Surfshark VPN review: A comprehensive look at features, performance, and pricing

Surfshark VPN review: A comprehensive look at features, performance, and pricing. Discover if Surfshark is the right VPN for your needs.

May 31, 2024 - 13:33
May 31, 2024 - 13:33
Surfshark VPN review: A comprehensive look at features, performance, and pricing
Surfshark VPN

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

Surfshark is a highly regarded VPN service known for its speed, reliability, and user-friendly interface. It offers a wide range of features designed to enhance online security and privacy. One of Surfshark's standout features is its ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, making it an excellent choice for households with multiple devices. It also offers strong encryption protocols, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch feature to protect your data in case of a VPN connection drop.

like Pros

  • Affordable for extended subscriptions
  • Offers a variety of distinctive features
  • Utilizes RAM-only servers for enhanced security
  • Unlimited devices can connect simultaneously

dislike Cons

  • Monthly plan is costly
  • Lacks transparency reports
  • Pricing page can be misleading
  • Connection times can be slow at times
star star star star star
Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting price

$2.49 per month

DNS protection measures


Multifactor authentication


What is Surfshark VPN?

Surfshark VPN is a reliable option for those seeking a fast and dependable VPN service. It allows for unlimited device connections and is compatible with various operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Operating under Dutch jurisdiction, Surfshark adheres to local laws that do not mandate data retention or log storage. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee, unlimited simultaneous device connections, and multiple security features.

Privacy and security

Surfshark employs AES-256 encryption to secure your data, ensuring it remains confidential. Its Search feature, part of Surfshark One available for an extra fee, blocks ads and malware, protecting against phishing attempts. Additionally, this add-on includes a breach alert system for personal data and an antivirus to safeguard devices from malware.

What makes Surfshark stand out?

Surfshark stands out as one of the premier VPN services available today, boasting high speed and a vast server network worldwide, making it a compelling choice in the VPN market.

One of Surfshark's key features is its ability to connect an unlimited number of devices, ensuring you can fully utilize your subscription. Among the top 10 VPNs we evaluated, only three offer this unlimited device policy, with others limiting connections to between five and seven devices. It's worth noting that if you plan to install your VPN directly on your router (an option most VPNs provide), a capped device limit becomes less relevant.

Surfshark core features

Surfshark offers several crucial features for VPN users, including:

  • Anonymous browsing: Surfshark's VPN hides your actual IP address and uses "camouflage mode" to conceal the fact that you're using a VPN from your internet service provider. The company also does not retain any activity logs, such as browsing history or DNS queries.
  • Dedicated IP: This feature allows you to access the internet from a unique IP address, typically for an additional fee, enhancing your online security.
  • Kill switch: Surfshark, like most VPNs, includes a Kill Switch to safeguard your privacy in case your VPN connection unexpectedly drops. The Kill Switch automatically disables your internet connection if this occurs, preventing your information from being exposed.
  • Split tunneling: Surfshark's split tunneling feature, called Bypasser, makes it easy to whitelist specific websites that don't work with a VPN. With Bypasser, you can direct some of your internet traffic through your ISP and some through the VPN, eliminating the need to constantly connect and disconnect your VPN.
  • MultiHop: This feature lets you connect to two different VPN servers simultaneously, often in different countries. This adds an extra layer of security by masking your true location more effectively and may even improve your internet speeds, according to Surfshark.

Surfshark pricing

Surfshark's VPN service is offered on a monthly, yearly, and biennial subscription basis. They accept payments via credit card, PayPal, SOFORT, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies. Below is a summary of their standard service pricing.

Surfshark setup

Setting up Surfshark is straightforward. Upon purchasing your chosen subscription, download the app on your device and follow the provided instructions. After logging in, select a server location, connect to the server, and verify the secure connection.

Surfshark ease of use

Surfshark's app is intuitive and simple to use, with a quick installation process taking just a few minutes. The one-click connect button enables fast server connections, enhancing usability. Users can choose to connect to either the nearest or fastest server, depending on their preference.

Surfshark servers and locations

Surfshark operates more than 3,200 servers across 100 countries, spanning the U.S., Middle East, Africa, Americas, and Europe. While some VPNs boast larger server networks (like NordVPN with 5,442 servers and Private Internet Access with over 24,000), Surfshark's network remains competitive, offering a diverse range of servers globally. If you have specific country preferences for server locations, it's advisable to check Surfshark's server availability in those regions.

