Is Surfshark VPN Safe? – Detailed Review (Don’t Miss) The Real Facts

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Shigraf aijaz

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22min read

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Surfshark VPN is the best all-rounder VPN provider that has rightfully earned the trust of millions of users in less time. Its strict zero-logging policy, private DNS servers, clean web, multihop, search, alert, and GPS spoofing features make it compete with its competitors.



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While Surfshark might still be a relatively new VPN, it has gained immense popularity and now stands on par with some of the most popular VPNs, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN. While forming a general review of its website and popularity status, Surfshark VPN is secure, reliable, and easy to use. 

But the VPN’s sudden rise to popularity despite having a shady jurisdiction has made many people ponder it, dunking it into many mind-numbing questions. From “Is Surfshark safe and private to, Is Surfshark better than NordVPN” are some of the few speculations about the VPN present over the internet. Amidst this, the best way out left for us to form our personal opinion based on facts, tests, and analysis. So read along! 

Who owns Surfshark VPN? 

Surfshark was started in 2018 by Vytautas Kaziukonis with the help of Tesonet, a Lithuanian IT business incubator, and accelerator. NordSecurity is also a community member of Tesonet. Meaning that NordSecurity and Surfshark were linked even before the merger announcement. 

In February 2022, the VPN announced they were merging with Nord Security. Surfshark reassured its users by mentioning that this merger is not an acquisition, Nord Security did not buy Surfshark, and the two services will work separately.

Besides, a brand of NordSecurity is owned by Tefincom, registered in Panama, according to The company has three directors, Marios Papaloizou, Angelos Hadjimichael, and Alina Gatsaniuk. Papaloizou is listed as an attorney in the Christodoulides & Papaloizou & Matsas Law Firm. This firm is located in Nicosia, Cyprus. 

To clear it out, we will put it in simple words. NordSecurity operates from Lithuania, as this is where Tesonet is located. The attorney is registered in Cyprus, and the domicile district is Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction. It is a smart move from NordSecurity, as it allows them to operate globally, all while the domicile is registered under Panama. 

However, it is not exactly safe, as Lithuania is linked with Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) in the US. According to the treaty, 

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) allow generally for the exchange of evidence and information in criminal and related matters. In money laundering cases, they can be extremely useful as a means of obtaining banking and other financial records from our treaty partners.

This means that even though NordSecuriyt is registered in Panama, users are not completely protected from MLATs. 

However, the VPN service reassured its users that the privacy policy and terms of service would remain the same. This was definitely a smooth move. The VPN is still among the top-rated services, and by joining hands with another popular company, it only gained the trust of its users. 

Surfshark VPN- Is it worth the hype? 

Privacy is a fundamental right of every individual, and while online surveillance by ISPs and other agencies does seem legit, it is nevertheless a gross abuse of our privacy. Especially as most ISPs exploit this data by further selling it to advertisers for money. Amidst this, it is crucial to remain safe online and resort to using security tools like a reliable VPN provider. 

Surfshark is one such reliable VPN that promises the utmost privacy and security to its users. While the VPN does promise a strict no-logs policy, it has a shady jurisdiction of the Netherlands, a country part of the EU Metadata Retention laws. If you are curious about what Surshark offers, this review will help you. Here is a quick indigent about the VPN’s features. 

  • Online privacy: military-level encryption of AES-256-GCM help in protecting users’ device and data. 
  • Jurisdiction: the VPN is located in the jurisdiction of the Netherlands. However, it is a part of the nine-eye alliance, which raises many heads due to privacy concerns. 
  • Audited no-log policy: it assures maximum privacy by following an audited no-log policy. 
  • Streaming: the Smart DNS helps in unblocking geo-blocks and accessing streaming sites. 
  • Torrenting and P2P: users can efficiently perform torrenting and P2P sharing with Surfshark. 
  • Gaming: low ping time and fast speed help in gaming. 
  • Onion over VPN: it allows users to use the Tor browser and VPN simultaneously for safe browsing. 

This review consists of information gathered through our personal experience and by analyzing customer reviews on forums like Reddit. We focus on giving users a full review with accurate facts and insights. For this, we performed various tests and used the VPN for months. Continue reading to find more!

Security and Privacy concerns about Surfshark. 

