A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows users to shield their online activities from entities they don’t want to share them with, while also keeping track of what’s happening online. A VPN can also be used to encrypt all of your outgoing and incoming network traffic, so you can be sure that no one is peeking at your data (except your VPN provider, of course). While there are several great reasons why you might want to use a VPN, sometimes the connection just won’t work. Here are some common causes of VPN connection issues along with suggestions on how to fix them.
The Internet Is Down
The Internet is arguably the most important network in the world today. It’s the backbone of the digital world, connecting millions of computers and devices together so they can share information and communicate with one another. Outages and incidents are becoming more and more frequent as the Internet grows and changes with each passing year. If the Internet goes down, so goes a lot of your online content and functionality, including the ability to connect to a VPN.
This is why you need to always be aware of Internet stability. If the Internet goes down in your area, you should alert your VPN provider as soon as possible. Depending on how critical your business operation is, they may be able to help get you back online quickly. Even if you can’t get back online right away, you can use the downtime to work on fixing your network or expanding your physical network to include more locations. For example, if you have a branch office that’s not connected to the main office or the Internet, you can use the downtime to establish a VPN connection between the two so that when your employees are working from home, they can access the corporate network and its resources via the Internet.
Your Country Is Blocked
Some countries, like China, simply block certain VPNs from being accessible within their borders. That means you can’t get online in China using a VPN, even if you try hard enough. Your VPN provider likely knows the situation in your country, and will have a list of which VPNs are blocked and which ones aren’t. If you’re using a VPN to bypass geographical restrictions and access content and functionality unavailable in your country, you’ll need to find out which ones are blocked before you can connect. Always check the restrictions and legality of using a VPN in each of the countries you visit before doing so.
You’re Logged Out
Some VPNs automatically log you off after a period of inactivity. This is meant to prevent people from browsing the web using VPNs if they’re not actively using them. You won’t be able to log back in after you’ve been inactive for a certain amount of time, even if you try. This is similar to how many modern websites work – after a period of inactivity, the website will ask you to log back in so it doesn’t have to re-ask you later. When this happens, it usually means you’ve either been inactive for too long or you’ve tried to use the login credentials of another user.
If you want to use an unauthorised VPN to get around this, you’ll need to do so secretly. Otherwise, the login screen will ask you to log back in, and your VPN provider will know you’ve been inactive. In this case, you’ll need to contact customer support so they can disable the automatic logging. Doing this silently will be much easier – the customer support person won’t ask any questions, and you can get back to browsing the web without anyone knowing you’re using an unauthorised VPN.
PPTP Is The Most Popular Type Of VPN
Proprietary VPN protocols like PPTP are all the rage right now. They’re easy to set up and use, and since they’re built into operating systems like Windows and macOS, you won’t need to download and install any additional software for your VPN to work. PPTP has several advantages over OpenVPN, including faster speeds and the fact that it runs on its own without needing any special servers or equipment to be established. It’s generally a good choice for smaller businesses or individuals. If you’re looking for a VPN to help keep your personal privacy, then PPTP might be the one for you.
Your Device Is Older Than You Might Think
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have one of the following devices: Mac, PC, or smartphone. All three of these devices run on a variety of operating systems, including macOS, Windows, and Android. These platforms all have different requirements for software and hardware, so sometimes it’s easier to support multi-platform functionality through a combination of these devices. For example, a Windows PC with an Intel processor and an Nvidia graphics card can be used to stream content from a Mac or a smartphone.
If you have a very old device that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for a particular operating system, connecting to a VPN may be challenging or even impossible. It all depends on what you’re trying to do. If you want to use your device to access a VPN, then it might be best to consider an upgrade. Otherwise, you could end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out why your device isn’t working correctly when you try to use it.
You Need To Upgrade Your Device’s Software
If you have an older Mac or PC, it’s highly likely that the software on it is a few versions behind. This makes a world of difference when it comes to security and privacy, as modern operating systems and applications are much more secure and private than older versions. If you use an older version of Windows, you won’t be able to install or run certain modern applications, like Signal or WhatsApp. These applications utilize several security protocols and VPNs that Microsoft simply doesn’t support in older Windows versions.
If you have an older smartphone, even the best ones can be a bit lacking in the security department. Old versions of Android don’t even have the Secure Settings feature, which is essential for keeping your personal information secure when you connect to a VPN. Even when updated to the most recent version, most Android devices store some sensitive information, like your physical location, in plain text, which makes them extremely vulnerable to hackers. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid connecting your phone to the Internet via Wifi unless you’re in a secure environment, like a hotel or a corporate HQ.
You Need To Update Your Device’s Firmware
Firmware is the software that resides on a device’s hard drive and manages various aspects of the hardware, from how the device’s display looks to how it operates. If you have an older Mac or PC, it’s very likely that the firmware on it is also a few versions behind. This can make all the difference when it comes to providing a smooth and stable user experience, especially when it comes to connecting to the Internet via wifi or Ethernet. As the name implies, firmware tends to get updated frequently, so you’ll want to make sure that you always have the latest version on your device.
If you have an older smartphone, even the best ones can be a bit lacking in the firmware department. The more recent the version of Android, the more secure it is. If you’re planning to use your phone for online shopping, downloading large apps, or accessing content that’s not available in your area, then it might be worth considering an update. On the other hand, if you just want to use your phone for basic calls and texts, then there’s no need to update the firmware – it will probably work just fine for a while.
One Or More Of The Protocols On Your VPN Are Disabled
There are six basic VPN protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, IPSec, OpenVPN, and L2F/FREENET. Some VPNs only support a subset of these protocols, and it’s always a good idea to select a VPN that supports as many of them as possible. If you have a VPN that supports PPTP but isn’t very secure, then you can switch over to L2TP/IPsec, which is much more secure. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution, then you can check out the NordVPN server-based VPN, which supports all six protocols and adds several security features, like MAC address randomisation and DNS leak protection.