Surfshark is known to be one of the best VPNs in the industry. It’s budgeted, fast, provides unlimited device connections, but is it still secure in 2020? If you scroll below you’ll find the results in my Surfshark review.
To many, Surfshark seems to hit the benchmark; landing it among the best VPNs to date.
I know this may seem like just another review or the more famous term “click-bait” but take a minute and truly see why Surfshark may still land up being your personal favorite.
Surfshark Review – An Insight
Surfshark is the VPN that customers call “The Perfect Package”. You never have to worry about downloading or streaming your favorite movies ever again. Its services are rendered to everyone at a satisfactory budget of $1.99/mo.
But I know for a fact that as a customer, most of us still wonder if there is more to a VPN besides having amazing discounts.
If you check out my Surfshark review in more detail, I’ll be discussing whether it ships good overall performance, a suitable number of server coverage, a user-friendly app, compatibility with Netflix, and overall security features suitable to your needs.
All these results will later be accumulated in my review showing you whether Surfshark is still secure and reliable.
Let’s start with the core points:
|Refund||Within 30 Days Trial|
|Recommended||Very much, yes!|
- Hailing from the British Virgin Island, it started off with a minimum of 100 servers which turned into 1700+ and 64 countries, in a short time span.
- You never have to worry about streaming or torrenting your favorite movies online and without interruptions.
- Compatible with multiple devices and apps for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, and much more.
- It’s got a 24/7 online helpline, that’ll assist you from wherever you may be.
- Surfshark comes with impeccable speed results, which we will test further on!
- It really sticks to all its security promises, which we’ll find out in detail further-on; offering 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, Whitelister, CleanWeb, and a lot more, all for $1.99/mo.making it more reasonable than most VPNs.
Surfshark Review – The Rating Guide
It’s not every day that we get an honest full-fledged review on how to test a VPN, how it works, and how it’s protecting us. You deserve to know the truth about how Surfshark works and what all it can do for you – what it did for me. The following points are what I based all my research on.
Ready? Let’s go!
- Devices and apps
Security – Is Surfshark safe?
Yes! It is!
Security is one of the biggest concerns when going for the right VPN. Surfshark seems to be on the right path where its security features are concerned.
However, a VPN’s security features in general always serve different purposes and are found not on all but only a few apps for Surfshark. So, reading ahead you’ll be introduced to its various features and on what client app you can find them.
Surfshark offers the best security measures to keep you safe. It offers multiple security features; highlighting an unstoppable AES 256-GCM encryption, a Kill Switch, leak protection, and other secure protocols, which is mentioned below.
Keeping it to a wide option, Surfshark splits into two protocols; the IKEv2 and the OpenVPN (TCP and UDP). Surfshark has been put through some tests to review these two protocols out. The results showed that though TCP is a reliable protocol, it often works slightly slower than UDP.
However, you can switch between the Surfshark OpenVPN protocols only on the iOS, Linux, Windows, and Android apps. IKEv2 is available by default on all the Surfshark apps.
Besides the two, there is now a new Surfshark protocol added to it called Shadowsocks. You’ll only find this protocol addition on the Windows app. It allows you to access Geo-restricted services in highly-censored countries like China.
Surfshark VPN Encryption
The best part about a VPN is its encryption. Surfshark operates using AES-256-bit encryption. This encryption standard is one of the strongest and basically cannot be penetrated or disrupted. Surfshark’s encryption protects each and every piece of information/data during all your surfing needs.
This is perfect just in case you find yourself on the wrong side of the internet; even if on purpose.
Furthermore, Surfshark has an extra feature for its Android app, allowing a choice or switches between AES 256-GCM and Chacha20Poly1305 encryption.
This is one of my favorite built-in features that Surfshark provides. Everyone hates annoying ads or pop-ups that keep cropping up from time to time. That’s where the CleanWeb feature comes in. It sweeps away all those annoying ads that constantly pop up or stalk you when you least expect or want it to.
However, you’ll only find the Surfshark CleanWeb feature available on the Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps.
Masking your IP address to a whole new level, we have the Surfshark security settings feature called the Multi-hop servers. It allows you to string along two servers at one time; simultaneously.
For example, I logged into one of Surfshark’s servers like the United Kingdom and the other France; side by side. I was virtually at both locations in one go. This makes sure that your physical IP is lost between two virtual locations.
I know what you’re thinking. And it’s the exact same thing I asked myself too. “Will being logged into two servers slow down the speed?” Absolutely not!
When I tested it out, to my surprise it actually didn’t make much of a difference in speed compared to my local connection speed.
