Surfshark Antivirus Review 2024

Our Verdict

Surfshark Antivirus is a robust package for safeguarding your device and data

Surfshark Antivirus is a lightweight cybersecurity package that offers tools for avoiding malware, safeguarding personal data, and preventing identity theft.

The provider boasts over 90% success rates in protecting users from threats and has excellent usability stats. It’s also a great option for beginners aiming to enhance their online security stress-free.

Pros

  • Industry-leading VPN included
  • Blocks online trackers and ads
  • Monitors for data breaches
  • Protects webcam
  • Offers three virus scan types
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No firewall
  • Scans may take longer than other providers
  • No parental controls

In our Surfshark Antivirus review, we’ll cover all the key features of the new addition to Surfshark’s cybersecurity arsenal.

Surfshark is one of the most popular VPNs on the market and has relatively recently introduced a lightweight virus protection package. Depending on your plan, you’ll get anti-malware functionality, webcam protection tools, and identity theft protection features. It boasts user-friendly apps for Windows, macOS, and Android and is one of the best antivirus programs for cybersecurity beginners.

What is Surfshark Antivirus?

Surfshark is an all-around cybersecurity provider that specializes in VPNs and online security to protect your devices, data, and identity. Surfshark VPN was founded in 2018 in Lithuania, and it introduced its antivirus solution to its Surfshark One bundle in 2021.

Surfshark Antivirus is, hence, a relatively new addition to the antivirus market. It secures users’ devices from online threats like viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, and with real-time scanning and threat detection, it ensures users’ privacy and security.

Is Surfshark Antivirus Safe?

Surfshark Antivirus is a robust product for protecting your devices. While it may not have been around for as long as Norton or McAfee, its user-friendly anti-malware package provides top-notch online security for casual users.

The antivirus has undergone independent testing with AV-Test, a trusted source for evaluating antivirus programs. The assessment gave Surfshark full marks for usability but indicated room for improvement with user protection compared to more established platforms.

Surfshark Antivirus is designed to be gentle on your device’s CPU. It uses a maximum of around 50% of the CPU, which quickly goes back to around 20%. This means you won’t feel the need to disable the virus protection due to it slowing down your device.

Surfshark Antivirus Plans & Pricing

Surfshark Antivirus isn’t a standalone product, and you can’t get it without subscribing to Surfshark One or Surfshark One+.

The good news is that both these plans provide you with a bunch of security tools, allowing you to enhance your online safety and qualifying Surfshark as one of the best antiviruses with a VPN. Let’s see what the real differences are between Surfshark Antivirus plans:

Surfshark One Surfshark One+
Price $2.89/month $4.44/month
Antivirus
Webcam protection
VPN
Credit cards and ID breach alerts
Private search engine
Ad blocker
Data removal from company databases

Surfshark offers three subscription plans, but only two of them – Surfshark One and Surfshark One+ – have antivirus protection included in the bundles.

The two Surfshark One bundles offer very similar features across the VPN, ad blocker, data breach monitor, private search engine, and antivirus product. However, Surfshark One+ also comes with an option for data removal from company databases and people-search sites.

The data removal service is only available in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe for now, so Surfshark One+ isn’t worth considering if you’re in Asia, Oceania, Africa, or South America.

You can subscribe to each plan for one month, one year, or two years, with the cheapest monthly rates offered with the two-year plan, which also includes a free month.

Each Surfshark plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service without risk for the whole month. Both Surfshark One plans work on up to five devices simultaneously, making sure all your household devices are protected.

Can I Get Surfshark Antivirus for Free?

No, Surfshark Antivirus is not available for free. While Surfshark VPN offers a seven-day free trial for its iOS, Android, and Mac users, the same does not apply to the One bundles, which include antivirus protection.

You can still test the service risk-free, however, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. Simply subscribe and either continue or cancel the service within the 30-day period.

Surfshark Antivirus Security Features

Surfshark Antivirus offers simple yet powerful protection. It may lack some virus protection features found in more advanced providers, such as a firewall or parental controls, but it provides a range of top-notch security tools, including advanced virus scans, webcam protection, and an industry-leading VPN.

We’ll cover all of these in full in the next section of our Surfshark Antivirus review.

Virus Scans

Surfshark Antivirus Scan
Surfshark Antivirus scan complete

With Surfshark Antivirus, you can select from three types of virus scans – Quick, Full, and Scheduled.

The Quick Scan checks files in your Desktop, Documents, and Downloads folders. It typically takes just a few minutes and serves as a preventive security measure.

The Full Scan takes over 20 minutes and examines every file on your system, increasing the chance of catching malware. The duration of the scan depends on the size and number of files or folders chosen.

Surfshark also allows you to Schedule scans for specific days and times to help you maintain a secure online routine. You can also exclude files and folders from scans and can choose to run tests on all five protected devices at once.

Real-Time Antivirus Protection

Surfshark is an antivirus service that prioritizes real-time protection to keep your device protected from malware at all times. The provider monitors your systems 24/7, whether you’re casually browsing the internet or downloading files.

