Good products that get the job done in the best possible ways do not have to be expensive. One of such product is Surfshark, a premium quality VPN service provider that helps keep users below the radar of censorship and government surveillance. This product is not only budget-friendly, but it has also been ranked as one of the best VPN in the market.
Surfshark has an affiliate program that pays people for referring customers to them. Because of this, many bloggers write to encourage purchases other than give honest reviews. In other cases, some people stumbled upon edge cases and felt the tool in its totality is bad. What am I saying here? Surfshark has generated a lot of noise around it that knowing the truth about it is a challenge.
Do not worry though. I got a colleague’s login details in other to test and give an honest Surfshark review.
Surfshark is a VPN service provider based on the British Virgin Islands. This VPN has been ranked one of the best out there. Interestingly, it is also cheap, especially if you are subscribing for a long-term. This app is intuitive to use and easy to set up. It also features a minimalistic interface that reduces your learning curve. This VPN has servers in over 50 countries and is available on popular platforms ranging from Android, Mac, Windows, and the other popular platforms and even as browser extensions.
**Official website: https://surfshark.com/
A lot of users had recommended this VPN for Internet users that want to leave no footprint online and keep their location private. Among other things, Surfshark also has a blog section where they write on the tips and tricks to help users access the Internet more securely and anonymously. Let take a look at the pros and cons of Surfshark according to the testing and research I did.
Pros and Cons of Surfshark
- Great Pricing
- Very fast Internet Speed
- Provide Some of the Best Security Features
- Large Server Network in Over 50 Countries
- Available on all major platforms
- Located on the British Virgin Islands
- Netflix and torrent-friendly
- Not compatible with BBC iPlayer UK
- Surfshark, not a transparent company
- Customer support is bad
My First Impression
Like I stated earlier, I am just a tester of this product. Let me discuss my first impression and how I felt during the installation and setup. The installer file is a 15 MB executable. I downloaded this file and tried installing it. During the installation, I got a prompt telling me I need to have the .NET Framework installed which I gave Surfshaark the permission to install.
During installation, it took a whole lot of time that I was already thinking there was a problem somewhere. After the successful installation of the .NET Framework, Surfshark resumed installation and finished. I then entered the login credential given to me by my colleague and I was presented with the main interface which I clicked connect. It took a while before it was successfully connected to a randomly selected server in Greece.
Now, looking at the interface, you need no one to tell you it is intuitive. On the left-hand side is a vertical navigation bar, while the right-hand side is the main page. Going through the tools was just like a breeze and I must confess, despite the delay during installation and delay in connecting, I am impressed with the first impression made by Surfshark. We won’t stop here though, let move over to the proper reviews of the advantages and downsides of Surfshark.
Advantages of Surfshark
The price of a product and the service it renders will either get people to buy it or shy away from it. Like I stated at the beginning of this Surfshark review, Surfshark is the most affordable VPN with premium quality. Some people even call it the low budget VPN service provider with great performance – and I tell you what, they are right. Paying for VPN service shouldn’t drill a hole in your pocket and with Surfshark, you are on track.
First of all, Surfshark so much has trust in their product that they gave it out for a 30 day’s free trial after which you are expected to subscribe for a plan or get cut-off from the service. The 30 day’s free trial is not enough for Surfshaark, they have an extra 30 days refund policy to refund back your subscription fund if you are not OK with the service rendered. This is proof that they have built a product they can trust and believe to heal the spot that pains.
Regarding the subscription fee, it is most expensive when you subscribe to their monthly plan. Surfshark monthly plan is billed at $11.95. However, if you go for their 12-month plan, you will be billed $71.88 – that is $5.99 per month. Surfshark is at its cheapest price when you subscribe for their 24-month plan which goes for $47.76 – that is $1.99 per month. Look at the cost of the 12-month and 24-month plan, you will see that the 12-month is way cheaper than the 12-month plan, keeping the 12-month plan out of the equation.
Very Fast Internet Speed
In a world where people and organizations are already seeing 3G as obsolete and only stick to 4G while they wait for the faster 5G, there is no room for snail speed internet connection. On their own, Internet Service Providers have tried to put the right infrastructures in place to give us a blazing fast download and uninterrupted streaming experience. However, if you use a VPN, just know that the speed at which you download will be reduced.
