- author: Dilip Prashad
One of the challenges of shopping for a VPN is that there are lots of providers to choose from but very few “household names.” It makes it difficult to know which VPN to rely upon. If you’re feeling hesitant, there’s a good solution: SurfEasy could be the choice for you. Its parent company is Symantec, a global leader cyber security, which uses this VPN provider to power one of the biggest product names in Wi-Fi privacy.
More importantly, SurfEasy offers a full slate of features, reliable performance, and some of the most usable software around.
Plans & Pricing
SurfEasy offers three different plans (Starter, Total, and Ultra) for both monthly and yearly subscriptions. The Total and Ultra plans both offer 5 devices unlimited data and tracker blocking. But the biggest difference between the plans other than the duration of the subscription and the price is that with the Ultra plan, you get Torrent Protection and servers in 12 additional countries.
Both plans offer a starter package that is totally free and includes the usage of 5 devices and 500MB of free data. All you need to do to get started is to create an account using your email address; no additional persona information is required. .
If you’re on the fence, take solace with the knowledge that each plan comes with a no-risk, 7-day money-back guarantee in case.
Features & Functionality
SurfEasy’s feature-list is certainly impressive once you get past the relatively slim selection of server locations compared to some of the big name VPN providers. Then again, how many of those server locations do most people use?
500 servers in 28 Countries
SurfEasy may offer fewer server locations than some of its main competitors, but with the most important locations covered, and more than 1,000 servers in total, it should provide the flexibility to suit most users.
Five Simultaneous Devices
A premium subscription with SurfEasy comes with five simultaneous logins as standard, which compares favorably with competitors. That means you can have your VPN set up on a PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android phone/tablet without being limited – even if others in your household are using your account at the same time.
Unlike some other big-name VPN providers, SurfEasy is friendly to torrenters and file-sharers. Indeed, it offers dedicated torrent servers that promise extra speed and P2P file sharing. This VPN provider also has a kill switch that automatically cuts your internet connection if the VPN goes down, so your IP address won’t be exposed at the worst possible moment.
Ad Tracker Blocking & Wi-Fi Hotspot Protection
One of the nice things about SurfEasy are the little extras you don’t get with other VPNs. Ad tracker blocking prevents tracking cookies that are used by advertisers who want to follow your every online activities. SurfEasy also offers something called Wi-Fi Hotspot Protection which warns you when you’re connected to an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot and turns on your VPN so your IP and other details remain hidden.
Privacy and Security
SurfEasy encrypts your internet traffic using a 265-bit OpenVPN protocol, which is about as secure as it gets for a consumer VPN provider.
SurfEasy describes itself as a no-log network, meaning it keeps no records of your personal information, browsing or downloading activities. But since it’s based in Canada, which is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, those expecting “no questions asked” anonymity should proceed with caution.
A quick check for any DNS leakage turned up clean, so there’s no need to worry about leaked personal information when you think you’re protected.
There are also a few nice extras that only add to the protection you already get with a high-quality VPN. Aside from the trustworthy encryption, ad tracker blocker, and Wi-Fi hotspot protector, you also get a Kill Switch, which automatically shuts off your internet connection if the VPN service drops out for whatever reason.
These are all crucial elements to protection if you’re serious about your online privacy. With SurfEasy’s security features, you’ll never find your identifying IP information suddenly exposed when you’re in the middle of an activity, such as torrenting, where you want to remain anonymous.
SurfEasy’s support includes the usual Knowledge Base, which is intended to be the first stop for customers experiencing common issues. In this case, we found it pretty easy to find the information we were looking for.
You can also contact support by phone, live chat and email 7 days a week. However, it’s only available between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday.
Testing on the German and UK servers, we saw results of around 10 Mbps download speeds, which compares well with what we’ve experienced with some of the leading competitors.
Connecting to the more distant US servers showed an inevitable drop in speed, with our tests returning results of around 4 Mbps.
Ease of Use
There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to SurfEasy’s general user-friendliness. The fact that the SurfEasy site and apps are so clean and well-designed adds to the sense of ease.
The website is sharp and focused. There’s little in the way of technical information, but we found it much more usable than the bloated offerings of some other providers.
Signing up and paying for the service is as simple as it gets. You fill in a few details, pay by credit card or PayPal, and download the relevant apps for your devices. Opening the account sign-up page and connecting to a server for the first time only took around five or six minutes.
We tested the software on a Windows 7 PC, Mac, and Android phone and found the software to be attractive, reliable, and straightforward across the board. The mobile phone client, in particular, was a joy to use. There’s even a home screen widget for Android phones, so you don’t have to open the app to enable/disable the VPN or switch servers.
If you’re a seasoned VPN veteran, you might not be a fan of the reasonably narrow device support or the relatively few server locations. But SurfEasy does provide everything that 90% of consumers could possibly need all wrapped up in an attractive, simple and user-friendly package. SurfEasy is exactly what you’d expect from a big software company like Symantec and comes highly recommended.
Our goal is to provide answers to all of your questions so you can make a confident purchasing decision. We welcome your feedback, so please email us at service@ top5-vpn.com with suggestions and questions. We’d love to hear from you!