A VPN reroutes your Internet connection through a secure server. This masks your identity online and offers you an increased level of privacy. This is important when interested in protecting your information from prying eyes. However, if your VPN is not connecting or working, you will lose all its benefits and protection. Here are some ways to fix the VPN not connecting issue.
Check the Basics: Is Your Regular Connection Running? Are Your Login Credentials Correct?
These two things may sound obvious, but don’t be so sure that this isn’t your problem. Check your regular Internet connection to see if it is working. You can’t connect to a VPN without first connecting to the Internet. Also, check that your login credentials, such as your username, password, VPN address, connecting protocols, etc., are correct. You may just end up facepalming when you realize that this was actually your problem. It’s easy to overlook these simpler problems.
Also, if you have just updated your computer’s operating system, reboot the computer first before you attempt to connect to VPN.
Check Your Router Specifications. Is it Supported?
So you just signed up for a VPN service only to find that your VPN connection isn’t working. On top of that, you’re sure that your connection without the VPN is alright. You should take a look at your router specifications. Some routers do not support VPN passthrough. This is a feature that allows your Internet traffic to work while you’re connected to a VPN. In other cases, you may have to enable this feature. Check out the manual for your router and see if your router supports VPN passthrough. If it does, you can enable it.
If it doesn’t, you still have some options. You actually only need to have VPN passthrough if your VPN uses the IPsec or PPTP protocols. These are actually outdated. You should be able to change the protocol that your VPN uses to establish a connection. If your router doesn’t support VPN passthrough, then protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec don’t even require you to have a VPN passthrough. If your VPN doesn’t allow you to change to one of these protocols, then you may want to consider changing it anyway.
A UDP Connection Through Port 1194 May Be Your Problem
Let’s not get too much into the technical jargon here, but UDP is the standard protocol that VPN providers use to send packets of data. Usually, these packets are sent over port 1194. Many VPN providers also use the OpenVPN protocol by default. This is all fine except that it is easy to detect traffic transferred using this setup. That’s why attempting to route traffic through a VPN server using the OpenVPN and UDP protocols over port 1194 may fail. A network administrator on the network you’re connected to may be blocking this port. You could also be experiencing issues if you have an unreliable connection. You can check the method you are connecting with by inspecting the settings of your VPN software. Checking this will be different depending on the VPN you’re using.
TCP is another protocol that Internet software uses for sending packets of data. The HTTPS protocol, which is used to secure websites, uses TCP over port 443. VPNs can make a connection via TCP over port 443 as well. You can configure this from the settings of your VPN software. Using the OpenVPN protocol with TCP over 443 is difficult to detect since this type of traffic is so common. This means it’s harder to block VPNs using this configuration. Practically every website uses HTTPS today. TCP over port 443 also works better with unreliable connections.
Try a Different VPN Server Connection
You may need to connect to a VPN server in a specific country. However, the server you’re connected to may have too many users connected to it, might just be down, or might be having some other issue. Luckily, VPN providers usually give you a few server choices for every country. Try another one, and it may solve the issue.
In most cases, as long as you can connect to the Internet, you will have no issue connecting to a VPN. Learn how to differentiate between the good and bad VPN companies, and you will be in good hands. If you need to change the settings in your VPN software, consult with your VPN provider on how to do so. You should be able to find this information on it support page, or you can also try contacting the company directly.
Image credit: VPN CONCEPT on screen by DepositPhotos