This is one of the most necessary features for a VPN to posses. It basically kills your internet as soon as it senses a drop in the connection of the VPN server. To review the Surfshark Kill Switch, here’s what you should do to test it out:
While downloading a movie or even a song, shut the connection of the VPN and you’ll see how it immediately shuts your internet along with it. You’ll find the Kill Switch feature on the Surfshark apps for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.
Whitelister is another Surfshark name of the split-tunneling feature. This is an in-built feature that allows you to block websites or apps that you don’t require VPN protection for. What’s amazing and super relevant about this feature, is that it works both ways. That’s where the reverse Whitelister comes in.
You either add an app or website that you would like to protect or exclude certain sites or apps you think you should disregard. It all depends on your preference really, if you’d like to use or deduct certain apps or pages from your usual surfing experience.
You’ll find the Surfshark Whitelister feature on Windows or Android apps. You can review this feature using the Surfshark free trial for mobile devices.
It leads or transfers all your network requests or needs through its own Surfshark DNS servers rather than the ones available on default DNS servers used or run by your ISP. On the other hand, the Leak Protection feature works as a barricade, keeping your IP, DNS, and WebRTC from leaking out.
Surfshark has an additional feature called Smart DNS. This should only be used if there aren’t any apps for certain devices or gaming consoles. However, Smart DNS only unblocks limited websites or apps.
These restricted are limited to only services within the US. So, with the Surfshark Smart DNS feature, you’ll be able to unlock US-based services like Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, or Netflix. To find out more about how it works, you can check out this article.
Living up to its name, this feature hides you or rather blends you into the background, away from prying ISP eyes. They’ll never find you. You’ll find the Surfshark Camouflage feature only on Windows, iOS, Android, or Linux apps.
GPS Spoofing (Override GPS Location)
Surfshark is constantly on the go for adding new security features to its list; keeping your anonymity/safety first priority. Besides the above, it now has a new feature added to its list called “GPS Spoofing”. It allows you to take privacy to a whole new level.
The Override GPS Location feature allows you to change your physical GPS location on your device; matching it to the GPS of the server you’re connected to. So, now both your IP and GPS are safely tucked away. For now, this feature is only available on Android apps.
As the features name describes, it is exactly what you’ll be getting. NoBorders, meaning no restrictions in any country that you’d like VPN access in. This Surfshark feature activates only in highly-censored countries or regions. Countries that don’t allow access to unlimited networks, for example, China and Russia.
Additional security features – always come with a cost
Besides the amazing features that Surfshark provides, they took an extra step with additional features that are like the cherry on top. They include:
- The Hacklock – scans for damages, stolen data, and possible leakages. Available on browser extensions.
- BlindSearch – allowing to surf every internet turf without compensating your privacy and crowding of ads. You can find this on browser extensions.
But of course, it comes with a price. You’ll have to tip into your spare change jar, since it only costs around $0.99/mo. Surfshark gives you the option to choose if you’d like these additional features added to your subscription plans.
Invisibility – Will Surfshark Put a Leak into My “Boat”?
I think by now we all get the point with what I mean when I say “boat”.
No one wants to have to surf the net with the best VPN on the block only to have it “sink” your IP and DNS, right? So to put this Surfshark security under review, I conducted my own little testing. This was basically to check whether Surfshark is actually safe or not.
The results I got were very pleasing, because…
For the IP I used ipleak.org with servers United States – Atlanta
For the DNS leak, I used dnsleak.com with server United States – Weehawken
Looking at the results I’ve gotten, you can see that Surfshark gave me completely leak-free results! This means my physical location or IP address wasn’t detected.
Servers – Can We Surf in China?
First of all, Surfshark has great coverage of 1700+ servers in 64 countries. Almost all the servers I tested out delivered great results and speeds for HD streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
Now, what’s all this talk about China?
China is always on the go for trying to track down and kill VPNs. However, many user reviews reported that Surfshark runs free in China, letting you hit through censorship and VPN blocks.
Surfshark serves among some of the best VPNs for breaking down all geo-restricted restrictions. It has even expanded its horizons towards providing very stable connections throughout some parts of mainland China. Thanks to its’ NoBorders feature, which also aids in allowing you to gain access to restricted content.
Surfshark is still on the run to make more improvements, giving other VPN providers a run for their money.
It’s widely recognized now, more than ever, because of being able to access restricted content in China. That’s where Shadowsocks comes in; available on the Windows app, and applicable towards Android in no time.
All these features are inclusive in the Surfshark rankings with 1700+ servers and 64 countries. Who knows, it may just expand over time; that’s how good it is!
