SurfEasy is a VPN service located in Ontario, Canada, that was acquired by Symantec in November 2017.
However, its location within the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes alliance raises potential privacy issues for users. The agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, obliges member countries to share information if required.
SurfEasy claims that they keep no logs regarding their clients’ online traffic. But is this really the case? Is the VPN service so good that we can overlook this potential privacy issue? To find out, read the following review.
SurfEasy has over 1,000 servers in 28 countries. 16 countries offer all of the plans while the remaining eight locations require subscription to the Ultra Plan.
Countries with SurfEasy servers include:
- United Kingdom
- United States
SurfEasy uses “bank-grade” AES-256-bit security encryption, which basically means it is the same level of encryption used by online banking platforms. It is the encryption that most top VPNs use, so it’s reliable and secure.
SurfEasy also uses OpenVPN protocol for its Android and desktop apps, while using IPSec for the iOS and Mac apps (other than desktop). These are industry standard default platforms that are reliable and secure.
SurfEasy supports torrenting for users who are subscribed to the Ultra Plan. This makes legitimate file sharing a safer practice than it would be without a VPN.
SurfEasy provides high-speed servers, even in distant locations. Usually, VPN service providers will suggest that you connect to the nearest server for maximum speed. This is also the case with SurfEasy, though while there may be a latency period while switching to another server, the speed in other locations is surprisingly good. (Keep in mind that sometimes other factors can have a negative impact on speed such as the router, your connection, or ISP.)
Also, there appear to be no issues with DNS or WebRTC leaks which is great, especially given the fact that there is no kill switch. The app will also keep you updated regarding your connection in real time.
Security and Privacy
Despite claiming on their website that they have a “no-log” policy, the company is located within the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes alliance. This means that they must be retaining some information in order to comply in the event that a request is made by law enforcement.
Despite this, one plus is that the app utilizes Tracker Blocker which disables cookies and prevents advertisers from following your online activity. The service is also compatible with the Tor browser. If you use both Tor and VPN app, you will have two layers of protection while browsing the web.
SurfEasy is available to use for the following operating systems, devices, and browsers:
- Mac OS
With one subscription plan, you can simultaneously connect five different devices, which means that you can protect your entire family or all of your gadgets.
Netflix does not want its services to be used through a VPN, so it has become increasingly hard to find VPN servers which will work for Netflix viewing. Most users find their accounts blocked or they’re only able to view content available in their location.
Unfortunately, the status of VPN providers changes constantly regarding Netflix blocking, so SurfEasy may or may not work for your Netflix needs depending on your country.
SurfEasy VPN does not come equipped with a kill switch. So theoretically, if your connection with the VPN server is compromised, your IP address will be exposed.
Kill switches are designed to protect you by disconnecting your device from the internet if the service stops working. Needless to say, that this is one of the issues that needs to be fixed ASAP.
SurfEasy offers a monthly or annual version for each of its three different subscription plans. Both options include a free trial that comes with 500MB of free data and five simultaneous connections.
The total subscription plan includes connection to five devices, unlimited data and tracker blocking. The price of the monthly version is $4.99, while annual subscription costs $3.99 per month.
The above-mentioned Ultra subscription plan includes access to all servers, unlimited data, torrent protection and tracker blocking. The price of the monthly version is $11.99, while annual subscription costs $6.49 per month.
Besides the free trial period, SurfEasy offers a seven day money back guarantee.
In the support section of SurfEasy’s website, users can find frequently asked questions and contact information. You can send an email to the support desk, or if you are from the U.S., Canada or the U.K., contact them via phone.
Unfortunately, there is no live chat or ticket submission system, which means no 24/7 support. Instead, the support desk is available everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).
On the website, in the bottom right corner, there is something that looks like a live chat, but it is more of a pop-up search bar where you can enter your keywords or question. If there are no results for your search, you can leave a message by providing your name and email address.
To install the SurfEasy VPN app, you will have to go to the company’s website. If you want to start a free trial, enter your email in the field and click Try it Free.
After you have verified your email, you will be asked to create a password.
Then, when your account is all set up, select the app you would like to download.
When the download process is completed, open the installation wizard, and hit Next.
The next step is to agree to the terms of the agreement.
When the installation is finished, click the Finish button.
Before you sign in, you will be presented with your subscription plan and its features.
If you already have an account just enter your email and password.
You will be welcomed with a friendly message, and your app will be ready for use in a couple of seconds.
On SurfEasy’s homepage, you can see your location and current IP address. Also, there is an on and off button, list of servers, settings, data about your usage, rewards, and available upgrades.
On the Usage tab, you can track how much data have you used, and how much you have remaining.
In the Rewards section, clients can refer a friend to receive an extra 500 MB and add a second device to earn 250 MB.
The app allows you to upgrade your subscription plan at any time by adding more features.
The Settings section is pretty simple. You can upgrade, select a server, or access FAQs and customer support.
One of the most common complaints from SurfEasy users regards the iOS app. The support team was described as incompetent in resolving issues when it comes to Apple devices. On the other hand, PC apps function well according to the same group of clients.
However, most clients are satisfied with the service, finding the apps easy to use, with elegant and simple user interfaces, while appreciating that the company does not send spam emails and messages.
SurfEasy Pros and Cons
|Relatively low price||No kill switch|
|Decent speed||Encryption protocols are not |
|Allows torrenting||No 24/7 customer support|
|Compatible with Tor browser|
|No logs policy|
|Large server park|
|Users get five simultaneous connections|
|Seven-day money back guarantee|
While SurfEasy VPN is not expensive, some flaws, such as the lack of kill switch, cannot be justified by the low price. If you want a more reliable service with more security features and trustworthy customer support, you will have to consider one of these alternatives:
Some other VPN service providers offer both outstanding encryption protocols and an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Other companies also offer special subscription plans for businesses and families, as well as software for routers. However, it’s a case of deciding what your individual needs and priorities are before deciding which provider to go with.
SurfEasy is a VPN service provider that offers apps for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Opera and Amazon.
However, despite that, the service is not faultless when it comes to security. There appear to be many complaints regarding customer support, which is described as unresponsive and unprofessional.
Luckily, there is a free trial period, so you can try the app and take it for a test drive before making a final decision. Also, even if you buy the app, there is a seven day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service.