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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

SurfEasy VPN Review 2024: Can You Trust It to Keep You Safe?

Our Score: 5.1/10
Ranked 197th out of 293 VPNs
Matthew Amos Updated on 30th May 2024 Fact-checked by Anneke van Aswegen Senior Editor

Even though it’s owned by the very popular Norton company, SurfEasy isn’t a VPN many people know about. Now that its free tier is no longer available, is it still a VPN worth trying?

After all my tests, I do not recommend SurfEasy VPN. While its cheap plans may seem attractive, it doesn't offer much value. It has servers in less than half the locations most VPNs offer, weak device compatibility, and no kill switch. It's better to try one of our top-rated VPNs that is more secure, user-friendly, and better for streaming, gaming, and torrenting.

Try SurfEasy Today!

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

SurfEasy VPN Features — 2024 Update

5.0
💸 Price 2.49 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 14 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 1000+
💻 Number of devices per license 5
🛡 Kill switch No
🗺 Based in country United States
🛠 Support Email support
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Watch Your Favorite Content With Decent Playback

6.8

SurfEasy is a solid choice for streaming, but not one of the best. I was surprised at the number of platforms it works with. Playback was good with only a few minor hiccups. However, using the VPN in our home countries, my global testing team and I were still blocked by a few trickier services, and I had to do a little troubleshooting.

You should also be aware that the “SurfEasy Optimized” server is just its “fastest location” feature. I originally assumed it was a special streaming server.

Important. The team at vpnMentor is against any form of copyright violation. SurfEasy VPN has a no-logs policy, meaning your online activities can't be traced back to you. So, it's your responsibility to use the VPN according to the rules and regulations of your country and the streaming service you're using.

Works With: Netflix, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Peacock

The vpnMentor global testing could watch 1 full Netflix library while connected to SurfEasy. In my tests on other servers, I could only access Netflix Originals. This is a version of the site that only has the content Netflix owns, so you miss out on region-specific shows.

Screenshot of Netflix player streaming One Piece while connected to SurfEasy's US serverServers in South Africa, Finland, the UK, France, and Japan gave me Netflix Originals

The best VPNs works with tons of Netflix libraries, but there are also many VPNs that don’t work with any full libraries at all. So, I was slightly impressed with SurfEasy’s performance here, and the playback was perfect with virtually zero load times.

I only had one small playback issue while I was streaming The Flash on the former HBO Max. In the middle of the movie, the quality dropped for about 3 seconds before the picture cleared up again.

Screenshot of Max player streaming The Flash while connected to SurfEasy's US serverMax is available in Latin America, but I could only access it with this location

In my next test, I was pleasantly surprised that the VPN could access Amazon Prime Video. I recommend using the US server because it worked immediately. Though employing SurfEasy to view content from Amazon Prime US outside the country is technically possible, this approach contradicts the T&Cs, and we do not support such use.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video player streaming Dungeons & Dragons while connected to SurfEasy's US serverThe video loaded instantly and played in HD without buffering

I could also watch Peacock while connected to SurfEasy. The image resolved into HD after a couple of seconds, and I didn’t experience any stuttering or other streaming problems when streaming from the US.

Doesn't Work With: Hulu and BBC iPlayer

Hulu detected SurfEasy and blocked it in all my tests. This is a tough platform to access, so it helps when a VPN has several US locations. Since SurfEasy only offers one, I wasn’t surprised it didn’t work.

Screenshot of Hulu displaying an error message while connected to SurfEasy VPN's US serverIt’s also available in Japan, but the US library has much more content

During the final test, my UK colleague couldn’t get SurfEasy to work with BBC iPlayer. Overall, this is a slightly above average VPN for streaming. But, if you want a VPN that works with all major platforms, check out our list of the best VPNs for streaming.

Speed — Fast on Most Servers

8.4

SurfEasy has impressive speeds on most servers unless they’re very far away. There is no option to switch protocols with SurfEasy, so all the tests were done with its standard connection method.

We have a dedicated tester in the UK that records all of our VPN speeds from a single location with the same connection. This makes all our results easier to compare. Each server is also tested 10 times, so the speeds are as accurate as possible.

Screenshot of a speed chart showing speeds on various SurfEasy serversWe lost 5% of our speeds on nearby servers and 37% on distant ones

Most VPNs drop your speeds between 10 and 20% on close servers, so SurfEasy’s nearby average is quite fast. At its fastest, it only lowered our rates by 4%. There are only a few VPNs I’ve found that perform better in close proximity.

