Surfshark Frustrating But So Good

Surfshark Frustration

Surfshark VPN has to rate as one of the most frustrating services I have ever used.  I first found Surfshark last year and was so blown away with it that I purchased a three-year subscription. This was despite the fact that I had four years to run on my NordVPN subscription.   It was fast, it had the super-fast WireGuard protocol and its cleanweb ad and tracker blocker worked perfectly. But the last 12 months have been a roller coaster ride.
I wrote about my frustrations and after tearing my hair out I decided, with some reluctance, to go back to NordVPN. Then I caught a post on the Surfshark subReddit that said that its cybersecurity One module had now launched real-time protection on Windows.  I had abandoned Kaspersky Internet Suite for reasons I will not elaborate on and went with McAfee for some months before ditching that because it was needing too many whitelistings to become sustainable.

When I came to install Surfshark V4 it told me that I had to remove Kaspersky and McAfee from my system.  I knew I had removed both apps because I use Bulk Crap Uninstaller which I find more effective than Revo. The next step was to fire up RegEdit and search for any registry strings for both services. Then, using file explorer, I searched for any hidden references buried in the OS and deleted them.

Back to the Surfshark installer. No go, it still thought McAfee and Kaspersky were still on my PC.

This forced me to refer to what I consider one of Surfshark’s key strengths – tech support.  The support team here is one of the best I have experienced since I started on the Internet in the early 1990s. A couple of suggestions came my way that did not resolve the issue and then it was cracked. Some deviant genius with a brain the size of a small planet – probably not this one – wrote a PowerShell script which I inserted into my system and the installer fired up.

The reason I persevere with Surfshark, apart from those outlined above, is that it is one of the few VPNs that just runs and runs with no dropouts. Both the Windows and Android apps have ruin-time timers so you can see how long the service has been running. Years ago I asked NordVPN to add a time but they just refused outright to consider it.

Over on the Surfshark subReddit, the inclusion of anti-virus functionality is contentious and I gather that in the not too distant future a VPN only offering is on the cards. The Surfshark anti-virus engine is based on Avira, a respected anti-virus program, so I shall continue to see how this plays out, particularly as the company is launching its Nexus module shortly.  Here is a video that explains this exciting way of networking a VPN.