Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Audit: by Cure53 | Apps for: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, Android TV, Linux, Firestick | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Browser Extensions: Chrome, Firefox | Advanced Features: Kill Switch, Dedicated servers for Streaming, Smart DNS, Camouflage mode, NoBorders mode, Double VPN, Ads Blocker, Split Tunneling
Total servers: 1,700+ Servers in 63 countries | Servers in New Zealand: Yes | Servers in Australia: Yes
Here is what we like about Surfshark’s VPN for New Zealand:
Here is what we don’t like about Surfshark in New Zealand:
As you can see, there are not many cons to using Surfshark’s VPN in New Zealand. They are reasonably priced and offer lots of great security-enhancing features.
Surfshark NZ Review
Finding a secure, high-speed VPN with a wide range of servers for Kiwis is a difficult task. Luckily, Surfshark has plenty of servers located in New Zealand and delivers fast speeds across the board. They also have access to the most Netflix libraries and a variety of other streaming platforms.
Today, we’re diving into everything you need to know about Surfshark’s functionality in New Zealand and whether or not they live up to their claims.
Surfshark is an independent VPN provider. They were established in May of 2018 and are based out of the British Virgin Islands.
They have over 3200 servers located in 65 countries across the world. They believe that “privacy and access is a right, not a privilege,” and are committed to continually improving their security protocols to provide a safe and secure browsing experience. They have been highly rated by popular review sites such as TechRadar and PCMag.
Third-party audits are essential in the VPN industry because an unbiased third-party comes in to analyze and verify claims, publishing the results publicly for anyone to read.
Every VPN service provider out there claims to have a strict “no-logs” policy alongside other claims, such as speed and security. Surfshark’s website claims that they do not collect any details such as your browsing history, IP address, session information, or network timestamps.
In November of 2018, Surfshark posted the results of their third-party audit. They hired Cure53, a company based out of Berlin, Germany, that provides industry-leading penetration and security tests.
Cure53 was tasked with auditing Surfshark’s Google Chrome and Firefox extensions. Surfshark made this decision because they believe that web extensions are among the most useful and popular ways to surf the web, so they wanted to make sure these platforms were secure and lived up to their claims.
The third-party audit report stated that “Two members of the Cure53 team, who examined the scope in November 2018, can only conclude that the tested applications make a very robust impression and are not exposed to any issues, neither in the privacy nor in the more general security realms.” This speaks volumes as VPN web extensions are notorious for having various hardware and security problems.
The report did turn up two small problems, though:
- The first problem that Cure53 discovered was that the invitational email Surfshark sent to potential new users contained an insecure download link (HTTP instead of HTTPS). This was a minor issue as it posed no threat to the user once the VPN is secure and active and was only a problem during the software download.
- The next problem was that Cure53 found an unusual line of code in the actual VPN extension. The sequence of code enabled the possibility of allowing an unencrypted HTTP connection to Surfshark’s VPN servers rather than an encrypted tunnel. This wasn’t an area of great concern as there was still no possibility of a third-party using this code to enable a connection or a user enabling this accidentally.
We could not find any information that these problems have been fixed, but it’s safe to assume Surfshark addressed these issues and corrected them. Overall, they passed their third-party audit impressively with flying colors, an anomaly in the VPN service industry. We would have preferred to see an audit performed on more than just their browser extensions, but the results are representative of the rest of their servers.
You can access the full third-party audit report here.
Surfshark has been named one of the best up-and-coming VPN providers in the industry, and their impressive list of features contributes to this claim, such as RAM-only servers and DoubleVPN.
In July of 2020, Surfshark switched its infrastructure over to 100% RAM-only servers. While nearly every VPN provider advertises a “no-log” policy, it’s highly impossible that even a crumb of your data is not traveling through a server and unintentionally being recorded. Additionally, if any third-parties obtain access to these servers, data is recoverable.
By covering each of their 3200+ servers on volatile (RAM) memory means that any information that runs through Surfshark’s servers is wiped off automatically when a server is turned off or as part of their regular security protocols. Additionally, no data can be physically retrieved from the servers.
Surfshark’s Kill Switch feature ensures that if your connection to the VPN drops at any time during browsing, your internet connection will also be disabled.
This is important because browsing without a VPN opens you up to several third-party threats, so shutting down your internet connection means that none of your personal information can accidentally slip through the cracks. Once you’ve reestablished your VPN connection, your internet browsing will automatically resume as well.
Camouflage Mode is Surfshark’s traffic obfuscation feature. Obfuscation makes it so that your connection appears like regular traffic to third-parties, such as internet providers. This feature is essential in regions where VPN usage is restricted. While this isn’t useful for New Zealanders, Camouflage Mode provides an extra layer of security for everyday browsing.
