Surfshark Review 2024

Our Verdict

Surfshark's comprehensive feature set makes it one of the best VPNs on the market

The consensus from our VPN experts and the market is that Surfshark is definitely worth the money. It offers a comprehensive set of features that make it one of the best VPNs on the market. It’s also very affordable compared to other top-tier VPN products, and its 30-day money-back guarantee means you can test it for yourself without having to worry about being stuck with something you don’t like.

Whether you’re looking for added privacy and security or want to access content that’s unavailable in your region, Surfshark provides great value.

Pros

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Excellent streaming and torrenting capabilities
  • Impressive global server network
  • Unblocks content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other video-on-demand services
  • Affordable compared to other top VPNs
  • Surfshark Antivirus service

Cons

  • Kill switch performs inconsistently for some
  • Dedicated IP costs extra
  • No servers in mainland China

This Surfshark review will explore everything you need to know about the VPN. If you’re looking for a secure and dependable tool, Surfshark VPN should be at the top of your list, and it’s one of the best-value VPNs around. It offers fast connections, strong encryption, and great security features.

Our comprehensive Surfshark VPN review will cover everything you need to know about the VPN provider, including its features, pricing, protocols, and customer support, and how it compares to VPN services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. So, is Surfshark worth it? Let’s find out.

What is Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider that offers safe and private connections between your device and the web. The Surfshark app is easy to use, even for beginners, and it allows users to choose from any of 3,200 Surfshark servers found in more than 100 countries around the world.

The company launched its first product in 2018 and has its headquarters in the Netherlands. The country is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and has no data-retention laws, but it is a member of the 9-Eyes Alliance.

The service employs AES-256-GCM encryption and offers features like an antivirus and CleanWeb for ad and malware blocking.

One unique feature is the Surfshark Nexus technology, which uses Software Defined Networking (SDN) to connect the provider’s VPN servers into a single, global network.

Surfshark Plans & Pricing

Surfshark VPN apps
Surfshark VPN apps

Surfshark provides three plans – Surfshark Starter, Surfshark One, and Surfshark One+. Prices are dramatically lower on a monthly basis with longer subscriptions. Surfshark also offers unlimited simultaneous connections with all its plans, so you can connect all your devices on a single account.

The table below lays out how much Surfshark costs with each plan.

Surfshark Plans Price (24 months) Price (12 months) Price (1 month)
Surfshark Starter $2.49/month $3.49/month $15.45/month
Surfshark One $3.19/month $4.09/month $15.95/month
Surfshark One+ $4.97/month $6.49/month $17.95/month
Surfshark StarterSurfshark OneSurfshark One+

Surfshark Starter ($2.49/month)

Surfshark Starter is Surfshark’s base plan. The package includes the VPN, an ad and cookie pop-up blocked, and an alternative ID feature.

Surfshark One ($3.19/month)

Surfshark One is the most popular VPN plan on Surfshark. It adds antivirus protection, a private search engine, credit card and ID breach alerts, and webcam protection.

Surfshark One+ ($4.97/month)

Surfshark One+ is the VPN’s top-tier plan. It includes Incogni, an advanced data removal service that can pull your details from people search sites and company databases.

Surfshark’s prices are some of the best in the market for a premium provider, and the VPN operator offers top-notch security features while keeping costs low.

Additionally, there’s a seven-day trial for Android, iOS, and macOS and a 30-day money-back guarantee to protect you. In addition, all payments can be made with credit and debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and even cryptocurrency, so you can buy a subscription completely anonymously.

If you change your mind, it’s also fairly easy to cancel via your account.

Surfshark Review – Is Surfshark Safe and Secure?

SurfShark VPN app
SurfShark VPN app

Strong encryption and a commitment to user privacy are crucial for a secure VPN. These are the key details about Surfshark’s security measures.

Encryption

Surfshark has implemented the AES-256-GCM encryption algorithm across its infrastructure. OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec also use the algorithm, while WireGuard uses Curve25519, ChaCha20, and Poly1305.

AES-256 is generally regarded as being the best in the industry. Even if hackers or other third parties were able to intercept data, it should remain uncrackable with current technology.

