New York, NY - ( NewMediaWire ) - August 05, 2020 - Whenever I review a VPN, the value it offers is one of my primary concerns. Before opting for a premium VPN solution, you should always ask yourself two essential questions. One, do you get less compared to the market average (the competition)? Second, do you get more than what you pay for?
Surfshark is one such VPN that has taken an unusual move of placing no limits on the simultaneous connections. It also offers added privacy features on top of typical VPN protection. That all makes it a great value provider but is the asking price justifiable?
This detailed Surfshark review provides you the answer to that question. In fact, it clears all the doubts you might have about the provider.
Features and Pricing
Surfshark costs $71.88 per year, $11.95 per month, and $47.76 if you subscribe for two years. Taking a longer subscription enables you to get a steep discount. But that is usual in the VPN market today. I recommend starting with a monthly subscription. And then if you like the service, you can always move to the longer subscription terms.
Surfshark’s full monthly fee as compared to other fees during the review, and found out it costs more than the market competition. On average, a quality premium VPN costs a little over $10 per month. At $11.95 per month, it costs almost the same price some of the expensive VPN providers cost. Those VPNs include NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
While Surfshark is not the most expensive VPN out there, it is above the market average. Some of the VPNs like Mullvad even ask $5.54 for the monthly subscription.
If Surfshark looks too rich for your blood, you should better turn to cheap VPNs such as Mullvad and ProtonVPN. Some of the free VPNs out there are worth considering, too.
Even though Surfshark is a bit on the expensive side, still, it providers great value for the money. It is among the very few providers that let you use a VPN on an unlimited number of devices with one subscription.
Most of the firms allow five simultaneous connections. The handful of other VPN service providers with no simultaneous connections limit include Encrypt.me, Windscribe, Ghostery Midnight, and Avira Phantom VPN.
The provider allows BitTorrent and P2P traffic on certain servers. It also boasts an ad-blocking tool dubbed as the CleanWeb. On top of all the typical features you could find in a premium VPN, Surfshark offers some rarely seen features. And those are its real strength.
Whitelist is one such Surfshark feature. It is a split-tunneling tool that routes websites or application traffic outside of the VPN tunnel. Being able to whitelist sites and apps is cool, as some sites (such as PayPal) do not work well when you have your VPN on. This Surfshark feature is a superb one, excelling most of the opponents.
The other unusual tool that Surfshark offers is Multihop. It is more like a double-VPN. The feature creates a VPN connection to your selected server and then bounces the traffic to another VPN server. That provides even robust security. One thing worth noting here is, the feature trades magnified privacy for speed.
Both Whitelister and Multihop are compelling tools. Yes, an average internet user might not need them every day. But they serve to justify Surfshark’s high price.
One added privacy feature that other top VPNs provide, but Surfshark doesn’t yet is Tor via VPN.
Many VPNs (for example, NordVPN) offer private static IPs, but you cannot grab one with Surfshark. A private static IP helps to bypass ban when your VPN connection gets blocked by a service or site. You get static IP addresses in your Surfshark subscription, but those are not private. You have to share them with users on the same VPN server.
A VPN connection gets created in several different ways. Thanks to its reliability and speed reputation, the most recommended choice among them is the OpenVPN protocol. And as the name suggests, anyone can examine its potential vulnerabilities.
The provider offers OpenVPN in its iOS, Linux, Windows, and Android applications. Surfshark also boasts the IKEv2 protocol on all the platforms.
For now, OpenVPN looks to be the elephant in the room for VPN technology. But there is an emerging contender to be the future for all VPNs, WireGaurd.
This open-source protocol came out of the experimental phase not too long ago. Meaning it has not been tested thoroughly for reliability and security like OpenVPN yet. But let it be speed or security, I found this VPN protocol to be impressive during my try at it.
Some of the providers, such as NordVPN, have started rolling out WireGuard to their clients. Whereas Surfshark is yet to react.
Geographic distribution of servers matters. That is because having heaps of locations over the globe to pick from implies you’re bound to discover one that’s nearby or any place you may be going to. And it gives loads of choices to satirizing your real location.
Surfshark covers 64 nations, which is better than the market average. ExpressVPN stands out with an astounding 94 countries, and Romania-based CyberGhost is not far behind with 90 nations.
The provider gives above-average inclusion to Africa and South America, the two regions frequently disregarded by different organizations. Surfshark additionally offers servers in countries with harsh web arrangements, including Russia, Turkey, China, and Vietnam.
