Surfshark VPN Review 2020

Why choose Surfshark VPN

For high-speed performance and plenty of features, without the high price, this could be the best VPN for you.

Works with

Mac

Windows

Android

iPhone & iPad

Linux

Routers

Best VPN for

Netflix, Hulu, and streaming

Gaming

Torrenting and downloading

Security and privacy

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Great connection speeds
  • Netflix unblocking
  • Superb security

Cons

  • Too basic for some

A full featured and high-speed VPN doesn't have to be expensive. Surfshark proves that point perfectly by offering one of the best services out there for nearly half the price of the competition.

Surfshark VPN is a relatively new service compared to some other options out there, but what it lacks in age it makes up for in features. From tight security and privacy to feature-rich apps and the ability to unblock Netflix – this packs in everything most people look for in a VPN.

With over 1,040 servers spread across 160 locations worldwide this is a super capable VPN that's perfect for anyone travelling. But with AES-256 level encryption it's also just right for anyone looking for a VPN to keep themselves anonymous and secure at home – or anywhere else for that matter.

So is this the VPN for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know about Surfshark VPN.

Pricing and plans

Surfshark PricingSource: Surfshark

Surfshark keeps it nice and simple when it comes to pricing options with three tiers to pick from. These are time based, with monthly, annual or two year plans which go down in price based on how long you commit for.

The monthly option is the most open, allowing you to pay month-to-month with no commitment. As such this is the most expensive, usually priced at around $11.95. Jump up to a year, paid in one lump sum, and you get a big reduction that equates to $5.99 per month.

But the best plan, which gives you one of the most affordable VPN prices of any out there right now, is the two year plan. Pay this sum up front and it works out at just $1.99 per month. That's a saving of a massive 83 percent compared to the monthly payment option.

Testing and performance

Despite being a budget VPN you can rely on Surfshark to offer some really great speeds, according to our testing. On a reliability level we found no connection failures and connection times that are faster than average plus all servers returned IP addresses for their advertised locations. So all ticks then.

When it came to performance speeds, we tested in the US using a 600Mbps connection. On the whole results were consistent denoting a reliable performance. Speeds averaged 150Mbps, which could have been our ISP affecting that to be fair. The lowest speed we got, across 40 test locations, was 119Mbps – still plenty fast then.

Over in the UK the line tested was 75Mbps and we got an impressive average of around 68Mbps meaning very little bandwidth was lost due to Surfshark.

Server locations affect speeds so if you're after pure performance, a bit of testing various servers could help you perfect your connection for the ultimate speed result.

Features

One of the big features for VPNs these days is Netflix unblocking and Surfshark specifically advertising this is something its service offers. In fact it even names 14 countries where it can do this, including the U.S., France, Japan, Australia, Italy and more.

Aside from Netflix you can enjoy geo restriction unblocking for the likes of YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and even the often challenging BBC iPlayer. The only one that presented issues here was Amazon Prime Video, which did work for going abroad and accessing home country content, but blocked accessing other countries' content when using your account setup at home.

Getting online in countries that otherwise block VPNs is an option here thanks to a service called NoBorders mode. This, presumably through obfuscating your traffic, gets you around any blocks to go online – ideal for China and Iran then.

A Whitelister panel is a nice touch that allows you to select applications, websites and IP addresses that can bypass the VPN. This is great if you want to access your banking app without setting off alarms about you being out of the country, for example.

The CleanWeb feature works well to block ads, any trackers and links that could be malicious to help keep your online experience as clear as possible.

The mobile apps allow you to select a "use small packets" option which is able to improve performance on some networks which could help speeds while also saving you money on data use.

Support is another great feature, with 24/7 live chat available wherever you are. This is a great way to get online if you're having issues, or find the right server to unblock something like a media player. While there are lots of details on the company's website that can help, it's nice to have a human waiting to help, should you get stuck.

Privacy and security

Surfshark PreviewSource: Surfshark

Surfshark uses the enterprise level AES-256 encryption meaning all your data is kept locked so even if it were compromised it would remain unintelligible. Not that it should be at risk thanks to a kill switch, keeping you safe if your connection drops, and a double hop VPN. That means your address is even more secure, should you activate this feature, making you highly anonymous and difficult to track.

There are some of the best modern security protocol options including OpenVPN UDP and TCP plus IKEv2. Plus the company is based in the British Virgin Islands meaning no logging is required. The fact that each server has its own private DNS is yet another layer of security to set your mind at ease.

A third party test of Surfshark by German security firm Cure53 led it to conclude that it was: "highly satisfied to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN extensions, especially given the common vulnerability of similar products to privacy issues."

Should you sign up?

If you want to save a packet on a really decent VPN that offers lots of features, then Surfshark could be for you. Presuming you're ok with paying that two year up front cost then you can get this cheaper than most other VPNs, without sacrificing quality, speed, security or reliability. In fact, this budget VPN is above average and beats a lot of the more expensive services with its offerings.

Features like unlimited device use make this a genuine option for use across all your gadgets. You could, conceivably, even split the cost with someone and share this impressive and comprehensive VPN service. Looking for other VPN deals? We have you covered there as well!


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.