The functionality of NoBorders Mode is closely aligned with its title. It makes it so that you can freely browse the internet in restrictive regions successfully. While Kiwis don’t face any widespread issues of restricted or censored content, NoBorders Mode is useful for accessing geo-blocked streaming platforms or apps such as WhatsApp and Skype.
“Multihop” is Surfshark’s version of a DoubleVPN feature. Multihop makes it so that your information is sent through two servers instead of one. So if you’re typically sending your information through an American server, Multihop will make it so that your data is sent through both an American server and another server location such as Canada or Mexico. This makes it even harder for third-parties to track down where the information is coming from.
Surfshark’s DoubleVPN is more effective at hiding your real location and traffic more reliably. In some cases, it can increase your connection speed if you first connect to a New Zealand server and then a second, distant server.
You should not use Multihop for:
- P2P downloads or uploads, as Surfshark has servers meant explicitly for that.
- Everyday internet usage
- Streaming, as Multihop can impact your browsing speed
OpenVPN is available for Surfshark’s macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, Fire TV, and Linux users. It is an open-source protocol, which means that it is consistently being developed and improved by security professionals worldwide.
OpenVPN offers fast speeds and high-security and is best when you’re connecting to long-distance servers or are on a desktop system like Windows and macOS.
IKEv2 is a protocol that is available on Surfshark’s macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, and Fire TV applications. IKEv2 is short for Internet Key Exchange version 2, and it’s one of the best VPN protocols you can use when you’re connecting to a server that is located nearby. It was developed by Microsoft security and Cisco engineers and is one of mobile users’ most used protocols.
IKEv2 works through a “request and response” system. It ensures that there is a secure tunnel between your connection and the VPN server and narrows down an encryption method to use on the information that is being passed through the tunnel.
Shadowsocks is another protocol provided by Surfshark that is only available on their Windows and Android applications. Shadowsocks is precisely engineered to help users bypass the restrictions of the “Great Firewall of China.” If you’re not located in a restrictive country, though, like New Zealand, then you’re better off using the other available protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.
WireGuard is a relatively new protocol available to the VPN industry, and Surfshark has added them to their servers. WireGuard is available on Surfshark’s Android, Windows, iOS, and macOS applications. Since WireGuard only has 4000 lines of code, it is less vulnerable to third-party attacks.
The main advantage of WireGuard is that it uses high-speed cryptographic primitives, which provide faster speeds while browsing and streaming. Unfortunately, WireGuard has not been around long, so many users are wary of the high-speed claims as this has a possibility of lowering your security.
CleanWeb is Surfshark’s effort at providing an unhindered browsing experience. Once you enable CleanWeb, you’ll be protected from ads, trackers, and malware. Their databases are frequently updated and currently have up to one million infected websites. This feature can also warn you against suspicious phishing attempts and scammers.
Unfortunately, CleanWeb does not prevent YouTube advertisements.
VPN split tunneling, known as “Whitelister” on Surfshark’s VPN, allows you to send a portion of your internet traffic through VPN and send the remaining activity through as normal. This feature bypasses the annoying action of having to constantly enable and disable the VPN while you browse.
Whitelister is useful when a website or app you frequently use is not compatible or is causing issues with the VPN, such as a banking app or another random website. You receive full speed on safe websites and the ability to use different IP addresses at the same time.
The only downfall to Whitelister is that you will be utterly vulnerable to third parties while browsing on websites without using a VPN. If you take advantage of Whitelister while you’re connected to a private network at home, then you’ll generally be fine, but public networks like coffee shops and libraries are another story.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
One of the key features that sets Surfshark apart from its competitors is its ability to support unlimited simultaneous connections. This is great for anyone who wants to support an entire household of devices or exceed the small five or six device limit set by other VPN providers.
Surfshark’s VPN for New Zealand works on all major platforms and devices. Their app is available on:
- Smart TVs
Surfshark is one of the only VPNs that allow you to have unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can connect to as many of these devices as you wish under one account.
Manual Setup Guides
Manually setting up a VPN is not common but preferred by some users. The downfall to a manual setup is that you have to constantly update the server information on your computer. You will not have access to a majority of the features that Surfshark offers like Kill Switch and Whitelister.
Although, you may find yourself in a situation like running Windows in S mode, which means that you can’t download any apps from the store. In this situation, you’ll need to manually configure a VPN.
To set up Surfshark’s VPN on Windows, follow along with these steps. It’s a long process, but every step is essential to a proper and secure setup.
- Download Surfshark’s IKEv2 certificate found at the bottom of this page.
- Open the certificate once it’s done downloading, and a window will pop up.
- Select ‘install in the local machine.’
- Next, it will require you to choose a certificate store. Select Trusted Root Certification Authorities.
- Click ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’ to complete the installation.
- Now we’ll start setting up the VPN connection.
- Open your Control Panel.
