If you've been searching for a VPN, you know how much of a challenge it can be to find a service that gives you internet privacy, allows you to access streaming and torrenting, gives you multiple devices used per license, and will operate at a serviceable speed that won't drive you to frustration by holding back your connection. The numerous VPNs available don't help.
Even though no VPN is perfect, you still want to find one as close to it as possible. What the ideal VPN may be for your needs will vary, it's still essential to investigate a product to ensure that you have everything you need for the ultimate internet experience—and that search is what we're here to help you with conducting.
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SurfEasy is a Canadian-based virtual private network that provides both a VPN client and a browser extension. With its various plans, reasonable pricing options, and other features, it seems like an excellent choice for your browsing needs, but does it stand up to scrutiny? Our SurfEasy VPN review aims to answer those questions and more!
What Does SurfEasy VPN Do?
As a virtual private network, SurfEasy operates through a client installed on your web-accessible device. When you turn on the VPN, you can then use it to appear as if you are connecting to the internet from a different IP address than your own. This client then can allow you to prevent sites from tracking your use back to your home internet connection and even view region-locked content.
Logging and Privacy
Since one of the main benefits of a VPN is that you gain a level of anonymity to your internet activity, it's essential to keep an eye out for logging: the process of the VPN provider tracking and recording your user activity about your real IP address. SurfEasy gains points from the start for not monitoring your real IP address or browsing activity.
You won't be able to make much use of a VPN if it isn't compatible with your device, but that isn't much of a concern when it comes to SurfEasy. Whether you have a Windows, Mac, MacOS, Android, iOS, or Amazon computer, phone, or another device, you'll be able to download, install, and use the client without having to do any additional tinkering.
If you happen to use Opera or Chrome as your primary browser, SurfEasy provides a browser extension that will operate with these two. This way, instead of installing the complete client, you can then access the VPN straight from your browser for added convenience.
With all the bases that SurfEasy does cover, there are very few devices that can't take advantage of this VPN. The service also does not support routers.
When it comes to paying for the SurfEasy VPN, you have two main options: the first is that you can use your credit or debit card, and the second is that you can use your PayPal account. Selecting your method is easy, and you can finish paying for your chosen subscription plan in a few minutes. Unfortunately for those who wish to use Bitcoin to ensure their anonymity, SurfEasy does not allow this method.
Ease of Use
As mentioned, installing the SurfEasy client is simple, as its preconfigured protocols allow for use across a wide variety of devices. Once you start up the client, you have a very straightforward to read layout that lets you see where in the world you appear to be in, your public IP address, and the state of your connection.
When you want to change server locations, you need only to click on the globe in the upper right, and then select where on the screen you want to connect. After that, SurfEasy will show you the available servers, and you can then choose whichever one you like.
Both the Total and Ultra connection plans include ad tracking blocking, which will prevent advertisements from viewing your history and basing what you see based on your activity. In these versions, you can see the status of the ad track block, and the free version will provide a reminder that you can upgrade to have the feature.
Simultaneous Use of Devices
All versions of SurfEasy provide five simultaneous device connections per license, which matches the industry standard. With this capability, you'll be able to run the VPN client across five different devices at once without losing any of your protections. Since so many types of devices are compatible with the client, it's nice to have this level of connectivity.
Servers and Locations
The more servers that any online service has, the better it can handle high user traffic, and especially so during peak hours. SurfEasy has over one-thousand servers, which is more than enough to ensure you'll always have a server to connect to.
As for the servers' locations, SurfEasy allows you to take advantage of IP addresses from twenty-eight different countries. This number doesn't include the entire globe, but it should give you the flexibility you need to see different region-locked content.
No matter which VPN you choose, you will find that your connection speed takes a hit since the VPN is rerouting your data. It's also common to see drops in connectivity rates whenever you access servers that are farther away from you, as the data has a much longer distance to travel before it reaches your computer.
Even with these considerations in mind, SurfEasy's servers don't always perform consistently; you may get excellent results from one while struggling to get webpages to load with another. In some cases, it can slow your download speed up to seventy percent—not the worst that you can see from a VPN, but certainly not the best possible result, either.
One of the most significant demands for being able to connect to servers outside one's country is to have your IP address hidden so that you can access Netflix. SurfEasy does provide some Netflix access, but, since Netflix itself has spent a substantial amount of time on blocking out VPNs, the connectivity isn't flawless by any means.
SurfEasy allows for access to Netflix through US and Canadian servers, but it doesn't do so well in other countries. If you are someone who lives outside of the US or Canada, this access may be what you want. Additionally, US and Canadian residents who travel abroad can then use SurfEasy to watch their local shows while out of the country. Trying to access Netflix UK isn't as successful.
Whether this level of access is enough for you will depend on your needs. However, for big Netflix streamers, plenty of other VPN services provide much better access to a variety of Netflix options.
Torrenting is an efficient way to move around significant amounts of data between computers, and it has many different uses. Because a torrent can involve such high levels of data movement, it can easily lead to having your IP address flagged for going over bandwidth limits or have scrutiny put on it. Since a VPN provides a different IP address for your connection, you can avoid these issues.
Not all VPN services will allow you to use torrents freely, but SurfEasy is, fortunately, one that does. To have the torrenting protection, you will need to select the Ultra Plan from SurfEasy's options. Having a VPN also helps protect you from the potential dangers of P2P connection.
