Surfshark VPN Review 2023: Pricing, Speed, Locations & Safety

Last Updated:Wednesday, November 15, 2023

If you are in the market for a new VPN, then this Surfshark VPN review will tell you everything you need to know about this tool’s cybersecurity, private browsing and unlimited web access. We will also review the pros and cons of Surfshark and examine the other online reviews that are both positive and negative.

So, without further ado, let’s immediately go to what truly matters!


Surfshark VPN review 2023: is Surfshark a good VPN?

Is Surfshark VPN good? Yes, it is very good, if not an excellent virtual private network app. In the rest of this Surfshark review, we’ll go over its security features and protocols, look at its server locations and features, and discuss benefits and drawbacks.

Surfshark is among the best VPN service providers, but just in case you want to learn a little more about Surfshark alternatives, why don’t you go ahead and read all about those first?


Surfshark pricing plans

First of all, how much does Surfshark cost? Let’s first review Surfshark prices:

Surfshark plans


Check current Surfshark price

Surfshark monthly plan 

$12.95 per month


Surfshark annual plan

$3.99 per month billed annually


Surfshark two-year plan

$2.05 per month billed every 2 years


Surfshark One monthly plan

$14.44 per month


Surfshark One annual plan

$5.48 per month billed annually


Surfshark One two-year plan

$3.48 per month billed every 2 years


You can also use many different forms of payment with Surfshark, including a regular credit card as well as PayPal, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay. As for Surfshark crypto payments like Surfshark Bitcoin, this is also possible.

There is also a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

How much is Surfshark VPN for nonprofits?

There does not seem to be a special Surfshark VPN price for nonprofits or other charitable organizations. However, the standard Surfshark VPN cost should not be too prohibitive for nonprofits.

Are there any Surfshark coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?

We did the research, and it seems there are no Surfshark coupon codes or discount vouchers at this time.

Surfshark free vs paid: what’s the difference?

There is a 7-day free trial, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, as for a fully free Surfshark VPN version, there does not seem to be one. Although, for mobile apps, it could be a free download with in-app purchases. Do keep in mind that no free VPN is anywhere near as good as even the most basic paid VPN plan.


Surfshark overview: what is Surfshark VPN & what does Surfshark do?

Here is what the Surfshark platform actually does in brief:

  • Blocks pop-ups and ads

  • Prevents malware and viruses

  • Hides your true IP from your ISP

  • Reroutes your IP to servers in other countries

  • Avoids geo-restricted content 

  • Bypasses censorship

  • Splits your web traffic for whitelisted sites

  • Allows for better price comparison shopping

  • Lets you stream or game safely and securely

  • Protects you when you use public wi-fi

  • Allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices

  • Does not log your data or browsing activity

  • Providers 2-factor authentication

  • Has privacy DNS leak protection

  • Camouflages or obfuscates the fact that you use a VPN

  • Pauses your internet if your VPN connection drops


Is Surfshark safe to use?

It is time for this review to answer the age-old question, is Surfshark VPN safe? So below, we’ll discuss several aspects of Surfshark safety, including which protocols it uses, the encryption, and various data leak tests.

Does Surfshark keep logs?

Regarding the question of whether Surfshark logs your online activity, the quick answer is definitely not. A no-logs policy refers to a VPN service that is committed to not tracking your online activity, not storing any of the data your web browsing generates, and surely not sharing or selling their personal information.

As one of the best VPNs, Surfshark’s no-logs policy means that your ISP will have zero access to your web traffic information or VPN provider’s connection details. This goes for things like masking your static IP address, wiping your browser history, or concealing your bandwidth usage. 

The Surfshark app only knows the bare minimum of your data just to keep your internet access going smoothly while remaining wrapped in tight cybersecurity.

Surfshark location: where is Surfshark based?

Let’s discuss the Surfshark headquarters because it does matter where Surfshark is located, as well as where all VPN providers are located in the world. 

The main Surfshark country for hosting its operations is not the same as where it is registered. The headquarters are registered in the British Virgin Islands or BVI. The reason for this is that many countries in the world have data retention laws, meaning it would be impossible to run Surfsharks’ no-logs policy in those countries.

The British Virgin Islands do not have such strict data retention laws, similar to other countries like Panama which hosts the headquarters of competing VPN service provider, NordVPN. 

It should be noted once more, however, that having your HQ registered in one country does not mean all your operations are based there, as Surfshark has operations bases mainly in the Netherlands, but also in the Philippines, the UK, Cypress and Lithuania.

