There are plenty of reasons why your VPN isn’t working, but the majority of them boil down to a few typical problems. Here’s how to get them fixed.
There are a number of reasons why your virtual private network (VPN) may be malfunctioning, but the majority of them boil down to a few typical difficulties. Perhaps you won’t be able to connect to the internet when using a VPN service free, or at least not for long before it drops. When you try to stream Netflix, you might get a proxy error warning, or you might be unable to send emails. Whatever the situation may be, there are a plethora of technical issues that you may have when utilizing a VPN, but there are also a plethora of solutions.
Solutions to Your VPN Issues in a Flash
This article will go through some of the most common VPN issues and how to fix them. We’ll get into more depth later, but for now, here’s a quick rundown of the issues, along with potential reasons and solutions.
|VPN ISSUE||POSSIBLE CAUSE||SOLUTION|
|Unable to connect to the internet||Failure to connect to the internet with a VPN is often caused by firewalls, blocked ports, outdated VPN software, or simply a failure of your router.||Make sure that your firewall allows for use of the VPN, that your VPN software is updated, and that the right ports aren’t blocked.|
|Slow speed||Slow VPN connections may be the result of a busy server, your distance to the server, or your network or VPN protocol.||Connect to a faster server or a server that’s physically closer to your location, or use a faster network or VPN protocol.|
|Netflix VPN/proxy ban||The main reason why VPN users can’t access Netflix is that Netflix blocks VPN servers.||Connect to a different server, use a streaming-dedicated server, use incognito mode, or clear your cache and cookies.|
|Emails won’t send||Your email provider might be blocking your VPN, or your VPN might be blocking an insecure email port.||Switch to a different VPN server, use a different port for emailing, or activate split-tunneling.|
Why Doesn’t My VPN Connection Work With My Internet Connection?
You may have encountered this issue before: after installing VPN software, webpages begin to return error warnings, emails fail to send, and streaming becomes impossible. Your VPN won’t allow you to connect to the internet for whatever reason.
There are a variety of reasons why your VPN connection may have failed, but let’s start with the basics. Here are some broad suggestions for troubleshooting:
Make sure your internet connection is up and running.
Disconnect and reconnect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, then open a page without the VPN.
If it doesn’t work, you might try resetting your router and device. If your internet connection is broken and nothing seems to work, you may need to contact your internet service provider.
Your VPN program could be interfering with your internet connection for a variety of reasons.
If your internet connection is up and running but you still can’t utilize a VPN to access the internet, you may be dealing with a different issue. Here’s an overview of some of the most common VPN-related causes of connection failure, error messages, and other network issues:
It’s possible that your firewall is preventing you from using the VPN. Firewalls are frequently the source of connection issues. To fix this, go to your firewall settings and add the VPN software to the approved apps list. Then try again.
It’s possible that the VPN software is out of the current. Check your VPN updates to ensure you have the most recent version installed, as older software may be filled with flaws and vulnerabilities.
It’s possible that your VPN settings were set incorrectly. Check if resetting the VPN to its default settings solves the problem.
It’s possible that the ports required to run your VPN are banned. Information is delivered through ports, which are virtual locations. Each port is dedicated to a specific sort of traffic, so emails pass through one and web pages pass through another. Many various protocols and providers utilize different ports, although VPNs often use port 1194 TCP/UDP and port 443 TCP. You can manually move your system to one of these ports, but this is a complicated operation that can result in a variety of issues. Instead, we recommend contacting your internet provider or VPN’s customer service and asking them to assist you in resolving the problem.
Bad Internet Connection Speeds: What’s the Deal with My Slow Internet?
Some of the drawbacks to utilizing a VPN have nothing to do with connectivity and everything to do with speed. It’s pointless to pay for a VPN if it slows down your connection to the point that you can’t do simple things like browsing the web. Because all data flowing to and from your device is encrypted, VPNs often slow down your connection slightly. Even so, if you already have a fast internet connection, the lowered speeds should be modest or unnoticeable using a high-quality VPN service.
Get a quick VPN.
Investing in a fast VPN is the best method to avoid slow connection speeds. To make your communications secure and confidential without losing speed, we recommend Surfshark. Surfshark routinely outperforms the competition, both in daily use and in our exhaustive speed testing.
If you don’t already have a VPN or want to switch providers, Surfshark is a good option. One of the biggest advantages of this VPN service is that it is quite inexpensive, so you can obtain high-quality service for only a few bucks each month.
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Using a low-quality VPN could exacerbate any speed issues you have, especially if you’re using a free VPN with limited data limitations or servers.
