Geosurf has been around for a while. It started in 2009, under Israeli company BiScience, to help companies view localized content. Today GeoSurf sells premium residential proxies and a VPN for businesses: ad verifiers, localization testers, web scrapers, and other clients.
I don’t know about you, but for me 10 years is an impressive longevity for an internet company, and it says something about its services. For some reason, Geosurf seems to think otherwise. It’s hard to find anything on the website mentioning the fact: you know, “with you since…”, or something in that vein. The thing marketers drool about.
And yet, there are traces all around. For instance, you can find a TechCrunch testimonial on the homepage. Quite a website to have, right? But after opening the link, you discover that the article was written in 2011.
In a way, this little example tells a lot about the company as a whole. Despite entering the market very early, way before either of its main competitors, Oxylabs and Bright Data, Geosurf is trying hard to keep up with them. The provider has fewer IPs, features, and no fancy proxy-as-a-service tools like Real-Time Crawler or Data Unblocker.
To make matters worse, GeoSurf’s fighting in court with Bright Data over the right to use residential proxies – and maybe over a right to exist altogether. In short, the provider has seen better days.
Despite all this, Geosurf is putting up a fight and remains among the top residential proxy providers. So maybe there is something about it that keeps the clients coming, and then coming back?
Let’s find out.
- Reliable workhorse proxies
- Worldwide coverage with many cities
- Dedicated support agent
- Only HTTP(S) available
- Non-instant setup
- Proxy types: Residential (static, rotating)
- Protocols: HTTP(S)
- Locations: 135 countries, 1,700 cities
- Audience: Mid to large businesses
- Sub-users: No
- Extras: API, browser extension
- Support: 24/7, dedicated acc. manager
- Pricing: From $450/38GB ($11.85/GB) for residential proxies
- Payment options: PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, wire transfer
- Trial: Ask account manager
Geosurf Proxy Networks
GeoSurf offers two kinds of proxies: peer-to-peer residential and static residential proxies. The former borrow IPs from devices of end users, while the latter are simply registered under residential internet service providers. GeoSurf also teases mobile proxies in its FAQ page, but those are yet to materialize.
Which IP type should you choose? The static proxies are a better choice if you need to keep the same IP for more than 30 minutes (GeoSurf’s max allowed rotation time). Social media management, sneakers come to mind. These IPs should also be faster, but they’re easier to detect, despite being called residential.
Rotating Residential Proxies
Everything but SOCKS5.
Rotating residential proxies are – or at least used to be – Geosurf’s main product, and the company sure tries to make it good. You can get 2.5M residential IPs; that’s less compared to providers like Smartproxy but still a respectable number.
Geosurf’s residential proxies cover 135+ countries around the world. More impressive is the number of available cities: you can get proxies in about 1,700 locations. This makes the provider a good choice for geography-sensitive tasks.
Geosurf advertises the IPs as clean, meaning they haven’t been blocked or blacklisted, as well as unlimited – having no limitations on the number of connections, threads, and locations. The only limit you’ll encounter is traffic; and that too can be solved by buying a bigger plan.
Geosurf also has specialized proxies for Instagram and ad verification. Turns out, there’s nothing unique about them – they’re just like any other residential IP. Even so, it’s a nice way to market the proxies, and whoever wrote the description deserves a raise:
The proxies are backconnect, and Geosurf has a built-in rotation API. It can rotate the proxies every request, after 1, 10, or 30 minutes. IP rotation allows sending many parallel requests at once and should be helpful for large-scale scraping.
Supported protocols are HTTP and HTTPS. SOCKS5 is not available, so Geosurf won’t be a perfect choice for bandwidth-intensive tasks like torrenting or gaming.
You can authorize Geosurf residential proxies both with whitelisted IPs and user:pass credentials. However, you won’t be able to create any sub-users, so you can forget about reselling.
Static Residential Proxies
A large and varied pool of IPs.
GeoSurf’s network of static residential proxies consists of over 2 million IP addresses. With NetNut scaling down, this might be the largest pool of static IPs available today.
According to GeoSurf, the static proxies cover more than 130 locations – once again, unusually many for this type of IPs.
Other information is pretty limited, and we’ve only had the chance to test GeoSurf’s rotating proxies so far, so we’ll leave it at that.
The expensive kind.
GeoSurf offers monthly plans. They’re based on traffic use, just like with most residential proxy providers.
No matter how you look at it, Geosurf’s residential proxies are expensive. Out of the four plans on offer, the cheapest one starts at $450/month for 38GB. That converts to around $11.85 per GB.
The plans obviously target clients that are serious about proxies. Geosurf is even prepared to offer 2 TBs of traffic should you require this much. Considering this, I’m not quite sure how large your sneaker buying or Instagram marketing business should be to fall into the target audience. Still, the provider covers these cases on its website.
You don’t get everything out of the box. Features like city targeting cost a premium.
So, Geosurf naturally falls off if you have limited needs. Even if you intend to do some serious scraping, the provider is hardly the obvious choice – at this price point, it will be competing with Oxylabs, Luminati, and NetNut; and each of the competitors offers a lot.
Subscriptions here are recurring, so you’ll automatically be charged every month for the services.
You can’t really get a free trial, nor a refund. But team GeoSurf is prepared to arrange a live demo for prospective clients.