Speaking of maximum coverage, its servers work across every continent except Antarctica. Having a great feature of both virtual and physical servers, it serves as a compensation door.
For example, if a physical server doesn’t work in a particular region, Surfshark will still give you (limited) virtual access to some parts in that restricted zone using servers in neighboring countries.
Surfshark is by far one of the best VPNs in the market covering all the major countries in the world. It’s said to be one of the best providers for the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and much more!
Streaming – Will Surfshark Let Me Netflix and Chill in Peace?
Yes! It turns out that Surfshark is great for streaming on Netflix!
This has got to be one of the most commonly asked questions of today. I won’t lie, this was on the top of my “have to know” questions too. And I’m super stoked with the results! Surfshark is among a few VPNs that provide smooth access to multiple streaming services.
Want to know another fun fact? Surfshark swears that it can unblock 16 other Netflix libraries and that’s the best thing about it! Other platforms that Surfshark has managed to unblock include Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Hulu, and more!
Is Surfshark good for torrenting?
Yes, it is!
Torrenting is one of the most insecure activities to carry out. Since most torrenting platforms upload copyrighted content, a violation of these terms can be quite risky in the long run. Using a great VPN like Surfshark for it is your safest and best bet.
Almost all the Surfshark servers are P2P compatible and produce some of the great speed results for torrenting. And, if you’ve gone through my IP/DNS and WebRTC leak test above, Surfshark delivered great results.
Surfshark makes a reliable VPN client for P2P file-sharing, especially since it’s compatible with P2P platforms like uTorrent, Popcorn Time, BitTorrent, VLC, Ace Player, and more.
Speed – Is Surfshark fast?
In a nut-shell, Surfshark’s speed is pretty reasonable.
For Surfshark to be great it has to take a trip right into our social feelings. This is especially where streaming movies or downloading your favorite torrents are concerned. No one likes constant buffering. You and I both know what it’s like waiting for hours and hours just to download a single torrent. Sometimes it is even interrupted mid-way.
To clarify and pull out my results to whether Surfshark is acceptable in terms of speed, I conducted a few speed tests in this Surfshark review. If you scroll down further, we’ll see if Surfshark checks all the right boxes for speed.
The Surfshark speed test
Speed is one of the main features for me. I checked out the speed of my local connection before connecting to the Surfshark VPN. The results were:
After connecting to Surfshark…
I connected to a US server (New York):
And pulled out a 27.13 Mbps download speed on a 34.35 Mbps local connection. The results were pretty good and reasonable enough for streaming and downloading movies or videos.
I went ahead and ran some tests on two other servers to check if there was a damp in the speed as compared to a US server. I connected to a UK server (London) and yielded:
For the third I connected to the Australia server (Sydney) and pulled out:
The speeds after VPN connectivity were slightly slower as compared to what they were without a VPN, especially the Australian speeds. But, looking at how little of a difference it made when compared, I can easily say that it is perfect for streaming and torrenting.
To highlight that, its compatibility with torrent software like uTorrent and BitTorrent is a plus point on its own. I mean I didn’t have to wait an entire day or long hours to download movies. Surfshark, having its multiple servers also works well not only for torrenting but for P2P overall; being optimized according to it.
All in all, its speed results depend on the distance between your physical location and the server you’re connected to.
Devices and Apps – Do I Have Compatibility or Not?
The best thing about investing in Surfshark is its compatibility. I mean, who would miss out on the chance to be compatible, right?
Not too long ago, Surfshark wasn’t a great app for a few devices but over time, it now supports some of the major devices. Being completely compatible with innumerable devices and apps is not the only plus side. It allows you to make unlimited device connections simultaneously.
Let’s take a closer look towards the kinds of devices/platforms that Surfshark meshes with:
Surfshark review – User-friendly interface
Speaking of devices, Surfshark apps are extremely user-friendly; being visually appealing, and simple to the touch. It is designed with the intention to let new-timers to the tech world, have an easy experience while using the Surfshark VPN service.
Location – Where is Surfshark located and how does it help you?
Before looking into any VPN, you always make sure to go through multiple sources, just like I did for my Surfshark Review.
Surfshark completely revolves around keeping your identity a secret and focuses all its efforts on providing you with the best security measures. This is also possible because it hails directly from the British Virgin Islands, a privacy friendly region, with a great deal of its manpower scattered around Europe.
Surfshark keeps a close check on no data retention laws. It doesn’t get any better than this right? But of course, it does. It adds to the no-logs policy.
Some of you may be wondering why its location matters or rather; what exactly is it doing for you?
