Top 10 VPN Troubleshooting Tips for 2019
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks can be fantastic privacy assets. There are plenty to choose from which means that we need to take a closer look at the number of brands available and their reviews. What’s more, there may be times where you come across a few issues while using a VPN. Whether you are struggling with speed, connectivity or otherwise, there are always things that you can do to simplify your experience.
Here are our top ten tips on making the most of your VPN. Whether you’re using NordVPN, ExpressVPN or another, it’s worth bearing the following in mind the next time you connect to a remote server!
1. Use a Reputable Service
It perhaps goes without saying that it is always worth subscribing to VPN services that have the best reviews. There are plenty to pick from! If you’re continuing to experience speed and connectivity problems, it’s likely time to make a switch to a different provider. There’s no harm in doing so!
Many services prioritize speed, meaning that if this is a significant issue, you will have plenty of choices to choose from. When shopping for a VPN, always consider logging policies and user reviews too.
Here is a list of the main points that we think you should be bearing in mind:
• Average service speed
• User reviews
• Industry expert reviews
• Subscription price
• Availability for your platform and operating system
• Privacy policies
• Number of servers
• Customer support availability
2. Reboot Your System
Yes – it’s the old IT standard. At the first sign of connectivity or speed issues via a VPN, it’s recommended you perform a hard reset. Whether working on a tablet, PC or otherwise, refreshing your device will work wonders to solve various problems. If you’re able to – try turning your device off and on again, and launch your VPN as a priority once you’re back online.
Similarly, you should reboot your internet connection. Reboot your Wi-Fi on a hard basis if you can and see if doing so makes any difference. If it doesn’t, there are plenty of other things you can try.
3. Always Stay Updated
How tempting is it to ignore update requests? Very – we’ll wager. However, your VPN service is going to need to be updated regularly so that it can offer the best possible service. Software updates can carry patching support, which means previous issues discovered by the developer may have been ironed out.
Double-check the version of your VPN in the ‘about’ section of your user interface. The best VPNs will prompt you to update, whenever patches are available.
4. Change Ports Regularly
Having difficulty maintaining high speed? The key may be to change your networking port. This is the route data takes between your VPN and other connections – and switching it may actually make a difference. Experienced VPN users may switch ports regularly to get the best results.
Once you’re familiar with the way your VPN works, why not change your main port? Tweaking your VPN to how you like it is always recommended. This is undoubtedly a good idea if you are going to be streaming or using substantial amounts of data.
5. Switch Protocols
It’s recommended you change ports as well as protocols if you’re having trouble connecting. VPNs will generally allow you to connect via TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol). UDP tends to be faster, though TCP corrects for errors if and when they arise.
It’s worth switching between the protocols if you are struggling to maintain good speed or stable connectivity. Have a play around and see which of the options work best for you.
6. Double Check Your Wi-Fi
If you’re finding that your VPN simply won’t connect or that it fails to authenticate, try an alternative router or hotspot. Rather than dismiss the VPN as being at fault, it’s worth taking your home broadband out of the picture. Try connecting to a public Wi-Fi service to see if the connectivity issues persist.
If they do, it’s a problem with your VPN configuration. If things improve, it’s time to take a closer look at your home setup.
7. Connect Physically with Ethernet
Ethernet connectivity is the next step to take if Wi-Fi just isn’t cutting it. Hardwire your device to your router or Wi-Fi device where possible and try your VPN again. If you’re still experiencing connection difficulties, it’s likely to be a hardware problem. If not, your Wi-Fi connectivity will likely be to blame.
8. Double Check Your Firewall
More often than not, PC firewall settings can provide headaches for VPN users. Firewalls are extremely useful at what they do, but what they can also have a habit of doing is blocking legitimate connection requests. It’s always worth ‘whitelisting’ any connections you think your firewall might pick up on.
Alternatively, it may be worth switching your firewall off temporarily. This way, if you are having trouble connecting to your VPN’s servers, you can take it entirely out of the equation. If you can connect easily without your firewall, it’s time to look at its settings.
9. Close Your Other Programs
A rarer cause of VPN issues can be related to other programs and apps running at the same time. It’s always recommended that you only ever have a single VPN installed at any one time – whether it’s ExpressVPN or another brand. Furthermore, regular VPN crashes may be remedied by you closing everything else that’s operating.
Shut down your apps and programs completely and power your VPN back up. If you’re still experiencing problems, the VPN is at fault. If not, it’s worthwhile carefully loading programs and apps back up steadily, to ensure that they are stable.
10. Are Other Users Affected?
Whether you’re connected with several local users to a VPN or not, it’s worthwhile checking service status. Big brands such as NordVPN will post service outages publicly online, which is why it is always worthwhile following their social media. If other users are experiencing downtime, things will be getting fixed shortly. If not, it may just be you – unfortunately! The best VPNs will keep you informed on outages and program updates.