Surfshark VPN Review, Coupon Code & Free Trial

The most high-ranking VPNs often have a long history. Standing out is Surfshark, which was founded relatively recently. In a short amount of time, it has come to dominate the industry. To understand why, we must dig deeper. It’s only then that we’ll understand why this new VPN company has garnered the excellent reputation that it has.

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In this Surfshark VPN review, we shall discuss everything that it offers. For a better read, I’ll go by categories. Once we’re finished, you’ll know if the service is worth getting.

What is Surfshark? It’s a VPN service that claims to provide topnotch online security at a reasonable price. Lots of experts say it is the best among a myriad of competitors. In recent years, the VPN has become a household name thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign.

Here’s what we think are the best and least favorable things about Surfshark VPN:

Pros Cons
Unlimited simultaneous connections Not the biggest server network
Loads of security features Slightly more expensive than other competitors
Excellent speed capabilities
Works in China
Unblocks most streaming services
Entire network is RAM-based

Features

Below is a full list of Surfshark’s specifications:

  logo surfshark
Surfshark
Logging Policy  No Logging
Jurisdiction  The British Virgin Islands
Encryption AES-256
SHA-256 Hash Authentication
4096-bit RSA Key Exchange
ChaCha
Protocols  OpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/IKEv2
IPSec/L2TP
Shadowsocks
Ad and malware blockers Yes
Kill switch Yes
Leak Tests No Leaks Found
Speed Tests Fast
Torrenting & P2P Yes (Optimized P2P Servers)
Streaming Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Firestick
Roku (Via Router)
Kodi
Apple TV (Via SmartDNS)
Android TV
Gaming Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via DNS or Router)
PS4 (Via DNS or Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via DNS or Router)
Compatibility Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected Routers
Simultaneous Connections Unlimited
Servers 1700+
China Yes
Split Tunneling Yes (As Whitelister)
Additional Features CleanWeb
HackLock (Add-On Feature)
BlindSearch (Add-On Feature)
MultiHop
Prices

$12.95/Month
$6.49/month (6 Months)
$2.49/Month (2 Years)

Special Offer: 81% off for a 2-year subscription; 50% off for a 6-month subscription

Our Rating 4.9
Website www.surfshark.com

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Privacy & Security

Your VPN would be worthless if it didn’t provide security and privacy. As such, it’s these two that we’ll first talk about.

Where is Surfshark Based & Who Owns It?

Surfshark was established in 2018 and is currently owned by Surfshark Ltd. It has a presence in eight countries but is based in the British Virgin Islands. The VPN operates from there as the territory doesn’t fall under the Five Eyes Alliance jurisdiction. As a result, no restrictive privacy and copyright laws hinder it.

Encryption & Protocols Used

Like many of its competitors, Surfshark uses military-grade AES-256 encryption. Partnering that is SHA-256 hash authentication and a 4096-bit RSA handshake. Making the VPN unique is its utilization of ChaCha Encryption on Android. It mainly serves as a backup if AES-256 fails or becomes compromised.

Surfshark supports OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) along with IPSec (LT2P & IKEv2). It also employs Shadowsocks, which was mainly developed for the Chinese market. With it, working around the Great Firewall of China becomes much easier.

Plus, since the 2nd half of 2020, they've already started offering support for WireGuard on all their servers!

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Surfshark Leak Test

Complete leak protection is something that Surfshark says it provides. To see whether this was true, I decided to conduct a few tests. My software of choice was IPLeak.net. Before we check out the results, look at my test without any VPN connected: 

ip leak test - no vpn
IP Leak Test – No VPN

Here’s what happened after pairing to Surfshark’s server in Hong Kong: 

IP Leak Test - Hong Kong
IP Leak Test – Hong Kong

And this is the outcome following my move to the VPN’s Singapore server:

IP Leak Test - Singapore
IP Leak Test – Singapore

Neither server failed to mask my IP address. Hence, it’s safe to say that Surfshark does provide absolute leak protection. Using it, you won’t have to worry about troublemakers getting your IP address and doing you harm.

