Starting at just $1.99 a month, Surfshark completely hides your web traffic and replaces your IP address.
- No-logs VPN company based in the Virgin Islands
- Allows unlimited connections, double VPN and split tunneling
- Choice of OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2P2, Shadowsocks & more
Surfshark routinely graces our lists of the top VPNs due to its combination of security and speed. Of course, we also care about pricing, which is why we did a deep dive into the costs associated with Surfshark. Is it worth the money?
Surfshark: Is There A Free Trial?
Let’s back up. If you want to try out Surfshark for free as we did, they offer a 30-day trial; we didn’t even have to put a card down. This is pretty generous, as some free VPNs have a limit on the amount of bandwidth we could use, but not Surfshark. Instead, we had an entire month to test out their VPN service for free before we coughed up some money for a paid subscription, which brings us to our next point…
Along with being a fast and secure VPN, Surfshark doesn’t cost a ton.
VPN Subscription Options
When we were choosing a subscription, we noticed that we got the exact same features, connecting an unlimited number of devices to their private servers, with each; all that differed was the term length, either a month, one year or two years. As the term length increased, the price decreased, costing only $2.49 per month with the two-year package. Compared to VPNs like BlackVPN and IVPN, which start at about $6 per month, Surfshark is quite the steal.
|Time Length||Overall Cost||Monthly Cost|
More Digital Security Tools
In addition to their VPN service, Surfshark also offered us two cybersecurity features rolled into one $0.99 a month package:
- HackLock: Did you know that in 2019, it took an average of 206 days to identify a data breach?1 That’s nearly a year of stolen credentials floating around the web. But we could have found out about data breaches sooner with HackLock, which would’ve scanned the entire Internet for our email addresses. Sure, that’s not as comprehensive as the best identity theft protection services, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
- BlindSearch: Tons of advertisements above the organic search results can be annoying and can also really affect what we end up clicking on. In fact, nearly half of all clicks go to the three paid ads above the search results. If you dislike ads as much as we do, consider BlindSearch, which gets rid of ads so all the search results2 are as organic as your local farmer’s market.
We didn’t test out these additional digital security tools, but they sound like great ways to stay safe (and private) online.
Payment options matter when it comes to VPNs. Why? Depending on the payment method, the company can get more or less information about the customers themselves. For example, Bitcoin would be a better option for the super privacy-concerned, as it doesn’t include any third-party financial institutions and uses cryptography to secure payments.3 We used a regular old Visa to pay for Surfshark, but here are some other options:
- Major credit cards including Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple
Tip: For the most privacy, pay for Surfshark using cryptocurrency as opposed to a more traditional method like Visa or Mastercard.
Surfshark’s Best Features
We think Surfshark is a great VPN, as detailed in our Surfshark review, but if you’re not familiar with the VPN itself, here’s why we love it so much:
- Privacy jurisdiction: Since Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, a non-member to international surveillance alliances, the U.S government can’t force them to hand over our data.
- Logging policy: Surfshark keeps only the minimal amount of information necessary to uphold our account and their website, never logging our web traffic.
- Split tunneling: We connected to public and private networks simultaneously with Surfshark connected, encrypting all our web activity.
- Low prices: Starting at less $3 a month, you can’t get much cheaper than Surfshark (not to mention their 30-day free trial).
- Torrenting: For the cinephiles out there, you’ll appreciate getting to torrent movies and TV shows using Surfshark to protect your identity.
- Netflix: We hopped over to the U.K Netflix while connected to Surfshark, which allowed us to catch up on TV shows not available on the U.S version.
FYI: With Surfshark connected, you can watch Netflix (or any streaming service) from another country’s server, giving you endless amounts of new entertainment choices, as if you didn’t already have enough.
- Unlimited devices: No matter how many devices we connected to Surfshark, the service was still available, with no limit on simultaneous connections.
We didn’t end up needing to cancel Surfshark, as we liked the service so much, but if we had to, we would’ve simply emailed email@example.com or contacted support via live chat, and a rep would’ve stopped our recurring payments.
