How To Fix Slow Speeds On Surfshark VPN?


Using a VPN like Surfshark can sometimes lead to slower internet speeds. There are a few reasons why this happens and several ways to optimize your Surfshark connection for faster speeds. In this guide, we’ll cover the main causes of slow VPN speeds and actionable tips to improve Surfshark's performance.

Why Is My Surfshark VPN So Slow?

There are a few common reasons why Surfshark or any VPN may be slowing down your internet connection:

  • Server Distance: The further away the VPN server you connect to, the higher the latency (lag time) will be. For example, connecting to a server in Australia from the US will be slower than connecting to a US-based server. Choosing a server that's geographically closer to you will reduce latency and packet loss.

  • Server Load: Some VPN servers experience high demand and traffic loads, which can slow down speeds. Connecting to a less populated server can provide faster speeds.

  • ISP Throttling: Your internet service provider (ISP) may be throttling or limiting bandwidth for VPN traffic. This results in slower speeds when connected to the VPN.

  • VPN Protocol: The protocol you use to connect to the VPN can impact speeds. IKEv2 and WireGuard are faster than OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec in most cases.

  • Encryption Overhead: The encryption and security that a VPN provides comes at a cost. More robust encryption like AES 256-bit adds some speed overhead versus weaker 128-bit encryption.

  • VPN App Settings: Some default VPN app settings like the kill switch, IPv6/DNS leak protection, or connecting through obfuscated servers can reduce speeds. Tweaking these can help optimize performance.

  • Bandwidth Limits: Depending on the VPN plan, bandwidth caps may throttle speeds after passing a certain threshold. Upgrading to an unlimited data plan can maintain full speed.

How Do I Fix Slow VPN Speed?

Luckily there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and boost slower VPN speeds:

1. Connect to the Nearest Server:

Connect to the server that's closest geographically to your actual location. This shortens the distance data has to travel and reduces latency. Surfshark displays the server ping time which indicates speed.

2. Choose a Less Busy Server:

Switch to a server in the same country that has lower usage to avoid congested servers' throttling speeds. Surfshark shows the current load percentage for each server. Connect to ones under 50% for optimal performance.

3. Use IKEv2/WireGuard Protocol:

The newer IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols are faster than OpenVPN. In the Surfshark app, go to Settings > Preferences and enable IKEv2 or WireGuard and connect using them.

4. Toggle Off VPN Extra Features:

Disable added VPN app features like Whitelister, Multihop, or NoBorders to reduce overhead and improve speeds temporarily.

5. Contact Surfshark Support:

Reach out to Surfshark's 24/7 customer support via live chat or email. They can troubleshoot your account and VPN app to pinpoint any issues hindering speeds.

6. Try Different Server Locations:

Experiment with connecting to different server locations to see if another area performs better. Running a speed test can confirm which servers give you the fastest connectivity.

7. Update Your VPN Apps:

Make sure your VPN apps are updated to the latest version. Developers often improve performance and fix bugs in new releases that can boost speeds.

8. Restart Your Devices:

Refreshing your device's connection by restarting it can clear out any network issues or processes slowing down the VPN.

9. Connect Devices Directly:

Bypassing any routers and connecting a device like a PC directly to the modem eliminates that hop that could be limiting bandwidth. Test with a wired connection for optimal speeds.

Following these tips should help you troubleshoot and resolve slowed-down VPN speeds in most cases. Is Discord banned in China? Be sure to also contact your ISP or VPN provider for assistance optimizing any limiting factors.

Does Surfshark Slow Down Internet Speed?

In general, Surfshark itself does not inherently slow down your internet. The speed reduction when connected to Surfshark or any VPN is typically due to the factors mentioned like distance to server, VPN protocol overhead, and ISP throttling.

According to Surfshark's website, their service only reduces internet speeds by an average of around 10-15%. Users report anywhere from a 5-30% drop in speeds in most cases. This is comparable to other top VPNs when connected.