Does Surfshark Keep Logs?

No. Surfshark maintains a strict no-logs policy. Even if it wanted to keep your information, it couldn’t as its entire network is RAM-based. It is one of the few VPNs that have completely phased out hard-disk servers.

For those who don’t know, RAM-disk servers are incapable of tracking, collecting, and storing logs. Besides that, no information can get seized if a malicious third-party manages to breach into a server.

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Does Surfshark Have A Kill Switch?

Yes. A kill switch exists on Surfshark’s Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS apps. The feature automatically shuts down your internet if the VPN connection gets cut. As a result, your location and data become safeguarded from accidental exposure.

Surfshark Kill Switch
Surfshark Kill Switch

You’ll find the kill switch useful if you’re using Surfshark VPN in a country where the internet is heavily restricted. With it, the authorities won’t find out that you’re using a VPN to work around their censorship measures.

Does Surfshark Have an Ad and Malware Blocker?

The ad and malware blocker that’s built into Surfshark is called CleanWeb. It is one of the best that any VPN offers. Using it, you’ll block ads, malware, trackers, and phishing scams.

Surfshark CleanWeb Ad and Malware Blocker
Surfshark CleanWeb Ad and Malware Blocker

I tested CleanWeb’s abilities by heading over to websites with tons of ads. The blocker worked wonderfully, with me not encountering any pop-ups, banners, or auto-play video ads. On top of that, all the pages loaded up faster since no ads consumed my bandwidth. 

Another great thing Surfshark’s blocker did was prevent me from entering a malware-infected website. At first, I was frustrated, but then I realized that CleanWeb was simply comparing the URL of the site I tried to enter with its database of more than 1 million dangerous websites.

Is Surfshark Safe?

Without a doubt. Surfshark is a VPN that’ll keep you anonymous and protected when and wherever ever you go online. 

It has an array of neat security features that work together to give you a safeguarded browsing experience. With the service, you can rest assured that no one will get a hold of your information. In addition, there’ll be no more pesky ads.

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Speed Test

All VPN services slow down your internet connection to an extent. The rate at which each does varies greatly. 

Fortunately, reports have been unanimous in saying that Surfshark is one of the fastest services on the market. Of course, that doesn’t come as a surprise given the fact that it has unlimited bandwidth, meaning that it won’t put a cap on how much data you utilize.

To see what Surfshark can do, I ran some tests while using it. Before we see the results, let’s look at my base connection:

Speed Test - No VPN
Speed Test – No VPN

Picking out a server wasn’t easy. I eventually settled on the one in Hong Kong since it’s close to my current location: 

Speed Test - Hong Kong
Speed Test – Hong Kong

My next test was Surfshark’s London server. I chose that location because it’s really distant from me:

Speed Test - London
Speed Test – London

The results of both my tests were fascinating to compare. I expected the VPN’s London server to not perform as well as it did. However, only my ping took a big hit. The download and upload speeds were fairly consistent. Downloading even improved after moving to the farther server.

How Fast is Surfshark?

Surfshark is blazingly fast. The service is the quickest that I’ve tested to date. It’s even superior to NordVPN, which is heralded as the industry’s speed king. Because of that, I recommend it to anyone that’s looking for a fast VPN. You surely won’t get disappointed by selecting it.

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Torrenting & P2P

A VPN is a necessity for downloading torrents. Besides keeping your identity hidden, it also gives you access to banned torrenting sites in your country. Furthermore, a reliable service prevents ISPs from hindering your connection speeds based on what you download.

You should note that Surfshark doesn’t have a fully enabled P2P network. It compensates for this by detecting downloading activity and then automatically pairing you to an optimized server. 

