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Surfshark Antivirus Review 2023

Surfshark is a well-known name in the VPN industry, and it has extended its cybersecurity offering to include antivirus. 

Surfshark logoSurfshark Antivirus is designed to provide comprehensive protection for your devices, guarding against a wide range of malware threats while also providing the privacy and security benefits of a VPN. In this Surfshark Antivirus review, we’ll delve into the various features, effectiveness, and overall performance of this new addition to the Surfshark family.

Surfshark Antivirus summary

Surfshark One - Antivirus

Surfshark Antivirus combines the best of both worlds – robust antivirus protection and a high-quality VPN service. It offers round-the-clock protection against various forms of malware and includes several additional features that enhance your digital security.

Surfshark Antivirus pricing

Surfshark Antivirus is available as part of Surfshark One, including its VPN service, identity monitoring, and secure browser. The pricing is competitive, particularly considering the range of features included. They offer monthly, annual, and two-year subscriptions, with the 24-month plan providing the best value at around $3.98 monthly (billed upfront). A 30-day money-back guarantee is also available if you’re unsatisfied with the service.


Surfshark Antivirus can be used on Windows, macOS, and Android.

Unlike Surfshark’s VPN offering that additionally supports iOS, and Linux, its antivirus is slightly more limited.

It is user-friendly and lightweight, making it a great option for all users. Additionally, the installation process is simple and easy to follow.

Effectiveness Against Malware

Surfshark Antivirus offers robust protection against a wide range of malware, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. In addition, it constantly updates its threat database to ensure that it can detect and neutralize the latest malware threats.

No valueKasperskySurfshark AntivirusESETAvastMcAfee
Full Scan Time (minutes)227156860223
Number of scanned objects2100000500,000930,0001870000785000
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 83% on a 12 month plan
Save 25% with a 2 year subscription
GET 66% off 2 year plans
SAVE $80 on a 2 year plan - 5 devices

First, I ran the antivirus on my system to see how it handled a series of test malware samples from the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR). I then threw some more challenging malware samples in the mix: two live trojans and an adware file. The results are below.

Real-time scanning

Real-time scans run in the background, periodically checking a device to detect and remove a threat the moment it attempts to infect your device. Surfshark had no trouble detecting every EICAR sample. Unfortunately, it didn’t detect any of the zipped live samples – upon extracting them, they were correctly detected.

No valueSurfshark Antivirus
Eicar Sample 1
Eicar Sample 2
Eicar Sample 3
Eicar Sample 4
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 83% on a 12 month plan

Surfshark One - EICAR detected

Effectiveness During Scans on-demand

Surfshark Antivirus performs well during on-demand scans, quickly identifying and neutralizing threats without significantly impacting system performance. You can also schedule scans to run conveniently, ensuring your device is always protected.

Full scan

First up was a full scan. It scanned 500,000 in around 15 minutes, which is pretty impressive. It missed all of the zipped live samples but successfully detected all EICAR samples, as it did during real-time scanning.

No valueSurfshark Antivirus
Live Sample 1 (Adware)
Live Sample 2 (Trojan)
Live Sample 3 (Trojan)
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 83% on a 12 month plan

Surfshark One - Full Scan - Results

Quick Scan

Its quick scanning feature is one of the fastest we’ve seen (which isn’t always a good thing), scanning 11 vulnerable areas of my device in a few seconds. But, as you’d expect, it missed all malware samples.

Surfshark One - Quick Scan - Complete

I always compare my findings against trusted test labs AV-Comparatives, and AV-Test to see how my results compare. AV-Comparatives focus on the performance of real-time virus scans – background scans that look for threats before they reach your device. In contrast, AV-Test focuses on offline threats – those introduced offline include external storage devices like USB sticks.

At the time of writing, no test results are available from AV-Comparatives. Fortunately, there is a recent report from December 2022 provided by AV-Test. Surfshark Antivirus demonstrated strong performance in blocking zero-day malware attacks, successfully preventing 99% of these attacks over the past year. The antivirus solution also achieved a 100% detection rate for widespread and prevalent malware. As a result of its effective protection capabilities, Surfshark Antivirus received a commendable rating of 4.5 out of 6 points in the evaluation.


Additional Features

Surfshark Antivirus includes a range of additional features that further enhance its value:

  • Unlimited VPN Included: Along with antivirus protection, you also get access to Surfshark’s highly-rated VPN service, offering secure, private browsing and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.
  • Lightweight App with Advanced Protection: Despite its extensive protection capabilities, Surfshark Antivirus is a lightweight application that won’t slow down your device.
  • Personal Data Leak Notification: If your data is compromised in a data breach, Surfshark will notify you so you can take immediate action.
  • Prevents Targeted Ads and Tracking: Surfshark Antivirus includes features that block targeted ads and prevent trackers from monitoring your online activities.
  • Private and Ad-free Search: Surfshark Antivirus has a private search feature that lets you browse the internet without being tracked or bombarded with ads.
  • Scan Files While You Download and Use Them: Surfshark Antivirus scans files as you download and open them, ensuring that malware is detected and neutralized before it can harm your device.
  • 24/7 Antivirus Protection: Surfshark Antivirus provides round-the-clock protection for your devices, ensuring you’re always protected against threats.
  • Schedule Your Scans: You can schedule scans to run at convenient times, ensuring your device is always protected.

