Based in the British Virgin Islands, and founded in 2018, Surfshark is a VPN which shows great promise. With a server network of over 800 in 50+ countries, they built something impressive in such a short amount of time. Their VPN client is easy to use and looks good, while their pricing is decent.
They also have a great website which is easy to navigate, as well as being filled with lots of useful information. This all sounds great, but we’re hesitant about how much they’ve built in such a short amount of time when they will not divulge who owns their VPN. Sharing a little more information would go a long way to seeing them join our Top 10 VPN Providers list.
Our Surfshark VPN review should make it quite clear that this VPN is not lacking features:
- No logging policy of all online activity
- Support for IKEv2 and OpenVPN encryption protocols
- AES 256-GCM encryption
- Automatic kill switch
- Cleanweb, their ad and tracker-blocking tool
- Whitelister, allows apps to bypass the VPN connection
- DNS leak protection
- Multi-hop capabilities
- Supports torrenting
- Camouflage Mode
This last feature, Camouflage Mode, warrants a little more discussion. This feature is purported to make it so that your ISP won’t know that you’re using a VPN, which could be helpful if you feel that your ISP is throttling you while using it (though we haven’t heard of this), or if you just want an extra step of privacy.
We have no complaints about their feature set. They have all of the standard features of a quality VPn, plus a little extra of their own design.
Servers & countries
With over 800 server in 50+ countries, there’s no mistaking the fact that they have an above-average network. Here’s a look at all of their servers at the time of testing:
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
- Eastern Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine
- Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, USA
- Africa/Middle East: South Africa, Turkey
- Asia Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
This is quite an impressive number of countries, and they have the server numbers to back up everything. With just a little more effort on their end to up their overall server numbers, we will consider putting them on our list of the best VPNs for global geo-unblocking.
Reliability & Speed Tests
Surfshark are very open about what to expect speed-wise with their servers, but offer no concrete promises with numbers. In their FAQ they address that they have:
- No speed limits
- No bandwidth limits
- No data limits
These are all great things, but we’d like to see them show data on their server uptime percentages, as well as make a claim of their server speeds. The best VPNs know exactly how fast their servers are, with 1 Gigabit being the upper limits right now, and openly state it.
Pricing & Payments
In addition to a limited free trial, Surfshark offers three payment plans
- One-month plan: $11.95/month
- One-year plan: $5.99/month
- Two-year plan: $1.99/month
This is, to be honest, one of the more bizarre pricing strucutres we’ve seen. Their monthly plan is in the middle range, the yearly plan is on the more expensive side, and their two-year plan is very low. We’re not sure whether or not to put them on our Best Cheap Providers list just yet due to these odd discrepancies, and how we don’t favor terms over one year.
They accept PayPal, credit cards, Alipay, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, and Google Pay.
The support on offer from Surfshark is pretty good. We used their live chat with no issue, getting a response in seconds from someone who was warm, and looking to help as best as they could. Thanks, Dom!
The live chat is, as always, better suited to simpler questions and tasks. If you need real support, for something technical, you’re better off using one of these options:
- Help Center: This should be your first step as they have documented a number of common issues, from billing to connecting routers, in one place.
- VPN Tutorials: This section is a bit thin on content. The goal is to show you all the ways to install their client, but it doesn’t cover everything yet.
- FAQ: This can be found both in the Help Center and in the footer on its own. There are a total of 32 articles here, which is a bit thin.
- Contact form: The “Contact Us” page has space for text, and we really like that it allows for attachments so you can send screenshots of your exact issue.
We were happy with their live chat and Help Center, but we feel that they need to offer a little bit more to really stack up against the best VPNs in the business.
Policies & logging
The legal team over at Surfshark have put together some rather thorough policies on logging, privacy, and the operation of their company. These are all covered by two documents:
- Terms of service: They clearly outline their no-log policy here. They do not collect your IP address, browsing activity, any session information, the bandwidth you use, connection time stamps for starting or stopping the use of their VPN, network traffic, or any other similar data points. They also state that since they record no activity on their service, that the user is responsible for themselves if they break any law, and they go into great detail about not using their service to break any laws. You will also find a section on their “Fair Use Policy,” which is an automated system which detects and limits those using an excessive number of devices through one account.
These are all very reasonable policies, and we’re glad to see how much effort they put into building these documents.
They also discuss their refund policy, which covers 30 days after purchase. After those 30 days you may still cancel your account, but no refunds will be given for the remaining amount.
This Surfshark VPN review should have given you the idea that they are indeed a capable VPN provider. The quality of the server network is above average, and they have great features included. There is no way to knock their policies at all as they are rock solid, thorough, and presented well. They are a solid VPN provider.
We have not yet placed them amongst our top providers as they still have a little work to do on getting more servers. Those at the top of our Best VPN Provider list have over a thousand, or thousands in some cases, VPN servers at their command. With a little more effort, Surfshark could find themselves at that level!