With that said, here’s a list of all the locations where the VPN has a server that’s P2P enabled:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Serbia
  • Bulgaria
  • Slovakia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

Surfshark is compatible with all major torrent clients. Thus, it won’t matter if you use Vuze, qBittorent, uTorrent, or BitTorrent as you’ll be covered.

Now, to know if Surfshark could keep me protected while I did a torrenting session, I ran some tests again with IPLeak.net. Below is a screenshot of my test results without any VPN in use:

Torrenting Leak Test - No VPN
Torrenting Leak Test – No VPN

Here’s the outcome after connecting to Hong Kong: 

Torrenting Leak Test - Hong Kong
Torrenting Leak Test – Hong Kong

And this is how the US server did: 

Torrenting Leak Test - US
Torrenting Leak Test – US

As seen above, Surfshark was able to hide my IP address. The VPN did so without any kind of effort. Consequently, it has proven that it’s capable of keeping me protected when I download movies, shows, and games using torrent.

Is Surfshark Good for Torrenting?

Yes. Surfshark is an excellent VPN if you're into torrenting. Although it lacks a full P2P network, the service has an adequate amount of optimized servers. Moreover, it’s compatible with every popular torrent client. Lastly, it is really fast, which means you’ll be finished downloading in no time at all.

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Streaming

The majority of users utilize their VPNs solely to stream content. Due to that, this category is crucial in many Surfshark reviews.

Reddit posts are consistent in saying that Surfshark is excellent for streaming. It can circumvent geoblocks with ease. The platforms that it has been reported to work on include Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.

Does Surfshark Work with Netflix?

Netflix is undoubtedly the world’s most popular streaming website. For that reason, I was eager to see to what extent Surfshark could work with it. After all, it does say it’s capable of unlocking 15 libraries on the platform.

Here are the results after watched Deadpool while connected to the VPN’s UK server:

Netflix UK Test
Netflix UK Test

And here’s how my attempt to watch Spotlight using Surfshark’s US server went: 

Netflix US Test
Netflix US Test

My experience with streaming both titles was good. At first, there were issues with quality. Later on, things evened out, and I was able to view the movies in full HD. Not once did I encounter buffering. If anything, it was like there wasn’t any VPN in use during my tests. 

Hence, I conclude that Surfshark VPN works with Netflix, and it does so wonderfully.

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Does Surfshark Work with Amazon Prime?

One other popular streaming service is Amazon Prime. I use it as a backup for Netflix. The movie I selected was The Avengers. My server of choice was the one in the US. 

Here’s a screenshot of my attempt to access the title:

Amazon Prime Test
Amazon Prime Test

Surfshark did as I anticipated. It streamed the title in beautiful HD resolution without hiccups. As such, I’d have to say that the VPN does work alongside Amazon Prime.

Does Surfshark Work on Firestick?

My favorite streaming device is Firestick because it’s easy to use, full of content, and compatible with almost any TV with an HDMI port.

To see what Surfshark could do on the device, I paired with a US server and watched a video that’s blocked in my country. Here’s a screenshot of the result:

Firestick Test
Firestick Test

Surfshark again didn’t fail to meet my expectations. It got through YouTube’s geoblocks and loaded the video in full resolution with zero buffering. For that reason, I can confirm that the service does indeed work with Firestick

Is Surfshark Good for Streaming?

Yes. Surfshark is an excellent VPN for streaming

It was able to provide me with access to all the content that I wanted to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Firestick. Additionally, the service gave me no issues with quality and buffering. Hence, I’d have to recommend it to anyone that puts a priority on media consumption.

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Gaming

There are a couple of reasons why you’d need a VPN for gaming. First, it’ll keep you protected whenever you play. Additionally, the right service will pair you with foreign game servers. Lastly, you’re going to have the opportunity to enjoy geo-restricted new early releases earlier.

Lots of people say Surfshark is an excellent choice for gamers. It is fast and can be used on consoles like PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. To do so, simply pair up to a router where the VPN is installed or connect via DNS.

