Surfshark is an up-and-coming budget VPN provider with performance that knocks the socks of many of its more expensive rivals. Check out the two-year subscription for the best value.
- Blisteringly fast
- Solid track record for streaming
- Great value two-year subscription
- Untested no-logging policy
- Review Price: £9.47 per month
- Connect unlimited device
- Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, Socks5 (shadowsocks)
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
- Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
Officially hard-hearted in the British Virgin Islands, which don’t require any kind of compliance with law enforcement or government data requests, Surfshark has a strong focus on privacy and, unusually, allows users to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously and supports torrenting across all its servers.
While it doesn’t currently provide live transparency reports and hasn’t been called to provide evidence in any legal cases that I know of, Surfshark has a clear no-logging policy, has had its browser extensions’ security independently audited.
Pricing and subscriptions
A monthly subscription for Surfshark costs £9.47/$12.95/€10.75, which isn’t particularly remarkable. If you don’t want to commit to a long-term subscription, £28.48/$38.94/€32.33 per 6 months is comparable to some rival’s annual subscriptions, but nothing to write home about.
However, Surfshark’s longest subscription, at £43.70/$59.76/€49.62 for two years, is an amazingly good deal. The price is comparable to many one-year subs from the company’s closest rivals, and works out to an average of just £1.82/$2.49/€2.07 a month. There’s also no limit to the number of devices you can connect to it.
Features and usability
Surfshark has official clients for the expected major platforms: Windows, Linux (a command-line application), macOS, iOS and Android. It also has clients for Amazon’s FireTV, and Chrome and Firefox browsers. The service also provides detailed connection information to setting up its VPN on other devices, including routers, servers, and sharing a connection from your PC to a games console.
Features include MultiHop connections (which go through two VPN endpoints in an attempt to further obfuscate your point of origin), an on-by-default NoBorders mode that attempts to evade national-level firewalls, endpoints with static IP addresses, a whitelist for applications and IP addresses you wish to have use your un-VPN’d internet connection, and an ad blocker that’s disabled by default.
There’s also a kill switch to prevent data leakage if the VPN disconnects (you’ll need to manually enable this), optional local network invisibility, and options to auto-connect on login. To sum up, there’s a lot of security-minded features at play here.
|Reference Group Average HTTP||179.7Mbps||160.13Mbps||91.805Mbps|
|Reference HTTP without VPN||604.8Mbps||544.8Mbps||700.8Mbps|
All of my testing was carried out on a virtual desktop physically located at a data centre in London with a high-speed internet connection. This testing setup produces results under optimal connection conditions. VPN clients are tested on their default settings.
Surfshark uses the fast WireGuard protocol by default, and clearly has the infrastructure to match, evidenced by some of this month’s fastest speed test results. It’s also a popular choice with those who don’t want to shut down their VPN whenever they watch a streaming video service.
Should you buy Surfshark?
Surfshark is the best VPN you can buy right now, competing aggressively on both price and performance which makes it an excellent choice if you need a general-purpose VPN right now. I’m also impressed by the wide range of supported devices and use cases, with no limit to the number of devices you can connect to it.
As this is the first time I’ve tested Surfshark, I don’t have an extensive track record to refer back to, so if consistency is important, NordVPN performs similarly well, albeit at slightly higher cost, and has done so for many years. ExpressVPN is more expensive than either, but is still my top recommendation for privacy enthusiasts, short of running your own VPN endpoints.