SurfShark review – Based on analytics and real user experience

When it comes to your online privacy, it is a must to choose a reliable VPN service covering all kinds of privacy and user data warranties. In this matter, most preferable locations turn out to be off-shore countries where companies do not have to track and keep your logs for years. Keeping this fact in mind, today we will take a close look at British Virgin Islands-based Surfshark VPN and see how it performs when compared to top players in the market.

24 months

$1.99/ Month
$1.99/ Month
  • OpenVPN, IKev2
  • 50+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth*Fair usage limit applies
  • Zero logging policy
  • Simultaneous connections on up to unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guaranteePlease read the refund policy below

1 Month

$11.9/ Month
$11.9/ Month
  • OpenVPN, IKev2
  • 50+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth*Fair usage limit applies
  • Zero logging policy
  • Simultaneous connections on up to unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guaranteePlease read the refund policy below

12 Months

$5.99/ Month
$5.99/ Month
  • OpenVPN, IKev2
  • 50+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth*Fair usage limit applies
  • Zero logging policy
  • Simultaneous connections on up to unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guaranteePlease read the refund policy below

Country, server coverage, and speed performance

A relatively new player in the market, Surfshark covers more than 50 countries with  800+ servers. Looking at the server locations on the website, almost all world is covered properly. Yet, coverage is fine to some extent. What is more important is to get reliable speed performance from those servers.

To run a decent speed test, I used my 50Mbit download/50Mbit upload fiber connection. Starting with the mobile performance, I tested the speed of 22 different locations.

How I did handle the test:

  • Connected to a VPN server
  • To stress the connection, I chose to ping back to my provider in Europe
  • Shared the results with you.

Below you can see all performance tests.

RegionDownload / MBpsUpload / MBpsPing
Mobile speed - 4.5G43.142.670
North America
New York10.776.45303
Chicago42.336.15406
Dallas41.954.33355
Los Angeles6.073.59431
Canada - Toronto40.616.13405
Canada - Vancouver27.784.81429
South America
Brazil18.361.41551
Argentina3.531.29543
Costa Rica0.451.4434
Europe
United Kingdom25.4813.41191
Germany49.3511.40112
France33.542.05200
Spain14.179.88185
Netherlands37.5113.60144
Russia42.187.28226
Netherlands - United Kingdom (MultiHop)25.190.97373
Asia
Hong Kong4.880.99406
Japan2.895.97361
Malaysia0.520.34262
Africa - Middle East - IndiaO
South AfricaFailed
India3.311.6196
Turkey42.785.54179

If you are a speed geek, then Surfshark could be one of your best options. With the speed given above, Surfshark proved its superiority to top players in the market like CyberGhost, SaferVPN, VPN Unlimited.

What is more interesting is even I was running the test from Europe, I was able to get the most out of my connection with US servers. Furthermore, Surfshark is the fastest VPN I have tested on the mobile platform. With the speed given, you can:

  • enjoy seamless social media experience,
  • watch 4k videos,
  • live stream up to 1080p.

Overall, I do like Surfshark speed performance. However, we are not done yet. There are few other platforms like torrenting, and streaming shows abroad to come to a final speed conclusion.

Torrenting performance

Like any other P2P test, I found a torrent file (415 MB) and connected to the Germany server. Here is my experience.

you can check my live p2p surfshark download experience and see if it can meet your expectations or not

While I got 49 Mbps download speed from Germany, I was unable to enjoy that performance with my P2P experience.

In the beginning, there was a spike of download speed. It took around 30 seconds to collect proper seeds and reach up to 3 MB/Sec. However, the download was not stable and I experience plenty of ups and downs -which is a bad sign for anyone trying to download huge files.

Sticking to an average 2MB/Sec, Surfshark gave me a mediocre P2P experience and completed downloading 415 MB file around 3 minutes.

Moving forward to another P2P platform: Popcorn time.

Popcorn time experience – Is it fast enough?

Popcorn time is a “watch while downloading” P2P service for movie and TV show lovers. At this point, it sounds super fancy as we do not have to wait for download completion. On the other hand, we DO need a VPN service to change our IP address and prevent the ISP from tracking our P2P activities.

Till now only CyberGhost gave me a download speed performance up to 6MB/Sec.

Can Surfshark be a game changer?

check if surfshark slows down your download speed when connected to its p2p servers.

I chose a random TV show on Popcorn time with more than 20 active peers. Above you can see my experience.

The download speed hit up to 5.15MB/Sec that it took only 15 seconds to see the TV show intro. Furthermore, the speed was so consistent that the background download bar was %100 complete under a minute.

you can see our live experience and check how fast download bar will move when using surfshark p2p server.

This time Surfshark did not fail us with its Netherland server. If your primary use of the VPN service is to download torrent files, then Surfshark can be your top choice. However, you can experience some annoying server stability issues while downloading huge torrent files. Other than that, I did not experience any problem with the speed and Popcorn time experience.

