Surfshark Review 2020 - Cheap Price but Is It Any Good?

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Surfshark Overview November 2020

Surfshark has only been around for a few years so I was skeptical about its quality — especially when I found even lower prices on this hidden coupon page.

I wanted to check whether Surfshark could really match the performance of premium services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN (at only half the cost!) To find out, my team and I ran a series of rigorous tests on Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac devices from around the world. I even asked one of my colleagues in China to test Surfshark from behind the firewall to see how well it performed.

In short, I was very impressed with Surfshark but it’s not 100% perfect. The provider offers an enormous range of premium VPN features, but some of them have a minor downside. While I’d prefer a more consistent service, I can’t argue with the rock-bottom price of only $2.49 per month. It’s truly excellent value for money if you’re on a budget — plus you can even test out Surfshark for free for 30 days with the money-back guarantee.

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No Time? Here’s a Quick Summary of Key Results

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Surfshark Works With 15+ Streaming Platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and More)

Surfshark is a fantastic VPN for unblocking streaming sites around the world. It can easily access popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Kodi, and HBO Max — see my full test results are below.

I could also unblock BBC iPlayer, DAZN (Germany and Canada only), NBC Sports, ESPN+, YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, Yle, and Abema TV. While not every server worked on my first attempt, I never had to change servers more than twice to establish a working connection.

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Netflix: Successfully Unblocked

Not many VPNs can overcome Netflix’s firewalls, so I was impressed that I could unblock Netflix in 15 countries. This includes the US (Atlanta, Charlotte, Latham, and Los Angeles servers), Canada (Montreal and Vancouver servers), UK (Glasgow, London, and Manchester servers), and Japan (Tokyo #1, #3, and #6 servers). My average speed was over 30Mbps, which is fast enough for 4K Ultra HD quality.

Screenshot of Surfshark streaming Stranger Things on Netflix
I streamed the TV show Stranger Things on multiple Surfshark servers in the US

Helpful Tip: How to Avoid the Netflix Proxy Error Message
If you’re still seeing the Netflix proxy error message, I recommend clearing your browser’s cache. This is because Netflix checks the location data in your browser — and will block you if it doesn’t match Surfshark’s server location.

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Amazon Prime Video: Successfully Unblocked

I successfully streamed Amazon Prime Video on every US and UK server. I recommend the Boston, Charlotte, and New York servers in the US, and the London and Manchester servers for the UK.

I conducted these tests on my Windows desktop and MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, Surfshark can’t unblock the Amazon Prime Video app on mobile or tablet.

Screenshot of The Boys playing on Amazon Prime with Surfshark connected to a US server
I connected to Surfshark’s New York server to access Amazon Prime Video in the US

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Hulu: Successfully Unblocked

I easily connected to Hulu on over 10 US servers, with my fastest servers located in Boston, Detroit, and Manassas. I only waited a few seconds for the movie Transformers to load in order to watch the entire film in HD with zero buffering.

Screenshot of Hulu streaming Transformers with Surfshark connected to a US server
I streamed the movie Transformers on Hulu with minimal loading time and no buffering

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Disney+: Successfully Unblocked

I easily unblocked Disney+ in the US, Netherlands, and India. Unfortunately, I couldn’t access Disney+ in any other country — I’d be automatically redirected to the US site. In any case, the US library has the most content so I find it’s the best option for streaming the full range of movies and TV shows.

The best US servers for me were the Buffalo, Chicago, and Latham servers. I watched the movie Toy Story 4 in Ultra HD with just a couple of seconds of load time.

Screenshot of Toy Story 4 streaming on Disney+ with Surfshark connected to a US server
I didn’t have any issues unblocking Disney+ US from my physical location in the UK

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Kodi: Successfully Unblocked

When I connected to Surfshark’s servers in the US, I downloaded and streamed Kodi add-ons like Popcornflix, Crackle, and Tubi. These add-ons are restricted to viewers in the US, so they’re not normally available to me in the UK.

