A virtual private network (VPN) is a fantastic software that preserves the user’s online privacy and keeps them safe from some potential hacking exploits. VPNs have gained extreme popularity in recent years due to their security features and accessibility.
But like any other software, VPNs can run into some issues as well. There are many potential reasons for that. They range from internet connection issues to firewall and antivirus interference. If you experience any VPN issues, here are some quick and effective fixes that will have it up-and-running in no time.
1. Make Sure That Your System Date and Time Are Correct
Sometimes, your VPN might not work if the date and time of your system are incorrect. It is an easy fix, and it can often solve the issue.
If you notice that your system is displaying the wrong time and date, you can fix it by following these steps:
- Locate the date/time in your taskbar
- Right-click the date/time and choose Adjust date/time
- Enter the correct data
You can also set it to adjust by your location automatically, so you wouldn’t have to worry about fixing it again.
2. Double-Check Your Internet Connection
The obvious first solution is to check whether your internet connection is working. All VPNs need an internet connection to operate, so this is a common issue that’s also easy to fix.
You can check that through Network & Internet Settings, or by trying to open your browser and accessing a website. If you notice that your connection isn’t working, here’s what you can do to fix it:
- Restart your router
- Check whether you plugged in all cables correctly
- Call your network provider
If everything seems to be fine hardware-wise, you can also check individual components through Command Prompt. You can access the Command Prompt by pressing the Windows key + R button at the same time, then type cmd.exe and press Enter. Type in Ping 127.0.0.1 and press Enter. It will verify whether your network card is operating properly. If your request times out, that means that something’s wrong.
3. Check if Your Firewall Is Blocking It
Another reason why your VPN software might not be working is Windows Firewall.
Windows Firewall is an application that filters information that travels through your system. It blocks potentially dangerous programs and applications.
Sometimes, Windows Firewall can recognize VPNs as a threat, and as a result, block it. You can fix this by enabling your VPN. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Start and type in Firewall
- Open Firewall & Network Protection
- Click Allow an App Through Firewall
- Click Change Settings
- Locate your VPN, select it, and press OK
4. Check Your Configuration Settings
Although your VPN usually configures itself upon installation, sometimes, it may not be the case. So, to fix it, you can try to set your VPN software manually. You can do this by following these steps:
- Click Start, then Settings
- Open Network and Internet and click VPN
- Choose the Add a VPN Connection option
- Check the Windows Built-in option from the drop-down menu
- In the Connection Name tab, type the name of your VPN provider
- Enter your provider’s Server Location – you can find it on the website of your VPN
- Open the drop-down menu below the VPN Type option and choose a connection protocol
- Open the drop-down menu below the Type of Sign-In Info option and select a sign-in method
- Click Save and try to connect to your VPN
5. Disable IPv6 Protocol
Since most VPN providers only have support for IPv4 protocol, if your system is running on IPv6, that may cause some issues. Moreover, it can cause privacy leaks within your internet connection. To disable IPv6, follow these steps:
- Open the Control Panel
- Open the Network and Sharing Center
- Select the Change Adapter option and locate your network device
- Right-click the icon and choose Properties
- Locate the Networking tab and find Internet Protocol Version 6
- Uncheck the box
Many providers don’t support IPv6. But some companies like NordVPN offer DNS protection to prevent leaks. They are also working hard on supporting IPv6 in the future.
As a last resort, in case none of the fixes above worked, you can always try to reinstall your VPN software. If that fails, it may be time to contact customer support or change your VPN provider.
Having a sudden drop in VPN connection can be dangerous, especially if you’re browsing the web through public Wi-Fi connections. As a precautionary measure, always use a VPN service that offers a kill-switch. That means that, if your VPN suddenly stops working, the kill-switch will terminate the network connection. It ensures that your privacy is safe and intact.