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Use obfuscated servers for extra privacy

  • Hide that you use a VPN
  • Regain your internet freedom
  • Bypass restrictions at work
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What are obfuscated servers?

What are obfuscated servers?

Obfuscated servers are special VPN servers that hide your data and the fact that you’re using a VPN connection. This technology is sometimes called as stealth VPN. Obfuscated servers are useful if you’re connecting from a place that heavily restricts internet usage, as they ensure that even your ISP (Internet Service Provider) won’t know you’re connected to an undetectable VPN.

How does VPN obfuscation work?

VPNs are detected by checking the digital makeup of the data being transmitted. If the data looks like it has been formatted by a VPN, then the ISP or a firewall (or even an oppressive government) can block it.

Four icons in sequence: shield with a checkmark, shield with an eye, a wall with fire in front, access denied sign.
Four icons in sequence: shield with a checkmark in a dotted line, shield with an eye, a wall with fire in front, a website.

The obfuscation process is all about transforming the VPN traffic to appear different. An obfuscated VPN server makes your VPN traffic look like any old regular internet traffic, and your provider can’t see that you have privacy protection! Surfshark uses a modified version of the OpenVPN protocol to make our stealth VPN work.

Why would you need obfuscated servers?



If you live in a country that censors internet use, obfuscation is crucial. You will need it for your VPN encryption to work in the first place, as obfuscation will allow you to avoid VPN blocks.

ISP snooping

ISP snooping

Feel like your ISP cares about and controls too much of what you do online? Obfuscation will hide the fact you’re using a VPN.

Government tracking

Government tracking

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

Strict internal networks

Universities or schools can sometimes ban VPN usage. In such cases, obfuscation is helpful as well, as it 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?

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 from a VPN-protected one. The mentioned differences show your provider that you’re using a VPN. Of course, that’s only true if you’re not using an undetectable VPN.

How do you use obfuscated servers?

Log in to your Surfshark app

Log in to your Surfshark app

If you don’t have an account yet, creating one is easy! Just start here.

Go to the settings

Go to the settings

Click on Advanced, and you’ll see Protocol.

Switch your protocol to OpenVPN

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.

Get a risk-free VPN

Don’t want to commit to a VPN before trying it first? We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial. If you decide that Surfshark is not a good fit, you can cancel your subscription within the trial period or within 30 days of getting a subscription.

Note: The 7-day free trial is only available if you download the Surfshark app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. Here’s how you can get it: 

  1. Download the Surfshark app on the Google Play Store or the App Store.
  2. Open the app and choose Start free trial.
  3. Create an account and select the 12-month option.

Refunds for purchases made on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store are handled by the respective platforms. While they also offer money-back guarantees, we can ensure a smooth refund process only when a purchase is made on the Surfshark website.

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Can a VPN be detected?

Yes, it’s possible to see that you’re using a VPN by looking at your traffic patterns. That doesn’t mean your activities are visible, but your VPN use is. You can use obfuscated servers to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN.

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 when you connect to the internet with a VPN. The most commonly used method for preventing VPN access is by 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?

It all depends on how much effort the would-be tracker is willing to put in, but when you use a VPN, you are much harder to track. That is because a good VPN service encrypts your data and makes it unreadable to anyone else. Surfshark, for example, uses AES-256 encryption, considered the strongest encryption standard.

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 your VPN provider’s customer support team 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, 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 10 Gbit servers to make that speed loss unnoticeable.

What is the difference between obfuscated servers and a double VPN?

A double VPN routes your data through two VPN servers. Obfuscated servers only use a single server with a special stealth VPN protocol to hide VPN usage.

Are obfuscated servers better?

Obfuscated servers are better at hiding that you’re using a VPN. Otherwise, they work just like a regular VPN server does.

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