I was especially impressed with the servers in New York, Toronto, and Vancouver. It never took more than 3 seconds to load a video, and I could even skip forward and back without any buffering.

Screenshot of PopcornFlix on Kodi streaming a movie and Surfshark connected to a US server
I connected to a US server in order to download and stream the Popcornflix Kodi add-on

Stream Kodi with Surfshark!

HBO Max: Successfully Unblocked

I could access HBO Max on every US server. The videos were quick to load, and I didn’t experience any connection errors when I watched multiple episodes of the show Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the best streaming quality (over 25 Mbps) on the Boston, Dallas, Manassas, Miami, New York, and Tampa servers.

Screenshot of Game of Thrones streaming on HBO Max and Surfshark connected to a US server
I was impressed that every Surfshark server in the US could easily access HBO Max

Watch HBO Max with Surfshark!

Important to know

British Virgin Islands
2018
No
30 days guaranteed
windows mac linux android ios router

Contact Details

[email protected]
surfshark.com

Speed9.1

I used Ookla to run a series of speed tests while connected to global servers. Every test was performed from my location in the UK, where my standard speed without a VPN connection is 41Mbps on average.

Speed Test Results: Surfshark Is Fast

I was impressed by Surfshark’s fast speeds, especially when connected to servers in Europe and the US. While it’s not the fastest VPN on the market, I had no problem streaming and torrenting large files on every server I tested.

Screenshot of speed test results with Surfshark VPN while connected to servers in the UK, US, Greece, and Australia
I ran multiple speed tests in different server locations, including the US, UK, Greece, and Australia

Unfortunately, my speed dropped by 40% when I connected to the furthest server nearly 17,000km away in Australia. While I didn’t notice any difference as my original internet connection is extremely fast, this slowdown could be a problem if you have a slow ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Bar graph showing Surfshark's speed test results for different servers around the world
I tested Surfshark in 8 different countries and speeds were always 25Mbps or higher

If you’re looking for a fast VPN with consistent global speeds, ExpressVPN only slowed down by 31% when connected to the same server in Australia. Personally, I find Surfshark’s speeds are more than fast enough for most online activities — and you can always connect to a nearby server in order to get the best possible speeds.

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Is Surfshark Fast Enough for Gaming? (Yes!)

I’m happy to report that I didn’t have any speed issues when gaming with Surfshark. As every gamer knows, it only takes a couple of seconds of lag to lose a hard-fought match. That’s why I’m especially picky when it comes to recommending a VPN for gaming.

In my tests, I connected to a New York server and launched Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam. Once the game was running, I ran a speed test — and my ping was 83ms! This ping speed is impressive, especially considering New York is over 5,500km away from my location in the UK. As a general rule, anything under 150ms is acceptable when playing online games.

During the game itself, I easily kept up with my teammates and hit targets in real time. I didn’t even have to lower the game resolution in return for faster speeds.

Screenshot of video game "Left 4 Dead 2" with Surfshark connected to a US server location
I was impressed by Surfshark’s fast speeds when I played the online game Left 4 Dead 2

Enjoy gaming with Surfshark!

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers9.7

Global Network of 1,700+ Servers in 63+ Countries

Surfshark doesn’t have the largest server network, but it’s a decent size for a premium VPN. While it can’t compete with CyberGhost’s offer of over 6,400 servers, Surfshark surpasses other competitors like VyprVPN (700+ servers) and PrivateVPN (150+ servers).

I’m pleased to see the majority of Surfshark’s servers are in the US, which is a popular location for streaming blocked sites like Netflix or Hulu. Other countries with a heavy server presence include the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, and India. It’s good when a VPN has a wide server distribution around the world — you’ll always be able to find a server nearby when traveling.