Online privacy is one of the biggest concerns of netizens. In this time of mass surveillance, the need for privacy tools increases. Surfshark VPN uses robust encryption of AES-256 along with secure protocols and privacy features to protect users’ privacy. To dive deep into what the VPN offers in terms of privacy and security, we compiled a list of the main features of Surfshark; 

  • Kill Switch: Prevents IP leaks and data breaching during unexpected connection drops.
  • DNS leak protection: Blocks all the DNS requests from the device to prevent DNS leaks.
  • Camouflage mode: Surfshark’s obfuscation tool makes VPN traffic look like regular traffic.
  • Multihop: It helps users hop from one server to another to ensure maximum anonymity. 
  • Surfshark Nexus: Based on software-defined networking (SDN) technology, it helps increase security by connecting users to the VPN’s entire network of servers. 
  • Surfshark Search: An incognito search tool for safe browsing. 
  • Surfshark Alerts: It alerts users when their passwords or email are in danger of being compromised.
  • GPS spoofing: It changes your virtual location by cloaking your real location. 
  • Clean Web: It blocks ads, trackers, and cookies from affecting users’ devices. 
  • RAM-only servers: The VPN discards the data from servers after they are turned off to prevent recovering users’ data. 
  • Tor over VPN: Protects your device and data while using the Tor browser.

Hopefully, this will help you understand Surfshark’s privacy features better.  It is a promising VPN service and has a lot to offer. 

Is Surfshark Log Policy Secure?

Surfshark, in its blog post, assured customers of its no-log policy. The service stated that it does not keep tabs on users’ activity and has been audited by various organizations;

  • The first audit was by Cure53 penetration testers.
  • The same company performed the second audit in 2021. However, this time their focus was the infrastructure of servers and security.
  • Deloitte performed the most recent audit in 2023. The company audited Surfshark’s no-log policy; fortunately, the results were positive. 

What Surfshark has to say about its no-log policy;

  • What Surfshark logs: email addresses, passwords, billing information, order history, diagnostic reports, and cookies. It also stores anonymized information from its website, such as what pages you visited and how long you stayed there.
  • What Surfshark does not log: IP addresses, session information, browsing history, the times you connected to the VPN, the amount of bandwidth you used while connected to the VPN, network traffic, etc.

Furthermore, the RAM-only servers delete the user’s information immediately after connection loss. As no data is saved in hard drives, there is nothing to recover, and your data remains anonymous. 


Surfshark’s headquarters is located in the Netherlands. The country data sharing policies are described here.  However, despite no data retention laws in the country, it is in alliance with nine eyes intelligence. 

The nine eyes intelligence is a data-sharing agreement between nine countries. They can ask these nine countries to share personal information about users or their data whenever needed. 

As frightening as it sounds, there is another way to look at this situation. Surfshark has a no-log policy, so if the VPN has no logs of its users, there is nothing to share. However, the few logs that surfshark keeps can be shared with the nine eyes alliance when the time comes. 

Past History or Track Record 

We have found no record of Surfshark VPN, the only disturbing thing about the VPN is its alliance with the nine eyes intelligence. Besides that, the VPN holds a clear record of providing security to its users. 


Encryption makes the VPN secure; the higher the encryption, the more secure your data will be. It works by changing your data into unreadable codes, preventing hackers from accessing your information and monitoring your activity. 

Surfshark uses high encryption of AES-256-GCM, 2048-bit RSA key, and SHA-512 authentication key. Each cipher offers the utmost security by different means. The AES-GCM is the most secure cipher and the hardest to crack. The GCM encryption is faster and eliminates the need for an HMAC SHA. 

Meanwhile, the RSA is an asymmetric encryption, and SHA is a hash function. These encryption ciphers and keys work together to offer robust security, and each can be used for different purposes. 

VPN Protocols.

When using a VPN, the performance, speed, and security depend on your protocol. It is important to understand the right use of protocols to use a VPN correctly. It offers various protocols, and we have described what each protocol is best for.

  • WireGuard: it runs the ChaCha20 encryption and can be used on all devices. This protocol is relatively new. It offers fast speed and high security. 
  • IKEv2: it works best for switching connections on mobile devices. 
  • OpenVPN UDP/ TCP: an open-source protocol great for fast speed and unblocking censorships.

However, Surfshark has stopped offering the IKEv2 protocol on Windows and Shadowsocks proxy on all devices since September 2021.

Streaming with Surfshark VPN: speed, quality, and geo-blocks.

According to the 2023 report by Forbes, around 46% of people use VPN services to access streaming sites. However, finding a good streaming VPN can be a task. Surfshark is an all-rounder VPN service; just like the security, it doesn’t disappoint regarding streaming. 

