Online privacy and Internet browsing security are particularly close to my heart: that is why when I am offered the opportunity to talk about a good solution in these areas, I am pleased to do so. So here I am presenting surf shark: a VPN service, that is, a virtual private network, which is an intermediary between our devices (e.g., our computers, smartphones, or tablets) and the online resources we want to reach (e.g., an internet site or the app of streaming service) allowing us to hide our actual IP address (the “license plate” that has our connection and identifies it on the Internet) and encrypt all the activities we carry out on the Net with a very advanced 256-bit technology.
This translates into the possibility of surfing online – even from public wi-fi networks – without the risk of its activities being intercepted by attackers, ISPs, or other subjects (including Surfshark operators, who do not record anything of the activities carried out by users), in overcoming regional censorship and restrictions and in the possibility of accessing the foreign catalogs of streaming services. In addition, Surfshark protects against malware, phishing, and other harmful/annoying content present on the Internet (through its CleanWeb function), allows you to configure a Kill Switch to automatically disable the Internet connection in case of disconnection from the VPN, and will enable you to create a list of programs and sites that must never use the VPN (Whitelister function, handy for home banking).
I add to what has just been said that Surfshark has more than 1,700 servers spread across 63 countries around the world, is available on all major devices and operating systems (also allowing limitless use on multiple devices at the same time), has highly affordable prices and provides 24/7 assistance to all its customers. If you want to know more, all you have to do is keep reading: in this Surfshark review of mine, I will explain how the product in question works and try to illustrate all its most essential features. Have a good read!
As mentioned when opening the post, Surfshark is available on most devices and operating systems. Going more specifically, on computers, you can use the service through a convenient client compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux computers. In addition, there is an extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers) that allows you to access the VPN even faster during your online browsing sessions.
In mobile, Surfshark is available as an app for Android and iPhone/iPad devices). In the home area, on the other hand, there is the presence of surfshark’s official app for Fire TV Stick), which allows you to take advantage of the secure connection via VPN while playing content or browsing online from Amazon’s famous HDMI stick. And it doesn’t end there!
You should know that Surfshark offers smart DNS that, once set up, allows you to safely browse even on devices that do not usually support vpn configuration, such as Smart TVs, Apple TVs, and video game consoles (e.g., PS4).
In addition, as already pointed out before, there are no limits to the number of devices that you can associate with your Surfshark account or that you can use at the same time.
Before I get to the heart of the review and explain how Surfshark works, I also wanted to give you some information about the service prices.
Well, Surfshark offers plans suitable for all budgets and all needs: the 12-month program, which costs 3.49 euros/month (with annual billing), is the one recommended for all new users, offers a great degree of savings, and enjoys the formula satisfied or refunded within 30 days. Alternatively, there is a plan, even cheaper but longer, from 36 months that costs 1.69 euros/month (always with billing every 36 months); finally, there is the 1-month plan, without obligation to renew, which costs 9.89 euros.
In addition, there are additional services that you can buy for 0.89 euros/month: HackLock, to find out if your email address has leaked in some cyberattack and therefore you need to modify the accesses related to the latter, and BlindSearch, to perform searches anonymously and efficiently without advertising tracking or logs.
Keep an eye on the Surfshark site, however, as attractive new offers are often offered.
How Surfshark works
Once you’ve made it clear what’s due in terms of features, compatible devices, and pricing, it’s time to explain to you in concrete terms how Surfshark works on computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
How to use Surfshark on PC
The first step you need to take to use Surfshark on your computer is to connect to the service’s official website, click on the Buy Now button, and choose a plan from among those available.
Then enter your email address in the appropriate text field, choose whether to include in your subscription also the additional hacklock and blind search services (pressing the proper button), choose a payment method among those supported (credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Cryptocurrency, etc.) and complete the transaction following the on-screen indications.
Once you’ve created your account and activated your subscription, all you have to do is install the Surfshark Client on your computer. If you are using a Windows PC, connect to this Surfshark website page and click the Download Now button. When the Download is complete, open the obtained installation package, click Yes and wait a few seconds for the software installation to complete. When finished, the program will start automatically.
If you’re using a Mac, connect to this Surfshark site page instead, press the Download on the App Store button, and download the Surfshark Client from the Mac App Store by pressing the Get/Install button and identifying yourself by Apple ID password or Touch ID. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can install Surfshark via the classic .dmg package, clicking on the appropriate button: at the end of the Download, open the obtained file, drag the Surfshark icon to the Mac Applications folder, and you are done.
