Laptop Mag Verdict
Surfshark VPN is the king of the internet ocean, not only for its many security options and ease-of-use, but for the unlimited devices it supports at a bargain price.
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Bargain at price
Easy to use
Plentiful security options
Some connection dips
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Works on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
24/7 support: Yes
Trial period: 30 days
Number of servers: 1,700+
Server locations: 100+
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Surfshark is the king of the internet ocean, some might say, because of the maximum number of devices it supports: Unlimited. Whether you’re a family of five with three devices — each streaming Netflix or Hulu — or a company with rows of PCs, Surfshark supports simultaneous connections at one of the cheapest prices around. And it does it all with a number of useful high-security protocols and features, along with a simple user interface for casual users to easily change their location with a press of a button.
The only downside to Surfshark is its speeds. While still top-tier compared to the plethora of VPNs out there, it doesn’t quite match the speeds of other VPN services, especially when some servers suddenly dip out of nowhere. That’s OK though, the unlimited devices more than make up for it, especially when prices are as low as £1.81/$1.99 per month. That’s a serious value.
While Surfshark has taken its rightful place as one of the best VPN services, there are others that beat it in terms of connection speeds and server locations, like ExpressVPN.
Surfshark price and availability
Surfshark has three subscription plans, with the longer commitments being cheaper, as per usual. However, Surfshark’s fees are significantly cheaper than a lot of VPN services for the features it provides. Subscriptions cost £9.40/$12.95 per month for a one-month plan, £4.71/$6.49 per month for a six-month plan, and a staggeringly cheap £1.81/$2.49 per month for a 24-month plan (although it’s £43.36 upfront). If you’re always going to be using a VPN for the long haul (and you should!) then it doesn’t get much better than that.
Surfshark also offers a 7-day free trial before making a purchase, and also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if it isn’t working out. This is a normal practice for VPN services, but still good to know Surfshark supports it.
Surfshark is available on virtually every platform, including macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. It even supports smart TVs including FireTV and Apple TV, consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, along with browsers including Google Chrome and Firefox.
But here’s the main draw of Surfshark: it supports unlimited devices. That means you can use the same account on your laptop, Apple TV, smartphone and, well, literally any number of devices you can think of, simultaneously. That’s all at the same price, too. It’s a no brainer for a business to use, or families with plenty of devices. If you’re after a VPN purely for more bang for your buck, Surfshark wins every time.
Surfshark streaming and unblocking
We tested Surfshark on a number of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Disney+. The great news is the VPN service unblocks any region-blocked content on the platforms, especially Netflix in countries including Japan, Netherlands, the UK or the US. Testing was done on an Android smartphone.
However, connection speeds and servers can differ wildly. When testing our connection while watching Netflix in Chicago, we saw speeds of 500Kbps, which isn’t great when trying to stream shows (more on this later). However, thanks to Surfshark’s many US server locations, we tried it again in San Francisco and got a comparatively massive jump in speeds at 5.17Mbps. That’s more like it.
We also tested Japan and got speeds of up to 3.02Mbps, which is substantial considering its distance from our location in the U.K. All shows on the country-specific Netflix catalog were streamed in HD resolution.
Surfshark also has a NoBorders feature, meaning it can bypass any censored or geo-restricted sites or content, whether it be in the United Arab Emirates or Hong Kong. According to users, Surfshark also works as a solid VPN choice in China, which is known for its government-restricted content and VPN blockers. So, if you’re looking to bypass country-specific content, know that Surfshark has you covered.
Surfshark server locations
Surfshark has significantly increased the number of servers it offers, now offering one of the most out of the many VPN services. It is also adding countries to its list, making it more enticing for users who stick with it.
Currently, Surfshark offers more than 3,200 servers in more than 100 server locations and in 65 countries. While not as many as some providers, there is a significant number of servers in popular countries including the US, U.K., Australia and even Canada. However, servers have varying connection speeds, which sometimes dip in and out. In my experience, connections varied depending on the location. For example, while in the UAE, connections to US servers were all over the place, but while I was in the U.K., they worked just fine (barring Chicago for some reason).