Tunneling Protocols

Surfshark offers the WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN VPN protocols.

WireGuard is the platform’s default protocol and is both fast and secure. IKEv2/IPSec is known for its speed and reliability and is a great pick for mobile. OpenVPN, on the other hand, is more secure but is slower. However, it’s more widely supported and can be used on devices like routers.

Logging Policy

Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy, which has been independently audited by Deloitte, and its security has been tested by Cure53.

The company’s Android mobile app has also passed security auditing by the App Defense Alliance, proving that it meets industry standards set by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWAP).

In addition, the company operates under a privacy-friendly jurisdiction in the Netherlands. The country doesn’t have any obligatory data retention laws, though it is a part of the 9-Eyes Alliance of states that share intelligence-gathering information.

Surfshark VPN Review – Features

Surfshark VPN with a UK connection
Surfshark VPN with a UK connection

The best VPNs are known for the extensive security functionality they offer. In this section of our Surfshark review, we’ll explore the provider’s key features.

VPN Server Network

Surfshark has a network of 3,200+ high-speed servers in more than 100 countries, including both its physical and virtual servers. This means you should be able to find nearby servers around the world and will be able to access IP addresses and server locations for whatever countries you need.

The VPN provider is constantly upgrading its network, and all Surfshark’s servers are now RAM-only, meaning that no information is stored, and all data traces are wiped every time the server is rebooted.

Simultaneous Connections

Surfshark has no bandwidth limitations – unlike many free VPNs – and you can use your subscription on an unlimited number of devices.

This is a big advantage, as other popular VPNs limit the number of device connections. ExpressVPN only allows you to have eight devices connected, while NordVPN only enables six devices at a time.

Kill Switch

The Surfshark VPN kill switch monitors if you’re connected to a server and quickly shuts down the internet connection if you’re not – so you’re protected from data leakage in the event your VPN connection goes down. We found Surfshark’s kill switch to be highly effective and consistently able to prevent DNS leaks.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling, labeled as Bypasser on the Surfshark VPN app, enables you to choose which network traffic goes through the VPN. This is particularly useful if you want to maintain a local connection for some services or if specific apps that don’t need to be protected are consuming all the bandwidth.

Bypasser allows you to select specific apps to route via the VPN or for chosen apps to bypass the VPN. Alternatively, you can choose to bypass the VPN with specific websites and IP addresses.

Dedicated IP Address

Surfshark's dedicated IP address feature
Surfshark’s dedicated IP address feature

Surfshark includes the option to use a dedicated IP address. This is useful if you want to consistently use the same IP address for specific services, such as online banking or securely accessing work-related resources. Surfshark VPN offers dedicated IP addresses in 11 countries, including the U.S. and the U.K.

The feature is an add-on, however, and buying a dedicated VPN IP address on Surfshark costs $3.75/month.

Rotating IP and NoBorders

Surfshark's Rotating IP and NoBorders features
Surfshark’s Rotating IP and NoBorders features

The Rotating IP and NoBorders features are geared toward masking your identity. Surfsharks’s IP rotator switches your IP every five or ten minutes while staying in the same location and without actually disconnecting you from the VPN. This makes it more difficult for your sessions to be tracked.

NoBorders works to bypass firewalls to enable you to access blocked content. However, it will slow down your connection and may not always succeed in unlocking blocked content.

Dynamic MultiHop

Surfshark's Multihop VPN functionality
Surfshark’s Multihop VPN functionality

This double VPN feature allows you to route your traffic through multiple servers, making it even harder for your activity to be tracked. You can select the entry and exit locations from Surfshark’s full country list. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that this is likely to slow down your connection as you’ll be accessing VPN servers.

CleanWeb

Surfshark's CleanWeb tools block ads, trackers and malware
Surfshark’s CleanWeb tools block ads, trackers and malware

Surfshark’s CleanWeb 2.0 goes beyond many ad-blocking extensions that stop ads, banners, and pop-ups in browsers and can extend its ad-blocking to streaming services on smart TVs.

The feature is easy to toggle on and can save you time and data.

