Surfshark antivirus review: How good is the One bundle?

Samuel Walker Last updated: June 18, 2022
Disclosure
Facts checked by Ali Qamar

Surfshark has quickly become a leader in the VPN-verse, thus earning a reputation in the digital security world. Now, the company is expanding with a brand new antivirus suite. Is it even possible, at this time, to imagine competing with Kaspersky, Norton, and the other best antivirus producers, which have held the industry's top for a couple of decades already? Surfshark managed this same feat within the VPN world. Let us see how its antivirus will do.

Surfshark has made a name for itself in the digital security industry in no time at all. The Surfshark VPN service combines the most advanced VPN technologies and high quality with one of the lowest prices in the market. As a result, over the last couple of years, it’s become impossible to find a good list of the “top five VPNs for X task” that excludes Surfshark. And this is a company whose history doesn’t even span a lustrum.

And now, Surfshark is expanding its business into the digital security market by offering SurfShark One, a cybersecurity suite that includes an antivirus.

The software is lightweight and not packed with features. However, it comes with the SurfShark VPN, one of the best VPNs, a private search engine, and data breach surveillance. There are available versions for Android, Windows, and macOS.

This article will review Surfshark’s antivirus in full detail. We will tell you about its features, pricing plans, friendliness, and more.

The Surfshark antivirus: Advantages and disadvantages

Let’s see SurfShark’s one general panorama regarding pros and cons.

Your Surfshark One license gets you the Surfshark VPN, which is one of the best VPNs in the industry. The VPN supports split tunneling and many other extra features, including NoBorders, the traffic obfuscation technology that allows Surfshark to work correctly even from China.

In addition, the Clean Web feature and a data breach monitoring service will let you know if any of your data has been released on the dark web as part of those infamous security breaches that happen a bit too often. Additionally, SurfShark has incorporated WireGuard as one of its users’ active VPN tunneling protocols.

It is a big deal because WireGuard is a new standard that prioritizes efficiency and speed without any loss of security. Only the industry leaders already have WireGuard. The company hails from a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, which is always good, and the customer support is excellent. Then the private search engine prevents Google from feeding on your search history, and you get real-time protection too.

The cons are that the suite doesn’t include a firewall, the scans are relatively slow, and you can’t perform ID checks in every country.

You’re right if you noticed that many pros are closely related to the VPN itself. And that’s not a bad thing. The best antivirus packages in the market also offer VPN services and the software they sell. The difference, in this case, is that Surfshark is giving you a top-notch VPN instead of an ad-hoc VPN network that barely works. And this can make a huge difference.

In any case, every user should always have a good antivirus running along with a premium VPN, so how SufrShark’s antivirus is so closely interweaved with the VPN is not a problem. On the contrary, it’s an advantage that allows you to kill two birds with a single stone.

Surfshark One and safety

Surfshark One antivirus safety

The Surfshark One suite is a good antivirus solution for everybody. It can deal with worms, trojans, virii, and many types of malware on your behalf, so your device remains protected. In addition, it has real-time protection and works in tandem with the VPN’s CleanWeb feature, which keeps you away from annoying ads that are not merely a nuisance but a delivery system for even more malware.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the lack of a firewall and a vulnerability scanner. These are two options frequently present in other antivirus suites that go a long way in preventing malware penetration on any system. That being said, if you’re always going to be within the Surfshark VPN, many of those potential threats are already neutralized by your VPN servers.

A very welcomed feature in SurfShark One is how gentle it is on your resources. Antivirus options in the market have absolute reliability but practically take over your computer as soon as they’re online, in some cases. On the other hand, Surfshark antivirus is light and won’t affect your system’s performance even as it runs scans.

The antivirus features

Feature-richness is not the best thing you’ll find in SurfShark One. The features are almost only the bare essentials, but they are still everything you need to ensure all-around security in your device. And since they work in tandem with the VPN, the private search engine, and the data breaching monitoring, the result is robust antivirus protection.

The antivirus gives you four scanning options: drag-and-drop, scheduled, quick and full. They are self-explanatory. 

Real-time protection is available in every version (macOS, Windows, and Android).

This antivirus suite is an outstanding first attempt from SurfShark, but it is maybe too dependent on the VPN. Most of the similar products on the market include a software firewall, a password manager, and some form of parental controls.

However, we shouldn’t be too harsh on the elements that are still lacking in SurfShark One. First, let’s not forget that it’s the first version of a new product, so it’s normal to have plenty of room to expand and improve. Given SurfShark’s history, we expect the antivirus to be significantly enhanced shortly.

Device scanning

SurfShark One’s device scanning comes in three flavors: file/folder, quick and full. We tried every option and found that this suite goes to extremes.

Device scanning

We started with the quick scan. It was fast indeed. In fact, it was so fast that it left us doubting if any scanning happened at all. So then we tried the full scan and found ourselves on the other side of the spectrum.

