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How to set up OpenVPN client on Android?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up the OpenVPN GUI app on your Android device. This app is an alternative way of connecting to Surfshark servers. It will come in handy if you can't install the Surfshark app on your Android, or it does not perform as expected.

You will need a phone or tablet running Android and an active Surfshark subscription to follow along. If you don’t have the subscription yet, you can get it here.

 

You will learn how to:

Get your credentials

You will need Surfshark service credentials to connect to the VPN using a manual OpenVPN connection. Do not confuse these with your regular credentials, namely your email address and password.

 

Here is how you can get your Surfshark credentials:

  1. Go to this page. This is the page where we store all details required for manual connection.

    You may need to log in before proceeding to this page. In that case, enter your email address and your password, then click Log in.

    Switch to the Credentials tab. You will find Surfshark service credentials there. It is a good idea to keep this page open for now. You will need these credentials a bit later.

    Mobile_credentials_Android.png


Download configuration files

 

Every server has a configuration file that you will use to connect to the VPN server. You can download all configuration files from surfshark.com. 

  1. Go to this page. It’s the same page where you've found your Surfshark service credentials but click on the Files tab instead where you will find all the configuration files.

  2. Download configuration file(s) of your preferred location. If you'd like to connect to Poland, download the Poland - Warsaw or Poland - Gdansk configuration file. If you prefer connecting to Finland, download the configuration file for Finland - Helsinki.

    Tap on the flag icon of your chosen location. 

    Server_list__on_mobile.png

  3. Then select which file to download - UDP or TCP. Those are two different VPN protocols. We recommend the UDP protocol because it is usually faster, but feel free to read more about other protocols and decide yourself.

    Mobile_UDP_and_TCP_files_selection.png

 

Install the app

 

First things first - if you don't have access to Google Play Store on your device, or you can not find the OpenVPN app there, you can download the .apk version of this app from here.

If you have access to the Play Store, follow the steps below.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store app.

    Open_Play_Store_app.png

  2. Use the search bar to search for OpenVPN.

    Search_for_OpenVPN.png

  3. You may find several different apps for OpenVPN connection. But for this tutorial, we used the one you can see in the picture below.

    Press on the Install button.

    Install_the_OpenVPN_app.png

  4. Once the installation finishes, click Open to launch the app.

    Click_Open_to_launch_the_installed_app.png


    The app will also appear on your screen, so you don't have to open the Play Store each time.


    OpenVPN_app_appears_on_the_sreen.png

 

Add new VPN profile

 

  1. As soon as you open the OpenVPN app, you will see a screen as in the picture below.

    Homescreen.png

  2. You need to upload the file, so switch to the FILE tab.

    Remember the file you have downloaded during the "Download configuration files" part? You will need to upload it to this app now. 

    You should find the configuration file you've downloaded previously in your phone's Download folder, so click on it.

    Download_folder.png


  3. You will see the list of files that are in this folder. Tap on Surfshark's configuration file and press Import.

    Select_the_configuration_file_and_click_Import.png

  4. Fill in the required details.

    Profile name: you can give it any name
    Username: service username you have collected during the "Get your credentials part"
    Password: service password you have collected during the "Get your credentials part"

    Press ADD.

    Enter_the_details_and_click_Add.png


Connect to the VPN

 

  1. Once you add the new VPN profile, it must appear on your OpenVPN app's home screen.

    To connect to the VPN, tap on the gray switch.

    Move_the_switch.png

  2. When connecting the first time, you will see this request to set up a VPN connection. Without your permission, the OpenVPN app won't be able to make a VPN connection.  Click OK.

    VPN_setup_permission_request.png

  3. You may also get this pop-up informing about the certificate. The certificate already appears in the configuration file, so click CONTINUE.

    Continue_without_the_certificate.png

  4. If the VPN connection is successful, you will see the connection status on your screen.

    It shows that you're connected, also some details about the connection.


    Screen_shows_the_connection_status_and_other_data.png

  5. To disconnect from the VPN, tap on the switch (which is green now).

    To change the VPN location, repeat this part to download a new configuration file for your preferred location, then repeat this part to add a new profile.

 

Congratulations - you have successfully installed and configured the OpenVPN app! As long as you’re connected, your location is private, and your sensitive data is secure.

 

If you have any further questions, our customer success team is here to help you 24/7 over a live chat or email.

 

You may also be interested in:

  1. How to make sure if my connection was successful?
  2. How to fix unstable connection issues on Android?

  3. How to watch Netflix with Surfshark?

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