SurfShark VPN Review 2020 - Is This New VPN Any Good

Surfshark VPN Review: Is This New VPN Any Good?

SurfShark VPN is a new VPN provider established less than two years ago, but it’s growing fast with so many advanced features and a surprisingly lower price.

SurfShark VPN finalists at Cybersecurity Excellence Awards 2020 as Cybersecurity Company of the Year. But why? Surfshark provides BlindSearch™, HackLock™, CleanWeb™, Trust DNS, and GPS Spoofing feature, which encrypts your online data to help you stay private & protected every day.

What’s more, SurfShark VPN really can unblock 14 Netflix libraries based on our test. It’s one of the best VPNs that can do that.

No Simultaneous Connection limits are SurfShark’s big selling point. You can install and run Surfshark VPN on as many devices as you like.

Having said all of the above, is Surfshark VPN any good? Next, we’ll review SurfShark VPN in more detail and answer your questions for you. You can also quickly look through the overview below.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links that I receive a small commission for at no cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer in my privacy policy in the footer.

Surfshark VPN Reviews Overview

surfsharkvpn-official-website
Visit Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN Key Summary

Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
IP, DNS or WebRTC LeaksNo
JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
Servers1,700+
IP Addressesundisclosed
Countries63
Simultaneous deviceUnlimited
Unblock US NetflixYes
Dedicated IPYes
TorrentingUnlimited
Works in ChinaYes
Support24/7 Live Chat
Free TrialYes
The Cheapest Price$2.21/mo over 24 Months
Refund Policy30-day money-back guarantee
Official Websitesurfshark.com
Coupons&DealsGet 83% Off

Surfshark VPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent budget price
  • Fast speed optimized for gaming, video unblock and streaming
  • Unblocks 14 Netflix libraries & BBC iPlayer
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Independent audit
  • Supports torrenting
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Privacy-friendly jurisdiction
  • 7-day free trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • OpenVPN on Mac requires manual config

What is Surfshark VPN?

SurfShark VPN is a new virtual private network (VPN) service by a company located in the British Virgin Islands(BVI), the privacy heaven. It’s the same location as ExpressVPN.

The British Virgin Islands is not a member of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes intelligence alliance. This means SurfShark VPN does not require data storage or reporting, and even it’s compelled by foreign governments or third law enforcement.

SurfShark guarantees a strict no-logs policy. It claims that they don’t monitor, log, or store your online activities on the SurfShark website. It does not collect the following info:

  • IP addresses
  • Browsing history
  • Session information
  • Used bandwidth
  • Connection time stamps
  • Network traffic

Similarly, SurfShark will collect the following information provided upon signup to ensure you can fully use Surfshark Services:

  • E-mail address
  • Encrypted password
  • Basic billing information
  • Order history

In fact, SurfShark VPN completed an independent security audit by Cure53, which is an industry-leading web security service provider, dedicating their efforts to testing various online services.

Cure53 said in the report: “To sum up, Cure53 is highly satisfied to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN extensions, especially given the common vulnerability of similar products to privacy issues”. But not in the way we’d expect. The audit was of minimal scope.

SurfShark offers custom apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, and more, but this audit is only for the Firefox and Chrome extensions. We are looking forward that SurfShark will extend their audit further.

Warrant Canary

SurfShark VPN launched a Warrant Canary program to ensure the transparency of information, which aims to inform its users that SurfShark has cooperated with a government subpoena despite legal prohibitions on revealing the existence of the warrant.

As of March 28, 2020, Surfshark has received:

  • 0 National Security letters
  • 0 Gag orders
  • 0 Warrants from a government organization

Surfshark VPN Speed Test

SurfShark’s speeds are good enough for streaming and torrenting, but it still needs to optimize to bridge the gap with the top-tier VPN provider.

Here are the speed test results from our testing lab in Seattle, US. We usually choose a few servers by distance from us to test.

