Surfshark has established itself as one of the premium brands in a very competitive VPN market. Despite only launching in 2018, it ranks near the top in almost every category we have tested. As we confirmed in this most recent set of tests, Surfshark VPN continues to deliver impressive test results with fast speeds and advanced security features.
With all of that being said, there are also a few drawbacks we discovered during this review. Overall, this is a solid VPN. But before signing up for a subscription, you will want to get the details and understand all of the pros and cons. Keep reading to see if Surfshark VPN is a good fit for your needs, or if you should consider other VPN providers (we will cover some great alternatives below).
Before we dive into the details, let’s review the key stats about this VPN in the table below.
|Based in||The Netherlands|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
|Coupon||82% off Surfshark + 2 Months Free >|
Here is an overview of our Surfshark review findings:
- Unlimited connections
- User-friendly apps for all devices and operating systems
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware
- Works great with Netflix and many other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Strong encryption and security features (audited)
- Limited support for VPN routers
- Average OpenVPN speeds (use WireGuard)
Now let’s get into the details…
Pros of Surfshark VPN
Here are the pros (advantages) of Surfshark.
Support for all operating systems and devices + Unlimited connections
Despite being a newer VPN service, Surfshark already has a great lineup of apps. This is indeed important, especially with the growing popularity of streaming content online with various types of devices. In this area, Surfshark delivers apps for all types of devices.
You can use Surfshark with:
Desktop and Laptops
- Mac OS
Phones and tablets
Browsers (This is a browser extension)
- Chrome and Chromium-based browsers
Smart TVs (This is smart DNS)
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV (making it easy to use the VPN with Apple TV)
- Other Smart TVs
Gaming consoles (This is smart DNS)
Note: Do not confuse the Browser Extensions or Smart DNS for the dedicated VPN client on your operating system. In short, a browser extension only works within the browser, rather than encrypting all traffic on your operating system like a VPN. And a Smart DNS is simply modifying your DNS settings rather than encrypting all traffic. We discuss this distinction more in our guide on the best VPN for Chrome.
Surfshark background check
Surfshark has had a stellar track since it burst onto the scene in 2018. This VPN continues to grow in popularity by offering excellent features, secure apps, great performance, unlimited simultaneous connections, and a low, low price.
One of the biggest changes to Surfshark was the announcement in 2022 that Surfshark was merging with Nord Security. Fortunately, we see that Surfshark will continue to operate independently, but will now have the backing of a major security company, therefore giving the VPN more long-term stability.
On the one hand, we’re not a fan of consolidation as it leaves fewer independent VPNs for people to choose from. But on a positive note, we’re impressed with Nord Security as a company, which continues to innovate and offer new security products, including NordPass and also NordLocker, a file encryption tool, and secure cloud storage solution.
Similarly, we see Surfshark also continuing to innovate with new products and services, beyond just the VPN. This includes launching a new antivirus product, as well as a private search engine, an ad-blocking feature, and also a data removal tool (see our Incogni review). With Surfshark and Nord Security joining forces, the future is looking bright.
Unlimited simultaneous connections
One of Surfshark’s biggest advantages is its support for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. In the VPN industry, most competing services limit you to about five simultaneous connections, give or take a few.
Here is the official policy from the Surfshark VPN website:
We offer an exclusive service to our customers – our VPN enables you to connect all your devices at once, without a limit on simultaneous connections!
This policy really sets Surfshark apart from other major VPN services, as we noted in the IPVanish vs Surfshark report.
Note: Perfect Privacy also offers an unlimited number of connections. However, Perfect Privacy is significantly more expensive than Surfshark, yet Surfshark has consistently turned in better results during our testing.
Strong privacy protection policies
Surfshark does a great job at ensuring customer privacy remains protected. Previously, this VPN was based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), just like we saw in the ExpressVPN review. Anyone who subscribed to the service during that time has a contract with Surfshark Ltd., a company established in the BVI.
However, Surfshark established a new company, Surfshark B.V., which is based in The Netherlands. Anyone who subscribed to the service after October 1, 2021, has a contract with Surfshark B.V.
Surfshark’s move to The Netherlands didn’t bother us since the country does not have any data retention laws and is overall favorable from a privacy standpoint. Surfshark also notes on its website:
We’re based in the Netherlands, so we play by their rules (which are pretty great when it comes to user privacy). As there is no obligatory data retention law, we do not have to store logs, and it makes for a perfect location for a VPN provider.
We assumed that the Surfshark Terms of Service would be governed by the laws of The Netherlands. However, the company says that the Terms of Service are governed by the laws of the British Virgin Islands, regardless of which Surfshark company your contract is with.
