The open waters of the internet can be a scary place. These days it seems like everyone has their eyes on you — tracking your habits, compiling data on your behaviors, selling your soul to advertisers and marketers — not to mention the threats posed by hackers and identity thieves.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, offer protection from many of these threats, and more and more privacy-minded consumers are relying on them to stay safe online. You can learn more about these services and how they work in our guide to virtual private networks (VPNs). But in this article, we’re going to look at one of those services in particular — Surfshark — to unpack and explain their key features and break down their subscription plans and services.
First and foremost, Surfshark takes its customer’s privacy very seriously. They’re what’s known as a no-log provider, meaning they do not keep any records of their customers’ traffic and browsing habits. This is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to VPNs, and this level of privacy is what you as a consumer should be looking for when shopping around.
Did You Know: Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which has some of the strongest privacy laws out there. This means they are not beholden to many of the data-sharing agreements out there.
Beyond that, Surfshark offers a robust set of core features as well as some pretty interesting advanced functionality and add-ons that make it the perfect choice for anyone looking for all-around protections. We get more into these features in our in-depth review of Surfshark, but for now here are the highlights:
We’ve tested lots of different VPNs, and like we said above, Surfshark is a great choice for just about anyone. Their core functions are solid for the everyday browser and streamer, and they offer some technical capabilities that would appeal to folks who need a higher-end VPN for specific purposes — like folks traveling to a country with restrictive internet policies for example.
Surfshark also offers all of this at really reasonable price points. Let’s take a quick look at the breakdown of their subscription packages.
|Surfshark Subscription Options||Price|
|1 Month||$12.95 per month|
|6 Months||$6.49 per month|
|24 Months||$2.49 per month|
For context, Surfshark’s month-to-month price of $12.95 is a little steep as far as VPNs go, but if you sign up for a longer-term subscription, that price drops off significantly. For six months, you’re already cutting the price nearly in half, and if you sign up for two years, the service is less than a cup of gas station coffee. And if you’re looking to save some money, another affordable option is Encrypt.me VPN.
For context, one of the best VPNs on the market today’s month to month price is exactly the same, but your savings sort of plateau as the duration of your subscription increases. If you want to learn more, you can read our guide for ExpressVPN’s plans and pricing, or you can read our in-depth ExpressVPN review of its services and features.
Also worth noting, if you sign up for the 24-month subscription plan, the cost is fully refundable up to thirty days from purchase. That means you can try it out for a month before making the final decision on whether or not Surfshark VPN is right for you.
Pro Tip: Want to save even more? You’re in luck. Surfshark just launched their Black Friday special, where they’re throwing in three free months on their two-year subscription package. If you average that out, you’re only going to be paying $2.21 per month.
While you’re picking out your subscription package, Surfshark VPN also offers two bonus features you can add on for an additional $0.99 per month: Alert and Search.
Surfshark kind of undersells its alert function in the signup process when they say it monitors known data breaches for your email address. It’s actually a stripped-down identity theft protection service that makes sure that key pieces of your personally identifying information aren’t showing up on dark web marketplaces.
Did You Know: “Deep web” and “dark web” are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably. The deep web simply refers to areas of the internet not indexed by search engines. The dark web, on the other hand, is purposefully obscured, usually for nefarious reasons.1
The search function is another neat little add-on to Surfshark’s services. By using this feature, you can browse the web without being tracked by your internet service provider or your preferred search engine. It’s pretty handy and well worth the price.
Did You Know: Google tracks more than you realize. From your browsing habits to your physical location, the tech giant is almost always collecting your data.
|Surfshark VPN Plans||Price|
|1 Month||$13.94 per month|
|6 Months||$7.48 per month|
|24 Months||$3.48 per month|
Not only can you route traffic through virtual off-site servers, Surfshark also offers static IP addresses, meaning you’ll always have the same location whenever you connect. This can help if you’re setting up advanced security or if you’re using VoIP while working remotely.2
Surfshark also allows you to route traffic through multiple servers, which is basically like running two VPNs at once. This is great for folks who really take their privacy seriously or who need an added layer of protection.
CleanWeb is Surfshark’s take on an ad blocker. Since it’s not running through a browser plug-in, though, it’s way more powerful than some of its counterparts and makes for a much more enjoyable online experience.
Important to note, Surfshark offers a kill switch function so that if your VPN service is ever interrupted, your internet connection will also be severed. This ensures your true IP address is never exposed and keeps you safe at all times. Kill switches are important for people who want to use P2P file sharing, and if that’s your game, you might also consider checking out our review of Cyberghost. They have a lot of optimizations for torrenters.
NoBorders mode activates when Surfshark recognizes its connection through a country with restrictive internet censorship policies. Essentially, it masks your traffic so governmental agencies can’t identify you’re using a VPN and terminate your connection.
Split Tunneling allows you to select which traffic is going through the VPN, and which traffic isn’t. This can be especially helpful if you have a slower internet connection or if you’re torrenting.
Similar to NoBorders, Camouflage Mode prevents governments and ISPs from recognizing you’re using a VPN protocol. This is great for folks who travel often to countries without fair and open internet.
Did You Know: The internet is heavily censored in China. Known as “The Great Firewall,” the Chinese government has strict control over the content that appears online.3
Put simply, Surfshark offers some of the best value in the market today, but only if you pick a six-month or two-year plan — the month-to-month subscription is a little pricey in our opinion, but those longer subscription durations are more than reasonable.
And for that money, you’re actually getting quite a bit here. Surfshark’s suite of core protections is robust, and their performance is impeccable. Their bonus features and add-ons give Surfshark one of the best bangs for the buck on the market today. We love their higher-level functionality like MultiHop, NoBorders, and CleanWeb, too.
Overall, Surfshark offers great protections at a great value. We’d highly recommended Surfshark to anyone looking to protect themselves online or keep their browsing practices private.
Surfshark’s month-to-month subscription is $12.95, but if you purchase a two-year subscription that cost goes down to $2.49 per month. If you add on Surfshark’s search and alert functions, the monthly price for a two-year subscription is $3.48.
Yes, Surfshark allows you to bypass most geo-restrictions allowing for a richer streaming experience on multiple platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
While using local servers we did not notice any significant slowdowns. While using offshore servers and the MultiHop functionality, there were only slight interruptions.
Absolutely. If your VPN service is ever interrupted for any reason, Surfshark will also terminate your connection to the internet.
Surfshark is compatible with macOS, Windows, and popular Linux distributions. It’s also available on iOS phones and tablets, Android devices, and FireTV.
Gucclone, D. (2020, November 18). What is the Dark Web? How to Access it and What you'll Find. CSO.
Vaughan-Nichols, S. (2020, April 22). Static vs. Dynamic IP Addresses. Avast.
Wang, Y. (2020, September 1). In China, the “Great Firewall” is Changing a Generation. Politico.