SurfShrak VPN - Baseline
SurfShrak VPN – Baseline – US
Surfshark VPN - UK - London
Surfshark VPN – UK
Surfshark VPN - Australia - Sydney
Surfshark VPN – AU
Surfshark VPN - HongKong
Surfshark VPN – HK
Surfshark VPN - USA - LogAngeles
Surfshark VPN – US
SurfShark VPN - Canada - Toronto
SurfShark VPN – CA
Surfshark VPN - Japan - Tokyo
Surfshark VPN – JP
Surfshark VPN - Singapore
Surfshark VPN – SG

From our testing lab in Seattle, USA, we measured Surfshark VPN’s some locations worldwide. These were the results:

SurfsharkVPN-Speed-Test-Comparison
SurfsharkVPN-Speed-Test-Comparison

As you can see, Surfshark VPN’s speed is super fast and stable. We thought there would be a significant loss for long-distance connection, but it’s the opposite.

When we connect to the Singapore server, the network latency is relatively low, and the download speeds dropped 69.5%. Even so, you won’t have an issue with streaming or torrenting.

Besides, SurfShark speeds are reliable and consistent. It won’t suddenly drop out or disconnect. What we only expect it the rates are much faster than the current.

Surfshark VPN Server Locations

SurfShark has a wide range of networks, 1,700+ servers in 63 countries over the world. It’s not the most extensive network, but you can almost find a server close to you, no matter where you are in the world.

As you know, the server connection speed depends on the distance the server is from you, so it’s so important to have as many servers as possible for a VPN provider.

SurfShark VPN also offers city-level servers in 12 countries, including:

  • Australia – 5 cities
  • Canada – 3 cities
  • France – 3 cities
  • Germany – 2 cities
  • India – 3 cities
  • Italy – 2 cities
  • Poland – 2 cities
  • Russia – 2 cities
  • Spain- 3 cities
  • UK – 3 cities
  • US – 24 cities

SurfShark also offers virtual locations and physical locations option.

Virtual locations mean that you connect to a server located in one country but gives you an IP address assigned to a different country. And Physical locations are just the opposite.

Surfshark’s virtual servers include:

  • Albania
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Slovenia

SurfShark VPN can deploy more servers with virtual locations, which also have better speeds. But if you choose the server that is far away from your physical location, it may be much slower than you expected.

Apps, Extensions, and Compatibility

Apps

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Router

SurfShark VPN offers dedicated apps for every popular platform, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Even you use less popular systems like Linux, there are custom apps, too. If you have any problem with installation or connection, you also can find how-to guides on the Surfshark website.

Even better, there is no simultaneous device limit. You can connect & use all your family devices simultaneously and protect as many devices as you’d like at once. That’s a stand-out feature when comparing to other VPNs. Most competitors have a limitation unless you pay extra money.

APPs for Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

  • AppleTV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Chromecast
  • Nintendo
  • PlayStation
  • Roku
  • Xbox

SurfShark VPN does offer custom apps for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. You can also enjoy geo-restricted content with your SmartTV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and other streaming devices by changing the DNS address provided by your ISP.

You can also go to your SurfShark VPN account and activate smart DNS. After that, SurfShark will send you an email with further instructions. You’ll enjoy unrestricted content with smart DNS, but it’s not as safe as using SurfShark VPN client.

Browser Extensions

SurfShark provides browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Firefox. Industry-leading web security service provider has independently audited it.

The report concludes that the tested applications make a powerful impression and no exposed issues, neither in the privacy nor in the more general security realms.

SurfShark’s browser extensions are likely to the Surfshark app, and there are no other settings options. Keep in mind that SurfShark VPN APPs are more secure than browser extensions.

Surfshark VPN works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & torrenting?

SurfShark claims to unblock Netflix libraries in 15 different countries. After our testing, we really can enjoy streaming with no buffering in HD. But some libraries like France are generally available with Surfshark but are at the moment down.

