Obfuscated servers are special VPN servers that hide your data and even the fact that you’re using a VPN. This is useful if you’re connecting from a place that heavily restricts internet usage, as even your ISP won’t know you’re connected to a VPN.
Use obfuscated servers for extra privacy
- Hide that you use a VPN
- Regain your internet freedom
- Bypass restrictions at work
What are obfuscated servers?
How does VPN obfuscation work?
The process involves creating unique algorithms or other codes. This makes your VPN traffic look like any old regular internet traffic, and your provider can’t see that you have privacy software on!
Why would you need obfuscated servers?
If you live in a country that has a censorship problem, obfuscation is crucial. You will need it for your VPN encryption to work in the first place, as it will allow you to bypass restrictions.
Feel like your Internet Service Provider cares about and controls too much of what you do online? Obfuscation will hide the fact you are using a VPN from your ISP.
Some governments track their citizens more than others. If you worry your government is tracking you, obfuscated servers are the way to go. With them, no one will see any “suspicious” VPN use.
Strict internal networks
Some universities or schools ban VPN usage. In such a case, obfuscation will hide the fact that you’re using privacy-protection tools. They cannot block a VPN if they do not know one is being used.
How can your ISP tell you’re using a VPN?
Generally, your ISP can do this by looking at your traffic patterns. All VPN services work similarly – they send your traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel, which involves multiple layers of protection. Since regular online traffic isn’t protected like that, it looks different. These differences are how your provider can tell that you’re using a VPN.
How do you use obfuscated servers?
Log in to your Surfshark app
If you don’t have an account yet, creating one is easy!
Go to the settings
Click on Advanced, and you’ll see Protocol.
Switch your protocol to OpenVPN
Click Protocol and choose one of the OpenVPN options. That’s it!*
*The OpenVPN protocol automatically applies obfuscation to your traffic.
Can a VPN be detected?
Yes, it’s possible to see that somebody is using a VPN by looking at their traffic. That doesn’t mean your activities are visible, but it does mean that the fact you’re using a VPN may be apparent.
Can obfuscated servers bypass the Great Firewall Of China?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. While obfuscated servers are essential to bypassing China’s firewalls, they alone cannot guarantee that your VPN provider will work in China.
It takes complicated algorithms, among other technologies, and continuous maintenance to keep a VPN service up and running for users in China. However, if your VPN provider offers obfuscated servers as Surfshark does, it’s a step in the right direction!
What does a VPN blocker do?
A VPN blocker is a tool that governments, ISPs, or website administrators use to deny access to a particular service or services when you connect to the internet with a VPN. The most common method used to block VPNs is blocking specific IP addresses. Another common way is blocking ports that VPN tunneling protocols use, e.g., PPTP and L2TP.
Can anyone track you using a VPN?
Anything can eventually be tracked – however, the effort levels vary wildly. When you use a VPN, you are hard to track, and somebody would have to pay a lot of attention and effort to achieve that.
That is because a good VPN service encrypts your data and makes it unreadable to anyone else. Surfshark, for example, uses AES-256 encryption, which is currently considered impossible to decrypt.
How do you know if a server is obfuscated?
There’s no easy answer to this. You’d need to look into your VPN traffic patterns – they will have a specific footprint due to the technology being used. If you know these patterns and your traffic doesn’t show them when you turn on your VPN, you’re probably connected to an obfuscated server.
This requires extensive technical knowledge, so if you’re unsure where to start, you can always contact the customer support team of your VPN provider and ask them about it.
Can obfuscated servers impact your internet speed?
Yes, connecting to obfuscated servers will affect your internet connection speed like any other VPN connection. If your ISP is restricting your internet access or throttling your speeds, connecting to these servers should improve it.
In most cases, adding that additional layer of encryption slows down the internet connection a bit more than just a regular VPN connection. However, premium VPNs, like Surfshark, use the newest infrastructure and up to 10Gbit servers to make that speed loss unnoticeable.