Between tuition and textbooks, most college students don’t have a pile of money lying around to spend on a VPN, which is why Surfshark offers 15% through Student Beans. With that discount, the prices will look like so:
|Time Length||Overall Cost with Student Discount||Monthly Cost with Student Discount|
Again, for those on a tight budget, your best bet is to sign up for two years and pay only $2.12 a month for Surfshark. While we’re sadly no longer students, we highly recommend taking advantage of this discount.
While we’re not students, we do have friends, which is why we took advantage of Surfshark’s referral program.
|Number of Invited Friends||Number of Free Months|
Here’s how it worked: first, we told all our friends and family about Surfshark and sent them referral links, which were easy to access in our app’s settings under Earn Free Months. If anyone signed up for more than 30 days and used Surfshark via a Windows, iOS or Android app, we were rewarded with free months of their VPN, which ranged anywhere from just a month all the way up to a year.
Note: In order to get rewards, the referral must be a completely new customer to Surfshark. You’ll also need an active Surfshark subscription to refer friends; the referral link can’t be used on its own.
Before we test out any VPN, we recommend checking its list of servers to find one near you. The distance between the user and the server can greatly affect the Internet speed, so make sure Surfshark has one in your area:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saudia Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Will My Device Work With Surfshark?
Another thing to check before you hit purchase with Surfshark is the devices compatible with their VPN software. However, it’s highly unlikely that your device won’t work with Surfshark, as it’s compatible with all of the most popular consumer electronics brands like:
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- Fire TV
- Samsung TV
Just because we like a VPN doesn’t mean it’s worth it, especially if the price isn’t right. However, that wasn’t the case with Surfshark, with prices starting at just $2.49 a month or less with their generous student discount. Still unsure? Try out Surfshark for 30 days with no risk; you won’t even have to put a credit card down. There’s nothing better than free!
- Is the Surfshark VPN any good?
The Surfshark VPN is good in terms of speed, security and overall performance. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the federal government can’t legally force Surfshark to hand over customer data, and they have a strict logging policy to boot. They’ll never log our web activity or traffic when connected to their server, which completely encrypted our web traffic and private IP addresses on an unlimited number of devices.
- Is Surfshark good for gaming?
Surfshark is a good VPN for gaming. You can either hook it up directly to a gaming console like an Xbox or PlayStation, or play games with Surfshark connected on your Windows, MacOS or Linux computer, Android or iOS phone or tablet, Chrome or Firefox browser, Fire TV, Samsung TV, Apple TV and other smart TVs. While we didn’t test out gaming specifically with Surfshark, we did find fast speeds on our Mac computer in particular.
- Who owns Surfshark?
Surfshark Ltd., a company based in the British Virgin Islands, founded the Surfshark VPN in 2018. They’re not under an umbrella company and work independently.
- Can I trust Surfshark?
You can trust Surfshark. They encrypt all users’ web traffic using military-grade AES-256 bit encryption through multiple servers, encrypting the traffic multiple times. Plus, the company itself has a strict logging policy; they don’t keep information about the user connecting to their VPN like their IP addresses, browsing history, session information, the times they connected, their network traffic or the amount of bandwidth they used. Instead, they keep minimal account information as well as information about how users use their website. Finally, the company is based in a country that’s a non-member to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes, international surveillance alliances that could legalize handing over customer data to the government.
- Does Surfshark hide your IP address?
When connected to the Surfshark VPN, the service hides your IP address behind their encrypted tunnel. Users will receive the same new IP address every time they connect to Surfshark, so their real IP address won’t show up in DNS or WebRTC leak tests.
IBM. (2019). Cost of a Data Breach Report. ibm.com/downloads/cas/ZBZLY7KL?_ga=2.148238199.1762516747.1577395260-1128561362.1577395260
Power Traffick. (2019). PPC Statistics and Trends.
Investopedia. (2020). Bitcoin vs. Credit Card Transactions: What's the Difference?