Surfshark even has physical servers in Russia, Turkey, Libya, and Vietnam, as well as virtual servers in Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica. Not many VPNs still operate in these locations due to infrastructural or political reasons. When I contacted the company to ask about Surfshark’s presence in these countries, a representative reassured me that all users are safe due to the strict no-logs policy.

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Security Features

Military-Grade Encryption

Surfshark uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all traffic sent through its servers. This level of encryption can’t be decoded by brute force attacks — in fact, there are no known ways to decrypt the data without the existing keycode. Even international governments and militaries use this encryption standard to protect their private data.

4 Security Protocols — WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks

While it’s common to see VPN services offering the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, it’s more rare to find WireGuard and Shadowsocks. I’m especially pleased with the inclusion of the latest WireGuard protocol on the Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS apps. It surpasses both OpenVPN and IKEv2 in terms of speed and security, and I recommend it for the best overall VPN performance.

If you prefer to stick with OpenVPN, you can still use it on Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. The IKEv2 protocol is also available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

The Shadowsocks protocol is only available on the Windows and Android apps. This is an encrypted proxy, so it only protects your browser traffic and not your entire device (like OpenVPN and IKEv2). Surfshark’s site claims that Shadowsocks can bypass China’s Great Firewall, but I wasn’t successful during my tests.

MultiHop Servers for Double VPN Protection

The MultiHop feature encrypts your data twice by routing it through 2 servers (instead of 1). I tested MultiHop by connecting to the Singapore–Hong Kong server and checking my final IP address — which was Hong Kong. The extra layer of privacy makes it more difficult for malicious third parties to track down my real location.

Screenshot of Surfshark's MultiHop server (double VPN) for Singapore and Hong Kong, alongside leak test results showing just the Hong Kong server visible
Surfshark’s MultiHop servers are highly secure but will slow down your device

I don’t recommend MultiHop for casual browsing as my speeds slowed down by 30% in comparison to regular servers. However, it’s ideal if you’re living in a country with strict internet censorship, researching highly sensitive topics, or highly conscious about your privacy.

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Static Servers Offer Fixed IP Address

Surfshark offers a range of static servers in the US, UK, Singapore, Japan, and Germany. These servers allow you to use the same IP address every time. It’s particularly useful if your VPN connection is often flagged as suspicious by certain sites — you won’t have to fill out endless CAPTCHA codes or answer security questions to verify your identity.

I tested multiple static servers in the UK by logging in to my local bank account, and I didn’t have to go through any extra authentication. However, I was surprised by the significant decrease in speed. When I ran speed tests, I found the static servers are approximately 50% slower than the regular servers.

The slower speeds are most likely due to overcrowding. I’d like to see Surfshark increase the number of static servers in the future, as it appears to be a popular feature with many users.

100% RAM-Only Servers — No Data Is Saved to Hard Drives

I like that Surfshark runs all its entire server network on volatile (RAM) memory. This means any server data is wiped automatically whenever a server is turned off. ExpressVPN is another top competitor that secures its infrastructure with RAM-only servers.

In contrast, the majority of VPNs operate their servers on hard drives, which retain data until it’s manually erased. This presents a serious security threat if someone were to hack or physically seize the server. Luckily, Surfshark has eliminated this risk as its RAM-only servers periodically delete all data with every reboot.

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Whitelister Feature for Split Tunneling

Split tunneling is a useful feature as you can choose specific websites and apps to bypass the VPN connection. Called “Whitelister” on the Surfshark app, I tested this feature and it works perfectly. I successfully streamed the TV show The Walking Dead on Netflix US while browsing for products on Amazon UK.

Unfortunately, Whitelister is only available on the Windows and Android apps. Very few VPNs support split tunneling on a wide range of devices, so this issue isn’t actually unique to Surfshark. Even the best services like ExpressVPN only offer split tunneling on the Android, Windows, Mac, and router apps (not iPhone or iPad).

