A VPN connection may drop either due to a problem with your ping packets being blocked or lost, network connection, or because there’s a misconfiguration between two VPN endpoints. But, there can be many other reasons as well.
Disconnections can be irritating and can seriously compromise your online privacy. While you are using a VPN to protect your privacy, the last thing you’d want is something to expose it completely.
It is always beneficial to know what causes a VPN to disconnect to troubleshoot it when necessary. So what is the reason behind your VPN disconnecting frequently, and what steps can you take to fix the VPN disconnection issue?
This is exactly the purpose of this article. So, let’s get started.
What causes a VPN to disconnect?
As for the cause behind your VPN disconnection, the VPN software and server frequently communicate with each other using a cryptographically signed ping packet sent every 10 seconds. The purpose of this activity is to inform the other side that they are active.
If the client doesn’t receive the ping packet from the server for a period of 120 seconds or more, it assumes that the server is unavailable and disconnects from it. This happens because the ping packets are either lost or blocked on the path between your device or server. This can be caused by an unreliable internet connection or any hardware or software router filtering these packets.
How do I stop my VPN from disconnecting?
There are few different methods by which you can stop your VPN from disconnecting. It is not mandatory that every method listed below will work 100% for you as network conditions are different for everyone, and the same network rules do not apply to everyone.
1. Switching VPN protocol
This is the most basic and initial troubleshooting step in the book. Every top-tier VPN provider offers multiple protocols for VPN connection. VPN disconnection is always a good idea to immediately switch between the VPN protocols available and reconnect the VPN connection.
Sometimes, due to ISP network condition compatibility issues, a VPN connection is immediately disconnected after connection. Whether the issue is from the server end or the ISP end, changing the protocol and reconnecting the VPN is always the first recommended solution.
2. Switching VPN server
Changing the VPN server/location is also an ideal solution to overcome VPN disconnection. At times, due to an issue at the server end, the VPN tunnel faces disconnection. In times like these, change the server and using another one is the best way to overcome disconnection.
You can also contact the VPN provider customer support team for further details about the server and notify when it is safe to reconnect that server again.
3. Router and third-party firewall
If the VPN disconnection issue persists even after trying the above two methods, we recommend checking your router firewall settings. Disable the router firewall and then reconnect your VPN connection and observe. Sometimes, router firewalls cause disconnection. After all, they are designed to stop the VPN connection after a few minutes because they can’t keep up with the router firewall turned on.
Similarly, it would be a wise idea to add your VPN client to your third-party antivirus software or firewall exclusion/exception list on a PC or macOS device. This third-party antivirus software or firewalls are known to create complications for VPN connection.
4. Internet network connection
If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods and still experiencing VPN disconnections, then it might be a good time to contact your internet service provider and confirm if there are any restrictions enabled from their end.
Multiple times, your VPN gets disconnected simply because the protocol or network port being used by the VPN provider is blocked on the ISP network. Changing the internet network connection altogether is also an effective way to overcome the VPN disconnection issue.
5. Changing VPN provider
If you have already tried all the troubleshooting steps and ensure that your ISP hasn’t placed any restriction, then it might be a good time to change your VPN provider.
As every VPN provider has its own distinct network and doesn’t follow the same network rules. It is highly likely to achieve greater results with the next VPN provider you will go with.
To make the best decision for yourself, we suggest looking at the 6 most reliable, fast, and secure VPN providers of 2021.
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
What happens if VPN disconnects?
You will be switched back to your original internet service provider network connection if your VPN happens to disconnect. You can reconnect it again to move over to the VPN network again.
What happens if my VPN disconnects while Torrenting?
If your VPN disconnects while torrenting, your real IP address and actual location will be completely exposed over the internet. Considering how much of a sensitive matter torrenting is in some countries, it could turn out dangerous for you. Therefore, we recommend using a VPN that offers the Internet Kill Switch feature, which will disconnect your complete internet connection upon VPN disconnection, saving your real identity from leaking. If you want to know more, check out this FAQ on VPN Kill Switches.
If you like to download torrents, we recommend that you check out the best VPNs with Internet Kill Switch in 2021.
We are hopeful that with the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps, you will quickly overcome the disconnection issues. However, it is always a good idea to begin your VPN industry journey with a top-notch VPN provider so that the chances of you experiencing disconnection are as low as possible.