Alternative ID

Surfshark's alternative ID tool
Surfshark’s alternative ID tool provides extra protection online

Surfshark provides features for creating new, alternative online identities to protect user privacy online. Using fake details can save you from spam marketing messages and prevent email addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers from being exposed in data breaches.

Surfshark Antivirus

Surfshark antivirus tools
Surfshark antivirus tools

Surfshark One bundles the provider’s security tools with the VPN. These include Surfshark Antivirus, which is a lightweight security tool that can protect you from malware.

As well as scanning your device for viruses, it offers full-scale network protection, actively scanning and blocking malicious websites and downloads. It also performs comprehensive checks to identify outdated firewalls and missing software patches that could serve as entry points for cyber threats.

Lastly, Surfshark also provides webcam protection and anti-spyware technology to round out its defenses.

Surfshark Search

Surfshark Search is a privacy-focused search engine that’s part of the Surfshark One suite. The search engine enables you to get pure, organic search results that are free from tracking and ads.

This ensures you can conduct searches without leaving digital footprints and gives you confidence in the validity of the results you get.

Surfshark Alert

Surfshark also provides a data breach monitor and real-time credit card theft alerts. This allows you to change your details and secure your accounts if your information appears online in data breach leaks.

Incogni

With the Surfshark One+ package, the provider offers Incogni’s data removal tools. These help you to get your name, address, contact details, and other personal information removed from people search sites and company databases.

This protects your privacy and limits your exposure to data breaches. At present, Incogni audits 60 people search sites and 120 data brokers for your information. It’s worth noting that this service is currently limited to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the E.U.

Surfshark VPN Connection Speed and Performance

During the process of our Surfshark VPN review, we conducted extensive testing of the VPN’s connection performance, checking the speed and reliability of the service.

We established a benchmark connection rate for standard internet access and then compared this to connection speeds when using Surfshark to access its servers on different continents. These tests were conducted several times a day over an extended period to provide a complete picture of the service.

Our testing found Surfshark to be one of the fastest VPNs on the market, delivering around 70% to 75% of the standard connection speed when downloading data. It had even better results when uploading, retaining 75% to 85% of the unencrypted transfer speed. This puts it on par with NordVPN and ahead of ExpressVPN.

Surfshark Compatibility and Ease of Use

Surfshark has apps for all of the major platforms on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Let’s take a closer look at the different options Surfshark offers to enable you to safely and securely access the internet.

WindowsmacOSLinuxAndroidiOSBrowser ExtensionsRouters

Surfshark for Windows

Surfshark’s Windows app is simple and easy to use and includes the provider’s full VPN feature set, including Bypasser, the kill switch, CleanWeb, and Dynamic MultiHop.

Surfshark’s Windows app supports Windows 10 and 11 and even has an app for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 that continues to get critical security updates.

Surfshark for macOS

Surfshark’s macOS offering is similar to the Windows app and is equally intuitive and easy to use. The provider offers support for all devices running macOS 10.15 Catalina onward and all devices with an Apple Silicon chip (M1 and M2 CPUs).

Surfshark for Linux

Unlike NordVPN, Surfshark provides an app with a graphical user interface (GUI) for Ubuntu and the Debian and Mint Linux distros.

You get all of Surfshark’s primary features and can benefit from the kill switch, unlimited connections, and a selection of VPN protocols.

One thing you don’t get, however, is the antivirus tool. Surfshark is compatible with Debian 11 or higher, Ubuntu 20.04 or higher, and Mint 20 or higher.

Surfshark for Android

Surfshark has an accessible interface for its Android app and offers strong encryption for accessing public WiFi connections. The app has been tested and audited and comes with an antivirus.

Surfshark is compatible with Android phones, tablets, and smart TVs running Android 5.0 or higher and API versions 21 or later.

Surfshark for iOS

Surfshark comes with a great interface for iPhones and iPads, with simple navigation menus. You don’t get Surfshark Antivirus with iOS, however, and you will need to set up the OpenVPN protocol manually if you want to use it.

Otherwise, Surfshark is compatible with iPad and iPhone devices running iOS version 13.0.0 (with 64-bit architecture) or higher.

