All VPNs, including even elite providers like Windscribe, are vulnerable to connection problems, such as refusing to connect or disconnecting in the middle of a download.
There are cases when this has to do more with your ISP or location. Therefore trying a similar provider, such as NordVPN, might do the trick.
If you’re a Windscribe user, this blog entry will discuss some of the most common Windscribe not connecting issues in 2023, and help you resolve them, ensuring secure and private browsing every time you log on.
Try the basics before digging further
As usual with internet apps, there are some simple measures that should always be tried before you contact the support team or start playing around with port settings.
In the case of Windscribe not connecting, there are a few simple actions that need to be taken first of all:
- Try disconnecting, closing the Windscribe client, then restarting it
- If that doesn’t work, reboot your system, and try again
- If that doesn’t work, it may be a good idea to reinstall the Windscribe app from scratch
You’d be surprised by how often one of those three actions can resolve a Windscribe connection issue.
This is especially prominent on Windows in cases when you have more than one VPN installed. Windows sometimes have a problem choosing the correct TAP adapter, which might happen if you have several of them that were installed with other VPN providers’ software.
In networking, TAP adapters are virtual network kernel devices that are required to set up a VPN software. Try uninstalling other VPNs if you’re having problems with Windscribe. If Windscribe is the only VPN that you’re using, Windows should have no problems choosing the correct TAP adapter which would be the one that came from Windscribe installation.
Identify the right culprit
There may be many reasons why you’re having issues with Windscribe not connecting. Figuring out what they are should be your first step.
1. Slow speed
Sometimes, users can’t connect because their internet is simply too slow. Generally speaking, you’ll need a robust connection to get the most out of VPNs. Remember, they will shave a chunk off your bandwidth due to encryption, and any laggardly connections will struggle.
What to do if Windscribe speeds don’t measure up?
If speed is the issue, some solutions may be at hand.
- Check that you are connecting to a server near your location. It could be that the burden of routing traffic halfway across the world is too much for Windscribe and your slow connection. Switching to a nearby server often solves that problem.
- You might want to experiment with ports. Windscribe allows you to select which ports you use. Some could be restricted by your local network, or poorly configured for VPN usage. So try a few alternatives. You may be surprised by the speed boosts that can result.
Protocols can also be at fault in some cases. Windscribe gives you the option of switching from OpenVPN’s TCP to UDP or IKEv2. To do so:
- Head to the Preferences menu and click Connection
- Try selecting UDP, TCP or Stealth protocol
- Toggle the new protocol and reconnect. It can have a significant effect on network speeds.
There might also be scope to run a VPN pass through on your router. To do this, you’ll need access to the router’s firmware (so it might not be convenient for employees or students). If you do have access, go to the config page and choose the option labeled something like “IKEv2 pass through.” Or contact your router supplier and ask for a specific solution.
2. Software conflicts
VPNs often fail due to local software conflicts. Most often, firewalls or other VPN clients are the culprits.
While firewalls provide a valuable line of defense against intruders, they can also wipe out legitimate traffic, so it might be necessary to disable your firewall to get the most out of Windscribe.
If you’re concerned about security, you’re much better off using Windscribe’s own proprietary firewall/kill switch than relying on Windows.
Are Windscribe software conflicts still causing trouble?
Even after disabling your firewall, connection issues can persist. In this case, it’s possible that other conflicts are causing the problem.
For instance, some customers have reported severe conflicts with network products developed by the Killer brand – specifically the brand’s ethernet controller. In these cases, reinstalling Killer drivers often had the required effect.
In other cases, users report conflicts with web browsers like Firefox. Windscribe has a popular browser extension, and this usually works seamlessly with Mozilla’s browser, but sometimes it can become unavailable or dysfunctional.
Here, it might be worth disabling the uBlock add-on that works with Windscribe. If this doesn’t work, try refreshing your Firefox installation. That can often flush out whatever conflicts were at issue.
Finally, antivirus software has been known to cause issues with Windscribe. For example, Kaspersky and Norton (Symantec) products regularly crop up on Windscribe support forums. If you can switch AV providers, that might resolve the problem. But switching to IKEv2 often allows Windscribe to co-exist with problematic antivirus packages, so try that first.