Screenshot of Ookla speed test done with no VPN connected and while connected to SurfEasy's United States serverThere are some high quality VPNs that will drop your speeds more at this distance

I consider 4,000 to around 7,000 km away to be mid-range because that’s where I generally start to see larger drops in speeds on VPN servers. However, at this range, SurfEasy was still quite impressive. I’ve seen many VPNs drop my rates 40% or more at this distance.

The only time the VPN lost significant speed was on the servers in Australia and Japan, which are both over 9,000 km away. Even so, the drop on the Australia server was huge (80%). The best VPNs rarely drop my speeds by more than 60%. To be fair, this reduction could have been due to server load. Unfortunately, SurfEasy doesn’t give you any access to these stats.

Overall, SurfEasy’s speeds are impressive considering its limited locations and lack of protocol options. If you’re looking for a cheap VPN with fast speeds, this is one to keep on your list.

Gaming — Too Many Glitches Even on Nearby Servers

4.6

I couldn’t enjoy gaming while connected to SurfEasy due to lag and constant freezes. Ping is the most important aspect of your speed when you’re playing games. It tells you how long it takes your data to travel, and it needs to be quick so your character can immediately respond to your inputs. Preferably, you’ll want a ping rate below 85 ms to enjoy gaming without lag.

On the optimized server, SurfEasy gave us a measurement of only 10 ms, so I thought we’d be good to go. Unfortunately, my gameplay was still negatively affected on SurfEasy’s server.

Screenshot of Steam running Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while connected to SurfEasy's optimized serverThere was a noticeable delay each time I tried to fire my gun, too

I had these issues even though I was using the closest server to me. Most VPNs have high ping on distant servers, so I’ve never found one that lets me game comfortably with those. However, the top providers will let you play lag free on nearby locations. If you want to stay safe while you’re playing online, try one of our top VPNs for gaming in this list.

Server Network — Small Network Without Additional Features

4.4

SurfEasy’s server network is small, and it doesn’t seem to have the privacy features its competitors offer. During my tests, I could only access 27 locations in the app (although it claims to offer 1,000 servers across 28 countries).

The vast majority of the servers are in Europe where I could find 17 locations. Asia’s next with 4 locations, and North America had 3 total in my app. Africa, South America, and Oceania each only come with one location. That’s too bad because these are all huge regions.

Screenshot of SurfEasy's Windows app highlighting the server network listThere are no tabs to organize the list or any search function

There’s also only one real optimized server for torrenting. The “SurfEasy Optimized” server is just a fastest location feature.

There is no way to connect to dedicated IPs as far as I can tell. Many VPNs offer these for an additional fee, and they’re helpful if you need a static address for things like running a website. Support was unresponsive when I asked about the network's additional features, like if it uses RAM-only servers or owns its infrastructure.

I’ve also seen it reported that it uses virtual servers, but there was no way to confirm it. It’s frustrating how little information there is on the website about its servers, and support wasn’t eager to help me.

The top VPNs give you many more servers and locations to work with. They’re also transparent about all of the features their servers have to offer. You can get a VPN with a huge network in this list.

Security — Missing Several Important Features

4.4

SurfEasy’s leak protection and encryption levels are fine, but the lack of a kill switch makes it unsafe. This is a key feature that most VPNs offer. It blocks your internet connection while you’re switching servers or if the VPN suddenly disconnects. So, you’re consistently protected no matter what, and I see it as a large oversight that SurfEasy doesn’t include one.

It also lacks split tunneling or protocol switching options. The protocol switching is the most important of these features because it allows you to customize your experience. For example, many VPNs offer WireGuard because it’s a safe protocol that’s optimized for speed.

Split tunneling lets you decide what traffic is funneled through the VPN. I like to keep my banking app outside of the VPN tunnel, so I can stream foreign content without having issues on that end. Unfortunately, that’s not an option with SurfEasy.

In addition, the website says nothing about having private DNS servers, IPv6 leak protection, double VPN, or other features many top VPNs offer. These can all potentially increase your security and are nice to have even if you choose not to use them. To get a VPN that can truly keep you safe, check out our highest-ranked VPNs with tried and tested kill switches.

Leak Protection

You can rely on SurfEasy to successfully hide your real location.

