How A VPN Keeps You Safe
A VPN keeps you safe by masking your IP address so that no one can see where youre located or what youre doing online. It does this by routing your traffic through a server somewhere else in the world before sending it to the website you want to visit.
Beyond this basic function, the best VPNs have several other advanced security measures in place to make sure your data never falls into the wrong hands. When it comes to privacy, not all VPNs are created equal so make sure you choose one that offers the following features.
Why Should You Use A VPN Connection
Your ISP usually sets up your connection when you connect to the internet. It tracks you via an IP address. Your network traffic is routed through your ISP’s servers, which can log and display everything you do online.
Your ISP may seem trustworthy, but it may share your browsing history with advertisers, the police or government, and/or other third parties. ISPs can also fall victim to attacks by cyber criminals: If they are hacked, your personal and private data can be compromised.
This is especially important if you regularly connect to public Wi-Fi networks. You never know who might be monitoring your internet traffic and what they might steal from you, including passwords, personal data, payment information, or even your entire identity.
Am I At Risk If My VPN Leaks
Yes, if your VPN is leaking, your data is not protected. It means that websites and potential hackers can identify your actual IP address. This means that your browsing is not private or anonymous, and you will leave a trail of websites you visit and information about you and your device. Such leaks essentially render a VPN useless, which is why its essential to run tests.
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What Are VPN Protocols
In addition to encryption, another fundamental part of VPNs is their protocols. So, what are they? VPN protocols are essentially commands and processes that decide how web traffic travels from one server to another within an encrypted tunnel.
NordVPN says every protocol provides a different solution to the problem of secure, private, and somewhat anonymous internet communication. There are lots of VPN protocols out there, but the most common are Secure Sockets Layer , Transport Layer Security , Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol , IP Security , Internet Key Exchange , Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol , WireGuard, and OpenVPN.
But with VPN services constantly evolving, protocols quickly become outdated and new ones enter the industry. NordVPN believes every protocol is imperfect, explaining that each may have potential vulnerabilities, documented or yet to be discovered, that may or may not compromise your security.
At their core, most VPN providers currently use the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, which are highly secure and generally very fast. However, what you’ll find is that many VPN services allow users to switch between different protocols. So, if theres one you prefer, you can use that as your main VPN protocol. Usually, youll need to go into the settings of your VPN app to change protocols.
How To Use A VPN With Your Playstation 4
Although gaming doesnt jump to mind when talking about a virtual private network , there are myriad uses for one on your PlayStation 4. With a VPN, you can connect to servers around the world, allowing you to shop the PlayStation Store in other regions and pair up with players on the other side of the globe. Plus, a VPN encrypts your internet connection, protecting your personal data from anyone spying on your connection, and it can get past internet service provider speed throttling.
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Problem : My Problem Isnt Listed Here
If your VPN problems are more complex than those mentioned above, your best bet is to contact your VPNs customer support team directly. Theyll be able to help you install a VPN on just about anything . Plus, they help people with technical issues every single day, meaning they know how to troubleshoot VPN problems quickly and easily.
Are we missing a common VPN problem? Leave a comment and let us know.
How To Get A VPN On Multiple Devices
You can connect up to six devices with one NordVPN account. While there are dedicated NordVPN apps for most popular operating systems, some gadgets will need to be configured manually .
You can also install a VPN on your Wi-Fi router to protect every device connected to it. This way, you can share your account with family members, turn on a VPN on their gadgets, and protect them from online threats.
Some of NordVPNs features might vary across different platforms, but the basic principles are the same high-speed security and privacy.
NordVPN supports 8 different platforms and can be configured for even more. You won’t go wrong.
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Could A VPN Somehow Fail To Ensure My Safety
While the right VPN can be a definite asset in terms of your online safety, then, there are ways in which a VPN provider can conceivably let you down at least in some cases.
As we just discussed, while your ISP may no longer be able to see your internet traffic when using a VPN, the VPN provider can instead see what youre up to online or at least thats possible.
Again, this is why its important to use one of the best VPNs and well-known providers which have been around a long time, and have built a reputation as being trustworthy. Another thing to look out for is VPN firms which dont just make privacy promises and claims, but actually have their security and no logs procedures independently audited and verified.