We strongly recommend avoiding the US and UK jurisdictions (and other 5 Eyes countries), while other European countries are less worrisome. After closely examining privacy laws, as well as real-world privacy test cases, we still recommend services (particularly secure email services) based in other European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands, all of which are officially part of the “14 Eyes” group.
Now on to the next important question…
Surfshark keeps no logs
- Surfshark does not keep any logs that could identify a user or their activities online. (No IP addresses or usage data is recorded.)
- SurfShark apps have a “crash reports” option to report diagnostic info if the app crashes. This is anonymized and it can be easily disabled in the settings.
Note that many VPN services give you the option to send crash reports in the apps. If you find this concerning, just disable the option in settings. The Surfshark mobile apps may also contain an advertising ID. Again, if you find this problematic, you can just disable it in the settings.
And while we’re on the topic of VPN logs, be sure to avoid VPNs with a history of providing logs to authorities. This was an issue we noted in the IPVanish review and also the PureVPN review. (You can see the Surfshark vs PureVPN comparison as well.)
Surfshark Warrant Canary
Surfshark maintains a warrant canary to alert users to any government action that could infringe on customer privacy. Looking at the Surfshark warrant canary at the time of this review, we see:
0 National Security letters;
0 Gag orders;
0 Warrants from a government organization.
Looks good! You generally do not see warrant canaries with US VPN services, which are subject to data requests and gag orders that prevent any disclosure.
Secure encryption and leak protection features
For encryption, Surfshark utilizes the industry standard of AES-256-GCM (Galois/Counter Mode) cipher with an RSA-2048 key exchange. Additionally, Surfshark offers the following VPN protocols:
- OpenVPN – OpenVPN has generally been considered the “gold standard” with VPNs because it offers good performance, is open source, and is considered very secure. However, OpenVPN is facing a severe challenge from WireGuard.
- WireGuard – WireGuard is the newest addition to Surfshark and offers the fastest speeds and the latest encryption technology. WireGuard is supported directly in the Surfshark apps (no extra VPN configuration needed.)
- IKEv2 – This is considered to be a very secure protocol with excellent performance. While it usually outperforms OpenVPN, it is not open source, which is a drawback.
Depending on which Surfshark app you are using, you can select from the available VPN protocols right in the settings area. Surfshark currently supports the WireGuard VPN protocol on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Surfshark kill switch
The Surfshark VPN kill switch feature will block traffic if your VPN connection drops. This ensures your location and IP address remain protected, even if the VPN connection fails. You can see the kill switch in the settings.
The Surfshark kill switch has two modes: strict, and soft.
- Soft mode blocks internet traffic if your connection to a VPN server is lost unexpectedly, but not if you disconnect manually.
- Strict mode stops internet traffic if the connection to a VPN server is lost for any reason.
Here is the Surfshark Windows app that we tested for this review, with the kill switch enabled:
The VPN kill switch feature is available with Surfshark applications for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS. I tested the kill switch with the Surfshark Windows VPN app and everything worked well.
Surfshark leak tests (no leaks found)
I also ran the Windows and Mac OS clients through some basic VPN tests and checks. The testing did not find any IP address leaks or DNS leaks. In short, everything with Surfshark worked well in our tests.
The SurfShark Mac OS app also did well in our tests, with no leaks or bugs identified.
See all Surfshark security features here >>
WireGuard support (very fast speeds)
With the latest version of the SurfShark VPN apps, you can easily enable the WireGuard VPN protocol right in the settings, as you see below.
WireGuard is supported directly in the apps for Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux, and iOS.
There are many advantages to using the WireGuard VPN protocol:
- Very fast download speeds
- Instant connections (handshake)
- Seamless transition between networks, without losing the VPN connection
- The latest upgrades in encryption technology
- Small code base, which is easier to audit and update than other VPNs
In our tests, we found all of these benefits to be on full display with Surfshark. So let’s get to the speed tests.
Surfshark speed test results with Wireguard
We ran all tests on a 500 Mbps connection using the latest Surfshark VPN apps with the WireGuard protocol. All tests were carried out in our US lab testing Surfshark VPN servers in the US, Canada, and Europe.
First I tested a Surfshark VPN server in Los Angeles (USA) and was able to get 346 Mbps.
At well over 300 Mbps, this is an excellent speed test result.
Next, I tested a Surfshark VPN server in Seattle. Once again, the results were excellent at 308 Mbps.
Even though the Surfshark Seattle server is not as fast as the previous Los Angeles server, 308 Mbps is still great.
