February 10, 2024
SurfEasy VPN is a small virtual private network brand owned by NortonLifeLock. It falls short in many areas, including its unfortunate location based in Canada, which is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance. Despite claims of being fast, private, and secure, our experience with the service was anything but positive.
The provider’s website lacks detailed information, and the speeds it provides are abysmal, particularly when connecting to servers located further away. The client app is too simplistic, with no notable features apart from an ad blocker. Furthermore, SurfEasy VPN supports only macOS, Windows, and iOS, leaving out Android devices, routers, and Linux users.
While there have been no known past data leaks associated with SurfEasy VPN, the service is outdated, and Norton appears to be phasing out updates. SurfEasy is likely to become even more outdated as a result.
Overall, we can't recommend SurfEasy VPN for those looking for robust security and privacy features, fast speeds, or support for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
To start our SurfEasy review, let's examine some basic facts about the service.
|Canada (5-Eyes Alliance).
|Ineffective no-logs policy (logs a lot of user data).
|1,000+ in 28 countries.
|Windows, macOS, iOS.
|Advanced encryption, ad blocker, DNS leak protection.
|Netflix, torrenting, and gaming.
|Email, FAQ, and Submit a Request.
|Starts from $2.49/month.
|58% OFF (1-year plan)
|4.5 out of 10.
As with all our VPN reviews, we followed our standard procedure for examining SurfEasy and assigning individual ratings to each criterion. For more information, please check out our article about how we review VPNs. We routinely update all our reviews, so you can always check back to see if there have been any new developments with SurfEasy.
SurfEasy originates from Canada and is owned by NortonLifeLock. While it is true that SurfEasy has no known past leaks, this doesn’t minimize the concerns about its location. Our Score: 5/10
The fundamental purpose of a VPN is to provide online privacy, and SurfEasy falls short of delivering this. Potential users should be aware of the limitations and shortcomings of this provider before committing to it.
SurfEasy is based in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), and is owned by NortonLifeLock, a US brand whose parent company is Symantec.
The fact that SurfEasy is based in Canada and owned by an American company raises some concerns about user privacy. Both countries have mandatory data retention laws and are part of the 5-Eyes Alliance, which means they share intelligence information with each other and other members.
In 2022, NortonLifeLock merged with Avast, and now they go by the name Gen Digital (or simply Gen). It's the parent company of Norton, Avast, LifeLock, and other VPN brands, like Avast SecureLine, Norton Secure VPN, and Avira Phantom VPN. Additionally, HMA (formerly HideMyAss), operated by Privax Limited, is also owned by Avast.
However, NortonLifeLock's statement about potential data transfers during reorganization or sales means that if there are major changes like a merger or acquisition, your personal data might move along with that change.
It's important to note that using a VPN alone doesn't guarantee complete privacy—the jurisdiction and reputation of the VPN provider play a crucial role. As a result, we can't recommend SurfEasy to users who are looking for complete privacy online.
No, there were no reports of the VPN ever leaking any user information. This is one positive aspect of SurfEasy. We scoured the Internet for any mentions of data being exposed and were unable to find anything.
However, there's a bit of a contradiction in SurfEasy's claims. On the one hand, their website proudly states a zero-logging policy, but on the other hand, they seem to be collecting various data like account details, device info, location, and aggregate bandwidth usage, even if it's anonymized.
Moreover, your data may also be disclosed to Gen’s partners, resellers, distributors, data analytics providers, public authorities and legal proceedings, 3rd-party service providers, and more, adding another layer of concern regarding user privacy. Furthermore, collected data is stored for up to 36 months or as long as your account remains active. This definitely goes against the idea of a true zero-logs policy.
That said, the association of SurfEasy, being based in Canada and owned by a US-based company, raises legit concerns. So, we recommend exercising caution when using SurfEasy.
SurfEasy VPN's support is limited to only a few platforms. While it may be understandable that the service doesn't offer manual configuration on routers and streaming devices, it's inexcusable that it lacks support for Android. Our Score: 2/10
This VPN claims to provide wide support. However, upon inspection, we found out that it only supports three platforms.
When it comes to supported devices, SurfEasy VPN is quite limited. It only offers native apps for Mac, Windows (on PC and laptop), and iOS (iPhone), including iPadOS (iPad). Unfortunately, it doesn't support Linux.
While having a Chrome extension and other browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera would've been beneficial, they're not available. Device limitation further extends to streaming devices and manual configuration for routers.
