In this article, you will learn more about all the protocols that you can use with Surfshark.
A protocol is a set of rules that negotiates and maintains the connection between your device and the Surfshark VPN server. Almost everything you do online is based on sending and receiving information. Your information has to be divided into small chunks of data (packets) to send it. Protocols determine in what order these packets will be sent, what encryption will protect them, etc. All protocols used at Surfshark are fast and secure, and it is up to you if you just stay with the default option or switch to your preferred protocol.
Different protocols have advantages of their own. Some protocols guarantee better speed and image video/audio quality, while others – a more stable connection. Therefore, if you experience connectivity issues, you should try changing the protocol first.
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IKEv2 is one of the most popular protocols as of right now. It is quickly being adopted by many VPN platforms thanks to its ease-of-use features, strong security, and wireless performance.
At the moment, the IKEv2 protocol is available on Surfshark apps for macOS, Android, Windows, and iOS applications.
It's an open-source tunneling protocol. As an open-source project, its code is freely available on the internet, and it consistently receives updates and maintenance from security and networking experts from across the globe.
You will find OpenVPN (UDP) and OpenVPN (TCP) options on your Surfshark app.
UDP is known to be faster, great for streaming, video calls, or games.
TCP is known to be stable and will deliver every single packet of information that you send from your device. Therefore it might be slower compared to other protocols.
OpenVPN is available on Surfshark apps for Android, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Linux.
WireGuard* is one of the newest protocols that appeared in the cyber-security market. It's an open-source communication protocol that provides better performance than other available protocols.
WireGuard is currently available on Surfshark apps for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. If you can not find it on your Surfshark app, try updating it to the latest version.
*WireGuard is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfield.
Although L2TP might not be as secure as other protocols available in the market, Surfshark leaves an option to use this protocol in case you need it. This protocol might be faster, compared to OpenVPN, and it is available on many home routers.
If you have any further questions, the Surfshark customer success team is here to help you 24/7 over live chat or email.
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