We’ve recommended VPN services as a means to increasing your privacy online and getting around geographically restricted websites. But for all the benefits they represent, few make the process of getting an account and setting things up approachable to the average non- tech savvy user.
SurfEasy VPN hopes to address this while capitalizing on the public’s increased awareness surrounding online privacy, courtesy of the NSA. With standalone applications available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, encrypting your internet traffic is as easy as making a couple of clicks -- i.e. no choosing between PPTP, OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec and no need to load configuration files for each server.
The Canadian firm claims to use bank grade encryption to secure all Internet data from hackers, websites and anyone trying to monitor Internet traffic, also allowing you to safely connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots. With servers in the US, UK, Singapore and Brazil, users’ IP addresses and physical location are shielded from websites so they can access sites like Pandora or Netflix from any country -- by default, you will be connected to SurfEasy Optimized, which routes your connection through the fastest available server at the time.
The service’s paid tiers are available at either $2.99 per month ($29.99 yearly) for a mobile-only plan, or $4.99 per month ($49.99 yearly) for up to five concurrent desktop or mobile -- something few other services offer for that price.
There’s also a free starter plan that limits your monthly data transfers to 500MB, but you can earn an extra 500MB for each person you refer to the service, and they in turn will also get a bonus 250MB.
The app displays your data usage and warns you when you are nearing your cap.
That’s really all there is to it. When asked whether they had any plans to support other devices such as set-top boxes for accesing region-locked streaming services, the company told me they were expanding device support in the future and have some "on the radar".
Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you or a 3rd party to match an IP-address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, exactly what information do you hold?
Under what jurisdictions does your company operate and under what exact circumstances will you share the information you hold with a 3rd party?
SE: We operate in Canada. As noted above, we do not maintain any log files that could be shared with a third party. We'd only share information where we are required to do so under Canadian law.
If a DMCA takedown notice or European equivalent is received, how are these handled?
SE:We do not host any content so there is nothing to takedown pursuant to such notices.
Which payment systems do you operate and how are these linked to individual users?
SE: We use Recurly to manage recurring payments, Beanstream as our credit card payment gateway and Paypal. Recurly uses email addresses for account management purposes. However we don't have any logs connecting users' accounts with their online activity; the architecture is designed on purpose to prevent any tracking.