TLDR: With fast connection speeds and unlimited simultaneous devices, Surfshark delivers a VPN loaded with features and excellent customer service.

In our Surfshark VPN review, we outline why the service ranked as one of the top VPNs in our testing and research. Surfshark offers competitive download speeds and security protocols along with privacy tools you don’t always find with lower cost services. Where Surfshark stands out, however, is its low introductory pricing and the fact that you can simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices.

Surfshark is best if you’re ready to commit to a long-term VPN. If you’re not, it will be an expensive option for month-to-month customers. Our Surfshark review below will help you decide if the investment is worth it for you. You can also see where Surfshark ranked in our best VPNs of 2021.

Surfshark Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

✅  Several protocols to choose from, including WireGuard

❌  Confusing price structure

✅  Options for users in high-censorship countries

❌   Clunky kill switch

✅  Multihop, split tunneling, VPN over the Onion network (Tor)

In This Review:

    Surfshark Cost

    Surfshark offers three subscription options and one of the lowest introductory offers we’ve seen among paid plans: $59.76 (roughly $2.50 a month) for the first two years, which you’ll have to pay in full upfront. There’s just one catch: After the first two years, Surfshark renews at the same $59.76 for just one year of service.

    Surfshark Pricing

    One month

    Six-month

    24-month

    $12.95

    $38.94

    $59.76 for the first two years
    and annually after that

    Pricing is accurate as of Sept. 12, 2021.

    Surfshark Extras

    For an additional 99 cents a month, Surfshark gives subscribers access to Surfshark Alert and Surfshark Search.

    • Surfshark Alert, or HackLock, notifies subscribers when their emails and passwords are at risk of being hacked.
    • Surfshark Search, or BlindSearch, is a private search engine without ads or trackers.

    Surfshark does not offer a free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 15% student discount for any plan. You may pay by credit or debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, or cryptocurrency via CoinGate or CoinPayments.

    Surfshark vs. CyberGhost

    If you’re willing to consider a long-term plan and want the absolute lowest VPN costs, CyberGhost offers a three-year plan for $87.75, which you’ll pay in full upfront, but it does work out to $2.25 a month. Once the introductory period is up, CyberGhost charges $87.75 on an annual basis.

    Surfshark Features and Functionality

    Despite the confusing pricing structure, Surfshark packs in a lot of features for the money, especially if you’re willing to make a two-year commitment. We tested Surfshark and were impressed with its download speed and comprehensive security protections. All subscribers can expect:

    • Split Tunneling

    Whitelister allows users to route some traffic through a VPN while simultaneously accessing a local network so you can log in to your bank account, for example. By whitelisting some sites that don’t need a VPN connection, you can use banking and other services without turning off your VPN.

    • Torrenting

    Surfshark is a torrent-friendly VPN that can provide optimized servers for peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. It supports P2P clients such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, Torrentz3, qBittorrent and others.

    Thanks to unlimited device connections, one subscription is sufficient to support torrenting on one device while browsing with another. The Surfshark app can be downloaded on:

    • Android
    • Fire TV
    • iOS
    • Linux
    • macOS
    • Windows

    Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Devices not included on the list above can be covered by using Surfshark’s Smart Domain Name System (DNS) or by setting up a VPN on a compatible router. Competitors like ExpressVPN may offer greater app support for more devices.

    Surfshark Privacy and Security

    Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark supports more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries, and these are accessible by all subscribers. Some competitors offer a greater number of servers — like NordVPN, for example — and/or more supported countries. Be sure to check that Surfshark supports the countries where you want to access content.

    No matter which server you use, you can count on Advanced Encryption Standard-256 (AES-256) and other features listed below.

    • Kill Switch

    Surfshark has a kill switch feature that will automatically disconnect you from the internet in case your VPN connection drops. This ensures that your sensitive information is always under the protection of your VPN’s encryption and security protocols. This prevents hackers from obtaining your “leaked” information.

    While other VPN services offer a variation that allows you to terminate specific applications, Surfshark’s kill switch completely disables the internet, which might become a little annoying.

    • Multihop

    Multihop, or double VPN, adds an extra level of security by routing your internet connection through two or more VPN servers. You can easily find this feature in the Surfshark app by clicking the Locations tab.

    • GPS Spoofing

    Exclusively for Android users, GPS spoofing has the ability to change or spoof your device’s GPS location to match your VPN’s IP location. This provides total geo-location privacy.

