Best VPN New Zealand: Surfshark Review

Surfshark VPN

My quest to find the best VPN for New Zealand has not turned into an easy one.  My first four reviews were from larger companies with a lot of reviews, Surfshark is a lot smaller.  They do not have tons of blogs claiming they are the best VPN for New Zealand.  My review was done from New Zealand with a focus on geo-blocked streaming content.  I have found that VPN speeds in New Zealand tend to differ a lot from what other reviews claim.

Free Trial

Surfshark does not offer a free trial. They do have places where they advertise a free trial, but it is just a 30-day money back guarantee.  You need to give your credit card information and pay for a plan to use the service.  Their refund policy states “we guarantee you a right to claim a refund within 30 days following your subscription of our Services. However, we would like to solve your issue before you decide to cancel our subscription”.  This, unfortunately, means that getting a refund is a little more involved than clicking a few boxes.

You can get a refund if you pay with a credit card and cryptocurrency directly through Surfshark.  If you signup via the Apple or Android app store their refund rules apply which negates the 30 day refund period.  If you pay with a prepaid or gift card, you are not eligible for a refund.

Surfshark, like almost all VPNs, automatically signs you up for automatic renewals.  I recommend unenrolling from automatic payments that day you sign up.

Pricing

Surfshark VPN Pricing

 

Surfshark is one of the cheaper VPNs available if you sign up for two years.  Unfortunately, it is expensive if you signup for the monthly plan. The one year price is typically higher than the two-year price which makes it pretty irrelevant.  They do play pricing games, and you usually need to make sure that a coupon is applied to get the lower price for the two-year plan.  I have found that the coupon usually is automatically applied.

You can pay for Surfshark using multiple currencies, and I found that all the pricing was within a couple of cents of each other, so it does not make a difference what currency you select.  It does make a difference what country you choose for GST.  Surfshark does charge GST for some European countries so I would recommend changing the country to one that doesn’t charge GST.  You can use a credit card from a different country than the selected one.

use TopCashBack to get a Surfshark discount

Surfshark also appears on some US shopping portals.  TopCashback is the portal that usually has the highest cashback offer, 40%, and it provides a coupon code to get the lower price for a two-year plan. I paid $47.76 USD for a two-year plan and then used TopCashback to get $19.1o back, which brought the total cost to $28.66, about $1.20 USD per month.  This is not as cheap as the $6.89 USD I paid for PureVPN for a year.

 

Accessing VPN

 

MacWindowsAndroidiOSAndroid TVRokuBrowser Plugins
YesYesYesYesYesNoYes

Surfshark offers many apps and plugins to help get connected.  Their apps are pretty minimalist in design.  They allow you to connect to a  server location but do not allow you to connect to a specific server. One feature that is built into the apps is the ability to exclude certain websites from going through the VPN.  It also offers a double VPN for increased security.

 

surfshark app interface

You can have an unlimited number of devices connected to Surfshark at once.  This makes it great for sharing and is way more than many VPNs offer, like ExpressVPN’s three device limit.

Server Location

Surfshark offers access to over 800 servers in 50+ countries.  You cannot choose specific servers, but you can select a specific city for your connection. If you use a double server connect, you cannot build your own connect.  You need to use one of their prebuilt city pairs.

Speed

 8a10a12p2p4p6p8p10p12a
No VPN92.191.985.287.089.496.391.181.990.8
Surfshark24.030.834.433.623.127.723.534.046.6

The speed test was done using the Los Angeles server location. There is not an option to default to the fastest available server for a country. You need to choose a specific location.  The speeds provided by Surfshark were surprisingly good.  It did not have really fast speeds like NordVPN, but it did not suffer from the slow speeds that NordVPN and many other VPNs have. I did notice speeds between 15-85mbps during all of the speed tests that I did.  Some of the numbers do not appear in the table because they were not done during the trial.

Surfshark did have speeds that were consistently faster than 60mbps when using a New Zealand server.  This would help with privacy concerns, but it would not help with geo-location related uses.

Netflix Access

Windows/macOSMobile Devices AppFireTV App
YesYesSometimes

 

Netflix worked great on mobile and computer apps.  I did not have a single time that I was not able to connect using the Los Angeles server location.  I never accounted buffering while using the LA server with the mobile or macOS apps.

The FireTV app did not work as well as the other apps.  About half the time that I tried to connect, Netflix detected a VPN and would not provide access.  This happened with all US servers, and I had the highest success rate with the LA server.  One nice thing is that the FireTV app keeps the same connection, even when not in use.  You need to get a good connection once, and the following connections will work.  ExpressVPN is the most consistent VPN for Netflix I have found.

Hulu Access

 

Windows/macOSMobile Devices AppFireTV App
YesYesYes

I was able to connect to Hulu using Surfshark’s VPN across all channels.

Amazon Prime Streaming

Windows/macOSMobile Devices AppFireTV App
YesNoNo

I was not able to connect to Amazon Prime on mobile or with the FireTV app.  I was able to stream video when using the macOS app consistently.

FireTV App

The FireTV app is one of the most consistently reliable apps.  I have not had speed issues when using the app.  The only FireTV app that I have tested that is better is the ExpressVPN app.  The difference is that ExpressVPN connects to Netflix more reliably than Surfshark.

Install on Router

Surfshark can be installed on routers that support OpenVPN.  It offers a little more limited options of routers compared to some other VPNs.  Surfshark offers consistent and reliable speed so I would be comfortable installing it on a router.

How to Cancel Surfshark

The first thing that I would do when you sign up for Surfshark is canceling auto-recurring payments. Unfortunately, they do not make it easy.  There is no button to turn off the payments.  You must either email support@surfshark.com or use the chat function.  I used the chat function, and they tried to talk me out of turning of auto-recurring payments. I had to repeat multiple times that I want to turn off recurring payments for them to turn them off

Surfshark attempt to cancel

Surfshark gives you 30 days to cancel your membership and get a refund.  Unfortunately, it is not as easy as IPVanish to cancel.  Just like turning off auto-recurring payments you need to either email support@surfshark.com or use the chat function. It is not a no questions cancellation process.  They will try to fix all of your issues and talk you out of canceling.  It is annoying.  I recommend using the chat function since you can get it done in a few minutes, instead of having to do sever back and forth emails.

Overall

All Around-B

GradeDoes what I
want without
issues
Number of
VPNs given
ranking
A95%+ of the time
B85-95% of the time2
C75-85% of the time1
D 50-75% of the time2
Fless than 50%

I have to admit that I was impressed with Surfshark.  Surfshark is a very reliable consistent VPN.  The speed provided by Surfshark is fast enough to use on a router and to avoid buffering while streaming video.  Surfshark lost points since it did not connect to Amazon Prime Video on mobile and the FireTV app.  It also lost points for not providing Netflix access on every server with the FireTV app. Positives of Surfshark include being able to watch Amazon Prime Video on some devices along with also working with the BBC iPlayer.

The closest competitor is ExpressVPN, but there is a considerable price difference between the two. It is hard to get ExpressVPN for less than $6USD a month, and you can reliably get Surfshark for less than $2USD per month.

Our guide to VPNs covers all of the VPNs which we have reviewed in New Zealand.

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