I’m an avid Call of Duty Mobile player, so I had to see what Surfshark could do for me. Thus, I played a couple of matches using it. As expected, there were some issues with lagging at the start of my game. Thankfully, things evened out once my connection stabilized. My matches went perfectly with zero lag issues.

Gaming Test
Gaming Test

My conclusion is that Surfshark is an excellent choice for gamers. It doesn’t set you back due to its excellent speed capabilities. Moreover, the VPN can protect you and let you access gaming servers in different regions.

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Compatibility

All good VPNs are compatible with a wide range of devices. They need to be since most people use more than one device to access the internet. 

In this regard, Surfshark reigns superior over most competitors as its developers have strived to make it work across many browsers and operating systems.

Operating Systems

Surfshark works on all major operating systems. On its website, you can download light and user-friendly apps for Windows, Android, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Chromebook OS. 

Browsers

Browser extensions are available for Google Chrome and Firefox but not Opera. Keep in mind that these don’t offer the same level of security as Surfshark’s apps do. Nevertheless, they’re still adept at keeping you protected when using the internet.

I must also mention that Surfshark can be used over the Tor Browser. However, doing so might significantly slow down your internet connection. That’s especially true if you use features like double encryption and MultiHop.

Routers

Surfshark can be installed on a router that utilizes OpenVPN as a client. The steps on how to do this are listed on the VPN’s website. It’s not easy but is certainly doable as long as you follow the instructions.

If router installation is too tedious for you, there is another way to use Surfshark on a router. It has partnered with FlashRouters to provide everyone with a hassle-free experience. Simply pick out a pre-configured on the retailer’s website, and you’ll be all set.

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Simultaneous Connections

Surfshark is one of only two VPNs that allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. Due to that, you can say that it stands out in the industry. 

With the service, you’ll be getting incredible value for your money. After all, it’ll be possible to keep your entire family or business protected under one account.

Servers

The network that Surfshark has is tiny as it’s just two years old. With a little over 1700 servers in 63 countries, the VPN has lots of room to grow. It is currently surpassed by many competitors that have twice or even thrice the number of servers.

Surfshark VPN Servers
Surfshark VPN Servers

I wouldn’t think too much about Surfshark’s size. The reason why is because it’s growing more rapidly than any other major competitor. Within a couple of years, I’m sure that it’ll boast an impressively large network.

China

Does Surfshark Work in China?

Yes. Surfshark can indeed bypass The Great Firewall of China. It even gets the job done with consistency. The VPN can do this, thanks to servers that are packed with features that make it difficult for the Chinese authorities to overcome it.

Besides China, Surfshark also works in other places with repressive internet policies. Examples include Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. However, you should be careful when using it in these countries as some have criminalized VPN use.

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Interface & Usability

The apps of Surfshark are minimalistic. Upon opening them, you see a quick-connect button that links you to the best server according to your location. Beneath that is a list showing the servers that you previously connected to.

You can access the VPN’s extra features, settings, and a complete list of servers on the side panel. Everything is pretty straightforward and easy to get acquainted with.

Surfshark Interface
Surfshark Interface

I like the color scheme of the apps. Nevertheless, if it doesn’t suit your tastes, you may always switch to dark mode. Unfortunately, when that’s done, you’ll need to go through the trouble of restarting the VPN.

Does Surfshark Have Split Tunneling?

Yes. Surfshark has its version of split tunneling called Whitelister. The feature is available on all native apps. To enable it, go to the features portion and click the switches.

If you are not familiar with split tunneling, it’s basically a feature that is oriented towards convenience. With it, you’ll get to provide your real information to selected websites and services without having to close the VPN you’re using.

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Additional Features

Surfshark has several other features apart from CleanWeb and Whitelister. The first is called MultiHop. When activated, it routes your web traffic through two servers, making it harder for authorities to detect if you’re using a VPN. 

