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VPN Not Connecting: The Biggest Problems and How to Fix Them

Last updated: March 23, 2024 10 min read
VPN Not Connecting

VPN connection errors are not exclusive to long-term users alone. You may encounter a connection error on your first attempt as a new user. If you don’t understand how to solve these errors, you may be frustrated, and your online privacy and anonymity may be compromised. The good news is that there are solutions to every known error. This guide explains the steps to solve your VPN not connecting issue.


You want your VPN software to run at all times for a critical purpose. A malfunctioning VPN invites data snooping by hackers and cyber criminals with malicious intent. Unavoidably, your VPN will malfunction at one point, and you must be prepared to handle it whenever that occurs.

The good news is you don’t need to be super-tech savvy to address common VPN connection issues. Continue reading this article to discover solutions to users’ biggest VPN problems.

Why is My VPN Not Connecting?

Why is My VPN Not Connecting?

VPN connection issues accompany VPN usage, whether you’re a long-time user or a new one. These issues take different forms and can be your fault. It could either be the VPN provider’s fault or the ISPs. 

These issues can also occur on any device or platform. Luckily, you can go around each issue and keep enjoying your session. Here, you can find various reasons why your VPN may not be connecting:

Weak or Poor Internet Connection

Your VPN needs the internet to establish a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN server. Poor internet connectivity can hinder this connection from happening.

Outdated VPN Software

Network providers update VPN software programs for various reasons. They may have ended support for an older version of a VPN, or the program may no longer be compatible with certain apps and services. Browsing the internet with this outdated app may result in network connection issues.

Network-restricted Region or Location

If you’re connecting to a VPN for the first time, check whether you have unrestricted VPN access. There are bans on VPN usage in certain countries, such as China, Russia, and North Korea. Your VPN will not work in these regions unless you have gained access before traveling there.

Incorrect VPN Login Credentials

VPN providers typically include various security measures in their programs. For example, if you submit the wrong login credentials, you may be unable to access the app. This may prevent your VPN from connecting.

Firewall or Antivirus Software

Your computer’s firewall or antivirus software may also prevent your VPN from establishing a successful connection. Firewalls block network traffic based on defined parameters, so you may adjust its settings to allow an exception for your VPN client. This means you’re adding your VPN to the list of trusted applications in your firewall or antivirus software.

Wrong VPN Settings and Protocols

ISPs pose one of the greatest threats to your data and can block certain types of traffic. If ISPs block specific traffic from you, your VPN may not function properly. There may also be issues with your chosen VPN protocol at the network provider’s end.

Your VPN may also encounter connectivity problems due to issues arising from your device, such as a slow operating system, unexpected device heat-ups, app crashes, etc. To maintain a smooth VPN connection, ensure your device is free from any issues.

Overloaded Server

This problem is more common on free VPNs with a limited number of servers. Connecting to a VPN server already adds an extra layer of encryption to your traffic, fractionally slowing your internet speed.

The more overloaded a server becomes, the faster its connection drops. If this continues, you may be unable to browse the internet on that VPN.

How Do I Fix VPN Not Connecting Issue?

How Do I Fix VPN Not Connecting Issue

If online privacy is crucial to you, VPN connection issues are a significant risk. These issues can compromise your anonymity and data security leaving you vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To avoid that, you can follow any of these methods to fix the issues:

Check Your Internet Connection

Confirm whether you’re connected to the internet on your mobile device or router. If your connection is unstable or not working at all, here are remedial steps to take:

  • Disconnect from your WiFi network, then reconnect.
  • Restart your router.
  • Check the internet cable to your router and confirm whether it’s still intact.
  • Contact your ISP after taking all possible steps, and you still can’t connect to the internet.

Try a Different Server

This is the recommended solution for congested or overcrowded servers. Premium VPN services typically have thousands of servers in different locations. Test some of them to see where the connection is strong and the browsing speed is fast.

Check Your VPN Settings

As previously said, ISPs may block specific traffic from traveling through and from your device. VPN providers are, however, aware of this and have developed a way to bypass such blocks.

Check the VPN’s documentation for the port that the network provider recommends. Switch to that port and see if that resolves your connectivity issues. You can also change protocols between OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard to see whether you can now browse the internet.

Restart Your Device

If a connection error arises from your VPN due to a device-related issue, there’s one popular solution. Restart your device and reconnect to your VPN server to see if it works.

Upgrade to a Higher Quality VPN

As a rule of thumb, ensure you avoid free VPNs. These often have more significant security risks and slower internet speeds. Numerous users compete for a few servers, leading to frequent network downtimes and vpn issues today.