Friendly note: There is no indication of P2P servers on the software. That is because of all Surfshark servers are P2P friendly. Even if there is a restriction with the country selected, Surfshark will route your VPN connection to Netherland server to make the P2P activities more secure.

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Netflix and BBC iPlayer experience

Here comes the hardest speed test. This time, we will not only measure if the servers are good enough to handle streaming problems but also if they can bypass Netflix and BBC iPlayer VPN ban abroad.

As you already know that Netflix started a war against VPN providers and it keeps on blocking VPN connections. On the other hand, VPN providers fight back by deploying new servers or they find a way around to bypass this restriction.

Is SurfShark one of them?

surfshark is able to bypass netflix ban

Yes, it is!

Surfshark was able to bypass the Netflix ban with its USA – New York server. Even if I did run the test from Europe, I got ultra HD quality streaming!

Netflix test was a success!

How about the BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is another streaming service dedicated to UK citizens. You can watch amazing documentaries and TV shows only if you have a UK IP address!

I connected to UK – London server and tried to bypass the BBC iPlayer ban abroad.

surfshark can easily bypass bbc iplayer ban!

As seen above, I was able to watch Planet Earth II. However, I faced a settings issue. When using Surfshark, if you enable “CleanWeb” feature to block ads, you won’t be able to watch BBC iPlayer. You have to disable “CleanWeb” feature. Otherwise, the show you want to watch will not be available.

Verdict?

BBC iPlayer was a success!

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Pricing and refund policy

Surfshark has passed all of the tests I ran so far. It is a nice feeling to use a VPN service for plenty of different platforms. Furthermore, Surfshark pricing policy is pretty competitive in the market.

There are three plans we can choose from: 11.95$/Month, 71.88$/12 Months, 47.76$/24 months.

Frankly, I do not like the pricing plan. The website applies an automatic coupon code and makes you feel forced to choose the two years plan by making it even cheaper than the 1-year plan. Still, Surfshark is one of the best price/performance VPN service provider in the market. As for the two years plan, it deserves every penny.

Surfshark payment methods

No matter where you are located in the world, you can easily complete your purchase process. Surfshark uses checkout.com payment gateway and uses the following payment options:

  • Credit card: Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover
  • Paypal
  • Google Pay
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Trustpay

Once you complete your purchase, you can start using Surfshark immediately. Yet, what if you did not the service?

Surfshark offers 30 days “no questions asked” refund policy. Just in case, you want your money back, just contact to customer support and ask for a refund. Yet, there are few points to keep in mind:

  • “If you purchase our subscription through iTunes/App Store – we are not able to grant you a refund”
  • Payments made using prepaid cards or gift cards are not refunded
  • For payments made in cryptocurrency, the equivalent amount in US Dollars is refunded in the same cryptocurrency (based on the rate of exchange at the moment of refund).
  • You have a right to cancel your account at any time, however, canceled accounts will not be refunded for the unused part of the ongoing service period. No refunds will be considered for accounts terminated for violation of these Terms.

As long as you do not get your account terminated or use iTunes payment to complete your purchase, you can ask for a refund within 30 days. It is a good feeling not to be restricted with connection or bandwidth limits.

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Desktop software and mobile apps

The user interface of the Surfshark software looks modern but not minimal. There is plenty of unused space and it looks unnecessarily big on the screen.

main interface of surfshark software with servers

As for the user-friendliness, Surfshark offers easy to access server line up aphetically. The “Search” menu will help find your desired server as well.

If you are a privacy geek, you can also make use of “MultiHop” feature to encrypt your data twice. I like this feature. More importantly, it does not slow down your connection speed a lot.

Moving forward to general settings…

surfshark connection settings you can play around

In the Surfshark general setting, there are two noteworthy settings to enable or disable:

  1. CleanWeb: So many other VPN providers also offer this feature, yet, they cannot recognize Google ads and block them. However, as per our test, Surfshark can block all kinds of ads and help us save a remarkable amount of data.
  2. NoBorders: A handy feature to bypass ISP VPN deep pocket inspection detection. With this feature, you can enjoy ultimate freedom when you are in Turkey, China, Russia, or Iran.

As seen above, there are not many options to play around in the general settings. Same goes for the connection settings as well.

surfshark connection settings

What is most important here is the “Kill Switch” feature to shut down internet connection in case we drop out of the VPN server. You may also change the way software behaves when you start your computer or when you want to quit the software.

Overall, I like the way software works. However, while software design trend goes minimal, and Surfshark does not catch up it. Furthermore, a single click on the VPN server will help you establish a secure connection. Yet, if you click another server by mistake, the software will disconnect the previous connection. This will end up connecting to the new server. Hope this small glitch gets fixed soon.

Surfshark mobile apps

Since 2017 the usage percentage of smartphones surpassed the PCs. Every single day, we tend to use our phones and get so many things done. While smartphones bring easiness to our lives, we are also exposed to privacy issues when connected to the internet. In this case, we certainly need a VPN service to encrypt our data and keep online activities safe.

