Surfshark VPN Review: Affordable, Yet Reliable and Secure?

Surfshark VPN Review: Affordable, Yet Reliable and Secure?

In 2022, the digital world presents a slippery slope. One wrong step online, and your data and identity may be at risk. However, many rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to mask their online identity. But in a market full of VPN service offerings, finding one that delivers without false promises is challenging. Enter Surfshark, a VPN service provider offering security at an affordable price. But does it deliver? I recently tested it out and here’s my verdict. I’ll cover its best features, speed, ability to unlock streaming services, privacy policy, and pricing.

Surfshark VPN Review (2022)

While my review will cover Surfshark’s offerings in detail, you can glance over it all using the section below. However, I strongly recommend reading the entire review to determine if this VPN service suits your needs.

Surfshark VPN: Cut to the Chase

Poised to protect online privacy and security, Surfshark is a VPN service that establishes a secure connection and anonymizes browsing activity. Utilizing the fast and secure WireGuard Protocol, Surfshark maintains privacy without significant drops in VPN speed.

Featuring added benefits such as Multi-Hop, Split Tunneling, Kill-Switch, no device limit, and a user-friendly privacy policy, Surfshark stands out as an impressive VPN service. Coupled with starting prices as low as $2.5 per month, recommending Surfshark is a straightforward decision.

Surfshark VPN: Pros and Cons

Like any other service, Surfshark has its own array of great features and minor drawbacks. While I delve into them extensively in my review below, for those short on time, here are the VPN service’s pros and cons:

Surfshark VPN: Plans and Pricing

Consistent speed and performance Browser extension lacks settings
Fast WireGuard Protocol with alternatives Occasional server-load
Friendly privacy policy CleanWeb feature inconsistent on some browsers
Rock-bottom prices Some users may dislike VPN’s move to the Netherlands
Easy to use platform apps
Responsive customer support

For VPNs, opting for long-term plans trumps monthly payments. Surveying competitors, Surfshark stands out with its competitively priced service. Additionally, subscribing to Surfshark grants access to all premium features without withholding any behind a pricier tier.

Surfshark, compared to ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost, provides the best value in its 2-year plan. Additionally, the company frequently holds sales with discounts up to 81%. For those hesitant to invest a large sum upfront, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Below is the pricing for a Surfshark VPN subscription:

Subscription Plan Tenure Price
1-month plan $12.95
1-year plan $47.88 or $3.99/month
2-year plan $59.76 or $2.49/month

Surfshark offers a range of affordable plans suitable for everyone.

Surfshark VPN User Experience

As a typical online user always short on time, I seek apps that are easy to use and still effective. Surfshark excels in this regard. A quick download and sign-in had me up and running in just 2 minutes. The VPN offers unified apps for PC, macOS, iOS, Android, and browser extensions.

Mac and Windows Desktop App

Surfshark features a simple two-column design on its apps and extensions. Connecting to a server is as easy as tapping on a country’s name. Within seconds, your connection will be established, locating you in New York. While a map selection would be nice, the list is concise, with flags representing the countries.

The browser extensions share the same design philosophy, offering a quick way to route your browser through a VPN tunnel. However, I recommend using the PC app for its system-wide IP masking and expanded options.

I appreciated the simplicity of not having to tinker with settings and protocols, despite the availability of such options. Regarding settings, users can explore further by clicking the settings cog in the left sidebar, accessing Surfshark’s extensive customization features. I’ll elaborate on these features below, but rest assured, Surfshark does provide dark mode.

Android and iOS Mobile App

The Surfshark VPN mobile apps for Android and iOS exhibit a clean and sleek design, emphasizing simplicity. A single tap swiftly connects to the desired country, providing instant access to key details such as the new IP address and encryption status.

Similar to the PC counterparts, the Settings tab offers extensive options. However, for users preferring a hassle-free experience, a quick connection suffices. Throughout my usage, I experienced no significant bugs or recurring issues, except for a minor inconvenience with connecting to a Boston server on two occasions, which promptly ceased thereafter.

If you’re a daily user seeking effortless VPN server connection, Surfshark’s streamlined approach is ideal. It simplifies a potentially frustrating process.

Supported Countries and Server Locations

With 3200+ servers across 65 countries, Surfshark offers extensive VPN connection options. These servers operate on 100% RAM, ensuring security with regular updates and automatic data deletion. Speed concerns are alleviated, as Surfshark guarantees at least 1GBps, continually increasing.

Regarding location, Surfshark ensures its servers are globally distributed, spanning Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Despite occasional congestion, the ample server options facilitate swift and secure transitions.

Speed and Performance

A company’s product packaging means little if it doesn’t perform. To assess Surfshark VPN’s connection speed, I tested it on 5 global servers: London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With native download and upload speeds of 387 Mbps and 304 Mbps, respectively, it was time to test the shark.

