Surfshark VPN (2021) Review
Are you looking for a new Surfshark VPN review? That’s logical, the last couple of years these services have gained enormous popularity, almost 30% of the internet users has been using VPN services over the past 5 years. We at Globalwatchonline.com tested and tried all different providers for you, read our comprehensive Surfshark VPNreview and learn everything about this service, we are sure that once you’re done reading you will know if this provider suits you.
What is Surfshark?
Since Surfshark entered the market in 2018, it has emerged as one of the most popular VPN providers. And not only is it a crowd favorite, but some of our VPN experts are impressed as well. Why all this praise for Surfshark?
One of Surfshark’s spearheads is its low price. This VPN offers top features you would want out of a reliable, secure, and easy-to-use VPN. As a newer VPN, it seems to be one of the cheapest on the market at just $2.49 USD per month if you sign up for a 24-month package. Along with unlimited device usage and 15 Netflix libraries, you might wonder why their price is so good, especially with three months free. Let’s dive in to see if Surfshark really is at the top of the food chain in the Netflix VPN world.
One of Surfshark’s focal points is its low price. The company has a no-log policy and does so for less money than many other VPNs. But does that make Surfshark a better choice than, say, PureVPN, ExpressVPN or NordVPN? Read more and find out if this provider belongs to the best VPN services of 2021.
Why should you buy Surfshark?
All in all, Surfshark is very user-friendly. You can download torrents and watch American Netflix just fine with it. This VPN has strong encryption and very easy to use software. In particular, the low price and high level of ease of use make Surfshark a good choice for many.
In many ways, this VPN service is not inferior to large, successful providers such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Furthermore, the excellent customer service will help you quickly and adequately with all your questions. If you are interested, you can try Surfshark without worry because of the extensive 30-day money back guarantee.
What are the advantages of Surfshark?
- Can be used on infinite number of devices
- Very easy to use and easy to install
- Large Netflix offerings available
- Secure protocols and no logs
- Very competitively priced
- Torrent traffic is allowed
- Good connection speeds
What are the disadvantages of Surfshark?
- The software is only available in English
- Not one of the best VPN providers for Linux
- The speed of some servers could be better
- No possibility to request a dedicated IP address
|USABILITY:||Surfshark is very easy to use on PC, Tablet and Phone|
|LOG FILES:||Has a very strict no logging policy|
|LOCATIONS:||61+ countries and over 1040+ servers|
|SUPPORT:||Live chat support that is available for 24/7
|TORRENTING:||P2P & torrenting is allowed with Surfshark|
|NETFLIX:||Unblocks Netflix in USA and other countries|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-bit AES/OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2|
How to use Surfshark?
Surfshark excels in ease of use. The software is easy to use. There are a number of super handy options, and what’s more, the customer service is easy to reach, should you need help with anything. The website is clear, not too chaotic, and all information is easy to find. The ‘My Account’ section of the site is kept as simple as possible.
You have a few buttons to download software for specific devices and operating systems, see information about when your subscription will expire, a button to change your password and a button to log out. This makes managing your Surfshark account very simple.
How does Surfshark work?
The 3-step process for signing up and installing Surfshark is extremely simple. First, head to Surfshark.com to choose your payment plan. You can choose between 1-month, 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year plans. Once you select and create an account with your billing information, you’ll be directed to the setup process you see below.
Select your preferred language.
Select where you would like the software to be stored on your disk. Remember, the install requires 32MB of free space, so be sure that this is available before you begin.
Run the downloaded software to complete the installation and begin activation. One pro of Surfshark VPN is that their software is very small, sleek, and simple to use. The interface is extremely user-friendly and can be minimized even further with what they call the “mini mode,” as you’ll see in the screenshot below. Once you have successfully installed Surfshark, simply click “connect” to connect to the fastest server available:
Surfshark has over 1,000 servers in over 60 countries, giving you access to the most reliable and fastest VPN servers while still providing the most secure connection possible. I mentioned previously that they have a no-logs policy as most VPNs do.