Can Surfshark secure us?

surfshark mobile app and connection

Throughout my personal experience, I can tell Surfshark is bundled with plenty of critical features to keep our online activities private.

The mobile is pretty neat and easy to use. With a single click, it will connect us to a VPN server. Any feature on the PC software is also available on our mobile phones.

surfshark mobile settings

Here is what you can do with the Surfshark mobile app:

  • Change software language,
  • Automatically connects on WiFi
  • Kill Switch
  • Data encryption on AES-256-GCM or Chacha20Poly1305
  • CleanWeb features to block ads…

I have tested all of the features above, and they all work fine. In the beginning, I had a doubt that the ad blocker would not work. However, after enabling the “CleanWeb” feature and reestablishing VPN connection, I was able to block all kinds of ads on my smartphone.

Surfshark proved to be a rare VPN service provider having must-have features by default! No extension, no additional fees.

As for the PC and smartphones, Surfshark has our back. Yet, how about the other platforms?

Other supported devices

Besides, Mac, Windows, Linux; Android, iOS, we can also install Surfshark apps or extensions to Google Chrome, Firefox; FireTV, Apple TV; x Box, PlayStation.

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Security protocols

Surfshark uses 256bit AES encryption along with IKev2 by default. Users are free to switch from IKev2 to OpenVPN as well. These encryption types offer security, stability and speed performance.

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Is Surfshark working properly?

I ran several tests with Surfshark and it passed them all. I had the chance to try Surfshark in Turkey and it bypassed the ISP filter easily. “NoBorders” feature works fine. Furthermore, I was able to get a decent download/upload speed performance on any server I used.

With the speed given, I was able to watch Netflix and BBC iPlayer abroad with Ultra HD and full HD quality.

Moving forward to the P2P platform, I did not like the torrent speed performance from the German server. However, when I connected to Netherland, I got 5.15+Mb/Sec. This makes the Surfshark one of the fastest provider in the market.

Last but not least, you can simply get rid of any types of ads ruining your browsing experience. Surfshark’s CleanWeb technology will help you block all kinds of trackers and ads to make the web more user-friendly.

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Customer support

Step by step, I tested Surfshark in all VPN required platforms. It worked fine and I did not need any assistance from customer support. However, it is always convenient to see that someone is there when you need assistance.

First of all, Surfshark does have live support but they are not online 24/7. I contacted them twice to fix my account password. For the third try, the support team was not online and my message was sent as an e-mail.

Update: I got the answer three hours later.

Secondly, FAQ! In case you need urgent help, you might want to troubleshoot your problem with FAQs. The Surfshark knowledge base consists of an application, FAQ, billing/account, SmartTV, router and manual set up tutorials. While some tutorial articles look well organized, I find the answers to some FAQs not relevant.

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Log policy! Does Surfshark keep logs?

Here comes the most challenging part. Surfshark is located in British Virgin Island where no data retention law is in action. Yet, there are few things to dig up. Surfshark states in their Privacy Policy page:

  • “They collect email address for account management and billing information to process orders.”
  • “We do not collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection timestamps, network traffic, and other similar data.”

If you are uncomfortable with the first quote, you may contact customer support and get your personal data deleted. Still, I do find the Privacy Policy page inadequate as the logging policy spreads out with a single sentence.

The main purpose of the VPN services is online privacy and I would prefer to get detailed information about what I get rather than a single sentence: “We do not keep logs”

Summing up

It is pretty annoying and hard to find an all in one VPN service. One way or another, most VPN service providers fail on one of the tests I run. Yet, SurtVPN is not one of them.

So far, Surfshark is the fastest VPN service provider tested on VPNxD.com. It has all key features such as “Kill switch”, standard encryption (256-bit), amazing price/performance score, and multi-hop function.

Furthermore, Surfshark bypassed Netflix and BBC iPlayer ban with the first servers I tried. What is more alluring is you can enjoy all these features on as many features as you want.

Last but not least, Surfhark operates under British Virgin Islan jurisdiction (no data retention law) that adds up additional security to your online privacy level.

Do I recommend Surfshark?

Yes! I do. Surfshark is an all in one service to handle any VPN required operation on plenty of devices. In case you are not satisfied with the service, simply cancel your subscription and ask a refund within 30 days.

8 Total Score
All in one service

Reliable VPN service based on British Virgin Island. No log policy or what-so-ever. Top notch download/upload speed. Surfshark is the best price/performance VPN provider in the market. Give it a try. If not satisfied, you can ask for a refund within 30 days.

Performance
10
Software
6
Price
9
Customer support
7
PROS
  • Amazing speed performance
  • Simultaneous connection up to unlimited devices
  • Kill switch
  • CleanWeb feature to block ads and trackers
CONS
  • Slower torrent download speed
  • non-user friendly software
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