Why is my internet so slow with Surfshark?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

There can be several reasons why your internet may be slow when using Surfshark VPN. Let’s explore some possible causes and troubleshooting steps to help you resolve the issue.

1. Network congestion: Sometimes, slow internet speeds can be attributed to high network traffic or congestion in your area. This can happen regardless of whether you’re using a VPN or not. To check if this is the case, try connecting to Surfshark on a different network or at a different time of day to see if the speeds improve.

2. Distance to VPN server: The distance between you and the VPN server you’re connected to can affect your internet speed. If you’re connected to a server that is geographically distant from your location, the increased latency can result in slower speeds. To address this, try connecting to a server that is closer to your physical location and see if the speeds improve.

3. VPN protocol selection: The VPN protocol you’re using can also impact your internet speed. Different protocols offer different levels of security and speed. OpenVPN UDP is generally considered the fastest protocol, while protocols like IKEv2 and WireGuard can provide a good balance between speed and security. Experiment with different protocols in the Surfshark app settings to find the one that offers the best performance for your needs.

4. Device limitations: Older or less powerful devices may struggle to handle the encryption and decryption process required by the VPN, which can result in slower speeds. If you’re using an older device, consider upgrading to a newer model or try using Surfshark on a different device to see if the speeds improve.

5. ISP throttling: Some internet service providers (ISPs) may intentionally slow down certain types of internet traffic, including VPN traffic. This is known as throttling. To determine if throttling is the cause of your slow speeds, you can run a speed test with the VPN turned off and then again with the VPN turned on. If you notice a significant decrease in speed only when the VPN is enabled, it’s possible that your ISP is throttling VPN traffic. In such cases, you may consider contacting your ISP and discussing the issue.

6. Encryption level: Surfshark VPN offers various encryption options, including AES-256-GCM and AES-256-CBC. While AES-256-GCM is faster, AES-256-CBC provides stronger encryption. If speed is your priority, you can switch to AES-256-GCM in the Surfshark app settings to potentially improve your internet speeds.

7. Background processes and applications: Certain background processes or applications running on your device can consume bandwidth and affect your internet speed. Check for any downloads, updates, or streaming services that might be utilizing your internet connection and pause or close them temporarily to see if it improves the speed.

8. VPN server load: If you’re connected to a heavily loaded VPN server, it can impact your internet speed. Try switching to a different server within the same region or selecting a server with a lower load to potentially improve your speeds.

9. Firewall or antivirus software: Sometimes, firewall or antivirus software installed on your device can interfere with the VPN connection and slow down your internet speed. Temporarily disabling or configuring these applications to allow the VPN traffic can help resolve the issue.

10. Restart your device: Restarting your device can often help resolve temporary glitches or conflicts that may be affecting your internet speed. Give it a try by simply turning off your device, waiting for a few moments, and then turning it back on.

It’s important to note that while using a VPN can sometimes result in slightly slower internet speeds due to the additional encryption and routing processes, a significant decrease in speed is not typical. If you’ve tried the above troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing slow speeds with Surfshark, it may be beneficial to reach out to Surfshark’s customer support for further assistance.