Surfshark VPN 5 Secrets revealed… – Surfshark 2.4.01
A feature-packed VPN for a really eye-catching rate
The network has 1,700 servers dispersed throughout an outstanding 160 locations in 63 countries.
There are Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux apps, Chrome and Firefox extensions, and a website-unblocking Smart DNS system for games consoles, TVs and more.
Whatever you’re utilizing, there’s no need to fret about frustrating ‘simultaneous connection’ limits – you can set up and run Surfshark on as many gadgets as you like.
The service is strong on the technical fundamentals, including strong AES-256-GCM file encryption, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 support, Shadowsocks to help you bypass VPN obstructing, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch to safeguard you if your connection drops.
Wish to try Surfshark? Check out the site here
There’s real depth here. Android apps can translucent most VPNs by requesting your physical location, however not Surfshark – a GPS Spoofing function enables it to return the collaborates of your picked VPN server.
Oh, there’s likewise URL and ad blocking, P2P support on the majority of servers, VPN chaining (use 2 servers for one hop), split tunneling, the business’s own zero-knowledge DNS servers, and 24/7 assistance by means of email and live chat if anything goes wrong. Surfshark 2.4.01.
App-related enhancements consist of WireGuard support on the mobile apps, an ‘automatic procedure’ option if you ‘d choose the app to decide, and numerous little however welcome connection-related tweaks (you can now establish a manual iOS connection from within the app, for example.).
Editor’s Note: What instantly follows is a rundown of the current changes and additions since this evaluation was last updated.
Server protection changed. Surfshark now has more than 1700 servers in 63 nations. (June 2020).
Surfshark upgraded its infrastructure to 100% RAM-only servers. (July 2020).
Strategies and pricing
As you ‘d find from our devoted Surfshark cost and offers guide, the service’s month-to-month strategy is more expensive than some, at $12.95, and paying for a 6 months up-front still just cuts the expense to $6.49. However the 12 months +12 months totally free plan looks like a real deal at $2.49, one of the lowest costs we’ve seen for a full-featured VPN.
If you fret about registering for long-term strategies, then so do we, however when the cost is this low, it does not actually matter. Simply look at the figures: register for what’s successfully two years at Surfshark and you’ll pay $59.76 up-front; pick simply 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 value to us. Surfshark 2.4.01.
A seven-day free trial for Android, iOS and Mac gives you a long time to sample the service for yourself. We ‘d like something longer, with Windows support, too, but it appears unfair to complain when many providers have no trials at all.
Surfshark even delivers more than you ‘d expect with its series of payment approaches, with assistance for credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, Amazon Pay, Google Pay and Ali Pay. Surfshark 2.4.01.
If, after all this, you sign up and discover the business isn’t for you, no issue – you’re safeguarded by a 30-day money-back warranty.
Privacy and logging
Surfshark’s privacy functions start with the VPN basics: safe and secure procedures (OpenVPN UDP and TCP, WireGuard, IKEv2), AES-256 file encryption, and a kill switch to block web access and avoid identity leaks if the connection ever stops working.
That’s simply the start. Surfshark has its own personal DNS on each server to lower the opportunity of others spying on your activities. And the ability to use a double VPN hop (connect to Paris, say, then leave the Surfshark network in New york city) makes it even more challenging for anybody to follow your tracks. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, and the company mentions that this indicates it’s not needed to keep logs of user actions.
A FAQ page on logging spells this out, specifying that Surfshark does not gather: ‘Incoming and outgoing IP addresses; Browsing, downloading or buying history; VPN servers you utilize; Used bandwidth; Session details; Connection timestamps; Network traffic.’.
The only data the company keeps about you is your email address and billing information, the FAQ discusses, and some anonymous, aggregated statistics: efficiency details, 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 business sees, however overall, there’s nothing too unexpected here. (If you’re dissatisfied, you can limit this information collection a little, for example by disabling crash reporting in your app Settings box.).
The Surfshark site boasts that it has passed a security audit by the German Security business Cure53. Which’s true, but this was limited to an examination of Surfshark’s browser extensions, so it can’t inform us anything about logging or other back end processes. And as it occurred in November 2018, we’re unsure that it informs us anything useful about the service as it is today.
Still, it’s great to see that Cure53 discovered just 2 relatively little issues, and concluded that it was ‘extremely satisfied to see such a strong security posture on the Surfshark VPN extensions, particularly provided the typical vulnerability of similar products to personal privacy problems.’. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Surfshark´s Windows app
Getting going with Surfshark was simple. We downloaded and installed the Windows client, picked the signup option, and were even able to select a plan and hand over payment from within the installer, no third-party internet browser required.
The Windows client interface is more flexible than the majority of, adapting like a responsive website as you resize its window. At its tiniest, the customer looks just like any other VPN app, with a Connect button, status information and a list of areas. Expand or maximize the client window and it reformats to show brand-new panels and options.
Getting connected is simple. Tap the button, desktop notifications tell you when Surfshark connects and disconnects, and the interface updates to display your brand-new virtual location and IP address. Surfshark 2.4.01.
