Surfshark VPN Review
Surfshark is a newcomer on the market. However, it has already established itself to be an extremely reliable VPN provider. I have analyzed several sources on the Internet and found out that the service is widely recommended and appreciated.
I was curious to learn more about Surfshark. I decided to install the software on my PC and smartphone in order to care out a speed test and IP leak test. It helped me to see if the information given by the independent experts is true.
In my review, I gathered common positive and negative statements on the Internet. Now I’m going to dispel or prove the information and give you an expert recommendation. Keep reading and you will learn about the privacy and security of the provider. Let’s start.
Before covering Surfshark in details, let’s have a look at what VPN websites write about this provider.
In general, the VPN has quite high rates! It takes the second position on thebestvpn.com, the ninth on techradar.com. The provider even won the best newcomer award on bestvpn.com.
Characteristics ⇒ Source
- As simple to use as turning on Wi-Fi ⇒ Surfshark
- Kill Switch ⇒ Surfshark
- Secure protocols ⇒ Surfshark
- Private DNS and leak protection ⇒ Surfshark
- Strict no-logs policy ⇒ Surfshark
- 24/7 expert support ⇒ Surfshark
- Unlimited devices ⇒ Surfshark
- 30-day money-back guarantee ⇒ Surfshark
- Low prices for one and two-year plans ⇒ techradar.com
- Allows P2P ⇒ comparitech.com
- Fast server speeds ⇒ wizcase.com
Characteristics ⇒ Source
- Relatively small server network ⇒ comparitech.com
- Doesn’t have Tor over VPN option ⇒ wizcase.com
- Some lengthy connection times ⇒ techradar.com
Keep reading and you will learn about these and many other characteristics in detail. If you are not interested in the software installation, go to check out the Internet claims.
Fortunately, today all advanced VPN providers offer software for different platforms. Some users, of course, prefer to set up a VPN manually. However, automatic installation is much more convenient and allows saving time.
As for Surfshark, it was dead easy to set up it both on my Windows PC and Android.
First, log in to Surfshark account. Your credentials should be sent to your email address after paying for the service.
Choose a platform you want to set up the software. I clicked on the Windows icon.
Select the setup language and click “Next”.
Choose a folder where you want to save the installation, click “Install” and wait while the Setup Wizard installs Surfshark. It took only a couple of minutes.
After the successful installation, I logged in by entering my credentials once again.
The process is intuitive and simple. For those who prefer to set up VPNs manually, there is the guide on Surfshark official website.
I think today almost all internet users are aware of public Wi-Fi hotspots vulnerabilities. It is immensely important to guard mobile devices these days and install reliable software on smartphones, as public Wi-Fi doesn’t encrypt data. That’s why I decided to download the software on my Android. I downloaded Surfshark from Google Play. Actually, it took me 2-3 minutes to get the software on my mobile phone. However, you can download Surfshark VPN Apk from the Internet.
After the installation, I entered my credentials (the same as for Windows software).
Then, I chose the server and successfully connected to it.
I was pleased to know that the software is not only easy to set up but to use as well. The app has a user-friendly interface. You may use the software on full screen or use its mini mode. I had no problems while surfing the Internet with Surfshark on. When I started Surfshark software, it offered me the recommended server. I just taped the button to connect to the VPN server.
You can switch on functions to your needs. For example, MultiHop feature allows connecting via multiple countries at once. It gives a user extra security level!
Is it easy to use a Surfshark? – Yes, sure!
Among numerous Surfshark functions, there is Kill Switch. This function is extremely vital in case your VPN connection will fail. In fact, it happens even with the best VPN services. However, if you turn on Kill Switch and your VPN drops out, your Internet connection will be not available as well.
As soon as I had connected to the Surfshark service, I turned Kill Switch on to protect my data against leakage. However, when I turned off Surfshark software, it was impossible to visit this or that website on the Net.
Kill Switch works!
Another perfect feature of the provider is a possibility to switch between protocols in settings. On the bottom right corner find “Settings”, tap “Advanced” and choose the needed protocol.
The provider currently has two tunneling protocols: IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN. Their OpenVPN protocol can be switched between TCP or UDP. With the help of IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN, it is possible to unblock restricted content, streaming services and hide the most sensitive data from prying eyes. Both of these protocols are considered as the most robust nowadays.
Surfshark uses robust protocols and AES-256-GCM encryption to guard customers’ personal information. It, of course, sounds impressive. However, it is not enough to encrypt the data. Customers should know for sure that they are protected against IP or DNS leaks.
I’ve decided to check the server in Austria and was glad to know that no leaks were detected, both on Windows and Android.
IP leak test is successful!
So, according to Surfshark, the service collects the following user’s information:
- Email addresses for account management.
- Basic billing information.
- Diagnostics information/monitor crash reports on Surfshark apps.
To see if these statements are true, I surfed the Internet with the aim to find any scandals surrounding Surfshark. Fortunately, my extensive research was unsuccessful. I haven’t found any proves that Surfshark lies about its no-logging policy.
Another reason to trust the provider is its British Virgin Islands jurisdiction, which does not require data storage or reporting. The fact that Surfshark is away from the 14 eyes proves the company reliability.
Is Surfshark reliable in terms of privacy? –Yes, definitely!
There are two options to contact with Surfshark team: via live chat or open ticket. Live chat seems to be more convenient, so I used it to get help. I was completely satisfied with their support. The answers weren’t copy-paste, they really tried to help and answered instantly. Besides, I didn’t need to wait at all. The team answered immediately.
Fast response from the customer support!
Covering Surfshark features, I learned that the provider offers its customers unlimited devices. That’s a piece of good news for internet users who live with a big family. Just imagine how many devices will be protected with Surfshark. The amount, however, is limited by operating systems. Surfshark runs on Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, iOS, Mac OS, Android, Windows, Linux, and FireTV.
