Surfshark VPN 5 Secrets revealed… – Protocop Surfshark
A feature-packed VPN for a very eye-catching price
The network has 1,700 servers distributed across an impressive 160 places in 63 nations.
There are Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux apps, Chrome and Firefox extensions, and a website-unblocking Smart DNS system for video games consoles, TVs and more.
Whatever you’re utilizing, there’s no requirement to worry about annoying ‘synchronised connection’ limitations – you can set up and run Surfshark on as lots of gadgets as you like.
The service is strong on the technical fundamentals, consisting of strong AES-256-GCM encryption, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 support, Shadowsocks to help you bypass VPN blocking, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch to secure you if your connection drops.
Wish to attempt Surfshark? Have a look at the website here
There’s genuine depth here. Android apps can translucent a lot of VPNs by requesting your physical location, but not Surfshark – a GPS Spoofing feature enables it to return the collaborates of your chosen VPN server.
Oh, there’s likewise URL and advertisement stopping, P2P assistance on most servers, VPN chaining (use 2 servers for one hop), split tunneling, the company’s own zero-knowledge DNS servers, and 24/7 assistance via e-mail and live chat if anything goes wrong. Protocop Surfshark.
App-related enhancements include WireGuard support on the mobile apps, an ‘automatic protocol’ alternative if you ‘d prefer the app to choose, and various small however welcome connection-related tweaks (you can now set up a manual iOS connection from within the app, for instance.).
Editor’s Note: What right away follows is a rundown of the most recent changes and additions considering that this evaluation was last updated.
Server coverage altered. Surfshark now has over 1700 servers in 63 nations. (June 2020).
Surfshark upgraded its facilities to 100% RAM-only servers. (July 2020).
Strategies and prices
As you ‘d discover from our dedicated Surfshark price and deals guide, the service’s monthly plan is more expensive than some, at $12.95, and spending for a six months up-front still just cuts the expense to $6.49. But the 12 months +12 months totally free strategy appears like a genuine deal at $2.49, among the lowest rates we’ve seen for a full-featured VPN.
If you worry about registering for long-term strategies, then so do we, but when the cost is this low, it does not really matter. Just take a look at the figures: register for what’s efficiently two years at Surfshark and you’ll pay $59.76 up-front; choose just one year at NordVPN and you’ll spend $83.88. Even if you’re barely utilizing Surfshark after a year, it still appears like fair worth to us. Protocop Surfshark.
A seven-day free trial for Android, iOS and Mac provides you a long time to sample the service for yourself. We ‘d like something longer, with Windows assistance, too, but it appears unreasonable to grumble when lots of service providers have no trials at all.
Surfshark even delivers more than you ‘d anticipate with its variety of payment methods, with assistance for charge card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, Amazon Pay, Google Pay and Ali Pay. Protocop Surfshark.
However if, after all this, you register and find the company isn’t for you, no problem – you’re safeguarded by a 30-day money-back assurance.
Personal privacy and logging
Surfshark’s personal privacy features begin with the VPN basics: safe and secure procedures (OpenVPN UDP and TCP, WireGuard, IKEv2), AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch to block web access and avoid identity leakages if the connection ever fails.
That’s simply the start. Surfshark has its own private DNS on each server to lower the chance of others spying on your activities. And the capability to utilize a double VPN hop (connect to Paris, say, then leave the Surfshark network in New York) makes it a lot more difficult for anyone to follow your tracks. Protocop Surfshark.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, and the business points out that this means it’s not required to keep logs of user actions.
A FAQ page on logging spells this out, specifying that Surfshark doesn’t collect: ‘Incoming and outbound IP addresses; Searching, downloading or acquiring history; VPN servers you utilize; Used bandwidth; Session information; Connection timestamps; Network traffic.’.
The only data the company keeps about you is your e-mail address and billing information, the FAQ explains, and some confidential, aggregated stats: performance info, frequency of use of the system, not successful connections, crash reports.
We would like more details on these stats, how they’re gathered and what the company sees, however in general, there’s nothing too surprising here. (If you’re dissatisfied, you can limit this data collection a little, for instance by disabling crash reporting in your app Settings box.).
The Surfshark website boasts that it has passed a security audit by the German Security business Cure53. And that’s true, however this was limited to an examination of Surfshark’s web browser extensions, so it can’t inform us anything about logging or other back end procedures. And as it occurred in November 2018, we’re not sure that it tells us anything helpful about the service as it is today.
Still, it’s good to see that Cure53 found just 2 fairly small problems, and concluded that it was ‘extremely pleased to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN extensions, particularly offered the common vulnerability of similar products to personal privacy concerns.’. Protocop Surfshark.
Surfshark´s Windows app
Beginning with Surfshark was simple. We downloaded and installed the Windows client, chose the signup alternative, and were even able to select a plan and hand over payment from within the installer, no third-party browser needed.
The Windows customer user interface is more versatile than most, adjusting like a responsive website as you resize its window. At its smallest, the client looks similar to any other VPN app, with a Connect button, status info and a list of areas. Broaden or make the most of the client window and it reformats to display new panels and options.
Getting linked is easy. Tap the button, desktop notices tell you when Surfshark connects and disconnects, and the user interface updates to show your brand-new virtual area and IP address. Protocop Surfshark.
The Place list doesn’t display latencies, however server load icons highlight your best (and worst) choices, and a Favorites system enables managing frequently used servers.
