Surfshark VPN Review (2 Years - Long Term)

In this Surfshark review, I will share my long-term experience of using this VPN as I traveled the world and worked remotely.

ยท 12 min read
Surfshark VPN Review

I use VPNs not just because I want to test them for writing this blog, but because I truly believe in their usefulness. As a user myself, I travel the world, move from place to place, and in the process, I try to be mindful of my online privacy and stay on the safe side when using the internet.

I started using Surfshark right before our trip back from Europe, in the autumn of 2020. Before that, I used a different VPN but my subscription ran out just before our travel date. So I decided to give Surfshark a try and switch to it.

I did my due diligence, read tons of reviews, looked over technical specs, and even consulted their privacy policy ๐Ÿ˜€; all to make sure that I don't waste my money on a purchase that is supposed to help with my online privacy.

Since then, I traveled across six countries, I used it on all my devices, and I think I'm ready to draw some conclusions after using Surfshark for the past 27 months.

This post may include affiliate links, and I may get a commission if you buy through the links on my website (at no additional cost to you).

What this Review is and What it's Not

This review is not technical - countless reviews focus on the technical specs of Surfshark. What I want to look at, is how it actually works in the real world and how well it performed throughout my two-year use of it.

It's a long-term review that looks at how usable and reliable this VPN was, overall. It should give you a good idea if it is worth your money or not.

Additionally, my review will be a lot more realistic for day-to-day use because I did not perform an artificial test, in a simulated environment with a fast internet connection from my office. While in Europe, both in 2021 and 2022, we had to deal with varying levels of internet speed and connection reliability, from country to country.

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My Conclusion

While I want you to read the whole post, if you are interested, I do realize that some of you may be rushing and want the quick version of my review. Here it goes:

I think it's safe to say that Surfshark performed well, overall, and I was able to use it most of the time. It did not exceed my expectations, but it did not let me down either.

For essential uses (bank and financial website connections, it did well, while for entertainment use, it was a mixed bag).

I think it's worth getting Surfshark if you want to have plenty of server choices, relatively good speeds, and polished applications for just about any platform you want.

If you are looking to buy a VPN, check to see if other competitors have better pricing. If not, stick to Surfshark, it will do most of what the other VPNs do, but more cost-effectively.

However, if you do find a better deal with the VPNs that I'm going to list below, I recommend you get one of them because I believe their offering is superior to what Surfshark offers.

Better alternatives to Surfshark

The alternatives below are, in my opinion, better alternatives to Surfshark, in a few cases, and I will add some details below.

Private Internet Access

This VPN, also called PIA, is only a better VPN than Surfshark if you buy the dedicated IP add-on. This will increase the price of the VPN service, but it will provide a much better VPN solution, especially when traveling outside your home country.

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This VPN is the king of VPNs. It's reliable, reputable, and offers good value for money. It's one of those experiences where things just work out of the box. You install it, enable it, and you forget about it. Again, if you can afford the price difference, go for it.

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This VPN is almost as affordable as Surfshark, and it is part of a larger offering from NordVPN. If you are in the market for secure online storage and a password manager, their offer is unbeatable. Otherwise, if you're just interested in the VPN service, Surfshark has you covered.

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Long-term Review

Now that we know the conclusion, let's get into the details of my long-term review.

I'll split this review based on my needs, and I'll tell you how Surfhsark behaved, what was good, and what could be improved, but I will start with the devices I've used during these 27 months.

My Devices

  • MacBook M1 Pro, 16 inch
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Google Pixel 6a, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google Pixel 2XL

As you can see, I use plenty of Apple devices because I find them to be very reliable, but I enjoy using Google Pixels too.

The one thing worth mentioning here is that mobile VPN applications tend to work significantly better than desktop applications. But that is true for almost all the other VPNs I've used so far.

Surfshark VPN for Travel

As I told you before, I wanted to make sure I have a good VPN when traveling the world. I was able to purchase Surfshark from Europe, installed it on all my devices, and had it enabled for most of the past two years.

By default, you are encouraged by Surfshark to connect to the closest server and that was a great option for when I searched for local information, I wanted to view local places or just use YouTube or social media. It all worked great.

The default Surfshark screen

I think most of the VPNs out there, will be able to give you a good experience when you connect to the closest server.

My purpose, in this case, was to shield my searches and my internet usage from whatever internet provider I was using at that particular time. I have no complaints in this regard. My experience was flawless and smooth.

Surfshark VPN for Banking Remotely

VPN or online banking

However, when it came to banking and financial operations, I think Surfshark needs some improvements. The reason is that most of the big banks detect VPNs as a security threat and will not allow you to perform any kind of bank transaction when connected with a VPN.

To get around this impediment, I started using the Static IP servers provided by the app. This helped eliminate some of the issues, but the banking websites still detected that I was using a VPN from time to time.

These static IP servers will always have the same IP address, but it will allow many users to share that IP address.

When you pay for a dedicated IP, that's going to be your private IP, and it's not going to be shared by anybody on the internet. That's why I highly recommend, if this use case is important for you, to go with Private Internet Access and get the dedicated IP option.

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Surfshark VPN for Streaming Services

VPN for Streaming Services

We travel with kids, and we use various streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. If you don't rely on these services, I say good for you. You save money and time, plus you will avoid the frustration of using them while traveling.