Kill Switch Available on All Apps

I’m happy to see that Surfshark offers a kill switch across all its native apps. If the VPN connection ever drops, the kill switch blocks all internet traffic until you’ve safely reconnected to the VPN server. I tested Surfshark’s kill switch on Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac, and it successfully shut down my traffic whenever I was switching between servers.

Unlike some VPNs with an automatic kill switch, Surfshark gives you the option to turn the kill switch on and off in the “General Settings” menu. I highly recommend leaving the kill switch on at all times for maximum security.

Screenshot of Surfshark VPN's kill switch on the Mac and Windows apps
You can easily turn on Surfshark’s kill switch in the app

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Leak Test Results — No DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 Leaks Found

Many VPNs have robust encryption but still leak your private data to certain websites and apps. To confirm Surfshark offers in-built leak protection, I connected to random servers in the US, Australia and Germany. With each server connection, I ran tests on IPLeak.net — and I was pleased to see that my real IP address was secure each time.

Screenshot of leak test results with Surfshark connected to a US server
Surfshark has in-built leak protection that always masks your real IP address

Camouflage Mode Hides VPN Traffic

Also known as obfuscation, Camouflage Mode hides the fact that you’re using a VPN by masking your encrypted internet traffic. It’s especially useful if your country bans VPNs — it prevents the authorities from analyzing your VPN traffic. This mode is automatically enabled on every app using the OpenVPN protocol.

Unfortunately, the native Mac app doesn’t offer OpenVPN. If you’re a Mac user and you want to access Camouflage Mode, I suggest you try NordVPN instead. NordVPN’s native Mac app is the best on the market, and it comes with a range of obfuscated servers.

GPS Spoofing Feature — Android Only

Many mobile apps use GPS data to identify your location, which makes a VPN ineffective since it only changes your IP address. That’s why Surfshark’s GPS spoofing feature automatically updates your device’s location data to match the server location you’re connected to.

I tested this feature on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and I can confirm it works. I’d definitely like to see GPS Spoofing available on more apps in the future.

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CleanWeb Feature Blocks Ads, Malware and Trackers

An increasing number of premium VPNs have started offering in-built blockers against ads, malware, and trackers — but not all of them work well. That’s why I was especially impressed with CleanWeb as it successfully blocked all ads and alerted me to any phishing scams.

I could stream videos and read the news with zero interruptions, plus safely browse files on torrent sites (which are full of suspicious links!).

Screenshots of the Daily Mail website with Surfshark's CleanWeb feature blocking all ads
Surfshark’s CleanWeb feature blocked all ads on the Daily Mail news site

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Extra Security Tools — 2FA, TrustDNS, Surfshark Alert, and Surfshark Search

As well as its VPN service, Surfshark offers additional tools for extra protection online. While 2-factor authentication (2FA) and TrustDNS are included in the VPN subscription, you’ll have to pay a little extra for Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

It’s rare to come across a VPN service that asks for extra authentication (top providers like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost don’t have it at all). However, Surfshark offers 2FA as an option on all its apps. I recommend turning 2FA on as it significantly lowers your risk of being hacked.

TrustDNS

This is a free app for iOS and Android devices. TrustDNS connects you to a public DNS server instead of a DNS server assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). ISPs can monitor and track your internet activity — and in countries like Australia, ISPs are even required to submit customer metadata to the government for 2 years.

While this is a decent app, I don’t believe it’s worth the effort of downloading. The Surfshark VPN app already offers DNS masking, as well as military-grade encryption and leak protection.

Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search

You can access both features on the dashboard of your account. Surfshark Alert immediately informs you when you’ve been the victim of an online data breach. Every day, it checks your personal information against a database of leaked email addresses, passwords, and credit cards.

Surfshark Search is a private search engine that blocks ads and trackers, allowing you to browse the internet more anonymously. I found it quite similar to DuckDuckGo.

