Surfshark is a feature-laden British Virgin Islands-based VPN that comes at an impressively low price. As long as you are happy to commit to a longer-term subscription plan, Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs available 2021. It offers unrivaled value for money, but it does not lack advanced security and privacy features. And, it comes with generous support for an unlimited number of simultaneous device connections, meaning that you can protect all of your devices for no extra cost.
Despite its affordability, Surfshark is frequently listed among the best VPNs on the market. It boasts a range of powerful features and an extensive server network for an extremely low price. There are clients for all major operating systems, secure AES-256 bit encryption, and WireGuard compatibility to ensure your internet connection is completely private and anonymous.
Unlimited BandwidthKill SwitchSplit TunnelingZero Data LoggingFree Version / TrialMobile AppBrowser ExtentionNetflix ApprovedFirestick Compatible
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Surfshark VPN Security
In terms of privacy, Surfshark operates on secure military-grade AES-256 bit encryption combined with WireGuard, OpenVPN UDP and TCP, and IKEv2 VPN protocols for a secure VPN tunnel.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country that enjoys relaxed data retention laws. This means that Surfshark is not obligated to store private user data or produce it upon request by the authorities. It also offers a transparent no-logs policy and was independently audited in 2018.
Surfshark does not store IP addresses, browsing history, VPN server location history, data usage, session information, or timestamps. The only recorded information is your email address and billing details that you entered when you signed up and some anonymous statistical data.
There is a range of advanced privacy features, too, including private DNS on all of its servers to ensure an additional layer of protection and protect your private browsing sessions from prying eyes.
The VPN also utilizes VPN chaining technology that enables users to reroute their internet traffic through two different server connections rather than just one. This can be activated by clicking the MultiHop button, connecting to one server location, and exiting through a different one. This means that even if a cybercriminal gained access to the exit server, they would be unable to identify your real IP address. Surfshark offers 15 MultiHop routes originating in Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, India, Singapore, the UK, and the USA with exit locations in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, the UK, and the USA.
Surfshark also offers a Whitelister feature that allows you to create a whitelist of the websites, IP addresses, and apps that you want to reroute around the VPN connection. This process works similarly to the split tunneling feature.
Malicious content, advertisements, and internet trackers are all blocked using the provider's CleanWeb feature.
There is also the option to automatically connect to the VPN when your system launches. This means that you do not need to worry about activating the VPN every time you use the internet.
The VPN has a kill switch feature too, which is arguably the most important security tool of any VPN. This ensures that data transfer is cut if the VPN connection fails to expose no unencrypted data.
Overall, your VPN traffic will be extremely safe with Surfshark and you'll enjoy excellent privacy online.
Surfshark is an affordable British Virgin Islands-based VPN that boasts an extensive range of advanced features. It offers access to an impressive range of 3,200 servers across 160 locations.
There are apps and clients for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Even a Smart DNS system enables website-unblocking on gaming consoles, smart TVs, and more. And you can install the VPN on as many devices as you want thanks to its generous offer of unlimited simultaneous connections.
If you are looking for an affordable VPN to unblock streaming sites such as Netflix, Surfshark is a great option. Not only does the provider openly state that it unblocks Netflix, but it lists the 15 countries where it can currently access, including the United States, France, Japan, Australia, and Italy. YouTube has relatively basic geo-protections, so it is not surprising that Surfshark successfully accessing US YouTube content. However, BBC iPlayer is typically more difficult to unblock, but Surfshark can bypass its VPN blocking technology with ease no matter which UK location you connect to. The VPN can unblock Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ too.
Surfshark has recently added a software bundle called Surfshark One which users can add to their VPN purchase for $1.49 per month. This bundle includes antivirus, a data breach alert tool, and a lightweight private browser.
Surfshark's monthly plan is not the cheapest at $12.95; however, if you are happy to commit to a longer-term plan of 6 months, the price drops to $6.49 a month. However, Surfshark's 24-month plan is the most cost-effective and one of the most affordable on the VPN market, at just $2.49 a month, which is impressive considering the long list of advanced privacy features on offer.
Surfshark features a 7 day free trial for Android, macOS, and iOS, allowing you to test the service before buying. There is a 30-day risk-free guarantee, too, for additional peace of mind. If you sign up and realize you are not completely happy with the service, you can request a full refund, no questions asked.
There is even the option to pay anonymously with Bitcoin, which is beneficial to users that want to remain completely anonymous online.
If you run into issues when using the service, there is excellent support available. Firstly, its support site offers a range of installation, setup, and troubleshooting guides to guide you in the right direction. And, for any problems that you cannot resolve alone, there is 24/7 live support available, where you can typically expect a reply within seconds.