Even if you’ve signed up for the greatest VPN on the market, your connection can still be slower than you’d want. This could be explained by one of the following scenarios:
|REASON FOR VPN SPEED PROBLEM||DESCRIPTION||SOLUTION|
|Busy server||Too many users on a single VPN server will slow down your VPN connection speed.||Connect to a VPN server with fewer users.|
|Distance||The further away you are from your chosen VPN server, the slower your speed will be.||Connect to a VPN server closer to your location.|
|Network protocol||Different VPN protocols send and receive packages of data at different speeds, affecting your connection.||Use UDP as the standard VPN protocol.|
|Slow internet connection||A slow internet connection without a VPN will often only become slower with a VPN.||Close off devices and processes or reboot the system.|
We’ll go over each of these concerns and their solutions in more detail below.
The server is quite busy.
It’s conceivable that the slow VPN server you’re connecting to is experiencing server congestion, which occurs when there are too many users on the network at the same time. Connecting to a few more servers will give you an idea of the traffic level on each one. You have a better chance of selecting a quicker VPN server with fewer users if your VPN has thousands of servers to pick from.
With free VPNs, server congestion is a very typical issue. The organizations that make these VPN services frequently don’t have the resources to run more than a few VPN servers at once, leaving users with little choice except to share the same overcrowded server. Keep in mind that even the greatest VPN services sometimes experience server congestion, especially during peak traffic hours.
The distance between you and the server has a significant impact on speed. A close server takes less time to transport data to and from your device than a server on the opposite side of the globe.
However, there are situations when choosing a faraway server is important, such as when using a VPN to access geo-restricted content. You’ll need to utilize a VPN server in the United Kingdom if you’re in Japan and want to watch the British BBC iPlayer. It’s vital in these situations to find a server that’s somewhat vacant.
Protocol for a network
Your network protocol affects the speed of your VPN connection, so be sure you’re using the proper network protocol for your needs.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (Uniform Datagram Protocol) are the two data transfer protocols that allow you to communicate over the internet (User Datagram Protocol). Both protocols send data over the internet and divide it into smaller units known as data packets, but their methods differ.
|TCP||TCP sends each data packet in a sequence. It’s slower than UDP, but delivers data accurately and completely, making it more reliable. This protocol is better suited for file transfer, sending emails, and web browsing.|
|UDP||UDP sends a large volume of data packets at once in no particular order. UDP is faster than TCP but more likely to corrupt files. It’s especially useful for real-time communications like VoIP calls and data-heavy tasks like streaming and gaming.|
If your VPN is too slow for your needs, try switching to a UDP-based protocol.
You may normally change your VPN protocols by altering the settings in your VPN client. Not all VPNs support the same protocols, and you may not have as many options as you would like. The following are some of the most widely used protocols:
The most extensively used VPN protocol, OpenVPN (TCP or UDP), is open-source.
Wireguard (UDP): This new protocol is gaining popularity as a speedier alternative to OpenVPN.
IKEv2 (UDP): Because of its speed and efficiency, this protocol is popular among mobile users.
Provider-specific protocols: Some VPN companies, such as NordVPN’s NordLynx and ExpressVPN’s Lightway, establish their own proprietary protocols rather than using open source alternatives.
Check out our review of the most commonly used VPN protocols for more information on protocols and how they compare.
How to improve a sluggish internet connection
If you’ve tried every setting on your VPN software and device and your connection is still slow, it’s likely that your internet connection was already slow before you installed the VPN. Fortunately, there are a few options for dealing with a sluggish internet connection:
Stop other devices on your network from accessing the internet. Your internet connection will slow down as more devices connect to it. It will take a lot longer for your home office computer to load your job’s online environment if your child is watching Frozen on Disney Plus in the living room and your wife is downloading torrents in the kitchen.
All unneeded tabs, windows, and processes should be closed. This can also slow down your connection if you have too many web pages open at once or are downloading and streaming at the same time.
Restart your router and modem. These components of hardware can occasionally fail to function properly and prevent data from being sent quickly. Often, a simple reboot is all that is required to resolve the issue.
Change your DNS server. It’s possible that your ISP’s DNS servers are overburdened with traffic. A VPN is actually part of the solution in this scenario. Your DNS translation requests are encrypted and routed through the VPN provider’s DNS servers in some VPN applications. One such VPN is ExpressVPN, which provides a private and encrypted domain name system that keeps your translation requests concealed from your ISP and other third parties.
