Surfshark VPN makes the subject of this review, as it’s a VPN provider whose popularity just keeps on growing lately. At first sight, you might not be impressed by its presentation, but the truth is that you should never judge a book by its covers. Not entirely, that is.
In the next following paragraphs, we will try and get behind the curtains to show you exactly the reason for its rising popularity and check whether or not it can be a suitable VPN provider for you: one that you can trust your data with and that doesn’t slack on speed, either.
We understand that this read might be a long, apparently tedious one, but we assure you that we included only the essentials and no part that could’ve been skipped has found its way into our comprehensive review here.
Since we can do pretty much nothing about the length of this document and the plethora of details that it holds, we thought about doing something for you to skip parts that you simply don’t find interesting, so we added a table of content that you can see and use below. Pretty cool, right?
- A bit of detective work
- The reason why we check
- Terms of Service analysis
- Cure53 Security Audit for Surfshark
- The results of the audit
- The importance of such security audits
- Quick rundown on Surfshark
- Extra features
- Supported devices
- Downloading Surfshark on your device
- Gaining access to your dashboard
- Checking for malware
- Installing it on your machine
- First time running the app
- MultiHop to the rescue
- Simplicity at its finest
- The (in)famous Settings menu
- Adjusting parameters is a breeze
- Split-tunneling, torrenting, kill switch, and Tor support
- Surfshark list of servers
- Unlocking unavailable content
- Using Surfshark for online gaming
- Unlocking the free Internet in China
- Getting our instruments ready
- Tests are over, let’s see the results
- Need for high speed
- No trial, no problem
- Convenient subscription plans
- Helpful customer support
A bit of detective work
For instance, they clearly state that they’re located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is a good thing. The BVI has no mandatory data retention law; therefore, Surfshark can’t be forced to store various logs regarding any kinds of activities whatsoever, which turns it into a desirable location for a VPN provider.
Not much else could be extracted from the information on their website, which at first we found a little disappointing, but, then again, this can also be a statement regarding data protection. After all, there’s also a popular saying: “I won’t ask if you won’t.”
The reason why we check
As before, the background check is mandatory here at FindYourVPN. The reason why we make ourselves dig around looking for these bits of data is that we want to offer you the real, 100% transparent VPN reviewing experience and not push you towards one provider or another. What you see is what you get.
However, this component of our reviews is sometimes very rudimentary, since some of the VPN service providers (Surfshark is now one of them) doesn’t give us much in terms of “who we are” or “who runs this.” That’s why we have to continue our research and, instead of giving up, we can focus on things that matter most.
Terms of Service analysis
While we understand that most of you skip through agreements like channels when there’s nothing good on TV, you should know that many conditions expressed in these seemingly “boring” documents need to concern you more, since they describe what both you and the provider are responsible for, among others.
However, we also get it that you won’t let yourself be “fooled” by our statement above, so we’re going to include a shortened version of the Terms of Service document, hoping that you’ll at least read its conditions between the lines.
Surfshark’s terms of service also have a table of content of some sort, so you can see the main topics of the document and jump to those that interest you most.
- Surfshark’s agreement is a binding one, so you must not use the service or website if you don’t agree with ALL of the terms;
- If you do access or use the website and the Surfshark service, you agree to be bound by the terms of the agreement;
- The terms of service documentation might be changed from time to time and a notice will be posted on the Surfshark website every time such an event occurs;
- If after the terms of service have suffered modifications you continue accessing and using the website and/or the Surfshark service, it will be seen as your acceptance of and agreement with the modified agreement;
- Surfshark claims that their no-logs policy is among the most important features of their services since it means that your activities are not retained, logged or transferred to third parties when you are connected to the services;
- Surfshark claims to not collect IP addresses, session data, browsing history, amount of used bandwidth, network traffic, connection timestamps, and other similar information;
- You are required to create an account if you want to use Surfshark’s services;
- You are solely responsible for what happens on your account, even if it’s another person that’s using it, with or without authorization. Long story short, if someone hacks your account and uses it to do nasty stuff, you’re to blame;
- You are solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and you may not trade or sell your account to another person;
- When you create your account, you must provide Surfshark with accurate, complete information about yourself;
- If you suspect that your account has been breached or its security compromised, you must agree to contact Surfshark immediately;
- Surfshark is not liable for any loss suffered by you or any third party as a result of someone else using your password, even though you might’ve not been aware of it;
- Surfshark reserves its right to terminate your account at any time;
