If VPN is an acronym that’s unfamiliar to you, you’re certainly not alone. Too many people still haven’t heard of VPN services or don’t understand what they are or why they would need one.
Put simply, a VPN service gives you the privacy and security you need when using the internet these days, and can also unblock websites and video streaming services that aren’t available where you are.
All you have to do is install an app on your phone, laptop or other device and hit the ‘connect’ button. Then your internet connection will be encrypted and routed through the VPN provider’s servers.
Do I really need privacy and security?
Ok, we know what you’re thinking: just another subscription I don’t actually need. But the reality is that a VPN is an essential tool for everyone who uses the modern internet.
Just like antivirus, in fact. With a VPN, no-one can see which websites you’re visiting, not your internet service provider, not the government nor anyone else who would want to snoop on your activity. It also stops websites from tracking your every move and showing you adverts of products you looked at the other day.
Even if you don’t care too much about privacy, there’s security to consider. Most public Wi-Fi networks are ‘open’ which means your phone or laptop can connect without you entering a password. That means the connection is unencrypted and anyone with basic software can see the messages and emails you send, and even your login details if the website you’re signing isn’t using proper security measures (such as HTTPS).
Even more practically, a VPN can change your location which means you can save money on things such as flights, hotel bookings and more. The same is true of any content – videos, websites etc. – which is limited to specific regions or countries. To get around most blocks, you simply connect to a server in that country or region.
Surfshark offers a host of features for a tiny monthly price. But before talking about them, it’s well worth knowing that Surfshark operates a zero-logs policy. That means beyond your email address and payment details (unless you pay via cryptocurrency which keeps you anonymous) even Surfshark doesn’t know how you use its service and stores no data whatsoever.
This means that should the local authorities in the British Virgin Islands ask for any data, there is nothing to hand over.
Also, Surfshark doesn’t restrict you to using your account on only a few devices: you can use it on as many as you like – all at the same time.
Getting back to the features, Sufshark offers a Kill Switch. This an essential safety net because it stops any app connecting to the internet in the event that the VPN connection is unexpectedly terminated. It means that even if that does happen, your privacy and security remain intact: the internet connection is restored as soon as the VPN is up and running again.
With the rise in popularity of VPN services, some countries, websites and streaming services are getting wise to spotting encrypted VPN connections and can therefore continue to block that content. But Surfshark’s Camouflage mode is a clever feature which hides the fact you’re even using a VPN from anyone who is looking by disguising that encrypted connection as normal internet traffic.
The Whitelister is handy because it lets you set a list of websites and apps which don’t need to use the VPN connection. A common misunderstanding is that you should use a VPN when making bank transactions. In fact, banking apps and websites already have the necessary encryption, and using a VPN might cause problems.
And going above and beyond the usual 256-bit encryption, Surfshark offers MultiHop. This routes your connection via multiple servers to give you another layer of protection.
What about those unique features?
We’re glad you asked. HackLock and BlindSearch are Surfshark’s latest features. The first keeps tabs on your email addresses and will send you an alert if any of them appear in a list of stolen identities after a website or service is hacked. It also lets you see if the passwords you use have ever been found online. In either case, you’ll know if you need to change your password or perhaps update the email address you use to access a website or social media service.
BlindSearch is a search engine that’s completely private. Your searches are not logged and therefore the results shown won’t be skewed by your previous searches. It’s also totally ad-free, so you see the search results and won’t be bamboozled by adverts among them.
How much is Surfshark?
Well this is the best part. Tech Advisor readers can get Surfshark for only £1.59 per month – 83% off the usual price.
Adding HackLock and BlindSearch costs just 99p extra per month, and you can get this amazing deal on