Screenshot of a test performed on ipleak.net while connected to SurfEasy's France serverI tested 10+ servers and my IP address was never revealed

This is the most important test you can put a VPN through because if it can’t hide your IP address, there’s really no reason to use it. Its leak protection also has you covered when it comes to DNS and WebRTC leakage. SurfEasy did great here, so in that regard, it gets the basics of VPN security right.

Encryption & Protocols

This information was harder to find than it should have been, but SurfEasy’s protocols and encryption are adequate. Every app comes with at least 128-bit AES encryption. The industry standard is 256-bit, but even half of that is still nearly impossible to crack.

Depending on the app you use, you’ll either get OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols. There’s only one protocol available for each app version, which is disappointing for the reasons I detailed above. However, these are both secure protocols. IKEv2 is a bit older and better for mobile connections, while OpenVPN is considered the safest protocol since it’s open source and constantly being checked for vulnerabilities by people all over the world.

Tracker Blocker

I was impressed with SurfEasy’s ad-blocker since it removed more than most. To test the feature, I used a popular site that’s specifically designed to push your blocker to its limits. SurfEasy’s feature got rid of push notification requests, pop-ups, 7 out of 8 banner ads and more. So, this feature gets a thumbs up from me.

Privacy — Solid, but Vague Policy

6.0

SurfEasy doesn’t appear to store your identifiable information, but I wish it was more clear. The policy doesn’t tell you exactly what it doesn’t store, and I feel more comfortable using VPNs that make that explicit in their policies.

I could also find no evidence that it has undergone an independent audit, and it could be headquartered in a more privacy-friendly country. I don’t believe it’s an untrustworthy VPN, but you’ll probably want to look into this list of VPNs with the best no-logging policies.

Does SurfEasy Keep Logs? No

SurfEasy claims it won’t log your IP address or browsing history. The policy does say it “collects”, but doesn’t store your IP address. I wish it would have worded this differently, but what this means is that it can see your IP address.

This is true of all VPNs, which is why it’s so important you trust your provider. The crucial thing is that it doesn’t keep this data stored somewhere where hackers, government officials, or anyone else can access it. SurfEasy states that it does not.

What it does collect is the information you send them, bandwidth usage, and diagnostic data. It also says it may access “VPN service data,” which it uses to monitor compliance with its terms of use. Once again, I wish it was more specific here. Unfortunately, support did not respond to the questions I asked about this.

Was SurfEasy Audited? No

The best VPNs have their policies and apps audited, but SurfEasy hasn’t done this. While it can be an expensive process, this always gives me peace of mind. Having a reputable third-party come in to perform an audit is the best way a VPN can truly prove it follows its privacy policy.

Based in Toronto, Canada

SurfEasy, a company based in Canada, a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, might be compelled to modify its policies due to the alliance's agreement to share citizens' data. Despite this, SurfEasy has not yet faced any major privacy issues.

Does SurfEasy Work in China? No

SurfEasy doesn’t have any tips for how to use the VPN in countries like China.

Screenshot of an email from SurfEasy staff confirming the VPN doesn't work in ChinaSurfEasy doesn’t offer any obfuscation technology to hide your VPN on restrictive networks

This doesn’t surprise me since most VPNs don’t work in China anymore. Although many VPNs have been banned by the Chinese government, it’s uncommon for them to go after individuals. It usually only goes after the technology.

However, my team and I don’t condone any illegal activities. I recommend you read up on the laws before using a VPN wherever you are. If you choose to use a VPN in this country, you can read this list of VPNs that reliably work in China.

Torrenting — Limited P2P Support With Weak Performance

5.0

SurfEasy gave me slow download speeds, and it only lets you torrent with 1 server. Normally, with no VPN connected, I can complete a 700 MB file in about 20 minutes. With SurfEasy, it took about 50 minutes. Plus, it only lets you use P2P apps like uTorrent with its optimized server. This can be annoying because the VPN automatically switches to the optimized server if you open a torrenting app.

I also couldn’t turn the VPN off without first exiting my app. While this can keep you safe if you forget to connect the VPN, it’s also intrusive, and I prefer VPNs that give me more flexibility. Finally, there’s no port forwarding feature which other VPNs offer to improve seeding and downloading speeds. On the plus side, it does support TOR.