Surfshark Antivirus is lightweight, and its real-time antivirus protection tool runs seamlessly in the background without affecting your device’s performance or your online experience.

CleanWeb

Surfshark CleanWeb is among the antivirus’ most popular features and is designed to reduce the number of ads you see, prevent trackers from monitoring your activity, and thwart phishing attacks.

As well as being intrusive, pop-ups and ads can often lead you to untrustworthy sites and can be vectors for exposing you to malware and adware, so CleanWeb can significantly improve your online security and boost your performance by reducing the content you download.

The tool can be activated either through the app itself or as a browser extension, which is now known as CleanWeb 2.0 and is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Webcam Protection

The Surfshark Antivirus protection suite includes a Webcam Protection feature for stopping untrusted apps from accessing your device’s camera.

As with any part of your system, the camera can be hacked. With the Webcam Protection feature, you can quickly whitelist applications that can access your camera and then block any unauthorized programs. You’ll then get alerts if any apps try to access the camera without your permission.

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark Connected
The Surfshark VPN dashboard

The Surfshark VPN is one of the industry’s top VPNs, beating most of its competitors with its next-gen security measures and intuitive user interface. The product enhances your online safety and can bypass geographical restrictions to successfully unblock foreign websites and apps.

The VPN uses an AES-256 encryption cipher, which makes it virtually impossible to decrypt your online traffic. The implementation of the WireGuard tunneling protocol and selection of 3,200+ servers in 100 countries ensure you get a stable, secure, and lightning-fast connection wherever you are.

Unlike the antivirus, the VPN covers unlimited devices, including those that don’t support VPN applications, thanks to its Smart DNS feature. The tool itself is included in all Surfshark subscription plans and works on Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, and more.

Surfshark Search

Surfshark Search
Surfshark Search

Most popular search engines gather significant amounts of personal data, sharing it with advertisers and putting it at risk in the event of a breach. However, this isn’t how Surfshark Search works, as it’s an entirely anonymous search engine.

When using Surfshark Search, your online activity is untracked and unregistered. This means your search results aren’t affected by any external factors, and no one can track your searches.

Additionally, the private search engine doesn’t display any ads or pop-ups, providing you with a safe, stress-free online browsing experience.

Surfshark Alert

Surfshark Alert monitors personal data breaches across the internet and dark web. The tool can monitor various types of sensitive data, including your ID information, credit cards, and email addresses, all of which can be tracked through the app.

If Surfshark detects a data leak, you’ll receive an immediate notification and can also track the information in a scheduled security report. With this in hand, you can update your details to protect yourself and ensure you have robust security in place.

Data Removal Tools

The Surfshark One+ plan includes a pair of data removal tools. They send automatic requests to firms to remove your data – such as your name, address, and contact details – from company marketing databases and people search sites. This helps to protect your privacy and prevent nuisance calls.

Surfshark Antivirus Performance

Protection score of Surfshark antivirus from AV-Test
Surfshark Antivirus’ Protection score

Surfshark is a simple yet powerful antivirus product that consistently delivers top-class performance for its users, and its effectiveness has been recognized by cybersecurity experts and independent testing companies.

In AV-Test’s assessment, Surfshark Antivirus scored 15/18, demonstrating a good protection rate with room for improvement.

Surfshark Antivirus scored 98% to 100% detection rates for catching zero-day threats and prevalent malware attacks in three cases, but this fell to just under 92% in a fourth test, which was significantly below the industry average.

However, the antivirus achieved an excellent score of 6/6 for usability, with no false warnings being recorded.

In terms of performance, Surfshark Antivirus generally performed well, matching or beating industry averages, with the exception of significantly slowing down the installation of frequently used applications. This dropped Surfshark’s score to 4.5/6.

We’ve found that it maintains a moderate CPU load during scans and doesn’t significantly impact your digital experience.

Surfshark Antivirus Compatibility and Ease of Use

Surfshark Antivirus has apps for macOS, Windows, and Android, though it’s only a question of time until the provider offers AV apps for iOS and Linux users.

However, each application we tested proved to be user-friendly, lightweight, visually appealing, and intuitive. Let’s dig into the performance of each of the Surfshark Antivirus apps and the platform’s compatibility with different devices.

WindowsmacOSAndroid

Surfshark Antivirus for Windows

With Surfshark, you can easily select a subscription plan from their website, download the app on Windows, and install it with just a few simple steps.

Once the installation is complete, you’ll be prompted to log in with the account you created during the signup process. There are three main sections for the app – a menu on the left, features or server details in the center, and a dashboard on the right.

The Surfshark Antivirus Windows application includes all the features the provider has to offer, so you’ll be able to run different types of scans, enable real-time protection, use the CleanWeb feature, and more.

Surfshark Antivirus for macOS

Surfshark Antivirus for macOS is a great choice for both beginners and those who prefer a simple user interface. To get started, you need to select a subscription plan, create an account, and download the app from the Surfshark website.

Installation takes around two minutes. When the app is ready, you can log into your Surfshark account and start exploring.

