This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Surfshark. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Keeping yourself secure online is increasingly difficult. Throw privacy into the mix, and it becomes even tougher to maintain. Even the most privacy-minded of us can run into snags, and that’s assuming you’re used to dealing with technology. What about your friends and relatives?
A virtual private network (VPN) can go a long way to keeping you safe. Unfortunately, because they used to be complex to set up, they have a reputation for being difficult to use. As Surfshark VPN shows, that is no longer the case.
What Can Surfshark VPN Do for You?
A VPN is basically a network within a network. You connect to the VPN provider’s network, and from there, their network acts as a middleman for any traffic coming through. This is encrypted in most cases (as it is with Surfshark VPN), so even your ISP shouldn’t be able to see what you’re doing.
One of the earliest wide-use cases of VPNs was for business users to connect to their corporate intranets from out of the office. Now you can use it for any number of things. Examples include staying safe on coffee shop Wi-Fis, hiding your true physical location online, and watching streamed movies or TV shows that are blocked in your country.
Supported Operating Systems and Devices
Surfshark works on basically any OS or device you can think of. The service offers apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux, plus apps for iOS, Android, and even Amazon Fire TV devices.
That’s just the start. In addition to device support, Surfshark offers plugins for Firefox and Google Chrome. This may let you use a VPN on a work computer where installing software isn’t allowed but installing browser plugins is.
Surfshark offers all the core features of a VPN, but that’s not all. One of its nicer features is CleanWeb, which helps remove ads, trackers, and malware, all without needing to do this in your browser.
If you’ve ever tried using a banking app or something with similar security precautions through a VPN, you know how tough it is. Surfshark’s Whitelister feature allows certain apps or websites through the VPN, helping to make these apps work without issue.
One of the most important features of Surfshark VPN is simply masking your IP address, as this can be used to determine your physical location. You may have heard of gamers being “swatted,” which someone only needs your IP address and name to do. Keeping your IP address private can help keep this from happening to you.
Another privacy focused aspect isn’t actually a feature but is still worth mentioning. Surfshark uses a strict no-logs privacy, meaning it has no record of your browsing activity. To take things even further, you can use the Camouflage mode to prevent even your ISP from knowing you’re using a VPN.
Using Surfshark VPN
Getting started with Surfshark VPN is easy. Simply sign up on the website, download the app for your platform, and sign in. The app will take care of the rest of the process for you, guiding you through when you need to do something it can’t handle itself.
In my case, installing the Surfshark app on macOS, it needed permissions set. Then I had to enter my password to allow it to make a few changes. The app guided me through this 100 percent of the way.
After logging in, it’s a simple matter of choosing how you want to connect. Surfshark will automatically select the closest server to you for the best speeds, but you don’t need to use this. Using the panel on the left, you can choose whichever country you’d like to connect through.
For extra anonymity, you can use MultiHop, which routes your traffic through multiple countries to help mask your IP address.
One thing users worry about with VPNs is how much it will affect their Internet speed. In my testing, Surfshark almost never had a negative impact on my Internet speed. In fact, the only time I saw lower speeds than my 100 Mbps home Internet speed was using MultiHop or servers in countries located far away from my own.
Often, even using Surfshark servers located in other countries didn’t mean a slow connection. I can’t speak for everyone, since I only tested this from a few locations where I live, but it doesn’t seem like speed is anything potential users need to worry about.
Surfshark offers a few different ways to pay for the service. The first is monthly, with the price being $11.95 per month. That’s not expensive, but you can save a significant amount of money by paying ahead of time with yearly billing.
You can save 50 percent by paying for one year. This comes to $71.88, or $5.99 per month. Paying for 24 months can save you 83 percent off the monthly price, with the total being $47.76 or $1.99 per month. That’s actually cheaper than paying for 12 months.
Even if you don’t use it 100 percent of the time, any VPN is an upgrade for your privacy. Surfshark VPN just happens to be easier to use and is reasonably priced to boot, so it’s an easy recommendation.
If you’re not sure whether it’s for you, give the seven-day free trial a try. This is more than long enough to show you the value of a VPN, and you’ll get a chance to see if the software works for you. Surfshark seems confident enough that its product is worthwhile that it doesn’t resort to using tricks that make it difficult to cancel.