Upgrading your internet service plan is a good idea. It’s conceivable that you don’t have a fast enough data plan from your ISP to complete your intended activities, in which case an upgrade may be necessary. However, before spending any money, make sure to attempt the preceding methods.
Make contact with your Internet service provider. If all else fails, the issue could be with your ISP. In this instance, your only option is to contact them and request that they resolve the issue for you.
VPN Why Do Streaming Services Block My VPN When It Doesn’t Work With Netflix?
Netflix, like all streaming sites, limits copyrighted content viewing to those locations in which it has broadcasting rights. Furthermore, Netflix employs proxy detection technologies to detect the use of proxies and VPNs in order to prevent consumers from viewing copyrighted content from unauthorized locations. If you try to watch Netflix with a VPN, you can get the dreaded m7111-5059 problem message:
Other streaming services, such as Disney Plus, HULU, and Amazon Prime, utilize these VPN bans as well, but Netflix’s proxy detection mechanism is the most robust of them all. The organization works around the clock to blacklist VPN server IP addresses.
Even the best VPNs have trouble getting around Netflix’s geographic limitations on occasion, but a decent Netflix VPN service is equally relentless in seeking solutions. Here are a few strategies and tricks for unrestricted access to Netflix and other streaming providers.
- Use a Netflix-compatible VPN.
It’s better to start with a service that integrates with Netflix and other streaming providers. Many VPN firms have given up the fight against Netflix, and their servers will not allow you to access geo-restricted Netflix material. Some high-quality VPNs, on the other hand, make a concerted effort to work with Netflix and other streaming services on a regular basis.
CyberGhost VPN is a superb example of a Netflix VPN. When it comes to Netflix, this reasonably inexpensive VPN provider has an excellent reputation: it almost always works well. We recommend CyberGhost if you’re looking for a VPN to watch US Netflix, for example.
CyberGhost is available for $2.15 per month as a trial offer.
It’s quite user-friendly.
For a modest price, you get high quality.
Torrents and Netflix are both feasible options.
If you already have a VPN, you might be out of luck: while many services claim to work with Netflix, there are just as many that don’t. Unblocking Netflix with a decent VPN is the first step toward resolving your Netflix troubles.
- Use incognito mode or clear your cache and cookies.
If you get a Netflix proxy issue, try using incognito mode or clearing your cache and cookies. This will remove any leftover location identifiers and cookies from your device.
Websites frequently set tracking cookies in your device’s memory so that they may learn more about your browsing habits. Third-party tracking cookies are not only a security risk in and of themselves; they can also betray your location on every website you visit, even if your genuine IP address is concealed by a VPN. Netflix will be able to identify if your IP address does not match your location, resulting in a block. Fortunately, there is a simple solution.
How to Get Rid of Cookies
To delete your cache and cookies in Google Chrome, follow the steps below. Although each browser’s UI differs slightly, most current browsers operate in a similar manner.
In the upper right corner of your browser, click the three dots. A drop-down menu will appear when you press this button.
Google Chrome’s drop-down menu of options displays a screenshot
Go to the Settings tab.
Clear browsing data can be found in the Settings menu.
Chrome’s preferences Section on privacy and security Screenshot
You’ll be able to delete your browsing history, cookies, passwords, and other cached data. Cookies and other site data, as well as cached pictures and files, should be selected.
Screenshot of Google Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data section
Select All Time from the drop-down box next to the Time range.
Clear the data by clicking the Clear button.
After that, you can go to Netflix by opening a new window. While you’re doing this, make sure your VPN is turned on. With a little luck, you’ll be able to view all of your favorite TV shows and movies. If not, continue reading for more solutions.
- Attempt to connect to a different VPN server.
Connect to a different server if emptying your cache didn’t work. This is simple to accomplish in your VPN client software:
Close the Netflix application.
Open your VPN software.
Select a different server location by clicking on it. You might, for example, use “Denver” instead of “New York” to unblock US Netflix. Simply reconnect to the same location if your VPN only has one location in the country you want to unblock Netflix in. Normally, you’ll be assigned a new IP address. Choose a specialist streaming server if at all possible. We’ll go through this in greater depth later.
Use incognito mode or clear your browser’s cache.
Log in to Netflix and start watching!
Most high-end VPN services, such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN, have tens of thousands of servers in their networks. If you happen to stumble into a banned server, you’ll have plenty of options to select from.
- Make use of a dedicated streaming server
Some VPN companies feature dedicated streaming servers that have been configured to function with a variety of platforms. You might be able to select a server that is optimized for Netflix, Disney Plus, or Fox Sports in the United States. Use them as much as possible because they are the most up-to-date and have a better success rate.
