Surfshark Review

Company Location British Virgin Isles
Integrated Network Kill Switch Yes
Number of Servers 1,700+ servers in 63 countries
Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Number of Devices Unlimited
Refund Policy 30 days
Minimum Term One month

Strengths of Surfshark VPN

  • Unlimited number of devices is a significant plus
  • CleanWeb function is a seamless ad blocker / and-tracking tool
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Simplistic whitelist tool is great for services that you want to remain on-network
  • MultiHop tool allows for multilayered obfuscation of your location

Weaknesses of Surfshark VPN

  • A relative lack of customization and advanced settings may put some power users off

Surfshark is a robust digital privacy suite that combines a quality VPN service with a set of ad-blocking, anti-malware functions. The way these features tie together is fantastic, and if you’re in the market for a one-stop shop for your digital privacy, this might be the option for you. This is especially true because the service allows for unlimited devices being used simultaneously – a true standout feature that has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Surfshark Essential Features

Surfshark has all the basics covered here: a robust set of servers, allowing users to choose from more than 1700 in 63 countries, some excellent speeds across the board, and a clean, hyper-functional user experience.

The VPN also features some really unique elements that elevate it in my opinion. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed using some of these. Of note are the dedicated multihop mode, which allows you to connect to multiple VPN “nodes”, further obscuring your traffic. This feature has been increasing in popularity in recent years, and it’s nice to see it included here as a dedicated set of 14 options.

Finally, there’s camouflage mode, which essentially acts as an additional obfuscation measure to use against content filtering. It essentially eliminates VPN traces on your network, hiding the fact that you are using one from your internet service provider (and anyone else who might be snooping).

Surfshark VPN Pricing

Surfshark offers a pretty conventional pricing model, with discounts being provided for longer-term subscriptions:

Term Length Price Per Month Total Price Refund Policy 
1 Month $12.95 $12.95 30 days
6 Months $6.49 $38.94 30 days
27 Months $2.21 $59.76 30 days

One thing that sets Surfshark apart from much of its competition is just how competitive some of the longer term discounts are. $60 for over two years of service is a great value relative to what’s on offer here, and if you’ve already used and enjoyed the service, it’s also the best and most obvious choice.

That said, if you haven’t yet tested it out for yourself, I’d still recommend giving the 1 month option a try. That way, you can confirm that it will actually be a solution worth sticking with for the long haul.

Surfshark Encryption & Privacy 

Surfshark has a fairly robust no-log policy – the company claims that they do not collect IP addresses, browsing history, bandwidth, session, network traffic, or connection timestamp information. The service employs industry-standard AES-256 encryption, and features an integrated killswitch to cover you if your connection to the VPN ever drops.

Surshark Preferences on Mac
Surshark Preferences on Mac

Surfshark Streaming Test

A true test of any VPN service for many is how well it performs when trying to access content that wouldn’t otherwise be available in your region. I tested Surfshark on a wide variety of services, including Netflix, Youtube, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and overall, the service performed very well.

I was able to watch content from a variety of countries here in the U.S. Of course, your experience may vary depending on which server you choose, and you might have to do a bit of hunting in order to find one that gets you where you want to go. Despite this, Surfshark is an excellent choice for media-minded individuals.

Surfshark VPN Review for the Android

Surfshark’s dashboard includes a tutorial on how to connect to a server. Following Surfshark’s instructions, I then connected to my device. Whether connected or not, you can find the kill switch on the main screen above the server you connect to, along with transferred data, and the IP address that others will see.

Surfshark Android Disconnected Screen
Surfshark Android Disconnected Screen
Surfshark Android Connected Screen
Surfshark Android Connected Screen

Surfshark separates specific features, including CleanWeb (similar to an ad blocker) and Whitelister (identical to split tunneling) from the settings menu so users can have quick access. Settings, accessible from the menu at the bottom of the main page, include items requiring fewer visits, such as analytics, protocols, and application information.

Surfshark Android Features Screen
Surfshark Android Features Screen
Surfshark Android Settings Screen
Surfshark Android Settings Screen

I did like that I could access the ad blocker and split tunneling with just a few clicks from the main screen rather than scrolling through each menu item. However, I noticed that Surfshark offers opportunities to earn free months from the settings tab, but the app would redirect me each time I clicked on it. So, Surfshark may only offer free months during promotional periods.