The full scan needed almost half an hour to complete (it was a virtual computer), but we have to tell you that it was exceedingly effective. We planted ten malicious files in the device we scanned, and the whole scan picked nine, which is very good within the average performance we find with other antivirus suites.

The drag-and-drop file or folder scanner is convenient because you can drag several files at once if you want. Also, it allows you to customize your scans conveniently.

Last but not least, you can schedule scans (full or quick) at any day and time of the week you want. So if you want to know that your system is fully protected but don’t want to keep performing manual scans, this is the way to go.

Real-time protection

Real-time protection is a feature that keeps an eye open at all times on your system’s activities to detect threats. This allows your suite to react immediately to any fishy elements that could be trying to reach your system.

SurfShark’s real-time protection works well, and it’s light on your system resources, giving you the best of every possible world.

SurfShark One features

Surfshark One Features

We’ve been talking about the Surfshark antivirus, but let’s not forget that there’s no such product. This antivirus is but a feature within the SurfShark One bundle, so we should talk about the other things included with it.

The first thing to mention (again) is, of course, the Surfshark VPN. Then you get the Alert feature which monitors your data so that it can tell you of any breach. And then there is the SurfShark search engine which is an engine built with your privacy and security as the priority. So let’s see each feature in detail.

Surfshark VPN

A Virtual Private Network is a digital service that does two operations to ensure your online security. First, it encrypts all of your incoming and outgoing data. Second, it spoofs your IP address so nobody can tell your physical location. Any service that can perform these two tasks correctly is worthy of the name VPN. However, the best VPN providers on the internet will offer you many other additional features. Surfshark is one such. VPN provider.

A SurfShark account on its own is one of the best investments you can make in your digital security. The service is of the highest quality and probably the most cost-effective VPN on the market. You win from every possible angle.

Surfshark offers plenty of additional features which enhance the antivirus’ effectiveness. Since we’ve reviewed SurfShark in full detail elsewhere on this website, we’ll just mention the most salient features you should know about.

Perhaps the most powerful feature in SurfShark is the NoBorders option. Other VPNs call this option obfuscated traffic. This feature makes all your encrypted traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic. This trick allows your traffic to look utterly boring to any third party who may be interested in tracking your online activities.

The deceptive nature of this feature enables Surfshark VPN to give you full access to the internet from wherever you are. This feature ensures that this VPN works in China, despite the Great Firewall of China, and in every other heavily repressive country in the world.

But even if you don’t travel so much that you need internet in Saudi Arabia, China, or North Korea, this feature will help you. It will prevent your local ISP from figuring out the activities you perform most frequently, thus avoiding account throttling.

The WireGuard protocol gives Surfshark’s servers some of the fastest speeds out there. You can choose from 3.200 servers in 65 countries.

Last but not least, Surfshark is a potent tool for unblocking video streaming services, which has become a VPN’s primary use case since the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down.

Your search history is valuable. That is why plenty of actors are out there trying to collect it, and plenty of others are willing to pay for it. So if you are keen on protecting your privacy, you’ll need to accept that Google can’t be your go-to search engine — yes, Google is keeping logs on you; that’s how it makes a buck. Instead, you need access to a search engine that is strictly private.

Surfshark search is one such search engine, and using this type of search engine has several advantages. For example, it is a search engine that respects your privacy, which is its primary purpose. But since there is no log on your previous searches, every search you perform is fresh because your previous history does not condition it.

Yes, this search engine is not as free as Google or other big names. But since you are paying for it, you don’t have to put up with any ads, which is also good.

Surfshark Alert

It seems that SurfShark likes to offer standard industry features with different names. So the “data breach monitoring” service that many other security bundles provide is known as “Surfshark Alert,” and it comes with Surfshark One.

Surfshark Alert scans the web searching for your data. If it’s been leaked and shows up online, it will tell you about it. It can keep track of email addresses, credit cards, and IDs.

If you’re interested in SurfShark Alert, you’ll need to enable two-factor authentication.

Incogni

This feature is not in the One bundle, but it’s too cool to ignore. So we hope that it will be included soon.

If you’re one of those users who hate the thought of their personal data roaming around the internet, then the Incogni feature is the answer to your prayers.

There is a staff behind Incogni. First, they will get in touch with the data brokers with your personal information on store — phone numbers, address, emails, and more. Then they will ensure that those data brokers delete all your information from their database.

Surfshark One’s plans and pricing

You can buy your Surfshark One license in three ways, depending on your plan’s duration: monthly, yearly and bi-yearly. The respective prices are 12.95, 2.49, and 2.80 USD monthly.

The best idea is to buy a yearly subscription. Consider that the VPN service costs the same as the One bundle on an annual plan, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck and saving almost 120 USD every year for one of the best VPNs on the internet.

Your account is suitable for an unlimited number of connections to the VPN and five devices running the antivirus suite.

Cost-efficiency has been at the heart of SurfShark’s business model from the very beginning, and it’s clear that it remains a priority.

