Surfshark scores with many extra functions such as killswitch and ad blocker, easy to use and a high level of security thanks to AES-256 encryption, no-log policy, overseas company headquarters and multi-hop. The service in a 24-month package doesn’t even cost 2 euros – that’s pretty cheap. Streaming US Netflix usually worked smoothly and smoothly. A little downside: The streaming quality was not always the best. If you can live with it and also want to surf safely and anonymously, for example in public WiFi, Surfshark is the perfect choice.
Surfshark has been offering its services since 2017. In summary, it offers the following functions:
The VPN service keeps its promise to be safe. Surfshark protects the VPN connections with an unbreakable AES-256 encryption against prying eyes from outside. The terms and conditions sound promising. The provider guarantees not to log any data that allow conclusions to be drawn about the identity of the user. Browsing history, IP address, amount of data transferred and connection times do not record Surfshark; it only saves the email address when registering. Anyone who uses a disposable address is on the safe side in this regard too.
The kill switch function provides additional protectionthat immediately cuts off Internet traffic if the connection to the VPN server is no longer available. This prevents users from accidentally surfing without a VPN.To prevent the connection from leaking any information, Surfshark offers integrated DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection .
The provider uses its own DNS server. Why is that important? DNS servers translate the domain requests into IP digits, in the event of a DNS leak, the system accidentally requests the IP from a server outside the VPN – anonymity is no longer guaranteed. IPv6 leaks occur when the VPN provider only encrypts traffic over the standard IPv4 connections. However, if the user surfs a server with an additional IPv6 connection, this reveals the real IP address.
The WebRTC protection prevents your own IP from leaking through the browser used. Great : If you like, turn on the Multi Hop function , which connects users to the Internet one after the other, for example from Great Britain to Germany. The IP concealment is therefore bombproof. Shortcoming: The speed suffers a bit because the service passes the connection through two VPN servers.
During the 24-hour measurement with two Dutch servers, it delivered solid speed values in the test laboratory. The average download speed was 2 to 2.5 percent below normal speed without a VPN – a more than acceptable result. Surfshark was absolutely perfect in the upload: there was no deviation from normal speed. The ping times are between 16 and 17 milliseconds and are therefore extremely satisfactory – even online gaming with an activated VPN should work without any problems. Overall, NordVPN was even faster here, but both are in a narrow range between “very good” and “good”.
Speaking of streaming: A big reason for VPN users is streaming the Netflix US library . The good news is that Surfshark operates over 20 servers in the U.S. alone . With most of them tried out, the American library could be activated and the correspondingly larger selection of films and series enjoyed. But unfortunately, with many servers, the speed is not sufficient to stream videos in 1080p.
Surfshark scores with perfectly functioning geoblocking – virtual trips abroad are therefore possible. This is particularly important where restrictive regimes put a stop to the free internet. This is the case in the Middle Kingdom with the Great Firewall of China . The network blockade blocks many western news portals and sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. It offers a special Socks5 proxy with the Shadowsocks protocol. This does not work like a VPN, i.e. the data traffic is not encrypted. However, the data traffic disguises itself like ordinary HTTPS traffic. Monitoring services find it difficult to distinguish this inconspicuous data stream from conventional traffic.
However, a VPN also makes sense for conventional activities. Thanks to geoblocking, users outside of Europe can access German media libraries or their German Netflix program – which is also possible within the European Union thanks to the portability regulation. In addition, foreign online shops can be called up to book travel, for example, at cheaper local prices.
Surfshark is easy to use: the surface on the computer and smartphone is tidy, the menu items are self-explanatory. You either select suggested nimble servers or choose the location of your choice from the drop-down menu. Surfshark offers the IKEv2 protocol by default . The integrated CleanWeb function is great : Once switched on, Surfshark blocks advertising, trackers and malware. Overall, there is nothing to complain about in terms of operation and range of functions.
Fortunately, the company is based in the British Virgin Islands. This means that Surfshark is outside the territory of the surveillance alliance “14 Eyes” and does not have to provide information to western secret services or generally monitor user activities. Ultimately, VPN remains a matter of trust, but offshore providers make a better impression. Surfshark appears to be generally more transparent than others, for example with its “Warrant Canary”. The service regularly publishes whether and how many requests from government authorities it has received and how often it has issued information about users. At the time of testing (December 12, 2019): none. A more detailed description of the feature can be found on the Surfshark website.
The tested VPN service is currently one of the cheapest providers. There is no free, slimmed-down free version. Those who choose Surfshark choose from three options:
Customers pay by credit card, Google Pay, Alipay. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for Mac and PC. Apps for Android and iPhone are free for seven days.
Surfshark scores with many extra functions such as kill switch and ad blocker, ease of use and maximum security thanks to AES-256 encryption, no-log policy, overseas company headquarters and multi-hop. The service in a 24-month package doesn’t even cost 2 euros – that’s pretty cheap. Streaming US Netflix usually worked fine. A little downside: The streaming quality was not always top. If you can live with it and also want to surf safely and anonymously, for example in public WiFi, Surfshark is the perfect choice. The overall package is convincing in every case.