Reviewed By: André Spiteri
While it does have some fair usage restrictions, SurfEasy’s private browser makes it a breeze to take top notch online security and privacy with you wherever you go. Whether you’re on your laptop, your smartphone, your tablet, or even a public access computer, you can count on SurfEasy to stay safe online.
● Dedicated desktop apps, mobile apps and browser add-ons
● Bank grade encryption
● Up to 5 simultaneous connections
● Free Google Chrome browser add-on
● Works with most operating systems
● Toll free customer helpline
● Support isn’t available 24/7
SurfEasy’s VPN is chock full of security features. In particular, It ditches the PPTP and L2TP protocols altogether and only operates via the more secure OpenVPN protocol. This works at 128-bit encryption on the desktop and Android versions and at 256-bit AES IPSec on iOS, offering a high level of security without compromising performance. In addition, a ‘private local search’ option makes it possible to obtain local search results without giving out your IP address. What sets SurfEasy apart, however, is its ‘private browser’. In simple terms, the private browser is a portable VPN you can use to go online on any device. Whether you’re using your personal laptop, your work computer or a public computer at an internet café, you can connect securely by plugging the private browser into the device’s 3 USB socket. Once you’re done, you simply pull out the USB stick and all your sensitive data, including browsing history, usernames and passwords, leave with you. SurfEasy’s main downside is that the company does log some information. Logging is mainly aggregate bandwidth data. Usage logging is also turned on when required to debug a problem. This is quite minimal. However, it may be an issue if you’re really finicky about your online privacy.
SurfEasy is reasonably fast and reliable, but only up to a point. The main issue is that it’s primarily targeted at average users. This means that, even though SurfEasy is advertised as having unlimited bandwidth, it is subject to a fair usage policy that will throttle your speed or even ban you off the server completely if your usage is ‘excessive relative to the average’. Presumably, instances of ‘unfair’ usage are relatively rare and extreme. However, the limitation is there and it’s described in terms that are quite vague, so it’s something you may want to keep in mind if you’re thinking of giving SurfEasy a try.
Out of all the VPNs we tested, SurfEasy had the widest selection of tailored options. It has desktop apps for both Windows and OSX, as well as mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. It also has browser add-ons for Google Chrome and Opera. Of course, the SurfEasy private browser is the feature which offers the most flexibility, as it allows you to use your VPN on any available computer without jeopardizing your privacy. Unfortunately, you won’t have control over your IP address, as this is randomly assigned and cannot be changed. In addition, by default, you’ll also be connected to the fastest server relative to your location. However, you can change your server’s location if you so wish.
SurfEasy’s customer support is top notch. Besides an extensive FAQ section with detailed answers and troubleshooting help on all the major technical issues you might encounter, SurfEasy also has customer support representatives available 7 days a week. Representatives aren’t available round the clock (hours of operation are 8am to 8pm EST on weekdays and 9am to 5pm EST on weekends). However, unlike other VPN providers, you can get in touch in real time via a toll-free number. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like picking up the phone, you can fill in an online form or contact support via email.
SurfEasy starts at $11.99 a month, but there is an option to pay $8.99 a month for 6 months, and you can go as low as $6.49 a month if you pay for a whole year upfront. This is very reasonable pricing, albeit not the best value for money out there if you take fair usage restrictions and the VPN’s limitations into consideration. This works out as possibly the cheapest VPN available on the market. Additionally, the VPN browser add-ons for Google Chrome and Opera give you up to 500MB of bandwidth free of charge. You can bump this up to 1GB by completing specific tasks such as sharing on social media. Of course, the free option won’t work for most users. However, it’s great if you only use a VPN occasionally or simply want to test SurfEasy out before committing to a full-blown subscription.
While it’s primarily targeted at average VPN users, SurfEasy offers a reasonably high level of security and excellent speeds. The SurfEasy private browser is a ground-breaking innovation that makes VPN portable and keeps your online privacy within easy reach, whether you’re at home or on the go.
Last Updated: March 2016