VPNs have become a necessity for everyday PC and smartphone users across the world, which is why Surfshark VPN ranks among the best options you can opt in for today if you’re looking for an affordable service with security, stable download speeds and bonus features.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. In the past, VPNs were originally used to connect business networks together securely over the internet or allow you access to a business network from home.
Now days, a lot has changed as many people use VPNs to access region-restricted websites, shield their browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
We had an opportunity to test out Surfshark VPN for a couple of weeks using a free monthly subscription to see what it really has to offer, and whether the service holds up to its claim of being the best in the market.
Here’s our full review looking at pricing, features, security and reliability;
Surfshark does deliver on its promise with a few minor glitches here and there
Surfshark recently grew to more than 1,040 servers spread across 160 locations in 61 plus countries, and with it comes a list of features that you would definitely have you hooked but let’s get down to what makes it good.
1. Pricing and subscription
Compared to other VPN services that range from $3 to $6 per month, the $1.99 subscription comes with 24/7 support, unlimited device connections, and 15 Netflix libraries, which is quite an amazing offer when one looks at the market competition.
However, the monthly plan which is at $11.95 (UGX 46,060), is quite expensive when compared to some but the two-year plan is definitely an eye-catcher at $1.99, with the 12-month subscription billed at $5.99 (UGX 23,088)/month, which is $71.88 (UGX 277,057) per year.
Though a bit pricey when it comes to monthly subscription, the 2 year deal is worth checking out considering it offers a decent amount of features for that price.
2. Amazing features and support for devices
Surfshark does really hold its own when it comes to offering decent features for a low price. When it comes to accessing geo-restricted content on Netflix, its ability to deliver on all kinds of different servers including Amazon Video and Hulu too.
Multiple device support
It also supports a variety of operating systems and browsers with apps and support available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, Chrome and Firefox extensions are available too. We were able to test the service on Linux Mint and Windows and were impressed by its capabilities.
Apart from that, it also offers a website-unblocking Smart DNS system for game consoles, TVs and more. Xbox and Playstation consoles are fully supported, with FireTV, Apple TV and others included in the mix too.
Decent looking user interface and easy to use
Surfshark offers standard and pretty looking apps with clean user interfaces which make it easy to use on all devices. The Windows app primary dashboard features a connected/not connected indicator, as well as a list of your most recent country connections and a wide selection of countries you can connect to.
Apart from a good minimalist user interface, it has a Quick Connect button that will automatically connect you to the most optimal server based on your location.
When it comes to security, Surfshark does it well. It keeps users safe using a robust AES 256-bit encryption, supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, including an optional ChaCha encryption for Android users, two-factor authentication, and a kill switch to block internet access and prevent identity leaks if the connection ever fails.
The service also offers the Shadowsocks protocol for Windows, which is an open-source encrypted proxy feature that is very helpful when in bypassing strict internet censorship in certain regions.
Those that are worried about Ads, tracking and malware, shouldn’t be as Surfshark comes with their own blocker called CleanWeb that is not turned on by default and can be used whenever you want to surf in a clean cyberspace with no ads, trackers, malware and phishing attempts.
The Blind Search feature is one of their best features
Whitelister: The service too comes with whiterlister, a split-tunneling feature which has options for allowing apps and websites to connect outside of the VPN. The other attractive security features that really sold us include;
- NoBorders: a feature that is enabled by default and allows you to get past national firewalls in restrictive countries.
- Hack Lock: which monitors up to 5 or more email accounts to check whether your passwords are vulnerable, or if you need to make any crucial changes in case they’re listed in any potential hacks.
- Blind Search: a powerful & lightweight search tool that enables you to surf the web in complete privacy with no ads, no logs, and no trackers while displaying only purely organic results.
The company also accepts various forms of payment via credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, or cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple depending on your choice.
4. Reliability, performance and support
Generally, most of Surfsharks apps and different connection options whether UDP/TCP file or browser based extensions work most of the time without any serious issues though, we had some problems while working in Opera since its not supported, as we were using a Chrome extension that allows the team to run it on the browser which at times dropped connection.
Connection speeds and tests
All in all, performance-wise, the service was really great. Surfshark was able to maintain at least 40% speed on all connections while testing it out on different locations worldwide.
Attempted connections to United States, Germany and Netherlands were all excellent with experience varying depending on your location and ISP. Even with lower 1mbps connection speeds both upload and download, we were able to maintain a clear connection for several hours with breaking.
Their support team was of great help. They responded within minutes and ensured they offered as many solutions to our problems when possible. Nothing beats a service with a good customer care which is why many customers end up leaving even the best VPN services due to bad support.
We didn’t face any serious issues while using the service. However, judging from some online reviews, some users have complained about their VPN having connection issues, not working with Netflix in some instances and with others having problems with their apps.
None the less, as a VPN service, Surfshark is fast, reliable and secure. It’s also a perfect option for those who love streaming and using torrents. It also delivers on its promise when it comes to protecting the user’s privacy while surfing the web. Get an exclusive deal right here.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.