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Privacy Features

Strict No-Logs Policy

To its credit, I found Surfshark’s privacy statement is very clear and easy to understand. This is exactly what you want to see from a quality VPN. The no-logs policy explicitly states that your browsing history, IP address, and other identifying data is never tracked, logged, or shared.

However, Surfshark does collect your email address, password (it’s encrypted) and payment details. If you don’t feel comfortable with this information on file, it’s easy to register anonymously by signing up with a throwaway email address and paying with cryptocurrency. Alternatively, you can email the support team and request your personal information be edited or permanently deleted.

Screenshot of Surfshark's privacy policy
Surfshark’s privacy statement is one of the most transparent policies I’ve ever seen

Stay safe online with Surfshark!

Owned and Operated From the British Virgin Islands

Surfshark is owned by Surfshark Ltd and headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This is the perfect country for a VPN to be located — there are zero data retention laws and it’s outside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This alliance is a global intelligence-sharing network, and includes countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, and more.

Warrant Canary Alerts You to Third-Party Interference

This is a single page on Surfshark’s website that alerts you when the company is working with law enforcement agencies. While Surfshark stresses that the no-logs policy prevents it from providing user logs, I like that I can still see whether any national security letters, gag orders, or government warrants have been issued.

To date, Surfshark shows that no private information has ever been disclosed or compromised.

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Independent Security Audit on Browser Extensions (Passed)

An increasing number of VPN companies are now investing in third-party audits to verify their privacy claims — and Surfshark is one of them. In 2018, cybersecurity firm Cure53 was invited to independently audit the Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. I carefully read the report, and no major security or privacy flaws were uncovered.

While I’m satisfied with Surfshark’s efforts to secure its browser extensions, I’d like to see an audit on the VPN itself in the future.

Is Surfshark Good for Torrenting? (Yes, It’s Fast and Safe)

Surfshark has excellent speeds and robust security measures for torrenting, but it doesn’t offer the most user-friendly experience. If you’re looking for the best VPNs for smooth torrenting, then I suggest either NordVPN or CyberGhost instead.

When I tested Surfshark, I downloaded multiple 5GB files on qBittorrent and Transmission in less than 20 minutes. This is impressively quick! I had a similar experience with PopcornTime, where my entire film loaded in HD quality after only 5 seconds of buffering.

However, I didn’t have an easy time connecting to a P2P server at the start of my tests. The Surfshark website states that you’ll be automatically connected to a P2P server in a torrenting-friendly country once you launch a BitTorrent client. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen — I connected to a regular server in Turkey, started torrenting on qBittorrent, and I was still on the same server.

I immediately reached out to customer support over 24/7 live chat, as I’d already started torrenting and I was concerned about my privacy. When a representative asked me to run tests on IPLeak.net, I saw my IP address was still in Turkey but the DNS server had changed to the Netherlands (I also found no leaks). According to the representative, I’d already been rerouted to a P2P server as the DNS address had changed.

Screenshot of leak test results with Surfshark connected to a server in Turkey and DNS server in the Netherlands
Surfshark automatically changed my DNS address when I launched a Bittorrent client

While I was pleased that my torrenting traffic was secure, it was time-consuming to physically check my DNS address on an external website. To avoid the hassle, I recommend connecting to a P2P server from the “Location” tab instead. Just type “P2P” in the search bar and you’ll see a full list appear. The fastest servers will have a near-empty circle icon.

Screenshot of Surfshark's P2P servers on the Mac app
It’s not widely advertised on the Surfshark website — but you can manually connect to a P2P server

Your torrenting activity is completely safe once you’ve connected. Due to its strict no-logs policy, Surfshark doesn’t track, collect, or share your data with any third parties, including governments and legal authorities. Even better, the company is located in the British Virgin Islands, so it’s not legally required to retain data or submit logs to any of the 5/9/14 Eyes countries. All torrenting traffic is further protected by in-built leak protection, a kill switch, and the CleanWeb ad and malware blocker.

