Are you looking for the best Surfshark review in 2020?
When researching about this vpn service provider, I realized that they allow you to connect an unlimited number of devices using one single subscription.
This quickly got me suspicious as to whether they are really able to deliver great services while doing this.
Most vpn service providers in 2020, greatly limit the number of simultaneously connected devices.
This is the case even for more expensive vpns like ExpressVPN.
I set out to test this vpn service provider and find out what really it has to offer its subscribers in terms of privacy, security, speed and unblocking geo restricted content.
So in this Surfshark review in 2020, we’ll look at the pros and cons of Surfshark so that you can decide whether it’s the best vpn for you.
Before we go into the details, here is quick summary of what I found out.
Surfshark is a vpn service provider based in the British Virgin Islands, that offers fast connection speeds, streaming and torrenting support on all its servers at very budget friendly prices.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands|
|Streaming||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iPlayer|
|Free trial||7 days|
Here is a detailed review of Surfashark in 2020.
Let’ start by asking the question… how many servers does Surfshark have?
The more servers a vpn service provider has, the better the service they are able provider… though this is not the case with vpns like HideMyAss.
As of the time of writing this Surfshark review, Surfshark vpn has a collection of 1,040 vpn servers based in 61 different locations.
While this is a great server count, it’s still much lower compared to other vpns like NordVPN.
From this server count, it’s clear that Surfshark is a medium sized vpn company.
So if you are looking to work with a vpn service that’s mid-sized and has only been around for a little while… the I’d recommend Surfshark vpn.
Does Surfshark support Netflix?
For most people, the reason they’d purchase a vpn plan is to be able to access geo restricted content.
Most popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu offer great content but access to this content is usually restricted by your geographical location because of the contracts that these companies have.
Earlier on it used to be quite easy to access content from these platforms.
Lately, though, these platforms have cracked down on vpn IPs that are used to access content, which they then block.
It takes a powerful vpn server to be able to unblock Netflix for example.
How did Surfshark vpn fare in terms of unblocking content on most streaming services like Netflix.
While using Surfshark vpn, I was able to connect to access Netflix from all the major geographical locations like US, UK, Japan and Brazil.
I was also able to unblock Hulu in the US, though they detected my IP address and blocked me for Hulu in the UK.
Other streaming platforms that I was able to easily access are BBC iPlayer, Amazon Fire TV and HBO.
Even more interesting is that, while some vpns required me to select particular servers for streaming Netflix, as for Surfshark any US based server was able to unblock Netflix.
I think it has a SmartPlay feature, like that in NordVPN that redirects you to the appropriate server depending on the platform you are accessing.
This saved me the time I’d take to manually select servers for streaming, like in HideMyAss vpn.
In general, Surfshark did great in streaming content… only rival to NordVPN.
So if you want a vpn primarily for the purposes of streaming content online, then I would confidently recommend Surfshark vpn for you.
How fast is the Surfshark vpn service?
While it’s ok to experience drops in speed when connecting to a vpn, were the drops something you should worry about?
Let’s find out.
In order to test Surfshark vpn speeds, I used speedtest.net while connected to three different servers based in the USA, UK and Hong Kong.
Before connecting the Surfshark servers, my download speed was 20.60Mbps and my upload speed was 7.73Mbps.
I started by connecting to the US based Surfshark server.
On the USA server, my download speed dropped to 17.96Mbps while my upload speed only dropped to 7.31Mbps.
Next on the line was the UK server… how did it perform?
As for the UK server, my download speeds still dropped to 19.09Mbps while my upload speed dropped further to 5.89Mbps.
Lastly, I connected to a server based in Hong and run my tests.
The Hong Kong server performed pretty amazing… the download speed increased to 22.69Mbps while the upload speeds only dropped a little to 7.59Mbps.
As you can see, I keep 100% of my speeds when connected to the Hong Kong server… as well, the UK server gave me 93% of my original speed.
Personally, I was amazed at the speeds I was able to crunch with Surfshark vpn.
If you are looking for a fast speed vpn that will not disappoint you with inconsistently low connection speeds, I’d recommend Surfshark vpn.
Does Surfshark allow P2P file sharing, akka torrenting?
Is it safe to torrent through Surfshark servers with complete anonymity?
Because law enforcement in most countries is dealing a heavy hand on copyright infringement…
Most countries have tightened their anti piracy measures, which forces vpn servers based in these countries to block torrenting activities.
It is also a very risky venture trying to torrent without using a vpn as the government can easily use your browsing history from ISPs to sue you.