A good VPN should also ensure that it guards against DNS leaks where data about your online activities leaks out of the VPNs encrypted tunnel and it should use a kill switch in its app. A kill switch steps in to save your privacy and stop data being sent out unprotected if the VPN connection drops .
Any well-thought-of VPN will have all this, and we do the hard work for you, scrutinizing apps and privacy policies alike in our VPN reviews to ensure that these vital features are present .
Try Connecting Via An Ethernet
Although it is highly unlikely, your wireless network router could be the main cause of your connection issues. In this case, consider connecting directly to the router using an Ethernet cable.
Additionally, this issue is mostly seen when there is a router getting an uplink from another on the same network causing a double NAT situation. In this case you will need to activate the bridge-mode, allowing the two routers to integrate with each other. To successfully perform this action, you will need to go through the routers official documentation.
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No Internet: Why Does My Connection Not Work With A VPN
You may have had this problem before: you launch your VPN software and suddenly webpages return error messages, emails dont get sent, and streaming is impossible. For whatever reason, your VPN wont let you connect to the internet.
There are many possible explanations for your VPN connection failure, but lets start with the basics. Here are some general troubleshooting tips:
Quick Solutions To Your VPN Problems
This article will walk you through some of the most common VPN problems and their solutions. Well go into greater detail later on, but for now, heres a quick overview with possible causes and solutions.
|Unable to connect to the internet||Failure to connect to the internet with a VPN is often caused by firewalls, blocked ports, outdated VPN software, or simply a failure of your router.||Make sure that your firewall allows for use of the VPN, that your VPN software is updated, and that the right ports arent blocked.|
|Slow speed||Slow VPN connections may be the result of a busy server, your distance to the server, or your network or VPN protocol.||Connect to a faster server or a server thats physically closer to your location, or use a faster network or VPN protocol.|
|Netflix VPN/proxy ban||The main reason why VPN users cant access Netflix is that Netflix blocks VPN servers.||Connect to a different server, use a streaming-dedicated server, use incognito mode, or clear your cache and cookies.|
|Emails wont send||Your email provider might be blocking your VPN, or your VPN might be blocking an insecure email port.||Switch to a different VPN server, use a different port for emailing, or activate split-tunneling.|
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Use A Specialized Streaming Server
Some VPN providers offer specialized streaming servers that have been specifically set up to work with different platforms. You might find a server optimized for US Netflix, Disney Plus, or Fox Sports. Try to use those as much as possible, as they are most continuously updated and have a higher success rate.
CyberGhost VPN has a lot of specialized streaming services you can use. Those will also give you access to more local platforms, like Servus TV in Austria.
To use a specialized streaming server, simply find the For streaming section under CyberGhosts server locations and you wish to connect to. The connection will be established automatically and youll be good to go. Just make sure to clear your cache before you dive back into Netflix!
Reasons Your VPN Software Might Be Interfering With Your Internet Connection
If your connection is up and running and you still cant use the internet with a VPN, you may be up against a different kind of problem. Heres a quick rundown of common VPN-related reasons for connection failure, error messages, and other network difficulties:
- Your firewall might be blocking the VPN. Connection problems are often caused by firewalls. To solve this, open your firewall settings, add the VPN app to its list of allowed apps, and try again.
- The VPN software might be outdated. Check your VPN updates to make sure you have the most recent version of the software installed, as old software may be riddled with vulnerabilities and glitches.
- Your VPN settings might have been misconfigured. Restore the VPN to its default settings and see if this solves the problem.
- The ports you need to run your VPN might be blocked. Ports are virtual locations where information is sent. Each port is assigned to a certain type of traffic, so emails go through one port while web pages go through another. There are many ports used by many different protocols and providers, but VPNs usually work with port 1194 TCP/UDP and port 443 TCP. You can change your system to one of these ports manually, but this process is quite advanced and can cause all sorts of problems. Instead, we advise you to contact your internet provider or your VPNs customer support and ask them to help fix the issue.
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How To Test For A Webrtc Leak
A WebRTC leak occurs when your browser displays your actual IP address even when your VPN is enabled. Follow the three WebRTC leak test steps to find out if you have this type of leak.
If you still see your actual IP address after the WebRTC test, your VPN is leaking your IP address when your browser makes WebRTC requests.
What You Should Do If Your VPN Isn’t Working
Has your VPN failed any of the VPN tests outlined above? If so, contact your VPNs support team. If youre using a trustworthy VPN, they should be available to resolve the issue.