Two other features that Surfshark has are called HackLock and BlindSearch. Both of which are paid add-ons that do not come with a subscription. 

The former is an alert system that informs you when your data gets involved in a security breach. Meanwhile, the latter feature is a proprietary search engine.

Customer Support

Surfshark has a good track record when it comes to customer service. The VPN can be reached in several ways. Moreover, it has a team of highly-trained professionals capable of answering any questions you might have.

To fully understand what Surfshark offers, refer to the table below:

  Surfshark
Live Chat Yes
Email Support Yes
Phone Support No
Ticket Support Yes
Video Tutorials  No
Online Knowledge Base Yes
Average Response Time 4 Hours

As you can see, Surfshark lacks phone support and video guides. Still, it has more than enough options for you to contact it easily. In addition, the VPN has a large online knowledge base, along with a reasonably decent average response time.

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Price

I’ve found Surfshark’s prices to be fair considering all that it offers. To get an overview of all its plans and how much they cost, look at the table below:

  Surfshark
Subscription Lengths 1 Month ($12.95/Month)
  6 Months ($6.49/Month)
  2 Years ($2.49/Month)
Highest Price Per Month $12.95
Lowest Price Per Month $2.49
One Year Price $77.88
Special Offer 81% discount for a 2-year subscription
50% discount for a 6-month subscription

The plans of Surfshark have recently changed. It no longer offers a 1-year subscription. I like this because the 6-month plan that replaced it is more flexible.

Payment Options

You can pay for a Surfshark VPN subscription in a variety of different ways. Its developers made sure of that so you’ll never be inconvenienced. There are even anonymous payment options available for those wanting to stay under the radar. 

Here’s a full list showing every way you can purchase Surfshark:

  1. Credit Card: (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover)
  2. Gift Cards (App Store & Play Store)
  3. PayPal
  4. Amazon Pay
  5. Google Pay
  6. AliPay
  7. Bitcoin
  8. Etherium
  9. Ripple

Unfortunately, there’s no way to pay for Surfshark with cash. Unlike NordVPN, it has yet to partner with retail outlets to allow for the option.

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Refund Policy & Money-Back Guarantee

Surfshark has a 30-day money-back policy. Thanks to that, you’ll get a complete refund if you decide to opt-out of your subscription. Reports say that your money will go back into whatever account you used to pay in a short amount of time.

Deals, Coupon Code & Free Trial

There’s no free trial for Surfshark available at present. However, there’s still a way to try the VPN without any risks. All you need to do is subscribe for 30 days. If you’re not satisfied, a 30-day money-back guarantee exists. Just avail it, and you’ll instantly get a full refund.

Our team knows that you’re looking for a big discount. As such, I’ve listed down some coupon codes that you may try. I don’t guarantee that they’ll work everytime, though.

Link Coupon Code
$2.49/mo for 27 Months blackshark
surfsharkdeal
blowoutsale
sharkstart

With these codes, I hope that you’ll get the best price possible. Though Surfshark already has great deals, it’s always best to avail of a better one.

Verdict

Is Surfshark worth it?

Yes. As you may have seen in this Surfshark review, it is DEFINITELY worth getting. It’s one of the best online security solutions that you can get!

{Check out our other articles where we compare Surfshark versus other popular VPNs side-by-side: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PureVPN, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, PIA (Private Internet Access), CyberGhost, TunnelBear, IPVanish, and Avast VPN.}

Surfshark has a plethora of awesome features, wide compatibility, and it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. On top of that, it works in China and boasts apps that all have wonderful interfaces. Finally, it’s capable of unlocking the geoblocks of almost any streaming platform, and it has excellent torrenting abilities.

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About the author 

Kris Soliongco

Kris has two passions in life: writing and tech. He’s been building computers since he was eight years old and is very knowledgeable about online security. The first time he was exposed to VPNs was in 2016. Since then, he’s used a plethora of services and has gained much experience.