Another Reason I like Surfshark: RAM Only Servers
Surfshark just recently announced that all of its servers are becoming RAM only, which adds credence to its promise of “no-logs” and its overall protection of user data.
In my last post on Surfshark, I introduced you to why I like it, suggesting that there would be more reasons down the road. Now, I’d like to share another one of those with you. Since 2018, when I first became a Surfshark user, they’ve had a commitment to no-logs, which means they promise to never keep any user data on file.
Until recently, however, I was never able to find out exactly how they do deal with user data. This week, I received an email update from one of Surfshark’s affiliate managers, in which he shared a link to an update on the VPN moving to RAM-only servers.
If you’re interested in all of the details surrounding the event, you can catch up on them here, but below, I’ve compiled a summary for you.
According to them, until recently, they kept what they call data for “operational purposes,” which I admit, caused me to balk at first.
What about the no-log policy?
According to reviews on the service, they’ve always been up-front on what no-logs actually means. In a general sense, it refers to keeping no data on file about user behavior online including never storing real-IP addresses or overall data about what users do online (when you connect, what sites you connect to).
So, before the move, they had reportedly always been adhering to this promise.
The data they were keeping was only that which was necessary to allow their users to connect to the VPN’s servers. While it isn’t entirely specified what they’re referring to, to me they mean that real IP addresses do hit their servers but have always been heavily encrypted when they do. Lending credence to this theory is the fact that they mention their servers having “private keys,” which are like the combinations to a secure vault in which data is held.
In any case, now, all of their servers are RAM-only for good and if you know what RAM is, then it’s easy to see why this should be an even more secure option. According to authorities on the subject via StackExchange, since RAM is random access memory, all data that’s stored in it instead of a hard drive is only kept around until RAM is powered off. Generally, since RAM resets every time that a computer is powered off, it is reasonable to say that the same occurs when a server is rebooted, which is typically, periodically done for security purposes.
Whatever time period Surfshark chooses for server reboots, it’s important to note that they’ll be able to do them from one location, all at once, as opposed to with hard drives, that need to be altered individually (unless they’re cloud-based drives). Furthermore, the risk of a hack tied to a physical location/physical location is now largely non-existent.
Any such event would now probably have to happen in a matter of minutes since that seems to be the standard time for resetting all sorts of RAM.
In the end, no server architecture is perfect and arguably, a decentralized storage architecture (like a blockchain) would be much more secure than even a RAM-focused one. Since Surfshark continues to innovate, it will be interesting to see whether they go that route in a few years.
Whatever the case, shifting to RAM for its servers bodes well for Surfshark’s reputation as a trustworthy VPN that truly focuses on user privacy and security. If after reading this post, you’d like to try Surfshark out for yourself, click here.
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Disclaimer: I am a Surfshark affiliate but to date, I’ve never been paid for penning posts on the service. What I have been given is free access to the Surfshark VPN and its additional features for research purposes. Additionally, none of this is meant as a direct persuasion for you to buy Surfshark. Before making any purchase, you should always do your own research.