(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)
GeoSurf is proxy tool, developed by BI Science from Israel. This is more of a proxy than a traditional VPN, and it is very much a premium service that is aimed at professionals. Its core client segment is those looking to make money online such as media buyers, sales agents and marketers. However, the different service packages and levels are designed to appeal to companies and businesses of all sizes, who can benefit from access to geo-targeted local content. One thing that lets this service down presently is the length of time it takes for customer services to answer queries and questions.
This tool gives any user the ability to display content that’s exclusive to certain geo-graphical locations such as adverts on Instant Messaging services, social media content or on mobile applications. GeoSurf VPN works on a wide range of browsers and desktop applications while the toolbar is recommended for Chrome, IE, Firefox and Firefox for MAC. Servers are located in over 120 countries in all continents, including 30 designated market areas in the US. GeoSurf also currently has residential IPs in 192 countries, and is looking to expand this network. By selecting one of the servers, clients will be given a IP address that allows them to view and monitor advertising content designated specifically to that geographical area. GeoSurf also allows users to surf the web using a mobile emulator, giving the appearance that they are surfing using a mobile device, enabling users to access marketing and advertising aimed specifically at mobile users in their chosen geographical area.
The addition of the new Chrome GeoSurf toolbar allows users to choose the country they wish to surf from at the click of a button. The service means that marketers can narrow down the search area they are exploring and target exact areas for leads, relevant competitors and new areas of opportunity. All while seemingly searching from that geographical location. Users should be aware that at the current time the toolbar does not yet support Residential IPs, the company does state that this is a service they are currently working on. Now while the toolbar is a good idea for those who do not need the full proxy service, it is not without its complications. Firstly, you do still need to sign up to GeoSurf, and then you need to download the toolbar app from the Chrome store, and of course, run Chrome as your browser. But, you also need to know, and input your IP address (at least if you are taking advantage of the free trial period). Understanding all the additional information and data packages that are available from the dashboard is a skill all of its own. But, that being said, the main difficulty with the toolbar is that at least in my experience it doesn’t always work, at least not how I would expect it to. Being situated in the UK, I set the geographical area to Australia and searched for book stores. As you can see from the screen grab, there is little to suggest that I am searching from Australia in the search results.
However, when I went back to the GeoSurf website to double check pricing plans and sign up details, with the toolbar settings still set to Australia, it did give me the package price in Australian dollars, so this at least is an encouraging sign. And, a later search for VPN services, while still under Australia provided much better and more focused results.
So, it may be that you need to spend some time working out the best search terms to use, to get the results you want. This is one point I have brought up with customer support, and am currently still waiting to receive an answer on. On the plus side, the ‘Awesome Screenshot’ tool that you have access to as part of the toolbar, is just that, allowing you to grab full screen shots, live recordings and delayed captures. While useful however, this is not likely to be the main reason businesses consider signing up to the service.
Technically this service can be used by any online surfer but due to the price, the casual web user may find other providers more useful for their purposes and at much lower rate. And it is worth noting that the company terms and conditions do state that this a strictly B2B service. Similarly, media buyers may not need all the bells and whistles that many VPNs flaunt, but simply need fast access to an abundance of servers around the globe that provides alternative IP addresses. And in these cases, GeoSurf is the ideal solution, if you have the technical capacity needed to get the service to work effectively.
One of the incentives to use GeoSurf is their Automatic Bandwidth Optimization technology which analyzes the performance of each server in real-time. They then allocate the fastest servers to each user – ensuring that each client is given the maximum speeds possible. When trialing both the toolbar and the full proxy service connection speed was never an issue for me.
A 3-tiered monthly pricing plan is structured to give light-weight users the option to access a smaller bandwidth (20GB/month) on their Starter plan. The Professional plan provides the same unlimited connections to over 2 Million IPs, but with 40GB per month. This bandwidth increases to 250GB per month with the Plus plan. For those requiring more, there is then the Enterprise plan, which provides 2TB per month, unlimited connections and a dedicated pool of IPs. However, if you are looking to just use the new GeoSurf tool bar, then there is a separate set of packages available.
When it comes to sales and online marketing, your income is on the line and you want to align yourself with professionals that understand your business. This is a premium product offered by a premium company that aims to do exactly that. But, it is not for the casual user, and it certainly helps if you have some technical knowledge to set everything up to meet your specific needs. In terms of its business focus, it is a breath of fresh air compared to the unpredictability that has often accompanied finding the right VPN amongst commercial providers.
|Number of countries with servers||97|
|Number of servers||200|
|Does VPN keep logs?||Yes|
|Does VPN include a kill switch?||No|
|Number of devices per license||Unlimited|
The most difficult part of using the main GeoSurf service is understanding the different pricing plans and options, ensuring that you get the services you actually need. The toolbar is easily downloaded for the correct store, but you do need a GeoSurf account to be able to use it. I did, out of curiosity, see what would happen if I downloaded the Chrome toolbar without an account, and you just don’t get anywhere. Once downloaded the tool bar settings are easy to use, and the country you are focusing your search on can be changed easily. However, As I said earlier, there are some quiet technical elements to comprehend especially for those looking to use additional services such as sticky residential gateways or high rotation gateways.
This is possibly the most complex part of using the services of this provider. There are 3 different pricing plans for the toolbar plan (and the enterprise plan). And a further 3 pricing plans for the proxy service that allows you to access Residential IPs, there is of course also an enterprise plan with this option. Now there is a free trial available for GeoSurf and for the GeoSurf toolbar, but you need to do some detective work to find out details about the trial and how to access it. When I did finally get hold of someone for a trial of the toolbar, I was offered a 24hr trial, capped at 1GB. This is something you need to be aware of before going into the trial.
Reliability certainly wasn’t a problem during my tests, and neither was speed. When it comes to support, there is a clearly laid out and very helpful FAQs section and resources section on the GeoSurf website. Some of the information is a little technical, and could be overwhelming if you are not technically minded. Getting hold of support however, can be a very different matter. There are plenty of contact options, but given that I’m UK based, and they are not, international calls were out of the question, so as usual, I choose to contact the support services via the online form. Initial contact is not the quickest, and while you do need to allow for time difference, this does not answer why replies to questions and queries took days, rather than hours to answer. I found the same when using the email address that is provided. Given that this is a service aimed at businesses, I was surprised at how long it took for initial responses to any queries I raised, including regarding the free trial. Once I did get hold of someone, they were only too willing to help, provide further information, discuss my needs, and why I was looking at using the services. If you are considering GeoSurf for your business I would highly recommend talking to a member of their customer services team, although you will need patience and perseverance, before signing up to what might be the completely wrong package for your needs.
- For PC, OSX, iOS and Androids
- Premium product for professionals
- Servers in over 60 countries
- Allocates fastest servers to users
- Get started with Geosurf VPN now