The Area list does not display latencies, but server load icons highlight your best (and worst) options, and a Favorites system allows managing typically utilized servers.
A Static IP list allows connecting to areas in Germany, Japan, Singapore, UK and US, and getting a fixed IP from each one (that is, your IP will be from the nation you select, however it’ll be the same each time you connect.) This is extremely helpful if you require to link to an IP-restricted network while utilizing the VPN. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Right clicking the Surfshark system tray icon shows a mini app window, rather than the usual basic menu, permitting you to connect to the fastest server, select one of your latest places, or open the full app user interface.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb function obstructs ads, trackers and malicious links. We’re not sure how reliable this might be, however, as in our quick tests we discovered specialist tools like uBlock Origin obstructed more advertisements and provided more control.
A NoBorders mode aims to assist you get online in countries where VPNs are typically blocked. Surfshark doesn’t describe in detail what this does, but presumably it attempts to obfuscate your traffic in some way.
Surfshark – Mobile Apps
Mobile VPN apps are often much more standard than their desktop cousins, but Surfshark’s Android offering is surprising similar. There’s more or the very same user interface, the same place list, multihop connections, CleanWeb’s ad and malware stopping, and split tunneling for apps and sites with the Whitelister. Surfshark 2.4.01.
There’s the same WireGuard, OpenVPN/ IVEv2 and Shadowsocks protocol assistance, and a kill switch to protect you if the VPN drops.
The Android app includes additional functions, too: a choice of file encryption techniques (AES-256-GGM or Chacha20Poly1305, possibly giving you much better speeds), a ‘use small packages’ option to enhance performance with some mobile networks, and the ability to instantly connect to the VPN when you access mobile, protected or unsecured networks.
And if any of this doesn’t work as it should, you can send out bug reports, raise or search tickets from within the app (no need to open your internet browser and waste time searching for the right location of the support website.).
It’s similar story with Surfshark’s iOS app: the feel and look are very comparable, and you still get the kill switch, the choice of protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard) and more. It’s an impressive setup, especially for the iOS end of the variety, which is typically short-changed for functions in comparison to other platforms. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Surfshark’s support for OpenVPN includes supplying downloads of configuration apply for each of its servers. That’s good news if you’re intending on manually setting the service up on other platforms which can utilize them, and it also permitted us to use our automated performance testing software to take a look at a sample of Surfshark’s places.
There was good news all round. We had no connection failures, connection times were faster than average, and all servers returned IP addresses for their marketed locations.
We changed to a UK data center to see simply how fast Surfshark might go, however OpenVPN results were disappointing at a typical 70-90Mbps.
We ran the very same performance tests from a United States place. Speeds were a little higher (and more consistent) at 100-105Mbps, but that was half the 200-220Mbps reached by ExpressVPN in its last review.
Surfshark wasn’t done yet. We run our speed tests utilizing OpenVPN as standard because it’s the most typically supported protocol, but Surfshark likewise now supports the next-generation WireGuard. Would that make a distinction? Surfshark 2.4.01.
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 United States areas. That’s not the fastest we’ve seen – NordVPN’s brand-new NordLynx protocol regularly beat 300Mbps in our last review – but it’s a solid result that contends well with numerous big names.
Netflix & Surfshark – A Dreamteam!
If you’re tired of VPNs who vaguely hint about their unblocking capabilities, but never ever make any genuine dedication, you’ll love Surfshark. Not only does the business say up-front that it unclogs Netflix, it also names the 15 countries where it presently works (United States, France, Japan, Italy, Australia and more.).
This wasn’t just overblown marketing-oriented self-confidence, either. We had the ability to access United States Netflix from all 5 of our test areas.
YouTube has just the most standard of geographical defenses, so we weren’t shocked to discover that Surfshark likewise permitted us to search US YouTube content.
BBC iPlayer can sometimes be more of an obstacle, however not this time. Surfshark bypassed its VPN obstructing with ease, providing us access from our 3 test UK places. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Fortunately kept coming, too, with Surfshark getting us into both United States Amazon Prime and Disney+, offering it a perfect 100% in our uncloging tests.
If Surfshark does not work for you, the assistance website has setup and installation tutorials, troubleshooting guides, Frequently asked questions and other resources to point you in the right instructions.
While there’s a little beneficial content there, it’s primarily related to setup, for example including guides to setting up the service to operate on various routers. Surfshark has included some posts just recently and they now cover the key essentials, however most are brief and distinctly short on information. Surfshark 2.4.01.
Company is an issue, too. If you wish to know about the iOS app, for instance, go into ‘iOS’ in the Assistance search box and many companies point you to one or two ‘How to use’- type short articles that tell you whatever you require to know. Here, you simply get a list of short articles reacting to a host of typical iOS-related problems: a simple ‘how to install’, then ‘How to repair slow 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 lacking here are ExpressVPN-like one-stop handbooks which inform you whatever you need to learn about a specific app. Ideally that’ll be attended to in the future.
If you have any concerns, support is readily available 24/7 through live chat. We attempted this while attempting to identify a connection issue, and had a friendly reply in under 60 seconds. Surfshark 2.4.01.
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.