SurfShark currently supports these following Netflix libraries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia Singapore
  • Italy South
  • Korea
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Norway

According to Netflix, the speed requirements for streaming content are:

  • 0.5 Megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended broadband connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality

With SurfShark VPN, you can also get access to many other streaming services, like:

  • Hulu
  • YouTube
  • ESPN 3
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Amazon Prime
  • HBO GO
  • VUDU
  • Spotify
  • CBS
  • Hotstar
  • Kodi

As usual, we recommend you pick one server that’s closest to you geographically when you stream, you’ll enjoy the TV shows and movies in HD, with no buffering.

SurfShark also can help you prevent your internet service provider from throttling your speed when you stream.

Stream to your favorite content on your frequently-used systems or devices. SurfShark offers iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Fire TV Stick, and Linux, plus Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions. Plus, it doesn’t limit the number of simultaneous connections. So with one SurfShark VPN account, you can share it with your families or friends.

Torrenting

SurfShark VPN offers P2P-friendly servers for torrenting. It works excellent with uTorrent and other P2P clients like:

  • uTorrent
  • BitTorrent
  • qBittorrent
  • Vuze
  • Deluge

Keep in mind that the servers close to you perform better than the long-distance.

SurfShark VPN ensures that you stay private when you download or seed torrents with diamond-strong AES-256-GCM data encryption. SurfShark stealth technology represents itself as regular internet traffic, and your ISP will be so hard to detect VPN usage.

Surfshark VPN Works in China, UAE & more?

Yes, SurfShark works well in China.

SurfShark offers many additional features such as Camouflage Mode, Shadowsocks, and NoBorders Mode. It aims to help you unblock censored content and bypassing VPN blocks.

SurfShark provides a manual back-up plan when you get in trouble with bypassing higher censorship, but SurfShark APP currently works well in China to fight against The Great Firewall of China.

According to our testing, we highly recommend you pick IKEv2 or OpenVPN protocol. Even you are in other countries where VPNs are restricted, including Iran, Oman, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE.

Surfshark’s NoBorders Mode allows using Surfshark in restrictive regions successfully. This feature aims to fight against internet restrictions and censorship. You can turn it on in the SurfShark app advanced settings:

And Camouflage Mode makes sure that even your internet provider can’t tell that you’re using a VPN. It’s a tool that obfuscates your ISPs. Your VPN traffic will appear like regular traffic with extra protection. But this feature is only automatically activated when you choose the OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) protocol.

Even more critical, SurfShark recently launched the most popular and effective protocol in China, ShadowSocks protocol, which is an open-source encrypted proxy program developed by a Chinese programmer. But what you need to do is the test which server works in China, it’s a little tedious to test. We hope SurfShark can finish the test progress and list available servers for users.

Surfshark VPN Encryption & Security

Protocols

  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  • Shadowsocks

Encryption

  • AES-256

Security

  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • VPN Kill Switch
  • WebRTC Leak Blocking
  • Smart DNS

Advanced features

  • Double VPN
  • Ad blocker
  • Split Tunneling
  • Two-factor authentication

SurfShark offers many competitive security features to protect your privacy, including secure protocols, DNS&WebRTC leak protection, and Smart DNS… There is no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaking by our testing.

SurfShark VPN will encrypt your traffic with the most advanced cryptographic algorithm, AES-256 encryption. By default, IKEv2 has been set by SurfShark on its all apps, or you can choose OpenVPN in the settings menu.

As usual, OpenVPN is our favorite protocol, which is the best combination of speed and security, especially in higher-level censorship countries. But there is only IKEv2 protocol on macOS, and it requires manual configuration with OpenVPN. If you prefer to use the OpenVPN protocol, contact SurfShark’s support to get the manual guide.

SurfShark has launched Shadowsocks protocol on Windows. It’s very significant to bypass internet censorship in countries like China and Russia.

WireGuard protocol is currently unavailable in any of the Surfshark apps. It claims to be fast and secure. SurfShark team considers it’s one of the newest protocols, but it needs further testing to be applied.