    • Ad Blocker

    Like other VPNs, Surfshark promises to block ads and malware with its CleanWeb tool.

    Surfshark Tools for Restrictive Regions

    In NoBorders Mode, Surfshark makes it possible to use its services in countries that block the use of VPNs. Activating it gives you a list of Surfshark servers that perform best under network restrictions. This feature isn’t unique to Surfshark — a few competitors offer it, too — but it’s one of several Surfshark tools designed for users in censored regions of the world.

    • Camouflage Mode obfuscates your VPN so that it looks like a normal internet connection to anyone monitoring your online activity.
    • Trust DNS translates domain names to numerical IP addresses, allowing users to unblock sites that are restricted at the DNS level. In reverse, it also has uses for families that want to filter out certain websites. Keep in mind that Trust DNS is a separate app offered by Surfshark and doesn’t offer the encryption of a VPN.
    • Shadowsocks is a VPN protocol designed specifically for Android and Windows users in restricted countries. Most customers will probably find one of Surfshark’s other protocols to be more useful including:
      • Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2)
      • OpenVPN
      • WireGuard
      • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)

    Surfshark Reviews: Reputation and Credibility

    With nearly 9,000 Surfshark VPN reviews, the company holds an “excellent” rating with an average 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Customer service representatives also respond to every positive and negative post. The company provides customer support by email and live chat (though you’ll need to provide your name and email first).

    We also like the company’s no-logs policy, which means Surfshark does not keep a record of IP addresses, browsing history, user bandwidth, session information, network traffic or connection timestamps. The company does collect an email address and basic billing information, and it keeps record of your subscription order history.

    Surfshark Audit

    Surfshark commissioned an independent audit in 2021 through German cybersecurity firm Cure53 and published a report on its site. Cure35 declared Surfshark’s server infrastructure to be very good. We’re happy to see this type of transparency, which is an essential asset when you’re looking for the highest possible level of anonymity and protection when browsing.

    Surfshark VPN: Should You Use It?

    TLDR: With fast connection speeds and unlimited simultaneous devices, Surfshark delivers a VPN loaded with features and excellent customer service.

    Surfshark does a lot right. It performed well in our speed tests and we love its unlimited simultaneous connections. You can use Surfshark to use Netflix, Disney+ or other streaming services in another country, including China. Its mobile apps function well and its security features scored high in our test results.

    With high ease of use and fast speeds, Surfshark is a VPN that’s easy to recommend.

    How We Tested Surfshark

    The Gizmodo Advisor editorial team tested Surfshark and other VPNs through a series of factors and rubrics. Our reviews are third-party and aren’t influenced by commissions Gizmodo Advisor may receive from VPN purchases. You can find our breakdown of VPN scoring below.

    Factor

    Score

    Description

    Privacy and Stability

    30%

    Nothing is more important in a virtual private network than your privacy and security. What encryption does the VPN use? How many servers does it provide? How does it perform in data leak tests?

    Features and Functionality

    30%

    The best VPNs offer top-tier features while keeping their products simple and easy to use. Can you access servers in a wide variety of locations? Are streaming, torrenting and split tunneling available? We score based on the number of features, speed, as well as app and browser experience.

    Reputation and Credibility

    20%

    We evaluate factors like time in business and changes in service (good and bad). We read community forums and reviews to look for patterns of where a company stands out or is lacking.

    Customer Experience

    10%

    VPN services should answer customer questions quickly. Is there a 24/7 customer support team? How easy (or difficult) is it to contact them? Are their websites helpful and easy to navigate?

    Plans and Pricing/Value

    10%

    There’s a VPN for every budget, so we look at the number of pricing options and whether the cost is proportional to the value customers receive in features, privacy, customer experience and trust.

    Surfshark: FAQs

    • Is Surfshark VPN good?

      Surfshark ranked high in our testing methodology and performed well in speed tests and customer support experiences. While the month-to-month price is higher than other VPNs, Surfshark is a trustworthy VPN with a great reputation among its customers.

    • Is Surfshark better than NordVPN?

      Both Surfshark and NordVPN ranked on our best VPNs of 2021 roundup. We recommend NordVPN for general business users and Surfshark for anyone looking for advanced security and privacy.

    • Why should I use Surfshark?

      Surfshark and other VPNs can protect your online information from prying eyes. If you’re worried about being tracked online or you just want to obscure your location while using the internet, VPNs can help.