Even more disappointing is that it doesn’t offer support for Android, which is usually given for VPN services. This is a significant drawback for users who prefer to use VPNs on a wide range of devices like Firestick.
Not only does SurfEasy provide limited device support, but its subscription package also has a meager limit of five devices per account. This isn't ideal, especially when compared to other VPNs that allow for 10 or more devices.
It appears that SurfEasy has failed to consider the needs of its users, and as a result, its product falls short of the mark. With all these drawbacks, users can still protect a few devices with this VPN if they really want to. However, it's clear that SurfEasy has significant room for improvement.
SurfEasy’s installation method is simple. There are no unwanted distractions or bundled offers, and everything is very streamlined. Our Score: 10/10
Installing and configuring this VPN is a straightforward process. First, you need to create a user account and subscribe to SurfEasy VPN. Once you have your account set up, you can log in to the user portal.
If you're wondering how to use SurfEasy VPN, the user portal is where you'll find essential information. Here, you can manage your account, download the VPN app, review usage patterns, and contact support.
Downloading and installing the SurfEasy VPN app is pretty easy and requires no technical skills. Simply double-click on the installation file and follow the prompts to complete the installation.
Once you've installed the app, you can log in to your account and connect to a server.
It’s important to note that SurfEasy has some significant limitations when it comes to availability. We discovered this when we attempted to subscribe to the service from India and received an error message saying it was no longer available for use within the country.
After consulting with SurfEasy’s support team, we learned the service is blocked in countries where local governments mandate that VPN services must log customers' information. This means that you’ll be unable to subscribe to SurfEasy VPN from Russia, India, China, Indonesia, the UAE, and many other countries.
That said, the installation and initial configuration of SurfEasy is quite user-friendly, and you won’t have any problems during the process, provided you can subscribe in the first place.
SurfEasy comes with a fairly basic set of features. Advanced users will be left wanting more, especially when it comes to privacy. Our Score: 5.5/10
SurfEasy VPN has only a few essential features, such as DNS leak protection, strong encryption, and reliable VPN protocols. If you frequently download large files or engage in other sensitive online activities, this could be an issue.
Let’s take a closer look at all its features:
SurfEasy's features are disappointingly basic when compared to other VPNs on the market. While it does offer some essential features, it falls short in comparison to competitors. If you're especially concerned with privacy and security, consider other services that offer more advanced features.
When it comes to its server count, SurfEasy falls below average in comparison to other VPNs. You also can’t connect to specific cities. Our Score: 5/10
One of the most important criteria to evaluate when choosing a VPN is its server fleet. We did a thorough inspection of how many servers SurfEasy offers, where they’re located, and if there are any specialized ones. Here's what we found:
|Number of Servers
|Number of Countries
|Specific Cities Selection
SurfEasy VPN has a limited server network with over 1,000 servers in 28 countries, and its claim of being "ultra-fast" should be taken with a grain of salt.
While the number of server locations may seem like a lot, it's still pretty small compared to VPNs with the most servers. Moreover, if you go for the standard plans, you can only connect to 16 countries. To access 28 countries, you need the higher-tiered plan. Plus, you can't pick specific cities, which is really limiting.
As previously mentioned, you can’t subscribe to SurfEasy from countries where governments have strict surveillance regulations around VPN user data collection. This also means that SurfEasy VPN doesn't have servers in these countries, so you can’t use it to obtain an IP address from Russia or China, for example. Thus, if you're currently located in any of these regions or plan to travel to one, SurfEasy VPN isn’t a good option.
While SurfEasy does offer specialized servers for torrenting, the lack of a kill switch leaves your private activities potentially exposed.
It's also important to highlight that SurfEasy VPN's website lacks any information about the usage or location of virtual servers. Their customer support representative couldn't provide any useful insights either.
It's definitely possible that a significant portion of the 1,000+ servers offered by the service are VPN virtual locations. This could negatively impact the reliability and speed of the VPN, as physical servers are preferred for optimal performance.
The server count of SurfEasy VPN leaves a lot to be desired, and its lack of specific city selection and specialized features is disappointing. If these factors are important to you, it would be wise to consider other VPN services that offer a wider network and more advanced features to meet your needs.
SurfEasy comes with a somewhat outdated UI. The application is fully automated, but there’s not much you can customize from the app. Our Score: 3/10
SurfEasy’s app looks and feels outdated. The lack of a modern design is a missed opportunity for SurfEasy to improve its user experience.
Like antivirus apps, SurfEasy’s client launches out of the system tray on the taskbar. That means every time you want to access the service, it takes at least three clicks. On top of that, the app window cannot be resized or repositioned, and it disappears if the user clicks elsewhere on the desktop. This limitation is quite frustrating.
