- Excellent VPN
- Data leak monitoring
- Great value-cost ratio
- Light antivirus scans
- Private search engine
- Excellent customer service
- Lack of features
- Antivirus only available on Windows and Android
Internet security is becoming an increasingly important part of everyone’s lives, as we spend more time online, and new threats to our property, identity, and safety are developed each day. Fortunately, for every threat that’s being engineered, there are at least a dozen other people working to counteract it. Such is the case with Surfshark, a company founded in 2018 that currently operates out of the British Virgin Islands. Surfshark’s current offerings – which are all part of the Surfshark One suite – include a VPN, antivirus, search engine, as well as a monitoring tool that keeps an eye out for any data breaches. While it’s not the most feature-packed suite ever seen, what’s included should be more than enough for the average user. It’s worth mentioning that even though Surfshark One is a subscription-based package available across a multitude of platforms – such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and many more – certain features are only available on a select few operating systems.
When it comes to Surfshark One, what you see is what you get. It’s fairly barebones for an internet security suite, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it allows lesser experienced users to easily get their device protection up and running without much hassle. While the number of features isn’t particularly abundant, the ones that are available offer a lot more in the way of tailoring to your preferences. Beginners can just rely on the presets that Surfshark has created for them, while more advanced users can look to tinker with the finer details under the hood of this security suite. This applies to the antivirus, as well as the VPN, Alert, and the search engine.
There are also no additional features that can be acquired, either free or for purchase. Surfshark One already includes every bit of software that the developer has created, so there’s no need to worry about paywalls here.
Reports have shown that each day brings hundreds of thousands of new threats to your computer, whether spyware or other unwanted malware. So, it makes sense that you’d want to protect your devices from these malicious agents. Surfshark Antivirus provides you with a double whammy of real-time protection by blocking malware downloads before they even happen and scanning files for any unwanted visitors hiding in your system. Unfortunately, Surfshark Antivirus is currently only available for Windows and Android, but the company plans to expand to more operating systems in the future.
File scanning is very customizable, as you’d expect from any antivirus software these days. You can perform either a full or quick scan, choose to exclude specific files or folders, set up a schedule, and so on. Surfshark boasts that their antivirus is built in much the same way as their VPN – with proven technology and minimal load on system resources, meaning that it shouldn’t significantly impact your system’s performance during scans. Its claim does seem to hold up – at least in our experience – although your mileage may vary depending on various factors, such as how old your device is. It took us just over two hours to scan 665,000 files, and during this time, we managed to go about our day as usual.
The main focus of Surfshark One is its VPN, which is no surprise since that’s where the company’s roots lie. There are a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to the country you want to connect through, as well as options for static IP and multiserver tunneling. The tool is very straightforward – just select the server you want to connect to and then it’s off to the races. If you don’t need to redirect through a specific country, you can just prompt Surfshark to connect you to the nearest or fastest server. You can also create a favorite group with your preferred servers, so there’s no time wasted searching the list next time you hop onto the VPN.
Alert is one of the coolest features included in Surfshark One. With this feature, you can ensure you’re on top of any data leaks, such as your website getting hacked. You are immediately notified of any security breach to keep your information out of the wrong hands or try to mitigate the damage as much as possible if it’s too late to prevent it. Alert allows you to monitor multiple email addresses, IDs, and credit cards, generating security reports for them on a quarterly or yearly basis. You can even look up how secure a password is, based on the number of times it’s been breached.
Another great feature for people who value their privacy is Surfshark’s own search engine. This helps you look up things online the same way you would on Google but with the added bonus of keeping your searches 100% private and away from the eyes of any company that might want to collect your data. The consequence is that your queries will be uninfluenced by anything you may have previously looked up, avoiding any sort of targeted ads and providing you with truly organic searches.
With Surfshark One, a single subscription is all you need for every one of your devices. Granted, the antivirus only works on Windows and Android. So, while you’ll only benefit from the full protection coverage on your Windows PC or Android phone, the rest of the suite will still help you protect your data online on other operating systems. You’ll have no issues running Surfshark One if you meet the minimum requirement for your operating system version (Windows 7, macOS 10.12, Ubuntu or Debian, iOS 10.3.3, Android 5.0, Fire TV 2, Chrome 80, Firefox 91.1, or any version of Edge). And yes, you read that right. Surfshark also works on your smart TV – albeit only the VPN is available for this sort of device.
When it comes to pricing plans, Surfshark doesn’t offer many options. You can choose the length of your subscription, and that’s about it. You can opt for either a monthly plan that will set you back $14.44 per month, a yearly plan at $5.48 per month, or a 2-year plan that costs $3.98 for each month. It’s important to note that both the yearly and 2-year plans are paid up-front, with the former receiving a slight price hike after the first year.
Surfshark doesn’t offer a free version or trial for their Surfshark One suite. However, you can try the VPN for up to seven days on your Mac, Android, or iOS device. For everything else, we encourage you to take them up on their 30-day money-back guarantee (only available in the longer plans). It’s a great way to try the whole suite out for a month, and if you’re not satisfied, you can just cancel and get refunded.
No matter how much we try to avoid them, technical difficulties always pop up. Fortunately, if you ever run into issues with Surfshark One, rest assured you’ll find a solution without too much hassle. Surfshark’s Help Center has answers for any questions or potential difficulties you may have, and if that’s not enough to solve the puzzle, you can contact them directly.
While sending them an email is a perfectly viable option for contacting customer service, you’re much better off taking advantage of their 24/7 live chat service. Sometimes you’ll have to wait a few minutes – depending on how long the queue is – but it’s definitely faster than having a back-and-forth exchange over email. Surfshark’s customer support agents are very friendly and professional, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the best possible assistance for whatever issue you’re facing.
While Surfshark One doesn’t overflow with features the way other internet security suites do, it seems its motto is quality over quantity. Surfshark VPN – the software that put them on the map – is an excellent tool. When you put it together with its antivirus, Alert feature, and search engine, you get a fantastic package at a very affordable price. While it’s definitely a very handy piece of software, we can’t really recommend Surfshark One to everyone. It’s best suited for Windows or Android users since they’re the only ones who can fully benefit from everything the suite offers. However, while it’s still a pretty neat package even without the antivirus, this does seem to largely defeat the purpose of getting an internet security suite. Overall, it’s definitely worth a shot for the low price of $3.98 per month that you can get it for, especially since you get the 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
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