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How to fix unstable connection issues on Windows?

In this tutorial, you will learn what might cause connectivity issues on your Windows machine and how to fix it.

There are many factors involved in making 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 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 at first: 

 

  •  Change the default protocol used on the Surfshark app.

    To do that, launch the Surfshark app, go to the Settings --> Advanced, then open the Protocol tab. This is where you will find an option to change the default protocol

    Change the protocol form 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, where you will find the full list of our servers. Try to test at least several different servers and see if the issue persists.


  • 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.



  • Temporarily disable potentially interfering apps.

    Some apps might have taken over network controls on your device. That can sometimes interfere with Surfshark (or any other VPN) connection. 

    That applies to other VPNs, firewalls, file-sharing apps, and especially, anti-virus software. If you have any of those, try disabling it. Then reboot your device and see if the connection gets any better.


  • 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:

    DNS1: 208.67.222.222
    DNS2: 208.67.220.220
     
  • 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.


    diagstool.png


  • Reboot your device.

    That sounds too simple, but that 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 more flexible DNS.

 

If the connection is still unstable, or you have any further questions, our customer success team will help you via a live chat or email 24/7!


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