- Buyer’s Guide
Surfshark Review (June 2023)
A well-rounded offering providing all the features that both occasional and power-users could want
Fees: $2.30 - $12.95/mth
Best For: Users looking for a reliable, comprehensive VPN
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Surfshark has quickly become one of the most popular VPN services on offer today through its comprehensive and slick platform.
By offering a full suite of privacy oriented features via an easy-to-use interface, Surfshark should be considered not only by power-users, but the more casual ones just looking to stream on the go as well.
- Competitive Pricing
- Unlimited Connections
- Expansive Server Network
- Speeds Slighty Trail Top Competitors
From an accessibility standpoint, Surfshark stands with the best of them. Not only does the company proudly boast its ability to work with all of todays major streaming services, it is available on all major operating systems and more, including,
Beyond its wide reach across operating systems, Surfshark excels in offering a robust and expansive server network. Spanning 95 countries, this network is comprised of over 3200 RAM only servers – and growing.
In addition to opening the gates to streaming services across a wide array of operating systems, Surfshark supports both TOR over VPN, and torrenting.
While each of the above points are definite positives, there are various other services which offer the same. Where Surfshark sets itself apart with its accessibility is through its decision to allow unlimited connections. As other top competitors limit users to running between 5-10 instances of their VPN services across your devices, Surfshark imposes no limit at all. Meaning you can simultaneously use the services across ALL of your connected devices, no matter how tech-happy you are.
Bringing even more functionality to this VPN is its built in ‘Bypasser’, which allows for you to route only designated programs through its servers while simultaneously browsing normally. This is also known as ‘split-tunneling’. This feature however, is not available for those on Mac devices.
In order to be considered a top-VPN, there are a few crucial security features which must be on hand at all times.
- AES-256 encryption
- Zero-Knowledge DNS Servers
By offering each of these, users can rest assured that not only is data encrypted, it is being transmitted through a safe connection point, and that in the event of a dropped connection there is a kill switch to immediately halt any data transfer. Thankfully for users of Surfshark, this grouping of security features are supported, along with a variety of other useful offerings like ad blockers, URL blocking, and more.
As hard as they may try, not all VPN software is able to offer the same level of privacy assurances to users. This boils down to where exactly the company is based. Around the world certain governments have taken harsh stances against privacy, requiring detailed logs of activity to be kept for submission if requested, or even banned VPNs altogether. An example of this recently took place in India when a law was passed requiring VPN providers to, “…record and keep customers’ logs for 180 days as well as collect and keep excessive customer data for five years.” In response to this law, Surfshark shut down its physical servers in the country, and established various ‘virtual locations’, allowing for its users to receive full continued functionality.
Surfshark calls the British Virgin Islands home. This tiny island nation boasts very strong privacy laws in favour of the end user. Here, companies like Surfshark have no obligation to keep detailed records on its users. This, combined with the company’s no-logging policy, means that even if a regulator were to come calling, Surfshark would not have any data to offer outside of billing information.
On top of all this, Surfshark incorporate the following features in to all of its subscriptions.
- CleanWeb (adblocker, malware blocker, etc.)
- MultiHop (connect to multiple servers at once, thereby enhancing privacy)
- DNS Leak Protection
While the company has had security audits performed on its browser extensions in the past, it would be nice to see a full independent audit performed on its privacy practices in the future.
If using WireGuard, users of Surfshark will have no complaints in the performance department, with the service offering speeds rivalling the best services around.
The only area which it may fall behind the pack is for those using the OpenVPN protocol, which may not be an issue with Surfshark and the servers it uses, but the the protocol itself. While OpenVPN is tried and tested, performing well for many years, it is a ‘heavy’ protocol. WireGuard on the other hand is a next-gen offering that touts simplicity in its coding – meaning a lightweight application that can boast impressive speeds.
It should be noted that while users may see an increase in performance by switching to WireGuard, privacy issues can be introduced due to the protocol requiring certain potentially identifying information being stored on servers. For the average user however, the is not an issue.
At least with Surfshark, and most top-end VPN services, the option to use either protocol is on hand.
Surfshark makes purchasing easy with its VPN platform on offer from $12.95/mth USD, to as little as $2.49/mth USD on a 24 month plan. The catch is that after the first 24mths, this price goes up to $4.98/mth on an annual basis.
In an effort to make payments as easy as possible, Surfshark accepts,
- Credit Card
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple)
All methods of payment can be made using a variety of FIAT options (AUD, CAD, CNY, EUR, GBP, USD).
All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee, along with access to 24/7 customer support.
From a pricing and flexibility standpoint, Surfshark is one of the most competitive full-suite platforms on offer today.
With 4 years of growth and counting under its belt, Surfshark has managed to become on of the top options on the market. Through its full-featured offering, solid privacy policies, and top-notch security features, users will find little to complain about.
While performance will vary depending on which VPN protocol is being used, it would only be in very select instances that this would become an issue. With its ability to be used on an unlimited number of devices, any speed issues also become very easy to overlook when considering the flexibility on offer.
Overall, Surfshark should definitely be considered when shopping for a VPN service – regardless of whether you are just looking to stream content or just maintain online anonymity.