Surfshark is an excellent budget VPN that comes laden with excellent features, is compatible with almost every device, and offers one of the greatest subscription deals around.
The provider enables access to 3,200 servers across an impressive number of 160 locations in more than 63 countries. It is compatible with macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, gaming consoles, TVs, and more.
No matter how many devices you own, you do not need to worry as there is no simultaneous connection limit with Surfshark. This means that you can use the VPN on all of your devices, and in theory, share the VPN with your friends and family members, too, all on a single subscription plan.
The service is strong in terms of security and privacy, too, with secure military-grade AES-256 bit encryption, support for OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, a transparent no-logs policy, and a reliable kill switch to ensure you are protected even if your VPN connection drops.
There is also GPS spoofing technology or Camouflage Mode, to mask the fact that you are using a VPN, as well as ad and URL blocking, P2P support on almost all of its servers, VPN chaining to reroute your internet traffic through 2 servers rather than just 1, zero-knowledge DNS servers, and 24/7 live chat and email support.
Overall, the provider is one of the greatest VPNs on the market regarding first-rate features, ease of use, and affordability.
Is Surfshark Better than ExpressVPN?
Choosing the best VPN can be difficult, and it can be hard to compare providers considering the endless amounts of information available. However, we have done the hard work for you and have focused on the most important features to compare Surfshark and ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable VPN providers on the market in 2021 and boasts first-rate privacy standards, excellent customer support, and an extensive server network. However, Surfshark is a great affordable option with high-speed servers, intuitive apps, and great streaming capacity.
Both providers offer easy-to-use, well-designed clients compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems and a decent number of servers.
Over 3,000 VPN servers
Coverage in more than 90 countries
Up to 5 simultaneous device connections
30-day risk-free money-back guarantee
Lowest monthly price: $6.67
Over 3,200 VPN servers
Coverage in over 63 countries
Unlimited simultaneous device connections
30-day risk-free money-back guarantee
Lowest monthly price: $2.49
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Subscription cost
Surfshark’s short-term 1-month subscription plan is quite expensive at $11.95, ExpressVPNs 1-month option is $12.95. If you are ready to sign up for a longer plan, ExpressVPN’s 6-month offering is $9.99 a month. However, its 1-year plan is the most cost-effective at just $6.67 a month.
Surfshark’s 1-year plan comes in at $5.99 a month, but its 2-year plan is an impressive $2.49 per month, making it one of the cheapest providers on the market.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Security
ExpressVPN boasts an extensive list of security features, including 4 advanced protocols, a split tunneling option, and Perfect Forward Secrecy security software, which alters the encryption key every time you connect to the VPN, and every 60 minutes thereafter.
Surfshark doesn’t compromise when it comes to user security and privacy either. It offers all of the necessary features, including a decent choice of protocols, a reliable kill switch, private DNS on all Surfshark servers, as well as MultiHop technology. You’ll never suffer IP or DNS leaks with Surfshark and your network traffic will always be safe.
ExpressVPN also offers an excellent no-logs policy to ensure you are never faced with privacy issues when using the service. The provider does not store user connection time, IP addresses, assigned IP addresses, or browsing data. It does, however, store the date you used the VPN as well as your chosen server.
When you use Surfshark, a minimal amount of data is collected, including your email address and the billing details that you entered when you signed up. However, the provider does not keep logs of any identifying information that could be used to link you to your internet activities. The provider has also completed an independent security audit of its browser extensions; however, this does not cover its no-logging policy.
Both providers are transparent about the data that they log, which is reassuring.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Streaming
Many users choose to install a VPN for the sole purpose of access geo-restricted content on streaming sites such as Netflix. The ability to overcome geo-blocks is thus a vital feature of any VPN provider. ExpressVPN and Surfshark are successful at unblocking Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Amazon Prime Video, making them excellent streaming VPNs.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Customer support
Excellent customer support is another important feature of any VPN. ExpressVPN offers comprehensive support articles, email support, and first-rate 24/7 live chat support. Surfshark also offers similar guides, live chat, and email support. However, its articles are somewhat simpler than ExpressVPN’s.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark
ExpressVPN and Surfshark are two of the best VPN services on the market, making it difficult to choose between the two. For the best experience, we would recommend ExpressVPN for its reliability and excellent user experience. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option, Surfshark isn’t too far behind in terms of quality.
Is Surfshark Better than NordVPN?
NordVPN may be the most well-known VPN provider on the market, and it does offer one of the best services in terms of security and functionality. But, how does it compare to Surfshark’s excellent, affordable product? We have saved you time by comparing the key features of these popular VPNs.