Never torrent without a vpn.
But it doesn’t stop there… just using a vpn is not good enough if the vpn keeps logs of at least your IP address and data usage.
This is where Surfshark emerges as the best vpn for torrenting.
First, all the Surfshark vpns servers are optimized for torrenting, so you can start torrenting from any vpn server.
Your traffic will then be automatically rerouted to the best servers without you lifting a finger.
I find this very interesting because while vpns like HideMyAss would block your connection if you try to torrent from an unoptimized server, Surfshark simple reroutes you to the best server for that.
Again, because Surfshark does not keep any logs about your IP and data usage, like we’ll find out below, your torrenting is completely anonymous.
You can happily torrent without worrying about the government coming after for copyright infringement.
There are no personal identifiable logs about you on the Surfshark servers.
I also found the torrenting speeds to be particularly great… I did not suffer any serious speed loss.
So if you are looking for a vpn service that is particularly great for torrenting, I’d recommend Surfshark vpn.
Does Surfshark keep your usage logs?
True privacy and anonymity is what differentiates a true vpn service from a scam… and there are plenty of these scammers online.
Some vpns like IPVanish that claimed to not keep logs surprised us when they handed over logs to the department of Homeland Security that belonged to a user suspected in child pornography.
So it’s always a great idea to read in between the fine print to ensure you’re not missing a thing.
However, let’s first begin by analyzing the country where this vpn is based.
Surfshark vpn is based in the British Virgin Islands.
Luckily, this falls outside the 5, 7 or 14 eyes countries that get a kick out of surveilling their citizens online and sharing this information.
These countries also have laws that obligate vpn companies based within their territories to hand over user logs whenever a court gives such an order.
Because Surfshark is based in a country that has no such laws, I’d say it’s in a pretty much privacy friendly location.
The payment information is needed for cases when you need to process a refund.
Surfshark, however, does not collect or log information about your IP address, your connection timestamps, your bandwidth usage or content your access.
In fact, since they support crypto currencies for payment, as we’ll discover later, you can be completely anonymous by signing up with a fake email address and paying with some bitcoins.
So, if you are looking for a vpn that guarantees your privacy and anonymity online, then I vouch for Surfshark 100%.
So, while they don’t log your IP when using their vpn to access other websites, whenever you visit their website they’ll log your actual IP address.
I thought you should know.
Encryption & Data Protection
Apart from privacy, is it safe to access the internet using Surfshark?
Complete safety on the internet is becoming a rare commodity each day as there are cases of hackers causing data breaches and penetrating even the most secure networks.
Is your personal information safety transmitted when connected to a vpn?
To begin with, Surfshark implements an industry standard AES 256-bit encryption that is practically impossible to crack.
It is the type of encryption used by government agencies and militaries to encrypt classified information.
It has never been cracked or breached before.
In addition to that, as of the time of writing this Surfshark vpn review in 2020, Surfshark implements 2 very popular vpn connection protocols.
These are OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec.
While OpenVPN is known for its tight security, IKEv2 is known for its fast connections speeds… especially great for mobile devices.
I’m glad that they dropped protocols like PP2P that are very insecure and vulnerable.
IKEv2 is the default connection protocol for all the Surfshark vpn apps, while the Windows and Android apps let you choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Both protocols are safe, though, so whichever you choose should work fine.
If you are looking for a vpn that uses tamper proof encryption and connection protocols that will protect your data online, then I recommend Surfshark vpn.
Apart from the no logs policy for privacy and tough encryption protocols, does Surfshark have any other security features to guarantee your security online?
Here are more Surfshark features that I found available while writing this Surfshark review.
Does Surfshark vpn have adware and malware blockers?
Ad blockers have become a rather standard feature for most vpns in 2020 and I would consider it a major con if a vpn lacks this feature.
How do you protect yourself from malware and phishing sites that trick you and steal sensitive personal information?
This is one of the main pros of Surfshark vpn.
Surfshark vpn has a clean web feature that, when activated, blocks those annoying video ads that start playing automatically in the background… often with no audio.
As if that is not enough, this clean web feature also keeps a database of all known malware infected sites.
If you try to visit a site that is known for phishing scams, Surfshark vpn with block that site before damage is done to your device.
Combine these two features and Surfshark vpn offers you a very smooth online browsing experience.
So if you are particularly looking for a vpn services that has powerful ad blocking functionality… Surfshark is the vpn.
In some countries where internet access is heavily censored, it can be hard to access your favorite content when visiting these countries.
For example, in countries like China, most social media sites are censored.