Torrent anonymously with Surfshark!

Does Surfshark Work in China? (Not Always)

Unfortunately, Surfshark isn’t the best VPN to use in China. During my tests, I could only connect to 1 server in Ireland and the connection failed after 30 seconds. This result surprised me, especially since I have friends in China who regularly use Surfshark to access blocked sites.

I spoke to Surfshark’s customer service team to troubleshoot my issues. A representative recommended using the Shadowsocks protocol (only available on Windows and Android) or switching on NoBorders mode. Both features were designed to bypass the Great Firewall of China and provide access to restricted websites like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Unfortunately, I was still unsuccessful.

Instead of Surfshark, I recommend ExpressVPN for China as it’s safe and highly reliable. However, you’ll find even the best VPN providers struggle to work 24/7 as China is constantly improving its firewalls. That’s why I think it’s always a good idea to have a backup VPN just in case your first option doesn’t work. Both ExpressVPN and Surfshark offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so it’s risk-free to download both services and ask for a refund if one of them doesn’t work.

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Server Locations

Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
See all supported locations...

User Experience9.0

Surfshark works on all popular platforms and operating systems, so it’s easy to use if you own multiple devices. You can download native apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Native Apps for Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac

I tested Surfshark’s native app for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. I especially liked how intuitive the apps are for beginners and experienced users alike. Each app offers the same features and functionality, although the layout is significantly different on each device.

Screenshots of Surfshark's interface on 4 different devices
Surfshark is easy to use on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices

Another bonus is that the desktop apps are available in 14 different languages, including English, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean. This isn’t typical for VPN services — even top providers like NordVPN only support English on its desktop clients.

The biggest issue I had is the faulty “Connect” feature. When you click this button, you should be automatically connected to the fastest server. However, I found it was only accurate half the time.

Screenshot of Surfshark's Windows and Mac apps with the Connect (Faster Server) button highlighted
Surfshark offers a “Connect” button for fast connections but it doesn’t always find the best server

I ran speed tests using the “Connect” button on servers in the UK, US, Germany, and Australia, and compared the results with my own manual server selection. The result was that I manually selected 2 servers that were faster than Surfshark’s “Connect” option.

Surfshark’s “Connect” Feature Manual Server Selection Speed Difference
Australia 25.04 Mbps 26.32 Mbps +5%
Germany 36.19 Mbps 33.25 Mbps -8%
UK 35.12 Mbps 37.45 Mbps +6%
US 30.46 Mbps 29.74 Mbps -2%

To guarantee the fastest speed each time, I recommend selecting a server yourself. t’s simple and easy to do this on the app, even if you’re completely new to VPNs. Every server location has a circle icon next to it that indicates the number of users — just choose a server with the emptiest circle to find the fastest server.

Screenshot of Surfshark's server list displaying server load
It’s quick and easy to manually select the fastest server on the Surfshark app

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Other Platforms Supported — Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, and Routers

Surfshark has native apps for Linux (Ubuntu and Debian), Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. Unfortunately, there are no apps for routers. However, you can manually install Surfshark onto any router compatible with OpenVPN or L2TP protocols.

If you don’t want to spend time manually configuring Surfshark onto your router, then I recommend you try ExpressVPN as it’s the only premium VPN with a dedicated router app. This makes the installation process quick and easy.

Lightweight Browser Extensions for Chrome and Firefox

You can install Surfshark’s browser extensions onto Chrome and Firefox, which encrypts your browser traffic and hides your real IP address. However, anything you do outside of the browsers will be unencrypted. As a result, I always recommend turning on the Surfshark VPN app before using the browser extension.

Even though you won’t get VPN-level security with the browser extensions, it’s useful when you want to quickly change your IP address and access blocked content. I tested the browser extensions with Netflix US and I had no problems streaming the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I also ran leaks tests on both the Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, and I found zero leaks.