- Paid Surfshark services renew automatically for the same length you initially chose at the end of each service period and you will be charged the same amount as you initially paid;
- If you are not satisfied with Surfshark’s services, you can request a refund, but only if you’re still in the first 30 (thirty) days after you purchased the subscription;
- You must be over the age of 18 (eighteen) years old to be able to use Surfshark and enter the agreement since under-age users are prohibited to submit any of their information to Surfshark;
- You are not allowed to seel, sublicense, resell, transfer, distribute, assign or commercially exploit the service in any way;
- You are not allowed to build a product that uses similar ideas, functions, features or graphics as Surfshark, or copy any ideas, functions, features or graphics of the Surfshark service;
- You are not allowed to use Surfshark to transmit any illegal material (such as child pornography);
- You are not allowed to transmit content that’s harmful, threatening, unlawful, abusive, harassing, objectionable or torturous;
- You are not allowed to harass, abuse, defame, slander, insult, harm, intimidate, discriminate or disparage anyone while using the service;
- You are not allowed to use the service to submit misleading or false information;
- You are not allowed to engage in any form of unwanted communication while using Surfshark;
- You are not allowed to transfer or store harmful material such as viruses, malware, scripts and other similar content;
- You are not allowed to interfere with the service or cause it disruptions;
- You are not allowed to even attempt to gain unauthorized access to Surfshark’s service, as well as its related networks or systems;
- You are not allowed to act on behalf of others or misrepresent;
- You agree that you will abide to all applicable laws;
- You shouldn’t attempt to abuse the service, even though one of its core features is the possibility to connect from an unlimited number of devices;
- The last time the agreement was updated was on August 22, 2019, so you might want to check if this date changes. If it does, it’s a strong possibility that the content of the agreement has changed as well;
In this situation, we can’t let the chips fall where they may, so we’re going to give the whole thing a thorough read, extract its essential parts and bring them back to you, so you won’t be taken by surprise if anything gets collected (such as your personal details);
Personal information collected
- Your email address and encrypted password – these two are used to create and manage your account, provide you with customer service, and market products and services that you might be interested in;
- Your basic billing information and order history – used to process your orders and comply with applicable law requirements;
Surfshark respects your privacy, therefore we are committed to not process any data related to the online activity of our users. Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which does not require data storage or reporting. We do not collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, network traffic and other similar data.
So, as you can see, there are not too many pieces of information that Surfshark requires from you to let them past their gates.
Cure53 Security Audit for Surfshark
Although VPNs are often deemed as being the epitome of online security and anonymity, not many VPN providers hire a third-party security company to perform an independent security audit on their services. And if they do, seldom do they admit or post the results online.
That’s not the case with Surfshark, who bravely put their services on the chopping block, believing that their VPN was leakproof. And they were right!
Cure53 is a popular security firm that offers their penetration testing services for various websites. They ran a full-fledged audit on Surfshark’s browser extensions to decide if they’re true “crack-less and tight.”
The results of the audit
We can’t keep you waiting; if you want to see for yourself, you can download the report from here and take a look at its results. Long story short, the team claimed that the findings on Surfshark’s Chrome and Firefox extensions were “extremely rare for the VPN browser extensions.”
A bunch of fragments from the report also indicate the fact that the extensions were not entirely clean, but a couple of vulnerabilities (low severity ones) were detected. However, according to Cure53, only one of them is an actual vulnerability and not even related to the extension itself, while the other one is regarded as being a general weakness.
The importance of such security audits
Nowadays, security should be a great concern that should affect not only professional users who are constantly connected to the Internet, but especially novices as well, since they are more exposed to various threats that might jeopardize their privacy and well-being as well.
Lately, the press has been overflowing with scandals regarding leaks of information, which are generally frowned upon, regardless of who might be subjected to such violations of privacy. These scandals didn’t bring anything good to the VPN market since most users grew more and more distrustful of the services they have to offer.
In an attempt to stabilize the market, some VPN providers might choose to prove the fact that they are true to their creed, and currently, there’s no better way of showcasing their innocence to the general public. The audits take the good, the bad and they raise it in front of the public. No marketing schemes. Only the naked truth.
Quick rundown on Surfshark
As you probably figured out on your own by now, Surfshark is a VPN provider, which means that it is capable of keeping your online identity anonymous while also providing your Internet connection with a boost of both accessibility and overall increased security.
The name choice is an interesting one, hinting that if you use its services, you’ll be able to surf the world wide web like a shark: silent, undetected and quick.
