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IF you’re looking for a VPN with solid security features at a reasonable price, Surfshark could be the right option for you.
We have tested Surfshark for over two weeks – this review should give you everything you need to make an informed decision.
Get 80% off Surfshark VPN
The VPN provider is currently offering 80% off its monthly price. While a monthly subscription will normally cost you a recurring £9.69, if you purchase a two-year subscription now, you will pay a one-off fee of £45.36, saving you 80% or £187.2 over 24 months.
Among its many features, Surfshark offers solid streaming performance, an array of extra privacy tools, and a minimalistic and elegant interface.
Not sure about what a VPN is or whether you should use one? Check our dedicated articles for more information about that.
In the meantime, here is all you need about Surfshark, including pricing, server details, and much more.
We have tested this VPN on Windows 11, but the software is available also on Windows 10, as well as on Android, iOS, and Linux devices.
If you want to compare this service to other major VPN services, don’t miss our ExpressVPN review, CyberGhost VPN review, NordVPN review and PIA VPN review – and there’s also our Best VPN app article too.
And if you’ve got streaming on the agenda, you should definitely look at our pick of the best VPNs for Netflix.
Surfshark review: at a glance
The software is extremely user-friendly and comes with a simple interface that is accessible even if you’re not a tech expert.
That being said, Surfshark also offers additional capabilities for advanced users, which makes it a versatile option for many users.
The price of the basic option is also relatively inexpensive and will get you protection on an unlimited number of devices, which is quite rare in the world of VPNs.
Finally, Surfshark offers many reliable server options for both gaming and streaming.
Speeds here are not among the fastest in the industry, but they’re more than sufficient to comfortably stream films or play online games.
Tested: November 2021, Windows 11
- Excellent streaming capabilities
- Solid customer support
- Reasonable price for basic offer
- Strong encryption
- Additional security features (for a little extra price)
- Occasional kill switch issues
- Speed are decent, but below top-notch competitors
What is Surfshark?
Based in the Netherlands, Surfshark was first launched in 2018 on iOS devices.
One year later, the company became one of the first ten VPN providers to receive an official seal of approval by the independent IT-Security Institute AV-TEST.
Since then, Surfshark has slowly released versions of its VPN software for all main desktop and mobile operating systems (OS), including macOS, Windows, Android, and Linux.
Today, Surfshark is widely utilized in many countries, particularly for its ability to unblock streaming sites in over 20 countries.
When compared with top-tier VPN services with a premium price like NordVPN, Surfshark has fewer servers and lower speeds, but also offers unlimited device support and lower prices.
In addition, Surfshark’s servers are available in fewer countries than ExpressVPN (65 vs 94), and the company has not yet been awarded a fully audited no-logging policy (as opposed to ExpressVPN.)
Still, Surfshark remains one of the cheapest VPN options on the market, while also providing a more-than-average security level and thousands of servers.
How much does Surfshark cost?
- Surfshark VPN, £9.69 per month – buy here
- Surfshark VPN, £76.35 for 12 months (save 69%) – buy here
- Surfshark VPN, £45.36 for two years (save 80%) – buy here
While many VPN providers give discounts on longer-term contracts, Surfshark goes above and beyond, slashing up to 80% off its monthly price if you commit to a two-year subscription, and throwing in three free months.
All plans are fully refundable within the first 30 days, which is a nice bonus too.
Just remember to check the expiration date of your subscription, as prices may automatically increase after the termination of your initial offer.
In addition to its basic offer, which includes access to all the basic VPN features, plus Static IP and MultiHop, Surfshark also offers a ‘Surfshark One’ add on.
Costing £1.11 on top of your chosen plan, Surfshark One includes an Antivirus, an Alert mode to keep your identity protected online, and a dedicated search engine.
When compared to other VPNs, Surfshark is quite cheap, even when considering the One add-on (but only if you look at long-term plans).
For instance, NordVPN’s one-month plan costs £8.79 at the time of writing, and ExpressVPN’s £9.80.
Similarly, NordVPN’s two-year subscription currently costs £69.36, while ExpressVPN is offering a 15-month one for £75.60.
Surfshark: server and server locations
Surfshark has more than 320 servers across 65 countries around the world.
Of these, 29 Surfshark server locations are in North America, 47 in Europe, six in Oceania, 17 in Asia, eight in Central and South America, and only three in Africa.
For comparison, NordVPN offers 5132 ultra-fast servers in 60 countries, which is substantially more than Surfshark.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has a more decentralized approach. With 160 VPN server locations across 94 countries.
The number of servers localized in the same area can affect connection speeds, but more about this in the speed and performance section of this review.
Surfshark VPN: security and privacy
VPN connections can be established by using different protocols, each with its own security levels and types of encryption.
Some protocols provide better speed and image, audio quality, while others a more stable connection.
Surfshark supports IKEv2, one of the most popular protocols at the time of writing, as well as OpenVPN, WireGuard (not yet on Linux), and L2TP.
When it comes to privacy, Surfshark is above average, though admittedly not at the top of the list.
You can purchase a Surfshark subscription using credit cards, PayPal and various cryptocurrencies, thus limiting your anonymity considerably.
Certain VPN providers, such as IVPN, even allow cash payments, but that’s a rarity today, even in the world of VPNs.
In terms of privacy-focused features, Surfshark offers a custom DNS service (Smart DNS), an ad-blocker (CleanWeb); Surfshark Alert to let you know if your security has been compromised, and a dedicated search tool (Surfshark Search).
Surfshark also offers static IPs, which enables a faster and more reliable VPN connection, and multi-hop, to allow traffic to be routed through several servers at once for extra security.