Surfshark for Browser Extensions

Surfshark offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge so you can quickly and easily secure your browser. The extensions work well and combine the VPN and CleanWeb tools for a secure, anonymous browsing experience.

You shouldn’t use the extensions at the same time as the VPN app, however, as doing so will impact your browser connection.

Surfshark for Routers

Surfshark is compatible with a range of routers, and you can set up your device to run Surfshark with WireGuard or OpenVPN. The firm recommends GL.iNet routers and devices running AsusWRT firmware.

The provider has a range of detailed guides explaining setup, though it suggests using its various apps is the best option so you get access to its full feature set, which isn’t available if you connect via a router.

Is Surfshark Good For Streaming on Netflix and Other Streaming Services?

Some 50% of VPN consumers use the service to access broader entertainment options, so this is a key feature for providers.

Surfshark boasts a large network of servers spread across more than 100 countries. This broad presence allows users to bypass geographic restrictions and access streaming content from platforms around the world, and we’ve found it to be effective on streaming channels, including Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and the BBC iPlayer.

The provider ensures a smooth streaming experience and eliminates buffering issues. We found that the VPN can unblock numerous Netflix libraries around the world, including in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Japan.

Surfshark also offers SmartDNS to enable Netflix streaming on Smart TVs, and it has more than 600 U.S. servers spread over 25 cities if you want to access U.S. services. We also rate Surfshark as the best VPN for Firestick.

Is Surfshark Good For Torrenting?

Surfshark is a great VPN client for torrenting. All of its 3,200+ servers support peer-to-peer traffic, so you can engage in torrenting activities without limits.

It also boasts useful safety and privacy features for torrenting, such as its double VPN, kill switch, and split-tunneling tools. That said, it doesn’t offer P2P-optimized servers like other providers.

Is Surfshark Good For Gaming?

Surfshark offers many features that make it a good choice for gamers, including allowing unlimited connections so you can use it simultaneously on your phone, PC, tablet, and console.

You can easily connect with gamers around the world using Surfshark’s 3,200 servers, finding the server locations you need, as well as easy matches in less-popular geos.

The provider can also protect your IP on Discord and forums and protect gamers from DDoS attacks. It can also stop your ISP from throttling your connection, ensuring you have a lag-free gaming experience.

Surfshark vs Top VPN Competitors

Surfshark has some excellent features, but how does it compare to other top VPNs in the market? The comparison table below provides the key details for some of Surfshark’s main competitors in the market.

VPN features Surfshark ExpressVPN Ivacy VPN NordVPN
Max simultaneous devices Unlimited 8 10 6
Cheapest price $2.49/month $8.32/month $1.17/month $3.39/month
Ad blocker
Kill switch
Servers 3,200+ 3,000+ 5,700+ 6,200+
Audited no-logs policy Policy not audited
Encryption AES-256 and ChaCha20 AES-256 and ChaCha20 AES-256 AES-256 and ChaCha20
Server locations 100+ countries 105+ countries 55+ countries 100+ countries YES
Free plan 7-day trial on Android, iOS, macOS 7-day trial for Android

When it comes to Surfshark vs ExpressVPN, the two are very evenly matched. Surfshark VPN comes out on top, though, given that it offers unlimited device connections, while ExpressVPN only allows eight devices per subscription. Surfshark is also quite a bit cheaper than ExpressVPN.

How to Use Surfshark VPN – Quick Guide

Getting started with Surfshark is fairly simple, but here are step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for an account, download the app, and launch the VPN.

  1. Choose a Plan

    Head to the official Surfshark website and pick a plan that suits your needs.

  2. Create Your Account

    Next, follow the steps to set up your account with Surfshark and pay for your subscription, noting that crypto payments may take 24 hours.

    <strong>Create Your Account</strong>
  3. Download the Surfshark Client

    You can now download Surfshark directly from their site or the Apple App Store or Google Play store for iOS and Android.

    <strong>Download the Surfshark Client</strong>
  4. Log Into Your Account

    You’re now ready to open Surfshark and enter your details to log In.

    <strong>Log Into Your Account</strong>
  5. Connect to the VPN

    Once logged in, click the “Quick connect” button to connect to the nearest, fastest server. If you want to access specific server locations
    , use the “Search Locations” bar at the top. You’re now online and protected with Surfshark VPN.

