Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? Actually, you are. The browser you’re using is allowing your behavior to be exploited and monitored. The trackers latch on and follow your every move. You don’t even know who these trackers are or where these details of your life are going – raising questions about anonymity.
When we talk about VPNs there’s a lot to consider about anonymity. For this reason, we are always on a hunt for securing the digital tunnel to prevent tracking and make browsing more secure. Therefore, we are looking for the essentials of a VPN that can deliver military-grade encryption, strong security features, unblock streaming services, and the ability to bypass Geo-restrictions.
But, ‘why do we need a VPN service’, or ‘how does a VPN help us online’. These burning questions often require a satisfying answer. Obviously, we need VPNs for our security and privacy. We need them at Wi-Fi hotspots to prevent snoopers from collecting private information. People use VPNs at home as a way to get around ISPs and service providers blocking certain websites, which may include Pirate Bay, Facebook, and BBC iPlayer.
Surfshark VPN is among the best VPN services. In the course of this review, we will justify why Surfshark makes the best value for your hard-earned money. Moreover, we’ll go over its features, Surfshark pricing, speed, and device compatibility, and see how well it protects our digital life.
Surfshark VPN download latest version for Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 & Windows 11 PC. This is an offline installer setup file of Surfshark VPN and you can easily install it on your 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
Latest Version for Windows PC
🛡️ Safe & Secure
- License: Free (Demo)
- Platform: Mac OS
- Language: English
- File Size: 83.0 MB
- Downloads: 9,398
- Developer: Surfshark
Table of Contents
- What is a VPN and How Does It Work?
- Surfshark is easy to install
- Surfshark VPN: Pricing
- Surfshark VPN Supports Unlimited Number of Devices
- Surfshark VPN Works on all Major Operating Systems
- Surfshark VPN: Features & Benefits
- Surfshark VPN: Performance & Protocols
- Strict No Log Policy
- RAM-only Servers
- How Fast is Surfshark VPN?
- How good is Surfshark for streaming?
- Surfshark for Android
- Surfshark offers customer support
- Our Thoughts
Surfshark VPN: Key takes
- Over 3,200 servers worldwide
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited device connections
- For Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer…
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works in China
- 24/7 live chat
What is a VPN and How Does It Work?
Think that you are at Starbucks or in your local coffee shop surfing the web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi, which puts you at stake. you could be exposing your private information ad browsing habits to snoopers and hackers who are always on the lookout for the opportunity.
Unless you are logged into a private Wi-Fi network that requires a password, any data transmitted during your online session could be vulnerable to eavesdropping by strangers using the same network.
This is where a VPN plays its part. It creates a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another location. This is could be thousands of miles away making it seem as if you are settled there. In other words, a VPN can hide your search history.
Your web activity will be associated with the VPN server’s IP address which means that your search history can appear to originate from anywhere in the world and not yours. This keeps your online activity and web browsing private and anonymous making shopping online, sending emails and paying bills completely protected.
Surfshark is easy to install
When you download Surfshark for Windows from the website, you can sign up and pay for the service during the installation. Once done, you can then tap the connect button. After this, you will see a desktop notification telling you your location. Once you select a location, the interface will display your IP location.
Surfshark VPN: Pricing
While for some, Surfshark VPN is dead expensive, others find it tempting to buy. Therefore, to cater for every online user, Surfshark VPN offers seven day free trial for Android, iOS and Mac. While we would love similar for Windows, it seems a little unfair to complain when other VPN providers don’t even have free trials.
However, if you feel like the seven-day trial is living up to your expectations, it could be worth signing up and making use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
The VPN service provider gives you a bigger discount if you choose a longer subscription plan. A 24-month plan has an ask for $2.49/month which saves 81% of your buck. A half-year plan or a 6-month subscription cuts the cost to $6.49 a month. Lastly, the service’s monthly plan is more expensive, at $12.95/mo.
While $2.49/mo is an inviting offer, you’ll be paying more upon the renewal – $4.98 a month to be exact. Surfshark monthly rate is notably more expensive than NordVPN’s pricing. However, a longer subscription for Surfshark will give you more value than its competitor.
For example, NordVPN’s two-year plan is at about $3.67/mo, while Surfshark makes it for $2.49. This will save you another $30 if you sign up for Surfshark VPN. This looks tempting, but the competition, Private Internet Access is going for $2.19 for a three-year plan. But, some users will be put off by such a lengthy plan. So, we think Surfshark VPN price apparently comes at a decent deal.
Anyways, when it comes to payment methods, you will be surprised at how flexible and easy it is to pay for Surfshark VPN with support for credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Ali Pay, and even cryptocurrencies.
