If there’s one thing that people have come to understand in recent years, it is the fact that online privacy matters. This realization has led to a rocketing increase in interest in virtual private networks (VPNs) as a simple solution to protect one’s privacy, and subsequently – the number of VPN service providers. Although most of them offer similar ways to change your IP address and encrypt your online data, only a few truly stand out of the crowd, and Surfshark VPN is one of them.
Colourfully named Surfshark is quite a new guy on the block, but has already managed to grab lots of attention from privacy enthusiasts. It has everything one would expect from a premium VPN service, including fast servers, double VPN functionality, advanced AES 256 GCM encryption, a Kill switch, and some more unique functions, such as CleanWeb which blocks ads, trackers and malware, as well as Whitelister (a.k.a. split tunneling).
One more thing – Surfshark works is China, and is completely unlimited regarding the number of simultaneous connection which is a great advantage in the VPN market. And best part of it that currently Surfshark sells for the much lower price than its competitors, which is only $1.99 a month for a 2-year subscription.
Privacy & Security
When choosing VPN, one must always take their first look at privacy and security. We’re giving you some heads up – Surfshark smoothly covers all the necessaries and even goes and extra mile. First of all, Surfshark offers a choice between both of widely acknowledged for their security IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN protocols. As a default protocol Surfshark uses IKEv2/IPsec in all of its apps because of its unmatched connection speeds and notably better performance regarding any device’s battery maintenance. Nevertheless, Surfshark users can always choose to switch into OpenVPN protocol manually.
As for the encryption part, Surfshark walks an extra mile. It uses a diamond-strong AES 256 GCM cypher, which has a built-in authentication making the whole encryption process much faster than using a widespread AES-256-CBC.
The fact that Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Island comes as an assurance for Surfshark’s strict no logs policy. Businesses located in this country aren’t subject to any data retention laws, which is extremely important for all VPN users. Having it in mind, Surfshark allows torrenting, has special servers for that, and of course, a kill switch. This is an important competitive advantage, considering that there are less and less VPN providers which work well for P2P fans.
Taking into account all of the above, as well as Surfshark’s usage of private DNS and IP masking, makes it a strong player in terms of privacy and security.
Another important part to look at when choosing a VPN whether it’s going to meet one’s needs. For that one has take a closer look at features. Although at the first sight Surfshark looks clean and straightforward, it does have some unique features under its hood. For instance, with its CleanWeb feature Surfshark can also work as an advanced ad blocker. It can be called advanced, because the ad blocking is done on DNS level, thus Surfshark’s CleanWeb is undetectable by most of websites which require to disable ad blocking. In addition to ads, CleanWeb blocks trackers, malware and protects from phishing attacks.
As mentioned above, Surfshark works in restrictive markets such as China. It does that by using its own NoBorders mode. Basically, this feature works as server obfuscation, thus even internet services providers cannot detect VPN usage.
For privacy enthusiasts Surfshark has a special MultiHop feature. In general, it is a double VPN mode which routes user’s traffic through two different VPN servers and therefore adds up to your anonymity.
One more special feature is Whitelister. In Surfshark apps works as a next level split tunneling by allowing to not only whitelist application which should not be routed via VPN tunnel, but also specific websites. It’s very handy for users who are tired of switching their VPNs on and off in order to use app which simply cannot work while VPN is enabled.
When it comes to the apps, one will always look for VPN which works on their devices. In this regard, Surfshark performs really well. With its native apps the provider covers most of operating systems, including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Quite uniquely, Surfshark VPN also has dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, so if you are looking for VPN to unlock foreign entertainment content such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, etc., Surfshark will seamlessly cover your needs.
On a different note, Surfshark has not yet published its app for Linux OS. However, after contacting their 24/7 live customer support team via chat, we were informed that Surfshark Linux app is at the last stages of development and should very soon come live.
500+ servers in 50 countries for a relatively fresh provider is rather an impressive number. Looking at the location list, it’s really good to know that you can easily find a server near your country. This might explain how Surfshark manages to maintain extremely high speeds. When testing several different locations we noticed only a relatively small decrease in download and upload speed, so in this regard Surfshark performs way better than market average.
Actually, the most impressive thing for us when reviewing Surfshark was its customer support. When we asked a question about some manual configuration via their 24/7 live chat, the guy named Harry responded in 15 seconds. He was very helpful and clear.
Later on we tested Surfshark’s ticketing system, which is a convenient way to contact the provider for more privacy conscious clients. Surfshark only took 2 minutes to respond to our ticket, and that is simply the fastest support we’ve ever experienced with any VPN provider.
Frankly speaking, Surfshark offers a lot for what is charges. It has 3 subscription plans on the table which differ only by the length of subscription. The best bargain of $1.99 per month comes with a 2-year plan. Currently, this is the lowest price offer in the premium VPN market.
For those who do not want long-term commitment, Surfshark has a 1-month plan for $11.95 which is more or the less the standard price for such a plan in the VPN market. There’s also a 1-year plan which goes for $5.99.
All things considered – 2-year subscription is the wisest choice as it’s hard to believe that they will go for such a favourable price for long. Additionally, there’s a generous 30-day money-back guarantee with all the plans, so you can feel free to get your money back if you don’t get to like it in 30 days.
Of all the VPN options on the market, Surfshark currently is without a doubt the best bargain. Although like many premium VPNs it does not offer a free trial, Surfshark has a ‘no questions asked’ 30-day money-back guarantee, so in a way you can still try it without spending a penny.
Taking into account all the things above, as well as the fact that one Surfshark account can be used by many people and without any limitations, it would be a shame not to hop onto the privacy wave with Surfshark as a privacy protection tool of your choice.