Having a VPN today is a must-have for all internet users. But getting one without spending a fortune can be tricky. Fortunately there are services like Surfshark that still provide a robust product at affordable rates.
Surfshark Background Review
Before beginning, let’s take a quick look at the service providers –
Surfshark is a relatively newer name in the realm of VPNs. The service started in 2018. After its release, Surfshark became popular and managed to get listed among the top VPNs of today, thanks to its exceptional services and robust security.
Within the same year, the providers expanded the VPN’s device compatibility to cater to the needs of different customers globally.
The service is particularly known for its respect for users’ privacy. This is evident from its strategic placement in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) – a privacy-friendly region with no mandatory data retention laws.
Still, if, at any time, it’s asked (rather pressurized) to cooperate with any authorities regarding customers’ data, it won’t be a stealth move from the service. Surfshark has set up a dedicated “warrant canary” section to ensure transparency for all customers, which presently shows zero notices.
Yet, this is nothing to worry about, as Surfshark is a strictly no-logs VPN. It has even gone through independent audits by Cure53.
Surfshark VPN Key Features
Despite being a new name in the cybersecurity world, Surfshark exhibits all the premium features of a good VPN. Some of the features worth mentioning in this detailed Surfshark review are here.
Impressive Network With Multiple Locations
Surfshark has set up a vast network of servers with location diversity, unlike many other old services. Currently, it offers 3200+ servers in roughly 65 countries, all ensuring fast-speed connectivity.
You can connect to the fastest server from your desired location by clicking on your desired region. You can also quickly view every location’s speed and server load while scrolling down the list.
If you are skeptical about the server load and speed, you can follow this path on your VPN app to run a speed test: Settings > Advanced > Speed test. (This test won’t work with an active VPN connection.)
The following snapshot shows my speed test with American servers. You can see the details mentioning the download and upload speeds and the latency for every server.
Surfshark has successfully deployed premium security technologies for the users. Specifically, it works on AES 256-bit encryption standards to ensure that your data remains safe from snoopers.
Dedicated Servers With Personalized Selection
Just as you get lots of locations with this VPN, it provides a personalized experience with dedicated browsers.
You can easily activate the “Auto-Connect” feature to let the VPN app connect you with the fastest server available. Or, you can customize this feature to connect with the one from your nearest location or any of your preferred regions.
Whereas, for specific activities requiring a single location, you can easily connect to one of the servers with “Static IP” addresses.
Another exciting security-rich option that deserves mentioning in this Surfshark review is the Camouflage Mode. In simple words, it is the typical server obfuscation feature currently available with a few top-notch VPN services only.
With Camouflage Mode, you don’t have to worry about your ISP detecting your VPN usage. Simply set your VPN protocol as OpenVPN (TCP or UDP), and enjoy safe browsing as the feature activates automatically to hide your internet traffic, thereby saving you from data packet inspection (dpi).
CleanWeb is the dedicated security suite that you get free of cost with your VPN subscription. This feature protects you from intrusive ads, malware, and online trackers.
It means that, even if you aren’t sure about what is URL phishing, you can still browse with confidence as the CleanWeb feature will protect you online.
Whitelister (Split Tunneling)
Having a VPN doesn’t mean getting detached from the local digital world. That’s why Surfshark VPN comes with an app whitelisting feature. Itis basically another name for the split tunneling option.
With Surfshark, you can choose certain apps to run exclusively with or without VPN. Likewise, you can also specify certain websites to use or not use the VPN tunnel during an active connection.
MultiHop (Double VPN)
Another feature with Surfshark VPN that offers even better security to users with sensitive browsing requirements is the double VPN feature. This functionality transmits your data twice through the VPN servers before sending it to the internet.
Named “MultiHop” in Surfshark, this feature offers numerous location choices to the users to decide how their traffic reroute.
A common issue that most VPNs users face is failing to unblock restricted content. That’s because of the extensive VPN blocking measures that the services or the governments apply to block certain content.
However, Surfshark protects you in these situations with its dedicated “NoBorders” Mode.
Enabling this feature lets you unblock any restricted website in your region without the fear of being caught.
More Interesting Features
- Thorough IP and DNS leak protection
- Offers multiple VPN protocols: OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), IKEv2, Shadowsocks, and WireGuard
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Unblocks streaming sites
- Unblocks restricted content
- Customizable auto-connect functionality
- Automatic selection of VPN protocol
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, streaming devices, gaming consoles, routers, and more.
- Surfshark Alert feature that offers dark-web monitoring for breached accounts.
- Surfshark Search option to enjoy a truly private browsing session.
- GPS spoofing (on Android)
- 24/7 customer support via live chat and email.
Surfshark Download And Setup Review
I tested Surfshark VPN on my Windows 10 PC. It took a minute to download the VPN client on my device. After that, clicking on the setup file started the installation. At this point, it took about 4-5 minutes to complete the setup.
The installation process is entirely automated without requiring any user input. Once done, it then asks the user to enter the account credentials, after which the VPN app opens up.
As soon as the app opens up, it starts an automatic connection to the fastest server. You can either allow it or cancel the connection to choose a server of your location.
The app bears a pretty neat interface with easy-to-use features. You can find all the servers (including the MultiHop and Static IP servers) in the “Locations” tab. Whereas, other features like Whitelister and CleanWeb are available under the “Features” tab.
Besides, you will see a gear icon at the bottom left of the app that encloses all the settings to customize your VPN connectivity.
How Does This VPN Work – Hands-on Testing
Surfshark defiantly claims to offer the best speeds with amazing content unblocking capability.
To test these things myself, I connected to a US server and tried unblocking Crackle. Indeed, I could stream easily without facing any buffering issues or video quality distortions.
I then switched my location to Sweden, and it successfully unblocked ViaPlay on my device. Once again, I experienced incredible speeds (I couldn’t even sense the extra layering of a VPN on my internet).
After that, I thought to give the MultiHop mode a try. But, as expected, I faced reduced speeds (due to the obvious double encryption). So, I advise you not to try streaming with the MultiHop mode.
Surfshark Pros And Cons Review
Surfshark certainly provides its users with all that it claims – robust security, excellent features, customized connectivity, and of course, freedom of internet use with superb unblocking. Overall, the app is straightforward to use, does not include specific features, thus making the app user-friendly even for novices.
The only downside of this VPN is the absence of dedicated servers. Perhaps, introducing specialty servers for streaming and P2P would enable this VPN to bypass all the leading services of today.
The most fantastic thing about Surfshark is its affordable pricing plans. You can get this premium VPN for as low as $2.49 per month by subscribing to its 2-year plan.
While it’s already quite affordable, don’t worry about your money since the VPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Besides, it also offers a 7-day free trial for Android, iOS, and macOS users.
What Bunny Rating Does It Earn?
Owing to the impressive features, user-friendly interface, and complete online privacy (not to forget mentioning CleanWeb), Surfshark VPN safely earns 4.5 bunnies.
Surfshark is a great security solution for those who wish to get a premium VPN service on a budget. With deceptively cheap costs, this service has managed to package all premium features in one place.
This VPN certainly provides enough value by offering specialized privacy features, such as protection against online trackers and malware, a robust kill switch, thorough IP protection, and impressive content unblocking.
Available to users globally, this service is a friendly tool for all privacy freaks.