Surfshark also features “MultiHop, a feature more experienced VPN users will enjoy. With this, users can connect via multiple countries, including Australia to the U.S., U.K. to France, Singapore to Hong Kong, etc. It’s a fantastic trick for those who really need to mask their identity or wipe away their footprints. This takes a hit on speeds, but not significantly. When connecting to India via Singapore, we reached 1.67Mbps, and when connecting to the U.S. via Australia, speeds were at 1.32Mbps. For what it does, these are surprisingly good results.
Surfshark uses unbreakable 256-bit encryption, along with DNS and IPv6 protection, to prevent anyone from trying to get your real IP address. As for its security protocols, every country supports OpenVPN UDP/TCP, WireGuard, IKEv2, WireGuard and Shadowsocks protocols. Each has its own advantages, whether it be connection speed or data encryption, so it’s brilliant to have the choice. Those who aren’t sure shouldn’t worry as it will automatically use the best protocol.
Surfshark also has a VPN Kill Switch, although this isn’t turned on by default. That’s annoying, but it does clearly show the switch option on a menu as soon as it connects to a server. Android also features an Android native Kill Switch, which will disable access for Whitelisted websites and apps if the connection drops.
What is “Whitelisted,” you ask? Another Surfshark feature is its own version of split-tunneling. It allows users to select specific apps or websites to bypass the VPN connection, which works great for bank apps.
There’s also Camouflage Mode, which is pretty meta; it masks the user's encrypted data to look like normal data using deep packet inspection (DPI) so your internet provider thinks they’re not using a VPN.
Finally, like any good VPN service, Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy, as it's based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands. This means none of a user’s information, from IP address to browsing history, is logged or kept.
Surfshark user accessibility and support
For those overwhelmed by the number of security features and tricks Surfshark has to offer, not to worry, as it also handily comes with a one-click fast connection found on an easy-to-navigate interface on Android or Windows. It’s perfect for casual users.
Every feature is briefly explained on its interface so users know exactly what they do, but it goes one step further by adding more niche functions, including making your device invisible to other devices. More impressively, it features an “Override GPS location” switch, so users can match the GPS location of the VPN location. With the number of apps that use GPS, advanced users are sure to find this useful.
Surfshark’s website also offers plenty of explanations for each of the VPN service’s features, along with how-tos on setting up VPNs on all the devices it can connect to. Heck, even the top bar on its main web page shows your IP address and Internet Provider (ISP), just to show if you’re protected or not.
Surfshark connection speed
This is where the VPN service slightly disappoints. While it still offers substantial connection speed to watch shows on any streaming service in high definition, which is more than enough for most, it still isn’t the fastest VPN out there.
Using fast.com, I tested the connection using the automatic protocol suggested in Germany, South Africa, and India, along with the USA and Japan (as seen above).
In Berlin, I got speeds of 500Kbs. That was disappointing, so I tried again in Nuremberg, Germany and got 3.0Mbps. Then I tried a connection in Mumbai, India and got 1.4Mbps. Next, I tried a connection in South Africa, and got a measly 250Kbps. Again, disappointing. I waited 20 minutes to see if it would pick up, only to get 130Kbps. However, I tried one more time and amazingly got 3.1Mbps.
Clearly, Surfshark’s connections can dip in and out. While it can bring fast speeds, certain servers will have unstable connection speeds. These random drops in speed won’t disrupt simple web browsing too much, but they may be a problem for those who need a stable connection.
Surfshark is without a doubt the best VPN service when it comes to cost, as the amount of different features it offers makes it a great value. Connecting to unlimited devices means your whole neighbourhood could technically be a part of one simple subscription. That’s more than enough reason to get a VPN.
However, its fault in speed to random servers isn’t ideal, which may turn a few people off if they need a stable, speedy VPN. That said, hotspot countries including the U.S. have multiple servers users can switch between just in case one doesn’t work as well.
Overall, if security, ease-of-use and plentiful privacy features are what you look for in a VPN, and you have more devices than you can handle, Surfshark will work out swimmingly.
|Number of devices||Unlimited|
|Focuses on||Number of connected devices, wide platform support, privacy, security|
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.