Screenshot of Surfshark's browser extension connected to the US while playing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on Netflix US
I connected to a US server and watched Netflix US on the Chrome browser extension

The extensions for Chrome and Firefox are identical and similar to the VPN apps. Even the CleanWeb ad-blocker feature is still available, so I could browse news and shopping sites without being interrupted by ads. I was also impressed to find that 9 different languages are supported: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, and Chinese.

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Smart DNS for Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation

There are no custom VPN apps for smart TVs, Apple TV, or game consoles — but Surfshark does offer Smart DNS. Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your data like a VPN, but it can change the virtual location of your device. However, Surfshark’s Smart DNS only unblocks US content. This means you’ll have access to Netflix US, Hulu, and Disney+, but you can’t stream sites like BBC iPlayer (UK only).

Instead of using Smart DNS, I suggest installing Surfshark on your router. This provides VPN coverage to every internet-connected device in your household, which includes access to servers in 63 countries, military-grade encryption, and other security and privacy benefits.

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Connect Unlimited Devices at the Same Time

One of Surfshark’s standout features is that it protects an unlimited number of devices at the same time. Most premium VPNs only offer 5 to 10 simultaneous device connections, which isn’t always enough to cover every device in larger households.

To test this feature, I connected to a UK server on a Windows laptop, 2 Windows desktops, an iPhone XS, a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and 3 iPads. I’m happy to report that I didn’t have any connection issues and no major slowdown in speed. I only noticed some lag when 8 devices were connected at once, which is impressive as most VPNs slow down as soon as an extra device is added.

This makes Surfshark ideal for larger households (even with the small speed drop). You won’t have to pay for multiple VPN subscriptions, or pick and choose which devices you want to protect.

Support9.4

I expect excellent customer service when I pay a premium price. Surfshark offers the cheapest prices on the VPN market, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that customer service is top-notch.

You can contact customer support over email, an online form, or live chat. There’s a customer support representative available 24/7. However, if you prefer to troubleshoot problems by yourself, you can check out the setup guides, tutorials, and FAQs on the website.

I tested all of these support options to see just how helpful the company truly was. I found live chat is the best way to receive fast and detailed assistance. However, I didn’t need to look much further than Surfshark’s website for simple issues.

Tested: 24/7 Live Chat

I was highly impressed by the friendly and fast responses. During my review, I tested the 24/7 live chat feature multiple times as I experienced some minor technical difficulties. For example, I couldn’t stream Netflix while connected to a US–Detroit server and I struggled to connect to a specialty P2P server when torrenting.

Fortunately, it only took a maximum of 2 minutes to speak to a customer service representative each time. The representative would provide me with step-by-step instructions and detailed explanations, and my problems were always successfully resolved.

Screenshot of Surfshark's 24/7 live chat feature with troubleshooting advice about Netflix US and torrenting
Surfshark’s 24/7 customer support offered helpful troubleshooting tips to resolve my problem

Tested: Email Support

I sent several emails to Surfshark to enquire about its features, and I received detailed responses in less than an hour every time. I even used an email address that wasn’t associated with my Surfshark account, so I could test the responses if I wasn’t an existing customer.

While I’m pleased with the fast response times, I recommend contacting Surfshark over 24/7 live chat. It’s still much quicker as you can speak directly to a customer support representative, especially if you have any urgent technical issues.

Online FAQs and Troubleshooting Guides

I was pleased to find Surfshark’s “Help” section on its website is comprehensive and regularly updated. Most of the time I didn’t need to contact customer service as I could find answers to my questions here. There are detailed guides on all the security features, as well as installation instructions for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Amazon Fire devices, Android TV, routers, game consoles, and Raspberry Pi.

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How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing9.7

Get Surfshark's Black Friday Deal! Surfshark has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.21 per month + get an extra 3 months free with the 2-year plan (you can save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it’s gone. See more information on this offer here.