SurfShark also releases more advanced security features that could protect your data from leaking while browsing, including:

Camouflage Mode

Camouflage Mode is a technology that disguises your VPN traffic to appear like regular traffic. And your ISP can’t detect you’re using a VPN.

CleanWeb

CleanWeb feature is a free VPN ad blocker that actively protects you from annoying ads, malware, and phishing attempts.

MultiHop

MultiHop, also known as double-VPN, it will make you connect via multiple countries at once to add an extra layer of security. It will become harder to identify your connection.

BlindSearch

BlindSearch is a private search engine, which is no ads, logs, or trackers. But you will pay an extra $0.99 per month.

Whitelister

Whitelister is Surfshark’s split tunneling feature that allows you to exclude specific apps or websites from connecting via a VPN.

HackLock

With the HackLock feature, you can get real-time alerts when your emails & passwords are at risk of being hacked. You can activate this feature for only $0.99 every month.

A VPN kill switch

VPN Kill Switch is one of the most common features for any premium VPN, which can protect your privacy from leaking when you suddenly disconnect with SurfShark.

Two-factor authentication

The two-factor authentication(2FA) feature will add an extra layer of security when you log in to your account. It can protect your account from stolen.

Surprisingly, SurfShark provides many advanced features at such a low price, but you need to pay extra money if you prefer BlindSearch and HackLock.

SurfShark puts all efforts to help you stay private & protected every day, but there is still something that needs to be optimized. We are looking forward to using the OpenVPN protocol on macOS by default.

Surfshark VPN Supports Ad Blocker?

Yes, SurfShark provides a CleanWeb feature, including Ad Blocker, malware detection, and phishing protection. Not only blocking the annoying ads but also protecting you from malware and phishing attempts.

Surfshark VPN Offers Static or Dedicated IP Addresses?

Yes, StrongVPN does have static IPs, which will not change even if you reconnect. But it just provides several countries, including:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Singapore

If you need dedicated IP, you can consider NordVPN.

Surfshark Customer Support

SurfShark offers responsive and friendly 24/7 live chat, but it will show you the related questions before chatting with the professional customer service staff.

Also, SurfShark provides how-to guides, troubleshooting, FAQ, and knowledgebase in the help center. If you can’t find the solution, you can get email support, too.

Many VPNs start to offer a live chat feature to improve customer service, but fewer are available 24/7. So Surfshark’s efficient customer support is a significant stand-out advantage.

In general, you wait for less than 60 seconds to get an informative answer with their friendly support team. But as for technical questions, it might take more time. We recommend you provide more details, including screenshots, bug logs, or anything helpful. It should save more communication costs.

SurfShark VPN is easy to use?

How to Install & Set Up Surfshark

SurfShark dedicated apps are well-designed and relatively easy to use, even though it’s a little different between systems and devices. The user experience is smooth, and you should have no trouble getting started with SurfShark VPN.

SurfShark apps provide standard features like automatic kill switch, NoBorders mode, MultiHop, and CleanWeb. If you can’t find some parts, maybe SurfShark currently doesn’t support it.

Keep in mind and you have to install another software to use the OpenVPN protocol on macOS. And there are VPN protocol options on Windows and Android, but not on macOS and IOS.

SurfShark Prices & Refund Options

Surfshark VPN Coupon

Surfshark VPN is currently providing a 83% discount special offer for new users, here is the latest Surfshark VPN coupon code for 2020 below.

Surfshark VPN Coupon Special offer

30-day money-back guarantee
Save 83%
Coupon applied automatically

Surfshark VPN Pricing Plan

SurfShark does provide many exclusive features with 24/7 live chat support, and these are for every pricing plan. But what surprised us was that you spend $1.99 per month for a 24-month subscription with an 83% discount.

SurfShark is still one of the cheapest VPNs on the market. These are three different length subscription plans:

1 Month24 Months6 Months
Price$ 12.95/mo$ 2.21/mo$ 6.49/mo
Simultaneous deviceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
24/7 live chatYesYesYes
Get it NowSave 83% NowSave 50% Now
30-day money-back guarantee

Payment & Refund Options

Surfshark VPN - Payment
Surfshark VPN – Payment
  • Cebit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover)
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal

SurfShark accepts popular international payments, including credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and even cryptocurrency.