Unfortunately, unlike other VPN providers (like NordVPN), who enable the creation of dedicated static IP addresses, Surfshark merely enables access to existing ones.
While this does increase the reliability of connections, it’s not great for privacy, as all users accessing a Surfshark static server at the same time share an IP address, which is known to all the other people in the session.
Finally, Surfshark does not currently support access via the Tor network, a feature that is available in both ProtonVPN and NordVPN.
Surfshark: speed and performance
Our personal experience with using Surfshark was undoubtedly a positive one.
The VPN was extremely easy to set up, really user-friendly, and with solid speeds across the board.
Surfshark takes a few moments to connect (slightly longer than competitors,) but once a connection is established, it is reliable and its impact on the computer memory is somehow negligible.
Something we found slightly annoying was the placing of icons for extra features on the left-hand side of the interface.
Nothing wrong with having the option to upgrade at hand, but having three of the four tabs on the main menu simply teasing unavailable features felt a bit weird.
For context, we have not yet tested those extra features, namely Antivirus, Alert, and Search.
In terms of speeds, Surfshark performed remarkably well. Down below is a breakdown of speeds using different server options.
As it is evident from the screenshots above, speeds remain more or less stable regardless of the type of server used.
Noticeably, using a static IP caused the connection to deteriorate slightly more than the other servers, but even there the reduction was inconsequential.
Interestingly, when using Surfshark’s multi-hope feature (UK-France), both download and upload speeds remained high, but ping worsened considerably.
From a technical standpoint, this is to be expected. With ping, we typically refer to the reaction time of how quickly a device gets a response from the server after sending out a request.
Since the connection here went through multiple servers, it’s normal the response time was lower.
A 30m ping won’t affect browsing or streaming much but may make a difference if you’re playing online games. In that case, make sure to use Surfshark’s best server or static IP options.
Finally, we were able to watch Netflix from different regions, including the UK, US and Japan at 1080p with no lags or visible reduction in quality.
How many devices can be supported on Surfshark?
A Surfshark subscription supports an unlimited number of devices.
This is Surfshark’s main selling point, and it’s a hard one to beat, as most VPN providers set a limit on how many devices are supported in a single subscription.
For example, ExpressVPN’s basic offering covers up to five devices. The number goes up to six on NordVPN, and seven for CyberGhost.
Surfshark VPN review: is it any good?
All in all, Surfshark is an excellent VPN for the price.
It offers access to a number of basic-but-solid security options, supports unlimited devices, and features reliable speeds across multiple servers.
If you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming services or play online games, Surfshark is certainly a more-than-valid option for you.
If you’re on the market for a VPN with more servers or more stringent security options, however, you may want to look at slightly more expensive options such as IVPN or NordVPN.
But for value for money, Surfshark is hard to beat.
- Surfshark, from £1.86 per month – buy here
How to use Surfshark VPN
Setting up Surfshark is a very simple process – here’s how to do it, step by step:
- Sign up to the package of your choice on the Surfshark website. you’ve got the 1-month, 12-month or 24-month plans to choose from.
- Download Surfshark to your device from the app store. The specifics will differ depending on whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
- Load Surfshark and sign in using your login details. Always make sure you using a strong, protected password that’s safe.
- In the Surfshark app, click ‘Connect’. And this will connect you to the nearest, fastest server.
Surfshark VPN FAQs
Is Surfshark free?
No – Surfshark is a paid-for VPN service.
However, it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee period, which you can essentially treat as a month-long trial period.
That should give you plenty of time to see if Surfshark can deliver everything you need from a VPN.
Does Surfshark work with Netflix?
As you can read above, our reviewer Alessandro was able to successfully unlock multiple Netflix regions while testing Surfshark.
That being said, Netflix constantly searches for proxy IP addresses (which are highly likely to be VPN users) and can block them from use – so it’s never 100% guaranteed.
If this does happen, you can select another server being offered by Surfshark and re-attempt accessing whichever Netflix region you want to stream.
Does Surfshark work with BBC iPlayer?
Yes, much like Netflix, Surfshark should grant you access to iPlayer if you live outside the UK.
The BBC may also detect proxy users and block them from access to iPlayer, but again, access can be re-attempted by selecting a different server location within Surfshark.
How to install Surfshark on Fire Stick
Lots of people use Amazon’s range of Fire TV Sticks as simple plug-in access to streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Prime.
The good news is Surfshark can be installed on to your Fire Stick with no trouble at all.
Simply search for ‘Surfshark’ in the Fire Stick’s app store, then install it on to the device.
Following that, you can login with your account details and then connect to a server location via the Surfshark UI.
Is Surfshark safe?
If you’re nervous about using a VPN, then you can be assured Surfshark offers a level of service that’s very safe.
The kill switch will break a connect with your connected server of choice instantly, and while our VPN reviewer did have some minor gripes with the levels of privacy that Surfshark offers, you’ll still get a totally secure connection.
How we test VPN services
We use Ookla to test the speed of the VPN services we review. We are based in London, and currently testing speeds via Wi-Fi. All tests are conducted using the same machine and at the same distance from the router.
We test and review each VPN using the same processes, and judge them by the same criteria each time.
These criteria are price, server quality and location, security and privacy, speed and performance, and number/type of supported devices.
All of our reviews are editorially independent and free from bias.
Make sure you know your country’s laws and regulations if you’re unsure about how you’re a VPN service.
Enjoyed our Surfshark VPN review UK? Then you should take a look at our pick of the best antivirus tools available right now.
We have also rounded up the best broadband providers in the UK.
For more tech recommendations, head over to our dedicated Sun Selects Tech page.