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Is Surfshark a Good VPN? What You Should Know

is surfshark a good vpn
Marko Marjanovic

Summary: In a world where cyber-attacks take place every 39 seconds, digital security has become paramount, and virtual private networks (VPNs) have emerged as one of the most widely accessible methods for safeguarding personal data online. In this article, we’re examining Surfshark, one of the more popular VPN choices. We’ll be taking a look at Surfshark’s features, performance, and pricing to help give readers a clear picture of both Surfshark’s strengths and weaknesses.

Enjoy effortless online privacy with a VPN & guard your identity with a single app

  • Surf the web without being tracked

  • Hide your IP address and encrypt your sensitive data

  • Get alerted of data breaches targeting your personal information

  • Massive 3,200+ high-speed servers fleet in 100+ countries

  • Change digital locations to access websites while travelling

3200+ Servers

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software application that establishes an encrypted connection between the user’s digital device and the internet. By using a VPN, users can browse the web knowing that their data remains protected from interception, unauthorized access, and third-party monitoring.

What is a VPN? Source: Surfshark YouTube channel.

Why People use VPN

The increase in the use of VPNs is a result of a multitude of factors. Most importantly, the average user is becoming more aware of potential security risks associated with their internet activity due to numerous data leaks and breaches occurring daily.

Moreover, using a VPN allows users to bypass geographical restrictions, which has become quite popular among those looking to access restricted content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other video-on-demand services.

Finally, as more and more people are starting to work remotely, using a VPN can be a beneficial tool and provide them with a necessary layer of protection when accessing important company data from public networks or abroad. 

Surfshark background

Surfshark was first launched in 2018 by a company of the same name operating in the British Virgin Islands. The company has since moved to the Netherlands, a member of the Nine Eyes alliance, an international pact that allows a number of countries to share intelligence.

This transfer is important as it has led to a lot of concerns being raised in regard to potential privacy and civil liberty violations. The concerns are justified, as member countries can monitor user online activity and demand access to user data, even if they live abroad.

In theory, these kinds of policies are alarming. However, Surfshark continues to insist on the transparency of its no-logs policies and ensures users that, since they are not keeping any traces of user data, there are no reasons to worry — even if the government demanded they hand over user data, they would simply have nothing to give them.

In mid-2022, Surfshark merged with Nord Security, the company behind NordVPN, another popular VPN client. The companies, however, continue to operate independently. In the same year, Surfshark partnered up with NetBlocks, a cybersecurity watchdog organization advocating for internet freedom.

Is Surfshark a good VPN?

Whether a VPN is good or not can be rather relative, as some clients are better than others at what they do. Nonetheless, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration no matter what kind of VPN service you are looking for, especially if you’re an average user with little prior experience with virtual private networks. Those include:

  1. Security and privacy;
  2. Performance and speed;
  3. Availability;
  4. Pricing.

1. Security and privacy

Privacy and security are Surfshark’s strongest selling points. Surfshark was one of the first VPN providers to switch to RAM-only servers, which meant that the company could not log user data for long periods of time as there were no drives where it could be saved. This goes hand-in-hand with the company’s no-logs policy, which ensures clients that their data will not be used for anything other than user reports.

Further, Surfshark clients come with several encryption protocols that the user can choose from according to their liking. Those include AES-256, IKEv2, and the WireGuard protocol, which is built on as little code as possible in order to minimize the potential attack surface that hackers can exploit.

In addition, Surfshark has a built-in camouflage mode. Enabling this option allows users to enjoy all the benefits of a VPN while masking any traces of VPN usage, making their connectivity resemble a regular internet connection. This is a useful option for those looking to bypass both regional and VPN restrictions.

2. Performance and speed

Surfshark’s reliance on modern encryption protocols increases the stability of its client and minimizes speed reduction. However, it must be noted that Surfshark speed varies based on the encryption protocol of your choice.

For example, the OpenVPN UDP protocol is generally faster than the OpenVPN TCP protocol, so some experimentation with the connection is advised if you want to optimize your connection speed. Note also that VPN speed can be affected by factors other than the encryption protocol. For example, the speed can drop if you turn on third-party antivirus software or enable several VPN clients at once.

Note also that the distance between your device and the server, your internet service provider and plan, your operating system, the type of browser you prefer, etc. can also affect your connection speed. 

3. Availability

Surfshark is available on all major operating systems, including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, it comes as a browser extension for Mozilla and Chrome, and you can install it on routers, Android TV, and Fire Stick. However, the app is not the same on all devices. Most notably, features such as split tunneling, i.e., bypassing, are not available on iOS, macOS, and Linux, which might deter a lot of users.

