Surfshark Antivirus Review: Quick Expert Summary
Surfshark Antivirus is a premium antivirus program that includes a lightweight malware scanner, basic security features, excellent customer support, and user-friendly Windows, macOS, and Android apps.
Surfshark’s malware scanner performed well in my tests, catching most of the malware samples I downloaded onto my MacBook. Its real-time protection is good, too: it detected all my test files before I could download them.
The antivirus comes with some additional features, including a VPN, a data breach monitoring tool called Surfshark Alert, and an ad-free search engine. But unfortunately it lacks several other features, like performance optimization tools, a password manager, and parental controls. Competitors like Norton and Bitdefender provide all these tools as well as perfect malware detection.
That said, Surfshark Antivirus is a good choice if you want a no-frills antivirus with a powerful VPN — it includes one of the best standalone VPNs in 2023. However, it’s only sold as part of Surfshark One — a cybersecurity package that comes with 4 different products. There’s no free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no harm in trying it out.
|🏅 Overall Rank||#26 out of 71 antiviruses|
|🎁 Free Plan||❌|
|💵 Pricing||$47.76 / year|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
|💻 Operating Systems||Windows, Mac, Android|
Surfshark Antivirus Full Review
Surfshark Antivirus is a premium security suite that’s only available in Surfshark One — a full security package consisting of an antivirus, a VPN, a search engine, and a data breach monitor. The antivirus has near-perfect anti-malware results and features real-time and webcam protection. But unfortunately, it doesn’t come with many extras: it lacks afirewall, Wi-Fi protection, device optimization tools, parental controls, and other features that top antivirus providers offer.
That said, Surfshark One provides protection for up to 5 devices (Android, Mac, and Windows only), it’s very user-friendly, and it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee — so it’s a pretty decent choice if you’re not tech-savvy and want to cover multiple devices in your household.
Surfshark Antivirus Security Features
Surfshark’s antivirus scanner is fast and lightweight. It compares files against a massive malware database and can detect all types of threats. It comes with 2 scanning options:
- Quick Scan — Scans the most vulnerable areas of your system for malware and vulnerabilities.
- Full Scan — An in-depth scan of the entire system for all kinds of threats.
I was pretty impressed with Surfshark’s antivirus scanner. I tested it by downloading hundreds of malware samples onto my Mac, including viruses, trojans, spyware, worms, cryptojackers, adware, rootkits, ransomware, and keyloggers. Surfshark detected and removed most of the malware samples, but it missed some that Norton caught. That said, the full scan took about 7 minutes, and my system never slowed down during the entire process. This is really impressive — McAfee slowed down my system quite a bit when running malware scans and took about an hour.
Surfshark’s real-time protection is impressive, too. After testing the antivirus scanner, I turned on real-time protection and attempted to download the same malware samples again. Surfshark detected all of the malware files before I could download them, which is similar to the results I got from top competitors like Bitdefender.
Surfshark also has a drag-and-drop feature for scanning specific files and folders. So, if you’re unsure whether a file is safe, you can just drag it into the Surfshark app, and it will scan it for you. I found this feature to be very intuitive — it’s similar to a custom scan, which many industry-leading antivirus brands provide.
I also like how Surfshark’s scanner offers various customization options. For example, you can schedule scans for when you’re away from your computer, and doing so is easy — I quickly created an automatic scan schedule for a specific day and time and selected the type of scan I wanted to schedule (quick or full scan). That said, competitors like Avira offer a wider range of scanning options.
Surfshark also lets you select files or folders that you don’t want to scan. This is helpful if you’ve previously scanned a file and don’t want to include it in future scans.
Finally, Surfshark updates its virus database regularly, which is essential for any antivirus. Surfshark even allows you to update the database manually whenever you wish, and you can turn on antivirus notifications to stay informed about database updates and scan results.
Overall, Surfshark’s antivirus scanner works well. It detects most malware samples, provides a good range of customization features, and can scan your computer fast without causing much slowdown. It’s not quite as feature-rich as competitors like Avira, but it’s a good choice if you’re after a scanner that can quickly and easily remove malware from your system.