Besides, they are also able to detect when you are trying to access these sites with a vpn service and block you.
Surfshark has a camouflage mode that is particularly meant to get you through these tough firewalls.
Just like the obfuscated servers in NordVPN, Surfshark camouflage mode has been reported to be able to successful bypass the great China firewall.
This means you’ll continue to access social media and any other censored content while in China.
So if you are looking for a vpn service that you can carry with you to China someday, then Surfshark vpn is the vpn for you.
How about the security freaks who need even more security on top of what Surfshark vpn already provides?
Luckily, as I will detail in this Surfshark review, Surfshark has something for you too.
It’s more of similar to the Double VPN feature in NordVPN, where your traffic is encrypted by the first remote server then routed through a second vpn server for a second encryption before it reaches the target destination.
Surfshark calls it MultiHop.
Even though the default encryption you’ll find with Surfshark is safe enough for most uses like streaming, MultiHop is an additional layer of encryption that makes your data packets even more impossible to decrypt.
If you are just using a vpn for torrenting, internet browsing, streaming etc… I don’t recommend turning on MultiHop.
I find the encryption already provided quite satisfactory for these activities.
While Surfshark is able to keep you safe online, this is only the case as long as you remain connected to the vpn servers.
If your internet connection drops and your app disconnects from the vpn server, your internet access isn’t encrypted anymore.
In order to remedy this, you need a kill switch.
A kill switch ensures that internet access is cut off for your entire device anytime there’s a connection drop.
You’ll remain disconnected from the internet until your vpn reconnects.
Unlike HideMyAss that only provides a kill switch for the Mac and Windows apps, Surfshark provides a kill switch for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
So whether you are on mobile or desktop, you can still enforce a kill switch to ensure all your connections are secured.
Sometimes, though, you just want to force encrypted internet access for certain apps but let other apps connect to the internet unencrypted.
This could be the case for example when running backups and dont want a connection drop caused by a vpn connection.
Again, Surfshark has a split tunneling feature call Whitelister.
Through the Whitelister interface, you’ll be able to specify certain applications to be exempted from a vpn connection requirement.
These are the applications that can connect to the internet without a vpn.
I find this a great addition to a kill switch because, while a kill switch blocks all access, you can use the Whitelister to specify exceptions.
IPv6 leaks, DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks tests
I used ipleak.net to test for IPv6, DNS and WebRTC leaks while connected to Surfshark vpn servers.
From the screenshot above, it is clear that my IPv6 address was not visible because all my traffic was channelled through an IPv4 address.
My DNS requests were also not channelled through my ISP, but instead are channelled through Surfshark DNS servers.
WebRTC also showed no leaks at all.
Tor over VPN
The Onion Router (TOR) is a very popular browser used for anonymous internet browsing.
Using the Tor browser together with a vpn ensures 100% anonymity because the vpn helps you hide your entry IP address to the Tor network.
While some vpns don’t offer outright support for the Tor browser, before writing this Surfshark review I tested and proved that Surfshark supports the Tor browser.
You’ll also find a detailed article on the Surfshark support website that guides you on configuring Surfshark with Tor.
If you are a Tor user and are wondering whether Surfshark will support Tor, it will.
Tor is actually the closest thing to complete anonymity online.
Add to it a vpn like Surfshark that does not log your IP address and I can confidently say it’d be impossible to identify you online.
How much does Surfshark cost?
Since Surfshark provides all the premium features anyone would be looking for in a vpn in 2020…
I’m sure you are wondering whether you’ll you need to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Well, that’s actually not the case.
In fact, I was really surprised that with very fast speeds, streaming, torrenting and bypassing China’s firewall, Surfshark still costs much less than most vpns that struggle to even unblock Netflix in the first place.
While the month-to-month plan is quite high, the kick is in long term plans like a 1-year or 2-year plan.
Surfshark has one month, twelve months and twenty four month plans.
1-month plan costs $11.95.
12-month plan costs $5.99, billed as $71.88.
24-month plan costs $1.99, billed as $47.76.
It’s quite surprising that the 2 year plan costs your less than a 1 year plan, I don’t really know why they’d price their plans that way.
Most vpns would simply give you a bigger discount, but I never saw a vpn service that asked your for less money.
I mean, why would someone buy a 1 year plan that costs $71 while a 2 year plan costs $47.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what particular advantage they get from this 2 year pricing plan.
How about you take advantage of this 83% discount while it still exists?
Click here to get the 2 year Surfshark plan for $47.76 now.
What payment options are available to you with Surfshark?