Surfshark DNS leak test

DNS leak tests are a big part of VPN services. DNS stands for domain name system. This is a computer protocol that works as a naming system for computers and internet protocol networks. What DNS does is it classifies the names of these devices in a hierarchical order, and this accomplishes fast speeds when browsing.

The issue is that whenever you want to visit a website, your computer will send a query to a server to request an IP address, and in this process, you are at risk of having your VPN provider include your DNS request, and this can expose your real IP and be a problem for the functionality of your VPN, leading to issues like a potential data breach. 

Surfshark uses a private DNS on each server to protect you from this possibility. They also employ an IPv4 stack for added cybersecurity. Still, you can easily confirm whether or not you have a DNS leak by performing a DNS leak test either through a tool from Surfshark’s website or using a third-party DNS leak test tool. 

Surfshark WebRTC leak test

Similar to DNS leak tests, there are also WebRTC leak tests you should be familiar with.

WebRTC stands for real-time web communication and is an open-source program that lets computers, apps, mobile apps, and web browsers talk to one another and share information using APIs or application program interfaces. 

WebRTC is what makes the browsing experience feel human on the surface, even though there is a lot of technical computation happening behind the screen.

Here’s what goes on. Your locale is not unique, and therefore you cannot be identified using it, while the public IP you use to access the internet is unique, and you can be identified. This often happens when one tries to establish an audio or video connection to a server or another computer. A WebRTC leak can expose your true IP and reveal your data. 

While Surfshark claims to have resources about tools to perform a WebRTC leak test, this link appears to return you to the homepage simply. However, there are external WebRTC leak test sites you can visit.  

Independent audits

An independent audit is when a cybersecurity company like Surfshark VPN hires an outside professional accounting or audit firm to test exactly how secure their system really is. It is a way to trust the data without wondering if it is merely a part of their advertising and marketing to boast how robust and secure the VPN is. 

Surfshark does indeed hire independent auditors to be done routinely to its system, as do alternatives to Surfshark like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. The German firm Cure53 performed Surfshark’s audit. They have more than a decade in the cyber security audit game. They last tested Surfshark in around 2021 and before that in 2018. Here are some notes from Cure53:

“In Cure53’s expert opinion, this project confirmed a very solid security premise at Surfshark. The overall outcome should be regarded as good and the testing team has no doubt that the Surfshark maintainers have a clear understanding of security and privacy challenges associated with being a VPN provider.” Cure53 then concluded with, “Despite extensive searches and exemplary coverage toward a plethora of possible risks, no serious issues were detected.”


Surfshark speeds: Our Surfshark test

Time to discuss Surfshark speed tests. There are many ways to do speed tests and get test results that demonstrate the potential velocity of your browsing data. Everyone’s speed test results may differ depending on your internet speed, distance to servers, hardware, encryption, protocols, and even the time of day.

To do a test, run a speed test with the VPN on, then with the VPN off for comparison. Common Surfshark speed test results for servers in New York City in the USA, for example, are a download speed of over 80 Mbps and an upload speed of roughly 65 Mbps, with around 250 ms pings. Of course, to state again, everyone’s speed test results will differ slightly.


Surfshark features list 

The main features and capabilities of Surfshark are:

  • Surfshark VPN locations

  • Surfshark unlimited devices

  • Surfshark streaming capabilities

  • Surfshark gaming capabilities

  • Surfshark torrenting capabilities

  • Surfshark tunneling protocols

  • CleanWeb ad blocker

  • Kill switch

  • Autoconnect or quick connect

  • MultipHop or double VPN

  • Bypasser or split tunneling

  • Camouflage mode or obfuscation

  • NoBorders mode

  • IP rotator

  • Cookie pop up blocker

  • 2FA or two-factor authentication

  • Surfshark Antivirus

  • Surfshark app options

Surfshark VPN locations

Time to get into the Surfshark countries, meaning a full description of the Surfshark VPN server list that offers VPN connections. 

Remember, a VPN app like Surfshark, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, or NordVPN is only as good as its servers are, meaning how many VPN servers they offer and in how many different countries. 

The Surfshark locations are in over 100 different countries, and Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in these countries. These are all 100% RAM-only servers, meaning random access memory, and such RAM-only servers are the best. This is standard for any top VPN.

Some server countries include Canada with Surfshark servers in at least three different cities, and the United States, with several locations everywhere from New York to San Francisco. 