All Surfshark servers are compatible with (P2P) downloading, in addition you do not have to manually choose a P2P server. You have access to many US servers that all seem to work with Netflix. Another great benefit of Surfshark’s servers is that it is possible to connect through two VPN servers at the same time which they call MultiHop.
Number of servers and locations
Surfshark has 3200+ servers spread across 65 countries. They have servers in the following countries:
- Europe: Albanië, België, Bosniaë and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgië, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italië, Croatiaë , Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldavië, Netherlands, North Macedoniaë, Norway, Ukraineë, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romaniaë, Russia, Serië, Sloveniaë, Slovakia, Spain, Czechë, Turkey. United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland
- North and South America: Argentinaë, Brazilië, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, United States
- Middle East and Africa: Israelël, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, South Africa
- Asian-Pacific region: Australië, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Indonesiaë, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysiaië, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea
We have extensively tested Surfshark and put it through several speed tests. Speed testing is a necessity, since using a VPN has the possibility of slowing your connection. I tested the speed using Surfshark on four different servers. You will see the results below. For reference, prior to using the VPN, our benchmark speed test showed 237 Mbps download and 12 Mbps upload.
Download: 161.18 Mbps
Upload: 9.07 Mbps
Download: 150.01 Mbps
Upload: 5.44 Mbps
Download: 170.77 Mbps
Upload: 8.56 Mbps
Surfshark’s speed tests turned out to be very good. Moreover, in daily use we had no problems at all and Surfshark was sometimes even faster than some of our trusted VPN providers. In the end, these are our conclusions:
- The speed tests give great results especially for the download speed
- Surfshark is a VPN with above-average speed and great performance during everyday use
- Gaming, watching videos and downloading went smoothly with Surfshark
Surfshark speed in everyday use
Because of the good results from the US server, we had high expectations for Surfshark. The VPN did not disappoint: it is fantastic in everyday use. We tested Surfshark while browsing, using Netflix, downloading torrents and playing online games. During regular browsing, we didn’t notice a difference. Sites, even with Surfshark, loaded quickly. Mailing, downloading attachments and visiting social media were also lightning fast.
- Watching videos on YouTube and Netflix also went without a hitch. Netflix even buffered faster than with other VPN providers. We can honestly say that Surfshark works extremely well for us in terms of streaming.
- Downloading torrents was also no problem at all. Within no time we had raked in relatively large files. Surfshark even noticed when we used a torrent program: the VPN then automatically switched from a regular VPN server to a P2P server to facilitate the download. We found this very user-friendly for downloading.
Is Surfshark Safe?
Security is perhaps the single most important consideration when choosing a VPN. In this regard, we are very pleased with Surfshark. Surfshark takes all the necessary measures to ensure a secure connection:
- Surfshark’s headquarters is in the British Virgin Islands, but they seem to operate from England
- Surfshark is a secure VPN with strong encryption protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks (proxy) and Wireguard)
- It is possible to connect to the Internet via two VPN servers at the same time
- Surfshark gives you the option to turn on a kill switch
- Surfshark does not keep any logs
- To create an account you can pay with Bitcoin and you only need to provide an email address and password
- Surfshark does not track specific usage data, but does use anonymized data to determine their server load and any connection problems
Surfshark uses AES-256-bit encryption and uses the two most secure protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2, among others. This shows that Surfshark focuses on very strong protocols.
Thus, they do not compromise on security. In addition, Surfshark also offers a protocol specifically designed to circumvent censorship: Shadowsocks. This is an encrypted proxy that was originally designed to circumvent censorship in China.
- Surfshark recently started offering the new WireGuard protocol for all users of Android, Windows, iOS, macOS and Linux. WireGuard uses the ChaCha20 algorithm for encryption.
- The strength of this open-source VPN protocol lies in its ease of use, security and fast speeds. To switch to using WireGuard, Surfshark users must update their apps to the latest version. Then they can manually choose the protocol under settings.
Log Policy and Privacy
Surfshark has an ‘no logs’policy. They make sure that they need as little of your data as possible to make your VPN work properly. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t need anything at all. Like most other providers, they ask for your email address to create an account with and payment information to process the payment. More about this later.