Please be aware that while torrenting is legal in most countries, downloading copyrighted files isn’t. I strongly suggest you only access torrent files within the public domain, so you don’t break any laws. If you want to protect yourself on P2P networks, you can test out one of our favorite VPNs for torrenting in this list.

Installation & Apps

4.0

Installation & Apps — Dated UI & Limited Compatibility

SurfEasy’s barebones app isn’t much to look at, and it’s only compatible with 3 operating systems. While what the app can do is most important, it does look like something you’d find on a computer from the 90s. The server list and settings menus are especially unattractive, only featuring black text against a gray background.

Screenshot of SurfEasy VPN's Windows app highlighting how to access the settings menuYou can immediately connect to the fastest server by toggling the on switch

The features also aren’t labeled clearly, and it’s missing a lot of server information other VPNs offer. As I mentioned in the speeds section, you can’t see load percentage. It also doesn’t tell you how far servers are from you or any speed data.

Features like “SurfEasy Protection” and “WiFi Protection” are vague, and I still don’t know exactly what they do. Support also never answered my questions about them. Lastly, its apps just aren't as fun to use as many other popular VPNs that have attractive UIs and more user-friendly navigation options like search bars or feature descriptions.

Setup & Installation

Thankfully, SurfEasy is just as easy to set up as most modern VPNs are.

Screenshot of SurfEasy's Windows download page from its websiteThe VPN was installed and connected in less than 5 minutes

On Windows, you just get the .exe file from its website and follow a few quick instructions. You can also download it from the website on Mac or use the Apple Store. On iOS, I recommend you go straight to the Apple Store because the SurfEasy website just links you there.

Device Compatibility

SurfEasy only offers native apps for Windows, Mac, and iOS. This means there’s no way to set it up on an Android phone or Linux device. It doesn’t offer smart DNS or router compatibility, so you won’t be able to use it on any smart TVs or gaming consoles. This is disappointing because many top VPNs give you some way to use their services on most of your tech.

It also doesn’t offer its browser extensions anymore, which used to be free. While they did only come with 500 MB of data a month, these app versions were once quite popular. I prefer not to use browser extensions as they normally don’t offer full protection.

Desktop — Apps for Windows and Mac

The Windows and Mac apps are nearly identical. Both of these apps use the AES 256-bit encryption level and connect through OpenVPN. They both also come with all the same servers and security features (like its tracker blocker).

It’s not always easy to find a quality VPN for Linux, as you can see. However, if you want to protect everything on your device, check out the best VPNs for Linux.

iPhone (iOS)

The main difference with this app is that it uses IKEv2 and 128-bit encryption. You’ll still be safe with these features, but it would be nice if the apps were more uniform. However, I’m happy that it retains all of SurfEasy’s other features.

But, the lack of an Android app is pretty disappointing. You can find a VPN that offers a fully-featured native Android app in this list.

Router Compatibility

SurfEasy doesn’t give you any way to connect the VPN to your router. It also doesn’t sell pre-configured routers that come with the app. Connecting a VPN to your router gives you an easy way to protect everything in your household in one shot, even if they don’t support VPNs natively. To switch locations on your smart TV or gaming console, I recommend you try one of our top VPNs for routers here.

Simultaneous Device Connections

SurfEasy lets you connect up to 5 devices with one account, which is standard. There are a few VPNs that offer unlimited connections, like PIA and Surfshark, but that’s rare. 5 is often enough for me, but having smart DNS or router connectivity can make this less of an issue.

I also tested to make sure it works fine on multiple devices. After connecting it to my Windows desktop, Windows laptop, and my roommates’ 2 iPhones, I didn’t notice any difference in performance, even when we all streamed at once.

Pricing

6.0
SurfEasy VPN (Yearly)
$ 2.49 / month per month
SurfEasy VPN (Monthly)
$ 5.99 / month per month

Pricing — Very Affordable Plans, but Lacks Value

SurfEasy offers 2 affordable plans, but you don’t get much for your money. As you’ve seen throughout this review, SurfEasy is weak in many areas.

It has yearly and monthly subscriptions, which are both some of the cheapest I’ve found. At those term-lengths, all of the top VPNs will cost a few dollars more per month. However, you can get a cheaper deal with some if you opt for a longer plan. For example, PIA's longest commitment is cheaper per month, and it’s better in just about every category.