Or better put…
What payment options does Surfshark provide?
Apart from the popular credit cards, Surfshark accepts payment via PayPal, Alipay and crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Etherium.
As they state, this is the purposes of processing refunds.
For most people, this shouldn’t be a problem because Surfshark doesn’t log any data that could be used to identify you, like IP addresses.
If you want more anonymity, though, you can pay for your Surfshark plan with some bitcoins.
Combine bitcoins with a disposable email address and nobody will get to know who you really are.
So if you are looking for a vpn service provider that provides all the payment options including crypto… then I recommend Surfshark vpn.
Even for the best services online, it’s not uncommon for a person to purchase a plan and be dissatisfied with what they get.
In that case, can you get your money back?
All Surfshark plans come with all the premium features and a 30 day money back guarantee.
What does this mean?
It means you have 30 days from the time your buy a Surfshark premium plan to try the service and make your decision.
If for whatever reason you don’t like the service, simply email customer support and you’ll get a full refund.
You most often will get your money back, even though the support team will first want to know what particularly you didn’t like about the vpn service.
Does Surfshark offer a free trial?
What if you want to try the Surfshark vpn service for free without payment anything… can you?
Well, the answer is yes.
If you sign up through the Android or iOS apps, you’ll get a free 7 day trial.
Note that in order to activate the 7 day trial, you’ll need to provide working credit card information so that billing can start immediately after the 7 days unless you cancel.
In case you sign up through the Surfshark website, there is no free trial for you.
However, with the 30 money back guarantee that Surfshark provides, I think you still get a better way to try this services for an even longer time.
While you might buy a vpn service just to use with your desktop or phone…
Most people need to share their vpn subscription with various devices and family members who use different devices.
Which platforms does Surfshark vpn support and how many devices can you connect using the same account?
As of writing this Surfshark review in 2020, I can confirm that Surfshark vpn supports all the major devices and platforms.
You’ll get dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
Surfshark is also one of the few vpns that have dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV.
It is also compatible with most routers and smart tvs, and on the Surfshark support website you’ll also find guides for configuring various routers and smart devices.
Important, also, is to note that both the desktop and mobile apps have all the features.
Functionality is not dropped when moving from a desktop app to a mobile app… for example, the kill switch is available on all apps.
In addition to that, Surfshark vpn supports unlimited connected devices.
Can you believe that?
While I don’t know how they plan to prevent this feature from abuse, I can confirm in this Surfshark 2020 review that I was able to connect upto 10 devices at the same using a single Surfshark plan.
Most vpn service providers keep this number reasonable to like 6 devices and the most lenient allow upto 10 connections.
Surfshark never ceases to amaze me with their top tier features and functionalities at very low prices.
So if you are looking for a vpn that supports all the major platforms and allows unlimited connections then Surfshark is the best vpn for you.
All the Surfshark apps have a great user interface with smooth user experience.
For the most part, you’ll find them very easy to install and use.
When you need assistance, though, can you access it? This will especially be the case when configuring your router with Surfshark vpn for the first time.
First, there is a great collection of articles and guides on the Surfshark support website that’ll help you DIY it.
If you need to talk to a real human, there is a live chat button is available on the homepage.
Contrary to some vpns that only avail live chat support to paying customers, Surfshark proves live chat even before you purchase a plan.
I got pretty quick responses from the support. I’d give their chat support a 5/5.
If you want a vpn service with great support, Surfshark even though still a relatively new and medium sized vpn company, has great support.
Clearly SurfShark vpn is one of the best vpn providers out there who actually deliver on their speed promises.
- 1,040 servers
- Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon
- Fast speeds
- Torrenting allowed
- Zero logs
- Static IPs
- Kill Switch
- Works in China
- Accepts Bitcoins
- Ad blocker
- Founded in 2018
- Check above
It is even surprising that while most vpn service providers tend to specialize on certain features… Surfshark vpn goes all in while being great at everything.
Is Surfshark a vpn service that I would recommend?
As we have already see in this Surfshark review, it is great for almost anything you want…
Be it streaming Netflix, downloading torrents, bypassing the China’s firewall, private and anonymous internet browsing.
So, while most vpns over promise in their advertisements and under deliver, Surfshark vpn delivers 100%.
Why not get a Surfshark vpn plan today and test this amazing vpn service provider for yourself?
|NordVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||6||$ 3.49/m|
|Surfshark||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||Unlimited||$ 1.99/m|
|ExpressVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||All servers||5||$ 8.32/m|
Have you used Surfshark vpn before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.