The VPN is set to provide its users with the best streaming experience with its outstanding features and fast speed. It is known for blazing-fast speed and outshines other services with ease. Here is what Surfshark offers. Here is what the streaming feature SurfShark offers;

  • Smart DNS: The Smart DNS allows users to access streaming sites and bypass geo-blocks. 
  • Prevent ISP throttling: With fast encryption and unlimited bandwidth, Surfshark prevents ISP throttling. 
  • Many servers: 3200+ in 99 countries ensures quick connections and fast speed. 
  • streaming optimized servers: All servers are optimized for streaming. 
  • No borders: It bypasses geo-blocks and firewalls to access streaming sites easily. 
  • Netflix: US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Canada, India, and  Japan.
  • Hulu: United States – Detroit and United States – Latham is Hulu-optimized servers. 
  • BBCiPlayer: UK servers: London, Manchester, and Glasgow.
  • Disney+: Works on all servers, mainly United States – Bend, United States – Seattle, United States – San Francisco, United States – Salt Lake City, and United States – Denver.
  • Amazon Prime: Chicago, the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, etc.

After going through Surfshark’s streaming features, our expectations were very high. These tall claims of the VPN had to be cross-checked, and that’s precisely what we did. We checked the VPN with all the prominent streaming platforms to review these features ourselves. 

Unblocking Netflix with Surfshark. 

The best thing about Surfshark is that it can unblock all geo-restrictions and VPN blocks. As the servers are optimized for streaming, you don’t have to worry about slow speeds or connection issues. Our goal was to unblock Netflix US with Surfshark, as it is the most popular Netflix library and quite hard to access. 

We were amazed at how easily the VPN unblock Netflix. The Smart DNS played an important role in unblocking the site; we enabled the DNS manually and then turned on the Kill Switch. The speed was exceptionally fast, even though VPNs generally slow down the speed. But thanks to Surfshark’s WireGuard protocol, we experienced no connection drops, and the video quality was as if no VPN was connected. 

How we set up Surfshark VPN for Netflix;

  • Launch the Surfshark VPN app and Log in with your email. 
  • Choose your subscription plan. The 2-year plan is the most affordable out of all.  
  • Connect to a server of the country you want to access Netflix from. 
  • Enable the Kill Switch and Smart DNS. 
  • Open the Netflix site or app on your device. 
  • Start streaming!

You must have a Netflix subscription to unblock other regional libraries. 

Can you access BBCiPlayer with Surfshark? 

Watching BBC iPlayer with Surfshark is simple and quick. We used the WireGuard protocol for high speed and the Kill Switch to prevent IP leaks. Besides, we could unblock the site within a few minutes of connecting with the VPN. 

It was reasonably easy to use Surfshark VPN, we connected to a nearby server, and on our first try, BBC iPlayer was unblocked. The quality was 4K, and there was no buffering or lags. We used the Smart DNS to unblock regional blocks. In short, our experience with BBC was above our expectations. 

How I set up Surfshark for BBCiPlayer;

  • Launch the Surfshark VPN app and Log in with your email. 
  • Choose your subscription plan. 
  • Choose a UK-based server. 
  • Enable Smart DNS and Kill Switch. 
  • Open the BBC iPlayer site.
  • Start streaming!

Users must have a BBC iPlayer subscription to unblock the site. 

Does Hulu work with Surfshark?

We had trouble accessing Hulu with Surfshark. The first few servers we were automatically connected to didn’t work with the site. The customer service then guided us that two servers, “United States – Detroit” and “United States – Latham,” are optimized to work with Hulu. Remember to connect to these servers to access Hulu. 

While trying to find the right server, we came across a few proxy errors, as Hulu was able to detect the VPN activity. However, the video quality was great; after selecting the right server, there were no lags. Besides, make sure you have a stable internet connection for seamless streaming. Make sure to enable the Smart DNS and Kill Switch feature as we did on Netflix. 

How I set up Surfshark VPN for Hulu;

  • Launch the Surfshark VPN app and Log in with your email. 
  • Choose your subscription plan. 
  • Choose a US-based server, such as Detroit or Latham. 
  • Enable the Smart DNS and Kill Switch. 
  • Turn on no-borders mode if needed. 
  • Open the Hulu site.
  • Start streaming!

Users must have a Hulu subscription to unblock the site. 

Unblock Disney + with Surfshark.

If you want to watch Disney Plus but cannot access the site due to geo-restrictions, Surfshark might be the right choice. The VPN easily bypasses all geo-blocks with its unique streaming features. The no borders can bypass the firewall of China, which is the strongest censorship. 

Most servers work with Disney Plus, and you will surely unblock the site within a few tries. We connected to the US-Denver server, and the speed was remarkable. There were no lags, and the homepage loaded quickly. However, do not forget to enable the Smart DNS to unblock various regional libraries. 