The last Surfshark server I tested in the United States was in New York. This was the most impressive speed I found, at 397 Mbps.
At nearly 400 Mbps, this makes Surfshark one of the fastest VPNs we have tested here at Restore Privacy.
We also ran some speed tests with servers in Canada. There was a server in Toronto at 360 Mbps:
Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Canada that delivers consistent performance.
Lastly, I tested Surfshark servers in the UK. Once again, the performance was excellent with this Surfshark server in the UK: 330 Mbps.
If you want the fastest VPN speeds with Surfshark, simply use the WireGuard VPN protocol. We found it to offer very similar speeds to NordVPN in our Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.
Aside from fast download speeds, WireGuard also offers these benefits:
- Near-instant connections (no more waiting 10+ seconds for the VPN to connect)
- Improved mobile performance
- Better battery life
- More reliability (fewer dropped connections)
We did notice that OpenVPN speeds were nowhere near the level of WireGuard performance, but we’ll discuss that more below.
Note: Due to Surfshark’s support for WireGuard on the Android operating system, and all the benefits this offers for mobile users, we rate it as one of the best VPNs for Android.
Passed an independent security audit
Many VPNs are working to build trust in a rapidly-growing industry by undergoing external audits. Surfshark is going along with this (positive) trend. It underwent two audits by Cure53, a reputable cybersecurity firm based in Germany. Most recently, Surfshark’s no-logs policy was verified by Deloitte, one of the Big Four auditing firms.
Cure53 had this to say after the first audit:
As the extremely low number of findings and their limited implications clearly indicate, the results of this Cure53 assessment of the Surfshark VPN extensions position the product in a very good light. Two members of the Cure53 team, who examined the scope in November 2018, can only conclude that the tested applications make a very robust impression and are not exposed to any issues, neither in the privacy nor in the more general security realms.
For a third-party security audit, this reads very well. Note, however, that the audit was limited to the Android and iOS browser extensions. You can read the full audit report here.
In April 2021, Cure53 published the second audit. It concerned the security posture of the Surfshark server infrastructure, VPN configuration, and related infrastructure. This report found no serious issues. You can download the report by following this link.
The recent no-logs audit by Deloitte is particularly interesting. There are still only a few no-logs VPNs that have verified their logging policies with third-party audits like this. Two more VPNs that have done this are compared in our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN showdown.
Large, secure server network operating in RAM-disk
Over the past year, Surfshark has grown quickly and added hundreds of servers to its network. It now boasts a large network of 3,200 servers spread across 100 countries.
As you can see above, all Surfshark servers run Private DNS, are P2P-friendly, and comply with a no-logs policy. Surfshark is currently upgrading all its servers by adding 10 Gb connections. This is meant to ensure that Surfshark can handle the massive network traffic increases expected as 5G phone systems become more common.
Does Surfshark use virtual server locations?
First, let’s define what we’re talking about. A virtual server location (also often referred to simply as virtual servers) is when a VPN server announces a location, such as Chile for example, when it is actually located somewhere else, such as in the US. We’ve examined the issue of virtual server locations before, and there are pros and cons to doing this.
For the purpose of this review, we can clearly see that Surfshark uses some virtual servers for remote regions. Surfshark is transparent about this fact and clearly announces the virtual locations in the apps (unlike HideMyAss HMA VPN for example). You can identify the virtual locations within the Surfshark client because they are marked with a “V” for virtual.
Note: Using virtual server locations is not a dealbreaker. ExpressVPN and others also use virtual locations in a limited number of cases to support remote regions. Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark also discloses all virtual locations, which we covered in the ExpressVPN vs Surfshark.
CleanWeb (ad blocker) and Bypasser (split tunneling) features
Surfshark comes integrated with some cool features that I tested for this review. First, we’ll examine the CleanWeb feature.
CleanWeb filter to block ads, trackers, malware, and phishing domains
Surfshark has a useful filtering feature called CleanWeb. This feature blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing domains, as well as “suspicious links” that are on a blacklist. There are some nice advantages to VPN ad blockers, which can efficiently block domains at the VPN server via DNS requests, rather than relying on browser extensions.
You can enable CleanWeb in the Surfshark settings. This feature is available in the Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS apps. Here is the CleanWeb feature I tested out for this review with the Windows client and it worked well.
I tested this by visiting some ad-infested websites with CleanWeb enabled. It looks to be working very well as all ads were effectively blocked.
Some competing VPNs also offer ad-blocking, such as with the Threat Protection feature that we tested in the NordVPN review.