Surfshark VPN Supports Unlimited Number of Devices
There are many great contenders to Surfshark, and they have great pricing too. If there’s one feature that sets Surfshark apart, then it’s their unlimited device support. You can use this free-trial Virtual Private Network on an unlimited number of devices on one account, whereas, most other VPN companies cut off after just 3-5 connections.
Surfshark VPN Works on all Major Operating Systems
Surfshark app is compatible with Windows 7, or newer. It also works on macOS or newer, iOS, and Android. It is also available on Ubuntu and Devian systems. The company also offers an app for FireTV and FireStick. There are also Surfshark proxy plug-ins for Chrome and Firefox and a custom DNS resolve for Xbox and PlayStation.
Surfshark VPN: Features & Benefits
Surfshark VPN comes crammed with advanced features. For example, its kill switch feature is terribly amazing. It disconnects you from the Internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This guards your identity against hackers and snoopers.
The VPN service also features an in-built Whitelister panel. This helps you to whitelist apps, IP addresses, and websites that you can redirect around the VPN. If using Surfshark breaks a particular website or app, adding it to the whitelist should solve the problem. It is an expanded version of the split tunneling feature. There’s no need to continually connect and disconnect your VPN to access websites or devices that require direct internet access.
Surfshark has really splashed out its features. Its ability to unblock streaming services like Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ is making it a powerful VPN provider and giving it a big improvement to its features. Beyond these basic features, Surfshark also features GPS spoofing, URL, and adblocking.
The multi-hop feature creates a VPN connection to a server and then routes the traffic to a second VPN server for even greater security. It passes your traffic through two VPN servers. This ensures that if the existing server is compromised, the second server will appear to be in other countries like France, or Germany.
The software hides your real address, also called ‘camouflage mode’. It hides you from your internet provider such that it doesn’t keep any activity logs, such as your browsing history and DNS queries. It also uses Advanced Encryption Standard to encrypt the data.
Shurshark has a custom DNS service also called smart DNS and an ad blocker known as CleanWeb. This helps to block ads, malware, and malicious links. It also saves mobile data and boosts browsing speed which is another rising problem for VPN users.
Similarly, a NoBorder mode helps you get online in countries where VPNs do not function or are commonly blocked. In other words, you can access VPN servers even with firewalls or restrictions involved. So, this feature tries to obfuscate your traffic in some way to help you get around the IP problems. You can use this technology to log on to the VPN in countries like China. There’s also an option that enables you to activate the VPN automatically when you start Windows so you can toggle between the protocols.
The kill switch feature is a significant part of VPN and a standard method employed by VPN providers. This enables you to disconnect from the Internet automatically when a connection to a VPN server is lost. In other words, whenever your VPN drops, a kill switch prevents unsecured internet connections until your VPN connection returns, ensuring your data and privacy remain protected.
However, the kill switch feature prevents you from accessing the internet at all but you won’t have the option to use your regular internet connection. Likewise, if you use your browser and the VPN drops, you’ll see the internet severing with no obvious reason why. Otherwise, the Surfshark kill switch is effective. It will protect you from all the vulnerable issues but we think there’s room for improvements.
Surfshark VPN: Performance & Protocols
The key goal of any VPN is to create a secure and encrypted tunnel for all the internet traffic to shield it from hackers and snoopers. VPN protocols whereas are a set of rules that define how a virtual private network is set up. It is the infrastructure that manages all the authorization, authentication, encryption, and traffic capturing.
Generally, when you use a VPN, you’ll see a compromise in upload and download speeds. To understand why this happens we calculate rough estimates based on certain speed tests while using VPN.
We used Wireguard protocol during the testing phase, and it did slow the download and upload speed test results by some 60%. The uploading was not worse, but the download results need some of the dwindling.
So, to give you an idea and compare Surfshark with NordVPN or ProtonVPN, we’ll look at the speed test results. Surfshark VPN churned out an upload speed of 58%, the download speed of 60% and its latency is measured at around 60% compared with Nord 29% download speed, 25% upload speed and 0% of latency.
Surfshark VPN offers an AES-256-GCM encryption protocol that is an even more secure and updated version of cipher. On Android, you get Chacha20Poly1305 cipher which is again safer. I think it’s the speed that makes a difference. Some gadgets will enjoy better speeds with AES-256, while older phones will do better with Poly1305. Either way, the cryptographic libraries will protect you by all means.