Impact on PC Performance

Surfshark Antivirus is designed to be a lightweight application with minimal impact on your device’s performance. It runs quietly in the background, providing continuous protection without causing noticeable slowdowns or disruptions. However, I wanted to see the results for myself while it ran in the background and during on-demand scans.

Quick Scan

First up, I performed a quick scan of my system. The results speak for themselves, considering they scanned just 11 files completed in a matter of seconds. As you’d expect, there was negligible data available for it to show any impact on my system resources.

No valueSurfshark Antivirus
Control CPU Utliization % (no scan)9
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)68
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)65
Quick Scan Time (seconds)0
Quick Scan Memory Utilization %N/A
Quick Scan Disk Utilization %N/A
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 83% on a 12 month plan

Full Scan

No valueSurfshark AntivirusNorton 360 for Gamers
Full Scan CPU Utilization %8484
Full Scan Memory Utilization %7575
Full Scan Disk Utilization (seconds)381381
Control CPU Utliization % (no scan)1414
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)7272
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)1313
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 83% on a 12 month plan
SAVE 55% on an annual plan

Considering Surfshark’s claim to be one of the most lightweight AV apps available, there was a noticeable spike in resources during a full on-demand scan. For context, my CPU sat around 9% usage while the app ran in the background, but when I initiated a full scan, taking a mere 15 minutes, this jumped to 84% CPU usage. Fortunately, I noticed zero impact on my end.

Surfshark One - Full Scan Performance

To understand how my results stack up to world-leading test labs, I typically compare my performance results against AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Unfortunately, AV-Comparatives haven’t included Surfshark Antivirus in their performance benchmarking at the time of writing.

I was, however, able to find a December 2022 performance report from AV-Test. The provider uses a set of criteria to measure the impact of antivirus software on Windows systems. It collates all the stats and provides an overall score of 6.0, of which Surfshark Antivirus scored 4.5. You can see the results below.



The Surfshark Antivirus user interface is clean and intuitive, making it easy for users of all experience levels to navigate and access the various features. Installation is quick and straightforward, and the app provides clear, concise instructions for configuring and using the antivirus protection. In addition, it integrates into the Surfshark VPN apps, providing an extra tab in the left-hand navigation bar to access the antivirus area of the app.

One benefit that’s useful with Surfshark antivirus is that it doesn’t bombard users with heaps of options; you can have a quick or full scan as the core function. As you’d expect, a quick scan checks vulnerable areas of your device for any common areas where malware tends to place itself, while a full scan completes a more in-depth scan of your system. A prompt appears if any threats are found, and they’re moved to a secure quarantine vault.

Surfshark One - Windows Antivirus App

Additionally, by clicking View Details, you can inspect the threat further to decide whether to whitelist it or remove it.

Surfshark One - Threat Detected

 Less prominent is the option to drag and drop specific files in or specify a path for scanning. This is useful for scanning a file you downloaded to ensure it’s squeaky clean before opening it. 

On the left are a few more optional extras, including scheduled scans, the option to exclude particular areas from scans, a toggle to enable or disable real-time protection, and a tab to check for virus definition updates (although this is typically done automatically).

Finally, should you wish to make the most of your subscription, webcam protection is included, though you’ll need to install this separately. This feature ensures that your webcam is locked down (assuming you have one), preventing hackers from accessing your camera.

Customer Support

Surfshark offers 24/7 customer support through live chat and email, ensuring that help is always available if you encounter any issues or have questions about the antivirus service. In addition, its support team is also knowledgeable and responsive, providing timely assistance when needed.

Best Alternatives to Surfshark Antivirus

If you’re looking for alternatives to Surfshark Antivirus, consider these other antivirus providers with VPN features:

  1. Norton 360: A comprehensive security suite with a high-quality VPN service and robust antivirus protection.
  2. McAfee Total Protection: Offers antivirus protection along with the McAfee Safe Connect VPN for added online privacy and security.
  3. Bitdefender Premium: Provides comprehensive antivirus protection and a VPN service to ensure complete online anonymity.


Surfshark Antivirus is a strong contender in the antivirus market, offering comprehensive protection against malware threats and the added benefit of a high-quality VPN service. Its lightweight design, user-friendly interface, and additional security features make it an excellent choice for users seeking robust device protection. Expert users may find the features a little limited, but as the antivirus integrates with Surfshark’s most valuable offering – its VPN, the inclusion of antivirus is a great addition. With competitive pricing and a 30-day money-back guarantee, Surfshark Antivirus is worth considering.

FAQs about Surfshark Antivirus

Is Surfshark Antivirus effective against all types of malware?

Yes, Surfshark Antivirus protects a wide range of malware, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware.

How does Surfshark Antivirus protect my privacy online?

Surfshark Antivirus includes a built-in VPN service that encrypts your internet connection, ensuring your online activities remain private and secure.

Does Surfshark Antivirus slow down my device?

Surfshark Antivirus is designed to be lightweight and have minimal impact on your device’s performance, providing continuous protection without causing noticeable slowdowns.

What kind of customer support does Surfshark offer?

Surfshark provides 24/7 customer support through live chat and email, ensuring assistance is always available.