As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so does the need to consistently protect your online activity and identity. Using a VPN has become more of a necessity than an option. NordVPN is a well respected VPN provider that’s focused on providing a highly secure service that’s also very easy to use.

Just like any other web service, VPNs may sometimes fail to connect, leaving you unprotected and NordVPN is no exception. This article explores some of the most common connectivity issues you may experience when using NordVPN and practical steps to resolve them and get your protection up again.

Common issues that may prevent VPNs from connecting

Before diving deeper into any troubleshooting procedures, you’ll need to understand the basic reasons why your VPN may be experiencing connectivity issues. The following are some of the most common reasons why your NordVPN app may be refusing to connect.

Expired subscription: if you’re struggling to connect your VPN, the first point of call should be your subscription account to see whether your plan has expired or if there are any changes there that may affect your connectivity.

Server errors: this goes without saying as you’ll never be able to connect your VPN if the server you’re attempting to use is currently down. If you’re struggling to connect to any particular server, you should try other servers just to be certain it’s not a server related issue. Servers can be down for many reasons including maintenance and overcrowding so if this is the cause of your connectivity problems, it can be resolved by simply using other servers. NordVPN has over 5,700 servers to choose from.

Outdated apps: if you haven’t updated your VPN app over a long period of time, you should try to do so not only to enhance your protection but also to help you access fixes to bugs that may have plagued older versions.

Too many simultaneous connections: most VPNs have a limit on the number of simultaneous connections you can make per subscription. Exceeding this number may prevent you from successfully connecting your VPN on your device. NordVPN allows you connect up to six devices per account so if you find that you’re unable to connect the VPN, be sure to check that it’s not currently active on your other devices like your TV and mobile gadgets. If this is the problem, you should be able to successfully connect by disabling the app on your other devices to keep you within the limit. You can also install NordVPN on your router to get an unlimited number of connections.

Check your antivirus and firewall: while VPNs like NordVPN can usually work alongside antivirus programs and most firewalls, they’ve been known to prevent VPN users from connecting successfully. Some antivirus programs have also been known to slow down computers when a VPN is active. Similarly, firewalls can sometimes result in conflicts that disrupt VPN connections. If you’re unable to connect your VPN, simply disabling your antivirus or firewall can sometimes do the trick.

Encryption protocols: by simply toggling between the encryption protocol your VPN app is using, you may be able to restore your VPN connectivity. This problem arises when the protocol conflicts with your internet connection.

Country restrictions: if you’re connecting from a country with VPN restrictions, VPN providers usually have their specific instructions on what to do in order to connect successfully. Some may require you to install the app before you arrive in such countries. NordVPN has specific configurations that will allow you successfully connect the VPN when you’re in certain locations with restrictions including Hong Kong.

Specific connectivity issues for NordVPN

The following are some of the most popular problems you may encounter while trying to connect NordVPN:

  • Unable to access websites
  • IPv6 Connection error
  • Unable to launch the app
  • macOS app authentication failure
  • Server errors
  • Restricted usage in some countries

Practical steps to take to resolve your NordVPN connectivity problems

If you’re still struggling to connect to your NordVPN app, we’ve provided guidelines on how to resolve some specific connection issues and remain protected. While this is inconclusive, we’re pretty sure you’ll find at least one of them helpful.

Disable Windows Defender Firewall

If you’re a Windows user and are finding it difficult to launch or connect NordVPN, you may need to disable Windows Defender or any antivirus programs you have installed on your PC. Firewalls often block VPN connections, making it impossible to connect successfully.

To disable Antivirus:

  • Launch the Antivirus application
  • Go to Settings
  • Pause or disable protection

To disable Windows Defender:

  • Press the Windows button on your keyboard and Right-click the Start Menu
  • Click on Run to launch the Open Text Command box
  • Type firewall.cpl and press OK or Enter
  • Click the Turn Windows Defender and Firewall off button
  • Select both sub options
  • Click OK

Try to switch between servers

If the NordVPN server you’re trying to connect to is currently down or unavailable, you’ll need to switch to another one to restore your VPN connection.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Launch your Desktop or Mobile App
  • Locate the Servers tab
  • Select your desired server location
  • Click Connect

Manually adjust your NordVPN DNS configuration in Windows

If you’re able to connect to NordVPN but still unable to browse the web even after trying numerous servers, you may need to change your DNS settings. To do this,

  1. Locate the Network and Sharing center on your PC.
  2. Click on Change adapter settings located on the left-hand side of your screen.
  3. Right-click on the TAP-NordVPN Windows adapter V9 button and select Properties from the available options.
  4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties from the bottom right.
  5. Set DNS address to either 103.86.96.100 or 103.86.99.100
  6. Remember to click on OK to save your changes.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 above for all additional network types in your Network and sharing center. These additional network types could be named Ethernet or Wifi.

Enable obfuscated servers

If you’re struggling to open websites with tough VPN blocks or restrictions, enabling the obfuscated servers on NordVPN should ideally allow you seamlessly bypass these blocks with ease. To do this, simply:

  • Launch the NordVPN app
  • Tap on the Settings tab
  • Click the Obfuscated Servers button to enable the feature.

Re-install app

If you’ve tried your NordVPN on other devices and find that they work there but won’t work on another device, you should uninstall the app from your mobile or desktop and re-install by downloading from the provider’s official website, the App Store or Play Store.

Re-establish your NordVPN connection and stay protected

Once you’ve resolved your connectivity issue, you can continue to enjoy your NordVPN protection anytime you’d like. If none of the guidelines provided above were able to fix your connection problems or you have additional queries to follow up on, all hope is not lost. You can certainly contact NordVPN’s 24/7 dedicated customer support via live-chat on the provider’s website.

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