Country of incorporation:
Surfshark has only recently hit the markets with its VPN, and we need to take a close look at it, see what it’s all about. The welcoming home page assures you that you will regain your privacy and anonymity through their services.
That you’ll get to access any online content safely, and that you’ll absolutely leave no footprints behind you. Are they speaking the truth?
We’re here to find out just that. We’ll be taking a look at their security, performance, customer support, Netflix-unlocking capabilities, pricing, and more.
- Good zero-logging policy that’s furthered by the great jurisdiction – the British Virgin Isles, outside the 14-Eyes Surveillance Alliance
- Torrenting allowed. The default multi-hop server for torrenting activities is the one in Amsterdam
- Unlocks Netflix
- Cheap and affordable
- Unlimited devices
- CleanWeb feature – blocks malware, phishing attacks, adware
- MultiHop feature
- Functional kill-switch
- Unresponsive email customer support, though the live chat completely makes up for it
- No free trial
On a first glance, Surfshark has the appearance of a predatory shark with apex instincts. Let’s see how it behaves on closer analysis.
When testing VPN services, the speed department is one of the most important, and often a critical factor that determines the quality of the VPN.
In this case, Surfshark is so-so, meaning that some servers are remarkably fast, while others are only average. It really depends on the location you connect to. The performance fluctuates too much, and it’s not very consistent.
We tested the following servers:
- US – New York
The VPN has over 800+ servers in more than 50 countries around the globe, so we chose a few random ones to keep it objective.
This is the benchmark from where we started:
- Ping – 16ms
- Download speed – 90.77 Mbps
- Upload speed – 92.29 Mbps
The New York server registered these results:
- Ping – 110ms
- Download speed – 14.05 Mbps
- Upload speed – 6.88
The one in Germany was astounding to say the least:
- Ping – 46ms
- Download speed – 79.42 Mbps
- Upload speed – 82.77
Last but not least, the server in Turkey:
- Ping – 190ms
- Download speed – 20.94 Mbps
- Upload speed – 8.65 Mbps
These are wild-shots, with the New York server being the worst of the bunch. The good news a couple of US servers we tried were able to unlock Netflix: two in the United States, one in the UK, one in Canada, one in South Africa, and one in South Korea.
The distance between your location and the server’s location will have a tremendous impact on the internet speed, and a VPN will always decrease your speed. All in all, the German server did absolutely fantastic, and I bet there are others performing just as good.
As for the torrenting policy, the official website explicitly tells you how to do that. Their services are P2P-friendly all the way, and all their servers support torrenting. As long as you’re subscribed to them, you can download or stream as much as you want.
With more than 800 servers in 50 countries, Surfshark is quite a matching contender for many fresh VPNs on the market. Even the older online security providers should look behind their back for this newcomer.
They’re based in the Virgin British Isles, an online paradise for privacy purists and VPNs alike. There are no data-retention laws to worry about, and it’s outside the 14-Eyes Surveillance Alliance.
As such, no one will demand any user logs from them.
Here’s a list of some of the servers Surfshark has:
- The US (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Buffalo, San Francisco, etc)
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
They have a nice-enough spread for everyone to enjoy their services, and also to ensure top performance.
There’s going to be a lot to talk about here. In terms of VPN protocols, Surfshark uses the IKEv2 as a default, but you can switch to OpenVPN at any time. TCP or UDP, that is.
Here are the security features that make Surfshark quite unique in this respect:
- NoBorders – this option allows you to bypass any geographical restrictions. By default, it’s activated
- CleanWeb – blocks any malware, phishing attacks or adware – by default, it’s deactivated
- Kill-switch – deactivated by default
- Whitelister – allow certain apps or website to bypass the screening algorithms of the VPN.
- MultiHop – reroute your traffic through multiple servers in order to increase the protection and security
Moreover, when putting the app through multiple virus check-ups, the results were more than satisfactory – zero threats.
What’s more, there are also no leaks of any kind to speak of. No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks.