- Click on Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Set up a new connection or network.
- Click ‘Connect to a workplace’ and then ‘Next.’
- It will ask you how you want to connect. Select ‘Use my internet connection (VPN).
- Next, it will ask you to fill out the following prompts:
- Internet address, or the domain name that you will be connecting to. Surfshark’s is located here.
- The destination name, which can be anything you want
- Leave ‘use a smart card’ unchecked.
- It will also ask if you want it to remember your credentials. This is up to you based on personal preference. If you leave it unchecked, you will need to log in each time you connect.
- Whether or not you would like to allow other people to use this connection. If you check this box, then only you will be able to connect.
- Click ‘Create.’
- Now, an adapter that looks like a computer will pop up with the destination name you entered. Right-click the adapter, select Properties and navigate to the Security tab. More prompts will appear.
- Type of VPN: IKEv2
- Data encryption: Make sure it requires encryption so it will disconnect if the server declines.
- Authentication: Use Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) and EAP-MSCHAPv2
- Click OK.
- Now, open Network Settings and navigate to Network & Internet Settings.
- A new window will open. Open the VPN tab on the left-hand side, click on the new connection that you set up, and select Advanced Options.
Now you will need to enter your credentials by clicking Edit > entering the credentials > Save. This is not your normal login username and password and can be found in your Surfshark account information.
Now all you need to do is open your network settings, click on the new connection, and connect to it. Now you’re ready to browse.
Surfshark also offers manual setup guides for the following platforms and devices:
- Android and Android TV
- Google Chrome
- Apple TV
- DNS (Xbox, Playstation)
By far, Surfshark has the most manual setup guides compared to other VPN service providers.
Surfshark offers browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox in the instance that you don’t have access to the desktop app or don’t want to use it for any number of reasons. You still need to have a valid Surfshark subscription to use either browser extension.
Keep in mind that using a browser extension only covers your browser traffic and does not protect you when you’re using other programs or different browsers.
Surfshark has over 1700 servers located in 65 countries. Each server is P2P-friendly and has private DNS. Many individual reviewers have tested their server speeds. They have found that connecting to a nearby server barely affects connection speed, but linking to a distant server during peak times can cause significant lag.
Since all their servers are RAM-only, you can feel assured that they follow Surfshark’s strict no-log policy.
Servers in New Zealand
Surfshark has servers available in New Zealand, but they do not specify how many. However, all New Zealand servers have access to P2P support, OpenVPN, IKEv2, Private DNS, Camouflage Mode, and Extension Support.
With Camouflage Mode, you can easily disguise yourself behind another country to access geo-blocked content. Surfshark also has access to 15 Netflix libraries, which is more than leading competitors such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
One of the most common reasons that Kiwis dive into getting a VPN is for streaming purposes. It’s been confirmed that Netflix NZ’s streaming library is far inferior compared to other countries. New Zealand misses out on a number of Oscar-winning films and shows such as Twin Peaks, Forrest Gump, and Pulp Fiction. In fact, Netflix NZ only has 5100 titles, while the United States has near 6000.
With Surfshark, you gain access to 15 Netflix libraries and can choose from a broad range of regions worldwide, such as the United States, India, Europe, Hong Kong, and more. Surfshark gives you three options once you connect to their app: fastest server, closest server, or the ability to choose your own.
Choosing your own server is the best option for accessing geo-blocked streaming content because you can select which library you would like to access. You will have to experiment, though, because not every server will provide the same experience in terms of speed and connectivity.
The closer, the better, so Kiwis will benefit by connecting to an Alaskan or West Coast United States server if that’s the country library you’d like to access.
Surfshark’s servers, by default, offer at least 1Gbps per port connected. In order to provide fast speeds for distant connections, their United States and United Kingdom servers have an increased 2x10Gbps per server.
Surfshark’s engineers specifically optimize servers with a high volume of people. By offering higher user bandwidth per user in popular locations, servers are not overcrowded as a result.
Surfshark’s streaming capabilities also provide access to more than just Netflix, including Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
You’ve probably seen us mention P2P numerous times before getting to this section. To clarify, P2P stands for peer-to-peer, and it is a method of organized file sharing, commonly known as torrenting. P2P works by users downloading a file from a central server where multiple users contribute data to the file, otherwise known as “seeding.” If there isn’t a secure server, then the downloads often fail or are extremely slow.
Surfshark claims to be the best VPN out there for torrenting because their download speeds can reach 63.2Mbps while other VPNs such as CyberGhost and ExpressVPN average around 20Mbps (these speeds were based on an 88 Mbps connection). Large torrent files such as movies or entire music albums can take a while, so you want the best speeds to help the seeding go by quickly.
Surfshark is compatible with all P2P clients such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, and Vuze. The act of torrenting itself is perfectly legal, but downloading copyrighted content is illegal, which is why most users enable a VPN before downloading. Surfshark recommends sticking to legal download services.
