How to troubleshoot connection issues - unable to connect

In this tutorial, you will learn the fundamental issues that may cause connection issues on various devices and how to troubleshoot them.


We will go through these solutions:

You can also try following our device-specific guides:



Change the connection protocol & VPN server


Go to the Surfshark application, click on Settings, then VPN Settings, and lastly, Protocol. Here, you will find all of the available protocols, including OpenVPN UDP/TCP, and WireGuard. Sadly, this does not apply to most router setups or Linux devices, but you still have the OpenVPN UDP or TCP options available - give a go on both of them!

The OpenVPN UDP will be the best protocol to try out, as it helps you bypass some of the network restrictions that might be applied on your network. This protocol also offers a VPN connection with one of the fastest speeds, so you will certainly not be disappointed with it.


If that does not help, try connecting to a different VPN server. In the VPN tab, click on Locations and try a couple of different servers.



Test different networks

If changing the connection protocol did not help, it is worth checking if you can connect your device to the VPN on other networks. Wi-Fi, Ethernet (if possible), and mobile hotspots - try all possible options for you.

If you cannot connect to any of these, your network may be restrictive or the connection is possibly blocked by something. In this case, make sure to check if the IPv6 protocol is not enabled on your network, as it may cause various connection issues. 

Keep in mind that Parental Controls or Firewalls can also cause these issues!


Disable possibly interfering apps


Your antivirus program or a different VPN application is another thing that can interfere with the connection. Make sure that your antivirus is disabled and any other VPN application that may be installed is removed. 

Since our application modifies your connection settings, it can be considered a threat to your device by most antivirus software, therefore blocking the attempt to connect to the VPN server. Various VPN applications also use different connection configurations, fighting with each other and canceling out the connection as a result.


Update the Surfshark app


Once you made sure that you cannot connect to all possible networks, different protocols do not help, the antivirus is disabled, and other VPNs are uninstalled, try fully reinstalling the Surfshark app.

You may have an outdated Surfshark application, which could have a hard time connecting. As various network restrictions are always created, our team is working on bypassing them in every single update.

Lastly, if none of the suggestions above help, it is most likely that you are connecting from a VPN-restricting network or country. In this case, please try connecting manually.


You may also be interested in:

Was this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback!