Surfshark Camouflage mode: what it is and when you should use it

(Image credit: Pixabay)

In a world where internet censorship is ever-increasing and VPN services get blocked with more and more sophisticated techniques, providers need to find new ways to make themselves undetectable. 

It's not just authoritarian regimes that are trying hard to stop virtual private networks from carrying on their job, though. Major streaming platforms are also committed to prevent users from connecting via private servers. 

One of the cheapest VPN services around right now, Surfshark has developed new features to be up to the challenge. Surfshark Camouflage mode does just that. By masking its VPN traffic, you will be able to use the service even under the toughest internet restrictions.

Let's have a look at everything you need to know about Surfshark Camouflage mode and its benefits as well as how and when you should use it. 

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Surfshark – Easy-to-use stealth VPN (opens in new tab) 
Combining quality with affordability in its powerful VPN, Surfshark is a great choice if you want to hide the fact you're using a virtual private network. With more than 3,200 speedy servers in 91+ countries across the globe, it offers an obfuscation option to evade blocks together with top-notch security features. 

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What is Surfshark Camouflage mode?

Surfshark Camouflage mode (opens in new tab) is obfuscation technology - also known as stealth VPN - that makes your traffic look like a regular internet connection. In this way, your ISP will be tricked to think you're browsing without being connected to a VPN. This will allow you to easily circumvent blocks.

ISPs may use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to understand whether or not you're using a VPN service. In fact, even though your activities are untraceable, the encryption protocol that secures your traffic leaves some metadata that can be detected by a closer examination. In that case, your ISP can block your access to the internet.  

Similar to other obfuscation options offered by other providers, Surfshark Camouflage mode uses obfuscated servers able to evade these controls. How? It creates special algorithms or other codes around your VPN traffic to hide any traces of your security software from the data packet.  

Graphic explaining VPN traffic with a feature breaking the wall between user and open internet

(Image credit: VyprVPN)

When should you use Surfshark Camouflage mode?

As mentioned before, your VPN can be blocked for different reasons. So, Surfshark Camouflage mode will be handy for several uses. 

1. To circumvent VPN bans

In countries where stringent online censorship regulates what people can access on the internet, governments are trying to prevent VPN users from bypassing their rules. Think of the Great Firewall of China, for example. In some instances, the use of this service is actually a crime. Therefore, we recommend you check your country's law on this point.

When you are browsing within these nations, you need to bear in mind that authorities are actively filtering web traffic on the hunt for VPN users. That's why the only way to access censored websites will be connecting through an obfuscated server.

2. To boost your privacy and anonymity  

Being that Surfshark Camouflage mode secures your traffic with an extra layer of encryption, this means that also your privacy and anonymity will be more secure. 

If you are in need of a safe internet connection to carry on sensitive online activities, you should consider connecting to one the obfuscated servers that this secure VPN offers to instantly gain extra protection.

Women watching Netflix on a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock / wutzkohphoto)

3. To evade streaming platforms blocks

As mentioned before, authoritative regimes are not the only one using VPN blocks. As bypassing geo-restricted content is actually against their policies, streaming platforms are working hard to prevent individuals from accessing their content with a VPN. 

Are you looking for a good Netflix VPN? Surfshark could be just the right service for you. 

4. To bypass networks blocks

Sometimes it may happen that a certain network that doesn't allow VPN traffic - like your workplace or school, for example. Companies generally enforce these blockers to make sure that no one carries on illegal activities via their internet connections.

Also in this case, Surfshark Camouflage mode is the feature you need to avoid the risk of being locked out. 

How to set up Surfshark Camouflage mode

In order to prevent your ISP from realising you're using a stealth VPN, Surfshark’s Camouflage Mode is enabled by default once you connect to one of its servers. 

However, it will work only with its OpenVPN protocol. Therefore, you should always be sure that you select the right protocol before starting browsing.

Here's how to switch protocol and connect to an OpenVPN option:

  • Login to your Surfshark App - it is available for almost every device, including macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.
  • Head on the settings - then click Advanced to open the Protocols list.
  • Choose one of the OpenVPN options - Surfshark Camouflage mode will work with all of them. 
Chiara Castro
Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist, with a special eye for latest trends and issues in cybersecurity. She is a Staff Writer at Future with a focus on VPNs. She mainly writes news and features about data privacy, online censorship and digital rights for TechRadar, Tom's Guide and T3. With a passion for digital storytelling in all its forms, she also loves photography, video making and podcasting. Originally from Milan in Italy, she has been based in Bristol, UK, since 2018.