- In addition, like most VPN’s, Surfshark requires some data to monitor their service. For example, they use anonymized data to see how busy their servers are and if there are any connection problems. However, because of the anonymized data, these problems cannot be traced back to a specific user. They only concern the general usage of their servers and service. Furthermore, Surfshark does not seem to keep any logs. We can’t find anything in their regulations that contradicts this.
- Furthermore, Surfshark has recently switched to a RAM-only server network, which means no more data resides on physical servers and data can no longer be stolen through that means. This form of storage also ensures that data is automatically deleted when you disconnect. This means that your data is only stored temporarily and cannot be viewed by others after use. More and more VPN providers are moving towards RAM-only servers simply because it better safeguards your privacy.
Dedicated IP address
At the moment Surfshark does not yet have an option to request a dedicated IP address yet. However, you will usually connect to the same server and IP address if you choose a specific server.
- This is not always the case: if you choose the option ‘optimal location’ there is a big chance that you will always get a different server. Surfshark looks at the traffic on the different servers and chooses the server that works best at that moment.
- Surfshark has recently added servers with a static IP address. So on these servers you always have the same IP address. This can be useful, but for now we would advise against using these servers, because you will still be sharing this static IP address with others.
Obviously Surfshark offers some interesting features that not all VPN services offer. For example, not all VPNs offer access to (the US version of) Netflix, Surfshark does. If you are a big fan of Netflix, always check if you can access the Netflix website with your VPN account.
Furthermore, not all VPN services offer servers that support P2P networks either. This can be important if you often download torrents. Read more if you want to find everything about the features that Surfshark offers:
MultiHop, Whitelister and CleanWeb
These three functions of Surfshark all work properly. CleanWeb blocks ads that were allowed through by our regular adblockers. The MultiHop option provides a little extra security, but it does have a negative impact on your speed.
After all, your internet traffic then has to go through two VPN servers instead of one, which can cause delays. The Whitelister for apps and websites allows you to connect to apps and websites you trust through your own IP address. In some situations, this can be very useful.
Surfshark and Netflix
Surfshark is committed to making the Netflix libraries of over 30 countries available. For example, you can access the Netlfix libraries of the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, India, Turkey, Sweden, Australia, South Korea, Poland, Taiwan, Portugal, Thailand, Russia and Singapore.
Are you using a different server location to access Netflix? Then you will automatically be redirected to the American Netflix. If something still doesn’t work out, just contact Surfshark customer service. They can help quickly in many cases. All of this makes Surfshark perfect for streaming and Netflix.
Surfshark and torrents
Surfshark has P2P servers that keep you extra safe when you download torrents. You don’t have to manually select these servers, they are automatically activated when you use a torrent program.
The VPN server recognizes P2P traffic and will connect you to a P2P server. It even seems to connect you automatically through a MultiHop server. This way you are extra protected from prying eyes.
NoBorders and Camouflage Mode
At this time Surfshark also has two different VPN modes on top of the regular VPN. These are Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode. Camouflage Mode ensures that even your ISP cannot see that you are using a VPN. NoBorders mode is a mode where, even in areas with strict censorship, you can use the Internet freely.
Recently, Surfshark added a GPS spoofing feature to its repertoire. GPS spoofing allows you to change your virtual location, even if it is not based on your IP address. The GPS spoofing option is only available on Android for now.
Surfshark Product Plans
Surfshark is constantly working to improve its service. The VPN provider has already shared some product plans with us. For example, they plan to replace most 1gb servers with 10gb servers. A no-log audit is also planned. Here’s an overview of some of the other things Surfshark is currently working on:
Manual configurations for WireGuard
- Tor (Onion) over VPN
- Pause function for VPN
- Customizable Multihop
Multiple/Unlimited Device Support
While you’ll often see a limit to the number of devices under one VPN account, Surfshark boasts an unlimited devices feature. This means that you can have simultaneous connections on all of your family’s devices, protecting your privacy from every entrance point.