Instead, use globally-trusted, high-quality VPNs with multiple servers and other valuable features at a relatively low price. For example, ExtremeVPN has 6,500 servers in over 96 locations at an affordable price of $3.29 per month for a one-year plan. Subscribing to this VPN significantly minimizes network connection issues.

Why is My VPN Browser Extension Not Working?


There may be several reasons why your VPN browser extension isn’t working. The extension may be incompatible with the browser or use an older version. Your device’s operating system may also not support the VPN extension resulting in connection errors.

Also, you may have installed or configured the VPN extension incorrectly. First, clear your browser’s cache or app data to see if this resolves the issue. You may reinstall the VPN extension for any browser if it doesn’t.

Why Does My VPN Not Work With Netflix?

How to Delete Your Netflix History on Firestick 

Netflix has anti-VPN technologies and is actively blocking VPN access to their app. If you encounter an error on Netflix while trying to binge-watch a show or stream a movie, Netflix may have blocked that IP address.

You may see the error message “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off these services and try again.” This means that Netflix has detected VPN usage, and you can’t continue on the app unless you turn it off. This message may also appear when you’re not using a VPN, wherein there are various causes and fixes.


The most common fix for Netflix errors with a VPN is to connect to a different server. Specific VPNs have dedicated Netflix servers giving you unrestricted access to an extensive content library. Beyond Netflix, these VPNs can also help unblock other streaming services, such as  Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video.

Other recommended solutions include clearing your device’s cache or cookies, trying a different browser, and streaming Netflix on PC. You may contact the VPN’s customer support if these do not work.

Why Can’t I Connect to VPN in China?

Using a VPN in China can be tricky due to frequent restrictions by the Chinese government. No law specifically says you shouldn’t use VPN, but the country has blocked many VPN providers to prevent access to private information.

China also blocks certain websites and social networks and filters many keywords from search engines. The government heavily controls the internet and strictly monitors inbound and outbound traffic. Expectedly, you may run into various VPN issues here.

You can bypass China’s VPN blocking by using premium VPNs. The Chinese government uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to identify specific VPN protocols. If traffic from a particular IP is successfully linked to a VPN protocol, the government blocks the address and subsequent ones.

VPN providers have developed unique protocols to address this issue. One of these protocols provides you with an IP address that you can use to browse safely in China. When the government discovers the IP, it instantly assigns you a new one that the government hasn’t yet identified.

How to Fix VPN Issues for My Home Office

If you’re a remote worker, digital nomad, or freelancer, you should also brace for VPN connection issues. When you do encounter a challenge, below are two recommended solutions:

  1. Check your VPN settings: Check the VPN software and device settings to ensure you have the correct configuration. Change port numbers where necessary, switch server locations, and enter the correct DNS server address.
  2. Fix your home network connection: WiFi connections are more reliable and have fewer challenges than wired LAN connections. If you can’t switch to a WiFi connection immediately, confirm that all cable connections are intact. Restart your device, and if the problem persists, contact your ISP.


By now, you should be aware of various ways by which you can get your VPN up and running after it disconnects. Are you still facing issues of VPN not connecting to the internet? It may be time to upgrade your VPN experience.

ExtremeVPN is a feature-rich VPN with an intuitive interface and a straightforward installation and configuration process. Its customer service is available 24/7, so you can quickly report and resolve issues.


Why is my VPN so slow? Up
VPN connections slow your network traffic due to the server your traffic travels through for an extra layer of protection. Premium VPN providers minimize this drop in network speed by providing numerous servers in various locations. Some specific VPN protocols can also augment your internet speed, enabling you to stream high-quality videos and play online games.
Why is my VPN not connecting on my phone? Up
A VPN error can occur on a mobile device due to compatibility issues, network restrictions, lack of app permissions, and network server problems. Ensure you have configured the VPN properly and have granted all necessary permissions.
What should I do if my login credentials are incorrect? Up
Your login credentials are your username and password. These help you access the VPN software and also prevent unauthorized access. If you lose them, you may be unable to use the VPN services as the network provider will try to protect your account. Here are suggested solutions to login credential issues: 1. Allow the device to store your username and password or manually store it in a note. 2. Visit the VPN provider’s website to reset a forgotten website. 3. Confirm whether the caps lock is on or off, and retype your credentials.

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About the Author

Samuel is a freelance journalist with over a decade's experience in the VPN industry and digital mar...
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