Bypasser (split tunneling) feature
Bypasser is Surfshark VPN’s name for their split tunneling feature. Split tunneling lets you selectively route some of your Internet traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel while sending other traffic directly through the regular Internet connection. It lets you control which application and data traffic will be protected by the VPN, and which traffic will be transferred normally.
Bypasser can be useful if you need access to local resources and remote (internet )resources at the same time. It can also be useful if you need to access resources that are not compatible with a VPN without exposing all your internet traffic.
For example, most banks have strong security systems meant to prevent evildoers from hacking into bank accounts. Unfortunately, those defenses sometimes also block you from connecting to the bank’s servers when you are using a VPN.
With most VPNs, this would mean that you need to turn off the VPN while you are doing your online banking. But that would leave all your internet traffic unprotected while the VPN is off. That’s clearly not an ideal solution.
Surfshark’s Bypasser lets you configure traffic to and from your bank to travel outside the VPN tunnel while letting other traffic continue through the secure, encrypted VPN tunnel. Your regular traffic remains protected by the VPN, while the traffic to and from your bank is protected by the bank’s security system (which caused the whole problem in the first place).
While split tunneling is by no means a standard VPN feature, it is appearing as a feature in more and more of the best VPNs. You can see another implementation of split tunneling in our Proton VPN review. And for a comparison of these two services, see the Surfshark vs Proton VPN report.
Note: Do be careful if you decide to use Bypasser. While the feature worked perfectly in our testing, if you don’t configure it properly you could end up exposing sensitive data or applications on the outside of the VPN tunnel.
As with CleanWeb, the Bypasser feature is also activated directly in the Surfshark app settings area. This tool allows you to “Select apps or websites & IPs to bypass VPN.” You can see other VPNs with split tunneling here.
Surfshark works with Netflix and other streaming services
If you need a good VPN for Netflix, Surfshark is a solid choice. They offer access to 16+ Netflix regional libraries, including all of the most popular regions, such as Netflix US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Korea, and more. I decided to test out Surfshark’s ability to unblock the US and UK Netflix libraries and everything worked perfectly. Below you can see me streaming UK Netflix through Surfshark’s server in London:
Streaming video quality was also perfect, without any interruptions. This is to be expected given the fast speeds and reliable connections. Surfshark certainly outperforms other VPNs with streaming, as you can see in the CyberGhost vs Surfshark comparison.
Beyond Netflix, Surfshark is a great all-around VPN for streaming, with many other services supported including BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, and more. In the most recent update to the VPN for BBC iPlayer guide, we found Surfshark to be one of only a few services that still got through.
Multi-hop VPN, plus extra features
A VPN’s multi-hop feature lets you pass your Internet traffic through two (or sometimes more) VPN servers located in different locations. Each server in the chain decrypts and then re-encrypts the traffic before passing it on. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to track a user’s online activities.
MultiHop is Surfshark’s name for their multi-hop VPN feature. As of the time of this Surfshark review (April 2023), there were a dozen different pre-defined double-hop server configurations available. These can be selected directly within the Surfshark client under Locations > MultiHop.
But this is one area where Surfshark is evolving. Surfshark is now testing something they call dynamic MultiHop. What’s the difference between MultiHop and dynamic MultiHop?
- MultiHop server configurations are defined by Surfshark.
- Dynamic MultiHop configurations are defined by you.
During this test period, you can find a Create Connection button at the bottom of the MultiHop server list in the Surfshark app.
Click that button and you will be presented with the option to select your entry location (the VPN server connected to your device) and the exit location (the second VPN server in the chain). The result of this process is a custom multi-hop configuration that you can use right now, and even add to the list of available options if you think you will need it in the future.
This can be a good feature if you are looking for more encryption and privacy above and beyond a single-hop connection. However, speeds will likely be slower than single-hop servers.
We have a multi-hop VPN guide that dives into this topic more if you are interested.
Extra (paid) features
Surfshark also offers a few additional features beyond what we’ve covered above. These features are:
- Surfshark Alert – Get real-time alerts when your emails & passwords are at risk of being hacked.
- Surfshark Search – The real incognito mode for searches you don’t want anyone to see.
- Antivirus feature – Surfshark is also offering an antivirus feature.
Surfshark One – If you want to get everything together, Surfshark also offers the “Surfshark One” option, which includes all the features of the VPN as well as the Alert, Search, and Antivirus add-ons. At the time of this review, the Surfshark One add-on increased the cost of a 2-year Surfshark VPN subscription by around $1.70 per month. You’ll want to check the price at the time of your purchase to get the exact numbers.
You can see these features on the checkout page and they can be incorporated into your VPN subscription.