User-friendliness

There are apps for Windows, Android, and macOS. The software is lightweight, and if you consider that it costs the same as the VPN service alone, it’s practically a gift. But is the software easy to use? Convenient? Let’s see.

macOS

The macOS setup is straightforward:

  1. Make sure you download the installer from Surfshark’s official website.
  2. Run it, and that’s pretty much it.
  3. You’re ready to enjoy SurfShark antivirus.

Navigation is straightforward and convenient in the macOS app. It’s pretty to look at and minimalistic. In addition, the macOS has real-time protection. For example, the quick scan option dealt with almost 100k files in less than a minute.

The app includes the Alert, Search, and VPN sections. The VPN section lets you manage VPN features such as auto-connect, CleanWeb, and kill-switch.

The Windows app offers more than the macOS version. However, the macOS version is still amiable and neat in its organization and design.

Windows

Windows app of Surfshark One

Things are also straightforward if you’re a Windows user, even compared with the Mac experience. For example, going from purchasing a plan to the software installation and having it working fully was a matter of a few minutes only.

Once you’ve completed the installation and opened the app, you’ll see the dashboard where all the fun happens. The antivirus section is very intuitive, thanks to its organization. On the left, you have the schedule scans, an option to exclude items from scans, and a virus database. A new development in the Windows app is real-time protection which wasn’t available until recently.

Each SurfShark One tool is on the left side of the dashboard so that you can have everything at a glance, and the overall simplicity of the app makes it easy to use — for example, the Surfshark search engine features nothing but a field to run your searches, reminiscent of Google’s old days.

Android

The Android app looks like the mini-me version of the Windows one. It’s also simple enough and easy to navigate because it’s not overcrowded with options nobody uses.

Android app

At the bottom, you’ll see four sections: Settings, One, Locations, and Surfshark.

The Surfshark section is your control panel for the VPN service. First, it shows you your effective IP address, the kill switch. Then the next section is all about the servers, their locations, and the option to choose the fastest server based on how far it is from you.

Then there’s the One section. This is about all the other things in the bundle — search engine, alert, and antivirus. It’s like the windows option, except the antivirus section only has the “scan” button. But, again, it’s not a surprise. It’s the standard layout for mobile antivirus suites and is convenient.

Customer support

Since SurfShark is excellent in every possible regard, we expect the customer service to be equally good. And it is.

There is an extensive knowledge base for a start, which is excellent if you are the kind of user who likes to figure everything out on your own. Once you arrive at SurfShark’s customer support page, you can run a search from the search bar, and that will take you to the guides available to help you with your issue. You’ll find plenty of video tutorials if you’re not the reading kind of guy.

There are three sections below the search bar: VPN, Surfshark One, and My Account.

And what about options for human assistance? Scroll down to find the “send us an email” option and the “chat with us” one. Both possibilities are evident in their functionality; they are both online and ready to serve you on a 24/7 basis.

The agents are friendly, and they know their stuff. They were able to answer every question we threw at them very quickly.

Can I find similar features in other VPNs?

No, you won’t’ find anything similar in the market for the same price. However, Surfshark makes a point in maximizing the value it gives you for your money.

Keeping that in mind, other VPN vendors will give you similar features if you don’t mind paying extra. Here are a few of those options:

So yes, there are other fish in the sea. However, from the point of view of getting a great bundle, SurfShark is the superior choice.

Our final word on Surfshark One

The SurfShark antivirus, one of the features in the SurfShark One bundle, is an excellent digital security threat to remove malware from Windows, Mac, or Android devices. It detected and dealt correctly with 90% of the infected files we threw at it — and before you ask, no, we don’t know of any antivirus suite that will hit 100% in this regard.

The SurfShark One bundle became available only last year, so it’s a new and innovative solution. As such, it has plenty of room to improve and grow. For example, it could expand by including a software firewall and a password manager, standard features in the best antiviral suites.

However, the antivirus is pretty good as it is, and since it’s supposed to work in tandem with Surfshark’s VPN service, it will afford you a very high level of protection. As a result, Surfshark One is already one of the cybersecurity industry’s top bundles despite being such a young product and acknowledging the things it lacks.

Besides the antivirus software, the bundle gives you an alert service, a private search engine that doesn’t keep track of your history, and one of the best VPN services — secure, fast, versatile, and powerful.

And the price is hard to beat. Consider this: the price you pay for Surfshark One is the same you’d pay if you were about to hire the VPN service only. So you could make a case that you’re paying for the VPN only (and at fewer than 3 USD monthly, it’s already a bargain) and getting everything else for free.

We like Surfsurfhark One! It’s solid, reliable, powerful, and lightweight; it gets you the Surfshark VPN and accomplishes the main goal we have for every reader: staying safe.

Surfshark turned the VPN market upside down in fewer than three years. If it continuously improves the One bundle, it could do the same to the antivirus niche.

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