I did try several servers looking for faster download speeds, but ultimately my speed was reduced by around 98 percent. However, my upload speed decreased by about 16 percent. While Amazon Prime did work with Surfshark connected, the picture was very grainy. After 1-2 minutes, the images became clear, and as long as I didn’t try to skip forward, it stayed clear.

Download Speed Upload Speed
No VPN 214.78 Mbps 30.33 Mbps
With Surfshark 5.80 Mbps 25.53 Mbps

Surfshark includes a search bar to help users go through all of their locations and quick-connect options, including the fastest server and nearest country. For additional security, there are multihop servers available that go through two servers rather than one.

Surfshark Android Server Locations Screen
Surfshark Android Server Locations Screen
Surfshark Android Preferred Location Screen
Surfshark Android Preferred Location Screen

Surfshark includes features that make it worth choosing them, including the multihop servers and CleanWeb. Although they work for streaming, there are other VPNs out there that don’t decrease download speed quite as much. However, several factors can affect speed, like your modem and router, chosen server, and the distance from that server. Nevertheless, Surfshark did provide a secure connection and was easy to navigate.

Surfshark VPN Review for the iPhone and iPad

The Surfshark VPN is extremely fast, feature-rich, and user-friendly for iOS. Downloading and logging into the app was easy. Once logged in, getting connected was as easy as hitting the “connect” button. You can either choose one of the two fast connect options, which will either connect you to the fastest server or the closest server. Otherwise, you can click on the “locations” tab to choose a specific location.

Upon connecting, you will see this screen:

Surfshark iPhone Connected Screen
Surfshark iPhone Connected Screen

The iOS app is well designed and easy to use for advanced and beginner VPN users alike. If you want to change your location, you can simply touch the “locations” button at the bottom and choose from the following list:

Surfshark iPhone Server Locations Screen
Surfshark iPhone Server Locations Screen

From the above screen, you can scroll through all of the available locations and choose the one that best suits you.

I also appreciated that the Surfshark app allows you to change even advanced settings such as the kill switch or your security protocol.

Surfshark iPhone Protocol Selection
Surfshark iPhone Protocol Selection

While the Surfshark app for the iPhone and iPad is intuitive, attractive, customizable, and easy to use, none of that matters if the speed isn’t up to par. So, let’s take a look at how Surfshark held up to speed tests on iOS.

Download Speed Upload Speed
No VPN 4.1 7.32 Mbps
With Surfshark 13.46 Mbps 4.10 Mbps

Surprisingly, Surfshark actually nearly doubled my upload speed and did even better for my download. I was so surprised by this result that I had to retest it twice and got the same results.

Overall, Surfshark’s iOS app was more than satisfactory. It left me truly impressed with its number of customization options and the sheer speed of the connection.

Surfshark User Privacy

Surfshark’s no-log policy states that they do not collect IP addresses, browsing history, bandwidth, session, network traffic, or connection timestamp information. The service employs industry-standard AES-256 encryption, and features an integrated killswitch to cover you if your connection to the VPN ever drops.

Surfshark also includes some novel features worth mentioning, like the Multihop mode that lets you route your connection through multiple locations at once, making it even more difficult to discern your actual location. There’s also camouflage mode, which the company claims will mask your VPN usage from your internet service provider. foolproof, it’s important to realize that studies have shown just how much can be gleaned from anonymized data in the past.

Surfshark Speed Tests

Download Speed Reduction Upload Speed Reduction Latency Increase
35% 3% 60%

Surfshark performed pretty well overall in our speed testing. In particular, upload speeds barely suffered at all in our testing, though download speeds dropped by 35% and latency was noticeably increased. These tests were done from the Dallas area, and your experience will likely vary depending on where you are in relation to your chosen server.

Surfshark Speed Test
Surfshark Speed Test

Wrapping Up

Surfshark’s clean user interface, robust set of online privacy tools, and wide variety of quality VPN servers come together to make one of the most attractive software suites for digital security in 2021. The service lacks some of the depth of similar competitors, but the addition of a powerful ad-blocking tool and the service’s streamlined design aesthetic more than warrant its place on your shortlist.