Now, regardless of the operating system used, all you have to do is start Surfshark and log in to your account by clicking on the Sign-in entry and entering your data in the proposed form.
Very good: now you have to choose whether to automatically connect to the fastest VPN server and near you by clicking on the Connect button or manually selecting a server to connect to among the many available.
In this second case, select the Surfshark Locations tab and browse all available servers based on geographical location (Locations tab) or their characteristics (static IP card, to always have the same IP, or Multihop card, for an even more secure connection through two countries); alternatively, do a direct search using the search field located at the top.
I appreciated this double approach by Surfshark, which allowed me, on the one hand, to have a fast VPN always available in case of need. In contrast, in the circumstances when I had specific needs (e.g., accessing a particular country’s catalog on a streaming service), I was able to choose manually from many different servers, all on average reliable and with good performance.
Once you find the correct server for you, you have to select it and wait for the connection to be established: deal of a few seconds. When you connect, your online browsing will be secure, encrypted, and you will be bound by the country to which the server you selected is based.
Also, I would point out that by clicking on the up arrow above the name of your server (on the Surfshark home screen), you can turn the Kill Switch on and off (to automatically disconnect from the Network in case of a fall in the VPN connection), choose whether to show the transferred data and monitor the traffic in Download and upload made.
To configure the other Surfshark features, go instead to the Client Features tab: there, you will have the opportunity to activate, disable and configure in detail the CleanWeb functions (for blocking advertising tracking and malware), Whitelister (to select apps, websites, or IPs that are allowed to ignore the VPN), HackLock (to receive real-time alerts when there is a risk that their email addresses and passwords may be hacked) and BlindSearch (to perform online searches anonymously, without advertising tracking or logs).
On the Settings menu, you can manage preferences for your account and other client parameters instead. Finally, to disconnect from the VPN, all you have to do is call back the Surfshark Client and press the surf shark client button.
If you want even faster access to the VPN directly from the browser, I remind you to install the Surfshark extension for Chrome and Firefox).
How to use Surfshark on smartphones and tablets
Using Surfshark on smartphones and tablets is as simple as it is on computers, if not more. To get the official service app, open your device’s default store (Play Store or an alternative store on Android and App Store on iOS/iPadOS), search for and select Surfshark (or visit the links I just provided to you), press the Get/Install button, and wait for the application to download and install automatically. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you’ll also need to authenticate through Face ID, Touch ID, or Apple ID password.
When the Download is complete, launch the Surfshark app, press the button that says Sign in, and signs in with your account data. If you haven’t registered with Surfshark yet, press the button to create an account instead, enter the email address and password you want to use in the appropriate text field, press the Create Account button and follow the on-screen directions to complete the registration and choose the Surfshark plan that best suits you (you may also be entitled to a free trial without obligation to renew).
Once you’re signed in to your account, all you have to do is take the Connect button to connect to the fastest VPN server and near you right away; alternatively, go to the Locations tab and manually select the server to connect to you can browse them all based on your geographic location (Locations tab) or their characteristics (e.g., static IP, always to have the same IP or Multihop card for an even more secure connection through two countries).
The first time you connect, you’ll need to authorize the creation of a new VPN profile on your device, responding affirmatively to the message that appears on the screen.
When you connect, you can press the arrow on your server name to turn the Kill Switch on or off (then auto-disconnect if the VPN falls) or the Sign Out button to close the connection with the VPN server.
By moving instead to the Features tab, you can turn cleansed, hacklock, and blind search on or off, and on the Settings tab, you can manage your account and app preferences (e.g., wi-fi and kill switch).
How to use Surfshark on other devices
Among the features that I have most appreciated about Surfshark, there is undoubtedly the transversal compatibility of the service with many devices, even those other than the “usual” computers, smartphones, and tablets.
As mentioned above, there is an official Surfshark app for Fire TV Stick), which allows you to protect the connection, overcome regional blocks and access the foreign catalogs of streaming services from the famous Amazon stick (which I told you about in detail in another tutorial of mine). Still, perhaps surfshark’s smart DNS is even more enjoyable.
Taking advantage of Surfshark’s DNS servers (to be activated by connecting to your profile on the Surfshark website), you can browse safely and overcome regional blocks even on devices that do not usually support the use of VPNs, such as Smart TVs, Apple TVs, and video game consoles: change DNS on these devices, configuring those of Surfshark, and you are done.