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A guide to VPN troubleshooting- Fix all your VPN problems

(Image credit: Image Credit: Flickr / Mike MacKenzie)

VPN has become an essential tool to access the unrestricted world of the internet. Though the VPN tools have grown very much sophisticated, you still have to encounter a number of problems, which fortunately have fixes. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most common VPN issues and their solutions using different tactics.

Common VPN connection problems:

All this connectivity is a threat to privacy and security online. VPN is not only effective to access the restricted content available online but is also extremely helpful in protecting the identity online which has grown to be a very serious concern nowadays. That is why experts recommend shielding your identity and privacy online through VPN. The growing use of VPN calls for understanding the common VPN problems. Following are some of the most common VPN issues:

  • Non-responding VPN server
  • Your ISP (internet service provider) is blocking the access to VPN
  • When old VPN packages interfere with the new ones
  • The set firewall is interrupting your connection

We have gathered some quick fixes to these problems that will get you back online in a matter of seconds. Here are the fixes that will help you resolve all the VPN issues:

1. Clear your device from the previous VPN software:

We often stuff our machine with different VPN software in order to pick ourselves the best one. These different VPNs can get in the way of effective functioning of each other. Therefore, the best practice is to disable and uninstall all the other VPN packages that you have utilised and check if it resolves the issue.

2. Switch the VPN Server:

If you weren’t aware then know that all the VPN service providers’ offer hundreds of servers to keep the things smooth at all times. There are several reasons to do so:

  • Overflow of traffic
  • If one server gets down
  • If a server is blacklisted by the service one is trying to access

Due to these few of many reasons, the VPN service providers offer a multitude of servers. If you’re having a difficulty in accessing the content you desire or experiencing any other server related issue, all the VPN services provide the option of switching between different servers. If you’re using a server of some particular country, an efficient VPN would provide you with multitudes of servers within the same country to keep your operations smooth and flowing.

3. Check the firewall:

Firewalls also sometimes put hindrances in the functioning of VPN as it keeps check on all the data flowing in and out of your connection. Firewalls are protective of the traffic coming to the machines. Most of the firewalls don’t get along the VPNs that well. If you face any issue with your VPN and it doesn’t seem to get resolved, try turning off your firewall. It will most probably solve the issue instantly. However, do not forget to turn it on after you’re done with the VPN.

4. Check if the VPN is compatible with site or service:

There also exist such services and sites, which are not compatible with all the VPN’s. We can take Netflix as an example here. You can access Netflix content from across the globe using VPN (except the countries in which Netflix doesn’t operate). Howsoever, not all the VPNs work well with Netflix. So, it is always a good idea to see if the VPN is compatible with the site or service you are trying to access.

5. Try utilising a different VPN Protocol:

If you’re struggling to connect with VPN, then trying another protocol can be of great help. Protocols are set of rules especially defined to transfer the data securely from one point to another. We all know HTTP is the most common protocol for the transferring of data. It precedes every website you access. If you are facing an issue with your VPN connection, then try switching the protocol. Sometimes these protocols don’t let you access some website or service due to the policies and terms. So, playing with protocols can prove to be an effective way of getting your issue resolved.

6. Get help from the help feature:

All the VPN service providers offer a “help” feature because at some point you are going to need it. Which is very why they ensure that there is an inbuilt help feature to accommodate the users. We often ignore the help function of software but they are very helpful. If you’re really confused about some problem and don’t seem to find any solution to it then reporting it to your VPN provider is the best solution. It will not only get the issue resolved but will also prevent it from happening in the future.

7. Try the OpenVPN protocol:

As the name suggests, an open source protocol has been available for around 15 years. It is quite popular in the VPN world and is extensively used. It is compatible with a range of famous platforms like Windows, Android, iOS, etc. and goes along really well with all the established VPNs. You can try OpenVPN for a solution to your VPN issues. Furthermore, you can also download the client from the OpenVPN website anytime.

8. Regularly update the VPN:

Updates are extremely important in the functioning of software. They are released to fix the bugs present in the previous version or to modify the software. In order to keep yourself away from the VPN issues make sure to keep your VPN updated at all times. The updates of a VPN are essential to keep the day-to-day functionality of VPN smooth and efficient. Well, you must be thinking now how can we get to know that our software is updated or not?

The easiest way to find out is by comparing the version number you’re utilising with the number displayed on the provider’s site. Usually, this information is found in the about section of the VPN software you’re using.

9. Restart your VPN software:

Our go to method to fix any computer or software related problem is restarting it. What makes restarting very simple and effective tip to get the issue fixed? Well, it allows the software or machine to restore its settings. If your VPN is running its own program, then restarting it can be a very good idea. Do the same if you have a VPN plugin.

James Bratt,  Content Researcher, Cox Communication
Image Credit: Flickr / Mike MacKenzie

James Bratt is a Content Researcher at Cox Communication.