You have likely heard of NordVPN as it is one of the most popular providers available, thanks to its unrivaled encryption standards, well-designed apps and clients for a range of devices, and powerful streaming capabilities. It is a relatively good value, too, at just $3.71 per month.
Surfshark offers excellent value for money without compromise. If you are looking for an affordable VPN that still provides a strong premium service, Surfshark is a great choice. And, for just $2.49 per month, you can use the VPN on all of your devices thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections policy.
Over 5,300 server locations
Coverage in 59 countries
Up to 6 simultaneous connections
30-day risk-free money-back guarantee
Lowest monthly price: $3.71
Over 3,200 servers
Coverage in 63+ countries
Unlimited simultaneous connections
30-day risk-free money-back guarantee
Lowest monthly price: $2.49
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Subscription cost
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a VPN service is its subscription cost. Surfshark’s 1 monthly plan is relatively expensive when considered with other options on the VPN market, at $12.95 per month.
However, if you are happy to commit to a longer-term plan, you will enjoy significant savings. The six-month plan drops to $6.49 per month, and the 1-year (12 months + 12 months free) plan costs just $2.49 a month, one of the lowest prices of any premium VPN.
NordVPNs monthly plan is slightly cheaper than Surfshark’s, at $11.95 per month. Its 6-month option offers a small saving and will set you back $9 per month. However, the most cost-effective option is its 2-year plan, which comes in at $3.71 a month.
When it comes to pricing, if you are happy to commit to a long-term plan, Surfshark is the most cost-effective. However, NordVPN is not far behind.
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Server speeds
Fast server connection speeds are vital in a VPN. Strong levels are privacy is worthless if they significantly reduce your browsing speeds.
We ran speed tests to see which VPN is the fastest. Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer excellent connection speeds no matter where you connect from. NordVPNs average connection speeds ranged from 125MB to 300MB. Surfshark was slightly more reliable but offered lower average download speeds of between 150MB and 160MB.
Overall, our speed tests demonstrated both VPNs are more than fast enough for the average VPN user. However, it will be necessary to determine whether speed or reliability is more important to you.
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Security
When it comes to choosing a VPN, security is arguably the most important factor.
NordVPN operates on secure 2048-bit double VPN encryption and offers excellent features, including DoubleVPN and Onion over VPN, which utilizes the encrypted Tor network for the highest levels of privacy for slightly lower connection speeds.
Surfshark offers MultiHop technology, which operates in a similar way as NordVPN’s DoubleVPN. However, there is no option to reroute your data through the Tor network.
NordVPN supports OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, NordLynx (Wireguard), and SSTP protocols, while Surfshark offers OpenVPN UDP and TCP, L2TP, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks.
Overall, we would regard NordVPN as the winner in terms of security standards.
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Streaming
Surfshark openly states its ability to bypass geo-restrictions on 15 Netflix libraries, including Australia, the US, Netherlands, Japan, and Italy. NordVPN is also successful at unblocking a host of overseas Netflix libraries. However, BBC iPlayer is slightly more difficult to access. Surfshark overcame iPlayer’s VPN blocks with ease, but NordVPN struggled to do so. It had the same issues for Amazon Prime too.
Thus, if you are looking for a VPN for streaming Netflix and other sites, we would be inclined to recommend Surfshark over NordVPN.
NordVPN vs Surfshark apps
Well-designed apps are an important part of a VPN service. NordVPN offers a simple and clean desktop client with a map interface and a clear server list. Surfshark’s apps are even more simple and easy to use, offering just a server list. You can also easily alter your VPNs settings.
For a beginner VPN user, we would recommend Surfshark for its simplicity and ease of use; however, a more experienced user may prefer NordVPN’s more in-depth offering. This does come down to personal preference as both providers offer excellent, reliable apps compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Customer support
NordVPN offers an extensive array of customer support guides, which a novice VPN user may find difficult to navigate. However, the content is helpful and comprehensive. Surfshark provides a decent range of guides too, which are somewhat simpler to access.
Both providers also offer 24/7 live chat support for immediate assistance if you run into issues while using the services.
NordVPN vs Surfshark: Torrenting
Using a VPN is vital if you are a fan of torrenting, but is NordVPN or Surfshark better for P2P sharing.
Both providers support P2P sharing on some servers, and both can identify torrenting activities and switch you to a suitable server connection if you are not already connected to one. Both also offer a reliable integrated kill switch and useful split tunneling features.