4. Pricing 

VPN cost plays a significant role in users’ decisions. Fortunately, Surfshark offers several subscription options, with long-term plans providing the most value for money, starting at $2.39 a month. Monthly plans, on the other hand, are a bit pricey, starting at $12.95, although that is still slightly more affordable than, for example, NordVPN’s monthly plan, which starts at $12.99.

Moreover, Surfshark comes with a 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing new users to test the client before committing to a subscription.

Subscription lengthMonthly priceAnnual priceMonthly price bundled with the Surfshark One Antivirus, Search, and Alert functionalities
1 month$12.95$155.40$14.44
12 months$3.99$47.88$5.48
24 months$2.39$29.88$3.98

Enjoy effortless online privacy with a VPN & guard your identity with a single app

  • Surf the web without being tracked

  • Hide your IP address and encrypt your sensitive data

  • Get alerted of data breaches targeting your personal information

  • Massive 3,200+ high-speed servers fleet in 100+ countries

  • Change digital locations to access websites while travelling

3200+ Servers

Extra features

Surfshark has a number of additional features that help it stay a competitive VPN service. Some of the most noteworthy mentions include:

  • CleanWeb: Enabling this feature lets users block all kinds of ads, trackers, and malware, making their internet browsing experience smoother and more secure;
  • GPS override: Sometimes, a VPN connection can be compromised if your device is feeding the server with contradictory location information, for example, when your GPS is enabled. By activating the Surfshark GPS override, you can ensure your GPS location matches your VPN server location;
  • Surfshark One: Surfshark comes with a proprietary antivirus, which is a good addition for users looking to protect both their connection and their devices. The program features webcam and real-time browser protection;
  • Search: A proprietary Surfshark search engine that display only organic results without any ads and allows users to surf the web without leaving a trace;
  • Alert: This feature sends users notifications whenever a data leak happens;
  • Incogni: Surfshark’s new Incogni feature contacts online data brokers and requests that they delete any data they have on the user, helping them stay immune to online marketing;
  • Dedicated IP: Getting a dedicated IP has many advantates: it helps users avoid CAPTCHA requests, access websites and services sensitive to IP changes, stops other users from using the same IP address, etc.; 
  • Kill Switch: Enabling the Kill Switch feature ensures users that their internet connection will be automatically cut off if the VPN connection is unexpectedly lost, which adds another layer of sensitive data protection. Note, though, that this feature is not available on macOS;
  • Bypasser (i.e.,) split tunneling: Split tunneling feature allows users to be selective with their VPN usage, that is, to choose which apps are going to be tunneled through the VPN and which aren’t;
  • NoBorders: Surfshark’s NoBorders functionality lets users bypass restrictions in countries with stricter censorship laws, such as China.

Conclusion

To recap, Surfshark has both its pros and cons, but the benefits it offers largely outweigh the drawbacks, and most users are likely to welcome its no-logging policies, the number of available servers, and additional torrenting functionalities. Fortunately, even though some of the subscription plans might be on the expensive side, the service comes with a seven-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so anyone can download the client and reach their own conclusions about the product.

Pros and cons of Surfshark VPN

Pros

Pros

  • 3,200+ high-speed servers;
  • Comes with additional Antivirus, Search, Alert, and Incognito features;
  • It’s available on all major platforms (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux);
  • 24/7 customer support, including live chat (1-3 min. response time) and tickets (<24 hours response time);
  • No-logs policy;
  • It works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+;
  • Torrenting support;
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections:
  • Dedicated IP.
Cons

Cons

  • A bit pricey if you don’t choose a longer subscription plan;
  • Some features are missing on Mac and iOS devices;
  • Some encryption protocols reduce the speed drastically;
  • Torrenting performance is inconsistent.

FAQs about Surfshark VPN

Is Surfshark a good VPN?

Surfshark is generally considered a good VPN, but whether it is the ideal choice for you will depend on what exactly you are looking to gain from a VPN.

Is Surfshark free?

Surfshark has a seven-day free trial. After that, you will have to pay between $2.49 and $12.95 a month, depending on subscription length.

How many devices can be connected to Surfshark VPN at the same time?

Surfshark imposes no connection limitations, so users can connect and protect as many devices as they want.

Does Surfshark work with Netflix?

Yes, Surfshark can help users bypass geographical restrictions to access restricted Netflix content.

Enjoy effortless online privacy with a VPN & guard your identity with a single app

  • Surf the web without being tracked

  • Hide your IP address and encrypt your sensitive data

  • Get alerted of data breaches targeting your personal information

  • Massive 3,200+ high-speed servers fleet in 100+ countries

  • Change digital locations to access websites while travelling

3200+ Servers

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