Surfshark has really pushed the boat out in terms of tunneling protocols. The Wireguard is the faster and modern tunneling protocol. It is secure and available on all devices. It is a lightweight VPN protocol that offers much more bandwidth than OpenVPN and other protocols without sacrificing security.
The OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) protocol is perfect for bypassing government VPN restrictions. It is a little bulkier than WireGuard and IKEv2, but it is the only one that many routers natively support.
In the same way, IKEv2 is another tunneling protocol. It is super for weaker devices and performs really good on fragile or poor internet connections. This is also available on macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Strict No Log Policy
They don’t monitor, track or store IP addresses, internet activity history, VPN server location history, bandwidth usage or any online session. They keep for themselves the email addresses and information for billing along with some anonymous statistical data. This can include crash reports or performance data.
Most VPNs offer all the same stuff, but Surfshark has some rare features hidden in plain sight. For instance, RAM-only servers. These are servers that don’t store data by design and belong 100% to Surfshark. VPN services rent their services from data centres which means that their server count is high too. But, these servers can be less secure depending on the location of each.
They also hold private keys which could be stolen if hackers penetrate through it, making the technology vulnerable. Therefore, Surfshark is one of the few VPN service providers that have transitioned to RAM-only servers. This way your data will wipe out so it can’t be recovered or tracked down.
The audit is used to examine and evaluate the security posture exposed by the Surfshark server, VPN configuration, as well as the related infrastructure.
For a VPN service provider, transparency is a must to establish trust. To assure this, Surfshark has been independently audited twice by the leading security company Cure53. The first audit was performed in 2018, dealing with browser extensions as they are the least secure pieces of software. The tests went well and extensions were entitled secured.
The second audit was performed in 2021 by the same company. This time, they focused on the server infrastructure and general security, and the good thing – they passed the test with flying colors.
How Fast is Surfshark VPN?
Surfshark VPN is an amazingly fast VPN service provider. The connection speeds are good. On normal testing by the OpenVPN, the results went somewhere between 100Mbps and switching over to WireGuard shot up the speeds to 475MBps.
We did the test from a location in the US, and we saw Surfshark clocking it a 204Mbps which many competitors seem to struggle with. During the UK and European tests, we saw an average of 165Mbps and 171Mbps respectively. Even the German numbers were higher than the average speeds of its competitors.
How good is Surfshark for streaming?
Surfshark is a powerful Netflix VPN. It seemed so easy to access US Netflix from five separate locations. But, we could not do the same for the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
We could watch content from YouTube (US) and had no trouble accessing BBC iPlayer. We also seeped in successfully enjoying Disney+ and US Amazon Prime which means that Surfshark is a competent streaming VPN for the value.
BBC iPlayer can sometimes be more of a challenge Surfshark bypassed its VPN blocking with ease, giving us access from three test UK locations.
Surfshark for Android
So, when we installed Surfshark VPN on Android, it looks much similar to the iOS version featuring a white interface when not connected to a VPN server. The app transitioned to teal gradient when we connected to a VPN server. It hosts similar features including the CleanWeb and Whitelister including static servers and multi-hop connections.
We also tested the performance on Android. Running Youtube videos took some seconds for each video to play. The streaming is also good enough and took less time to load. The quality is great and I did not notice any lag.
Surfshark offers customer support
Surfshark VPN like its competitors is willing to answer the queries. It includes FAQs, guides, blogs, and tutorials covering a range of issues. For example, if you type in iOS in the search bar, you will see articles related to iOS issues such as how to install Surfshark on an iOS device or even Android. There’s also a team of live chat staff that takes prompts and is helpful with replies.
Although there may be better VPN service providers that do the same job, Surfshark VPN is best for its value along with improved security and faster connection. With the introduction of WireGuard, it has had a major overhaul over its security. If this is something you want that is easy to use, supports all platforms and provides military-grade encryption, you must give Surfshark VPN a try.
Is Surfshark VPN legit?
In our review, we have had impressive results. In terms of reliability, Surfshark VPN is incredibly secure, legit and reliable that unlocks most streaming services, does not keep any logs and leaves no trace of activity.
Is Surfshark a Chinese company?
The company is located in the British Virgin Islands. It now works in China which is great for people who want to binge-watch their favourite shows.
Is Surfshark VPN free?
You can try Surfshark VPN for free for 7 days on Android, iOS, and macOS. After that, the free trial ends. You can then subscribe to the company and take full advantage of the 30-day money-back policy.
Is Surfshark or NordVPN better?
This is another controversial and bigger debate between them. Surfshark is an affordable and powerful VPN provider crammed with amazing features that are super practical. NordVPN is, however, a great competition that is also a better choice overall.