The application is similar to the Windows interface, with a menu, features or servers list, and a dashboard. The design is tailored to the macOS interface, which enhances the app’s visual appeal, and all the available antivirus features are included.

The Surfshark macOS application lacks several VPN features, however, such as split tunneling and the NoBorders feature, and it doesn’t offer the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, unlike the Windows app.

Surfshark Antivirus for Android

Surfshark also has an excellent antivirus for Android devices. The application is divided into four sections – Surfshark, Locations, One, and Settings. They are displayed at the bottom of the screen and take up minimal screen space.

In the Surfshark section, you’ll find the VPN and its associated features, including the kill switch, GPS spoofer, and more. The Locations section offers a list of servers and the countries they’re located in.

If you’ve subscribed to Surfshark One or One+, the One section gives you access to Surfshark Antivirus, Surfshark Alert, the Alternative ID feature, the secure search engine, and other tools.

It’s worth noting that the antivirus feature on the Android app just includes the “Scan” button, so you can get to quickly running scans.

How Does Surfshark Antivirus Compare Against Other Antiviruses?

In the realm of VPNs, Surfshark stands out for its combination of next-gen protection and user-friendly experience. But does it maintain the same position when an antivirus package is evaluated? Let’s explore that in Surfshark’s Antivirus comparison against other top-tier providers.

Antivirus Price (lowest price) Max Devices Real-time Protection Firewall Scans
Surfshark $37.57/yr (24 months + 2 free) 5 Quick, Full, Scheduled
TotalAV $19/yr 6 Quick, System, Smart, Custom
Norton $29.99/yr 10/Unlimited Quick, Full, Smart, Custom
McAfee $35.99/yr Unlimited Scheduled, On-Demand, Real-Time, Individual Files

Surfshark Antivirus vs TotalAV

TotalAV has been a market-leading antivirus for years. While it lacks a firewall, TotalAV offers a wider range of virus scans and allows protection for more devices.

Additionally, when comparing a two-year plan, Surfshark Antivirus ends up being pricier. However, Surfshark’s strengths are its VPN and intuitive interface, which make it a worthy competitor for TotalAV.

Surfshark Antivirus vs Norton

At first glance, Norton outmatches Surfshark Antivirus on most fronts, including for its price and feature set. However, Surfshark VPN includes protection for unlimited devices, and Surfshark AV imposes a lighter load on the device’s CPU than Norton, which can consume up to 100% of the CPU.

Surfshark Antivirus vs McAfee

Surfshark Antivirus and McAfee are similar providers in terms of features and CPU load. However, McAfee has demonstrated greater effectiveness as an antivirus provider in independent AV tests, scoring a perfect 6/6 for overall protection, while Surfshark scored 4.5.

On the other hand, Surfshark offers much cheaper plans than McAfee while providing many of the same features.

How to Set Up Surfshark Antivirus

Surfshark Antivirus is one of the most user-friendly antivirus software products we’ve come across. Setting up the app and using it requires minimal time and effort, so it’s a fantastic pick for beginners. Here are step-by-step instructions on getting started.

1. Navigate to the official Surfshark website and choose your subscription plan.

Surfshark Antivirus homepage
Surfshark Antivirus homepage

2. Create an account.

Surfshark Antivirus Signup
Create an account

3. Download the Surfshark application for your device from the website.

Surfshark Antivirus Download
Download the app

4. Install the software by following the instructions provided.

5. Launch the application and log into your account.

6. Find the Antivirus section on the left and open it.

7. Select the option “Install Antivirus.”

Surfshark Antivirus installation button
Surfshark Antivirus installation button

8. Click “Continue” to begin your first system scan.

9. See whether any threats have been detected and follow the instructions to resolve them.

Surfshark Antivirus Customer Support And User Reviews

Surfshark Antivirus provides 24/7 customer support through various channels like live chat and email and offers a knowledge base, video tutorials, and an FAQ section, ensuring help is always available.

When it comes to live chat, Surfshark’s customer support agents respond to questions within a minute. The ticketing system is speedy, too, and you can expect answers around the clock.

During our testing, we were pleasantly surprised to receive accurate answers via live chat within minutes. Users writing on Trustpilot have noted similarly positive experiences.

Surfshark-Antivirus-Review-TrustPilot
Surfshark Antivirus reviews on TrustPilot

Based on customer feedback, Surfshark Antivirus offers swift assistance and helpful advice even in challenging situations. This commitment to customer support is undoubtedly one of Surfshark’s strengths.

Surfshark Antivirus TrustPilot Review
TrustPilot users review Surfshark Antivirus

Overall, Surfshark Antivirus has an “Excellent” 4.4/5 rating on Trustpilot, based on 21,500+ reviews. Of these, 73% are five-star reviews, and another 11% give the platform four stars.

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Michael Simon
Editor

Michael is a Tech Content Editor at Techopedia, who is passionate about delivering high-quality tech content online and ensuring the accuracy of our guides. With over a decade of experience in editorial and marketing, he has worked with leading publishers and a range of SaaS firms, gaining expertise in the tech sector. Outside of work, Michael's interests include current affairs and behavioral economics.