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Surfshark’s new software seeks to revolutionize the VPN industry

Surfshark Nexus new feature logo
(Image credit: Surfshark)

Surfshark has introduced a new exclusive feature with the intent to revolutionize the VPN industry as we know it.  

Nexus uses Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology to connect your VPN servers into a single global network. 

As Surfshark explains (opens in new tab) on its website: "The users will be connecting to the entire Nexus network and not just to one server within the network, as is the case with most consumer VPNs today. This way, we’ll optimize user traffic to be fast, stable, secure, and private."

One big network for all: how does Nexus work?

A new entry into the VPN world, Nexus is a cutting-edge technology that connects all Surfshark's existing servers together in a whole network. This means that users will "connect to the Nexus network instead of connecting to [their] chosen server directly," while surface-level functions like location selection will remain the same. 

It exploits the flexibility of SDN technology for doing so. A network architecture approach, SDN indeed enables to create and control a virtual network using software-based applications. 

As the provider explains on its website: "In the case of traditional consumer VPN services where users connect to a specific server within a pool of servers, they don’t use the network but rather create a tunnel to one server of all their servers. If they want to change their IP, they must disconnect from that server to connect to another one. 

"In the case of Nexus, the users connect to the entire network of servers and can use many different servers without disconnecting from the network."

Surfshark claims that Nexus solves some issues that traditional VPNs have. First of all, being able to change IP addresses and connect to different servers could improve users' privacy and security, and would enable easier network maintenance, meaning a more stable VPN connection overall. Also, connection speeds may benefit from this.

Surfshark Nexus explainer graphic

(Image credit: Surfshark)
(opens in new tab)

If you're wondering how this software will improve the VPN experience in practice, together with Nexus, Surfshark is introducing some extra features for its users:

  • IP Rotator: This feature changes your IP address automatically every 5 to 10 minutes without any connection interruptions, making it even more difficult to track your online activities. 
  • IP Randomizer: It gives you a new IP every time you connect to a different website, hiding in this way your browsing patterns. This option is not available yet though. It will be introduced over the course of 2022/23.  
  • Dynamic MultiHop: It gives you full control over your traffic, allowing to choose your own entry and exit VPN locations in any way you like. Also this is not running at the moment, but it will be in the future. 

What does Nexus mean for you?

Nexus looks like it will bring some new interesting elements into the VPN market. However, the opportunity of automatically changing your IP address is a feature that a few other providers are already offering for some time. 

Hide my Ass's IP Shuffle option periodically randomizes your IP to make it harder to snoopers to track your location. You can set the automatic change for every five minutes or more.

Another example, IPVanish offers a Periodic IP Address Change for its Windows and MacOS apps. Here, the minimum rotating period is 45 minutes. However, users may also not be able to select the locations or servers that you wish to be rotated, and in contrast with Nexus, during the switch your connection will be temporarily interrupted. 

It's worth noting, though, that the chance of losing connectivity due to server upgrades or changes is already quite remote. Our testing shows that using some of the top VPN providers could be enough to ensure to have fast and reliable connections.

So, is Surfshark exclusive software Nexus really marking a new era for VPNs? This is yet to be seen. Perhaps, this new technology may soon become a norm rather than a niche added value. 

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 is now based in Bristol, UK, since 2018.