Best Mac VPN for 2023
Surfshark boasts an impressive suite of privacy and security features, unlimited simultaneous connections, easy-to-use interface and expansive global network. And it’s still significantly cheaper than most of its competitors. That’s what has helped Surfshark earn CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Best Value VPN in 2022.
Along with standard VPN features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection, some of the more notable Surfshark features include camouflage mode (which hides the fact you’re using a VPN), split-tunneling, NoBorders mode (which lets you use Surfshark in regions where VPNs are restricted) and multihop VPN connections. You’ll also get access to Surfshark’s CleanWeb technology, which blocks ads and malware and helps you avoid phishing attacks.
One innovation we’re excited to see Surfshark roll out over the next year is its Nexus network, which connects the VPN’s entire network of servers together and allows you to choose multiple servers to route your connection through. The functionality is somewhat similar to Tor, but Surfshark says it’s faster. With its Dynamic MultiHop, IP Randomizer and IP Rotator functions, the Nexus network can give you a few extra layers of protection while you use the VPN — which can be particularly beneficial to users with critical privacy needs.
Surfshark says it doesn’t log any user activity. And although no-logging claims are virtually impossible to prove with 100% certainty, German cybersecurity firm Cure53 declared Surfshark’s security to be “solid” in its 2021 security audit of the VPN. Surfshark passed its first independent no-logs audit in January.
Surfshark used to consistently rate as one of the fastest VPNs available, but we’ve been disappointed with its inconsistent speeds recently. The 40% speed loss we measured in February and March of 2023 was more than double the 19% speed loss we measured in 2022. Though speeds through WireGuard were impressive, registering only an 8% speed loss, the 76% speed loss we registered through OpenVPN dragged Surfshark’s overall speed rating down considerably. The company tells us that it is working on resolving the OpenVPN speed issues.
In our tests, Surfshark had no problems unblocking Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content, but we did run into a fair bit of trouble accessing Disney Plus. After testing various servers in the US and other countries where Disney Plus is available, we were finally able to access the content when we connected to a server in Boston. You may need to test a few servers yourself before gaining access to Disney Plus content with Surfshark.
Surfshark offers cheaper introductory prices that jump after the first billing cycle. Even so, Surfshark manages to keep its prices lower than most other VPNs — helping it earn CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Best Value. The yearly plan starts out at $48 for the first year, then jumps to $60 for any additional years of service. If you opt for the two-year plan, you’ll pay $60 up front for the initial two years combined, then $60 per year for any additional years. Surfshark’s monthly plan stays constant at $13 a month. If you’re not satisfied with the service for any reason, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Surfshark review.
Savings $2.49/mo with 24-mo plan (+2 free months)
- Lots of unique security features
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- RAM-only server network
- Inconsistent speed performance
- 14 Eyes jurisdiction (Netherlands)
- No transparency reports
Latest tests Zero data leaks and 19% internet speed loss in fall 2022 tests
Network 3,200-plus in 99 countries