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How to troubleshoot smart DNS issues?

If you have already set smart DNS on your device, but something is not working as expected, you may find solutions in this article.


In this tutorial, you will find solutions for issues below: 



Streaming service is unreachable

At first, make sure that the streaming service works with the US region. Smart DNS only unlocks US-based streaming services.

If you have successfully set smart DNS on your device, but your preferred streaming service is not working, here are several things you should try:

  • Try both smart DNS servers.

    After activating the smart DNS service, you have received two server addresses. If your device has a place for 1 DNS address only, try one DNS server, then another;

  • If your device has a place for 2 DNS servers, try to enter the same DNS server to both lines, as in the picture below:


  • Uninstall and reinstall the streaming app or at least clear cache of the particular streaming app;

  • Reboot your device;

  • Log in to your router and set custom DNS on it. You can use as a primary DNS and as a secondary DNS.

  • Since there are so many different routers, and each one has a different interface, you may want to look at your router's users manual or search for steps online.

  • Smart DNS works fine with widely used streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu. However, less common services might not be accessible with smart DNS, so feel free to contact our Customer Success Sharks and ask if your preferred streaming service should work.

You lose the internet connection after setting up smart DNS

You can only activate smart DNS for 1 IP address. The most common reason why you could lose the internet connection with smart DNS is that you enable smart DNS for a different IP address than your device (Smart TV, Xbox, etc.) has. Maybe you have activated smart DNS while being connected to your workspace network or mobile data? Also, that might happen if you have a dynamic IP, and the IP address of your network eventually changes.

Here is what you should do in this case:

  1. Go to surfshark.com using your laptop or phone.
  2. Make sure that your laptop or phone is connected to the same network as the device on which you will use smart DNS.
  3. Once logged in to your account on surfshark.com, go to the smart DNS page.

  4. Click the Change IP button. That will activate smart DNS for your new IP address.


  5. Check if smart DNS works on your TV or gaming console now.

Smart DNS can not be activated because IPv6 was detected


You can only activate smart DNS for IPv4 addresses. However, some networks have both - IPv4, and IPv6 protocols enabled. Experiencing this error means, your system uses IPv6 as well.

Here are potential solutions for this issue:

  • Disable IPv6 on the device that you use to activate smart DNS on our website.

    Here are tutorials on how to disable IPv6 on different devices:

  • Disable IPv6 on your router

    Some routers (not all) have an option to choose between IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.

    To find out if your router has this option, you should log in to your router and search through Internet, Network, or WLAN settings. You may find an option to turn off the IPv6 there.

  • Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  • You may contact your internet network provider and as if they could turn off the IPv6 on your system. Most of the time, they can easily do that.

The IP address at surfshark.com does not match with the one on your TV

You may have noticed that the IP address shown on your TV is different from the one that you have activated smart DNS. That is because you have activated smart DNS for your external (public) IP address, but your TV only shows you the internal (private) IP.

An internal IP usually looks like this - 192.168.x.x and is only used for internal communication between different devices on the same network. It is not visible publicly and does not affect the smart DNS usage, so you can ignore it and proceed with the smart DNS setup.

Unfortunately, there are some situations where smart DNS can not be successfully used. If your Internet provider is hijacking DNS (makes you use their DNS at all times) or using a transparent proxy (a technology that intercepts requests from your device), problems with smart DNS might occur. In such a case, feel free to try an alternative solution:


If the problem persists or further questions arise, our customer success team will help you 24/7 over a live chat or email.


You may also be interested in:

  1. How to troubleshoot Smart DNS issues?
  2. How does Smart DNS work?
  3. How to set up a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot using Windows?
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