Wi-Fi Secure Connection Feature
A VPN should work to help keep your connection safe, no matter when you decide to use it. SurfEasy does assist with this goal through its Wi-Fi secure connection feature. What this setting does is alert you whenever the connection you use with your device has become insecure, which can help you learn when a network is unsafe to use.
While this feature does allow you to see when a network has become compromised, it doesn't have an automatic kill switch that would offer you maximum protection by cutting off your connection if it senses a threat. Without a kill switch, your device may stay open to danger before you can see that a wi-fi network has become insecure.
Customer support is usually a critical aspect of any service, and you should expect helpful and timely replies whenever you need assistance. Unfortunately, we found that SurfEasy's customer support is lacking. There isn't any live communication, leaving you with the only options to submit a problem ticket or to send an email to the customer support team.
The support tickets don't have much effect at all, and there also isn't a confirmation status to let you know that your request went through. Email requests do receive responses within the same day, which does give you a reliable option to use, though it isn't the timeliest.
The lack of live support seems to be an unfortunate trend of many VPN services, but it still can add some frustration when you want to solve a problem quickly. The lack of an archive for frequently asked questions can dampen the progress of those who like to troubleshoot their issues. If you foresee yourself needing regular support, SurfEasy, unfortunately, does not make it easy.
Pros and Cons at a Glance
How Does It Compare?
In the sea of VPNs, there's no doubt that SurfEasy has some stiff competition out there; just because there's no such thing as a perfect VPN doesn't mean some services don't come close. But, when it comes down to it, SurfEasy holds its own rather well, especially for users who aren't looking for anything too complicated.
SurfEasy's ability to allow up to five devices per connection meets the industry standard, and the multiple plan options provide flexibility for those who may not need to have such bulky connection allowances or want a lower price than what's also out there. Add in torrent support and Netflix connectivity, and you can already see that Surf Easy does come close to the top percentile of VPNs.
Part of what keeps it from standing up with top competitors NordVPN and Express VPN is SurfEasy's lack of a completely private policy. The company may not log your IP address and site history, but it does retain other personal information that it can and will share with law enforcement if prompted to, which isn't the best of what you want from a VPN.
Even if you're okay with this policy, you'll still have to contend with inconsistent server performance. Many other VPNs also provide better customization options, which will likely be preferable for advanced users.
We're a big fan of the multiple pricing options that SurfEasy has available. You can select from the Starter, Total, and Ultra service plans, depending on your VPN usage and budget. Aside from the Starter plan, you can choose to pay an annual cost to reduce your prices.
The Starter plan is the closest thing that SurfEasy has to a free trial. You will be able to connect up to five devices at once, as with their regular plans, but you also have the limitation of only using 500MB. This option obviously won't let you see the full extent of SurfEasy's capabilities, but it will give you a taste to connect on.
The Total plan gives you access to sixteen server location, the connection of up to five devices simultaneously, and the unlimited data and tracker blocking. The cost for this plan is $4.99 per month. With the yearly plan, you'll pay $47.88, or $3.99 per month.
The Ultra plan gives you access to the same capabilities as the Total plan, but instead with coverage to severs from twenty-eight countries and additional torrent protection. This option brings the cost up to $11.99 per month, or $77.88 per year (which reduces to $6.49 per month).
While the standard monthly prices aren't excessive by any means, but you can find cheaper options. The reduced costs that you get through the yearly plans are the better deal if you know that you plan to use the service for an extended amount of time.
Some customers have had mixed experiences with SurfEasy. With all the bases that the VPN provides, many customers are satisfied with the layout of the client, protecting their mobile devices, and having access to wi-fi secure connection tracking. In these areas, users have had an excellent time and see SurfEasy as a valuable service.
However, there are also some users who have seen fit to leave a negative SurfEasy VPN review. In these cases, the lack of comprehensive customer support has been the primary concern. The difficulties with communicating about troubleshooting and discussing the potential of canceling service seem to be issues that users have with SurfEasy, which hurts the other elements they otherwise handle very well.
What We Think
Our Final Rating:
4.0 out 5.0 stars
When it comes down to it, SurfEasy is an incredibly serviceable VPN, as it provides options for torrenters, Netflix users, and anyone else who is interested in having a secure connection as they connect to the internet. The wi-fi secure connection feature is something that we appreciate being part of the service, as it helps you avoid compromised networks.
The plan options allow for flexibility, and the user-friendly interface makes it accessible for even newcomers to VPNs to know what they need to do to use the client. The fact that the VPN is compatible with many major systems and allows for browser extensions as well make is readily accessible.
For us, however, the biggest downside is that SurfEasy doesn't give you complete anonymity; you can't pay with bitcoin, and it will keep some of your information, which the company will provide to law enforcement if there's suspicious of illegal activity. This policy isn't surprising as the company is Canada-based, but it's still unfortunate for a VPN.
The slower performing connections combined with the only partial Netflix cooperation mean that SurfEasy may not be the ultimate solution that streamers are looking to have. However, SurfEasy is an overall well-performing VPN that comes at a fair price. Advanced users won't find much use thanks to the lack of customization, but VPN newbies should have no trouble using SurfEasy for safe web browsing.
SurfEasy does not offer special sales. However, its year-long commitment options cut down the price to be even more affordable, making it an excellent choice for anyone who has tried the VPN out and wishes to continue using it across their devices.