NordVPN offers a much larger server network, meaning that you will be more likely to find a P2P server in your desired location. However, there is little difference between the two providers when it comes to P2P sharing and torrenting.
NordVPN vs Surfshark?
Both NordVPN and Surfshark provide excellent VPN services that are some of the best available on the market. If your main priority is security and privacy, NordVPN’s frequent independent audits are highly beneficial, and at $3.71, it is relatively good value.
If you want the most affordable option, Surfshark is an excellent choice. You will gain access to an extensive list of features and protection for an unlimited number of devices for just $2.49 a month.
Is Surfshark VPN Free?
Surfshark’s monthly plan starts at $12.95, which is relatively expensive compared to some other VPN options on the market. Signing up for a 6-month subscription plan does cut the cost to $6.49 per month. However, for the most cost-effective option, we would recommend looking at the provider’s 12 months + 12 months free plan which comes in at just $2.49 per month, one of the lowest prices for a premium VPN we have seen.
While we would not typically advise signing up for a long-term plan before testing out the service beforehand, there is a 30-day refund policy for additional peace of mind. This means that you can test the product for a month, and if you decide you are not happy with the service, you can request a full refund, no questions asked.
Also, it is helpful to consider that if you sign up for an effective 2-year plan with Surfshark, it will cost you just $59.76, whereas with NordVPN, just 1-year will set you back $83.88.
There is also a 7-day free trial for Surfshark on Android, iOS, and macOS, allowing you to test the VPN app for yourself. Although we would prefer a longer trial period with support for Windows, too, few providers do not offer a free trial at all, and it is worth taking advantage of.
Surfshark offers various payment methods to suit all customers with support for PayPal, credit cards, cryptocurrencies, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay.
What is Surfshark One?
Surfshark One is the company’s latest software development. It is a bundle consisting of three services:
An antivirus service that protects your Windows or Android device.
A lightweight browser that enables you to surf the web in total privacy.
An alert feature that tells you if your credentials have been exposed in a data leak.
For just $1.49 per month, users can enjoy this extensive security package on top of their VPN subscription. It is great value for money, and highlights Surfshark’s commitment to providing users with total safety both on and offline.
Is Surfshark Private?
Surfshark offers a range of advanced privacy features to ensure your data and identity remain protected. The VPN operates on secure protocols, including OpenVPN UDP and TCP, WireGuard, and IKEv2, as well as military-grade AES-256 bit encryption. A reliable integrated kill switch is also used to cut the internet connection if your VPN fails to prevent any unencrypted data from leaking.
The VPN offers its own private DNS on every server to further reduce the risk of spies or cybercriminals accessing your internet activities. There is also the option to activate a double VPN hop to encrypt your data twice rather than just once, making it even more difficult for anyone to link your browsing activities to your real IP address. This means that you can connect to a server location in one country and exit the VPN country in another.
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country that enjoys relaxed data retention laws. This means that Surfshark is not obligated by law to store logs of user activities.
The provider also offers a transparent no-logging policy to reassure users of its commitment to privacy. The VPN does not collect outgoing or incoming IP addresses, browsing history, downloading or purchasing history, VPN servers used, bandwidth consumed, session data, connection timestamps, or network data.
If you use Surfshark, the only information that will be stored is the email address and billing details that you used when creating your account and some anonymous statistical information, performance data, frequency of VPN use, crash reports, and unsuccessful connections. While we would prefer to see some more information regarding the stats stored by Surfshark, the collection of such data is standard in the VPN industry. Users can also limit the data that is collected by disabling crash reports in the app Settings.
Surfshark also completed an independent security audit that was carried out by German Security company Cure53 in 2018. Although the audit was limited to the provider’s browser extensions, and it did not cover logging or other processes, it is reassuring to see this level of transparency in a VPN provider. The audit revealed two minor issues and concluded that it was highly satisfied with Surfshark’s strong security levels.
Is Surfshark Compatible with Windows?
Surfshark offers an excellent VPN app that is compatible with Windows devices. The Windows app is simple to set up; simply download and install the Windows client, sign up for your chosen subscription plan, and enter your payment details.
The Windows client is well designed and extremely versatile. The interface features a simple Connect button, status information, and a clear list of server locations. There is also the option to expand the client window to view a larger list of options and new panels.
Connecting to a VPN server location is quick and easy. Tap the connect button, and the client will notify you of your new connection status. Although the location list does not display server connection latencies, the server icons display the best available options, and you can choose to save your most commonly used servers in the Favorites system.
There is also the option to choose from a list of Static IP addresses in Germany, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the US. This means that you can receive a fixed IP address depending on the country you select, which will remain the same IP address each time you connect to the VPN. This is useful if you want to connect to an IP-restricted network when using your VPN.
