degree of protection.

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Rotation of IP addresses

The option to change your IP address every few minutes is the most recent tool added to Surfshark’s toolbox. While most VPN users won’t find much value in this, companies who perform a lot of data scraping and require a continuously changing pool of IP addresses to avoid being blacklisted would love it. Additionally, it might be helpful for gamers who seek to get around IP address prohibitions.

Soonest, the function will give you a new IP address each time you visit a different website instead of changing it periodically as it does now.

Fixed IP servers

Surfshark provides static servers in addition to dynamic IP addresses. Once more, this is more of a commercial function that helps website owners who want a consistent IP address for user communication. Remember that these are shared IP addresses.

The IP address you receive from static IP servers is the same each time, however it is shared with other users of the server.

Static IP addresses are available from Surfshark and are useful for site hosting.

Paid Add-ons

A complementary online security package called Surfshark One is available in addition to the features included with your Surfshark subscription. Three services are included in the $2.49 monthly suite: Surfshark Alert, Surfshark Antivirus, and Surfshark Search.

Similar to Nord VPN’s free dark web monitor,Alert will let you know if it discovers that your personal information has spilled online. Both Surfshark Search and Surfshark Antivirus are alternatives to Google Search that do not save your search history.

Surfshark also offers a different service called Incogni, which allows you to delete your information from data broker archives. 

Unlimited Connections and Data

The lack of restrictions or limits in Surfshark is one of its main selling factors. With Surfshark, you may connect as many devices as you want at once, with limitless data, bandwidth, and simultaneous connections. As a result, you can safeguard all of your personal devices as well as those used by your family or other members of your home.

With limitless data, bandwidth, and simultaneous connections offered by Surfshark, you may simultaneously connect all of your devices. You may even divide the fee by sharing your account with pals. Not that you would need to, as you’ll see, Surfshark is already absurdly affordable.

Nord VPN is regarded by most people as the best VPN provider. See our in-dept Nord VPN review to justify that claim. 

Other Unique features of Surfshark VPN

Surfshark vpn features

Surfshark VPN Speed

High-end, quick servers that are fine-tuned for speed and security are used by Surfshark. Since each of their servers has at least one 1Gbps port attached, a lot of traffic may flow across the physical link. Some servers can reach up to 2x10Gbps. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about congestion with more than 3500 servers available to pick from.

Surfshark speed

Still talking about speed, the Surfshark VPN protocols give a slight improvement. The effective VPN protocols used by Surfshark, a high-speed VPN service, are what allow for successful internet communication.

Wireguard for speed:One of Surfshark’s most amazing features is WireGuard, which provides exceptional performance and stability on any platform.

Modern encryption is necessary for a great VPN: Surfshark employs a quick encryption technology, such as AES-256-GCM, for a high-speed VPN. Every data packet is encrypted and decrypted by a VPN program. There is some more bandwidth needed for this procedure, but it’s often very little.

Split Tunneling can increase speeds: You may designate programs and websites that won’t be encrypted and routed by a VPN using split tunneling (Bypasser on Surfshark). In this manner, you may continue working at your normal pace on jobs for which you don’t require protection!

How to increase Surfshark’s VPN speed

Try these recommendations if you want a VPN that doesn’t affect surfshark’s internet speed:

1. Select a server that is close by since a closer server will result in a speedier connection.

2. Choose a server location that is free: if two servers are nearly equal distance apart, pick the one that is now experiencing less load.

3. Change your protocol to IKEv2 or OpenVPN to check if the connection is quicker. WireGuard is often the best protocol. Unsure if you can distinguish the differences? Remember to measure the speed both before and after adjusting the setting.

Surfshark VPN Review: Ease of Use

Surfshark earned a position on our list of the best VPNs for beginners due to its smooth user interface. Its descriptions of its features, which make the service simple to use for both newcomers and veterans alike, are something we really like. Similar to ExpressVPN, Surfshark VPN has an intuitive interface and a chat option.

On Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers, Surfshark may be installed. For the purposes of this evaluation, we utilized the desktop Surfshark software for Windows and the mobile Surfshark app for Android.

Surfshark desktop app

Along with ExpressVPN’s app, Surfshark’s desktop interface is one of the most well-designed we’ve encountered. The “fast connect” button and a list of recently used servers are located on the right side of the program. A timer that keeps track of your connection time is also shown when you are connected.

A list of Surfshark servers is visible on the main screen’s left side, organized into sections based on their functions.

Two buttons that will instantly link you to the quickest location or the closest countries are located beneath the tabs. A place or location can also be “favorited” for easy access.

A vertical bar with icons for the VPN server list, Surfshark’s alert, antivirus, and search tools, as well as the “settings” button, is located to the left of the server list.

Surfshark Preferences/Settings

A separate menu for help links, a menu that displays your referral code, and three categories that enable you configure your VPN setup are all found under the “settings” menu.

Your account’s options may be found under the “my account” tab. You may extend your membership, switch accounts, change your password, or input a login code to easily log in to a different device here.

The “app settings” panel offers settings for language (with a choice of 17 languages), push notifications, crash reports, and theme (bright or dark).

You may experiment with the plethora of functions offered by Surfshark under the “VPN settings” tab. One scrolling list containing all of these options is divided into two categories: basic connectivity options, and advanced features. As a result, you don’t have to go through several menus or tabs to discover an option.

Mobile Apps

With a few minor exceptions, the mobile version of Surfshark is very identical to the desktop version. A option that enhances speed over mobile data networks, for instance, and GPS spoofing, which overrides your GPS position and replaces it with your VPN location, are both available.

You may also utilize Surfshark’s kill switch for Android, which works with applications you’ve bypassed via the split tunneling option.

It’s fantastic that the Surfshark Android app is so similar to the PC version.

The Browser Extensions of Surfshark

For all popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, Surfshark offers browser extensions.

Although it functions similarly to a VPN, the browser extension is an HTTPS proxy (also known as an SSL proxy) and cannot replace the desktop application. Access the desktop software in addition to the extension if you wish to use some of its capabilities.

It also offers a few unique characteristics in addition to that significant technological difference. For instance, there is no kill switch and the bypasser (logically) only functions on websites and IP addresses. To avoid vulnerabilities, the browser extension can also prevent websites from using WebRTC.

Additionally, a cookie pop-up blocker is available that automatically deals with obtrusive cookie authorization pop-ups. Based on your browser’s options, Surfshark will automatically accept or reject cookies; by default, it will reject everything it can. When you visit a website that has had a data breach, the browser extension will also let you know about it.

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Surfshark VPN Review: Security

VPN connections must be encrypted in order to have adequate VPN protection. You need a good assortment of VPN protocols in addition to encryption.

With regard to VPN protocols, Surfshark employs AES-256 encryption, which is about as strong as it gets. Three secure protocols are available in Surfshark: OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), WireGuard, and IKEv2, and they are open source.

No DNS leaks or IPv6 flaws were discovered throughout our testing, and our initial IP address was secured.

IKEv2 & OpenVPN

Since it has been in use for so long, the OpenVPN protocol has served as the industry standard. It works well in terms of speed and is nearly impossible to crack. You can only use this protocol via routers.

Obfuscation is another feature of OpenVPN that renders your VPN traffic untraceable. This makes it the greatest choice for nations like China, India, and Russia that forbid or restrict the usage of VPNs.

IKEv2is a safe protocol that can increase your mobile device’s speed. On desktop devices, however, we wouldn’t advise using it instead of OpenVPN.

WireGuard in details

A more recent protocol, WireGuard, is based on a smaller codebase than OpenVPN. Compared to OpenVPN’s 70,000 lines of code, it merely utilizes 4,000. It should be quicker and simpler to safeguard and audit for vulnerabilities as a result. Unfortunately, Linux users cannot use WireGuard since it does not support obfuscation.