Otherwise, switch to a trustworthy and secure VPN that wont leak your IP address or other personal info online. Avast SecureLine VPN hides your IP address and protects your internet traffic against DNS leaks and other privacy threats to keep you anonymous whenever youre online.
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How To Test For Browser Extension VPN Leak
Browser extension VPN leaks occur due to prefetching. Prefetching is activated by default when using Chrome browsers.
Here are steps you can take to test whether you have a browser extension VPN leak.
Step 1: Activate the Chrome plugin on your VPN.
Step 2: Go to chrome://net-internals/#dns and click on clear host cache.
Step 3: Then go to any website to confirm the leak.
Check Your Credentials And Account
Log onto your VPN provider’s website and check your account page for updates.
Has your password changed, maybe? Some free or limited VPNs might change passwords occasionally, without notifying each time.
Make sure your account is still valid and working, too. If you’ve forgotten to renew a subscription then the provider has probably turned your service off. VPN accounts are a prime target for hackers, too, and if someone has hijacked your account, it’s possible the provider has detected this and closed or blocked your account.
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What Are The Benefits Of A VPN Connection
A VPN connection disguises your data traffic online and protects it from external access. Unencrypted data can be viewed by anyone who has network access and wants to see it. With a VPN, hackers and cyber criminals cant decipher this data.
Secure encryption: To read the data, you need an encryption key . Without one, it would take millions of years for a computer to decipher the code in the event of a brute force attack . With the help of a VPN, your online activities are hidden even on public networks.
Disguising your whereabouts : VPN servers essentially act as your proxies on the internet. Because the demographic location data comes from a server in another country, your actual location cannot be determined. In addition, most VPN services do not store logs of your activities. Some providers, on the other hand, record your behavior, but do not pass this information on to third parties. This means that any potential record of your user behavior remains permanently hidden.
Secure data transfer: If you work remotely, you may need to access important files on your companys network. For security reasons, this kind of information requires a secure connection. To gain access to the network, a VPN connection is often required. VPN services connect to private servers and use encryption methods to reduce the risk of data leakage.
What Does A VPN Do
Although there are lots of VPN services on the market, they all work in much the same way. In simple terms, a VPN is a software-based tool that provides an end-to-end encrypted tunnel between your connected devices and a VPN server. This effectively routes your traffic away from your ISPs servers and through its own.
In this tunnel, web traffic sent to and from your computer will be encrypted at all times. Whats more, a VPN server will hide your internet protocol address. Therefore cybercriminals, government agencies, internet service providers, companies, and other third parties cant intercept your personal data, track your online movements, or see where youre located in the world.
However, something to bear in mind is that VPNs arent just helpful security and privacy tools. VPN services typically provide servers worldwide, and by connecting to a global network of servers, you can spoof your location to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock online content that would normally only be available in a specific country. This makes VPNs perfect for streaming.
So, in short, a VPN redirects and encrypts your internet traffic, making it effectively invisible to anyone on the outside including your ISP.
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How To Set Up Your VPN
Setting up your own VPN connection is simpler than it might seem. Your VPN provider will do most of the work for you. First, you will need to find a VPN service that you like. On our site you can find reviews of the different providers as well as some recommendations.
When you find a VPN that fits your needs, you subscribe to their service and download and install the software they provide. Most VPN providers offer software for all types of devices and operating systems. You can download a VPN client for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and sometimes Linux. Within this software, you can choose which protocol to use and which VPN server you wish to connect to. In just a few clicks youll be connected to a server. Now you can use the internet in a safe and anonymous manner, free from any restrictions or censorship that your geographical location might impose!
Installing a VPN is easy. Below, well tell you how to do this in three steps.
Reinstall Your Current VPN
When to try it: VPN is crashing and has connectivity issues, old software is removed
Works on: Desktop & Mobile
If all else fails, its worth checking if your VPN issue is hiding somewhere in the installation process. While youll normally get an error message, its possible that your VPN client is able to boot up but fail to stay on due to an incorrect installation.
Uninstall the VPN software from the control panel and then reinstall it. Its a good idea to download the client again just in case you got a corrupted download and some key files are missing.
Note:This fix applies only to VPNs with native clients. If youve done a manual setup, theres no need to configure everything from scratch, as theres no external VPN software. For manual setups, make sure all details are entered correctly.
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