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What is Surfshark NoBorders and why should you use it?

Graphic illustrating Surfshark NoBorders
(Image credit: Surfshark)

These days, it's not enough for one of the best VPN services to just spoof your IP address and keep your DNS traffic leak-free. To match up with the big guns, you need powerful in-built features that protect every single user of the service.

Surfshark does just that, and alongside its Surfshark One add-on, it has several very useful features built into the app that are totally free – offering great value for such a cheap VPN. One of these is Surfshark NoBorders, but to the average subscriber this might seem like a redundant option that languishes in a settings menu, never to be used.

So, here we'll be running down exactly what Surfshark NoBorders is, what it can do for you, and if it's a deal-breaker when choosing a VPN. If your mind's already made up, Tom's Guide readers can claim 2 extra months FREE when signing up to Surfshark. Not a bad deal, eh?

What is Surfshark NoBorders?

Surfshark's NoBorders feature is designed to get around internet censorship and blocks that are imposed in some countries – for example, China, Russia, the UAE, Iran, Turkey and more.

When the Surfshark app detects any restrictions, it will automatically turn on NoBorders, which enables a special set of servers that allow users to avoid these blocks and access the internet as normal.

Since NoBorders activates automatically, it's unlikely you'll ever have to enter the app's settings to switch it on but, if you do need to, the option is there.

What are the pros and cons of Surfshark NoBorders?

NoBorders is a fairly unobtrusive added extra that can offer some great benefits to certain users. For those living in restrictive countries, NoBorders will likely be activated by default, and Surfshark should be able to sidestep censorship and deliver a freer internet.

It's worth noting that when NoBorders is active, you may find that your server list is slightly reduced. This is due to the fact that not all of Surfshark's servers are NoBorders-enabled, so if a particular location isn't available, manually disabling NoBorders may allow more servers to be chosen.

Overall, NoBorders won't be of much use if you live in the US, UK, or much of Europe – but it won't negatively affect how Surfshark performs either. For those in restrictive countries, though, it's a big bonus, which doesn't have much of a downside.

How much is Surfshark NoBorders?

Surfshark NoBorders is a core feature of the Surfshark app, and doesn't cost any extra to get access to. Seeing as Surfshark's an absolute bargain at less than $2.50 a month, it's a great-value way of avoiding internet restrictions. 

Graphic illustrating Surfshark NoBorders

(Image credit: Surfshark)

Who should use Surfshark NoBorders?

As a built-in feature that is activated automatically, Surfshark NoBorders will fire up as and when necessary, meaning anyone who needs it will already be using, and those who don't won't.

However, as a feature that makes Surfshark itself appealing, those looking for unrestricted web access in countries like China, Turkey, Russia and others will find great benefit in NoBorders.

Do any other VPNs offer a similar feature?

Many VPNs allow users to visit restricted sites in countries that limit internet access, but few boast a distinct feature. Surfshark doesn't overtly explain exactly what's so special about its NoBorders servers either, so it's hard to say for sure whether any other provider offers exactly the same tech.

However, while NoBorders is effective for avoiding censorship and restrictions, many other top VPNs are too, so it appears to be a general feature of any good VPN that Surfshark has used as a headline feature of its own product.

Is Surfshark NoBorders a deal breaker?

If you're looking for a VPN to access unrestricted content in countries that limit free surfing of the web, then yes, NoBorders is an essential feature you can't truly do without. 

For those in freer regions, though, it's a nice-to-have but not an essential – and much more appealing will be Surfshark's excellent performance as a Netflix VPN and streaming VPN.

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 months of Surfshark FREE, working out at just $2.30 a month.

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.