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4.3 out of 5

VPN protocols on Surfshark

The advanced technologies that secure your internet connection

  • IKEv2 - best, fastest choice for mobile
  • OpenVPN - a reliable open-source classic
  • Shadowsocks - top choice in restrictive countries
  • WireGuard® - sleek, modern, secure
VPN protocols on Surfshark
What are VPN protocols?

What are VPN protocols?

VPN protocols are a technology that helps VPNs safely send your data through the internet – to browse websites, use social media, or do just about anything else online.

A VPN protocol is more than a simple tunneling protocol that provides a way to transfer information from point A to point B. It not only does the job of a tunneling protocol but also authenticates data and offers end-to-end encryption. 

Not to mention, a VPN protocol may even hide VPN traffic with the help of obfuscation, offer perfect forward secrecy, and key exchange via secure channels.

Surfshark VPN supports these protocols:

IKEv2

IKEv2

IKEv2 (short for Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a fast and secure protocol developed by Cisco and Microsoft security engineers. It has been improved many times. IKEv2 is very popular among mobile users due to its speed.

Availability: macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, and Fire TV applications.

OpenVPN

OpenVPN

OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which means that security professionals worldwide can check the code and offer improvements and fixes. It’s fast, secure, and often works best for laptops and desktop devices.

Availability: macOS, Android, Windows, iOS, Fire TV, and Linux applications.

WireGuard

WireGuard

WireGuard is a relatively new VPN protocol designed to be simpler than its predecessors. With only 4,000 lines of code, WireGuard is less susceptible to security vulnerabilities as it’s easier to manage and audit. It also uses high-speed cryptographic primitives for better performance.

Availability: Android, Windows, iOS, and macOS.

Shadowsocks

Shadowsocks

Shadowsocks is an encrypted proxy that was designed specifically to help people overcome the restrictions of the so-called Great Firewall of China. It works great for that purpose, but if you are not in a restricted country, you’re better off using either OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IKEv2.

Availability: Android and Windows applications.

How to set up the VPN protocol of your choice on any Surfshark app

STEP 1

Open your app’s Settings.

STEP 2

Go to the Advanced section.

STEP 3

Select your protocol. That’s it!

FAQ

What is the fastest VPN protocol on Surfshark?

WireGuard is currently considered to be the fastest protocol around. It uses advanced cryptographic primitives and lives inside the Linux kernel (kernel is a computer program at the core of an operating system, connecting software and hardware): this ensures high-speed, secure networking.

What is the safest VPN protocol on Surfshark?

There’s no single “most secure VPN protocol” in the world, and thus, we can’t single out the safest VPN protocol on Surfshark. All of our protocols have been selected for their qualities, including security. However, what we can say is that they’re a lot safer than the ones that Surfshark doesn’t support, like PPTP

How do I know which Surfshark VPN protocol is the best for me?

The best Surfshark VPN protocol largely depends on the device you’re using or the reason you need a VPN:

  • IKEv2 grants the best speed on mobile
  • OpenVPN works best for desktop devices
  • Wireguard is good in most situations, especially when speed is the issue
  • Shadowsocks is specifically for people who want to overcome the Great Chinese Firewall and similar blocks

If you are still unclear which VPN protocol is the right fit for you, you can switch them around in the Surfshark app and do your own test!

Protect yourself with the latest security protocols

Protect yourself with the latest security protocols