When you purchase Surfshark One, you automatically get additional tools like a VPN, identity theft protection, and an ad-free search engine.
The VPN worked well in my tests (it’s one of the best VPNs in 2023), providing me with fast speeds and allowing me to access top streaming sites like Netflix and HBO Max.
As well as being very intuitive and easy-to-use, the VPN offers various advanced security features, such as split-tunneling (lets you choose which traffic goes through the VPN tunnel and which doesn’t), MultiHop servers (connect you to the internet through two servers instead of just one, providing more security), and an IP Rotator (periodically changes your IP address to make tracking you more difficult). It also comes with CleanWeb, which is an excellent ad blocker.
Surfshark’s data breach monitoring tool — Surfshark Alert — is another great feature. It monitors your personal data, including your email address, credit card information, and personal identification number, and notifies you if any details are leaked online. It also checks your passwords for any vulnerabilities, which makes it similar to 1Password’s data breach monitor and password health checker. However, I prefer how 1Password alerts you to weak passwords, passwords you’ve reused, inactive two-factor authentication on web pages, and much more — its offering is more comprehensive than Surfshark’s.
I’m also a fan of Surfshark’s search engine — Surfshark Search. It allows you to browse the internet for purely organic search results that are ad-free and not influenced by your real location or previous searches. You can also configure the tool to provide search results that are relevant to a particular location (such as the United Kingdom, the US, or Australia).
Surfshark also provides webcam protection (in a beta version). This feature prevents apps you’ve not previously approved from watching you through your camera. I tested it with Zoom and Veed, and Surfshark prevented both sites from using my webcam, but it also gave me the option of allowing or denying access. There’s also a trusted-app list where you can add applications you trust. Top brands like McAfee and TotalAV lack webcam protection, so it’s impressive that Surfshark offers it.
However, I would like to see the antivirus offer more tools, such as parental controls and a password manager — which top antivirus brands like Norton and Bitdefender provide. Nevertheless, Surfshark is a good choice if you’re only looking for the most basic antivirus protection and aren’t worried about having all the extras.
Surfshark Antivirus Plans & Pricing
Surfshark Antivirus is not available as a standalone product — you can only get it when you purchase Surfshark One, which bundles 4 products:
- Surfshark Antivirus.
- Surfshark VPN.
- Surfshark Search.
- Surfshark Alert.
Starting at $47.76 / year, Surfshark One is quite budget-friendly for a cybersecurity bundle. It lets you choose from several subscription lengths, all of which have the same features.
However, Surfshark One isn’t the best value if you want an antivirus-focused product. In this case, Norton’s 360 Deluxe is more affordable and comes with additional features like a firewall, Wi-Fi protection, a password manager, parental controls, and dark web monitoring. For US users, Norton’s antivirus software can also be bundled with LifeLock, one of the most comprehensive and robust ID theft protection services on the market.
That said, if you do decide on Surfshark, it allows for various payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and some cryptocurrencies. The antivirus covers up to 5 devices (with the VPN allowing unlimited devices), and all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark Antivirus Ease of Use & Setup
The installation process for Surfshark is super intuitive — it only took me about 5 minutes to install on my Mac. Once it was up and running, I could easily access the antivirus from the left side of the screen, which is where the other tools (VPN, Search, and Alert) are located as well.
The macOS and Windows versions are similar. Navigating Surfshark’s interface on both was easy, as all the features and settings are available on one page — there were hardly any submenus to navigate.
The screen is divided into 2 sections, with the features, customization options, and settings on the left side and the scanning options (full scan and quick scan) on the right side.
Surfshark makes it really easy to schedule scans. Clicking the Create button on the top-left side of the screen will take you to a section where you can select the type of scan you want to schedule and the day and time you want it scheduled.
I also like how simple it is to toggle on/off features like real-time protection and webcam protection — you can do so with just one click. It’s also really easy to manually update the virus database — all you have to do is click the Update button in the virus database tab.
Surfshark Antivirus is also available for mobile devices (Android only). To get the antivirus on your Android phone, you’ll have to download the Surfshark VPN app and log in with your Surfshark One credentials. It took me less than 2 minutes to set up the software on my Infinix phone.