Surfshark speed and performance

In our testing, Surfshark has consistently been ranked among the top VPNs for speed and performance.

Using a VPN can sometimes result in a slowdown of internet speeds. Assessing a VPN's performance can be challenging because actual speeds can vary based on factors such as your location, internet service provider, server locations, distance between the server and your device, and the specific VPN and device you are using.

Despite these variables, Surfshark is known for delivering high-speed internet connections and is highly regarded for its performance.

Surfshark security and privacy

When assessing a VPN's security, an independent audit is essential to ensure its safety matches your needs for a secure internet connection. Surfshark has undergone multiple independent audits conducted by Cure53, which conducted a thorough security assessment. Additionally, Deloitte audited Surfshark to validate its no-logs policy.

No-Logs Policy

Surfshark adheres to an industry-standard no-logs policy, meaning it does not retain any identifiable information about its users. This policy ensures that even if requested by law enforcement, Surfshark would not have any customer information to provide. Operating from the Netherlands, which does not mandate data retention, further supports this policy.

Multi-Factor Authentication

To enhance account security, Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA). Once logged in, users can enable 2FA in their account settings. Additional guidance and a tutorial are available on Surfshark's help page.

Surfshark customer service and support

Surfshark offers customer support via email and live chat. Forbes Advisor successfully connected with a live chat agent in under five minutes, despite navigating through several prompts. Once they typed "agent," they were connected within one minute. The agent was helpful, responsive, and provided links for further information after understanding their questions.

Additionally, Surfshark provides extensive tutorials on its website in both video and written formats.

Surfshark device compatibility

Surfshark allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, which is a notable feature as many VPNs typically limit connections to between five and seven devices.

Surfshark is compatible with a wide range of hardware and software, including:

  • Desktops and laptops: Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Smartphones and tablets: Android and iOS
  • Routers: Certain routers can be configured to work with Surfshark, providing protection for all devices connected to the router
  • Streaming devices: LG TV, Apple TV, and Android TV
  • Gaming consoles: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox

Additionally, Surfshark offers a browser extension for Chrome.

Surfshark for streaming

VPNs can sometimes reduce internet speeds, particularly during activities like streaming. Among the VPNs we evaluated, Surfshark exhibited the fastest average download speed and the second-fastest average upload speed. This suggests that Surfshark is a reliable choice for streaming while using a VPN.

However, the actual speed you experience can vary due to factors such as the server you're connected to, its distance from your location, and the device you're using. Surfshark offers tips on how to improve a slow internet connection.

Comparing Surfshark to other VPN services

Surfshark vs. NordVPN

Surfshark's promotional pricing for its one-year and two-year plans is more budget-friendly than NordVPN's, priced at $3.69 per month for two years compared to NordVPN's $2.29 per month for two years (including two free months). Both companies offer similar core features, but it's worth noting that many features included in NordVPN's plan are available as add-ons for Surfshark users, priced at $15.95 per month.

For a detailed comparison, read our article on Surfshark vs. NordVPN.

Surfshark vs. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access offers a slightly lower annual cost compared to Surfshark, priced at $39.95 versus Surfshark's $41.86. PIA is highly rated among VPN services, but some users are cautious due to the lack of detailed transparency reports from the company.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish

While IPVanish and Surfshark offer similar services, Surfshark edges ahead slightly with a rating of 3.7 compared to IPVanish's 3.3 in our comparison. IPVanish is more cost-effective than Surfshark, but concerns arise from its vague no-logs policy and the absence of a publicly released transparency report.

Is Surfshark the right choice for you?

Surfshark is a reliable choice for individuals seeking a high-speed and user-friendly VPN. While the month-to-month pricing is relatively high, Surfshark's long-term plans are competitively priced. Its split tunneling feature provides added control over VPN usage, and the option to connect an unlimited number of devices offers convenience for households with multiple devices.

It's important to note that Surfshark offers additional features through Surfshark One, priced at $15.95 per month. This includes Surfshark Search for ad-free browsing, an antivirus scanner, and real-time security alerts, but these features are not included in the standard subscription.

For personal use, Surfshark is well-suited, but there are alternative VPNs with similar features and competitive pricing. While Surfshark may be suitable for some small businesses, larger companies may prefer VPNs specifically tailored for business needs, such as NordLayer from NordVPN, which offers centralized encryption for team accounts.

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