As VPN (Virtual Private Network) services go, SurfEasy is one of the well-established ones as it has been around for many years. That said, you might be wondering—do they live up to their claims of providing anonymity and data security for users?
Before anything else, it would be prudent to learn a few things about the VPN service that you’re subscribing to. SurfEasy is a Canada-based VPN company that started operations in early 2011. Since then, they’ve grown to an extensive network of more than 1500 servers from 30 server locations around the world.
Like most other premium VPN services, SurfEasy offers a free account (Starter VPN) with limited server options and bandwidth (up to 600mb per month). There’s also a 7-day trial period, although it’s only accessible to mobile users (Android or iOS).
As you might imagine, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account to experience everything that SurfEasy has to offer. That said, they do offer one of the most affordable VPN services in the market at $1.99 per month. SurfEasy also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, which makes signing up for their VPN service practically risk-free for new users.
SurfEasy —The Pros
As a VPN company that has been in business for well over eight years, we found that SurfEasy has managed to get plenty of things right. Some of the good things that people can expect when using their VPN service include the following:
User-friendly VPN app
Using SurfEasy is surprisingly easy, which is always a good thing for beginners. Their VPN app neatly integrates with the system tray, which users can just click on for a few simple options— your chosen VPN server, current IP address, and an option to toggle the VPN on and off. Their mobile app adopts a similar approach by keeping things simple while covering all essential functions.
As you might imagine, SurfEasy’s ease of use makes it ideal for beginners who often prefer to do away with complicated settings and features. That said, this level of simplicity may not bode well for advanced users.
Integrated Ad-blocking feature
One of SurfEasy’s more distinctive features is an integrated ad-blocker that automatically removes “cookies” on your device. These cookies are used by marketers to keep track of your web browsing activities.
Note that the ad-blocker is a premium-only feature. You’ll need to upgrade to a paid service before you can enable it on your account.
Affordable VPN service
As of this writing, SurfEasy offers one of the most affordable (if not the most affordable) premium VPN services on the market today. At $1.99 per month, it’s certainly much cheaper than any other VPNs we’ve tried.
Of course, what’s truly notable is that for such a low price, users get access to unlimited bandwidth, an ad-blocker, torrent protection, and support for up to 5 devices. Most other VPN companies charge four of five times as much for these premium features.
The fact that SurfEasy is based in Canada means that it is well within the jurisdiction of the “Five Eyes” alliance and other international intelligence communities. That said, the VPN company implements a stringent no-logs policy. This means that they don’t collect or keep a record of IP addresses, server details, and specific user information of any kind.
Decent server speeds
While SurfEasy isn’t exactly the fastest VPN service out there, we found that their server speeds are decent and more than suitable for average users. When connecting to the Surfeasy optimized server (the closest and fastest server available), we found that our download speeds dropped no more than 25%.
Of course, server speeds dwindle if you choose a server that is far away from your actual location—for instance, connecting to the furthest available server (which in our case was Australia) gave us an average download speed of only 5 Mbps from a base connection speed of 90 Mbps. Still, that’s more than enough for casual web browsing and streaming videos at low to medium settings.
SurfEasy’s premium VPN service offers P2P optimized servers, which make it an excellent choice for users that do a great deal of torrenting. While download speeds can be slower than other VPNs with P2P support, most users find no inclination to complain, given the incredibly low price point. Plus, the fact that the VPN company has a strict no-logs policy, gives torrent users much-needed peace of mind knowing that their torrenting activities are secure.
Robust data security protocols
While it’s not indicated anywhere on their VPN app, we found out that SurfEasy uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is widely regarded as the best when it comes to data security. For encryption, they use AES-256, which is widely used by banks and the US federal government for securing data communications. These qualities make SurfEasy a good choice for anyone looking for a reliable and cost-effective solution for ensuring their privacy and anonymity online.
Of course, no VPN service is perfect, and SurfEasy has its share of downsides. Consider the following cons before subscribing to their VPN service:
No Internet Kill Switch
Despite the robust data security and privacy measures, it is unfortunate that SurfEasy has overlooked the implementation of one crucial feature—an Internet kill switch. As the name implies, the latter automatically disconnects your device from the Internet should the VPN network fail for any reason. Without it, users run the risk of continuing with their online activities without realizing that they’re on an unencrypted connection.