And while there are no servers in China, there are in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, along with a bunch in Australia. Then there are loads of server locations throughout Europe, from Austria to the United Kingdom. 

Surfshark unlimited devices

It is unlikely you have just one single device that connects to the internet. Likely you have at least a computer or laptop along with a mobile device. Then again, perhaps you are a household where everyone in your family has a device or two. Does Surfshark VPN cover as big of a number of devices you need?

Yes. Surfshark is good for unlimited devices. Desktops, laptops, iPads, iPhones ,or mobile devices, it doesn't matter how many of them you have, Surfshark will work simultaneously on all of them. 

Can you say the same about other VPN providers? Not exactly. According to Surfshark VPN’s pricing page, ExpressVPN is only suitable for five devices, while CyberGhost is good for seven devices, and Private Internet Access is suitable for five devices. 

Surfshark streaming capabilities

Now that streaming TV and movies on platforms like Netflix is the most common way to consume this kind of media, you need a VPN like Surfshark to enhance the streaming experience without being censored or having content geo-restricted.

Whether it is Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, DAZN,  or other streaming services, you can rely on Surfshark. You can view content in 4K HD with minimal latency and no buffering. This is a must-have for smart TV users. 

Surfshark gaming capabilities

Along with streaming, gaming is also done via the internet much more nowadays than the old method of buying a physical copy of a game and playing it on your local machine. Everything is connected, which makes gaming much more fun to play with people in other locations, as well as for the convenience of getting regular fixes and upgrades to the game.

Still, when you play a game online, your IP is at risk, as well as when you chat about games in Discords. Among other risks, you could be the victim of a DDoS attack when you game online without VPN protection. Surfshark gets you that protection without slowing down your gameplay and causing buffering. 

Surfshark torrenting capabilities

Torrenting used to be a big deal, and it still has not gone away completely. Although with the rise of streaming, it is a bit less common nowadays. Torrents are media files that can be shared online via P2P protocols, meaning directly from one computer to another.

Surfshark does not discuss torrenting explicitly on its site, but it is a great VPN for torrenting nonetheless. Very common Surfshark server torrent speeds are somewhere around 3 MB per second for download speed and 2 MB per second upload speed.

Surfshark tunneling protocols

A tunnel protocol in VPN is the method by which data moves. Think of it literally, VPNs create a private tunnel that goes from your computer or mobile device to the internet. The tunnel provides protection from data monitoring, data theft, ads, malware, hackers, governments or spying corporations. There are several very common tunneling protocols, and Surfshark leverages three of the best ones. 


Beginning with the most lightweight protocol we have WireGuard. It is so light that it was written with fewer than 4,000 lines of code. This gives you pretty solid data security without slowing down your speeds very much at all. It also has a very minimal attack surface, meaning there are very few opportunities for a data breach. It is written in Linux but also applicable to Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and more.

IKEv2 - the fastest choice for mobile

The next tunneling protocol used by Surfshark VPN is IKEv2. This stands for Internet Key Exchange version 2. It is, like WireGuard, a very speedy protocol, but perhaps with even more added security. With IKEv2, switching networks on demand is a snap. It is also very secure for mobile devices above all else. IKEv2 also works closely with IPxedc data transmission for added safety. 


Finally we come to the last, but certainly not least, Surfshark VPN protocol, which is OpenVPN. This is open source as the name suggests, and therefore benefits from many public users seeking to improve the code behind this protocol. It might be the bulkiest of the three protocols, meaning your surfing speeds will take the most delays, however not by so much that you will notice it. OpenVPN is crucial if you set up your VPN with routers. This is another way to secure unlimited simultaneous connections for your VPN when you set it up directly on your router.

OpenVPN also makes use of both TCP and UDP. TCP, or transmission control protocol, is best used for regular internet browsing information. UDP, or user datagram protocol, is more popular to use with gaming and streaming.

More Surfshark features

Aside from the major Surfshark capabilities listed above, there are many more specific Surfshark tools and features we want to go over a bit more briefly here. 

CleanWeb ad blocker

What is the clean web? It’s another term for the surface web, or all the websites on the internet that you can find using a regular search engine like Google. They are indexed websites, or it is the indexable internet. Surfshark offers an ad blocker for the clean web, called CleanWeb. It protects you from ads and malware, stopping them from loading up. It also protects you from phishing scams and other unwanted trackers.