A Static IP list makes it possible for linking to locations in Germany, Japan, Singapore, UK and United States, and getting a fixed IP from each one (that is, your IP will be from the country you choose, however it’ll be the same each time you connect.) This is very useful if you need to connect to an IP-restricted network while utilizing the VPN. Protocop Surfshark.
Clicking the Surfshark system tray icon shows a mini app window, rather than the normal basic menu, enabling you to connect to the fastest server, choose one of your most recent locations, or open the complete app user interface.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb function obstructs advertisements, trackers and malicious links. We’re not sure how reliable this might be, however, as in our fast tests we discovered expert tools like uBlock Origin obstructed more ads and provided more control.
A NoBorders mode intends to help you get online in countries where VPNs are frequently obstructed. Surfshark does not discuss in detail what this does, but presumably it attempts to obfuscate your traffic in some way.
Surfshark – Mobile Apps
Mobile VPN apps are frequently even more fundamental than their desktop cousins, but Surfshark’s Android offering is surprising comparable. There’s more or the very same user interface, the very same place list, multihop connections, CleanWeb’s ad and malware stopping, and split tunneling for apps and sites with the Whitelister. Protocop Surfshark.
There’s the same WireGuard, OpenVPN/ IVEv2 and Shadowsocks protocol assistance, and a kill switch to secure you if the VPN drops.
The Android app includes additional features, too: an option of encryption techniques (AES-256-GGM or Chacha20Poly1305, perhaps giving you much better speeds), a ‘use little packages’ choice to enhance efficiency with some mobile networks, and the capability to immediately link to the VPN when you gain access to mobile, secured or unsecured networks.
And if any of this does not work as it should, you can send out bug reports, raise or search tickets from within the app (no requirement to open your web browser and lose time searching for the ideal area of the support website.).
It’s much the same story with Surfshark’s iOS app: the look and feel are very comparable, and you still get the kill switch, the option of procedures (OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard) and more. It’s an impressive setup, specifically for the iOS end of the range, which is typically short-changed for features in comparison to other platforms. Protocop Surfshark.
Surfshark’s support for OpenVPN consists of supplying downloads of setup files for each of its servers. That’s excellent news if you’re intending on by hand setting the service up on other platforms which can utilize them, and it likewise enabled us to use our automatic performance testing software application to check out a sample of Surfshark’s areas.
There was good news all round. We had no connection failures, connection times were faster than typical, and all servers returned IP addresses for their marketed areas.
We changed to a UK data center to see simply how quick Surfshark might go, but OpenVPN outcomes were frustrating at an average 70-90Mbps.
We ran the same performance tests from a United States area. Speeds were a little greater (and more constant) at 100-105Mbps, but that was half the 200-220Mbps reached by ExpressVPN in its last review.
Surfshark wasn’t done yet, though. We run our speed tests utilizing OpenVPN as basic since it’s the most frequently supported protocol, however Surfshark also now supports the next-generation WireGuard. Would that make a difference? Protocop Surfshark.
One word: yes. Oh, yes. Changing to WireGuard roughly doubled our UK speed to a typical 150Mbps, and we reached more than 200Mbps from some US locations. That’s not the fastest we have actually seen – NordVPN’s brand-new NordLynx procedure routinely beat 300Mbps in our last review – however it’s a strong result that completes well with numerous big names.
Netflix & Surfshark – A Dreamteam!
If you’re tired of VPNs who slightly hint about their unblocking capabilities, but never ever make any real dedication, you’ll love Surfshark. Not just does the business say up-front that it unclogs Netflix, it likewise names the 15 nations where it currently works (US, France, Japan, Italy, Australia and more.).
This wasn’t simply overblown marketing-oriented confidence, either. We were able to gain access to US Netflix from all 5 of our test locations.
YouTube has only the most basic of geographic securities, so we weren’t amazed to discover that Surfshark likewise permitted us to browse United States YouTube content.
BBC iPlayer can in some cases be more of an obstacle, but not this time. Surfshark bypassed its VPN blocking with ease, offering us gain access to from our 3 test UK areas. Protocop Surfshark.
Fortunately kept coming, too, with Surfshark getting us into both United States Amazon Prime and Disney+, giving it an ideal 100% in our unblocking tests.
If Surfshark does not work for you, the assistance site has setup and installation tutorials, fixing guides, Frequently asked questions and other resources to point you in the right direction.
While there’s a little helpful content there, it’s primarily related to setup, for instance including guides to setting up the service to operate on numerous routers. Surfshark has included some posts recently and they now cover the crucial essentials, but most are quick and definitely short on information. Protocop Surfshark.
Company is an issue, too. If you would like to know about the iOS app, for example, go into ‘iOS’ in the Support search box and most companies point you to one or two ‘How to utilize’- type posts that tell you whatever you require to know. Here, you just get a list of articles responding to a host of typical iOS-related concerns: a basic ‘how to set up’, then ‘How to fix sluggish connection issues’, How to alter App Shop area, ‘How to establish OpenVPN on iOS’ and so on. It’s good to have all that information, but what’s doing not have here are ExpressVPN-like one-stop manuals which tell you everything you need to understand about a particular app. Hopefully that’ll be resolved in the future.
Luckily, if you have any concerns, support is offered 24/7 via live chat. We tried this while attempting to diagnose a connection issue, and had a friendly reply in under 60 seconds. Protocop Surfshark.
Surfshark is a powerful and (initially) low-priced VPN with an array of advanced features. There are some issues, too, but the service has seen some major improvements over the past year, and it deserves to be on your VPN shortlist.