Tech

Surfshark VPN Review | ZDNET


pros

  • Budget-friendly long-term plan
  • Unlimited connections
  • Server has only RAM
  • Helpful Live Chat
  • Fast connection time support
  • Available on all major platforms

Defect

  • No split tunneling for Apple products
  • Average download speed

Surfshark’s features and performance ranks it on par with Top VPNs and so far, it seems the company has ignored the headlines about rampant inflation, because the cheapest plan averages up to $2.05 per month with the current plan Black Friday deals.

I’ll help you compare the cost of a cup of coffee (let me know if you find a good one for under $2.50) and move on to the good stuff. Most VPN limits the number of devices that can be connected at once, which can be an issue depending on how many people you split the rent with.

But Surfshark dismisses that artificial restriction with unlimited simultaneous connections. That alone can make it a suitable deal for a large number of people.

I find Surfshark has everything you want in a VPN plus, it’s secure and reliable.

Surfshark VPN Specifications

Lucky owner 3,200+
Server Country 65+
Price From $2.05/month with 2 years plan + 2 months free
free trial 7 days, 30 days money back guarantee
communication Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon FireTV. Android TV
concurrent connection Infinite
Speed, velocity down 54%
Diary No diary
DNS leak No leaks
Featured Split tunneling, disconnect, connect MultiHop, block ads and trackers

Surfshark uses a standard pricing method with one-month, one-year, and two-year plans. You’ll make a one-time upfront payment for longer plans, but it has a significantly lower average monthly cost.

Also: Best cheap VPN

1 month

one year

2 years

Average Monthly Spend

$12.95

$3.99

$2.05

Payment in advance

$12.95

$47.88

$53.28

Black Friday deal for two free months with a two-year plan cuts the average monthly price down to $2.05. The regular price for a two-year plan is $2.30 per month, so this is an 11% discount.

With all Surfshark VPN plans, you can add to Surfshark One plan for $1.49 per month (pay in full for one-year and two-year plans). This package gives you access to Surfshark’s antivirus softwaresecure search (blocks search ads and trackers) and data breach monitoring.

All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to experiment with services and see which works for you. If you want a free trial, you can get a seven-day free trial offer if you sign up via mobile or MacOS. I was able to get the mobile free trial offer, but keep in mind that after the free trial period ends, you can sign up for an annual plan, which is more expensive than a two-year subscription .

You can pay for Surfshark VPN with a credit card, debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, or cryptocurrency.

In ZDNET’s most recent tests, Surfshark’s speeds were average, dropping an average of 54% in download speeds. For two days, we compared download speeds without a VPN and with Surfshark’s VPN running. We also measured speeds on 10 different Surfshark server locations around the world.

This is a drop in performance compared to our previous tests where Surfshark only dropped 28% in download speed. There are a lot of factors that can affect speed so this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but you should test the performance yourself. You should see how it works on your device and with your internet connection.

Surfshark connected quickly to the servers and the connection was strong and reliable.

Surfshark currently has more than 3,200 servers in over 65 countries, although some of these are virtual servers clearly defined in the app. I didn’t notice any performance or speed difference between the virtual and physical servers.

Unlike many top VPNs, Surfshark allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a great choice for larger households. No matter what device you own, you should be able to run Surkshark VPN and it works with all major platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV

There are also Surfshark VPN browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

If you are looking for a VPN to use while streaming, Surfshark might fit the bill. I was able to stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ on mobile and desktop.

I had to chat with support to access Hulu through the browser while running Surfshark. In the end, I had to disconnect from Surfshark, log into Hulu, and then reconnect to the VPN. Once logged into the browser, I had no problems streaming Hulu when connected to Surfshark VPN.

Surfshark has a kill switch to protect your information if your VPN connection drops. This feature prevents accidental disclosure of your activity by cutting off your internet connection if your VPN connection is interrupted. You’ll also be able to use a built-in blocker for ads, trackers and malware, and a customizable split tunneling tool to route connections from specific apps or websites. through or around your VPN. If you are an Apple user, split tunneling is not available for MacOS or iOS.

Also: How does Surfshark work? More how to set up and use VPN

Through Surfshark’s MultiHop, you can establish your VPN connection through two servers. This will affect your connection speed, but give you an extra layer of security. While there’s no dedicated IP option, you can access static IP addresses on several dozen servers in six different countries.

Android users have access to overriding GPS using Surfshark. If you have this enabled, when you connect to a VPN, your location will be set to the location of the VPN server. But before you rely on this to unlock location-specific features for an app or game, you’ll want to test the feature out for yourself. For example, I’ve seen some reviews that say the feature is a good choice for Pokémon Go players, but I can’t override GPS to work with the game.

All Surfshark VPN servers support P2P file sharing. However, to get the best performance, you’ll want to connect through a P2P optimized server.

It can be a bit confusing to find these servers as they are not labeled in the app. If you search for “P2P” in the server location search bar, servers optimized for P2P will bring up the search results.

Surfshark VPN lists P2P servers

Surf VPN

When you’re using a torrenting app, you’re automatically redirected to a P2P-optimized server, regardless of which server you initially connect to. The advantage of connecting directly to a P2P server is that you can get better performance.

When I need to answer questions quickly and accurately, I prefer to use the live chat feature. The conversation starts with a bot that provides links to support pages that can answer your questions, but it’s easy to connect with a real person. I always have the option of connecting directly with a live dealer with the push of a button.

Surfshark also has a Help Center with helpful FAQs and tutorials. It doesn’t have a phone support option, but I haven’t come across a VPN with that option. Even with phone support, I prefer the live chat feature, which is much faster and more convenient than navigating the phone tree.

Overall, Surfshark is a solid deal if you’re willing to commit longer to lock in the lowest price. I recommend taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out and make sure it will work well for you and meet all your needs.

Surfshark VPN has all the standard features most people would want in a VPN, and in our speed tests it performed well. It’s hard to complain about a service that usually performs as well as the competition at a third of the price of the most expensive VPN services.

Here are some comparable VPN services worth considering if you don’t think Surfshark is the right service for you.

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