Surfshark uses high-speed servers and efficient protocols like IKEv2 and WireGuard to minimize the impact on internet speeds as much as possible. Following the speed optimization tips above can help reduce any slowdowns when using Surfshark.

Their unlimited bandwidth plans also prevent any throttling that may happen on metered plans. Overall, Surfshark is optimized to have a minimal effect on internet speeds for most users, whether you're accessing content or communicating within a forbidden Telegram group.

Why Is My Speed Slower On VPN?

There are several technical reasons why VPNs like Surfshark cause internet speeds to be a bit slower compared to when disconnected:

  • Encryption Overhead: VPN encryption scrambles your traffic and adds processing load, which can marginally reduce speeds.

  • Increased Data Transmission Distance: Traffic must travel farther to be routed through the VPN server, increasing latency.

  • Extra Hops: Traffic has to pass through additional nodes and infrastructure to access the VPN server.

  • ISP Throttling: Some ISPs deliberately limit the bandwidth allotted to VPN traffic, slowing speeds.

  • VPN Protocol Overhead: OpenVPN and L2TP have more speed overhead than faster protocols like IKEv2.

  • Congested Servers: High-traffic VPN servers can get overloaded, limiting available bandwidth per user.

  • VPN App Features: Kill switches, malware blocking, and leak protection add extra processing that can minimally affect speed.

The combination of these technical factors usually accounts for the mild speed decrease when connected to a VPN. But following the optimization tips above can help minimize the impact on internet speeds.

How Fast Is Surfshark?

Independent speed tests indicate Surfshark provides fast and stable internet speeds for most users. In recent benchmarks, Surfshark averaged download speeds of:

  • 85 Mbps globally

  • 150 Mbps for US servers

  • 90 Mbps for UK servers

This puts Surfshark on par with top rivals like ExpressVPN and NordVPN in terms of raw internet speeds. Surfshark uses RAM disk servers and cutting-edge WireGuard protocol to maximize performance.

Speeds will vary based on the factors mentioned above like server location and local network conditions. But users report Surfshark only reduces speeds by 10-20% on average, which is typical for a VPN.

Surfshark also does not limit bandwidth or throttle speeds. Their unlimited data plans maintain full speeds at all times. This makes Surfshark a fast and low-impact VPN option.

Which VPN Has The Fastest Speed?

The fastest VPN in terms of verified download speeds across global locations is currently ExpressVPN according to third-party speed tests. Average download speeds topped 100 Mbps globally in recent benchmarks.

Here is how the top 5 fastest VPNs compare in recent speed tests:

  1. ExpressVPN: Avg 116 Mbps globally

  2. NordVPN: Avg 94 Mbps globally

  3. Surfshark: Avg 85 Mbps globally

  4. VyprVPN: Avg 84 Mbps globally

  5. IPVanish: Avg 77 Mbps globally

The fastest VPN protocol is WireGuard, which Surfshark supports. Choosing nearby servers and less congested ones can also maximize speeds regardless of VPN.

Ultimately internet speeds depend on local network factors as well. However, choosing a VPN with proven fast server speeds will help maintain the lowest impact on performance. Surfshark offers a competitive combination of speed and security.

Why Is My Surfshark VPN Running Slowly?

Several factors could contribute to slow speeds, including server congestion, network issues, or even your device's performance. Diagnosing the cause is crucial.

How Can I Improve Surfshark VPN Speeds?

Start by connecting to a different server location. Opt for servers closer to your actual location and choose protocols like WireGuard for better performance.


A VPN like Surfshark adding a bit of speed overhead is normal. But there are steps you can take to optimize your connection for significantly faster speeds. 

Try connecting to nearby servers, using protocols like IKEv2 or WireGuard, avoiding peak hours, and limiting bandwidth-intensive VPN app features.

Contact Surfshark support if your speeds remain consistently slow. With the right troubleshooting, Surfshark can deliver fast and private internet browsing.