Surfshark Privacy

As a no-log VPN, Surfshark doesn’t save any information about your network activity while you use it. To determine whether this assertion is accurate, we examined Surfshark’s privacy statement.

The policy is a lengthy, intricate document with more legalese than we’d want. Before each section, there are brief summaries, albeit these occasionally include errors. Fortunately, their knowledgeable researchers are skilled at understanding double-speak and were able to identify the main aspects of the policy’s key points.

When you use Surfshark’s VPN service, neither the websites you browse nor your true IP address are recorded or kept in any records. Temporarily, it logs your user ID and connection timestamps, but it deletes them 15 minutes after you disconnect.

All server data is erased upon a reboot since Surfshark servers are RAM-based (rather than hard disk-based), which makes it physically impossible for them to retain data after shutting down.

Information Gathered by Surfshark

Unfortunately, one of the instances where Surfshark gathers sensitive information is when you access their website. This data collection includes your real IP address.

When you use Surfshark’s, where Surfshark gathers sensitive information, website, the company “may retain your IP address and a unique identifier of your device,” according to the policy. When you think that it may store your data for up to two years, it’s not very promising.

Additionally, when you utilize their private DNS service, it records your IP address (called Smart DNS). Because the service need your IP address to function, doing this is customary. Fortunately, Surfshark just keeps it for the duration of the active session.

Compliance with GDPR

Surfshark complies completely with the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU (GDPR). It must have your express consent in order to handle your data, and you have the right to request the deletion of your data at any time. Additionally, if you would like, you can get a complete copy of the information that Surfshark has gathered on you and correct any mistakes.

Surfshark Streaming Performance (is excellent)

All significant streaming services, including Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix, may be unblocked with Surfshark. Full HD streaming was possible for us without any lag, buffering, or other problems.

HBO Max and all other streaming services are unblocked by Surfshark.

Surfshark Review: Location of Server

Surfshark servers


The largest server distribution we’ve seen is provided by Surfshark, which has over 3,200 servers scattered over 140 server locations serving 95 nations. The servers in the Surfshark server network are RAM-only machines, thus they are unable to save your connection records. Although some of its locations (designated with a “V” icon in the server list) are virtual, the majority of its sites are real.

We were delighted to find strong service even in frequently underserved regions like South America and Africa because the network has a wide geographic reach. Full server spread for Surfshark is displayed in the table below.

Region:

Countries

Locations

North America

7

33

South America

11

11

Europe

44

57

Asia

24

26

Africa

5

5

Oceania

2

6

Middle East

2

2

 

From the above, the majority of topics are well covered, with a little extra focus on Europe. The fact that almost every nation in South America has a dedicated server site astonished us. Africa, the second-largest continent, only receives five sites, although that is five more than most VPNs provide it. The Middle East is the region that is least well-served. For a trustworthy VPN service, Surfshark has the broadest server coverage.

Surfshark Nexus Servers

Multiple servers may work together thanks to the innovative technologies used in Surfshark’s server infrastructure. When you connect to a server location with different VPN providers, only one server is active. Your connection can lag if that server is experiencing heavy user activity.

Through the use of its Nexus technology, Surfshark unifies all of its servers into a single “hive mind.” This should enable servers to transfer users to another server, resolving congestion-related problems like sluggish speeds and unstable connections.

Locations of MultiHop VPN Servers

14 MultiHop countries pairings between 12 distinct countries are available on Surfshark. This comprises Australia in Oceania, the United States and Canada in North America, Singapore, India, and Hong Kong in Asia, and Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Portugal in Europe.

Locations of Static IP Address VPN Servers

There are several alternatives for each of the six nations, but you can only acquire a static IP in one of them. The Netherlands has one server, Japan has 12 servers in Tokyo, while Germany receives five servers in Frankfurt.