Well, let me tell you a little something about the British Virgin Islands, it works outside the watchful eyes of the 14-eyes alliance. It really does help fight against all the service providers from harvesting your data or from other forms of law enforcement agencies. Hence it’s also a good option for European Countries.
Pricing – Will It Burn A Hole In Your Pockets?
It most definitely will not! And that’s not even the best part!
Before diving straight into the open waters of Surfshark or rather any VPN, the question on everyone’s mind is usually regarding the amount of money they’re going to be spending. Well, here’s the thing: You’re not alone! I too thought about it for a minute.
But again, ask yourself, are we really going to talk about putting a price on your security?
Luckily, Surfshark is extremely affordable, in fact, one of the best VPN’s out there that are budgeted. Before looking at its original price plan, you should know that SurfShark is currently having a limited time only discount!
And after discussing all the amazing features it provides, I highly recommend! The Surfshark price plans include:
- The 1-month plan (which is a little bit pricy) costs around $11.95/mo. without any discounts
- A 12-month plan coming to $5.99/mo. giving you a 50% discount
- A 24-month plan costing you an easy $1.99/mo. with an 83% discount (BEST PRICE)
Which one would you choose?
It doesn’t end there, Surfshark also offers you a discounted coupon with a money-back guarantee! But of course, which lasts only 30-Days, just in case you aren’t completely satisfied.
Keeping in mind, that before jumping in to buy Surfshark, be sure to read the Terms of Service section. There are two things that restrict you from getting a refund back and those are through purchases made through:
- Gift Cards
- Prepaid Cards
For some of us, that may find it a little overpriced, I believe Surfshark does offer you your money’s worth. Here’s what Pcmag had to say about this competent service,
“While a bit pricey, Surfshark does offer excellent value for that money. For one thing, it lets you use an unlimited number of devices on one account, whereas most companies cut you off after just five simultaneous connections”.
Do I get any freebies?
Seems to me that Surfshark really does think of everything. Before I bought it, I gave the 7-day free trial a quick run through. This is applicable to only Android and iOS mobile apps. Also note, if you feel like tapping into the refund after the 7-day free trial, you will have to provide your Credit Card credentials; just for the safe side!
Reliability – Let’s Clear Out the Air a Little
After running through this entire Surfshark review, of course, most of us intense researchers still have a few questions in mind. And that’s completely alright!
You have every reason to be sure that what you’re investing in is well worth the money. A few common questions that I’ve come across are whether Surfshark keeps a tab on all your logs. Read below and see if it’s true. You’ll also find Trustpilot Reviews, a Warrant Canary report, and a little on the Surfshark Support team.
In it, it mentions that it does not capture on to the following details:
- Browsing history
- IP addresses
- Session information
- Connection timestamps
- Used bandwidth
- Network trafficking etc.
On the other hand, what Surfshark does collect are emails, billing information, encrypted passwords, and well your order history; not putting damp into your privacy.
24/7 Customer Support
For further queries, Surfshark does have a 24/7 Customer Support system. They’re pretty great with helping out!
Surfshark review remarks from other users
Not everyone shares the same opinion about Surfshark, and that’s completely okay. I’ve taken the time out to gather up some unbiased Surfshark reviews from other sources like a Reddit, an outlook from users in Australia, UK, and Italy. Combining my results through a list of pros and cons, here’s what I got:
- Exceptional speed
- Simple to use
- Functional Kill Switch
- Functional support on multiple platforms
- Acceptable streaming speed
- Great value for money (per month)
- A couple of the servers IP’s are restricted for Netflix (try other servers)
- No trials available without payment
Surfshark – (An Approval from AV-Test)
To prove what others think about Surshark, why not read what AV-Test has to say!
To Conclude – I, By All Means, Recommend Surfshark
After going through all the details above in this review, I believe we can easily say that Surfshark is still one of the safest VPN choices in 2020. Who knows what greater features Surfshark will bring in 2021?
I believe that some of you love to just skip to the ending without reading anything in between, and that’s alright. I do that too sometimes! But not to worry, I won’t let you leave empty-handed. Let’s talk about what this Surfshark review is all about, in abridged details.
For starters, I prefer Surfshark mainly because of its security and speed performances! Streaming on Netflix has never been better, with fast speeds and zero interruptions! It offers up to 1700+ servers and 64 countries for only $1.99/mo. and that is pretty reasonable if you ask me.
And since I’m giving an honest review, the only thing I wish that Surfshark would work on is towards adding a well-rounded server for China, even though that is wishful thinking. Regardless of this, I think the price matches the speed and its other superlative features just perfectly.
I’d still love to know your reviews or feedback in the comment section below! Don’t hold back, I know I didn’t!