How I set up Surfshark VPN for Disney +;

  • Launch the ExpressVPN app and Log in with your email. 
  • Choose your subscription plan. 
  • Choose a US-based server. 
  • Turn on Smart DNS and Kill Switch. 
  • Visit Disney +.
  • Start streaming!

You must have a Disney Plus subscription to access the site with a VPN. 

Is Amazon Prime compatible with Surfshark?

Amazon Prime is a popular streaming service known for producing original content and featuring the highest-grossing shows. So we needed to check if Surfshark VPN could unblock Amazon regional libraries. Let’s just say that Surfshark did not disappoint us, all servers supported Amazon Prime, and we got fast speed and HD picture quality. 

We enabled the clean web and Kill Switch features for Amazon Prime for maximum security. Moreover, the Smart DNS helped in bypassing geo-blocks. Our recommendation is to use a WireGuard for quick connections and fast speed. Overall, our experience with Amazon Prime was smooth and worth it. 

How I set up  Surfshark VPN for Amazon Prime;

  • Launch the Surfshark VPN app and Log in with your email. 
  • Choose your subscription plan. We suggest choosing the 2-year plan or getting the free trial for 7 days. 
  • Choose a server of the region you want to access Amazon Prime from. 
  • Turn on the Kill Switch and clean the web. 
  • Enable Smart DNS to bypass geo-blocks.  
  • Open Amazon Prime.
  • Start streaming!

If you experience lags, try switching between servers for the best speeds. 

How to enable Smart DNS.

If you want to unblock geo-blocks, you must enable the Smart DNS; 

  1. Sign in to your Surfshark account.
  2. Go to the My Account page.
  3. you’ll find the option to turn on the Smart DNS feature. 
  4. Click Activate!
  5. You’ll receive an email once your Smart DNS is ready.

After following these steps visit any streaming site and start streaming. 


Here is how to solve issues while accessing streaming sites; 

  • Clear the caches.
  • Delete the app and reinstall it again.
  • Try switching between VPN servers. 
  • Perform a DNS leak test. Something might be interfering with your VPN network.

If these methods don’t solve your issue, contact customer service.

Torrenting with SurfShark VPN- Is it fast enough?

In this streaming era, some people still prefer torrenting over other means of entertainment. Torrenting is not safe, as it makes your IP vulnerable to online threats, which can result in data breaches and identity theft. This is where a VPN plays its part; it protects your IP by encryption your internet traffic. Surfshark VPN offers the following torrenting features.

  • Split tunneling feature: Users can choose which data travels through a regular network and which gets encrypted. It increases speed and privacy. 
  • Kill Switch: It prevents IP leaks during uncalled connection drops.
  • P2P optimized servers: It offers servers that support P2P file sharing. 

Our experience with Surfshark was impressive; most servers work with P2P, but not all. The fast encryption of AES helps secure the connection, and OpenVPN performed the best while torrenting. However, We experienced a pretty solid drop in our internet speed, which means you must have high internet speed for fast torrenting. 

Here is how we set up Surfshark VPN for torrenting;

  1. Subscribe to Surfshark and choose your subscription plan.
  2. Enable the Kill Switch to prevent IP leaks. 
  3. Switch to OpenVPN for fast speed. 
  4. Search for P2P servers in Surfshakr’s server menu. 
  5. Select a nearby server. 
  6. Open torrenting client. 
  7. Download your files. 

Surfshark does not support port forwarding and is not the best for torrenting. Overall, it is a good VPN with robust security. 

Gaming with Surfshark VPN. 

Surfshark has proved to be one of the best VPNs for gaming. The VPN offers blazing-fast speed and low ping time, which is ideal for gaming. Moreover, it can unblock most geo-blocked games. Besides, it offers the following features that make gaming easier; 

  • VPN protocols: Fast protocols like lightway ensure high speed and maximum security. 
  • Bypasser: A split tunneling feature. Users can choose which data travels through a regular network and which gets encrypted. It increases speed and privacy. 

When we say setting up Surfshark VPN for gaming is easy, we mean it; 

  1. Download the Surfshark app and log in. 
  2. Choose your payment plan. 
  3. Enable the Kill Switch and bypasser. 
  4. Connect to a server. 
  5. Start gaming!

How to enable the Kill Switch

  • Open the Surfshark app and select Settings.
  • Click on VPN settings.
  • To enable Kill Switch, toggle the switch on the right side.

The overall experience was worth it; it took Surfshark no time to connect us to a server. The speed was fast, and we experienced no lags at all. Besides, as it supports numerous gaming devices, you don’t have to worry about compatibility. 

Secure browsing through Tor.