The presentation of this VPN boasts a bunch of features you’ll be able to benefit from unrestricted content (one of the main reasons people use VPNs nowadays), ultra-fast speed (to be disclosed), CleanWeb (no ads, trackers or malware), a killswitch (we’ll get there soon) as well as several other ones.
We call them extra or additional features, although it’s not exactly uncommon for a VPN service to have added security controls in order to prevent your online privacy from being invaded. However, these functions greatly complement the basic features of any VPN service provider, and Surfshark doesn’t shy away from just handing them out to its users.
The “MultiHop” feature “hops” your connection, thus making it harder for anyone to discover your actual identity. The “CleanWeb” mostly speaks for itself, as it provides you with a “clean” browsing experience, eliminating ads, malware, and trackers in the process.
Among the list of features, you will also find IP masking, which spoofs your IP address, making it impossible for anyone to trace it back to you by using standard IP detection measures, private DNS on every server that eliminates potential security issues and also privacy over public WiFi connections.
Given that most of the VPN users nowadays have a Windows computer, we’re just going to talk about deploying this application on a Windows-enabled PC. Although the process might not be complicated on other supported devices, it can be awfully specific.
But, before rolling our sleeves and getting our hands dirty, it’s time to tell you something really big. Surfshark enables you to use its VPN services on an unlimited number of devices. That means that you and your family members can use the same account on how many devices you like, there is no limit.
Basically, you can use Surfshark on any kind of device as long as it falls in the next categories: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Router, Chrome, and Firefox. Well, the last two aren’t exactly devices, but it is possible to use Surfshark’s services on these two browsers by installing their dedicated extensions.
It is also possible to use it on other devices by making use of the “Manual config” option on their website, that can be accessed from the “Apps” menu.
Downloading Surfshark on your device
It’s not exactly rocket science, but for the sake of keeping everything clear and straightforward, we’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take to retrieve Surfshark on your device, from account creation to actually downloading the installer. That being said, let’s begin:
- Head to Surfshark;
- Click the “Get Surfshark VPN” or “Buy now” button;
- Choose a plan from the menu;
- Type your email address in the designated field;
- Choose the payment method of your choice;
- Fill in the payment details as required;
- Complete the purchase;
After purchasing a subscription plan, you’re one step closer to becoming a premium Surfshark user, but you still have to download the application to your computer and complete the other steps.
You will most likely be already logged into your account (after generating a password and setting it to protect your account). Therefore:
- While on the Sursfshark homepage, click on the “Apps” button at the top
- Select your desired platform
- Click the “Download Now” button
Well, that’s it, you now own a Surfshark account and are holding its installer on your computer. Do you want to take a guess as to what the next step might be?
Gaining access to your dashboard
If, however, you decide to register for an account, you’ll be able to access a page where you can perform various account management operations, which is commonly known as the dashboard.
Surfshark’s dashboard doesn’t hold a lot of account operations, but you can still do a bunch of stuff such as extending your plan, changing your password and setting up your devices.
You can choose from Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, router devices, and Chrome and Firefox browsers, but you can also select the “Manual Config” option in case you want to perform a manual setup on a device that’s not listed on the website or doesn’t have native VPN app support.
There is also the possibility to view the “HackLock” section on your dashboard. This is where you will find information about recent leaks on various popular platforms and websites. This should come in handy when it comes to letting you know whether one of your other accounts might be compromised.
Not only that, but Surfshark also offers a “BlindSearch” feature. This is designed to help you remain completely hidden while searching for information online, unlike the incognito mode in your browser, which still allows search engines and other websites to track your activity.
Checking for malware
Well, a bit earlier before we asked you about guessing the next step, and if your guess was installing Surfshark, then you’re obviously wrong. As you can clearly notice, there was at least one extra step we needed to take, maybe the most important one there is: checking the installer for any embedded malware.
For this purpose, we’re using VirusTotal and we prefer it due to its plethora of antivirus engines that analyze our file at the same time, slimming the chances for any malware, no matter how small, to sneak right under our nose and go unnoticed.
As you can see from our results page and our screenshot below, Surfshark’s installer executable did trigger three alerts but guessing by the circumstances, we’re gonna go ahead and assume they are false positives.
Installing it on your machine
Okay, now that we’ve covered what kind of devices you can use with this VPN provider, it’s time to see how well it behaves when we try installing it on our old, trusty laptop (not that old, but not entirely new, either).
Basically, the setup process is simple enough that it can be accomplished even by users who lack even the most basic computer operation skills, or ones who have no previous experience with handling similar programs. The version of Surfshark that was deployed on our computer is 2.6.2.