This is as a result of the encryption process that VPN providers do to your data in other to keep you anonymous and secure while you access the Internet. Having known that your Internet speed is supposed to decrease, how far does it decrease from your normal internet speed will tell if the VPN you are using is fast or slow. In such regards, Surfshark is fast, compared to many VPN, both free and paid.
Even though it is fast, the speed is very inconsistent. Aside from the inconsistency in speed, there is also one thing you should take note of. The speed of a VPN depends largely on the server you are connecting to. You cannot compare the speed of accessing the Internet through a server that is nearby with one that is 10000 miles away.
Provide Some of the Best Security Features
How secured is the VPN you are using will make the difference between being protected and being deceived. Surfshark provides you with one of the best security away from prying eyes out there. Let take a look at some features that make using Surfshark secured.
- CleanWeb: CleanWeb is a malware and ads blocker built into Surfshark to block advertisements, prevent any phishing attempt, and provide you protection against viruses, malware, and other threats on the Internet.
- Kill Switch: This feature if enabled will help drop your connection to the Internet if Surfshark connected to the Internet is dropped. This will help protect you from accidentally revealing your identity on web platforms you do not want to reveal your identity. For example, PayPal blocked people residing in some countries from accessing their services. Some of these users had to use a VPN to visit PayPal. If for any reason they forgot to launch their VPN, their true identity is exposed. This is what Kill Switch has been made to avoid.
- MultiHop: This Surfshark security feature helps you connect to the Internet via multiple countries to increase your privacy and security.
- No IP/DNS Leak: Some VPNs have been found to be erroneously leaking IP or DNSs, which is counterproductive. However, Surfshark has not been found wanting in such regard.
Large Server Network in Over 50 Countries
No doubt, the acceptability of a VPN is to a large extent tied to how large it networks of servers are and how distributed they are across countries. There is no point in subscribing to a VPN service that cannot provide me with servers in countries I would want to connect to the Internet through – and the truth is, you might never know until the need arises. That is why you need to subscribe to a VPN that is versatile in terms of their server footprint and reach.
Surfshark has one of the largest numbers of servers. This VPN has over 800 servers distributed strategically across the globe. They have servers in Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.
Available on all Major Platforms
Surfshark is available on all major platforms. This is to make sure you remain anonymous regardless of the device you use in connecting to the Internet. Interestingly, with one subscription on Surfshark, you can use the same account to remain anonymous and protected on all platforms. It is no longer news that most Internet users are multi-device users.
In fact, it has been stated that about 40 percent of Internet users use more than one device to complete an action online. With Surfshark having applications for use on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even browser extensions, you are good to good.
Located on the British Virgin Islands
Countries that enact data retention laws are a big headache for VPN service providers as they force the service providers to provide the data in other to keep surveillance over users of the VPN. However, even though the British Virgin Islands is a British Oversea Territory, it is independent in taking some decisions and as far as VPN is concern; It is a friendly jurisdiction.
Netflix and Torrent Friendly
VPN is popular among Internet users who want to access entertainment content available to some users in other countries. Websites like Netflix are discriminatory in terms of movies it allows Internet users access.
While users in the United States are allowed to watch some shows, those in the United Kingdom or even India will be denied access. However, with Surfshark, you can pretend to be surfing from the United States and have access to movies meant for viewers from there. It can also be used to provide security and protection when downloading from torrent sites.
Disadvantages of Surfshark
Cannot Access BBC iPlayer UK
While it was easy for it to bypass the strict check by Netflix, it failed woefully when tried on BBC iPlayer UK. I tried during research why it is so and the only reasonable reason I got from the Internet was a logical conclusion reached by one guy that Surfshark’s UK server must have been blacklisted.
Surfshark is not a Transparent Company
Even though it is a registered company and has not had any form of scandal to its name, Surfshark seems not to be a transparent company. This is not peculiar to them alone, though. Most VPN service providers are usually not transparent. Their contact information is not made public enough.
Customer Support Is Bad
This is not my personal opinion, though. This is what many users stated about the company. While their Live Chat feature is good, if you try contacting them via email support, it will take a long time before you get any response from them.
My Final Verdict
I strongly recommend Surfshark to anyone that wants to keep his/her identity private online. They are quite affordable and cheap. However, even though they are cheap, they provide services only the premium VPN service providers provide.