A VPN encrypts your data and hides your IP. It is preferable to use a VPN service with a Tor browser as most people use it to access the dark and deep web. Therefore, Using a Tor browser without VPN poses a risk. There are two ways of connecting your VPN with Tor. But first, we will look at Tor-specific features offered by Surfshark. 

  • Onion over VPN: The internet traffic is routed through various volunteer-operated servers, making tracking your activity harder. 
  • Split tunneling feature: Users can choose which data travels through a regular network and which gets encrypted. It increases speed and privacy. 

You can set up your VPN in two ways;

  • Tor over VPN: The safest method that hides your IP from the government and removes location tags from your IP to prevent tracking. 
  • VPN over Tor: In this method, the VPN service can see your Tor activity, and it is harder to set up. 

We recommend using the Tor over VPN method for fast speed and better privacy. While accessing Tor Browser, we had to switch between servers to find the right server for Tor, but other than that, Surfhark showed promising results. 

Pricing and payment methods.  

Although the VPN is costly, its security and privacy justify the prices well. Surfshark offers the following pricing plans;

Free trial of 7 daysfree
1-month plan$12.95/m 
1-year plan $3.99/m
2-year plan$2.30/m

Users can pay through the following payment methods;

  • credit card,
  • PayPal,
  • Sofort,
  • Google Pay,
  • Amazon Pay.

Users can use CoinGate or CoinPayments like;

  • Bitcoin,
  • Ethereum, 
  • Other types of cryptocurrencies.

Surfshark is very flexible with payment options, making the VPN more user-friendly. 

How customer friendly is Surfshark? Customer support. 

Surfshark offers amazing customer support, with 24/7 live chat and email. You can also read the VPN guides, which contain useful articles, and you can find general query answers from there. We tried to reach customer support to learn about protocols offered by Surfshark, and this is how it went;

A bot was assigned to us, and we were a little disappointed to receive automated answers. However, the answer was indeed helpful. 

We also contacted email support and, within 5 minutes, received an email from them. The email did not answer my query, but it recommended visiting Later, I received an email from customer service asking me what operating system I used. In short, they fixed my issue, and that too in an hour!

Pros and cons.

Surfshark has proved to be a promising VPN till now. We have compiled a list of all its important features and what the VPN lacks;

Robust security: it provides AES-256-bit industry-level encryption along with RSA and SHA authentication keys. No bypasser: Split tunneling is not available on iOS.
Built-in Tor over VPN feature: it helps safely access the Tor browser. No dedicated IP: There is no dedicated IP for users, and you must use shared IP. 
Audited no-logs policy: the VPN keeps no logs and has RAM-only servers. No-call customer service: users can’t call customer service and can only contact through live chat or email. 
Fast speed protocols: it offers WireGuard protocol which offers fast speed. High prices: prices are high as compared to other VPN services. 
30-day money-back guarantee: users get a 30-day money-back guarantee with 24/7 customer support. 
P2P optimized servers: these servers help in torrenting and P2P file sharing. 
Bypasser: it is a split tunneling feature ideal for gaming and torrenting. 
Streaming features: prevents ISP throttling, unlimited bandwidth, bypasses geo-blocks. 
Servers: 3200+ 10 GBit servers in 99 countries ensure quick connections and fast speed. 

Hopefully, this table will help you better understand what Surfshark offers. 

Final Words 

It is safe to say that Surfshark is one of the best VPN services. Despite being a newcomer, the VPN has gained the trust of millions of users with its encryption and unique features. From streaming to torrenting, Surfshark can do it all. The prices are a little high, but with the set of features it comes with, these prices are well justified. 

The only drawback of the VPN is the jurisdiction in the Netherlands’ alliance with the nine-eyes. Other than that, we couldn’t find anything that changed our opinion of Surfshark. 


It is one of the best VPNs on the internet, with AES-256-GCM encryption and fast protocols. It also offers obfuscating tools to bypass geo-blocks and prevent data breaches. 

You can get the 7-day free trial on Android, iOS, and macOS. After the time is over, you must buy a subscription to keep using the VPN. 

No, Surfshark can easily unblock Netflix. Just choose a streaming-optimized server, and you can access Netflix easily. 

Yes, you can unblock Netflix regional libraries with Surfshark. It offers a no-borders feature which helps in bypassing geo-block and VPN blocks. 

Surfshark offers better speed than ExpressVPN. However, both VPN service offers the same encryption. Moreover, Surfshark is also more affordable than ExpressVPN. 

Yes, Surfshark VPN is a safe service; it has a no-log policy and various security features that ensure users’ privacy. It offers advanced encryption of AES to prevent data leaks and online monitoring. The VPN is known for preventing IP leaks and passed the test for WebRTC leaks.