Concerning the total server tally, Surfshark offers 1,724 servers spread all around the world. That puts its server armada on the high finish of mid-go. NordVPN and CyberGhost come on top with 5,300 and 5,900 servers, individually.
ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, TorGuard, and Hotspot Shield VPN all brag more than 3,000 servers. It’s worth noting that more servers do not generally convert into better execution and that complete server tally is mostly a component of what number of supporters an organization, well, serves.
Surfshark and Your Privacy
Utilizing a VPN requires trusting the provider. When your VPN is running, the organization has as much knowledge into your online exercises as your ISP does.
If a VPN supplier needed to keep an eye on your traffic, adapt your movement, or surrender your own data to law requirement, it effectively could.
That is the reason it’s imperative to comprehend the organization’s protection strategy and the lawful system the firm works under.
All in all, Surfshark seems to be working admirably of ensuring client protection. All things considered, security just works with trust. If you believe you can’t confide in an organization, look somewhere else.
Surfshark stresses that it doesn’t log IP addresses peruse history, transmitted data amount, network traffic, or even the connection time timestamps. That is what you need to make sure of getting from a VPN provider.
The firm does gather some data such as aggregate analytical data, billing history, and account information. The provider additionally gets publicizing IDs from outsiders such as Google Play, for instance. You can reset these identifiers yourself and utilize instead of unchangeable IDs like your mobile’s IMEI.
As per Surfshark officials, these IDs are utilized to see if their promotions are driving new installations. The application doesn’t encapsulate advertisements. However, Surfshark should better contextualize how these IDs are utilized.
The firm looks to be a profoundly decentralized association, with workplaces in Germany, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom. The VPN company also has offices in China, India, Finland, Lithuania, the Philippines, the Netherlands, the US, and Ukraine.
Surfshark says that it depends on “trusted outsider server farms.” The organization is reportedly relocating to RAM-based servers, which would forestall the recuperation of data were the server coercively evacuated.
As of July 2020, Surfshark reports that 70 percent of its servers have been moved to RAM-only. The VPN firm predicts it will finish up the relocation by June of that year.
The organization hosts a live Warrant Canary on its website, which serves as a straightforwardness report. Most warrant canaries are a solitary line that, when evacuated, unpretentiously show that the organization has gotten a National Security Letter or comparative solicitation, which would forestall Surfshark from uncovering the presence of the letter.
Like the famous canary in the coal mine shaft, if Surfshark expels the page, something terrible is going on. This webpage is somewhat extraordinary, in that the firm reports the number of solicitations for data the organization has gotten. Whenever reached by law authorization for data, the organization says it would not be able to recognize an individual client.
Getting Inside SurfShark
In this Surfshark review, tried on a HP laptop running Windows 10. On Windows, Surfshark offers a light, sharp application with smart design and flat colors. The app contracts and expands with one click to show less or more information.
You would find it the way you’d expect an advanced application to look. I particularly like that it has a reasonable, evident approach to promptly get on the web. And that it lets you select explicit servers, and not simply whole countries only.
Surfshark offers an astonishing number of cutting edge features. For example, split-tunneling, which it names Whitelister, as referenced previously. This feature lets you figure out which destinations and applications ought to be steered outside the VPN burrow by adding URLs or applications to a rundown.
Anything on the whitelist won’t be eased back somewhere near the VPN, or be blocked if the site or administration squares VPN clients. Also, the app will not encrypt traffic for those specific apps or sites.
It’s a convenient tool on the off chance that you have low-security undertakings that need transmission capacity. Such needs, for example, can be video streaming, or crucial websites that square VPN utilization, for example, a few banks.
Multihop is an inverse feature to Whitelist. It precisely does what its name suggests. It makes your VPN connection to go through multiple servers rather than only one. This further secures your web exercises, even to parts of Surfshark’s framework, somewhat like an improved Tor Network.
The drawback is that you’ll encounter much more inertness and decreased download and upload speeds. You can’t self-assertively pick two VPN servers, shockingly. Despite that, it’s an uncommon component.
Another noteworthy Surfshark VPN feature is Camouflage. It alters your VPN traffic to look like the normal HTTPs internet traffic. Some other VPNs offer this VPN, too. But under different names. For example, TunnelBear calls it GhostBear. The feature is handy when you are in a country or at a place that prohibits the use of a VPN.