Kill switch

Sometimes it happens, your VPN protection blinks off for a brief period of time. How do you know the instant it occurs so you can stop what you're doing in case you need to remain private? A VPN kill switch does this for you. If your VPN drops its connection, the kill switch will temporarily cut off your internet so that you are not exposed during this brief mishap. With Surfshark, the VPN kill switch is an option you can turn on and off easily in the setup, though it's recommended you keep it on.

Autoconnect or quick connect

Who wants to waste time choosing a server and clicking all the buttons to get yourself connected each time you want to log on to the internet? Nobody. Surfshark has an easy peasy autoconnect option and it connects you automatically each time to the best VPN server for instant connections and fast but secure web browsing. This works like quick connect, saving you the trouble of having to select a preferred server country.

MultipHop or double VPN

MultiHop is the name that Surfshark VPN gives to the great VPN feature also sometimes called double VPNs. It’s the power of a VPN server protection times two. First, your IP gets routed through one server from another location, then it hops a second time to another server in another country. This is double-layer security, and if either of the servers screws up, you are still protected by the second one. All the best VPNs have some sort of double VPN or MultiHop functionality.

Bypasser or split tunneling

Sometimes, you have some websites that you want to access as yourself with your real IP and without a VPN. A whitelister tool can put these sites on a white list. Surfshark then has a bypasser feature, sometimes called the split tunnel VPN tool. It allows most of your traffic through the standard protected VPN tunnel, but those websites marked off by the whitelister can go through a non-VPN tunnel for faster speeds as well as to maintain the true identification necessary for those sites. There is also a route-via tool to make sure some sites are always routed via the VPN.

Camouflage mode or obfuscation

Some websites want to discriminate against people using a VPN, so if they see you coming through a Surfshark tunnel, they may block your access. Camouflage mode is the same as having obfuscated servers. Not only do these hide your data, but they then go and conceal the fact that you are hiding your data through a VPN, so you appear to come from a normal unprotected server. Camouflage and obfuscation are crucial elements of a VPN toolkit.

NoBorders mode

You’d think the internet was a land of virtual free movement unhindered by borders, but alas, this is not the case, as many servers are dependent on laws in their countries, and many websites must adhere to rules based on the countries the company is based in. Surfshark has a NoBorders mode. This tool called NoBorders mode basically adheres to the principle purpose of a VPN, to make it look like you are in any country you want so as to access other countries’ content or bypass your own country’s rules.

IP rotator

Just in case you do not want to stay with the same VPN-provided IP for too long, Surfshark has an IP rotator tool. It can change the location of your IP automatically without dropping the VPN protection or let alone disconnecting you from the internet. To know at any point if your IP has been automatically changed, you can use an IP address detection tool.

Cookie pop-up blocker

Pop ups are the bane of many website visiting experiences. They disrupt the flow of surfing and bombard you with ads and annoying messaging. The worst among these are probably cookie pop ups, or even prompts to accept that a website you want to check out will install cookies with the aim of giving you more personalized and relevant pop up ads. Surfshark puts a halt to that annoying practice, preventing pop ups to ask you to accept cookies. This works great with an ad blocker, a data breach alert and a malware stopper.

2FA or two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is when you need a second device to log onto a private account with a website or platform, so that anybody with your login information and password will still not be able to access your accounts. Surfshark has a tool to enable 2FA on your logins. Every time you attempt to login somewhere, you’ll receive a temporary code to your email which will give you that second layer of security.

Surfshark Antivirus

The antivirus scene is very much related to the VPN worlds but they are not exactly the same. Surfshark has another product called Surfshark Antivirus which works sort of like an add-on with Surfshark VPN and both are available in the Surfshark One package. It is easy to set up and use and gets you highly advanced malware and virus protection.

Surfshark app options

Surfshark VPN needs to function on a variety of apps and operating systems if it is going to be the number one VPN for all users for all purposes. Aside from setting it up on your router, these are more options for apps and devices.

Surfshark for macOS 

Whether you use macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Monterey, or others, Surfshark is the VPN for all things Apple. You get unlimited data, fast speeds, and no logs, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial.

Surfshark for Windows

For Windows app users who love gaming, coding, and streaming, Surfshark offers 10 GB servers with military-grade encryption so you can enjoy your content safely and with no delays or latencies and unlimited bandwidth.

Surfshark for Linux

Surfshark for Linux and Ubuntu also offers unlimited bandwidth and data on unlimited devices. It has that speedy 10 GB server action and also a great graphical user interface. Installation is a bit tricky, though.

