The Surf Easy Private Browser is a product of Surf Easy whom we have reviewed here. While the main topics are covered in the previously mentioned review, due to the uniqueness of the product we felt that it deserved a dedicated review. While it is a slightly costly item and a few improvement could be made to it, if used regularly it ‘s a very valuable tool for a large group of people.
Pricing & Plans
The Private Browser costs $69.99 + shipping and will be on your doorstep in 5-10 days for the US/Canada and 10-20 for international delivery. This is a one off cost and you will be able to use your USB Private Browser for life so while it may seem a bit expensive, with regular use it will easily generate it’s values worth by protecting your data. Slightly disappointingly, unlike with their VPN you can’t pay with Bitcoin.
If you live in the USA or Canada there is also a number of retail stores (i.e. BestBuy) where you can buy it in case you don’t want to wait.
Here is a video preview by SurfEasy explaining why and how the Private Browser helps protect your privacy.
SurfEasy’s Private Browser is a modified version of Firefox with an SSL proxy running on it. While with some technical knowledge it is possible to create your own version of this, there would be a number of downsides – you wouldn’t be able to fully guarantee the quality and up-time of servers, your interface is likely to be less refined and you wouldn’t receive any support.
Since the Private Browser doesn’t require administrator access to run and it doesn’t leave a trace behind it is great to use in the following circumstances: at work for your personal browsing, if you are travelling a lot, at university/school if some websites are blocked.
As mentioned the SurfEasy stick comes in a credit card sized package which makes it easy for you to carry it around in your wallet and helps prevent accidental loss. As we will describe below as well they have made some nice changes to the software to increase of ease of use as well and personal protection. Since most people usually carry a USB storage device with them, we wish that they would have increased the internal memory of their stick, to make it dual use.
With regards to the main privacy concerns we have discussed this in the main SurfEasy review. What is specific for the Private Browser USB stick is that they use a 256 bit (bank grade) SSL connection to create a secure tunnel. Alongside this they also provide a Secure Search area which limits the access that a website will gain to your information and location. The protection is only available within the browser and other software will still use your normal internet.
While using the software contained on the USB is very advantageous as you don’t need administrator access on the computer the software is still protected by a password login. The data on the USB stick is also encrypted and protected until you enter this password, so even if you lose your stick it will still be protected.
Ordering the product is as easy as on any online store. We received the product surprisingly quickly and it came in a nice packaged box with a small introductory manual.
Once you plug in the Private Browser and enter your password you are ready to surf the internet securely. Since it is a modified version of Firefox and therefore it’s no surprise that it’s easy to use and navigate and that it’s very responsive. It’s also possible to install your favourite plugins, set-up your bookmarks, securely store passwords, etc. In essence it’s like your normal browser just much more portable and more secure.
The SurfEasy Secure Search also worked flawlessly and we didn’t notice any difference in performance. Overall the client works very well and we’re actually writing this review on it.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
We carried out our useual performance checks and found everything to be in order. As expected, there was very little speed loss, they use Google DNS and their IP checks were fine.
Pure Internet Speed
Private Browser SSL Speed
Easy to use
We weren’t so sure about
Costly (but lifetime use/access)
No storage space
Overall we found the SurfEasy Private Browser to be a well designed, packaged and easy to use tool and would recommend it to anyone who often uses different computers – such as frequent travellers, students and for private browsing at work.