Surfshark VPN review

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Pros

  • Budget-friendly long-term plans
  • Unlimited connections
  • RAM-only servers
  • Helpful live chat
  • Fast connection times support
  • Available on all major platforms

Cons

  • No split tunneling feature for Apple products
  • Middling download speeds

Surfshark’s features and performance put it in a tier with the top VPNs and so far it seems the company has ignored the headlines about rampant inflation, because the cheapest plan averages out to $2.05 per month with the current Black Friday deal

I’ll spare you the cost-of-a-cup-of-coffee comparison (let me know if you find a good one for less than $2.50) and get to the good stuff. Most VPNs limit the number of devices that can be connected at the same time, which can be a problem depending on how many people you’re splitting rent with. 

But Surfshark rejects that artificial restriction with unlimited simultaneous connections. That alone could make it the right deal for a good number of people.

I found Surfshark has everything you’d want in a VPN plus, it’s secure and reliable.

Surfshark VPN specifications

Servers 3,200+
Server countries 65+
Price From $2.05/mo with a 2-year plan + 2 free months
Free trial 7 days, 30-day money-back guarantee
Platforms Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon FireTV. Android TV
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Speed 54% reduction
Logs No logs
DNS leak No leaks
Features Split tunneling, kill switch, MultiHop connection, ad and tracker blocker

Surfshark takes the standard approach to its pricing with one-month, one-year, and two-year plans. You’ll make a lump-sum upfront payment for the longer plans, but it works out to a dramatically lower average monthly cost.

Also: The best cheap VPNs

1-month

1-year

2-year

Avg. monthly cost

$12.95

$3.99

$2.05

Upfront payment

$12.95

$47.88

$53.28

The Black Friday deal for two free months with the two-year plan drops the average monthly price down to $2.05.  The usual price for a two-year plan is $2.30 per month, so this is an 11% discount.

With all of the Surfshark VPN plans, you can add on the Surfshark One bundle for $1.49 per month (paid in full upfront for one-year and two-year plans). This package gives you access to Surfshark’s antivirus software, safe search (search ad and tracker blocking), and data breach monitoring.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans, giving you plenty of time to test out the services and see what’s right for you. If you’d prefer a free trial, you may be able to get a seven-day free trial offer to appear if you subscribe via mobile or MacOS. I was able to get the free trial offer on mobile, but keep in mind that after the free trial is over you may be enrolled in the annual plan, which is more expensive than the two-year subscription. 

You can pay for Surfshark VPN with a credit card, debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, or cryptocurrency.

In ZDNET’s most recent tests, Surfshark’s speed was middle of the road, cutting download speeds by an average of 54%. Over two days we compared download speeds without a VPN and with Surfshark’s VPN running. We also measured speeds across 10 different Surfshark server locations around the world.  

This is a drop in performance from our previous tests where Surfshark only reduce download speeds by 28%. There are so many factors that can impact speed that this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but you should test out the performance for yourself. It’s a good idea to see how it performs on your devices, and with your internet connection.

Surfshark did connect quickly to the servers and the connection was strong and reliable.

Surfshark currently has over 3,200 servers in over 65 countries, although a number of these are virtual servers that are clearly identified in the apps. I didn’t notice any difference in performance or speed between the virtual and physical servers.

Unlike many of the top VPNs, Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a great option for larger households. Regardless of what devices you own, you should be able to run Surkshark VPN, and it works with all of the major platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Android TV
  • Amazon FireTV

There are also Surfshark VPN browser extensions available for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

If you’re looking for a VPN to use while streaming, Surfshark can fit the bill. I was able to stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ on mobile and desktop. 

I did have to chat with support to access Hulu through a browser while I was running Surfshark. I ended up having to disconnect from Surfshark, log in to Hulu, and then reconnect to the VPN. Once I was logged in on the browser, I had no issues streaming Hulu while connected to Surfshark VPN.

Surfshark has a kill switch to protect your information if your VPN connection drops. This feature prevents accidental exposure of your activity by cutting off your internet connection if your VPN connection is disrupted. You’ll also be able to use a built-in blocker for ads, trackers, and malware, and a customizable split-tunneling tool to route connections from specific apps or websites through or around your VPN. If you’re an Apple user, the split-tunneling feature isn’t available for MacOS or iOS.

Also: How does Surfshark work? Plus how to set up and use the VPN

Through Surfshark’s MultiHop you can set up your VPN connection through two servers. This will impact your connection speed, but give you an added layer of security. While there is no dedicated IP option, you can access a static IP address on a few dozen servers in six different countries. 

Android users have access to GPS override with Surfshark. If you’ve enabled this feature, when you’re connected to the VPN your location will be set to the location of the VPN server. But before you’re relying on this to unlock location-specific features for an app or game, you’ll want to test it out for yourself. For example, I’ve seen several reviews saying this feature is a good option for Pokémon Go players, but I wasn’t able to get GPS override to work with the game.

All of Surfshark VPN’s servers support P2P file sharing. However, to get the best performance you’ll want to connect through a P2P-optimized server.

It can be a little confusing to find these servers because they aren’t labeled in the app. If you search “P2P” in the server locations search bar, the P2P-optimized servers will populate the search results.

Surfshark VPN listing P2P servers

Surfshark VPN

When you’re using a torrenting app you’ll automatically be redirected to a P2P-optimized server, regardless of the server you initially connect to. The advantage of connecting directly to a P2P server is you’re likely to have better performance.

When it comes to getting questions answered quickly and accurately, I prefer using the live chat feature. The chat starts off with a bot providing links to support pages that may answer your question, but it’s easy to get connected with a real person. I always had the option to connect directly with a live agent with the push of a button.

Surfshark also has a help center with useful guides and FAQs. It doesn’t have a phone support option, but I haven’t come across a VPN that does. Even if phone support was available I’d prefer the live chat feature, which was much faster and more convenient than navigating a phone tree.

Overall, Surfshark is a solid deal if you’re willing to make a longer commitment to lock in the lowest price. I suggest taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out and make sure that it’s going to perform well for you and meet all your needs.

Surfshark VPN has all of the standard features most people will want in a VPN and in our speed tests it performed well. It’s hard to complain about a service that generally performs as well as the competition at one-third the price of the most expensive VPN services.

Here are a few comparable VPN services worth considering if you don’t think Surfshark is the right one for you.



Original Article

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