You can protect as many devices as you wish at once!
If you are a newbie to VPNs, it might be difficult for you to understand which providers will fit your needs. A money-back guarantee gives customers a possibility to test out the service and see if it worth using or not.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. In case you are not satisfied with the service, you are to contact their customer support department or the live chat. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a refund policy on the website. So, I asked their support department for more detailed information. Here are their answers:
“To get your money back you would have to contact our customer support”
“Before issuing a refund we always try to solve any issues that our customers encounter to make their Surfshark experience as good as it can be.”
“The refund process may take up to 7-10 business days.”
“Yes, we do offer a 30 days’ money back guarantee.”
It is noted on techradar.com that Surfshark offers low prices for one and two-year plans. Let’s check if it is true. Actually, the provider has only one tariff. You will get Surfshark discount when you subscribe for longer terms. That’s why the two-year plan is the most wallet-friendly. This package will cost you only $1.99 per month. The price is extremely affordable. On Surfshark website, I have found the information that there are no hidden costs, it’s a one-time purchase. You will have to pay again only when your account passes the expiration date.
Let’s compare Surfshark prices with other popular VPNs. The table below shows that one–year price is about average, but the two-year offer is an excellent deal. Besides, not all VPNs provide customers with so long subscription.
|VPN||1-Year Plan||2-Year Plan|
|Private Internet Access||$5.99||$3.49|
You may pay for the service with a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express), PayPal, GooglePay, Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple), Alipay, Sofort.
Is Surfshark cheap? – The facts speak for themselves.
For many internet users, torrenting is the first reason to start using a VPN. However, not all VPN services today support P2P connection, others provide too slow speeds for convenient file-sharing. Surfshark identifies itself to be P2P-friendly provider.
The main reasons to use the service for torrenting are:
- Kill Switch;
- High speeds;
- Strict no-logs policy;
- Private DNS;
- Leak protection;
- Strong encryption.
Surfshark is a torrent friendly VPN.
Speed is an essential characteristic of any VPN provider. It especially matters for users who are going to download torrent files or watch high-quality movies.
Here are just some examples of how much Internet speed do you need for various activities:
For streaming music, a user needs 2 Mbps;
Playing games – 2-10 Mbps;
Video calls – 0,5 - 1,5 Mbps;
Downloading large files – 5 - 50 Mbps;
Streaming Netflix, Hulu, etc. HD – 5 Mbps;
Ultra HD – 25 Mbps.
Let’s have a look at how fast Surfshark is, and what it allows to do on the Internet. First, I checked my speeds without the VPN. Here are my results:
Speeds of VPN providers depend a lot from how far is the server from your location. I decided to check the server located 1500 km away from my home country. The results:
As you already know Surfshark uses OpenVPN/TCP, OpenVPN/UDP, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols. As OpenVPN/UDP considered to be the best in terms of speed, I chose it in settings and connected to the server that only 800 km from me. I was surprised to see the results. The speeds are even faster than in our ExpressVPN review:
Despite Surfshark speeds are average with the servers far away from home locations, the provider shows perfect results if use OpenVPN/UDP with servers which are near you.
According to comparitech.com, Surfshark owns a small server network. However, why does the amount of servers matter? The truth is today a lot of internet users prefer to surf the Internet with a VPN. A wide server park allows to distribute users evenly and avoid servers overload.
I’ve described the second reason in the previous section. With a VPN that has servers which are close to your location, you will get higher speeds.
On the official website of the provider, it is noted that the service has 800+ torrent optimized servers in more than 50 countries. If compare with such leading VPN providers as NordVPN, CyberGhost or PIA, Surfshark server park is not so extensive. However, 50 countries are quite enough for convenient browsing. Moreover, it worth remembering that Surfshark is a relatively new provider on the market. It is very likely will expand its server park.
Server park is not so wide in comparison with today’s leading VPN services.
Tor is open source software that was developed by the US Navy in the 90s. Today it is widely used among internet users who take care of online anonymity. When a user connects to the Tor network, his Internet connection is encrypted and bounced among multiple Tor servers. Such servers are operated by volunteers all around the world. Thus, a third-party is able to see only the IP of the Tor exit node but not a real IP of a user.
However, to make internet connection even more secure, some individual users prefer to use Tor over a VPN. It gives some extra benefits:
- Increases security level;
- A VPN is not able to see what encrypted data you send;
- Tor is not able to see your real IP;
- You are still able to access hidden services of Tor;
- Your ISP is not able to see that you use Tor.
Of course, Tor over VPN option has its own disadvantages. For example, user’s traffic leaving the Tor exit nodes is not encrypted, therefore it can be monitored. Nevertheless, it is up to you worth this function using or not. The fact is Surfshark doesn’t offer Tor over VPN option.
It is stated on techradar.com that Surfshark has some lengthy connection times. Fortunately, I didn’t face such a problem. In general, VPN software ran fast, there were no troubles with it. As it was described earlier, the interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
The app on my Windows desktop didn’t shut down itself or draw back. The connection to the Surfshark servers didn’t take much time. I am completely satisfied with how Surfshark works.
So, I tried to analyze all the important features of Surfshark VPN. The provider has passed all the tests successfully. Now it is clear why it has so positive reviews on the Internet.
Surfshark is undoubtedly a good choice for home use. The software runs well on desktop and smartphone. Its stable work, no-logs policy, friendly customer support and decent speeds are the major pros. Besides, torrent optimized Surfshark servers make the provider the number one choice for those who need a VPN for P2P connection.
Is Surfshark worth using in 2019? My answer is Yes!
Want to compare the VPN with another one?
(average 4.62 of 5)