However, we have to give the credit where it is due. The app is quite easy to use, in spite of being outdated and lacking advanced features. It allows you to connect to a server of your choice like any VPN would. But apart from that, there is nothing much in terms of customization options.
Let’s go through all the components of SurfEasy’s user interface.
There's also no option to change the protocol and no DNS settings. You can connect and disconnect the VPN from the "Settings," which you can also do from the home screen.
Overall, SurfEasy’s interface is quite barebones and lacks customization options. It won't be sufficient if you're looking to have more control over your VPN experience.
Aside from Netflix, SurfEasy doesn’t work with any popular streaming platforms. Torrenting is supported, though, and its gaming performance is only good for casual gaming. Our Score: 4/10
Engaging in streaming, torrenting, and gaming is a common motive for VPN enthusiasts exploring virtual private networks. However, the seamless experience in these activities isn't guaranteed by every VPN service. Let's take a closer look at how SurfEasy VPN fares in these aspects.
No, SurfEasy isn't good for media streaming. It's actually one area where SurfEasy really struggles. While it can access Netflix US, it fails to unblock most other popular US streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, Disney+, and more.
Moreover, if you're hoping to watch shows on international streaming services with SurfEasy, well, you're also out of luck. The service can't unblock streaming platforms worldwide. It's worth noting that SurfEasy doesn't market itself as a streaming VPN, so this limitation shouldn’t be surprising. However, if streaming is a priority for you, it's better to use the best VPN for streaming TV.
Torrenting is an area where SurfEasy has some potential. It offers P2P-optimized servers, and the app automatically detects when you're downloading a torrent and switches you to the appropriate server. However, the poor speeds meant that downloading torrent files took a long time.
SurfEasy is also missing some helpful torrenting features, like port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy. If your connection drops during torrenting, it doesn't even have a kill switch for extra security. Therefore, we recommend using the best VPN for torrents if you want to experience an excellent torrenting experience.
Yes, SurfEasy is good, but only for casual gaming. It's definitely not the best-performing VPN for online gaming, but we didn't experience significant lag during our gameplay.
However, achieving low ping and latency, crucial for online gaming, is somewhat hit-and-miss due to its average speed and limited ability to bypass geo-blocks.
So, for advanced gamers engaging in high-intensity, multi-player games, SurfEasy isn't the most suitable choice, as it may not provide the optimal performance needed for such gaming experiences.
Overall, SurfEasy's media streaming, torrenting, and gaming support left us unimpressed. While it has some features that work well, like P2P-optimized servers, the slow speeds and limited streaming options make it difficult to recommend. If you're looking for a VPN that can handle these tasks well, you're better off with a different provider.
SurfEasy does collect data, but it’s anonymized. It uses encryption and the OpenVPN protocol, and it doesn’t have any past leaks. Our Score: 1/10
When it comes to security and privacy, SurfEasy VPN is disappointing. Despite claiming to be a private, no-logging provider, its parent company Norton's privacy page doesn't confirm that it's headquartered in the US and abides by its privacy laws.
Once found, it reveals that SurfEasy collects a significant amount of user data, including originating IP addresses, app install and license identifiers, device names, operating systems and languages, bandwidth data, and more.
SurfEasy only supports two VPN protocols, leaving users without much flexibility in this regard. Let’s find out more about them and see which platforms they support.
In conclusion, SurfEasy's support of both OpenVPN and IKEv2 is a positive aspect of its service. However, it's unfortunate that it doesn't support other secure VPN protocols like WireGuard or SSTP, which could improve its overall performance.
The service logs access a wide range of data, including IP addresses and locations, device IDs, operating systems, bytes transferred, and diagnostics information. The policy implies that SurfEasy may access this data during a session or indefinitely, but it remains unclear.
It could boost user confidence if SurfEasy underwent an independent audit to verify their no-logs claim. Unfortunately, as of now, there's no 3rd-party audit in place.
No, SurfEasy VPN doesn't leak your personal data. This means that once you enable this VPN and connect to a secure server, all your private information stays protected. SurfEasy doesn’t leak DNS requests either, so that's a good sign.
As you can see from the screenshot above, SurfEasy didn't leak our real IP address or location. That said, SurfEasy's slow speeds could be a cause for concern in this regard.
Slow speeds can lead to frustratingly slow page load times and file downloads, which could result in users turning off the VPN to get a faster connection. This, in turn, could leave their private data exposed to prying eyes.
