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VPN Not Connecting? How to Fix Common Issues

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated December 10, 2023

VPNs are very convenient because they secure your Internet connection and let you access any type of content on the Web. However, VPNs are just like any other type of software, which means that they can malfunction sometimes.

A VPN not working can prove to be disruptive, as it may prevent you from continuing your regular Web activities like streaming, torrenting, and more. But why is your VPN not connecting? Sometimes, a faulty VPN client is to blame. Other times, a VPN can also fail to connect due to an outdated app, device settings, and slow Internet speed

In this article, we will discuss all the reasons why your VPN doesn’t work. You will learn about the methods to troubleshoot the issue on different devices and connections. In the end, we will look at all the possible causes of a slow VPN connection.

Why Is My VPN Not Connecting?

Your VPN is not connecting either because you’re doing something wrong such as entering false login information, or the VPN’s servers might be down. Sometimes, an outdated VPN client, your firewall/antivirus, and issues with ports and protocols can also be the reasons. 

In this section, we'll explore some common reasons why your VPN is not connected and provide practical solutions to get you back online securely.

Internet Connection Issues

Often, a VPN won’t work due to issues with your Internet connection. If your Internet is down or unstable, your VPN won’t connect. Here are some quick steps to troubleshoot such problems:

VPN Server Issues

Sometimes, VPN servers are under maintenance or just simply down. Both these situations can prevent you from connecting to the VPN server. Some possible reasons for downtime include server overloads, maintenance, or technical glitches.

Here’s how you can address these issues:

Issues with VPN Protocols and Ports

VPN protocols and ports are essential for establishing a secure connection. Simply put, protocols are the set of instructions based on which a VPN forms a secure tunnel, and ports are the specific port numbers used by the protocols. 

Issues with protocols and ports can often lead to a situation where your VPN is not connected. For this, you can try the following steps:

Outdated VPN Software

Using an outdated version of your VPN app can lead to connectivity issues. Bugs or compatibility problems in older versions can prevent your VPN from connecting effectively. Here’s what you can do:

Firewall or Antivirus Software

Firewall or antivirus software, while crucial for your digital security, can interfere with VPN connections. These security programs might mistakenly identify VPN traffic as suspicious and block it, leading to issues where your VPN won’t connect. If you suspect that your firewall or antivirus is causing the issue, try the following troubleshooting steps:

Location-Based Restrictions

In some countries like the UAE and Iran, VPNs are blocked by the government. This can impact your ability to connect to a VPN. So, if you live in such a country, chances are that your VPN won't connect. Here are some common steps that you can try to solve this issue.

Incorrect Login Credentials

A common yet often overlooked reason for a VPN not connecting is incorrect login credentials. Entering the wrong username or password will prevent you from establishing a VPN connection.

Why Is VPN Not Working on Your Phone?

A VPN may not work on your phone due to several possible reasons like an outdated app, government blockage, or server outage. However, figuring out where the problem lies can sometimes be frustrating. In this section, we will look at the possible solutions for iPhone and Android users. 

VPN Not Connecting on iPhone

A VPN not connecting on an iPhone can also be due to a bad client or poor service. The best VPNs for iPhones have no downtime and their servers work 24/7. 

VPN Not Connecting on Android

Usually, if you use the best VPNs for Android, chances are that you will not run into such issues. Hence, we recommend getting a capable VPN that seamlessly works on Android.

Why Is VPN Not Connecting on Wi-Fi?

The main reasons your VPN isn’t working on Wi-Fi include network restrictions, signal interference, and bad router configurations that are incompatible with your VPN. Let’s take a look at various steps you can take to fix this.

Why Doesn't VPN Work on Mobile Data?

Sometimes, your VPN doesn’t work on mobile data due to issues like weak data signals, carrier restrictions, or specific network settings on your mobile device that interfere with VPN connectivity. Here’s what you can do to sort this out.

Why Is My VPN Connection So Slow?

A slow VPN connection can be due to various reasons like server distance, server load, and the protocol you are using. Other factors that can also contribute to this slowdown are network congestion, encryption, and ISP throttling. Let’s take a look at all these reasons.

To enhance your browsing experience, it's crucial to choose the fastest VPNs that provide optimized servers for your particular needs. For example, some VPNs offer optimized servers for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. 

Final Thoughts 

There could be countless reasons for a VPN not connecting. Sometimes, the fault is in your device’s settings, operating system, or your Internet connection. However, an incapable VPN is often the main culprit. For a VPN not working, you need to rule out all other possible causes. If nothing else works, then try switching to a more capable VPN provider.

We recommend NordVPN if you want to enjoy smooth connections. It is a user-friendly VPN that offers very stable servers throughout the world. Furthermore, its servers are also lightning-fast, which means that you do not have to worry about slowdowns.


Why Isn't My VPN Working at School?

Your VPN is not working on school Wi-Fi because schools often have strict firewalls and content filters, which can block VPN connections. To resolve this, try using different VPN protocols or obfuscated servers. 

Why Is My VPN Connected but the Internet Is Not Working?

Your VPN is connected, but the Internet is not working due to an incorrect VPN setup or conflict with your network settings. Check your VPN configuration and ensure your device's network settings are compatible with the VPN.

How to Fix a VPN That's Not Connecting?

To fix a VPN that's not connecting, start by checking your Internet connection. Then, restart your VPN app, update it to the latest version, switch servers, or change VPN protocols. If these steps don't work, contact your VPN's customer support.

Why Is NordVPN Not Working?

NordVPN may not be working due to outdated app, server issues, or conflicts with your device's network settings. To fix this, update NordVPN, try different servers, and check your network settings for potential conflicts.

Why Is ExpressVPN Not Working?

ExpressVPN may not be working due to outdated app versions, incorrect login details, network issues, or server outages. Check if your app is updated and if credentials are correct. After that, try connecting to a different server.

We hope that this article helped you troubleshoot the real reasons why your VPN is not connecting. If you have any comments, feel free to write them below.

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