Surfshark review – best budget VPN

Last updated on: April 27th, 2020
surfshark best budget vpn
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surfshark best budget vpn
Best cheap VPN – SurfShark

Although SurfShark is a newcomer in the VPN industry (founded in 2018), it already earned lots of respect from other players and customers. Usually, newcomer products or services take lots of time building their reputation and improving the service. Surfshark took a little bit more than a year and it already stands between the TOP3 VPN providers due to our opinion.  The super fast and super cheap product won the hearts of internet users and with this Surfshark review, we are going to give you answers why.

Does Surfshark unblock Netflix? How many servers does Surfshark have? What protocols are they using? Let’s find out!

Quick Surfshark overview

Logging policies?No logs
Location?British Virgin Islands
Encryption protocolsIPSec & IKEv2, 256-bit AES/OpenVPN
Customer support24/7 live chat
Unblocks US Netflix?Yes
Money back guarantee?Yes, 30 days
Option to pay in cryptocurrencies?Yes

Surfshark download & installation 

Surfshark download and installation is simple as 1 2 3. As always – once your purchase Surfshark service, you need to download a client depending on the device/OS you use. Interesting fact – Surfshark started their product with a Chrome extension only, but now they have a huge variety of client apps. Surfshark is working with these devices:

Desktop: macOS, Windows, Linux
Smart TV’s: FireTV, Apple TV, other smart TV’s
Phones & Tablets: iOs, Android
Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox
Consoles: Xbox, Playstation

It is crazy how many devices does Surfshark support. Even the top VPN providers as NordVPN or ExpressVPN do not support consoles or smart TV’s, but it seems that Surfshark is fully compatible with all these devices below.

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Security protocols (geeky explanation)

Surfshark uses the most popular IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN protocols as well as the big part of VPN providers. All term explanations can be found in our blogpost right HERE. 

Servers & Locations

While reviewing Surfshark as a VPN provider, we were quite surprised by the variety of countries they have. This is quite unusual for such a new product, as their list has more than 50+ countries (including US, UK, Can of course!). For example, Perfect Privacy, which was founded back in 2008 has only 26 countries. That is way less. We believe that a huge variety of servers within a year means a growing Surfshark user database, as the more users VPN provider has – the bigger the server load is.

All of the Surfshark servers have the same features, including Private DNS, camouflage mode, OpenVPN/IPSec/IKEv2 protocols. Also, they are P2P (torrent) friendly and they do offer extension support.

It is also worth to mention that some of the servers are virtual and Surfshark declares that publicly. For example, they have virtual servers in less popular countries. Here’s the full list of virtual servers by regions:

Europe: Albania, Cyprus, Slovenia
The Americas: Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica

Asia/Pacific: South Korea, Vietnam.

Also, this information was confirmed by one of their customer support dept. employees.

Privacy & data logging

Usually, the most important question that comes to my mind when speaking about a VPN provider is whether they hold any user log information or not. Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands the same as ExpressVPN and they do declare that no logs are stored. We did research on their privacy policies and it sure does seem that they log zero user activities on the internet. So, to answer the question does Surfshark keep any user data the answer is a complete NO.

It is also important to have safe and respected payment processors. Only one of the processors that Surfshark uses might not fall under the 14 eyes data retention laws and that could be a super small issue for extremely privacy orientated users. However if you’d ask us if it’s worth paying much attention to this detail, we would say no as well.

The only data that Surfshark declares to log is the usual customer billing information, email address for the account and some technical performance reports about how the app is running on your device. That is a common practice and you should not worry about that at all.


US Netflix and other streaming platforms

One of the reasons why internet users decide to search for a VPN service is to unblock specific streaming platforms such as American Netflix, Amazon Prime, DAZN, etc.

Of course this is one of the most important criteria while testing VPN apps for us and fortunately, Surfshark passes this test.

We used a few random US locations to look if we could access the American Netflix outside of the US and the results satisfied our needs. Here’s an example of what content we were able to see while connected to the US servers:

Website & Support

Surfshark website is super clear, has good loading speeds and UX. All features and main product advantages can be spotted on their homepage.

Once we test different VPN provider customer support, we usually come with a few different issues/questions. For us, it usually took around 1-2 minutes to get the first “live” reply from a human. Usually, there are 2-3 people in the queue, so don’t be surprised if you’ll have to wait a bit.

However, despite the waiting, we did not found any issues with the customer support dept.. They take your questions (even super hard ones) very seriously and in 100% cases, we received a reply we expected. KUDOS to them!

By the way, you can reach out to their customer success dept. By email or live chat which is comfortable. Also, you can upload files/pictures into their live chat as sometimes this helps to solve specific questions super fast.

Extra cybersecurity-related features

Surfshark has some cool additional services in addition to its VPN service. Not many VPN providers have that, but it is a nice gesture of how Surfshark takes care of their customers. For an extra price, of course.

HackLock™ – this is their branded product, which constantly scans the web and alerts the user if somehow your email gets leaked. With this service, you’ll prevent the possible damage before it gets out of control. Also, you will be fully sure that nobody knows data about your email address.

BlindSearch™ – this is an extra feature which kind of works on the same principles as the AdBlock extension. Surfshark declares a private and efficient search with no ads or logs. This means that you are browsing in incognito mode all the time.


Surfshark has three different plan options: 1 month, 1 year and 2-year subscriptions. 1 month plan costs $11.95, 1 year plan is $71.88 (5.99 USD/mo) and the 2 year package is available for $47.76 (1.99 USD/mo). The Surfshark pricing is super wallet-friendly and you can get a premium VPN service for less than 50 bucks a year.

By the way, Surfshark has a nice currency integration and the pricing is available in 6 currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, CNY, CAD and AUD.

Their HackLock™ and BlindSearch™ features are available for an extra 0.99 USD/mo.


After the Surfshark test, we can honestly say that service is 100% worth the price. It is way cheaper than the biggest players such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it does not yield any features. Great customer support, nice speeds and access to all the content worldwide. All of that – for a really good price.


Best Budget VPN

Pros of Surfshark

Very cheap
Great app design
Awesome customer support
Unblocks Netflix US
Advanced security features
No logging

Cons of Surfshark

A limited number of countries

Sometimes speed drops

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