Getting started

In this article, you will learn how to get started with Surfshark.

There are a few things to cover to get the most out of your experience with Surfshark, such as installing the app on the operating system of your choice, learning more about the Smart DNS, and other features.

You will need an active Surfshark subscription to follow along. Don’t have a subscription yet? Check out Surfshark plans.

Here's what we'll go through:

  1. Surfshark app: for your phone, tablet, or computer
  2. Surfshark browser extension: for your browser
  3. Surfshark on routers: secure your whole household
  4. Smart DNS: for Smart TVs & consoles


Surfshark VPN app: for your phone, tablet, or computer

The way to get the most out of Surfshark VPN is to install the Surfshark app on all of your devices you wish to protect with a VPN connection. Once you install the Surfshark application, you will be able to connect to the VPN, protect your connection, access streaming content securely, and do much more within a single click.

Below, you can find set-up guides for the device of your choice:

If your device is running an operating system that is not listed here, it's most likely that you won’t be able to install the app on it. Continue reading to find an alternative way to connect.


Surfshark browser extension: for your browser

Surfshark also has browser extensions (a.k.a. browser add-ons) that you can install on your browser. If you have installed the Surfshark app already, having the browser extension is not necessary. However, the browser extension is a great solution when you cannot install the Surfshark application due to device limitations or simply wish for the VPN to affect your browser only.

You can install both the Surfshark desktop app and the browser extension, but do not connect both at the same time. That might cause interruptions in your VPN connection.

Follow the guides below to set up Surfshark on the browser of your choice:


Surfshark on routers: secure your whole household

An alternative way of using Surfshark is to set it up on your router. This way, all the devices (Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other unsupported devices) connected to this router will be VPN-protected.

However, this connection tends to be a bit slower due to routers’ technical limitations. Also, most of Surfshark's great features, e.g., KillSwitch, Bypasser, or CleanWeb, are unavailable while using this type of connection.

If your router does support VPN, you’ll be able to find it in our router guide section. If you can not find instructions for your router, either it does not have a VPN functionality, or we do not have instructions for it yet. See what routers are not supported and how you can check if your router supports VPN.


Smart DNS: for Smart TVs & consoles

Some devices do not support VPN functionality, meaning that the Surfshark VPN app can not be installed. For example, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, or Smart TVs. In this case, you can try configuring the VPN on your router, as suggested above, or try using Smart DNS.

Smart DNS will allow you to enjoy many streaming services of the US region, e.g., Disney+, Netflix, and some others. If you're hoping to access streaming services in regions other than the US, you can try creating a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot from your Windows device and connecting your Smart TV to it.

To use this feature, you will need to activate Smart DNS for your account. Then, enter the DNS server addresses into your TV or console settings. Check out our guides to set up Smart DNS on your device.


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