As of the time of writing, SurfEasy only supports four major platforms—Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. If you’re using a device that’s not on the list, then you’ll need to look somewhere else.
The same goes for routers, gaming consoles, and video streaming devices. The only workaround would be to tether the encrypted connection from a computer or mobile device that natively supports Surfeasy’s VPN app. Still, that’s too much trouble when there are other premium VPN services on the market that directly supports your device
Small server network
With SurfEasy, you’re limited to just 28 server locations with no city-level options. That’s a far cry from say, NordVPN, which has more than twice as many servers and server locations (59 countries).
A limited server network makes SurfEasy unsuitable for unlocking geo-blocked content from different parts of the world. Most are European servers, and while a US server is available, there’s no way to select a particular state or region. Asian servers, in particular, are relatively sparse, with only Japan and Singapore available.
Inability to bypass regions with strict Internet censorship
If you’re based in a region where there are strict censorship laws like China, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), then we wouldn’t recommend SurfEasy’s VPN service for a good reason. Governments in these regions implement Internet technology designed to detect and intercept traffic coming from VPNs. To defeat them, you’ll need a VPN with obfuscation tools that conceal your use of a VPN service. Unfortunately, SurfEasy currently lacks such a feature.
Doesn’t Work With Netflix
If you’re looking for a VPN service that can help you access geo-blocked content on Netflix, then SurfEasy isn’t for you. None of the servers we tested worked, and we can only assume that the same is true with most other popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
How to Use SurfEasy VPN
If you’re convinced that SurfEasy is the right VPN solution for you, then you might be wondering — how to use SurfEasy VPN? Well, it’s easier than you think and something that beginners can do in a few simple steps:
- Create an account
First thing’s first, you’ll need to create an account with SurfEasy by logging on to their website and clicking on “Get Started”. Fill in the information required and complete the registration process.
Note that you can opt for a free Starter VPN account or jump into a premium account right away. By the end of it, you should have an email address and a password for your SurfEasy account.
- Verify your account
Check your email address for a welcome message from SurfEasy, along with a request to verify your account. To do so, click on the green “Verify Email” button, and you’ll be directed to your SurfEasy Account Dashboard page. Alternatively, you can access this page by going to https://accounts.surfeasy.com/.
2. Download the VPN App
The next step is to download the VPN app that supports your device. From your SurfEasy Account Dashboard page, refer to the App Downloads section on the lower right. From here, you can just click on the device that you want to use with your SurfEasy account.
Clicking on Windows or Mac downloads the VPN app installer on your computer straight away. Selecting iOS or Android, on the other hand, will prompt you for a mobile number. SurfEasy will then send you a text message with a link to download the VPN app on your mobile device.
3. Install the VPN app on your device
The process will vary depending on which device you’ve selected. For the rest of this guide, we’ll be referencing SurfEasy for Windows computers. In any case, just run the installer on your device and complete the installation process.
- Run SurfEasy VPN on your device
If you haven’t already, Open the SurfEasy VPN app on your computer and type in your login credentials (email and password).
4. Turning on the VPN connection
Once you’ve logged into your account, you should now be looking at the Dashboard of your SurfEasy VPN app. To turn on the VPN Connection, just set the Toggle switch next to Starter VPN (if you’re using a free account) to the “On” position. Doing so will automatically connect you to the nearest (and fastest) VPN server available.
Once you’ve enabled the VPN connection, the VPN app will then prompt you that the connection is now secure and shows your current public IP address and the server location that you’re connected to.
Alternatively, you can select a specific region to connect to by clicking on the drop-down button next to the globe icon on the upper right. Clicking on a particular location will automatically initiate a VPN connection to that server location. At this point, you now have SurfEasy’s VPN service running on your device. Don’t forget to turn off the VPN connection once you’re done, especially if you’re using a Starter VPN account with limited bandwidth.
So there you have it—a review of Surfeasy premium VPN service! Whether or not it’s the right VPN solution will depend on your needs and what you expect you’d be able to do with a VPN. If your primary concern is Internet privacy and data security, then SurfEasy’s value is tough to beat even among the top VPN service providers in the market.