In this tutorial, you will learn what might cause connectivity issues on your Windows machine and how to fix them.
There are many factors involved in setting up a VPN connection, e.g., your VPN app settings, network settings, other software, type of network (home, public, mobile data), etc. Therefore, it could be that something on your system might not be compatible with Surfshark default settings and cause an unstable connection. Thankfully, you can solve such issues with minor adjustments on the Surfshark app or your device itself.
If you notice the connection being unstable on your Windows device when connected to a VPN, here is what you should try first:
- Change the default protocol used on the Surfshark app.
To do that, launch the Surfshark app, go to Settings --> Advanced, then open the Protocol tab. This is where you will find an option to change the default protocol.
Change the protocol from Automatic to OpenVPN(UDP). If that does not help, try IKEv2 and OpenVPN(TCP) protocols.
- Try other locations.
For various reasons, like server load or technical issues on the server, one location might provide a more stable connection than others.
To change the location, open the Locations page on your Surfshark app; here you will find the full list of our servers. Try to test at least several different servers and see if the issue persists.
- Temporarily disable potentially interfering apps.
Some apps might have taken over network control on your device. This can sometimes interfere with Surfshark (or any other VPN) connection.
This applies to other VPNs, firewalls, file-sharing apps, and especially, anti-virus software. If you have any of those, try disabling them. Then reboot your device and see if the connection gets any better.
- Switch to a different network.
Connectivity issues might be network-specific. This often happens if the Internet provider applies some restrictions on its network. To see if this is the case, try to check if connectivity issues remain connected to a different network.
You can easily do that by sharing a mobile hotspot with your mobile device by following this guide or try a different Wi-Fi connection.
- Turn off IPv6 on your device.
IPv6 is a networking system that some Internet networks might have. Surfshark does not support IPv6 at the moment, so if you have it on your network, connectivity issues may arise.
To see if you have it on your network, proceed to this tutorial.
- Remove parental/security controls on your router.
Some network providers might have enabled network security features on your network. Most often, such features are parental controls or some "Safe DNS" function.
Setting custom DNS on your router will do the trick. To do that, you will need to navigate to your router's network settings and change DNS to:
- Reset the network settings using the Surfshark Troubleshooting tool.
To do that, launch the Surfshark app, and go to Settings -> Help -> Troubleshooting tools -> Reset network.
- Reboot your device.
This may sound simple, but it will kill unnecessary apps' background processes and reset your network to give you a fresh start.
- Set custom DNS on your machine.
Your Internet service provider often provides default DNS servers. In many cases, it's not the best option performance-wise. Here's a guide on how to set up a more flexible DNS.
If the connection is still unstable, or you have any further questions, our customer success team will help you via live chat or email 24/7!
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