You may find this package to be useful and worth the monthly (added) price. However, there are many different private search engines available that are free of charge. There are also identity theft protection services, but they can be quite expensive.
Excellent prices and money-back guarantee
Surfshark is probably the cheapest VPN that I would still consider to be a high-quality service. It is a great value. If you use this discount coupon, you can get Surfshark at the current best available price.
As you can see, Surfshark is cheaper than nearly all other leading (high-quality) VPN services.
Surfshark supports all major payment options: credit cards, PayPal, Sofort, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies.
Note: Check out our page on VPN coupons for other deals and discounts.
Surfshark’s 30-day refund policy
Surfshark offers a 30-day refund policy on all plans. This is a great refund window as many VPNs restrict refunds to only one week.
After reading through the terms and conditions, there are a few exceptions for mobile apps and gift cards.
We can refund you on the basis of our 30-day money-back guarantee. Except if you signed up via iTunes/App Store or with a prepaid card/gift card. These are out of our hands.
These exceptions are pretty standard. You can see the respective mobile stores for their refund policies.
The 30-day refund window basically acts as a free trial VPN, since you can cancel at any time within the window for a full refund.
Live chat support is available 24/7
In working on this review, I had many interactions with the Surfshark VPN support team. I found the support to be fast and helpful. You can access live chat directly through the website and it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I also found the Surfshark website to have lots of good info. There is a dedicated support domain with dozens of tutorials and guides.
Cons of Surfshark VPN
Now let’s examine the cons (drawbacks) of Surfshark VPN.
Average OpenVPN speeds
I ran lots of speed tests for this review. The test results for the WireGuard protocol were excellent and are all posted above.
There is one drawback with speeds, however. I found the OpenVPN protocol to not offer the best performance. While anyone can use WireGuard, some may prefer to use OpenVPN for various reasons. OpenVPN is also the only protocol supported with the multi-hop feature.
Below you can see that OpenVPN speeds were not great in a few locations.
Here was a server in Los Angeles with OpenVPN and I’m getting around 81 Mbps.
Similarly, the OpenVPN protocol with a UK server was also not very impressive at 79 Mbps.
We can expect OpenVPN to not perform at the same level as WireGuard. With that being said, you can typically get speeds of over 150 or 200 Mbps with OpenVPN using a fast VPN service. For example, I can usually get speeds of over 200 Mbps using NordVPN.
If you don’t need to use OpenVPN, then you’ll be better off with WireGuard, which is more than adequate with Surfshark.
Note: This is still faster than many other popular VPNs, as you can see in our recent Private Internet Access review.
Limited VPN router support
Another drawback I found with Surfshark is that there is no VPN router app. Some VPNs, such as ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, offer a dedicated app that can be used with some routers, with the right firmware. This makes it very easy to get the VPN up and running, assuming you have the right router.
With Surfshark, however, there is no dedicated VPN router app. However, you can still use Surfshark with a router, but it may be more complicated. Here are some options for using Surfshark with a router:
- Get a preconfigured VPN router from vendors such as Flashrouters, Sabai Technology, or Vilfo.
- Get a VPN-enabled router that comes with full support for OpenVPN. My top recommendation for this is the latest models from Asus.
- Flash your existing router with firmware that will work with VPNs. This can be tricky and it also comes with some risk. Proceed with caution.
As you can see, there are still many options for using Surfshark with a VPN router, but it’d be great if they developed a dedicated VPN router app to make that even easier. See my VPN router guide for more of a discussion on this topic.
Can you use Surfshark with Linux?
Yes, you can use Surfshark VPN with Linux using the new Linux desktop app.
One exciting Surfshark development in 2022 was the launch of the Linux GUI app. It works very well and made it onto our list of the best VPNs for Linux. Surfshark is a top contender thanks to its quality Linux app that fully supports the WireGuard VPN protocol. Here is a screenshot of the Surfshark Linux app from our tests:
While the Surfshark Linux app launched without a kill switch, Surfshark engineers came through and got the kill switch into the Linux app months ago.
Here are some additional questions we encountered while preparing this review:
Does Surfshark work for torrenting?
Surfshark definitely works for torrenting and other P2P file transfers. It occupies a spot on our list of the best VPN for torrenting.
According to the Surfshark website, all servers are P2P friendly.
With great speeds (using WireGuard), good leak protection settings, no logs, and safe, secure apps, Surfshark is a good option to consider.
Torrenters may also find peace of mind knowing that Surfshark is not forced to comply with US DMCA laws. Therefore legal notices and copyright demands should not affect Surfshark users in any way. With copyright violations sometimes resulting in jail time, it’s good to use a safe and secure VPN at all times.
