Surfshark is a well-liked VPN that may defend your privateness and disguise your location. Like all VPNs, it really works by forwarding your web connection by means of one of many firm’s safe servers, that are positioned all world wide.
The site visitors between your system and the Surfshark server is encrypted, so nobody can monitor what websites you’re accessing – not your ISP and never even the police. And distant websites will see your location as that of your chosen server, so you may entry video-streaming providers and different content material that’s not usually accessible within the UK. With greater than 3,200 servers working in 95 international locations, you should not have any drawback discovering a server within the area you need.
A month-to-month subscription to Surfshark VPN prices £10.99, however it can save you so much by making an extended dedication: new clients can get a two-year subscription for £47.76 – equal to simply £1.99 a month. After that the service renews on the similar value for annually, which continues to be very aggressive. To guard your anonymity, you may pay utilizing a variety of cryptocurrencies, through both CoinGate or CoinPayments, so your Surfshark account isn’t linked to your financial institution particulars or PayPal account.
The service comes with a 30-day refund coverage, so you may strive it risk-free, and if a pal indicators up together with your referral code (and sticks round for a month) you then each get an additional month of free service.
All the foremost desktop and cell working methods are supported, with handy plugins that allow you to management the VPN from Chrome, Edge and Firefox, plus an app for the Amazon Fireplace TV Stick. Whereas most VPNs solely help you join with a sure variety of units without delay, Surfshark has no restrict, so you may set up it on each system in your house.
Alternatively, you may configure your router to ship all web site visitors in your entire dwelling by means of Surfshark – however you’ll want a router that helps OpenVPN or one other safe protocol, as Surfshark doesn’t help L2TP or PTPP connections.
Surfshark VPN evaluate: What’s it like to make use of?
We examined Surfshark on Home windows 11 and Android. On each platforms, the app opens with a helpful record of shortcuts to just lately used servers.
On Home windows, that is accompanied by an enormous record of server areas worldwide, which you’ll be able to browse or search to discover a appropriate exit node. For faster entry, you may create a listing of your personal favorite servers, and there’s a collection of predefined multi-hop routes to make your exercise even tougher to hint. Android gives the identical record, however it is advisable to faucet on the Places tab on the backside of the display screen to entry it.
Unusually, Surfshark gives static IP servers too, in Germany, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Everytime you connect with certainly one of these you’ll get the identical exterior IP handle, which may also help you get round sure entry necessities.
Switching to the Options tab enables you to configure the CleanWeb and Whitelister choices. The previous makes an attempt to dam adverts, trackers and malware when you’re linked to a Surfshark server, whereas the latter handles split-tunnelling in order that non-sensitive apps don’t should undergo the VPN.
You may allow some elective extras from right here too. Surfshark Alert warns you in case your private info has been leaked on-line, supplying you with an opportunity to alter your passwords earlier than you get hacked, whereas Surfshark Search supplies a very non-public, tracker-free search engine. The 2 collectively value 71p per thirty days.
In all, we’ve no complaints in regards to the Surfshark expertise. The app isn’t precisely fairly, but it surely’s clear and straightforward to make use of. If you happen to do hit any issues, you may e mail the help crew immediately, open a request on the web site, or make use of the 24/7 dwell chat help that’s supplied through the web site.
Surfshark VPN evaluate: How briskly is it?
Routing all of your web site visitors by means of a VPN server inevitably slows issues down, however we discovered Surfshark fairly speedy.
We first examined the service on a Home windows 11 laptop computer linked to a 200Mbits/sec Virgin fibre line. With the VPN disconnected, the Google Velocity Check software reported a obtain velocity of 209Mbits/sec; after connecting to a server in London, it measured 190Mbits/sec. That’s a efficiency discount of 8.7%, which is not dangerous in any respect. It’s not as spectacular as Hotspot Defend or NordVPN, which managed 0.6% and 4.5% respectively, but it surely’s quick sufficient that you simply gained’t discover any slowdown in day-to-day use.
Surfshark additionally coped admirably with a extra long-distance connection. The New York server gave us a obtain velocity of 182Mbits/sec, barely any slower than the London connection. That’s a 12.8% efficiency hit, which is likely one of the finest round – though NordVPN as soon as once more nosed forward with a obtain velocity of 196Mbits/sec.