Free Trial & Pricing
As a baseline, each month with Surfshark costs $12.95 USD/$18.42 NZD. If you go with either of their long-term plans, the monthly price decreases. At the time of writing, their subscription prices were as follows:
- 1-month plan: $12.95 USD/$18.42 NZD per month
- 6-month plan: $6.49 USD/$9.23 NZD per month
- 2-year plan: $2.21 USD/$3.14 NZD per month
Their 2-year plan gives you three months free. Surfshark accepts traditional payment methods alongside Cryptocurrency to enhance your internet privacy. An additional $0.99 USD/$1.41 NZD per month adds two optional features to your account:
- Surfshark Alert, which sends you immediate alerts if your email shows up in any database leaks
- Surfshark Search, a feature that allows you to search privately, with no logs or advertisements
Surfshark does not offer any free trial options, but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee built-in with each subscription. Each plan has access to the same level of VPN security and 24/7 customer service.
Surfshark established an extremely rewarding recruit-a-friend program in July of 2020. As a Surfshark customer, you receive a unique referral link to send to friends and family. After your invitee has been a member for 30 days (to avoid cheating the system for free months), you will receive the following benefits:
- When one invitee joins Surfshark, you get one month free on top of your current subscription.
- When three invitees join Surfshark, you get six months free on top of your current subscription.
- When five invitees join Surfshark, you get one year free on top of your current subscription.
These rewards can be stacked if you successfully recruit more than five friends. For example, recruiting ten people would give you two years free of Surfshark. Each invitee also receives a free month after their initial 30-day period ends.
Alternatives to Surfshark
There are two key competitors to Surfshark that we have also reviewed for New Zealand, ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
ExpressVPN comes in at a faster speed than Surfshark for New Zealand. On a 100 Mbps connection, its VPN delivered a download speed of 77.31Mbps when connected to a nearby server. There are a few key differences between ExpressVPN and Surfshark besides speed, though.
First, ExpressVPN only allows you to connect to five devices simultaneously. If you’d like to exceed this limit, then you need to get ExpressVPN’s router app. Once that’s connected, then all connected devices will be protected, but this can be tedious if you often travel with multiple devices because you’re constantly connecting to different internet connections.
Also, ExpressVPN does not publicly share how many Netflix libraries they have access to, which means if you’re signing up for the sole purpose of streaming, you’ll need to experiment.
Lastly, ExpressVPN comes in at a much higher price than Surfshark. At the time of writing, these were their subscription costs:
1-month plan: $12.95 USD/$18.42 NZD per month
6-month plan: $9.99 USD/$14.21 NZD per month
1-year plan: $8.32 USD/$11.84 NZD per month
They also have a built-in 30-day money-back guarantee but do not have any additional features that you can add on, similar to Surfshark Alert or Surfshark Search.
NordVPN is a very similar provider to Surfshark based on a variety of features such as subscription costs, features, and speed.
They also offer Kill Switch, DoubleVPN, and their own version of CleanWeb named CyberSec. Their network as a whole has over five thousand servers located in 59 servers worldwide, with 20 servers located in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, NordVPN’s New Zealand servers do not have access to any obfuscated, Double VPN, or Dedicated IP servers, while Surfshark’s New Zealand servers feature P2P support, OpenVPN/IKEv2, Private DNS, Camouflage Mode, and Extension Support.
NordVPN is similar to ExpressVPN because they only allow a maximum of six devices to be connected to one account at once, and this can be bypassed by connecting NordVPN to a router.
Their subscription costs are slightly higher than Surfshark, but not by much. At the time of writing, their subscription options were as follows:
- 1-month plan: $11.95 USD/$17.02 NZD per month
- 1-year plan: $4.92 USD/$7.01 NZD per month
- 2-year plan: $3.71 USD/$5.29 NZD per month
Each plan includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. There are two optional add-ons you can purchase as well:
NordPass banks and organizes your passwords, allowing you to access them from anywhere comes in at $1.99 USD/$2.84 NZD per month
NordLocker is a protected cloud you can store your files in across multiple devices and costs $1.49 USD/$2.12 NZD per month. You get 10GB of storage.
Surfshark is one of the best VPNs you can get if you live in New Zealand. We love that they let you have an unlimited number of devices connected simultaneously, have the most Netflix libraries, and deliver impressive speeds. If you go with either the 6-month or 2-year subscription option, then you receive the best monthly price compared to other VPN providers.
Their New Zealand servers are plentiful, with access to a number of additional features such as P2P support and OpenVPN. The speeds can be slow if you’re connecting to a distant server during peak times, but their easy-to-use application interface makes it a breeze to switch between different connections.
Here are the most commonly asked questions about Surfshark for New Zealand.