The reason why it’s so simple to install Surfshark is that it doesn’t require you to perform any additional configuration or take any complicated steps during the setup. Just launch the installer and it will do the rest for you.
The setup process unfolds automatically, without requiring any additional assistance on your side. Not even the pre-requisite TAP driver needs to be installed by you; everything is being taken care of. In the end, the app is launched automatically.
First time running the app
Once you’ve installed it on your PC, it’s time to run it and see what it’s capable of. Its main window showcases some of its highlight features, which you can easily explore by using the little arrow buttons.
Alternatively, you can just log into your account and start protecting your online privacy. After you log in, you’ll be proudly notified that Surfshark enables you to use it from an unlimited number of devices. At this point, not many other VPN providers offer you this kind of service (none at all).
So, you’re in front of the main window and a bunch of buttons greets you: the gear-shaped button at the top of the window, the “Quick Connect” one and, last, but not least, the “All locations” one in the bottom part of the window. That’s it. Either let it connect to the recommended location by using the “Quick Connect” feature or choose your favorite server from the list, the choice is yours and they’re both equally easy to access.
MultiHop to the rescue
We’ve mentioned the MultiHop feature above but didn’t talk too much about it, because, since it’s a unique feature, we wanted to dedicate it a full subchapter in our review.
The principle behind this feature is that it can provide you with better, more improved privacy by routing your whole online activity through two different VPN servers. Using this tool is highly recommended for users who look for enhanced security rather than speed.
In order to access this feature, all you have to do is open the “All Locations” menu, which will bring you to a list of every server that’s managed by Surfshark. In the same window, you’ll notice that the MultiHop tool can be accessed.
Using it requires you to choose a configuration of transit countries (located on the left side of the screen) and destination ones (on the right). The application does the rest to keep you safe.
Simplicity at its finest
Although a wide range of possibilities often equals higher quality, we think that sometimes minimalistic approaches can have a greater effect. In this case, Surfshark’s main window is the object of our study.
As you can notice, the main screen only features three simple, easy to understand controls and the configuration menu is not that complicated, either.
The fact that its features are user-friendly turns Surfshark into a software solution that is suitable for novices and more advanced users alike. If you like to tamper with the settings it’s fine; you can easily do so. And if you’re a more “default“ user who prefers leaving things as they are, it’s perfectly fine, too, Surfshark will serve you in the same effective manner in both cases.
The (in)famous Settings menu
We’ve talked about the main window, let’s go a little deeper and explore the application’s Settings section. As stated before, accessing it can be done by clicking the gear-shaped button in the main window.
After doing so, multiple categories will unfold before your eyes, leaving you to choose what side of Surfshark are you interested in, whether it’s better understanding its capabilities or modifying them all together you’re looking for.
Among the categories available in this menu you fill find “Connectivity,” “Notifications,” “Security” and “Advanced.” All of them are self-explanatory, so you don’t need to spend time looking around for what any of them means.
It is also possible that you can renew your plan directly from this menu, suggest a feature and access a F.A.Q., contact the developers and also read the Terms and Conditions of Surfshark.
Adjusting parameters is a breeze
As you’d expect, modifying the settings is also a walk in the park, as most of the tweaking is done by simply toggling a feature on or off or choosing stuff from a list. It doesn’t really get any simpler than that.
The “Connectivity” tab lets you set the app to start at the same time with Windows and minimize the app on startup, automatically connect to VPN on startup by picking a favorite server and pick default actions for WiFi networks.
The “Notifications” category lets you enable or disable notifications as you wish.
From the “Security” tab you can activate the killswitch (we strongly advise that you do), enable the CleanWeb service, enable an app Whitelister and toggle a Whitelister for webpages. The last two features enable certain apps or webpages to bypass the VPN.
Last, but not least, the “Advanced” section, which should be the most intimidating, only lets you toggle crash reports and choosing your favorite protocol between “Automatic,” OpenVPN/UDP, OpenVPN/TCP, and IKEv2.
Split-tunneling, torrenting, kill switch, and Tor support
As you can expect from a product in this price range, Surfshark comes equipped with a handy kill switch. This can be activated in order to protect yourself from unforeseen server failures, which would leave you exposed otherwise. In essence, this feature instantly deactivates your entire Internet connection whenever the app loses connectivity, which means that your real IP address is not leaked in the process.