Screenshot of CyberGhost VPN Streaming Servers
You can access a variety of specialized streaming services with CyberGhost VPN. These will also allow you access to various regional platforms, such as Austria’s Servus TV.
To connect to a dedicated streaming server, go to CyberGhost’s server locations and look for the “For streaming” area. Click on the optimized server you want to connect to. The connection will be instantly created, and you will be ready to go. Just remember to clear your cache before returning to Netflix!
- Get in touch with the customer service department of your VPN provider.
If none of the aforementioned methods for circumventing the Netflix VPN block are successful, it’s time to contact your VPN’s customer care team. We recommend utilizing a VPN provider that offers live chat assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that a representative can point you to a functional server right away.
Streaming businesses work around the clock to blacklist VPN servers, while VPN providers work around the clock to develop new ways to circumvent the VPN prohibition, so any listings of functioning servers you see online may be obsolete. A customer care agent will most likely be able to tell you which servers are currently available for Netflix or any other streaming service you’re trying to access.
Why isn’t my VPN working with email?
When customers activate their VPN, they may notice that they are unable to send or receive emails. This can be caused by one of two things: either your email service blocks your VPN’s IP address, or your VPN blocks the port that your email service uses.
Your VPN is blocked by your email service.
The IP address of a VPN may be blocked by email providers. This is usually a security measure: if someone tries to access your mailbox using an IP that isn’t recognizable to you, it’s likely that this person is a hacker or cybercriminal looking to steal your information.
That’s why, depending on the nation or ISP associated with those IPs, email providers may only give certain IPs access to your email. As a result, if you utilize a VPN server from another location, you can find yourself shut out of your mailbox. Known VPN servers are even blocked by default in some email services.
Switching to a different VPN server is the solution here. VPN providers are constantly looking for ways to get around VPN bans, so if you use a service with a large server selection, you should be able to find a working server. Getting a dedicated IP address from your VPN service is another proven approach to tackle this problem.
Your VPN is blocking the port used by your email service.
Occasionally, the issue lies with the VPN itself. In order to protect you from spam and abuse, some providers restrict insecure ports. TCP port 25 is blocked by NordVPN and ExpressVPN. If you wish to use these providers to access your email, you’ll need to change to more secure ports for email, such as 587 or 465. For assistance, contact the customer support department of your email provider or VPN provider.
Sending emails via an unprotected internet connection is another, less secure approach to this problem. As a final option, split tunneling can be used to accomplish this. Many VPNs provide split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps are protected by the VPN’s encryption tunnel and which aren’t. You’ll be able to use your email app normally if you exclude it to ensure it isn’t VPN-protected, albeit your connection will be less secure.
What Should I Do If I’m Having a VPN Problem?
The issues listed above are the most common troubles that people have when using their VPN. However, you can come across a technical issue that doesn’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories. That’s when you should contact your VPN provider’s customer service team.
Frequently Asked Questions: My VPN Isn’t Working
You aren’t the only one who has had difficulty using a VPN. Some of the most frequently asked questions about common VPN issues can be found below.
What are my options for using my VPN at school?
Most school network administrators prohibit the use of VPNs and proxies. To detect and restrict encryption techniques, schools typically use filtering methods such as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). To get around this, you’ll need to join up with a VPN provider that can either obfuscate or disguise your traffic as standard TLS web traffic. NordVPN is an excellent option.
Is it possible to block a VPN?
Yes, some services, such as major streaming platforms and Google, will detect and block VPN connections. VPN companies build their services to go around online limitations, thus a high-quality VPN has a good chance of getting around VPN blocks. If you’re still having problems with VPN blocks, take a look at our solutions to the most common VPN problems.
Why isn’t my VPN compatible with Netflix?
Netflix’s proxy detection mechanisms most likely blocked your chosen VPN server. To re-enjoy your favorite shows and movies, try one of these fixes:
Use incognito mode or clear your cache and cookies.
Connect to a variety of VPN servers until you locate one that works for you. You’ll have a better chance of succeeding if you use dedicated streaming servers.
For assistance, contact your VPN’s customer support department.
Get a Netflix-friendly VPN, such as one from our list of the best Netflix VPNs.
When I connect to the internet, why isn’t my VPN working?
The following are some common reasons why your VPN might not work:
An unreliable internet connection (without using a VPN, test your connection)
Strict firewalls (add your VPN app to the list of approved connections on your firewall)
A port that is closed (contact customer support)
An overburdened server (choose a different server)
VPN software that is no longer supported (update your system)