The Netherlands has one server, Singapore has six, the United Kingdom has five in London, the United States has five in New York, and Japan has twelve servers in Tokyo.

Torrenting servers

Although Surfshark’s speed makes it ideal for torrenting, not all of its servers allow it. In spite of the fact that its torrenting servers aren’t identified as such, we found that looking for “P2P” in the server list returns 58 server locations, including all of the United States. Surfshark will redirect your connection through a server that is on the list if you launch a torrent client while connecting to a host that isn’t on the list. Surfshark displays the server location that you first selected without disclosing that it does so.

An IP address test, however, will reveal that you are linked to a different place.

We don’t like Surfshark’s secrecy on this matter or the fact that P2P servers are essentially hidden from users. The redirection might at the very least be more obvious, and the list of torrenting servers may be shown.

Surfsharks Customer Support

Customer Support Surfshark offers a very well-organized knowledgebase with comprehensive sections that very clearly explain the technical side of things. Although there is no official user forum or phone help, you may email assistance as well, which keeps it from receiving a perfect score. The unique highlight, though, is Surfshark’s live chat customer service which is unbeatable.

It’s simple to locate assistance for your issue because the knowledgebase is well arranged.

Live Chat Assistance

Surfshark’s customer service representatives impressed us with their friendliness and good intentions. We posed a variety of easy and complicated inquiries, and we consistently received good responses coupled with polite conversation. On the very first occasion we spoke with a support representative, we were even given a special price.

Surfshark Alternatives

There are plethora of other VPN services out there. Even though Surfshark is unique, there are others that has fierce competition with it among which are:

·        NORD VPN (Best overall) >>> Nord VPN reviewed Here (It has enormous networks that is getting faster day in day out; more secure and is easily the most reliable service tested for now.

·        Express VPN (The second runner up): A VPN with blazing speed, and good security.

·        Atlas VPN: (they have good privacy check)  

·        Namecheap VPN (competitive speed with solid security)  

Surfshark FAQ

How reliable is the Surfshark VPN?

With AES-256 bit encryption, a kill switch, split tunneling, Netflix and torrenting access, as well as a headquarters outside of the Five Eyes alliance, Surfshark is a very good VPN and among the top VPN services.

Additionally, it can operate with quick speeds for users throughout the world, especially on Macs, thanks to its more than 3,200 VPN servers in 65 different locations.

Is NordVPN superior to Surfshark?

NordVPN is superior to Surfshark in no way. Both VPNs have thousands of servers spread over more than 60 different nations, although NordVPN has around 2,000 more total. Both VPNs provide split tunneling, Netflix and torrenting access, kill switches, AES-256 encryption, static IP addresses, and 30-day money-back guarantees, but the NordVPN interface is more user-friendly on iOS and Android than the Surfshark app is. Choose NordVPN over Surfshark if you want a better Android app and browser extensions.

Is Netflix Unblocked by Surfshark?

In fact, Surfshark can unblock Netflix, and we were able to access the American library right away. This is an improvement over our last evaluation of Surfshark, when we had to make many attempts to avoid being blacklisted. Surfshark easily ranks among the top VPNs for Netflix as a result of this.

Who are the Owners of Surfshark?

NordVPN and Surfshark merged in February 2022. Now, Nord Security, which is owned by the imaginatively titled business Cyberspace, is the owner of both VPNs.

Atlas VPN is also owned by Cyberspace, bringing the total number of VPNs under one roof to three. Even after their mergers or acquisitions, all three, however, assert that they continue to function independently.

What can I use a VPN for?

You can use a VPN to:

·         Stay safe on public Wi-Fi;

·         Bypass geo-blocking;

·         Access censored sites;

·         Protect yourself while accessing censored sites.

Apparently, there are more uses than that, but those are the ones that really demonstrate the protection and availability that a VPN brings.

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