GeoSurf Performance Tests
We tested GeoSurf’s rotating residential proxies for this year’s Proxy Market Research. This involved making around 2 million connection requests over a period of three weeks. Our target was a Cloudflare server in the US. Results with individual websites might differ, depending on your web scraper’s configuration and other factors.
|Unique IPs||279,688 (16.17%)|
|IP Type||Landline (39.68%)|
|IP Protocol||IPv4 (99.90%)|
The results show that GeoSurf’s IPs were indeed residential, as promised. IP databases could identify only 4% as originating from a data center. GeoSurf also seems to be an IPv4 purist, deliberately filtering away all IPv6 addresses.
One thing that causes concern is the number of unique IPs. Over three weeks, GeoSurf managed to muster fewer than 300,000 addresses. While still a sizable amount, it fails to compare with providers like Smartproxy or Bright Data.
|Success Rate (%)||89.50%||92.00%|
GeoSurf’s success rate has fallen behind a bit, both compared to previous years and other providers. The most frequent cause of failure was timeouts (7.7%), meaning that the proxy IP failed to establish a connection within 30 seconds.
|Response Time (Avg.)||2.61 s||1.83 s|
|Response Time (Median)||1.86 s||1.06 s|
Speed-wise, GeoSurf was once again below the market average. For comparison, the best performing providers, Oxylabs and Smartproxy, reached an average response time of less than 1 second.
|Standard Deviation||Proxy Server Stability|
The proxy server itself was stable, but not the stablest around. During general use, the success rate fluctuated by over 4%, and the server managed to remain over the instability threshold (success rate – (3 x standard deviation)) 89% of the time.
|Concurrency||Avg. Success Rate||Response Time|
Running 500 requests per second took a tool, but the impact was limited. The response time even managed to improve.
Overall, GeoSurf residential proxies performed well. They couldn’t fully keep up with the market leaders, but the performance should be enough for most use cases.
How to Use Geosurf: Dashboard, Extension, API
To register on Geosurf, simply fill in a form on the website. You’ll have to enter your full name, email address, and country.
However, you won’t be able to buy a plan and start using proxies just yet. You’ll receive an email from Geosurf’s salesman, and they’ll ask you to jump on Skype and discuss your needs or schedule an appointment. When you both agree on a plan, you’ll get a user account and be able to actually access the proxies.
A simple and elegant way to interact with Geosurf.
After logging in with the provided credentials, you’ll find yourself in a simple and elegant dashboard. There, you’ll be able to see your balance and traffic use, change the password, whitelist IPs, access Geosurf’s gateways, add credits, and update your plan.
Compared to newer providers like SOAX, GeoSurf offers pretty elaborate traffic graphs, which can help you better visualize your proxy use.
If I could change anything, I’d include easier access to the FAQs and the customer support (now, pressing on ‘Support’ only prompts you to create an email). Oh, and you can’t really change your profile picture, so why have that at all.
But these are all minor gripes, and overall the dashboard is pleasant to use.
Backconnect gateway servers. Instructions included.
Geosurf uses backconnect gateways to give you access to its proxy network. In other words, you get one address with a port number or a range of ports and not a proxy list.
The provider has a handy setup wizard in the dashboard to help you get started. It lets you choose preferred locations and IP rotation, and then automatically generates a gateway address.
All in all, the setup process is simple and straightforward.
Multiple programming languages supported.
You can also use Geosurf’s proxies via an API. The instructions weren’t easy to reach – they’re hidden under ‘Residential IPs Integration Guide’ in the navigation bar. Once you’re there, you’ll find useful code examples covering the main programming languages, as well as other integration info.
The API allows whitelisting and removing IPs, monitoring traffic and balance information, and retrieving available IPs in particular locations.
A simple way to use proxies in your browser.
Geosurf has a browser extension for Chrome, Chrome-based browsers (such as Opera, Vivaldi, or Brave), and Firefox. It lets you use proxies on your browser – kind of like a localised VPN. With it, you can easily select the location of your proxy IP address and its rotation time. You can also clear cookies and cache at the press of a button. Pretty neat.
The name “Geosurf Toolbar” points to out to the company’s long lineage. Remember the Techcrunch article from 2011? Yup, it’s about the toolbar – only back then you could download it for now discontinued Internet Explorer.
Extensive documentation, responsive customer service.
Before talking to a real person, it’s always good to see if your problem can be solved with documentation. Thankfully, GeoSurf has this part covered. You’ll find detailed instructions for all aspects of the service, with examples and (somewhat outdated) YouTube videos.
If that doesn’t help, you can contact human support via email or Skype. I tried looking for GeoSurf on Skype and managed to find the company’s account. After sending a short message, I got a reply within 1 hour. Later, communication via Skype went very smoothly. I needed assistance with various small issues and GeoSurf’s team responded quickly every time.
For an old-timer, Geosurf is surprisingly lively. You wouldn’t say that looking at its website (it either needs an update or is in the process of getting one), but the whole package is really solid.
The proxies perform well and support very flexible management options. They come with nifty tools to help you, like the well-made dashboard and browser extension. It’s evident that GeoSurf has experience and knows what it’s doing.
There are many things to like here, and I’ve found myself sympathising with Geosurf. And yet – I can’t really put my finger on it – something is amiss.
Is it the lack of attention to detail? The relatively small proxy pool? The fact that you have to use Skype to get your account activated? None of these is a deal-breaker. But when I look at the company’s pricing, and weigh GeoSurf pound-for-pound against the competition, it’s a tough choice.
Nonetheless, if you do choose to go with Geosurf, you won’t be disappointed.