VPNs serve a very important function, especially in this day and age. However, occasionally while using a VPN you may run into an authentication failed error message and it is important to know how to get on top of things.
Here are the possible solutions for this error message that will ensure you go back to having that smooth sailing you paid for.
1. Temporarily Disable Your Firewall
Firewalls, in short, scan the data going in and out of your private network where it connects to the wider internet. And if it sees something that shouldn’t be there, it’ll prevent the transmission. Some firewalls have difficulty keeping up with VPN traffic.
While firewalls are important security measures, they can also cause some problem with VPNs. They’ll likely slow down your connection, and if it gets slow enough, the VPN connection may simply shut down.
2. Connect Via Ethernet
While it’s not common, it’s possible that something at the router level of your network could be causing connection difficulties that will kick you off of the VPN. Plugging directly into the modem’s cable jack with an ethernet cable may solve the problem.
The issues often lie in a situation called “double NAT,” which can happen when you have one router behind another. This can happen if you have different routers for different devices or another router connected to your ISP-provided one.
You’ll need to enable bridge mode to make two routers work together. How you make this happen will depend on your router, so you’ll need to dig into the documentation.
3. Change IP Protocols
Most VPNs allow you to connect via Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP). TCP is more commonly used across the internet, as it includes error correction, so if there’s a connection problem or some of the data is corrupted, the transmission is still successful but the sending computer knows to resend anything that didn’t arrive correctly.
UDP, while not as common, is notably faster than TCP. It doesn’t provide error correction, so if something is lost in transit, it won’t resend the information. This cuts down on the time it takes to transfer information, but may also create a less-reliable connection.
Changing between these two protocols might help you achieve higher speeds, especially if you’re going from TCP to UDP. Keep an eye out for poor connection quality, though.
4. Use A Reputable Client
Make sure that you installed the correct client and have updated to the latest version. For example, a staggering number of VPN clients available in the Android Play store are not properly implemented and pose a security risk instead of improving your privacy. Despite a few bad implementations, a good number of reliable clients exist for mobile.
5. Change DNS Servers
Occasionally, using a DNS server other than the default supplied by your VPN can help you stay connected. Many VPNs provide their own DNS services for additional privacy, but that can sometimes mess with your connection.
Each VPN will have different steps required for changing DNS servers. Many of them include options that say something like “Only use VPN DNS servers while connected.” You’ll need to turn this option off.
Using other DNS servers might make you slightly more vulnerable to DNS leaks, but if you can’t stay connected long enough to get anything done, that’s probably a tradeoff you’re willing to make.
6. Try Connecting On A Different Network
Sometimes the problem isn’t with you, it’s with the VPN. One of the best ways to check this is to join a different network. You can try a nearby public Wi-Fi spot, like a coffee shop or a grocery store, or a friend’s wireless network.
If you find that you can connect on the other network, you’ll know that it’s something about your own that’s causing the problem. Check your WIFI and internet settings to see if you can find what’s keeping you from signing in.
7. Check The Number Of Connected Devices
Is that the laptop in the other room still connected? How about your workstation? Or that tablet at your parents’/friend’s/partner’s place still connected?
Make sure that you do not have more devices connected than your maximum number of allowed connections. Double check your past devices aren’t keeping their sessions alive and taking up connection slots.
8. Change Servers
The server you use for your VPN connection can make a big difference to the connection speeds you get. The closer you are to the server you’re connecting to, the better speeds you’ll get (in almost every case).
You may also get improved speeds from servers that aren’t being used as much. Most VPN clients make it easy to change servers. Just open the client, select a new server, and confirm your selection. You can then run a speed test or continue browsing to see if the new server is running faster.
If you run a VPN through your router, the process may be more complicated, and it may differ depending on your specific VPN provider. If you remember the process you went through to set up your router VPN, you can likely access your router settings to change the server you access.
If you don’t remember the process, or anything has changed, consult the user manuals for your router firmware and your VPN.
If you’re on a free VPN, you’re almost certain to get pretty slow speeds on your connection. Understandably, VPN providers prioritize their paying customers. Even if they say their free VPN is as fast as their paid option, you might find that you disagree.
There are plenty of affordable VPNs with respectively high speeds, and if you haven’t upgraded to one, we highly recommend it. You may see your speeds increase immediately.
This might seem like a lot to consider but here are VPNs that will give you little to no problems at all due to the high quality of their services.
IPVanish offers a sizable network of servers that it actually owns, rather than rents, in more than 60 countries. The US-based company holds to a strict no-logging policy and sports a top-end encryption suite.
Torrenting is allowed, and IPVanish’s simple interface is particularly well-suited to Kodi and Plex users who operate their devices via a remote control instead of a keyboard and mouse. Speeds are fast enough for quick downloads and seamless HD streams with very little buffer time.
A Kill Switch and DNS leak protection are built in, as is a “scramble” feature that obfuscates traffic so your internet provider can’t tell that you’re using a VPN. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
ExpressVPN excels in every facet of being a great VPN. It operates servers in 94 countries. You’ll rarely, if ever, encounter downtime; speeds are quick enough to watch HD video and even live streams.
Torrenting is allowed, and the company keeps no identifying logs of traffic or metadata. Users can unblock Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and HBO NOW on select servers. Live customer support is available around the clock. ExpressVPN bypasses China’s Great Firewall as well as any other censorship system thrown at it.
All connections are protected with bleeding edge security standards, second to none in the VPN space. A Kill Switch and DNS leak protection are built into the apps.
Available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, the apps are simple enough for even a complete novice to use. You will have to pay a bit more than the competition to avail of all these great features, but ExpressVPN is well worth the price.
VyprVPN owns and operates all of its own servers, giving it maximum control to ensure customers both speed and privacy. The Switzerland-based provider made a name for itself as an effective penetrator of China’s Great Firewall. More recently, VyprVPN regained the ability to unblock VPN-unfriendly streaming services like US Netflix and Hulu.
The company isn’t as tolerant of torrenting as the others on this list, but you should have no problem streaming and downloading from other sources.
A Kill Switch and DNS leak protection are built in. Users can also avail of VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon protocol, an upgrade to the standard OpenVPN connection that will help bypass firewalls on networks that use packet inspection to detect VPNs. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN emphasizes security and privacy above all else, but it won’t let you down when it comes to other features and capabilities. The Panama-based provider operates a blazing fast network of servers in over 60 countries. It uses strong encryption and maintains a true zero-logs policy.
It is capable of unblocking Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming sites that normally block VPN users. With up to six simultaneous connections on a single low-price subscription, NordVPN offers one of the best value plans on the market. Some servers are specialized for faster streaming or added security, including Tor over VPN and double VPN servers.
A process-specific Kill Switch allows you to choose which apps get cut off from the internet in the event that the VPN connection unexpectedly drops. Beginner-friendly apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
With these VPNs, rest assured that you are indeed getting your money’s worth and you will get the best experience.