Surfshark VPN Review: Affordable, Yet Reliable and Secure?
  • Native speed
  • Surfshark VPN speed

Note: VPN speeds depend on your ISP and server status, so expect slight fluctuations.

The VPN service effortlessly handled all tasks as my connection maintained blazing fast speeds. Download speed consistently exceeded 320 Mbps, and upload speed even increased by 10 Mbps in Singapore. Connection setup was nearly instantaneous and remained stable throughout. Testing for packet loss involved running the VPN across various gaming platforms such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, and GeForce NOW, revealing no instances of packet loss, dispelling any initial concerns.

Connecting to a VPN typically results in a loss of over 50% of my speed. Yet, Surfshark VPN impresses with its servers and speed retention, even for distant locations. If you’re disguising your online identity by connecting to a location, you can essentially leave Surfshark on without worrying, as it delivers close to native performance.

Consistent Performance Across Protocols

Surfshark utilizes the new, fast, and secure WireGuard Protocol, ensuring high speed and stable connections. This enables me to connect to any server while maintaining my desired Internet performance.

For any VPN user, WireGuard is essential. Surfshark, however, offers various popular protocols, including IKEv2 and OpenVPN (TCP & UDP), performing well based on server distance and load. Setting the Protocol to “Automatic” is advisable, as Surfshark automatically selects the optimal setting.

With fast global speeds and over 3200 server locations, Surfshark prioritizes speed. While protocol choice may impact your experience, I appreciate Surfshark’s consistent stability and bandwidth.

Is Surfshark Good for Browsing?

For general browsing, Surfshark operates seamlessly, offering a plug-and-play experience. Simply select your desired country, open your web browser, and access the Internet. Websites automatically detect your virtual location and adjust settings accordingly. Additionally, if you reside in a region that restricts VPN ports, Surfshark’s Camouflage mode ensures access by obfuscating your connection when using OpenVPN protocols.

While browsing online, a significant issue is the persistent advertisements. Surfshark offers a “Clean Web” feature that effectively blocks all ads, trackers, and malware when connected to the VPN. Although it worked flawlessly with Chrome, I encountered an ad or two while using Opera, suggesting room for improvement. When using the VPN on your phone, you can enhance privacy further by activating GPS override and spoofing your location.

Surfshark excels in casual internet usage and accessing geo-locked websites and apps.

Surfshark’s Performance in Streaming

Surfshark unblocks over 30 Netflix libraries worldwide and numerous other streaming sites. As a Netflix user, I tested this by connecting to VPN servers in Japan, Canada, Australia, France, the US, and the UK. Surfshark performed well for streaming Netflix content globally. Although I encountered a glitch on the PC version initially, I resolved it by restarting the app.

I experienced no drop in quality or performance, and Netflix did not detect the VPN during streaming. With access to geo-locked shows, I enjoyed watching Japan-exclusive Netflix shows and anime from India.

Yet, my exploration didn’t halt there. I trialed Surfshark across various platforms, including Disney+, AppleTV, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and even YouTube TV. The overall experience proved exceptional, with no performance dips or buffering issues encountered. Remarkably, I sustained simultaneous usage across all three of my devices, benefiting from Surfshark’s unlimited device allowance.

For avid binge-watchers seeking unrestricted access to global content libraries, Surfshark delivers seamless streaming performance and more.

Evaluating Surfshark VPN’s Security

Surfshark ensures worry-free security. Regardless of the server you’re connected to, your online activities remain invisible to others. It operates under Surfshark’s audited no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t retain records of your online activity, downloads, or IP address. Cure53 testers have audited Surfshark twice to verify these claims, confirming their validity.

The company formerly operated from the British Virgin Islands but relocated its headquarters to the Netherlands. Despite the Netherlands being part of the Nine-Eyes Alliance, the VPN company asserts no obligation to log our data, ensuring the no-logs policy remains intact. Users benefit from RAM Only servers, ensuring data cannot be retained and is erased immediately after use. Alongside the robust no-logs policy, notable Safety Surfshark features include:

Encryption and Tunneling Protocols

Encryption cipher data, rendering it unreadable to third parties. Surfshark, like other VPN services, supports data encryption. However, Surfshark VPN offers AES-256-GCM, an updated and more secure encryption than the standard AES-256. If you’re concerned about the security of your shared data, rest assured.

Though I mentioned Surfshark’s various protocols, it’s easy to recall them due to their performance. The fastest and most modern protocol, WireGuard, is predominantly used by Surfshark. However, the company suggests experimenting with other protocols to find the best fit for your VPN subscription.

Multi-Hop Enhances Security

One of my favorite security features in Surfshark is Multi-Hop, allowing you to connect to two different VPN servers simultaneously for enhanced security. This rerouting of the connection means malicious individuals cannot access your details, even if they track the server you’re connected to.