    <strong>Connect to the VPN</strong>
  6. Enable Surfshark Features

    As an additional step, go to “Settings” on the left and then “VPN Settings” to activate or tweak any Surfshark features you want to use. You may also want to look into Surfshark VPN’s mobile apps to protect all your devices.

Customer Support and Surfshark Reviews from Users

Surfshark offers 24/7 customer support via email and live chat. They also have a fleshed-out help center with lots of illustrated guides and videos to assist users and help tackle common issues.

In testing, we found Surfshark customer support to be courteous and knowledgeable, and they were able to quickly resolve a simple issue in live chat while providing lots of helpful information.

The Surfshark reviews are generally very positive, and the provider has an “Excellent” 4.4/5 rating. It has over 21,000 reviews on the platform, and 84% of these are four- or five-star, indicating users overwhelmingly find Surfshark VPN trustworthy.

Surfshark Trustpilot review
A Surfshark VPN Trustpilot review

In their Surfshark VPN reviews, many users praised the provider for its customer service. The customer support team is regarded as being friendly, professional, and responsive, and users appreciated connecting with human agents and being able to promptly resolve their issues.

A review of Surfshark on TrustPilot
A review of Surfshark on Trustpilot

Customers also pointed to Surfshark’s usability, fast connection speeds, and range of features such as rotating IP addresses and Multihop server options. Surfshark’s security features and its ability to block harmful websites and downloads also earned it praise.

Trustpilot users praise Surfshark
Trustpilot users praise Surfshark

Some users have apparently encountered issues with the kill switch and with P2P downloads, though we haven’t observed these. On the whole, users don’t find much to criticize with the platform. So, is Surfshark legit? It absolutely is.

How We Tested Surfshark VPN

Our team conducted comprehensive testing of Surfshark VPN, considering its features, performance, plans, and customer feedback. We also assessed the VPN service across different operating systems to ensure we could provide a well-rounded analysis. Here are some of the key points we considered:

We’ve also taken note of the product’s pricing, the trials, guarantees, and support it offers, and its competitive field, to provide a fuller picture of the customer experience.

  • Performance – Having a fast, secure connection is the most important feature of a VPN, so we conducted in-depth testing of Surfshark connection speeds.
  • Usability – Of course, having intuitive, accessible tools makes a big difference – and we found Surfshark to be supremely easy to use.
  • Features – Surfshark is outstanding when it comes to VPN features, including its kill switch, split tunneling, double VPN, and rotating IP tools. It’s also excellent beyond this, including ad-blocking, an antivirus, and more.
  • Customer service – It’s important to us that we draw on organic customer reviews, incorporating real user feedback collected from the web to offer insights into how people have found the product. To note, Surfshark VPN has an excellent reputation.
  • Market Context – Our cybersecurity team includes researchers with significant experience in reviewing VPN providers and testing antivirus and cybersecurity tools, so we can make in-depth comparisons between products and highlight industry-leading features that might otherwise be missed.
  • Price – We always keep the bottom line in mind and look at plans, trials, and money-back guarantees to consider the real value for money that providers deliver. That’s true, whether they’re a budget vendor or offer a premium solution, and very often, the cheapest product on the market provides very poor value for money.

Our Other VPN Guides

Beyond Surfshark, here are other VPN guides covered by Techopedia which you can check out.

Surfshark VPN FAQs

Is Surfshark a good VPN?

Surfshark vs NordVPN – which is better?

Is Surfshark VPN legal?

How much does Surfshark cost?

Can you get Surfshark for free?

Franklin Okeke
Technology Journalist

Franklin Okeke is an author and tech journalist with over seven years of IT experience. Coming from a software development background, his writing spans cybersecurity, AI, cloud computing, IoT, and software development. In addition to pursuing a Master's degree in Cybersecurity & Human Factors from Bournemouth University, Franklin has two published books and four academic papers to his name. His writing has been featured in tech publications such as TechRepublic, The Register, Computing, TechInformed, Moonlock and other top technology publications. When he is not reading or writing, Franklin trains at a boxing gym and plays the piano.