The client’s system tray icons reveal a small app window instead of a typical basic menu. This enables you to connect to the best available server in speed and proximity, choose one of your most recent server connections, or access the full client.
A MultiHop option allows you to reroute your information traffic through two VPN servers rather than just one. This means that even if the exit server becomes compromised, a cybercriminal will not be able to access your real IP address. There are 15 MultiHop servers available with server addresses originating in France, Germany, Australia, USA, United Kingdom, India, and the Netherlands, and exit locations in France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, UK, USA, and Singapore.
You can use the Whitelister option to create an allowlist of websites, applications, and IP address the will run outside of your VPN connection. This tool operates in the same way as split tunneling options seen from other VPN providers. This is helpful if a certain app is not compatible with the VPN, adding it to the Whitelist should resolve the issue. This is a feature rarely seen in a desktop VPN client.
The client features a CleanWeb mode that blocks trackers, ads, and malicious links and the option to activate the VPN when Windows launches and choose between Wireguard, OpenVPN UDP, and TCP IKEv2, or Shadowsocks. A kill switch ensures your information is protected even if your VPN connection drops.
Is Surfshark Compatible with Mobile?
Typically mobile VPN apps are significantly more basic than desktop versions. However, Surfshark’s Android app is relatively similar to its desktop alternative. Both offer a similar interface, the same list of server locations, MultiHop connections option, CleanWeb malware, ad blocking, and the Whitelister split tunneling option.
The Surfshark app also features support for the same protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks, and a kill-switch to protect your activity if the VPN connection fails.
The Android app, available in the Google Play Store, even offers a choice of encryption methods (AES-256 bit or Chacha20Poly1305), small packets option to enhance performance on mobile networks, and the option to automatically activate the VPN when you connect to unsecured mobile networks. The iOS app is similar and features a kill-switch, OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard protocols, and more.
Surfshark’s mobile apps are well-designed and simple to use and offer much more than we would expect for as little as $2.49 per month. Installing Surfshark’s apps on any system is easy and quick.
Is Surfshark Good for Streaming?
If you are looking for a VPN for streaming purposes, Surfshark is a great option. The provider openly states its ability to access Netflix in 15 countries, including Australia, France, Italy, Japan, and the US. During testing for this Surfshark VPN review, the VPN successfully unblocked United States Netflix from a range of locations.
YouTube has only low levels of geo-restrictions, so it is not surprising that Surfshark successfully accessed YouTube content. However, BBC iPlayer can typically be more difficult to unblock, but Surfshark had no issues overcoming restrictions there either. Nor did it struggle to access Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video. Thus, Surfshark is one of the best options if you are looking for an affordable streaming VPN.
Is Surfshark Good for Gaming?
Although many gamers believe that using a VPN for gaming may slow down connection speeds, they can actually provide a range of benefits. Surfshark states that it offers fast speeds that are suitable for gaming. The provider ensures reliable speeds and low speeds across all of its server locations.
The VPN’s strong encryption can also protect you against DDoS attacks. Such attacks occur when gaming opponents identify your IP address and attempt to overwhelm your server to prevent you from winning a game. Surfshark’s servers are strong enough to withhold such attacks.
Using a gaming VPN can also prevent internet provider bandwidth throttling. Some Internet Service providers intentionally slow down user connection speeds as they cannot keep up with the constant demands of streaming and gaming. If your ISP identifies such activities, they may target you for bandwidth throttling, slowing down your gaming speeds. By utilizing a VPN, your ISP will be unable to view your activity and will therefore be less likely to throttle your speeds.
Overall, if you are looking for a gaming VPN that offers fast and reliable connection speeds, and protection from DDoS attacks, Surfshark is an excellent choice.
Does Surfshark Have Good Customer Service?
If you run into any issues while using Surfshark VPN, its support section on the Surfshark website has a range of installation, setup, troubleshooting guides, FAQs, and other resources. Although this content is largely related to setup, including installation for routers, they cover the basics and are easy to understand, even for beginner VPN users.
Also, if you still require assistance, there is a 24/7 live chat customer service on hand too, where you can expect a response in a few seconds.
How Does Surfshark VPN Work?
When you activate Surfshark VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel to connect your device and the VPN server. By rerouting your internet traffic through this tunnel, your activity appears as originating from the VPN server location rather than your device, hiding your real IP address and location. This makes it much more difficult for spies, malicious advertisers, and hackers to monitor your online activities. This is important as some ISPs may sell your private internet information to third parties for profit.
Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids.
I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ... Read more about the author