3. Local area network (LAN) issues
Are you using Windscribe VPN at a library, a workplace, or in school? In some cases, local network settings interfere with Virtual Private Networks – often without admins knowing about it. But most of the time, admins know exactly what they are doing.
If there is no prohibition on VPN usage where you are, contact the network managers and they should be able to resolve the situation. However, the issue is most likely being caused by a conscious VPN block on the part of your school or workplace.
In this case, there may be a solution:
- Head to the Windscribe app Settings menu and click on the Connection tab
- Now, choose the Stealth or WStunnel option under protocols
- This may well conceal the fact that you are using a VPN
Alternatively, you might want to try using ports 80 or 443. In some instances, this can make encrypted traffic indistinguishable from general web traffic. One of the two tends to work.
What if you can’t resolve your Windscribe connection issues?
Even trying all of the above fixes may sometimes not solve the issue. But worry not – there are still some things to try.
1. Contact customer support
If you’ve tried everything, it’s time to enlist some expert assistance. Windscribe has a highly-regarded support team, and they are accustomed to almost any “Windscribe not connecting” query.
Before contacting them, it really helps to extract some diagnostic information about your app. That might sound technical, but it’s really not hard:
- When you encounter a connection issue, wait a couple of minutes.
- Open up the Windscribe client and head to the Preferences menu.
- Choose the Debug option, then Send Log. This will send a detailed report to the support team, describing what happened inside the Windscribe app when you failed to connect.
- Once you’ve sent the debugging log to Windscribe, head to the company’s Support page. Click the Submit Ticket button.
When your ticket is submitted, it should be automatically matched with your debugging report, allowing Windscribe’s team to drill down into why the app is struggling to connect.
2. Consider external factors
Sometimes the service itself might be down: power outages in some regions, server updates, scheduled maintenance, software updates are all very valid reasons why you might not be able to connect. So don’t forget to check Windscribe’s social media accounts to check if you are the only one who has difficulties connecting.
Check the Windscribe subreddit where users might be already asking if they’re the only ones unable to connect. They also have a Discord group which also might prove useful.
Don’t settle for poor connectivity when using a VPN
If you continually experience Windscribe connection problems, that’s not acceptable. In today’s digital environment, we need rock-solid security, and no user should accept second rate services – especially when paying monthly fees for the privilege.
So if you can’t connect after trying everything we’ve talked about, be prepared to switch providers. VPNs need to stay responsive to customer needs, and voting with your feet is the only way to make sure that happens.
I can’t get the thing to complete the install process. Which means it runs and runs and I can’t uninstall it. Support is useless.
Extremely useful and well-written article! Thank you! I’ve been happily using Windscribe for two years without issues till very recently. After ditching Kaspersky for reasons you might guess, I bought Norton 360 Premium, not paying attention to the small print which stated that the software could only be used in the UK (I live in Malawi). I have always been able to get round this pesky restriction by firing up Windscribe but in Norton’s case I hit a brick wall with activating my installation. In despair I signed up for a trial Avira Prime which included a VPN that let me activate Norton, after which I promptly uninstalled Avira. A bit clunky, and needing to be repeated on another 9 machines I service.
So I’m now going to go through all of Mikaela’s (is that an Irish name?) suggestions to see if Windscribe will play nice with my Norton installs. I wish other online gurus had the same readable but thorough writing style!
Hi, John. Thank you, I’m honored by your praise! And by the way, my name is of Scandinavian origin. I’m sorry that Windscribe didn’t work with Norton for you. I recommend trying out NordVPN instead. It has a free trial on the Google Play Store, meaning you can test it out without paying a dime. Good luck!
Choose country or server manually it will solve the problem
Oh that was super helpful guys ! I’ve been having a few issues lately with Windscribe and I wasn’t sure what caused it, but now I know and it works perfectly again ! Great content here !
Never had any problems with Windscribe not connecting or anything else. I just like reading articles on this site as I learn a lot from them. Just wanted to say Windscribe has been a good experience for me and no issues were encountered.
I am using Windscribe for a while now. I am really happy with it.
Thanks for excellent guide to tackle when it acts up. Thank you.
A few years back when I started using Windscribe what I didn’t realize was that I was trying to connect it with a highly restricted network (in my college). But then someone suggested me to connect it with a faster connection, and since that day till now I never had any issue. It’s a great company and their customer service is really great.