SurfEasy is indeed easy to surf with. You can download the client or application of your device with ease, and installation is similarly straightforward. Navigation and connecting to servers is mostly pictogram-based and poses no problems in understanding. During our tests, the Windows client worked well. Connections were stable, and did not take long to establish. We did notice a few shortcomings though that we would like to note. There were hardly any settings available, for example. The only option to be selected is starting the client automatically.
This means that more advanced technical features like a kill switch, DNS Leak protection or port forwarding are a miss, sadly. Other than these, your current connection is visually displayed on a world map, which helps navigation by a lot, especially since there are some locations that do not explicitly connect you to a more commonly known, major city. AdTracker blocking is a built-in feature for paid packages. By clicking on advertisements, your online activity is tracked. This feature prevents you from being analyzed through ads and is pretty useful.
SurfEasy caters to the supporters of P2P torrenting with full-fledged torrent protection. Using their VPN means that your privacy won’t be jeopardized while sharing and downloading files. SurfEasy conceals all your traffic (P2P traffic included) from the peering eyes, without limiting your connection capabilities, making it both safe and secure to use torrents.
For all accounts, SurfEasy provides 13 locations to connect to including France and the UK in Europe, the U.S., Australia and Singapore as the only available Asian digital hideout. The location numbers are slim, but they make up for it with a high server per location ratio. Dividing more than 1,000 servers in 13 locations results in undisturbed sessions all the time. SurfEasy offer unlimited bandwidth for all their paid packages. For the free version, you get a 500MB data cap that you can increase by various means. You can connect up 5 devices simultaneously if you choose the free plan or TotalVPN, suited for operating systems. For MobileVPN, you can only connect one.
Speeds are a bit dodgy matter. The only security option available is OpenVPN. For desktop operating systems, this means a 256-bit encryption that usually drags speeds down. This shows with SurfEasy too, as our results turned out to be below average. Still, the network is safe.
By default, SurfEasy provides all connections on one security protocol: OpenVPN. Even though it is the most secure choice, it limits service in some ways. Although they allow IPSec protocols on iOS devices, other platforms don’t share this option. Connections run on either 128-bit (for mobile devices) or 256-bit military grade encryptions (for desktops). So service is quite secure. However, as illustrated earlier, it has its drawbacks. Strong encryptions tend to take their toll on speeds, and this happened with SurfEasy also. We are also concerned a bit about device support (see below), as you can establish OpenVPN on a moderate list of machines only.
The company’s log policy is also worth mentioning. Like most VPN providers, the exact data you encounter while using the Internet and the websites you visit are never stored. However, your IP addresses visited are stored temporarily, and your personal information is also stashed. As the free trial comes with a bandwidth limitation, it also means that this extra detail must be taken into account as well. All in all SurfEasy doesn’t have the most favorable logging policy, but it is more or less within the acceptable range.
OS, Device Support
The company’s device support is standard. We attribute to this at least partially to the fact that connections run only on OpenVPN. This puts some less popular device out of the picture in terms of availability. Two operating systems are supported: Windows (with 8, 7, Vista and XP) and Mac OS X. Both come with their respective client software. Linux however is left out of the picture. Mobile devices are also on the table, with the two most popular ones, Android and iOS (the iPhone and iPad). Luckily, the machines that are supported receive full service, so all mobile devices have applications to work with. Still, we feel a bit of longing for an extended list, as this is just average.
We tested the Android application, as it is the mobile devices’ support that is capturing the attention of VPN users community. The Android application is indeed a polished piece of software. All settings and connections are available from the settings menu, marked by a cog. This is of course a significant change compared to the PC client, where the actual connecting is done in its separate area. Still, unifying preferences this way suits a smaller device like Android well. Connecting was actually faster than on Windows, but the map did not react to the change of locations at all (the “optimized” location was Germany). Nevertheless, all else flowed well, but connection settings like the safety protocol or the enabling and disabling of features was absent.
SurfEasy has a rather standard but just pricing structure. But, you have to pay attention to the fact that there is no free trial available for you. Instead of the earlier free version that had no time limits, you have a seven-day risk-free trial option of the full service through the company’s money back guarantee.
SurfEasy offers its complete VPN service and experience in one package that can be had in different subscription durations. The plan for up to five devices with unlimited bandwidth is offered under the 1 Month, 6 Months and 12 Months plans, with the latter being of course the most economical one. One month fares at $11.99 per month, which is quite a bit more than the $9.99 most other VPN providers in the same league charge. The 6 Months option is a good alternative with its $8.99 per month price tag resulting in a $53.94 upfront cost. The best and most often picked option however is the 12 Months offer of $6.49 per month and $77.88 in total, offering total savings of 46% compared to the 1 Month plan.
Overall, these prices are reasonable, as you get a lot for your money. SurfEasy is among the cheapest companies to offer 256-bit encrypted OpenVPN in our opinion. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.
SurfEasy has extensive customer support. The company runs a live chat, and you can contact them via e-mail, too, or just by sending in a ticket. Even better, you can also contact them via telephone. E-mail and the latter seem to be the preferred forms of support, as those two are displayed on main page of their website, too.
There is one drawback regarding SurfEasy’s customer service, it’s not 24/7. Instead their operating times are the following: Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm (EST) and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm (EST). Social media presence is strong with SurfEasy; they can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedln where they hold an active presence. The company also hosts a YouTube and Vimeo channel, mostly for tutorials.
Our initial impressions when going through SurfEasy VPN’s meager set of features were confirmed upon testing the service. SurfEasy is a bumpy ride with its own ups and downs. We would appreciate more info on the number and general state of servers for one. We were also a bit unimpressed by speeds and device support – Linux users cannot experience VPN with SurfEasy, for example, and more rare devices are excluded too. Now that SurfEasy is part of Opera Software, we strongly believe the VPN side of SurfEasy will grow in scale to offer better performance. And hopefully the backing by this software giant will also make that SurfEasy can put a 24/7 tag on its customer service. Prices however, are just fine.
- Affordable prices
- Ad tracker blocking
- Part of Opera Software
- Not the best speeds
- Few locations
- No 24/7 support