Surfshark for iOS

Surfshark for iPhones, Surfshark for iPads, and all other iOS devices, you are good to go. Get past app blocks on public wi-fi. There is a native iOS support widget. And it works excellently on iOS 13.0 or higher.

Surfshark for Android

If you are an Android device user, Surfshark is ideal because of its VPN with .APK, which is the Android package file extension. Like all Surfshark products, this also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and it's great for secure online payments.

Surfshark for Chrome

Surfshark has a VPN proxy extension for the Google Chrome web browser. It hides your IP, gets you content from any geo-location, and uses the cookie pop-up blocker to give you a clean surfing experience.

Surfshark for Firefox

There is also a VPN proxy for a Mozilla Firefox browser extension that does all the great things the regular device VPN will do. You can stream without throttling or worrying your data is being spied on or trafficked. 

Surfshark for Edge

The Microsoft Edge smart TV application can run on Windows, macOS, or Linux, and Surfshark covers all these systems for Edge users. You can spoof your location, view content from anywhere in the world and feel free of data breaches.

Surfshark for Amazon Fire TV

Surfshark is now also compatible with FireSticks and Fire TV from Amazon. This is great for smart TV users who stick with Amazon’s devices. It works well with all second generation and newer Fire TV sticks.


Surfshark pros and cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Surfshark:

Surfshark benefits

The first Surfshark advantage is that the tech is top-notch. The encryption is military-grade, the dashboard is intuitive, the speeds are very fast, and the various features are simple to use.

There is a great server list for getting you loads of secure VPN connections from almost any country.

Some of the specific features work very well, like split tunneling, MultiHop, and the kill switch.

The price is a solid pro, as is the free trial and money-back guarantee.

Surfshark drawbacks

There are very few disadvantages to Surfshark in comparison with ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and others. 

One of the cons, however, is that there is no free version and that sometimes the competitors have better promotions.

The customer support is OK, but it could be a bit better with some better telephone options.

Surfshark complaints & praise (Surfshark reviews from real customers)

Positive online reviews of Surfshark talk about the great upload and download speeds, especially for P2P transfers like torrenting. People also really praise Surfshark on mobile devices like iPhones and Android phones. 

Users are very happy that they can pay for their Surfshark subscription with PayPal or cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, some negative Surfshark reviews bemoan the lack of servers in countries like China, although users in China do not complain about being able to bypass China's internet censors.

Another common complaint from negative online reviews about Surfshark is that setting up the VPN on a router requires a bit of time and effort, but not much.

If this is a deal-breaker for you, we suggest exploring alternatives, such as Nord VPN. However, before making your final decision, make sure you read our detailed Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.

Review of Surfshark customer service

Customer support is always a huge deal when it comes to comparing SaaS, for example, when comparing Surfshark to NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or CyberGhost. 

Surfshark has 24/7 customer support. This is live chat support. It also includes email customer service. Finally, you can also talk with a Surfshark expert.

There is also a nifty Surfshark help center with loads of resources. It is full of useful articles in a nice FAQ and also includes various step-by-step tutorials for things like installation or turning on some of the VPN’s tools or modes. 


Is Surfshark worth it? Our conclusion/Final points/Key takeaways

As we wrap up this in-depth Surfshark VPN review, we’d like to revisit that pressing question, is Surfshark worth it? The answer is yes, especially because it is so affordable and easy to use. 

Of course, Surfshark isn't the only player in the game, and there are many solid Surfshark alternatives, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, CyberGhost, and more. Check those out as well if you like.

Well, that is all. The only thing left to do is bestow upon Surfshark VPN a final rating.

Our final Surfshark rating

We give Surfshark VPN a 4.75 out of 5. Not too shabby!


Surfshark FAQs

Does Surfshark sell data?

Surfshark does not sell your data. The only reasons Surfshark collects any data are to improve the VPN service, to improve their product, and to communicate with users who need customer support. For commercial reasons, they do not seek to profit from your personal data.

Is Surfshark legit?

Surfshark is a very legitimate product made by a very reputable company. The developer and company called Surfshark has been around since 2018, and it is a subsidiary of Nord Security, which also makes rival VPN provider NordVPN. The company is located in the Netherlands.

Has there been a Surfshark scandal or hacking in the past?

As far as standard internet searching goes, it appears that Surfshark has never once been the victim of a scandal or hacking event at any time in the past since the product was rolled out in 2018. Surfshark has a great record of being hacker-free and scandal-free.