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Surfshark VPN: Just a Hype or the Real Deal?

Surfshark VPN is well-known thanks to an aggressive advertising campaign, but does this VPN live up to the hype?


For tens of millions of people, Surfshark probably needs no introduction. If you are even a semi-regular viewer of YouTube videos, you will have seen Surfshark VPN advertised. The company has been on a years-long advertising campaign that includes sponsoring videos from leading YouTube content creators.

So, there is a good chance you know about Surfshark and know it is a VPN. One question you have probably asked is whether Surfshark is a good VPN? Well, in this review you can find out as I take a deep dive into Surfshark VPN to give you a complete overview of the platform. Below we will cover the features, price, and also the advantages and disadvantages of Surfshark.

If you are interested in Surfshark you can just download the VPN from their website. Read on to learn what Surfshark has to offer.

What Is Surfshark VPN?

Thanks to its presence sponsoring your favorite YouTube channels, Surfshark is something of a rockstar VPN. It just so happens the platform has the quality to back up its advertising. Known as one of the best VPN services around, Surfshark is loaded with features and also provides one of the best value entry points currently available. 


With nearly 3,500 servers available across 160+ locations in over 90 countries, Surfshark gives you more control over your network choices than most VPNs. As you would expect from a modern VPN, the platform is very flexible. You can download Surfshark VPN for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, games consoles, smart TVs, and web browsers (Edge, Chrome, and Firefox).

As a service, Surfshark covers all the technical aspects individuals needs from a high-quality VPN. So, you get secure AES-256-GCM encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, WireGuard, and support for IKEv2 and OpenVPN.

Surfshark VPN Features

Needless to say, Surfshark covers the VPN basics, so whether you want to Netflix and Chill watching shows not available in your location, need to lock down your security on a public network, or want to mask your location, Surfshark has you covered. I will cover the VPN specifics below, but first, it is worth discussing the features available.

Many of the tools that underpin Surfshark VPN are top of the line, especially at the price point. These options are where the real strength of the product lies. For example, the Whitelister works as a tunneling system that lets you split apps and websites to choose which can use a VPN or not. This means you can disable the VPN on some sites/apps automatically.

Surfshark also has a handy multi-hop ability. This feature allows you to create a connection on a VPN server and bounce your traffic off a second server. While connections are not limited to specific servers, this is a good feature for adding further security. It is worth noting some other VPN services – such as IVPN – will allow you to fully customize multi-hop on any two servers.


Security is a big deal on Surfshark, as it should be on any VPN of quality. You can tap into a custom DNS tool (Smart DNS) and the CleanWeb ad-blocker. For an extra $0.99 each month you can get Surfshark Alert, which sends notifications if your accounts are breached. SurfShark Search is another $0.99 addon that lets you conduct private searches.

You can also opt to increase how much you pay ($14.44 per month) to bundle in Surfshark One with your VPN. This is the company’s own antivirus suite that honestly is probably not worth the extra outlay. It is a fine cybersecurity solution but there are better antivirus platforms I recommend ahead of Surfshark One.

Using the Surfshark VPN

Surfshark gives users flexibility in terms of creating a VPN connection. On Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux, users can connect with the OpenVPN protocol. Across those same platforms and all others (aside from Linux), the IKEv2 protocol is also available. It is worth noting that IKEv2 is the default protocol on macOS.

WireGuard is also available since Surfshark brought support in 2020 for macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. Linux finally received WireGuard connection in 2022. If you are unfamiliar with WireGuard, it builds on the open nature of OpenVPN but uses newer technology to provide faster connections.


Surfshark has one of the best portfolios of server locations of any VPN. Over 3200 servers in over 90 countries mean you will probably never struggle to find a server close by to stay secure on the move. It also means you can region hop comfortably if your VPN needs end at simply overcoming streaming service geo-restrictions.

While Surfshark’s coverage is extensive, it still lags behind ExpressVPN, which remains the king in this metric with thousands of servers in nearly 100 countries.

One thing I like is that Surfshark insists it does not use virtual servers. These are essentially software-based servers that are created to appear as if they are in a specific location even if they are not physically located there. Virtual servers are not really a dealbreaker, but physical servers tend to tip connection performance slightly more in your favor.

Surfshark Privacy

While many people use a VPN to secure their connection on a network, most will not even think about the security/privacy of the VPN itself. Luckily, Surfshark is one of the most reputable providers out there. Even so, if the company wanted to it could spy on your activity, monetize it, hand your personal details to advertisers or authorities, and basically just mishandle your data.

Surfshark has a robust Privacy Policy that is openly available alongside the Terms of Service. The company assures customers that it does not log browsing history, IP addresses, network traffic, connection times, or bandwidth usage. In other words, Surfshark checks all the privacy boxes in terms of what you want from a VPN provider.

How Much Does Surfshark Cost?

A standard rolling monthly subscription with Surfshark costs $12.95, which is on the expensive side of monthly VPN prices. However, Surfshark offers amongst the steepest discounts if you grab a long-term subscription over a year or two years.

If you decide to pay for a year upfront, it will cost you $47.88 over the first year (equivalent to $3.99 per month) and then $59.76 per year thereafter. The two-year plan offers even more price reductions and will cost $59.76 for 24 months (averaging $2.49 per month) and this is the plan Surfshark recommends.

It is also the plan I recommend, but with a caveat. You should first get to know Surfshark VPN to see if this is the VPN for you. If you have Android, iOS, or macOS, you can get a 7-day free trial to test Surfshark. On other platforms, you will have to get the monthly $12.95 plan. It is worth getting this one-month plan initially before making any long-term financial commitment.

Surfshark Verdict

It turns out your favorite YouTube content creator was correct… Surfshark is the VPN you should be getting. With excellent coverage of servers and locations, top-notch security, iron-clad privacy, and a very easy-to-use interface, Surfshark deserves its position as one of the best VPN providers. Look, there is no shortage of quality VPN apps out there and I recommend shopping around to find the service that suits your needs.

Even so, if you decide to choose Surfshark you will have one of the most complete VPN suites currently available.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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