You can connect smart TVs, gaming consoles, and even your FireStick with FireTV! Surfshark’s offer includes an ad blocker, torrenting, independent audits, and Whitelister, which many other VPNs don’t currently offer.
Surfshark and Mac
Since a recent update to Surfshark, the software also works perfectly with the Apple M1 chip. This means you no longer need additional software to run Surfshark properly on newer macOS products. It also means your battery will last longer.
Surfshark and Linux
You can also get started with Surfshark on Linux. Surfshark is available for Ubuntu and Debian. Unfortunately, these are not as many Linux distros as other VPN providers. Below is a brief summary of how to use Surfshark on Linux.
- The servers are somewhat limited for Linux users. At least you don’t get access to the total range of all their servers. You can choose from just over 100 servers in 61 countries. Also, the speeds of these servers are very different. Sometimes they are blazing fast, and sometimes you barely get a quarter of your total possible speed.
- Much worse is that with Surfshark for Linux you can very often suffer from DNS leaks. This problem can be fixed with the help of customer service, but this should not be necessary.
Customer service Surfshark
Surfshark’s customer service is excellent. Through the chat on the website, we were answered within a minute by an actual employee who helped us with our problems. At first, for example, we couldn’t reach American Netflix, but the customer service rep was able to help us in no time.
In addition, we liked the fact that we had a real person sitting on the other side of the chat. We didn’t get automatic responses from a bot. A breath of fresh air compared to some other VPNs.
- Surfshark has a great customer support platform allowing you to search through support documentation and walk through tutorials on how to use their VPN and its features. If you run into an issue or have an unanswered question, their support team is available via live chat or email 24/7.
Surfshark offers one of the lowest pricing packages I have seen, with just $2.49 USD per month if you sign up for their 24-month package. Even if you are concerned with making a long-term commitment, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll see that they offer 1-month and 12-month plans as well at a higher price if you would be interested in a short-term option.
- 30 days: $12.95 a month = $155.40 a year
- 6 months: $6.49 a month = $77.88 a year
- 24 months: $2.49 per month
For payment methods, Surfshark offers flexibility. You can pay using a multitude of options, including Paypal, Apple Pay, cryptocurrency and Alipay
They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, even on their 24-month plan. As long as your account does not breach their Terms of Service, reach out to their customer support team to request a refund.
Surfshark doesn’t truly have a “free” trial VPN, but they offer a risk-free subscription for 30 days. If you aren’t satisfied within those 30 days, you can simply request a refund. The only true “free” trial is through Google Play or the Apple App Store. You must provide your credit card information upfront, but you won’t be charged until the 7-day trial is up. At that point, you will be charged if you choose to continue.
Would we recommend Surfshark?
I was extremely positively surprised when I first used Surfshark. New VPN providers are not always of a high quality, but with Surfshark this is the case. Surfshark is a fantastic VPN provider that is certainly not inferior to providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. On top of that, Surfshark is also very inexpensive. So as far as I’m concerned, Surfshark is definitely the best choice for novice VPN users.
- We 100% recommend Surfshark. Of all its competitors, it has the best value and provides you with everything a top VPN should: multiple advanced security features, reliable network and speeds, consistent unblocking abilities, and a strong commitment to user privacy and security.
How to use your Surfshark Coupon?
Are you browsing Surfshark’s website and want to buy this service even cheaper? You can! With a valid discount code you get extra discount. Did you find such a code? Below we explain how you can activate it.
- To get started go to Surfshark.com and select one of the plans. On the same page, scroll down slightly and enter your email address at step 2. Then, at step 3, choose one of the payment methods. You can pay via PayPal and with a credit card, among others. In addition, you have the option to pay with crypto currency.
- When you select one of these payment methods, a screen pops up. Here you will find all the details of your order. In addition, here you have the opportunity to enter the Surfshark discount code. To do this, first click on “Do you have a coupon?”. Then in the empty input field, under “Your coupon code”, enter the found discount code and click “Apply”.
- The discount will then be immediately deducted from the total amount. Check the order summary again just to be sure. Have you selected the right plan and the desired options? Then press “Continue” to finalize your order.