How to get started

Hey there! Good to have you here at 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, Smart DNS, other features, and more. Not to worry though, this guide has got you covered.

Here's what we'll go through:

You will need an active subscription in order to use Surfshark, which you can purchase on our pricing page.



Surfshark VPN app: a one-stop solution for your phone and computer

The way to get the most out of Surfshark VPN is to install the Surfshark app on all of your devices that you'd like to use with the VPN. Once you install the Surfshark application, you will be able to connect to the VPN, protect your connection, access streaming content securely, and 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. Not to worry though, continue reading to find an alternative way to connect.



Surfshark browser extension: a lightweight solution to protect 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 are unable to 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:

Google Chrome (it will also work fine on Brave and Opera browsers);

Mozilla Firefox (made for Mozilla Firefox, but works on many other Gecko-based browsers).

Microsoft Edge



Surfshark on a router: 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. Feel free to contact us via live chat or email for clarification.



Smart DNS: best 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 get access to 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.




You may also be interested in:

  1. How to make sure if my connection was successful?
  2. How to enable 2FA on your Surfshark account?
  3. How can I change my email?





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