When I tested the antivirus scanner on the mobile app, it worked excellently. The full scan took about 4 minutes, and it was able to detect all the malware samples I downloaded.
It’s a shame there’s no app for iOS, though — top brands like Norton and Bitdefender offer feature-rich apps for iOS as well as Android, making them a better choice for iOS users.
I found Surfshark’s online dashboard to be very intuitive — it’s a great alternative to the desktop apps. Like with the desktop apps, all the Surfshark One tools are organized as tabs on the left side of the dashboard. You can also download Surfshark’s apps and extensions from the online dashboard.
Overall, Surfshark is very easy to use, but this is expected given its limited number of features. Nevertheless, everything is well laid out and easily accessible in the app.
Surfshark Antivirus Customer Support
Surfshark’s customer support is available via:
- Email support.
- Live chat.
- Online knowledge base.
The email support is one of the best I’ve communicated with. I sent an inquiry via email and I got a helpful and friendly response in less than 4 hours. This is very impressive and much faster than competitors like Bitdefender, which took over 24 hours to respond to my email. (That said, Bitdefender makes up for this with its excellent live chat.)
I also received an email 2 days later asking me to rate Surfshark’s service, which shows how much the company cares about delivering great support.
The live chat is equally impressive. Each time I tested it, I connected with an agent in less than a minute. You’ll have to speak with a chatbot first, but once you type “live agent,” it immediately directs you to a representative. The reps were always very responsive and helpful — no matter how many questions I asked, they always answered politely.
Surfshark’s online knowledge base is comprehensive, well laid out, and easy to navigate. It consists of FAQs, how-to guides, and several other articles that provide detailed solutions to minor issues, so I didn’t always have to contact customer support.
Overall, Surfshark’s customer support is excellent. The live chat and email support are fast to reply, and the reps always provide helpful and friendly answers. I would like to see Surfshark offer phone support as well (top brands like Avira and McAfee provide it), but its current support options are so good that they make up for this absent support option.
Should You Get Surfshark Antivirus in 2023?
Surfshark is a good internet security suite. It has near-perfect malware detection, its security features work very well, and its customer support representatives are very knowledgeable and helpful.
The antivirus has one of the most intuitive user interfaces on the market — all of its features are easily accessible, as there are hardly any submenus. You can quickly find all the important tools from the main page and run a scan with just one click. Surfshark also includes webcam protection, which I found very effective.
However, I do have some complaints about Surfshark. I wish the antivirus would provide an iOS app and include additional security features like Wi-Fi protection, system optimization tools, a password manager, and parental controls. Also, since it only comes with the Surfshark One bundle, it’s a bit expensive if you’re only interested in the antivirus tool.
Surfshark Antivirus is available as part of Surfshark One, which starts at $47.76 / year. Unfortunately, you can’t buy Surfshark Antivirus individually, but the cybersecurity bundle comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Surfshark Antivirus good?
Surfshark Antivirus is a decent cybersecurity tool. Its antivirus scanner found the majority of my test samples and the real-time protection prevented me from downloading anything malicious from the internet. Surfshark Antivirus also has easy-to-use apps and excellent customer support. Still, it’s a pretty basic antivirus suite, as it lacks important security features such as a firewall and Wi-Fi protection. If you’re looking for a fully featured antivirus solution with a perfect malware scanner, I recommend Norton instead.
Does Surfshark Antivirus work on iOS?
No, Surfshark Antivirus doesn’t work on iOS — it’s only compatible with Android, Windows, and macOS. So far, the company has not announced any plans to launch an iOS app. If you’re looking for an antivirus that provides an app for iOS devices, Norton is an excellent choice.
How to install Surfshark Antivirus?
To install Surfshark Antivirus, you’ll have to first get Surfshark One. You can get Surfshark One for Windows and macOS by downloading the app from the official website. Once you open the app, you’ll see the Antivirus tab on the left side of the screen.
On Android devices, you’ll have to download the Surfshark VPN app. Inside the VPN app, you’ll see a section for Surfshark One at the bottom of the screen. Click on it and you’ll find the antivirus tab there.