Surfshark VPN review: Basic protection for all your devices

Most people want a VPN for security, and power users will want all of their technology to be secure. This means getting a VPN that can handle multiple phones, laptops, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other technology with an Internet connection simultaneously. Of the nine VPN services we tested, Surfshark It has been on top when it comes to security for many devices. Here’s a summary of our experience with Surfshark.

Surfshark VPN Pricing and Features

Surfshark VPN has three subscription tiers: Starter, One, and One+. The starter promises a secure VPN, an ad blocker, and a pop-up blocker, while the other two tiers are based on additional features. I tested Surfshark One, so in addition to the benefits of the Starter tier, I had an antivirus scanner, data-breach monitoring, and the option to create an alternate ID, a beta feature that can create an alias for you. With it, you can use a fake name, home address, and email when you want to hide your identity on sites you find suspicious. On top of all this, Surfshark has its own secure search engine that is billed as a more private version of Google.

Paying for the most expensive tier, Surfshark One+, guarantees that your data will be removed from search sites and company databases, in addition to what the One tier gives you. Surfshark One+ costs around $4-5 per month (depending on company sales), which is quite affordable in the VPN world, so it may be worth spending the extra few dollars to move up from Starter to One+ for the extra features.

I enjoyed the features of the Surfshark One and think most people will be well served by this mid-tier. Checking for potential email breaches was very easy with Surfshark; It took less than 30 seconds for it to scan my inbox and tell me if my email was seen in a data breach. The speed of running the antivirus varied depending on the tool I used: a quick scan could take less than five minutes, but could only scan a little more than 1,000 files. The full scan can scan over a million files on my MacBook and Google Pixel 7 phone in about 10 minutes.

surfshark vpn
Surfshark

Surfshark VPN setup and streaming capabilities

Installing Surfshark on most of my devices was easy: I needed to download the app, sign in, and Surfshark automatically connected me to a server close to my current location. If you want to explore other servers, this needs to be done manually. For devices like my Fire TV, I was able to enter a login code from my MacBook and then automatically signed in to my account. By connecting my Pixel 7, MacBook, Fire TV, and work laptop all at once, I was able to run four devices seamlessly without any major errors, and I didn’t experience any bandwidth issues after adding additional devices. .

I stream a lot of movies and TV shows regularly, so I want to be able to seamlessly switch from Netflix to Peacock, Max, and the like and get into the content instantly. It took some effort for Surfshark to keep up with me. watching the finale of Only murders in the building This seemed impossible since Hulu didn’t initially load the title. On the second attempt, I was able to play an episode but it took a few minutes while the thumbnail images were on the site to load. After another attempt, I was finally able to watch the show on my laptop without any interruption.

Things smoothed out over time, and I only experienced consistent problems like this with services like Disney-owned Hulu. When it comes to international content, it’s usually easy to access those catalogs with Netflix while on a VPN, but the service was a little more selective when I used Surfshark. The streamer won’t catch when I tried to watch spy x family On Japanese Netflix, but it blocked me when I tried to watch Marie Antoinette Italian on Netflix.

Surfshark is also available on smart TVs and game consoles, but features like antivirus sweeps, alternative IDs, and Surfshark alerts are not available on those devices. Smart TVs only have the most basic Surfshark level capabilities, with a few other features like an ad blocker and the option to let some apps bypass the VPN. Gaming consoles are only connected to a VPN through your router or through a virtual router on your PC, so as long as the console is connected to Wi-Fi, you should be safe.

Unfortunately, as someone who has a MacBook and a proprietary Verizon router, protecting my PS5 was a little more complicated than I expected. While Surfshark offers handy tips As for connecting your VPN to a proprietary router, doing so may void your warranty or even cause your router to no longer work. With all those warnings, it almost felt like leaving my console unprotected was the better option.

surfshark search

Browsing the web while using Surfshark VPN was a seamless experience, except for the fact that whenever I Googled something I had to confirm that I wasn’t a bot. To bypass this, you can use the only Surfshark search VPN-provided search engine It comes with One and One+ membership tiers. The feature works on Surfshark’s mobile and desktop apps and isn’t as intuitive as Google’s, but promises an ad-free and tracking-free search experience.

With Surfshark search, I wasn’t bombarded with sponsored search results when I looked something up, but overall I got more general answers. When I searched, Surfshark’s tool couldn’t give me specific details about an actor and I had to search for any good photos. The service tried to guess what I wanted to search, but Google’s self-fulfilling predictions Are much more advanced.

For example, if I want to know how old an actor is, Google will tell me their age immediately before I complete the search, and put their age and date of birth at the top of the search results. Surfshark searches default to a person’s Wikipedia page only. If you care most about privacy and a tracking-free search experience, these are some of the features you’ll have to leave behind. Also, it’s worth noting that Surfshark’s search engine isn’t the only option if you want to search with more privacy; DuckDuckGo has become more widely available in recent years and is free to use.

surfshark vpn
surfshark vpn

Surfshark VPN Security Capabilities

Surfshark passed our basic security tests: no DNS, WebRTC, or IP leaks when using the VPN. since Consumer Reports’ Complete VPN Report, Surfshark has now implemented multi-factor authentication on its accounts. Although it’s not something you’ll be asked to set up right away, you can still go in and add it to your account. Compared to others like NordVPN, TunnelBear, and ExpressVPN, Surfshark offers similar security and features at a cheaper price.

That said, despite the lack of bandwidth issues on many of our devices, Surfshark remains one of the slower VPN alternatives in comparison. tunnelbear And Bitdefender. Plus, if you ever decide to switch VPNs, it’s not very easy to leave Surfshark. It seems that contacting customer service is the only way to delete your data cancel your subscription, With no option to easily cancel your subscription yourself, this sounds like a major red flag and something we wouldn’t want to deal with ourselves.

Surfshark VPN: Final Thoughts

overall, surfshark vpn It is a solid choice when it comes to security and reliability. However, if you’re going to use it for things like streaming shows, movies, and games, this may not be the VPN for you. As an alternative, you can prefer ExpressVPN, which we have chosen as the best for gaming and streaming. For a more versatile experience with stronger security and ease of use, we’ve found ProtonVPN to be the most balanced of them all. But if you want a relatively affordable VPN that can handle multiple connected devices well, Surfshark is a good choice.

This article was originally published on Engadget

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