Not Able to Access VPS When VPN is Connected

I recently found myself in a situation where I needed to quickly get access to a virtual private server (VPS) to run some server-side software that would assist with a back-end task. I didn’t have physical access to the server in question, and I certainly didn’t want to mess with its physical configuration since I didn’t have the necessary knowledge. So I turned to my trusted VPN and asked if they could provide the necessary assistance. After connecting to the VPN and authenticating myself, I was able to remotely access the VPS and successfully complete the task. The following are some of the details about this incident.

Needed the Server for a Quickly Approaching Task

Earlier this year I discovered that my employer was conducting a background check on a prospective employee. I didn’t have any problem with the background check per se, but I did have a problem with the way it was being handled. In particular, I didn’t want any part of it to take place over text messaging, and the server-side software the employer was using for the check made this essentially impossible to avoid.

Remote Access Is the Only Option

If you find yourself in a similar situation, then your best option is to remote access the VPS. This can be done with a number of different tools, including logmein, TeamViewer, and VNC. The following paragraphs will discuss the pros and cons of each one.

VNC

If you’re unfamiliar, VNC is an application that allows you to remotely access and control a computer from another device. The following are some of the benefits of using VNC:

  • It’s free.
  • It works on a wide variety of platforms (Windows, macOS, and Linux).
  • It’s easy to use.
  • And, last but not least, it has an extensive set of features.

Logmein

I prefer using logmein to remote access a VPS because it has the ability to show me a graphical interface that makes connecting to the server and configuring it much easier. The following are some of the benefits of using logmein:

  • It has a clean interface
  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to use
  • And, last but not least, it has a large set of features.

TeamViewer

If your computer supports remote access via TeamViewer, then this is also a good option. Like VNC, TeamViewer provides you with a graphical alternative for accessing and controlling a remote computer. The following are some of the benefits of using TeamViewer:

  • It’s free.
  • It has a clean interface.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • And, last but not least, it has a large set of features.

Remote Access Isn’t for Everyone

While remote access is great for certain situations, it’s not for everyone. If you don’t have a trusted person to assist you, then it’s not recommended that you use this approach. You should instead find a way to physically access the server in question. However, if you do decide that remote access is the right approach for you, then make sure that you’re using a VPN service that has a large network of servers across the globe. The reason for this is that by connecting to a VPN server, you’re encrypting all of your Internet traffic and preventing any third parties (including ISPs) from monitoring or collecting this information. This way, even if your employer or a government agency were to gain access to this data, it would be of no use to them since all of your Internet traffic would be encrypted.

Choosing the Right VPN

As stated above, if you do decide to go the remote access route, then make sure that you’re using a VPN service. There are thousands of VPN services available, and it can be a challenge to know which one to choose. Below, I will discuss some of the things to consider when choosing a VPN.

Strictures

Depending on your needs, you might want to look for a VPN service that is “strictly” (i.e., very) secure. This means that even if your employer were to capture all of your Internet traffic and examine it in detail, they would not be able to figure out what type of service you’re using or, for that matter, even know what application you’re using to connect to the server.

Features

Another thing to consider when choosing a VPN is the features that it offers. Does the service offer military-grade encryption or top-notch AES encryption? Does it support multiple logins or do you have to make a new account for every different server you want to connect to? Does it offer VPN and firewall protection? Does it offer a kill-switch in case you need to disconnect from the network for some reason (e.g., data-loss incident)?

If you have a strong support team behind the scenes, then it’s good to know that you can get assistance in case you run into problems. Does the service offer 24/7 live chat or email support? Do they have a knowledge base with articles that you can read to learn more about using their product? All of these are legitimate points to consider.

Speed And Reliability

Finally, you want to make sure that you’re not paying for what you don’t need. Most VPN services are reasonably priced, and you don’t have to be paying attention to the little details when you’re getting your financials in order. However, you should still be aware that some VPN services are “fast” whilst others are “slow” and perhaps unreliable. Fortunately, most VPN services are reasonably priced and can be considered reliable (at least for the most part). If you’re looking for a VPN that is extremely fast, then you might want to look at some of the free VPNs that can be found online. Keep in mind though that some of these free VPNs are slightly less secure than their premium counterparts.

Summary

I hope that this article has helped you understand the various options that you have when needing to access a private server. Remember, however, that this is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to VPNs. There are hundreds of different scenarios where you might need to connect to a private server, and many different solutions available. In the next article, we’ll discuss some of the unique challenges that can be posed when attempting to remotely access a server.

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