SurfEasy made our Web connection slower by a bit more than 43%, which isn't the best result. Its performance varied greatly depending on the distance between us and the server. Our Score: 7/10
While SurfEasy VPN may rely on industry-standard encryption and the OpenVPN protocol, it falls short in terms of speed. To assess the impact of SurfEasy on Internet performance, we used the Ookla speed test tool and compared the speeds with and without the VPN activated.
To establish a baseline, we conducted a speed test without the VPN and achieved a download speed of 235.16 Mbps and an upload speed of 54.56 Mbps. We then tested SurfEasy VPN servers in different locations to evaluate their performance.
Our server test results are as follows:
|US (New York)
While some servers of SurfEasy VPN delivered decent speed, others experienced a significant reduction compared to the baseline speed, particularly the Canadian and Australian servers.
SurfEasy's speeds weren’t terrible, but its performance, in general, was a major disappointment. Despite making our Web connection slower by 43% on average, which isn't unseen in the VPN world, the experience using the service was pretty awful. The slow speeds are particularly noticeable when downloading large files and can make browsing a frustrating experience.
SurfEasy Optimized is the automatic server selection option that chooses the fastest server for you. It's a convenient feature, but it didn't help much in our tests. The overall performance was slow, which made browsing feel sluggish. Users looking for a VPN that provides fast and reliable connections may need to look elsewhere.
There are three support channels on SurfEasy—you can use email support (which isn't available 24/7), read FAQs, and submit a request. Our Score: 3/10
SurfEasy VPN provides three channels for customer support: an email ticket system, an FAQ section, and a portal to submit a request. While online chat support isn't available, their email support system is reasonably effective.
Here's what you can expect from their customer support channels:
Overall, SurfEasy VPN's customer support channels aren't up to the mark, with no 24/7 assistance. While they mention a live chat option in the support section, it's non-functional and prompts you to leave a message instead. So, if you're subscribed to the service and need help, your best bet is to email their support team.
SurfEasy VPN’s monthly plan is relatively expensive for what the service offers, but the annual plan could fetch you a good deal. Our Score: 4/10
SurfEasy VPN offers a straightforward pricing structure that is easy to understand. Their yearly subscription works out to be quite affordable, which is great for those on a budget. Their monthly plan is priced competitively, but considering how much we get out of the service, the monthly cost doesn’t feel like a good deal.
SurfEasy VPN (previously Ultra VPN) offers two plan options, both of which come with a 14-day money-back guarantee:
SurfEasy VPN appears to offer affordable plans, but when you consider how poorly it performs and its lack of features, it doesn’t seem like much of a bargain to us.
If you want to try this VPN, it also offers a free version called Starter VPN, which comes with a 500 MB data limit. However, you can get more data by completing tasks, such as inviting a friend, following SurfEasy on social media, confirming your email address, registering a new device, or being referred by a friend.
Additionally, if you're using the free plan, you'll have access to only 16 servers. To explore the service with more servers before deciding on a paid plan, sign up for a 7-day free trial via the SurfEasy iOS app. When it comes to payment, your options are limited to credit cards, PayPal, and Google Pay - there's no way to pay anonymously.
In our opinion, SurfEasy isn't a good option for VPN users. The service has several limitations, including an inability to be installed on routers, an unpolished UI, and no options for fine-tuning the user experience.
Overall, there are better VPN providers available that offer faster speeds, better privacy policies, and a more polished user experience. Given these factors, we strongly recommend NordVPN for a comprehensive and top-notch VPN service.
SurfEasy VPN is a virtual private network service that encrypts and tunnels Internet traffic through its servers. It's designed to provide users with privacy and security benefits online.
No, SurfEasy isn't safe. While the service implements encryption and protocols to protect users' activities, its logging policy collects more data than other providers. This raises privacy concerns for some users.
Yes, SurfEasy VPN offers a free plan called Starter VPN. It comes with a 500 MB data limit, but you have the opportunity to earn more bandwidth by completing tasks.
Yes, SurfEasy VPN offers a 7-day free trial if you subscribe using the iOS app.
No, SurfEasy doesn't work in China. The VPN doesn't have the necessary VPN settings and features, like obfuscation, to make it work in such cases.
No, SurfEasy doesn't qualify as a legit VPN. It has many drawbacks and limitations that affect its speed, security, privacy, and streaming support.
|Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
|Supported Platforms & Devices
|Installation & Initial Configuration
|Server Count & Infrastructure
|UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
|Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
|Security & Privacy
|Speed & Performance