Surfshark also enables you to manually decide which apps are allowed to bypass the VPN, thanks to the integrated split-tunneling feature. All you have to do in order to take advantage of this is to add the desired apps to the list and activate the split-tunneling feature. Not only that, but you can even do this for certain websites, just in case you do not want to add your whole browser to the split-tunneling section.
Torrenting-wise, Surfshark does not impose any restrictions on your account, which means that you are free to download as many files as you wish through P2P networks. Not only that, but all servers are supposedly designed for P2P support, which means that you lose very little bandwidth when it comes to download and upload speeds. Speaking of bandwidth, there are no caps or monthly quotas either, which is also good news.
Lastly, you can also use Tor in conjunction with Surfshark, but there are no specific settings for this within the app itself. As always, it’s recommended that you connect to a Surfshark server first before accessing a Tor node, at least if you want to maximize your anonymity. In addition, you can also achieve similar levels of privacy by using the MultiHop servers, although it should be noted that these do not allow you to access Onion services.
Surfshark list of servers
The size of this list may not be impressive, but Surfshark does a good job covering some of the most important areas worldwide and, the most important aspect, it is constantly expanding its server network.
|Countries||Private DNS||Camouflage Mode||OpenVPN||IPSec / IKEv2||P2P-friendly||Extension support|
|Albania||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Austria||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Belgium||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bulgaria||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Croatia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cyprus||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Czech Republic||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Denmark||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Estonia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Finland||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|France||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Germany||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Greece||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hungary||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Iceland||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ireland||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Italy||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Latvia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Luxembourg||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Moldova||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Netherlands||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|North Macedonia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Norway||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Poland||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Portugal||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Romania||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Russia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Serbia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Slovakia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Slovenia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spain||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sweden||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Switzerland||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ukraine||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|United Kingdom||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Countries||Private DNS||Camouflage Mode||OpenVPN||IPSec / IKEv2||P2P-friendly||Extension support|
|Brazil||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Canada||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Chile||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Colombia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Costa Rica||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Paraguay||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|United States||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Countries||Private DNS||Camouflage Mode||OpenVPN||IPSec / IKEv2||P2P-friendly||Extension support|
|Israel||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Libya||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Nigeria||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|South Africa||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Turkey||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|United Arab Emirates||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Countries||Private DNS||Camouflage Mode||OpenVPN||IPSec / IKEv2||P2P-friendly||Extension support|
|Australia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Azerbaijan||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hong Kong||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|India||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Indonesia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Japan||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kazakhstan||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Malaysia||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New Zealand||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Singapore||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|South Korea||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Taiwan||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Thailand||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vietnam||Yes||Yes||TCP / UDP||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Surfshark has more than 1040 servers located in 61 different countries.
Unlocking unavailable content
One of the most popular uses of a VPN service provider is for unlocking contents that are otherwise unavailable. Some services haven’t reached certain countries yet, so it must feel somewhat frustrating not to be able to use it, even though you’re willing to pay good money for its features.
However, using a VPN such as Surfshark can take care of these issues for you so that you can stream various TV series that you like, watch movies or sports events, play games with your friends and listen to music from multiple services.
Aside from the popular streaming services, Surfshark is also capable of unlocking social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, vk.com, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Telegram and more.
Using Surfshark for online gaming
Unfortunately, if you plan on using Surfshark to play online games things won’t go very smoothly for you. This is mainly because the pings are quite high on almost all servers, even those that are geographically close to your location. This translates into a poor experience most of the time, especially if you play fast-paced shooters that require quick reflexes and fast inputs.
Then again, you might be able to enjoy some slower-paced games if you are lucky, such as turn-based strategy games where your reflexes do not matter as much. Hence, games like Hearthstone should not be a problem most of the time.
Unlocking the free Internet in China
If you want to access blocked websites from China using Surfshark, then you should know that the native apps do not work there, which means that you will have to find alternative solutions. Thankfully, Surfshark supports options like Shadowsocks and OpenVPN, which open up a few avenues in terms of connection.
On the other hand, those methods are not foolproof either, which means that there’s quite a bit of tinkering required in order to successfully bypass the Great Firewall. As such, you need to manually test all the server locations in order to see which ones work as intended.
Hence, it is definitely possible to use your Surfshark subscription in China if you configure your OpenVPN app to use your Surfshark credentials, but at the moment the native apps will not work, so keep that in mind.
Getting our instruments ready
As you probably got used by now, we will provide Surfshark with the same kind of treatment we offer to any other VPN provider that gets within our reach: testing its security capabilities and deciding whether or not its connection speed values are as high as they claim.