There is a 14-day money-back guarantee, which is about half as long as most VPNs offer. It’s probably long enough for most people to test it out, but it makes me feel like it’s less confident in its services. Unfortunately, I was never responded to when I requested a refund, so I’d be wary of this guarantee. Lastly, it accepts major credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard, along with PayPal.

Reliability & Support

2.0

Reliability and Support — Poor With Long Wait Times

It was hard to get answers from support, and when I did, they weren’t helpful. There is no 24/7 live chat, so you have to contact its staff through emails. When I did receive responses (I often did not), it was after about 2 days. The support team also seemed reluctant to answer my questions.

Screenshot of an email from SurfEasy support that did not answer my questionI received this stock answer twice, word-for-word, for completely different questions

I couldn’t get any good answers about why it doesn’t have a kill switch, if it owns its servers, why the privacy policy is vague, and more. Overall, I was quite dissatisfied with my experience.

Compare SurfEasy VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs
Our Score: 9.9
Our Score: 9.7
Our Score: 9.5
Our Score: 9.4
Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, Cyberghost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Too Many Drawbacks to Recommend

SurfEasy VPN does well in a few areas. You can’t deny that its plans are some of the cheapest, and it’s fast for a budget-friendly provider. It’s also decent for streaming and offers a solid privacy policy.

However, its flaws make it a bad choice, no matter how cheap. There’s no kill switch, so it can’t truly protect your privacy online. The server network is small, and its UI is unappealing and unavailable for Android. I recommend you try one of our highest-rated VPNs that are safer and outperforms SurfEasy.

  • Cheap subscriptions
  • Fast speeds on most servers
  • No-logging policy
  • Decent for streaming

FAQs on SurfEasy VPN

Is SurfEasy VPN free?

No, you can’t use SurfEasy VPN for free. There used to be browser extensions you could use for free that came with limited features. However, they’re no longer available. It still offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you have an option to try it out risk-free.

Is SurfEasy VPN safe?

SurfEasy isn’t completely safe. This is because none of its apps come with a kill switch. This blocks your internet connection if the VPN suddenly disconnects. It’s a necessary feature that makes sure you never go online without encryption.

Is SurfEasy VPN any good?

SurfEasy isn’t as good as its top competitors. It doesn’t have a kill switch, which you need to stay safe online at all times. It also has a small network with only 1,000 servers in 28 countries. Plus, it’s only compatible with Windows, Mac, and iOS devices, and doesn’t offer 24/7 live chat.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 14
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: surfeasy.com
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
SurfEasy VPN User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
4.3
Based on 31 reviews in 6 languages

Write a Review on SurfEasy VPN

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
Anonymous
Anonymous
2/10
NO EMAIL REPLYS

NO REPLIES to my emails. Sent THREE separate emails asking for assistance to activate a second USB browser VPN stick I purchased over 6 to 7 years ago. Unfortunately, I only activated 1 of the 2 USB sticks so I am probably going to be left holding the bag. (NOTE: They currently do not sell this USB stick but instead use an app). I will give them one more chance to reply but I am not holding my breath.

Anonymous
Anonymous
2/10
MacPro....Crashes every other use

I've given up on the product. Contacted their tech support a dozen times over the last year. The same thing......remove and reload the app. There is a persistent problem with this product and it is very frustrating. Moving on to another provider.

Charles Tuna Starkist
Charles Tuna Starkist
2/10
Frustrated with SurfEasyVPN

After I installed the free version of SurfEasyVPN, I got an error message when I would log in to my laptop. Here is what it says, "Sign in error. Session timed out. Quit SurfEasy and try again or contact support at support@surfeasy.com". When I click this message, it disappears. When I find the icon for it, nothing happens when I click on this icon. I can not open this application in order to turn it off because it stays on. I have tried to uninstall SurfEasy but I get an error message saying that I must turn it off first, which is impossible. I contacted SurfEasy support twice, stating that I want to get rid of it. Hopefully, it will disappear. Another thing that happens when I log in. Sometimes I cannot access the internet. SurfEasy blocks it. I must restart it, sometimes several times a day, especially if I leave my computer inactive but logged on. I am very frustrated with this free software.

About the Author

Matthew is a writer and editor for VPNMentor with a proven track record of providing in-depth analysis of the most highly regarded VPNs, including ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. His unparalleled expertise has enabled him to consistently deliver cutting-edge insights on the most sought-after (and newest) VPN services.

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