As the industry matures and heads into the mainstream, it’s becoming common for the best VPN providers to offer more comprehensive suites of cybersecurity services, which often come bundled with the core VPN product.
One of the most recent VPN providers to do this is Surfshark. Rated as the best cheap VPN, it’s already an excellent choice for those looking to preserve their online privacy on a budget, and the new Surfshark One package seeks to add to that.
Here, we’ll run down what Surfshark One actually offers, how much it costs, how it compares to rival packages and, most importantly, if it’s worth signing up to. If your mind's already made up, Tom's Guide readers can claim 2 months FREE when signing up to Surfshark. Not a bad deal, eh?
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What is Surfshark One?
Surfshark One is a suite of several cybersecurity tools, all housed within the Surfshark app.
The biggest and likely most-used feature is Antivirus. It does what it says on the tin – protects you from viruses and malware. In terms of features, Surfshark’s Antivirus (which uses Avira's protection engine) allows you to scan either your full device or just selected folders, schedule scans to regularly sweep for threats, and real-time protection, which notifies you if you download a malicious file.
Surfshark One also offers Search, which is a ‘powerful and lightweight search tool’. Essentially, Search is a totally ad, tracker, and log-free search engine that aims to reliably show authentic results without harvesting your data.
Finally, the package rounds off with Alert, which alerts you to data breaches that include your data. When activated, if your email address is found in a data breach, you’ll be notified so you can take appropriate action. What’s more, you can also use Alert for your credit cards, so you’ll know if your bank details have ever been compromised.
What are the pros and cons of Surfshark One?
If you’re not currently using an antivirus program, then signing up to Surfshark One is great choice – you’ll be able to better protect yourself from malware as well as make sure you’re alerted about data breaches. Surfshark Search is a small addition we expect few will really use, but it’s still a nice addition, as is Alert.
In our experience, Surfshark Antivirus is quite effective, and notably less intrusive in terms of pop-ups and notifications than some free antivirus options like Avast Free antivirus. However, paid-for antivirus offerings will still be more comprehensive, with features like file quarantine, plus full device support.
On that note, Surfshark One’s biggest current downfall is that as of March 2022, not every feature is available on every device or location.
Surfshark VPN has huge device support and offers unlimited connections, so there are no issues there. However, Surfshark Antivirus is only available on Windows and Android, with real-time protection limited to Android alone. Surfshark claims that other OS compatibility is in the works.
Surfshark Search is currently only available at s.surfshark.com, but Surfshark is reportedly working on integrating it into the apps on every OS. Finally, Alert is compatible with MacOS, Windows, Android, Chrome, and Firefox, but the ID Check feature currently only works with documents from the US, Lithuania, and Bulgaria.
Overall, though, Surfshark One is definitely worth considering as an add-on for new and existing customers. For the price, it looks promising, and we expect it to fill out in terms of features and support in the near future.
How much is Surfshark One?
Surfshark one adds $1.49 to the monthly cost of Surfshark VPN, which brings the total without further discounts to $3.98 a month over two years, or roughly $95 all-in. Existing Surfshark subscribers can add Surfshark One at any time, but Surfshark One is not available without first signing up to Surfshark VPN.
However, Surfshark is currently running a promotion that offers Surfshark One absolutely free to Tom's Guide readers. This is alongside the 2 months free that’s currently being offered, so for a limited time you’ll be able to get Surfshark VPN and Surfshark One for just $2.30 a month – definitely worth making the most of. It's also worth checking our Surfshark VPN promo codes for other deals.
Who should use Surfshark One?
If you don’t yet use an antivirus program (or you’re frustrated at poorly performing free options), Surfshark One is definitely worth considering – especially if you already use Surfshark VPN. Catch it on offer, or even for free, and it’s an absolute no-brainer.
However, if you’re already satisfied with your antivirus cover, the Search and Alert features could be hard to justify paying for, but if you can bag a free Surfshark One promotion, we’d still recommend getting it.
Overall, it's a useful addition that we can see growing into something more powerful in the future, so if you use the devices that are currently supported and need an antivirus solution, it's worth considering.
Do any other VPNs offer a similar feature?
Surfshark’s not the only provider to offer additional security features. For example, Private Internet Access offers an antivirus add-on for a reasonable $1.12 a month, but that doesn’t include features like Surfshark’s Search and alert.
NordVPN is another VPN that has taken the all-encompassing approach to online security, and currently offers free anti-malware protection. Rival ExpressVPN also offers a similar Threat Detector feature, which is also included for free in its apps.
NordVPN also offers NordPass, a password manager, for $2.49 a month, as well as cloud storage solution NordLocker for $1.49 a month. If you go for the full suite the numbers start to add up, but there’s a better range in the Nord family than the competition – although notably no antivirus (yet).
Is Surfshark One a deal breaker?
For most users, Surfshark One is a nice-to-have, and anyone currently without any antivirus protection would be well served by it – especially if you find it bundled with a VPN deal. At full price it’s still good value, but in its current form it’s not yet up to the task of replacing a dedicated security suite. In the future, though, there’s certainly promise.
Surfshark is swift, secure, and great value
Even though it's one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, Surfshark provides a premium experience with great Netflix and streaming performance, alongside top-quality privacy features. Tom's Guide readers can currently claim 2 years of Surfshark One FREE, as well as 2 extra months, working out at just $2.30 a month.
Thats right it cant even be closed, short of opening services and stopping its service then opening task manager an ending task on it. It's easier and faster to just uninstall/reinstall it however since these changes "bloatware" Microsoft views it as untrustworthy software and Windows Defender will quarantine it during the install making it more of a pain to use as you then have to go setup a security exception for the install.
They have turned a once decent application to a complete and utter nightmare! Pretty sad when devs turn something that was once usable into garbage!
Also, you make several "It's better than nothing" statements, but how does it compare to Windows Defender? Honestly, every Windows anti-virus should be compared to Defender. Defender is lite, free and pre-installed on all modern PCs. It should be the benchmark regardless of how good or bad it is because it is universal. If someone isn't running an anti-virus on Windows at this stage, it's because they don't want to.
Hard to make an informed decision. I'd love to hear about some more real-world experiences.