In order to perform these trials, we need a couple of tools, which we have used, currently, use and will keep using for all the VPN service providers, so that the results can be compared to one another in a fair and square manner.
We consider that having a secure VPN is more important than a fast one since the purpose of such software solutions is to protect your online privacy and potentially unlock some services that are otherwise unavailable. If you’re only looking at speed when picking a VPN, you probably shouldn’t be using one in the first place.
The tools we’re going to use for determining whether your service is safe and fast are the ones we’ve already mentioned in this article.
Tests are over, let’s see the results
As we’ve promised you before, we didn’t waste time and brought you the results of our Surfshark security tests. You can view the results of our tests below:
Overall, we are extremely satisfied with the security test results of Surfshark, since no vital information was disclosed with the testing tool.
Need for high speed
When doing our speed tests, we try not to judge the VPN provider by trying out only one of its servers. Instead, we choose multiple ones and test the speed values for each one of them.
Usually, we pick servers from different regions, ones that are somewhat far from one another, so we can observe how distance plays a role in this scenario, as well.
Now for the actual speed results:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||16 Mbps||288 ms||320 ms||19 Mbps||20 MB||30 MB|
|Germany||310 Mbps||141 ms||156 ms||22 Mbps||600 MB||30 MB|
|Chile||15 Mbps||564 ms||605 ms||17 Mbps||20 MB||70 MB|
|Singapore||40 Mbps||919 ms||947 ms||23 Mbps||70 MB||70 MB|
|Libya||13 Mbps||396 ms||420 ms||19 Mbps||10 MB||70 MB|
|Australia||3.6 Mbps||1.2 s||1.5 s||10 Mbps||6.6 MB||30 MB|
As you can see, the speeds are definitely decent, although not across all the tested locations. However, certain locations did experience minor issues while testing, so keeps that in mind as well.
No trial, no problem
Surfshark doesn’t feature a trial version, but that’s not an actual issue since almost no VPN service does offer it, to begin with. What you need to understand is that the need for removing trial periods usually arises from various attempts to trick the systems (e.g. signing up for multiple trials and evading actually paying for the service).
However, if you are honestly worried about not liking the service after paying for a subscription plan, Surfshark has got you covered. You can benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee, so that, no matter what happens in those 30 days, if you are not 100% convinced that Surfshark is for you, your money will be refunded.
Convenient subscription plans
If you’ve decided to give Surfshark a try, you can purchase a subscription plan by choosing one of their three offers. The plans are as follows:
|Plan type||1 Month Plan||1 Year Plan||2 Years Plan|
Unlimited and fast content delivery
No logs policy
Uncompromised security and privacy
24/7 customer service
Enterprise-grade infrastructure and reliability
In our opinion, the price isn’t high at all, considering that you can install the application on as many devices as you want. You can even ask your family to chip in for a 24-month plan, install the application on each one of your devices and nobody will bat an eye.
Sure, the list of servers you can connect to might feel somewhat limited, but on the bright side, you get pretty decent speeds even for servers that are located in more remote areas.
Helpful customer support
If you, for one reason or another, need extra support with operating the application, or installing it, or just encounter an issue that you can’t solve at the moment, you can safely rely on Surfshark’s customer support service.
In order to access it, you just need to click the suggestive “Help” button on their website, which will bring you to a page where you can choose between the various forms of help documentation before actually contacting them in person.
The pages you can rely on are “General Help,” “FAQ,” “Setup Guides,” “Billing,” “Account” and “Technical,” each of which is very suggestive regarding the topics it covers.
If you can’t solve your problems by using the guides alone, just click the “Chat” button wherever on the website or the “Live Chat” one that pops up in the “Help” page. The former lets you send a ticket-like message that will be analyzed and solved whenever possible, while the live chat lets you receive a live response regarding your issues.
It can be easily installed on the target computer, enables you to use its services on as many devices as possible after purchasing a plan, can be configured without any efforts and provide you with multiple unique features.
Its list of servers might not feel like something big right now (compared to other similar services), but they cover most of the important regions worldwide and its subscription plans are highly convenient, considering what they’re offering the end-users.
+ No-log policy, enforced by their location (BVI); (5)
+ Comes with MultiHop and Dedicated IP servers; (4)
+ Affordable subscription plans; (4)
+ No leaks during our security tests; (5)
+ Offers an integrated ad-blocker (4);
+ Unlimited devices (5)
– Not as many servers as other VPN providers; (3)
Surfshark receives a 4.28/5 rating.