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:


Test different networks

First of all, check 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 are unsure how to set up a mobile hotspot, check out this article.

If you cannot connect to only one of these, 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. You can find that out by taking a look at this article.

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

If you couldn't connect to your VPN on any of these networks, usually a change of connection protocols is an excellent thing to try next!


Change the connection protocol



Go to the Surfshark application, click on Settings, then Advanced, and lastly, Protocol. Here, you will find all of the available protocols, including OpenVPN UDP/TCP, and WireGuard. Sadly, this does not apply to 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.


Various connection protocols can give you specific errors that tell our support a lot about the potential issue, so make sure to take a screenshot of it for later if you encounter one. If you don't know how to take a screenshot, check out this article. If you end up reaching out to our support team, a screenshot of the error will make the troubleshooting process much quicker and easier. Our team will already know what sort of error code you got and which steps should be taken to resolve your issue in a matter of minutes.


Disable possibly interfering apps

Your antivirus program or a different VPN application is another thing that absolutely hates the VPN connection and typically refuses to let it through. 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 by a tiny bit, 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.

Update the Surfshark app

Finally, once you made sure that you cannot connect to all possible networks, various protocols do not help, the antivirus is disabled, other VPNs are uninstalled, or you have a screenshot of the error received while trying to connect, 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!


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