Does Surfshark work in China?
Surfshark has a built-in feature called NoBorders, which they developed to help users get around VPN blocks and restrictions. This will be useful in China. VPNs use different names for this feature, such as the Chameleon protocol with VyprVPN.
The Surfshark NoBorders feature can be enabled directly in the app. This should allow you to use the VPN in areas where VPNs may be blocked, such as in China.
With this feature built into the Surfshark apps, it is probably a good VPN for China if you need to get through the Great Firewall.
Note: Surfshark also has a “Camouflage mode” feature that obfuscates VPN traffic. This feature is automatically activated when you use the OpenVPN protocol (UDP and TCP). While this is similar to the “NoBorders” feature, they are separate.
Does Surfshark work for gaming?
Many people use VPNs to improve their experience for gaming — but there are many variables to consider. For a VPN to work well with gaming, it needs:
1. Fast servers
2. A large network that can deliver consistent speeds
3. Reliable VPN apps for all gaming devices
As we have seen in this review, Surfshark meets all three of these conditions. It is a great VPN for gaming and should work well.
Surfshark review conclusion for 2023
Somehow, Surfshark continues to deliver premium VPN features and service while charging a cheap VPN price. When you consider all of the features and performance you get for a cheap VPN price, Surfshark is a tremendous value. To recap, here are the highlights of Surfshark VPN:
- Great apps for all major devices and operating systems
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- Based in a good jurisdiction with a no-logs policy audited by Deloitte
- Good leak protection features (kill switch) with strong encryption
- MultiHop VPN servers (13 preconfigured, plus the ability to create your own)
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, malware, and phishing domains
- Split tunneling feature (Bypasser)
- Works well with Netflix and other streaming channels
- Fast secure P2P file transfers and torrenting
- 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day money-back guarantee
Overall Surfshark is one of the best VPNs I’ve tested and is currently one of our top recommendations. If you want to give Surfshark a try, you will get the best prices with the coupon below:
Surfshark VPN Coupon:
Get 82% off Surfshark VPN (drops the price down to $2.30 per month) plus 2 months FREE:
(Coupon is applied automatically.)
Alternatives to Surfshark
While I think Surfshark is a great VPN, you may want to investigate one or more of these leading alternatives. Click the links to read their reviews or grab the NordVPN discount coupon for the best savings. Additionally, each of these VPNs has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can also check out our guide to the top VPN Services for other recommendations. In comparison to other VPNs, Surfshark usually does very well. Here are our Surfshark VPN comparisons:
- Surfshark vs CyberGhost
- Surfshark vs PIA
- Surfshark vs NordVPN
- ExpressVPN vs Surfshark
- Surfshark vs IPVanish
If you have used Surfshark VPN, feel free to leave your own review below (good or bad) to help others decide.
This Surfshark VPN review was last updated on June 1, 2023.
Warrant canary?? Who came up with that? Windscribe lists on their websites how many law enforcement requests they get.
Now kill switch is available for ubuntu users as well, surfshark added it recently. Have you already seen it?
I don’t like Surfshark. I was with VPN & because I couldn’t use a Mastercard gift card to pay, as they:
1) Don’t allow payments online of over £40
2) Seem to block payments to anonymising services (maybe).
Additionally, NordVPN were no help at all. I told them to take payment off the card in two payments of £39.99 but they said they couldn’t do it, yet a cloud service I use could do it.
So, I opted for Surfshark & was forced to use the Google Play gift card of £50, for one year. It’s now quite difficult in the UK to buy crypto anonymously, so I was left with no option & while Nord “eventually” offered the Google Play gift card option…after saying they couldn’t do it (!), Surfshark were able to.
What don’t I like? I can’t manually choose a server. Let’s say I wanted the most recently installed London server…can’t do it, because Surfshark doesn’t allow it & will randomly pick the server. As well as that, connections have been hit & miss & setting up “No borders” on Android was unnecessarily complicated.
Of course, I could choose OpenVPN, but they give DNS leaks & I’m too impatient to set up the kill switch config.
I live in Canada and I have used Vanilla Prepaid Cards for several years, Mastercard and Visa. I never had problems with them for buying things on amazon, ebay, etc . . . and for buying vpn memberships ( 1 month or 1 year ). Maybe your browser settings or antivirus settings are set wrong, making you have difficulties purchasing items online.
I think it’s UK law.
this issued also discuss in official reddit ss
so i think no log policy is change to semi no log policy
I’ve been dealing with the issue of timestamps and whether temporary timestamps are “data logs” since around 2017 when ProtonVPN first launched and they claimed to be “no logs” but also said they log your last timestamp and keep that data. I concluded that timestamps are not a dealbreaker — just my opinion.
“Based in a safe offshore jurisdiction (BVI) with a good no logs policy” – It’s meanwhile based in the Netherlands
Thank you for your website
Thanks, I have that fixed now.
You need to retest the “kill switch” feature as they have changed the way it works. I have experienced this several times on several different OS’s. The first time surfshark completely disappeared and left me unprotected. Now after they changed how it works: If you select the “kill switch” option and the VPN connection fails, the program still runs but just disconnects and you are unprotected. When I first used surfshark and if the program did not crash completely the internet was blocked until you reconnected. Not true any more. Very risky to have security software behave like this!!
I’ve noticed that too. When I was with NordVPN, I didn’t have the problems, I only choose Surfshark because I had a problem with the payment method for NordVPN. Once the year is up with Surfshark, I’m ditching them, less than impressed with them thus far.
Do I need to be a computer tech to understand how to use a VPN? Half the lingo in the comments is Greek to me, and I worry it will be too complicated to set up and use. Also, I have a Comcast router and wondered if that will even work after the part about them not having a dedicated app and limited VPN router support.
I have been wanting to set up a VPN for quite a while but keep putting it off for fear I won’t be able to figure it out. I need something simple and user friendly. Would you consider SurfShark that?
No, you will be perfectly fine, especially with Surfshark. Simply purchase a subscription, download the app to your computer, log in, then connect to a VPN server. It’s that easy. And if you have issues, you can open a live chat session with Surfshark tech support.
If you are already using the VPN on your computer, there isn’t much need to put it on a router. This is where things get complex, especially if your router does not easily support VPNs. I’d guess that your Comcast router does not support VPNs and you would need to purchase another VPN router, then plug it into your Comcast router, and then connect your devices on the network to your VPN router. But again, you don’t need to put yourself through this hassle. I’d recommend just using the VPN on your primary devices (computer, phone, tablets) and forget about the router. This will keep your protected and encrypted with all traffic between your device and the VPN server being fully encrypted and secure, even if going through your ISP router, it won’t matter.
There are pros and cons to VPN routers, but the added complexity is probably not worth it in your situation.
Thank you! This was very helpful!
Surfshark has a gui linux app now. Runs on ubuntu or debian. Includes wireguard.
I’ve updated the review with discussion (and screenshots) of the Surfshark Linux app.
Bought Surfshark so I could access UK television a while ago and never used it for anything else. Privacy has never been a concern for me until recently. I started learning a lot about data collection and how privacy is almost non-existing online. I use features such as Surfshark Search and Surfshark Alert on my Chrome browser almost daily. I’m sure other VPN providers would do the job, but the features and price relation of Surfshark win for me.
Dont use chrome browser, thats a red flag , whether you use vpn or not. Use firefox beta for andriod and firefox modified for windows. In both you can do about:config
You can also use Chromium with the Google features removed… The benefits of Chrome without Big Brother Google
In the registration process, there is a stupid password verification, besides the usual number/special character crap, they go even further. Just another application of the method Protecting Your Users From Themselves™.
Upon installation, the application runs a “Surfshark.Antivirus” service. I did not buy it, did not choose to install it. Yet there it was, consuming memory and processor power – with an entry to run it on system startup, even.
Surfshark uses a total of about 250 MB of RAM, with three processes and two services; this is a lot more than some others.
The client application UI on Windows is cancerous (even in VPN applications’ standards). The website is already dumbed-down, the “app” is worse. Garbage “modern” gray flat interface with large menus; wasted space, and stuff that could be shown at all times (like IP address and kill switch status) is under a little menu. “Are you happy with your connection?” shown every time you connect to a server. Stuff about the war in Ukraine was shown there (there’s been a circus around it in March, 2022 – because it’s Russia, not Israel doing it, so…) Menu items with advertisements to their Other Products® I don’t give a damn about, are there too, at all times and can’t be turned off.
Support was good: quickly answered by a real guy, got a refund within a short time.
Hi Bronco, I asked Surfshark about this and here was the response:
When using the Surfshark root certificate, customers put their trust only in a VPN provider and not a third-party agency that can be compromised. Over the past years, we’ve seen numerous cases where third-party CAs were discredited. Surfshark is a trusted cybersecurity company, and ensuring the security of our products and the privacy of our customers is our core goal. Building that trust is paramount to us.
As for AppEsteem’s evaluation, we’ve closely cooperated with the company in quickly fixing the highlighted issues. All of them have already been fixed, and all Windows users should soon receive an updated version of the app.
