Low price but is it safe to use?
With VPNs, you tend to get what you pay for. So when I saw Surfshark prices so low (You can get it for just $2.21/month), I was a bit skeptical about his great reviews. To see if it lives up to these claims, I tested every aspect of Surfshark, including speeds, security features, unblocking capabilities, network reliability, and device compatibility..
There is still room for improvement in some areas, especially considering that the server network is very small compared to many other VPNs. I personally recommend ExpressVPN if you want a more reliable network and better global coverage.
Do you have a short time? Here are my main results
- Great for unblocking streaming sites. It was able to unblock more than 20 Netflix (including US), Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and 17 other platforms. See my full broadcast test results here.
- Fast enough for HD streaming and even gaming. I had consistently high speeds on all servers I tested, with only slight slowdowns over long distances. Check out my detailed speed tests here.
- Small but stable network. I was impressed that the servers I tested were all very reliable. I was impressed that the servers I tested were all very reliable, especially since the coverage is lower than other best VPNs. Watch my full analysis of the Surfshark server network here.
- Military-grade encryption and robust security features. Surfshark offers all the advanced security features I’ve come to expect from a best VPN and even has some features I’ve never seen before from any other VPN. Below is a breakdown of all the security features and how they work.
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested this refund policy and got all my money back after 4 days of contacting customer service. This is a great way to test out Surfshark for free to see if you like it.
Note: This product is not currently available on our website
Surfshark Features – Updated December 2021
British Virgin Islands)
24/7 live chat support
Streaming – Unlocks over 20 streaming platforms including US/UK Netflix and Disney+
Surfshark did really well when I tested its ability to bypass geo-restrictions. I had almost no problems unblocking US/UK Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and others. Surfshark even managed to bypass the strong geoblocking known as Amazon Prime Video in 2 of the regions we tested. Although some platforms required me to switch servers multiple times to find one that worked, it didn’t take me long to find one. The only sites I never had access to were Sling TV, Sky TV, and France TV.
After testing 50+ server locations, I was able to unblock the following streaming sites:
|Netflix||Disney +||hollow||Amazon Prime Video|
|HBO Max & Go||BBC iPlayer||dazn||hot star|
|peacock tv||Crunchy Roll||Fubo TV||YouTube TV|
|YLE Arena||yall||AbemaTV||ESPN & ESPN +|
|ITV Hub||every 4||stan||desperately want|
Unblocked Netflix US/UK (and other local libraries)
All 24 US server locations (and all three in the UK) worked with Netflix. Since Netflix is constantly blocking VPN connections, it is common for some servers to stop working eventually. Having a lot (which actually works!) is really useful – even if the server goes down, you can easily find another running server.
I can even watch US Netflix while connected to some EU servers, which I found a bit strange. I called customer service to ask why this happened – they told me it’s a secret, but it’s completely secure and gives you faster speeds to watch US Netflix because you can use servers closer to your actual location.
This means that even if an EU server can’t access a particular Netflix library, Surfshark will automatically direct you to US Netflix (which has the most shows anyway) so you can start streaming. I thought this was more convenient than showing a Netflix error message and having to spend time searching for a different working server. Just to be sure, I ran tests on Czech and Danish servers that were lagging behind US Netflix – I had no leaks (so it’s safe) and my speeds were faster than when I connected to the US servers (because they are closer to my location in Belgium). It ended up being a win-win situation. Apart from Netflix in the US and UK, Surfshark has also reliably unblocked other popular libraries, including Australia, Canada, Japan and France:
|Surfshark is not banned?||High speeds for HD streaming?||slow?|
I also had access to 12 other local libraries (connected to servers listed in parentheses): Belgium, Brazil, Italy (Rome), Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain (Madrid), Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Unblock Disney +
I haven’t had any issues unblocking Disney+ with Surfshark. I can access it using 10 different US servers including Latham, Buffalo, New York and Seattle. The video took a while to load, but after I updated the browser, it was working fine.
It’s worth noting that no matter what server location I choose, Disney+ usually takes me to the US library. Similar to what happened with Netflix during my tests, Surfshark will take you to the US Disney+ library if you can’t unblock it in another region, so you’ll always be able to watch it. Disney+ doesn’t vary much across regions, and the US Library is one of the largest, so I was totally fine with this.
It also unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Kodi, and more
It was easy to unblock Hulu. I had to try two different servers before finding one that would work, but it only took me a few minutes. The US Latham and Manassas servers kept getting stuck in loading screens, but the Buffalo server (my third choice) worked without a problem.
If you want a VPN that unblocks Hulu continuously and reliably without problems, ExpressVPN is my best choice. I’ve tested a lot of VPNs and even the best VPNs struggle with Amazon Prime Video. So I wasn’t surprised by that Surfshark cannot unblock Amazon Prime US. Out of 50 servers I tested, only 4 were able to unblock APV: Canadian servers (Toronto and Vancouver) as well as French (Paris and Marseille).
While my Prime Video libraries aren’t much, I was impressed that Surfshark was able to break through Prime’s strong geo-restrictions.
I can also watch on-demand geo-restricted content on Kodi’s iPlayer add-on With UK servers I tested (London and Manchester). Surfshark has also worked with other media players based on P2P technology, such as Popcorn Time and VLC.
I had almost no problems unblocking ESPN+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4 with Surfshark, but some streaming services were hard to come by. Including Hotstar, YouTube TV and DAZN. I watched Hotstar on all three Indian servers and it was almost unwatchable – my speeds were too slow to watch in HD and my video kept buffering every 15 seconds. YouTube TV detected that I was using a VPN with about half of the US server locations, but I was able to unblock it using the Charlotte, Latham and Kansas City options. Finally, I was finally able to unblock DAZN, but only on Canadian servers.
Speeds – Fast and consistent speeds for all types of online activities
Surfshark has fast and stable speeds. When I tested the speeds, I tested 3 different things:
- Download speed It is how quickly you receive data from the server to which you are connected: loading web pages, live broadcasting, etc. It is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
- upload speed It is how quickly data is sent to the server: posting on social media, video calling, sending emails, etc. It is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
- ping It is the time the data takes to travel. It is measured in milliseconds (milliseconds). The lower the ping, the more responsive your connection will be, which is important for online gaming, for example.
I’ve tested over 25 server locations and haven’t experienced much slowdown, even on servers more than 15,000 km from my location in Belgium.
First, I tested my base speed without a VPN connection as a basis for comparison.
No VPN connection (Brussels, Belgium):
I contacted Surfshark, which chose the IKEv2 security protocol automatically because it was the fastest choice based on my network settings. Then I started these speed tests on my Windows 10 laptop.
Using the “fastest server” option, I connected to a server in Brussels, Belgium and experienced almost no slowdown at all.
|Download (Mbps):||43.07 (down 4.7%)|
|Download (Mbps):||3.58 (6% decrease)|
Then I tried the “Nearest Country” option and was connected to a server in Luxembourg. Again, there was almost no slowdown. It’s normal for a VPN to slow you down by 10-20%, so the 4.7% drop was unnoticeable. In fact, I had a slightly faster speed than the “fastest server”.
|Download (Mbps):||44.68 (1.2%…|