Its security shields are as airtight and impregnable as a banker’s purse. Here are the tests we did:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)
The no-logs policy they enforce is just as trustworthy as they praise it to be. This is the only type of information they collect:
An email address for any account management, billing information and order history, as well as information regarding diagnostics. None of this information is a potential threat, and it won’t put you in any danger.
Their Warrant Canary is also crystal-clear:
- No gag orders
- No National Security Letters
- No Warrants from a government organization
Surfshark has also not been involved in any security scandals in the past, nor have any user complaints arisen regarding any privacy breaches. Their background is nothing but a white-pristine sheet of paper.
For more security, you can also combine their VPN with Tor. Both are compatible and they work great, making for a new encryption layer that further increases your assurances.
Their ace in the hole is the independent security audit made by Cure53 which came up with very good results. Beside two minor vulnerabilities that weren’t even a part of their browser extensions, the VPN service was safe to use.
Ease of Use
Having an intuitive and easy-to-use VPN client is another essential factor for VPNs. Especially when it comes to people who have never used one in their lives.
Fortunately, Surfshark is as straightforward and simplistic as can be. The options are there for you to change them as you see fit, there is additional information about what each does, and choosing a server couldn’t be made easier.
Connecting and disconnecting from a given server is done in a matter of seconds while working around the settings for more in-depth management is simple enough.
The website has a modern outlook that focuses on punchy lines and straightforward information. Whatever you need to know about their services is right there on the home-page.
They even have a section where you can see the many positive reviews they’ve received from other well-known VPN reviewers and security firms.
It was certainly a very good experience that should become a standard for other VPNs as well.
There are two ways you can contact the staff:
- Via the 24/7 live chat
- By email
The chat option is really performant and responsive. The staff is very well-documented, and they’ll reply in a matter of minutes. It’s not the copy-paste type of reply, but one suited to your particular question.
I’m saying that the customer support is splendidly provided through the live chat, and you won’t meet with any problems on this part. The email method, though, leaves much to be wanted. The 24h deadline goes flying without even noticing, and you’ll still not get a reply.
Although, I don’t see why you’d want to contact them by email since you have a perfectly functional live chat on the official website. And you’ll get an almost-instant response to your queries.
As for the FAQ section and other important tips and tricks, here is what you can expect.
Behind each of those buttons lies information related to the many functions of Surfshark, security details, and app use. It’s very simple to use, and the information is straightforward enough.
The pricing plans are as follows:
There are three payment packages to talk about:
- 1-month plan for $11.95 for a total of $143.40 per year
- 1-year plan for $5.99 per month for a total of $71.88 per year
- 2-year plan for $1.99 per month for a total of $23.88 per year
As for payment methods, they accept:
- Credit Cards
- Crypto Currency
While there is no free trial that you can use, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in full effect. If, for any reason, you’re not content with their services during the first month, you can cancel your subscription at any time. And you’ll be given a full refund.
Because they don’t have a refund policy posted on the website, we took our time talking to the staff team. And they said that you just have to ask the support for the refund.
Depending on your payment method, it can take up to 10-20 days. If you paid with a credit card, for example, the deadline is 10 business days.
Do we recommend Surfshark?
Yes, we most definitely do.
In just a few words, Surfshark is a pretty cheap online security solution with top-notch security protocols, and a strict zero-logging policy that leaves nothing to be interpreted.
Its servers perform very good one some of the servers, the most important ones at that, many can access Netflix, and all of them support torrenting.
The live-chat customer support is a pleasure to work with, in spite of the dreadful email system. The staff is responsive and well-documented, professional and straightforward.
As for the VPN app itself, it’s very easy to use, intuitive, and even micro-managing it simplicity itself with how the client is built.
The 2-year plan is especially advantageous, and I’d call it a best-buy. Paying $23.88 per year is nothing short of incredible considering we’re talking a premium VPN with excellent prospects.
Fewer than few VPNs will willingly put their service to the ultimate test – an objective independent audit made by a third-party. Yet Surfshark conquered that territory already. And the results were more than satisfactory. There’s really no reason not to put your trust in it.
As always, the choice is yours. Surfshark definitely deserves a shot, that much is clear already.
SurfSharkis extremely fast, simple and private: a truly standout VPNGo to SurfShark Website