SurfEasy VPN: A good VPN option for Russia?
Over the past year, Internet freedom has seen quite a decline in Russia. The government has pressured networking and communication platforms to record users’ data on their territory. This makes it essential for users to subscribe to a Russian VPN.
Based in Toronto, Canada, SurfEasy VPN has been around for several years, and offers some useful and interesting features for Internet users. With the Internet freedom in Russia tightening, can this be a good option for Russians and expats in the country?
Is My Privacy Protected with SurfEasy VPN?
The first thing we notice about SurfEasy pertinent to privacy is that it is a “No Log network”.
“SurfEasy does not store users originating IP address when connected to our service and therefore cannot identify users when provided IP addresses of our servers”.
Because the company does not store information such as the websites, services, or applications you use while connected to their network, they cannot disclose information about the same. As mentioned in the introduction, with the Russian government currently wanting service providers to collect data, this assurance from SurfEasy gives us some level of confidence that our data will remain secure on their network.
When it comes to the information they collect, those that the VPN service retains for some duration, for troubleshooting purposes, include temporary usage data and aggregate bandwidth usage.
Additionally, they also collect your email address for customer support and billing purposes, and your name, phone number, address, and payment details during the purchase of their plans. This data is used only for the purposes that it is usually intended for. However, the VPN service doesn’t seem to offer a kill switch feature.
How Much is SurfEasy VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Firstly, SurfEasy VPN offers a free service package called Starter, which allows you to try its services for free. The restriction with this package is that you are limited to only 500MB free data.
When it comes to pricing plans, this VPN service has both monthly and annual subscription options. These plans, however, are categorized into Total and Ultra.
The Total plan is priced at $4.99 per month (billed monthly) and this will be reduced to $3.99 per month if you choose to pay for a year. The Ultra plan is priced at $11.99 per month (billed monthly), which will be reduced to $6.49 per month for annual billing. Of course, the features you get from the Ultra plan will be more extensive than with the Total plan, hence the increase in price. The pricing seems quite affordable, in comparison with many other leading providers on the market. As always, you will benefit from choosing the annual plans as they come with a discount.
In addition to the free plan, SurfEasy also provides a 7-day money-back guarantee for all paid plans. In terms of payment types, this VPN service accepts all major credit cards and PayPal.
SurfEasy VPN Speed Test
This VPN service has 500 servers located in 28 regions across the globe. However, there aren’t any in Russia at present, and this makes it difficult for Russians outside the country to access their local websites and web services, which are otherwise geographically restricted. However, for Russians and expats living in the country, with the desire to access international content, SurfEasy has a vast network of servers that can help.
When it comes to speed, we encountered decent speeds throughout our test period. Yes, there were some servers which were a bit slower than the rest, but overall, the speeds weren’t the worst we have come across. In fact, the servers were fast enough to let us stream HD video content. However, if you are a gamer, we think that SurfEasy VPN speeds wouldn’t be sufficient for intense gaming.
Another positive aspect of SurfEasy is that they have dedicated servers for torrenting, and with the speeds they deliver, you shouldn’t have any problem with the same. However, you can only access those servers with the Ultra plan.
How is Customer Service at SurfEasy VPN?
SurfEasy’s customer support is available from 8 am to 8 pm EST Monday to Sunday. You can contact the company’s customer support team in a few ways. SurfEasy has separate phone numbers for USA & Canada and UK. You can also contact them via email, and you are likely to receive a response within a few hours. There is also an online form which you can fill and submit.
Although the company mentions that there is a Live Chat facility available, we couldn’t find the same anywhere on their website. Regardless, we think that the customer support options already offered by the service are sufficient, and the waiting time is also very low. There is also an FAQ section with questions and answers categorized according to the devices you use, and this section is quite comprehensive as well.
Speaking of SurfEasy, we like how stylish it looks, and yet how easy it is to move around on the website when you are looking for information. The team has made sure that the website’s design remains user-friendly and efficient.
To sign up for the service, you should first choose a plan of your choice, enter details like your email address and preferred password, and proceed to making the payment. The entire signup process is self-explanatory, and you can get it done within a matter of minutes.
SurfEasy VPN is available for use on various platforms, such as iOS, Mac, Windows, Amazon, and Android. There are also extensions available for Chrome and Opera browsers. By subscribing for a VPN package, you get the ability to access the services on 5 devices simultaneously.
As discussed earlier, the VPN service has 500 servers located in 28 countries around the world, some of which include United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, and Turkey.
SurfEasy VPN uses what they call a tracker blocking algorithm, which prevents online advertisers from following you, by blocking their tracking cookies, thus enhancing your privacy online. It’s one-click IP masking feature allows you to switch your location with just a single click.
Overall, SurfEasy offers a great set of features, useful for both new and experienced users alike.
Is SurfEasy VPN Safe?
On the security front, SurfEasy VPN doesn’t mess around with basic protocols or encryption standards. This VPN service uses the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit encryption as the default option on most of its clients. For iOS devices, though, your option is limited to IPSec 128-bit encryption, which when compared to PPTP is not a bad option. It also offers DNS leak protection, and we did not detect any leaks during our tests.
All in all, SurfEasy is a great Russian VPN option available in the industry today. Right from the level of privacy and security it offers, to its great customer service and amazing set of features, this VPN service is certainly a winner. The only small drawback are its speeds, which when improved will make this provider an extraordinary VPN service to consider.