We additionally examined Surfshark on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 pill, linked to the router through Wi-Fi 6. Right here the Google Velocity Check confirmed a uncooked velocity of 203Mbits/sec, which fell solely to 199Mbits/sec once we linked to a server in London – a superb consequence.
And whereas US connections are at all times slower on Android, Surfshark gave us a really creditable 112Mbits/sec from the New York. We’ve solely seen a handful of VPNs beat this velocity, and even the perfect efficiency (which got here as soon as once more from Hotspot Defend) was barely quicker at 123Mbits/sec.
This must be sufficient bandwidth for something you’re prone to need to do, however for optimum all-round efficiency, you should utilize the Whitelister characteristic talked about above. On each desktop and cell shoppers, this allows you to specify apps and websites that ought to bypass the VPN, to get the total velocity of your ISP connection.
Surfshark VPN evaluate: Is it good for video streaming?
Surfshark is greater than quick sufficient to stream video from the US and different components of the world. A connection velocity of 25Mbits/sec is really useful for 4K HDR video, and as we’ve seen, this VPN comfortably exceeds that.
It really works fairly properly for location spoofing too – on a Home windows laptop computer, at the least. After connecting to a server in New York, we had been fortunately capable of browse and watch US-only content material on Netflix and Disney+, and likewise to entry the US-only Hulu service.
We had been additionally capable of watch BBC iPlayer when linked to a UK server, that means you should utilize Surfshark to maintain up with British programmes whereas travelling. Nevertheless, neither BritBox nor Now TV was keen to play ball, so we weren’t capable of stream field units or premium content material.
We had much more restricted success on Android. The Netflix app sussed that we had been utilizing a VPN and insisted on exhibiting us the UK library, even once we had been linked to a server in New York; neither Disney Plus nor Hulu would allow us to in in any respect. Nor had been we capable of entry BBC iPlayer or BritBox by means of a UK server – though the Now TV app did work, offering an choice for Sky exhibits and sports activities.
VPN suppliers are continuously working to get round issues like these, however on the time of writing different VPNs (comparable to ExpressVPN or NordVPN) will provide you with extra freedom to look at the providers you need from wherever you occur to be.
Surfshark VPN evaluate: Is it safe?
Surfshark relies within the British Virgin Islands, which suggests it’s below no obligation to share person knowledge or different info with authorities within the UK, US or anyplace else. Like most VPNs, it additionally has a “no-log” coverage, so no data are saved of your on-line exercise. The corporate hasn’t been independently audited like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have, however we’ve no purpose to doubt its good religion.
The software program has some good security measures too. We’ve talked about the double VPN choices, and the Whitelister isn’t only for bypassing the VPN – you may also configure it to make sure that sure apps at all times undergo a safe server. On Android, you may even outline particular web sites and IP addresses that ought to solely be accessed by means of the VPN. There’s a kill change for further peace of thoughts, which suspends all web site visitors in case your safe connection is misplaced: it’s switched off by default, but it surely solely takes a click on to toggle it on.
On Home windows, you may also inform Surfshark to mechanically join as quickly as your laptop begins up, and stay linked always except you’re linked to a community that you simply’ve explicitly marked as trusted. This isn’t solely potential on Android, however you may inform Surfshark to open a VPN session as quickly as you open the app, or everytime you change Wi-Fi networks.
Surfshark VPN evaluate: Must you purchase it?
Surfshark is a likeable, worry-free VPN. It delivers robust speeds from everywhere in the world and its help for limitless units means you don’t want to fret about operating out of connections. For the reason that firm is headquartered within the British Virgin Islands, we’ve no worries about its potential to guard your privateness both.
There are some caveats. Whereas Surfshark unblocked the preferred video-streaming websites, it didn’t work with all of them. And whereas it’s low-cost for the primary two years, the value successfully doubles after that.
For most individuals, although, Surfshark will do a superb job at a superb value – and you’ll at all times cancel the service and begin a brand new 24-month subscription when the time comes. That makes it an excellent selection for anybody looking for a low-cost, can-do VPN.