Also, we’ve been working on turning off the no longer popular IKEv2 protocol and focusing all our efforts on supporting Wireguard and OpenVPN protocols. This will eliminate the need to install the certificate.
Here are a few links to some cases of root certificates being compromised:
Hello you are missing telling us about what is surfshark nexus
Yep, we will cover this feature in the next review update.
“We apply different retention periods depending on the purpose for which your personal information is processed as detailed in Clause 1 of this Policy:
Personal information which is needed to provide our Services is processed for as long as you use Surfshark and no more than 2 years after you stop.
Personal information which is needed to provide our Smart DNS services (i.e. your IP address) is processed for as long as you use our Services.”
I see IP address as long as we use their services. What do I not understand here ?
Surf Shark is terrible!
Dropped connections, high pings and packet loss. The worst VPN I have ever used and they act like they have no knowledge of the issue when the server logs tells them everything they need to know…. It’s been a year and a half of VPN hell for me with SS…
Thankfully, Surfshark temporarily suspended their fake news warning feature but it can come back at any time.
Well that’s good to see!
But the suspension is only temporary. That they would do this at all, think it is their role, is concerning. There are more than enough companies censoring news and discussion under the guise of protecting us. Quite a surprise that a VPN would join the party!
Surfshark has decided to put up “Fake news warning” on search results when you’re using the browser plugin. This is completely antithetical to the whole purpose of VPN in the first place.
The whole purpose of a VPN is to provide anonymity and privacy, not to keep you from finding out that something published online that you want to believe may be untrue.
Decided to buy Surfshark VPN a month ago, purely because wanted to stream the newest Australian Survivor series. Priority was a good price (that’s where Surfshark got my attention) and of course speeds. Midway into the season now, I can say, that Surfshark’s speeds are good and AU servers work great for streaming. Only a few times had experienced some latency while loading the episode, but I guess that’s expected and normal with any VPN provider.
Indeed. I streamed the Australian Open with VPN servers from Australia and it worked perfectly!
Just had a bad surprise from SS, in the middle of protected work, they cut my coverage…Had joined in on the 14th for 26 months with CC. Theis security crap, tells me after 10 days that my CC can be a fraud and they are refunding me the money, to please reapply. Extremly non serious approach to security. I tried Express, had problems with new ownership, tried Nord, cancelled at day 30, w/o problems as they were taking too long to answer questions, and I didn’t want to hang for 24 months. I have Protonmail but an issue of trust for their VPN remains.
Sven, I highly regard your opinion, any other suggestions or go back?
I’m not sure what’s going on with the billing issues, but yes, we’ve been impressed with Surfshark over the past year and it’s a great VPN for the price.
Thanks Sven, Vypr VPN is not giving breaks anymore, now is $ 100/ yr, take it or leave it, may be they believed you when you said they were inexpensive…
Does someone know what this means for the users of Surfshark? What could they have agreed to?
Many VPN providers have been blocking torrent traffic on US servers for years now, because they will lose their VPN server hosting and data centers. This is nothing new. Torrenting in the US is always risky due to overzealous lawyers and film/music studios who want to sue everyone, including any service that provides infrastructure to torrent. Perfect Privacy has blocked torrenting on US servers for at least the past 5+ years, and others do it as well.
As people noted in that reddit thread, it literally just means that torrenting traffic will be blocked from US servers. So connect to fast VPN servers outside the US. Problem solved.
They fixed the “WireGuard doesn’t connect when Kill Switch is active” issue with v3.2.0 on Windows. But they also changed the way the Kill Switch works – and for the worse IMO. Previously, it was a “permanent Kill Switch” i.e. it worked even when the VPN was not running and also at boot time (no internet connectivity until the VPN software was running and connected). But now it only works when the connection drops (see the quote below from their release notes). A definite step back IMO in terms of privacy. I’ve written them about it and hopefully they will either restore the old behavior – or provide both behaviors and let the user choose. I’ll post an update when I know more.
—– (quote) —–
* We updated Kill Switch so now it’ll only activate if your VPN connection actually drops, instead of when the VPN is turned off. Enjoy!
I noticed that change as well, and also told and asked them to change it to how it was before the update. Now you can’t rely on the Kill Switch to have your internet connection blocked even when it’s turned on (with the new update) – wtf? You have to switch from server to server with Kill Switch on in order for the Kill Switch to remain *active*. Huge step backwards for me as well
They still haven’t fixed the “permanent kill switch” that they broke with release 3.2.0 on Windows. You can see the full changelog at the link below. They told me they’ll fix it in the next release. Here’s hoping. I’ll keep you all posted.