A common concern with a VPN is that it might leak your IP address or DNS information. The DNS Leak Test tool was used to evaluate Surfshark for this. And in the tests, It was found to be hiding the ISP information and true IP address successfully.
Netflix and Other Streaming Services
Depending on your location, video streaming portals such as HBO GO, BBC Player, and Netflix serve you diverse content.
A VPN helps you bypass such restrictions and enjoy the content that you could not access at home otherwise. That precisely is the reason why streaming services tend to block VPNs. And Netflix boasts an aggressive approach towards it.
Surfshark is among the very few VPN providers that work with Netflix. You are able to stream Netflix UK, US, Australia, and India using it. Without any trouble whatsoever.
But you should keep in mind that Netflix is in a tough race with VPNs, a provider that works today might not be of help to you tomorrow. Still, Surfshark has no such history ever since Netflix started banning VPNs back in 2016.
Added Privacy Tools
VPN companies now offer additional security features on top of the general scope of VPN protection. One obvious reason is, everyone wants to stand out from the crowd. For example, TunnelBear offers the stand-alone password manager alongside an ad blocker.
Here Hotspot Shield is more like the most immeasurable example. When you sign up with the provider, you get a Pango account. And it connects you to a pool of security and privacy tools included in the plan. Both TorGuard and ProtonVPN have secure email services: Private-Mail and ProtonMail, respectively.
Going head to head with top market players, Surfshark has built out multiple privacy tools and features going beyond typical VPN protection. The company provides a custom DNS service, which offers added privacy with Smart DNS.
It also boasts a branded ad-blocker dubbed as CleanWeb. SurfShark has a tool similar to the infamous HaveIbeenPwed, which alerts if any of your accounts have been compromised. The company calls its HaveIbeenPwed alternative HackLock.
The company offers a privacy-oriented search tool named as BlindSearch, too. Both the HackLock and BlindSearch are exceptional and unusual added features offered by SurfShark. Keep in mind that you will have to pay an extra $0.99 per month for both.
Performance and Speed
No matter whichever VPN you get, it decreases your internet speed. Why? I hear you ask. The logic is simple. That is because you are adding more distance and machines to your internet connection.
To get to know the Surfshark speed degradation, Ookla Speedtest tool was used and calculated the change between test batches in percent.
I found the provider decreased the upload speed test score by a tiny 5 percent over the baseline. That is the best result I got after reviewing more than 50 VPN companies to date. Surfshark performed exceptionally well in both download tests and latency, too.
It increased the internet connection latency by a little over 35 percent and decreased the download speed by 29 percent.
Keep in mind, the VPN was tested during the day time at a working place with a fast and stable internet connection. Depending on your internet connection and testing time, your results can differ.
But as I compare almost all the VPN companies at the same time and the same connection, it allows me to compare services while controlling variables. And, I found Surfshark to be among the fastest VPNs like Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN. In the end here, speed along should not be the primary concern when picking a VPN, ever.
Surfshark Privacy Review 2020
Surfshark has Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS VPN client applications. The provider boasts a FireTV app, too, which is quite rare. You also get the luxury to install Surfshurk plug-ins on two of the most popular browsers Firefox and Google Chrome.
Keep in mind that with VPN browser extensions, you get to fake your location online, but they typically encrypt your internet traffic via TSL and not a VPN protocol such as IKEv2.
The provider does not have apps for PlayStation and Xbox, but it offers a custom DNS resolver for both. For Linux and routers, the service offers manual configuration instructions, which I found easy to follow.
SurfShark Pros and ConsPros:
- Keeps no logs
- Easy to use
- Compatible with a huge number of devices
- Unblocks Netflix
- Highly secure
- Has fewer servers than other top VPNs
A heap of new VPN services entering the market every year. Most of them are unremarkable, small, potentially dangerous, or creepy. And it pleases me when I see a new service that gets everything so much right.
Surfshark provides unlimited simultaneous connections that let you hook up as many of your devices as you want. On top of standard VPN protection, it boasts rarely seen added features like multihop VPN and split-tunneling.
The provider has fast speeds while it is on a continuous mission of improving its transparency. In essence, Surfshark is an excellent VPN service.
As like any other VPN provider, Surfshark has some drawbacks, too. It is a bit on the expensive side, and its audits should become more encompassing.
Surfshark Reviews Reddit
They currently center around plug-ins only but should spread their third-party audits to their VPN clients, too. Also, it would be great to see the firm complete privacy improvements to its pool of servers. All in all, it is a robust VPN product already.
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