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Table of Contents
- Unlimited Devices: With a single subscription, you can use Surfshark on as many devices as you like.
- Highly secure: Surfshark uses all essential security tools (OpenVPN, AES-256, security lock [kill switch]) to keep your data private.
- No logs: Surfshark only collects “metadata” to optimize its servers. Your usage data (browsing history and IP address) is not stored.
- Servers in 61 countries: Surfshark has a large distribution of servers around the world.
- Works on all devices: Surfshark offers beautifully designed apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux.
- Works with Torrents (P2P), Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Key Point :
- Best Offer: $1.99/month
- Refund Policy: 30 days
- Customer Support: 24/7 live chat
- Devices per account: Unlimited
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux
- Works with US Netflix: Yes
- Works as Torrents: Sim
- Works in China: Yes
- Speed: 82 Mbps
- Servers in: 61 countries
- Server count: Unknown
- IP addresses: 1040+
- Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- Data leaks: none
- Log Policy: no logs
Surfshark does not have an anti-log policy. However, looking closer, he comes up with something very close to that. The data collected does not cover IP address, server location or browsing history. This means that there are few identifiable aspects.
The data stored is usually data on performance, frequency of use, and failed connection attempts. Of course, there are also account details that will be needed to process payments.
However, there are several payment methods you can use. If you want your account to be totally anonymous, simply choose between paying for Surfshark with cryptocurrencies or payment services other than a credit card.
Some ad identifiers may also be collected. Now, you can turn this feature off at any time as you customize your browsing experience.
Surfshark is headquartered in a place that is well known as a haven of privacy, as the company was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, a politically stable region. While following British Common Law, the British Virgin Islands do not have aggressive or intrusive data retention practices.
Also, the British Virgin Islands are not part of the 5, 9 and 14 Eyes Alliance. Therefore, they are not committed to sharing any information for surveillance purposes. This also means that they cannot be forced to share any user logs.
Considering its base in the British Virgin Islands and its logging policy, Surfshark is pretty safe as a VPN.
Surfshark uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, which are popular VPN standards for their reliability and ease of setup. The encryption used is AES-256. While in theory this slows down performance, it doesn’t seem to be the case with Surfshark.
Robust protection is a result of secure protocols and various other security features used to prevent data leakage and tracking. You can also freely switch between IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Another highlight is the ChaCha encryption, an option for Android users.
Data leakage is not an issue on Surfshark. As our own tests show, connecting to US servers did not result in DNS, IPv, or WebRTC leaks.
Additional Security Resources
Surfshark has several security features to protect data and circumvent censorship. One of the most notable is the MultiHop feature. It is a double VPN feature that makes traffic “hop” between at least two servers.
Smart DNS is another security feature that prevents DNS leaks by securing connections to all servers. CleanWeb is a unique malware blocker and ad tracker protection app that needs to be manually activated.
BlindSearch offers another interesting browsing experience, albeit at an extra monthly cost. Surfshark also comes with a split tunneling feature that lets you choose which apps can freely pass through the VPN tunnel.
VPN kill switch is available on all platforms. However, it does not come pre-enabled in Android device settings.
Speed and Features
Surfshark is more or less in download speeds. Server proximity is a critical factor in determining the value of the download speed loss.
At the time of writing this article, Surfshark had well over 1,000 servers in 61 countries. This is a moderately large server network, especially for a cheap VPN.
Most servers are certainly based in Europe, but there is good coverage on the North American continent with the many servers based in the US and Canada.
However, due to Surfshark’s poor coverage in Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, connections to these servers can seriously affect download speeds.
Local Speed Test
We were testing in Europe with a base connection of 90 to 100 mbps.
Short distance testing has shown that Surfshark causes a significant loss of download speed. In our tests, the drop was from 90 to 74 mbps on a London server. Most tests showed a speed loss of up to 18%.
While this doesn’t put Surfshark at the top of any VPN list in terms of speed, the loss is negligible if you have a reliable ISP. The VPN also seems to have no ping issues, so the app can also be used for gaming, with torrents and HD streaming.
Overall Speed Test
Overall speed tests do not place Surfshark in the best position. There is considerable loss of speed, especially over longer distances. Speed tests from Europe to the US drop at least 60%.
The drop rises to almost 80% in connections to a server in Australia. For an average download speed of 90 mbps, you can expect between 54 and 56 mbps on German servers and just 17 mbps on Australian servers.
The US and Canadian servers do much better in long-distance situations, as our tests showed an average download speed of 30 to 34 mbps. However, Surfshark is still good enough for browsing and for HD streaming and torrents even on long-distance servers.
Of course, one of the reasons speed can be drastically affected at times is Surfshark’s double VPN feature, which switches traffic between two servers. Great for security, but not so great for performance.
Surfshark is a fan favorite for unlocking streaming platforms. The VPN currently has access to 12 international Netflix libraries, including Netflix in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and others.
It also does a good job of unlocking geo-restrictions for BBC Player, Disney+, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
Interestingly, there are no dedicated streaming platform servers. For this reason, there are no predefined optimizations that you might find with other VPNs. And very few servers would fail trying to unblock streaming platforms. Amazingly, it looks like the servers in St. Louis and Charlotte do not work with Netflix in the US.