You won’t find a lower price for a premium VPN than Surfshark, especially when you sign up with this hidden coupon code. Compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN (more than double the price!), Surfshark’s prices are extremely competitive.

You can also sign up for a 1-month or 6-month subscription, although these prices are more on par with the industry average.

Wide Range of Payment Options (Including Bitcoin)

You can pay with credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover), cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple), Amazon Pay, and PayPal. I’m particularly happy to see cryptocurrencies listed as an option. This allows you to register and pay anonymously if you sign up with a throwaway email address.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Tip: Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, but you can get it even cheaper if you sign up at the right time. Check out this page to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Like many premium VPNs, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for new subscribers. You’ll get unlimited access to every feature with no bandwidth or data restrictions. If you don’t like Surfshark at the end of the 30 days, simply request a refund via 24/7 live chat or send an email to the customer support team.

I tested the money-back guarantee by signing up for a 1-month plan, and I used Surfshark to browse the internet, download torrents, and stream Netflix. Before the 30 days was complete, I asked for a full refund over live chat — and I got my money back in 7 days! I didn’t even need to provide a reason for canceling.

Screenshot of Surfshark live chat and a refund request.
I got a full refund from Surfshark when I tested the 30-day money-back guarantee

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Surfshark offers the following plans

Final Verdict

I was suspicious that Surfshark could really deliver a strong performance at such a cheap price — but my tests proved me wrong. Surfshark is a quality VPN for the entire household with top speeds, security, and customer support. It’s also the most cost-effective VPN on the market, especially since you can connect an unlimited number of devices on a single account.

But Surfshark can’t defeat top providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, and the main reason is its lack of consistency. For instance, Surfshark offers advanced VPN features like OpenVPN, split tunneling, and GPS spoofing, but only on certain apps. It claims to work in China, but I couldn’t connect during my tests. It unblocks Netflix US, but only 4 US servers worked for me.

You might find these issues largely irrelevant, depending on your specific needs and device. That’s why I highly recommend you test out Surfshark for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s the best way to see if it’s the right VPN for you before you commit to a subscription.

Try Surfshark risk-free for 30 days!

FAQs

🤑 Can I use Surfshark for free?

While there isn’t a free plan, you can use Surfshark for free for 30 days. All you have to do is sign up and ask for a full refund with the 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested this process myself by contacting the customer support team over 24/7 live chat. It only took a few minutes to approve my refund — I didn’t even need to make up a reason about why I wanted to cancel! I got the money back in my account in 7 days.

As a general tip, I’d be very careful about using a VPN that’s completely free. While I can recommend some free (and safe) VPNs, you’ll find the trade-off is limited bandwidth, reduced server locations, pop-up ads, and slow speeds. It’s expensive to operate a VPN service, so no trustworthy provider will provide a quality experience at no cost. If it does, then I can guarantee that you’re paying in other ways. I’ve seen cases where shady VPNs secretly sell people’s browsing history, private data, and bandwidth to make money.

If you don’t want to compromise your privacy or VPN quality, then I suggest using Surfshark for free for 30 days with the money-back guarantee.

Try Surfshark for free for 30 days!

😇 Is Surfshark legal?

Yes, Surfshark is a legal VPN service. However, some countries have very strict internet regulations and control the use of VPNs. This includes but isn’t limited to China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. To be on the safe side, I recommend checking the local laws of your country before you start using a VPN.

🤓 Is Surfshark safe to use?

It’s completely safe to use Surfshark. As soon as you connect to a server, your personal data and online activity is protected by AES-256-bit encryption. This is the strongest level of encryption available and is uncrackable. Even global governments and militaries use AES 256-bit encryption!

Your private data is further secured by the strict no-logs policy. No browsing activities, passwords, or sensitive files are monitored or logged by any third party when you’re connected to the VPN. This even includes Surfshark itself! No one can spy on what you’re doing, so your privacy is fully protected online.

Try Surfshark for free for 30 days!

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