Here's how Sturfshark helped us with streaming movies while traveling.

Disney+ and Netflix accounts were the most difficult ones to use while traveling. Even when we were in the US, we had to disconnect our VPN to be able to access it. Not cool, Disney and Netflix!

However, we've had limited success with some of the New York Static IP servers that Surfshark provides, but again, it was a hustle.

With Amazon Prime, those static servers worked considerably better, and we've had no issues, even with a regular US-based server, accessing our already purchased items.

Tubi, however, worked just fine with the static IP VPN and the Brave browser.

Surfshark for Watching Sports

Surfshark for watching sports

We've got back to the US recently, and we wanted to watch the Qatar World Cup, but since we only stay in the US for a short amount of time, we don't have cable.

I have to report that we've had great success with this while using the UK servers to watch the world cup games online. If you're interested in sports, that's something to think about.

๐Ÿ‘ Surfshark VPN Pros

Here's a quick list of the things I liked about Surfshark:

  • The app is easy to set up and use on multiple devices.
  • I have had relative success in unblocking content with the available servers
  • You get unlimited device connections for a single subscription
  • The cost of using this VPN is really low compared to other VPN providers.
  • The customer support is really helpful and friendly.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Surfshark VPN Cons

Things I didn't like about the service:

  • The connection speed was a bit slow at times, especially when using certain servers.
  • Some banks still detect that you are using a VPN even when connected to their websites
  • Too many captcha warnings when browsing the web regardless of what server I used

Surfshark before purchase vs. after long-term usage

This is an interesting comparison - I'll tell you why I chose Surfshark, what I expected, and how my real-world experience was.

Before purchasing, I expected the Static IP servers to solve my issues with connecting to streaming and banking services. I've also expected to use Surfshark on many devices, and I even thought of using it on a router. Finally, I thought I would use some specialized features (multi-hop) regularly.

However, none of my expectations were met, except partially, and I've learned a huge lesson from this:

As long as it's a reputable VPN, with no logs, a smooth and easy user experience matters more than a ton of features, for a regular user like me.

And, there's another big lesson I've learned.

Start rotating your VPN companies

If you are using NordVPN today, consider Surfshark for your next VPN. Why? Because in 90% of cases, you will not notice any difference. They are doing the same thing. Encrypting your traffic and proving anonymity.

Surfshark VPN long-term rating

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my experience with Surfshark VPN as a 7/10. And I feel that most of the companies out there fall in the same overall rating, but I may be wrong about it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about Surfshark that I want to cover, based on my first-hand experience and research.

Is Surfshark VPN trustworthy?

Surfshark VPN has gained a reputation for being a trustworthy provider due to several reasons:

  1. Independent Audits: Surfshark has undergone independent security audits by Cure53, a well-known cybersecurity company. The audit confirmed that Surfshark's no-logs policy is accurate and that there are no vulnerabilities in the VPN's infrastructure.
  2. Strong Encryption: Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM encryption, which is considered one of the most secure encryption methods available today. This encryption ensures that all user data is protected from prying eyes.
  3. No-Logs Policy: Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy, which means that it does not collect any user data or activity logs. This policy ensures that users' online activities remain private and secure.
  4. Trusted Reviews: Surfshark has received positive reviews from reputable sources such as PCMag,, Cybernews, and TechRadar, among others.

Is Surfshark owned by China?

No, Surfshark is not owned by China. The VPN service is located in the Netherlands and is owned by Nordsec Ltd. since February 2022. Nordsec Ltd. also owns other VPN services such as NordVPN, NordLayer, and Atlas VPN.

It's important to note that not all VPN services are created equal, and some may be secretly owned by Chinese companies.

However, there are reports that many VPN providers are owned by China. But don't worry: Surfshark is one provider that won't snoop on your activities!

Is Surfshark better than NordVPN?

One area where Surfshark has an advantage over NordVPN is in the number of devices that can be connected at once. With Surfshark, you can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, while NordVPN caps the number of devices at six. This makes Surfshark a great choice for families or anyone with multiple devices.

However, when it comes to speed and security features, NordVPN comes out on top. In recent tests, NordVPN was found to offer faster speeds than Surfshark and also offer more security features. Additionally, NordVPN has a larger server network than Surfshark.

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But since both companies belong to the same owner, this may change in the future. It all depends on the features you value the most.

Who owns Surfshark?

As I've mentioned above, Surfshark is owned by Nordsec Ltd., which is a company located in the Netherlands. Nordsec Ltd. was founded in February 2022 and owns other VPN services such as NordVPN, NordLayer, and Atlas VPN.

Nordsec Ltd. is an established and respected company in the industry with a long history of providing reliable and secure VPN services.

Is Surfshark untraceable?

While it's virtually impossible to be completely untraceable online, SurfShark VPN is a great tool that provides more privacy and security by masking your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic.

This makes it much harder for anyone to track your online activity, including your internet service provider (ISP) and even the police. However, it's important to note that using a VPN doesn't make you completely anonymous online.


Overall, Surfshark is a reliable VPN provider with plenty of servers, good speeds, and polished applications for almost any platform you want.

It's a cost-effective option compared to other top competitors like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

However, if you find another service that offers better features at an affordable price point, it might be a better option for you.

In any case, Surfshark is a viable choice for anyone who's looking for a decent VPN provider and wants to save some money.

Thanks for reading!