The Surfshark app already lists Multi-Hop servers for easy connection. If VPN blocks access to certain sites, utilize the built-in Bypasser (also known as split-tunneling) to reroute specific internet traffic without VPN.

I checked for VPN leaks concerning DNS queries and found Surfshark VPN to be airtight, with no information leakage during a DNS Leak Test.


Like other VPNs, Surfshark also includes a kill-switch feature that disables your Internet if you’re not connected to a VPN, protecting your digital identity.

Previously, this feature would cut off the Internet even if the VPN was deliberately turned off. Surfshark has refined the kill-switch to activate only when the connection drops. It’s essential for sensitive online tasks.

Clear Privacy Policy

A company must be trustworthy. While many services have privacy policies and terms of service that are overwhelming, Surfshark’s privacy policy stands out. It avoids jargon and unnecessary language, breaking down the text into simple English. Most importantly, Surfshark assures users that it does not collect crucial data such as IP Addresses, browsing history, traffic, or overall network usage. This ensures users can utilize the VPN without concern for timestamps or data leaks. However, the company does gather anonymized analytical data and some account information.

Necessary for service functionality, contacting Surfshark enables data restriction. Third-party cookies are absent, which is commendable. Surfshark’s transparency reflects in its website and services.

Customer Satisfaction and Support

If my positivity toward Surfshark seems excessive, you’re not alone. Online reviews consistently laud this VPN’s performance. Does Surfshark provide effective support in case of issues?

Surfshark offers comprehensive customer support, featuring a knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, and E-Mail support if needed. Browsing the knowledge base was efficient as it provided answers to various questions.

There’s a dedicated section called ‘Surfschool‘, offering guides on all aspects of the service. If I had a specific question, such as using Surfshark’s Smart DNS on my PS5, I simply searched and found the solution.

For the times I didn’t, the support group was only a few clicks away. I managed to chat with Sharbot or get an agent after generic troubleshooting questions. In general, my queries were resolved quickly. While I encountered no downtime with Surfshark, it’s good to know that quality support is available if needed.

Want Even More? Get Surfshark One

While Surfshark VPN itself is a good deal, there’s even more with Surfshark One for just a little extra. Introduced recently, Surfshark One offers three additional services – Surfshark Alert, Surfshark Search, and the new Surfshark Antivirus – to better protect your data and ensure online safety.

Surfshark Alert safeguards your vital credentials: personal identity numbers, IDs, passwords, and credit card details. It promptly notifies you of any data breaches, empowering you to take immediate action.

Surfshark Search offers a tracker-free search experience, delivering only organic results. Positioned as a leading alternative to Google, it prioritizes user privacy. Additionally, Surfshark Antivirus provides comprehensive protection against viruses and malware.

For an additional $1.5, Surfshark membership grants access to the VPN and the aforementioned services, bundled for enhanced security. Opt for Surfshark One to prioritize your online safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What Is a VPN and What Can I Do with It?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a secure connection between your computer and the Internet by encrypting and routing your data through remote servers. This encryption conceals your identities, including your IP Address, browsing activity, and other connection details.

With a VPN, you can unblock geo-locked content such as Netflix and Apple TV libraries from other countries, access websites blocked by your ISP, and engage in P2P file-sharing (Torrenting) while keeping your data hidden.

Q. Why Can’t I Just Get a Free VPN?

Utilize, avoid. Most free VPNs provide limited data quotas. Exceeding this terminates your connection until reset. Many free VPNs have questionable terms of service, potentially sharing your data with third parties, exposing you to various risks. Opt for paid VPN services.

Q. Should I Personally Review the Privacy Policy?

Absolutely. While Surfshark has a user-friendly policy, your experience may vary with other companies. Whenever you choose a VPN service, take time to read their policies and contracts. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and if the company follows through on its claims.

Q. Are VPNs Legal?

Using a VPN is legal in most countries globally. However, a few countries such as Belarus, China, Iraq, North Korea, Oman, Russia, and the U.A.E have regulated or banned VPNs. Check the legality of VPNs in your country before purchasing a subscription.

Q. Can I Use a VPN on My Phone?

Yes, you can. Surfshark and similar providers offer capable mobile applications to encrypt your online traffic. With Surfshark, selecting a country reroutes your phone’s connection through a Surfshark server. If you’ve purchased a Surfshark membership, download the mobile app from here.

Should I Get Surfshark VPN?

I’d heard of Surfshark VPN but hadn’t tried it until now. Having experienced it, I’m pleased with what Surfshark VPN offers. Its safety features include multi-hop, split tunneling, RAM Only servers, and a clear privacy policy, making me feel secure using this service.

The wallet-friendly two-year plan costs just $2.5 per month, compared to ExpressVPN’s $8.32 per month yearly plan. Combined with no device limit, Surfshark is a top choice for daily VPN use. Overall, it’s one of the most affordable and reliable VPN services in 2022. If you use or subscribe to the service, do you agree? Let us know in the comments.