Surfshark VPN Review
- Headquarters: The Netherlands
- Servers: 3,200+
- Countries: 90+
- Supported devices: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers
- Starting price: $2.49 per month
- Rotating IP
- Great value for money
- Unlimited devices
- RAM-based servers
- Occasionally suffers from high-speed loss
- Based in the Netherlands (part of 14 Eyes Alliance)
- It doesn’t perform well in torrenting
Surfshark is a popular name in the VPN industry – it has a great balance between proposition and price. The company is based in the Netherlands, which is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. However, so far, there are no data leaks.
It’s safe to say that Surfshark VPN has one of the most well-distributed server locations of all VPNs. The Dutch provider has wide coverage in Asia and Africa, which is admirable, considering most VPNs struggle to offer the same.
Surfshark has a variety of security features, such as multi-hop, split tunneling, unlimited devices, RAM-based servers, and others. Did it just trump the competition, or is there a catch?
A reliable VPN should deliver a consistently great customer experience. While technical issues arise, good customer resolutions separate good and great VPNs. Surfshark has a 4.4 out of 5 stars in Trustpilot, which I can rank as “not great, not terrible.”
There are more than 15,000 Surfshark VPN reviews displayed online, and we consider most of the reviews genuine. It’s a positive sign that the recent reviews are mostly positive. Still, it’s a bit disappointing that Surfshark’s team is trying to resolve cases tete-a-tete instead of informing every Trustpilot user about the outcome.
The Dutch VPN provider offers 24/7 live chat support and good email support, and despite being criticized for it, we can confirm Surfshark is quite responsive, so during most of the day, you won’t have any issues reaching their customer support team.
Surfshark VPN excels in the usability department. Whether you are seeking for a Surfshark desktop app or you have a Mac, the Dutch will deliver an amazing experience. In fact, the Surfshark app was among the first ones to support Apple’s M1 chip. Surfshark also supports Linux if that’s your preferred OS choice.
The goodies don’t end here. Surfshark is among the very few VPNs to provide unlimited devices, which means you can connect everything. Furthermore, it works superbly with Amazon Fire Stick and gaming consoles, such as Xbox and Playstation.
The Smart DNS function also makes it great for Smart TVs, including Apple TV, and split tunneling (Surfshark calls it “Bypasser”).
We were also impressed by Surfshark’s mobile app versions for iOS and Android, although we could expect a bit smoother experience over Android.
Surfshark has one of the most attractive pricing plans on the market for long-term subscriptions – just $2.49 per month, which is better than some of Surfshark’s biggest competitors – like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Tunnelbear. Surfshark also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The 12-month Surfshark VPN plan would cost you $3.99 per month, although I was a bit surprised when checking the annual billing. If Surfshark charges you $59.76 for 12 months, then the price is expected to be $4.98. Whether it’s an overlook from their team or not, providing false information in the pricing section is never accepted well.
The monthly plan is priced at $12.95, which kind of pushes you to purchase the biennial subscription. That’s the same as one of the most expensive VPNs on the market – ExpressVPN. So if you don’t fancy long-term subscriptions, PrivateVPN, Tunnelbear, and ProtonVPN all offer better monthly plans.
Surfshark is very well-equipped with security features. It comes with a standard military-grade AES-256 encryption, RAM-based servers, DNS leak blocking, IPv4 leak blocking, and it supports WireGuard.
This is particularly good news for mobile data users since VPNs consume more data, and WireGuard is a more data-efficient protocol than OpenVPN. The use of Smart DNS is perfect for TVs, and “Bypasser” (split tunneling) can help you decide which apps you wish to access directly and which ones – through the VPN. On top of that, the “Nexus” technology rotates your IP, which is another security layer.
If you need to protect your connection even further, then you should consider applying a double VPN (multi-hop). However, it may dramatically decrease your speeds, so it’s not a good decision to make unless you have at least a 200Mbps Internet plan.
One flaw we found with Surfshark is that it doesn’t support IPv6 leak blocking. Unfortunately, split tunneling is also not available on iOS, and Surfshark doesn’t overcome The Great Firewall consistently. Last but not least – Surfshark VPN is based in the Netherlands and is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance.
Undoubtedly, streaming content from Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu is one of the main reasons customers use VPNs. Surfshark does exceptionally well here.
It opened many Netflix libraries, including Netflix US (which is considered the hardest to break), the UK, and the Netherlands, among others. Surfshark also unlocks HBO Max and other premium content platforms, including YouTube TV.
SmartDNS on AndroidTV and AppleTV add a lot of versatility. Still, we weren’t able to unlock Disney+ twice, but we succeeded the third time (third time lucky), despite being the first VPN to open the newest content platform on the market.
Surfshark isn’t the best VPN for Hulu, but it still works. However, if you stream mainly Hulu, we’d advise you to pick another service like PrivateVPN or NordVPN.
Surfshark is a great VPN for torrenting, and while not the best one on the market, it is certainly close enough. Having 3,200+ servers certainly help, and you can get very high speeds.
All servers are capable of P2P activities, but we liked that some servers are dedicated to torrenting. There, you can enjoy better speeds when downloading video games, movies, and music.
Using a kill switch is an absolute must since it protects your privacy even if your connection drops. Torrenting is forbidden in many countries due to copyright laws, and not activating the kill switch is not something you can afford.
Surfshark lacks one very important feature in the torrenting world – port-forwarding, and you will not be able to achieve high seed speeds. Not being able to seed well will hurt your reputation on torrent platforms, but it’s not a major problem.
We expected Surfshark to get great local speeds, but we witnessed a 15-18% speed drop which is something that is much more than other top VPNs we’ve reviewed. But is Surfshark slow? Not at all.
One area in which Surfshark excels is the variety of servers across many continents. Surfshark is a fast VPN for large-distance speeds and can rival NordVPN and ExpressVPN. It can retain about 60% of the maximum speed, which is excellent news for people who travel to farther locations or for US Netflix fans from across the ocean.
What we could advise you is to use WireGuard protocol, as you will get much better speeds, as Surfshark isn’t that fast with OpenVPN protocols. Hitting 400Mbps and higher is possible and even very probable with WireGuard activated.
Surfshark is a great bang-for-the-buck and is well-regarded in the VPN world. It has a plethora of security features that help you keep your privacy. Being so upmarket and yet affordable makes Surfshark a powerful contender for the #1 spot in the top VPN list. Having headquarters in the Netherlands and a lack of port forwarding doesn’t make it ideal for torrenting. Still, gamers, streamers, and regular browsers can quickly adopt the Surfshark app without breaking the bank.