SurfShark VPN – 83% OFF
Surfshark is new, competitively priced VPN service that’s easy to use and well worth considering. From great unblocking capabilities to top-notch customer service. A good all-round VPN, Surfshark is a top choice for security, privacy, and price. You won’t find a much better VPN for such a low monthly fee.
Surfshark is a cheap and promising Virtual Private Network (VPN) that can help protect your privacy whilst opening up the web for access to region-blocked content such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix US when abroad.
Techradar’s verdict: Surfshark offers solid performance and some advanced features, but it’s a work in progress, and there are problems, too. Try it, maybe, but carefully.
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
Don’t be fooled by private browsing modes in your web browser. That stops your browsing activity from being stored on your computer or other device, but it doesn’t stop websites or your ISP from logging what you do. You need a VPN for that.
VPNs greatly reduce the risk of security breaches and cyberattacks. A VPN can be described as an encrypted tunnel that shuttles your internet activity between your PC or phone and a host server. While the internet is a public space, a VPN works by extending an invisibility cloak across the user’s activity and allows people to send and receive data in a mostly-anonymous manner. In the simplest terms, a VPN makes it hard for someone to track your activity.
A VPN can also mask your IP address, and replace it with one from a different country, letting you bypass geo-blocks and giving you access to any website or online services you want.
Servers and their performance.
Since its inception, Surfshark has been ramping up its server count pretty fast. Its network has expanded from around 100 servers to 800 in a short time. While it can´t be compared with larger providers like NordVPN (with more than 5,000 servers) and CyberGhost (with over 3,000 servers), it’s not too shabby for a newer entrant.
When it comes to the number of countries covered, Surfshark does well there too, with 50 countries in its network so far. These are mainly European countries, although there are eight Asia Pacific countries, six in the Americas (including the US and Canada), and a handful of others. All of Surfshark’s servers are physical (there are no virtual servers), and while they are leased, they are not shared with any other providers.
Security and Privacy
Surfshark’s privacy features start with the VPN basics: secure protocols (OpenVPN UDP and TCP, IKEv2), AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch to block internet access and prevent identity leaks if the connection fails.
But that’s just the start. Surfshark has its own private DNS on each server to reduce the chance of others spying on your activities. And the ability to use a double VPN hop (connect to Paris, say, then leave the Surfshark network in New York) makes it even more difficult for anyone to follow your tracks.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, and the company points out that this means it’s not required to keep logs of user actions.
Speed & Reliability
While it’s certainly no slouch, Surfshark just can’t compete with the speeds of our highest-scoring providers. Peak local downloads are noticeably slower than the fastest we’ve seen, although they’ll still be more than enough for most casual users.
One thing we can say for Surfshark, though, is the consistency of its connections. Speeds for each server were fairly consistent at different times of day, which means you’ll generally know what to expect from a given server location once you’ve been using it for a while. There were barely any fluctuations in our testing
Downloads averaged around 45Mbps across Europe, which is fast enough to do pretty much anything you want online. No complaints here.
Speeds connecting out to the US were pretty impressive, coming in at around 35Mbps, as this is quicker than we’ve seen from most other providers at this price point.
Unblocking Netflix and Torrenting allowed
A number of VPNs today fail to give their users access to Netflix. Torrenting falls within the same boundary because VPNs tend to limit the speed and usage of the latter.
Fortunately, Surfshark has the major upside of allowing Netflix and fast torrenting speed. Not only does Surfshark deliver consistent access to Netflix both in the US and the UK, we’re also very pleased to report that it reliably unlocks BBC iPlayer, too.
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Basically, Surfshark promotes unlimited and uninterrupted streaming as long as you’re using the service. So, if you like to torrent a lot while watching the latest season of Narcos, Surfshark has your back.
Apps and user experience
Surfshark’s apps are very simple to set up and use. They’re probably not to going to win awards for aesthetics, but they’re clean, modern, and simple to navigate. Even novice users shouldn´t get lost.
The desktop app has a minimalist look but that helps with finding what you need quickly. Once you’ve logged in, the only things you’ll see are the Surfshark logo, a Quick connect button, and the server location. Note that clicking Quick connect won’t connect you to the server shown, but instead will connect you to the fastest server for your location, most likely a geographically close one. You can select All locations to see a list of servers.
The Advanced screen houses Protocol options. You can choose from automatic, OpenVPN / UDP, OpenVPN / TCP, and IKEv2.
Overall, this is a really simple app and suitable for beginners. However, there are plenty of advanced options available for stepping up security and tailoring the connection.
The Surfshark mobile app is very similar in design to the desktop version. It’s just missing a few features.
Relatively new to the VPN space, Surfshark’s subscriber base is growing rapidly, and it’s not too difficult to see why. With a slick, simple interface, very competitive pricing and a good range of features, it’s well worth considering especially since the speed is tyically very consistent and Netflix unblocking works like a charm.