But SurfShark doesn’t provide any popular payment in China like Alipay, Wechat, or Union Pay, maybe SurfShark is no plans to enter the Chinese market, but SurfShark does bypass the GFW in China.

Refund Options

SurfShark VPN does have a 30-day money-back guarantee for every pricing plan. If you are not 100% satisfied with SurfShark services, you have the right to claim a refund within 30 days. You can get a full refund subject to:

  • Payments made using prepaid cards or gift cards are not refunded.
  • You could not get refunds if you purchased an app through the iTunes/App Store.

However, the SurfShark support team will firstly solve your issue before you decide to cancel the subscription.

You can test SurfShark in every respect to ensure it’s perfect for you. Yes, SurfShark does have a seven-day free trial available to download through the Google Play and Apple App Store.

You will get the login credential when you download the app from the app store and sign-up by selecting ‘Start Free Trial.’ With the credentials, you can fully try any of the Surfshark apps, including Windows and Mac.

How to Download Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark has provided detailed tutorials and resources to help you get the start. If you haven’t subscribed to it, click here to Save 83% Now.

SurfsharkVPN-Download
Surfshark VPN-Download

And then, log in to your account with credentials. You can click on VPN > Apps&extensions and download Surfshark on your platforms or devices.

Also, you can switch to the Manual setup menu. Surfshark provides detailed setup methods for Manual, Router, and ShadowSocks. If the Surfshark app client can’t work well, maybe you can try these Manual setup methods.

Surfshark VPN FAQs

Who owns Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark Ltd. Surfshark is a VPN provider located in the British Virgin Islands, and it was founded in 2018. Although based on the ideal privacy location, Surfshark has a global team from eight countries worldwide.

Is Surfshark easy to use?

Yes. Surfshark provides a smooth user experience on different platforms and devices. Although there is some difference between them, you can quickly get started with Surfshark VPN.

How much does Surfshark VPN cost?

Surfshark VPN currently offers three pricing plans, $12.95 billed each month, $38.94 billed every six months, and $59.76 billed the first 27 months. As you can see, you can save more if you subscribe to it longer.

Does Surfshark work for Netflix?

Yes. Surfshark does unblock Netflix libraries, not just one, but fifteen as it claimed. What’s more, it supports all platforms with unlimited devices, that’s awesome.

Is Surfshark safe for Torrenting?

Yes. Surfshark uses diamond-strong AES-256-GCM data encryption and works excellently with popular P2P clients. Otherwise, the Kill Switch feature will help you disable the internet connection if your VPN connection drops. It’s crucial to protect your online privacy.

Surfshark VPN Alternatives

SurfShark VPN VS ExpressVPN

Surfshark offers ShadowSocks protocol for China, but it’s not as good as ExpressVPN. It’s no doubt that ExpressVPN is still our #1 VPN for China. If you would like to watch streaming or videos without a buffer, ExpressVPN is worth your consideration. Click here to Visit ExpressVPN or Read ExpressVPN Review.

The Bottom Line

Surfshark VPN Review Summary

Kris Wu

Speed
Security
Price
Easy of use
Service

Summary

So, Is SurfShark VPN Any Good?

SurfShark is a cost-effective VPN with many advanced features like unblocking 15 Netflix content libraries, no simultaneous device limit, and Shadowsocks protocol for censored countries.

However, SurfShark is growing with users’ feedback and issues. We’d like to see improvements in Surfshark’s speeds, no matter what is short-distance or long-distance. Primarily if SurfShark supports Alipay or other payments in China, it would be more friendly for the Chinese.

SurfShark is worthy of our recommendation with exclusive features and high-level privacy protection. If you are looking for a reliable VPN, SurfShark is worth your consideration.

4.4

If you have used Surfshark VPN, please share your honest review (good or bad).

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