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So, you’re stuck with PIA VPN not connecting. No problem. Although PIA is one of the most well-renowned VPN brands in the industry, it can break down occasionally.

If you have tried applying the common steps when the VPN won’t connect and still can’t get it to working, a good alternative to try is PureVPN which is excellent for unblocking as well as privacy for highly inexpensive rates.

But if you still want to revive PIA and get it to working again, there is hope yet.

Unable to Connect to Private Internet Access

Following are some useful tips to try when you have PIA VPN not connecting:

1. Switch servers

First of all, if you find PIA not connecting, you should try changing the server location to multiple others. PIA boasts a network of 3,200+ servers, which is significant amount.

pia-servers

However, some servers may go offline from time to time due to technical faults or for maintenance purposes. This is why you should try connecting to other servers to make sure the problem is with a specific server rather than with the entire service or some other source.

Also note that if you want to download torrents, then you might experience connectivity issues on most servers. This is done deliberately by most providers due to the legal status of torrenting in most countries of the world.

It is recommended to use server locations like Netherlands or Switzerland if you’re downloading torrents with PIA for better security and functionality, asexplained in this guide.

If you are able to connect to PIA after switching servers, great! Otherwise, go to the next few tips mentioned below.

2. Check internet connection

You should check your internet connection to see if the problem isn’t at your end. Disconnect PIA and exit the app from your system/device entirely. Then, try connecting to the internet once again. If you are able to connect to the web with PIA disconnected, then your internet is working fine and the problem is with your PIA client.

However, if you are still unable to establish connection to the internet, you’ll need to call your ISP and get the internet fixed. When you’re able to connect to the internet normally, try connecting to a PIA server once again.

It should work this time.

3. Change protocols

If you’re still troubled with PIA not connecting, a change in protocols might be in order. Some protocols may get blocked by some ISPs in certain regions. For instance, the UDP protocol is blocked in several parts of the Middle East. So, you should definitely try changing the protocol to resolve your connectivity problems.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Click on the three horizontal lines on the top of the app > Settings

pia-protocols

  • In the new Window, click on Connections.
  • Under Connection Type, select TCP or UDP and try connecting to the VPN again.

pia-connections

4. Remove software conflicts

Many antivirus and firewalls interfere with Private Internet Access connectivity and can block your connection. To determine if your security programs aren’t at the root of the problem responsible for your PIA not connecting, disable all your antimalware/firewalls and try connecting to PIA.

If you are now able to use PIA, then you probably have an antivirus that is blocking your PIA connection. In fact, in some cases, even disabling the antivirus doesn’t work.

To resolve the issue, you will need to add all PIA-related files to the security software’s exception list.

On Windows, these are the relevant PIA files that need to be put in the list of exceptions:

  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\tap\win10
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\tap\win7
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\pia-client.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\pia-openvpn.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\pia-service.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\pia-support-tool.exe

For Mac:

  • /Applications/Private Internet Access/

Once PIA has been added in the list of exceptions, you can continue using alongside your antivirus without any conflicts between the two services.

PIA is particularly susceptible to experiencing conflicts with Avast Antivirus as an official representative has stated it themselves:

message-boards

5. TAP adapter problems

If you have several VPNs installed in your system/device and find PIA not connecting, the problem might be caused by interference in your operating system’s TAP adapter. You will need to disable the adapters of other VPNs to fix this problem:

  • Open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Change adapter settings.

adapter-settings

  • You’ll find the TAP adapters of all installed VPNs as well as your physical network.

TAP-adapters

  • Disable adapters of all VPNs other than PIA by right-clicking each and selecting Disable.

Once disabled, try connecting to PIA again.

PIA Issues and Fixes for Specific Situations

Here are some services, devices, and platforms that users often find PIA VPN not connecting with:

PIA not working on Firestick

PIA not loading on your Fire TV? This VPN actually has a dedicated app for Firestick that can be downloaded from the Amazon App Store. You will, however, need a 2nd generation Firestick device to run the VPN because older generations of Amazon Fire TV do not support VPNs.

If you are facing problems when using PIA on a 2nd generation Fire TV device, this could be a firmware issue. In that case, you will have to reset your Fire TV to factory settings in order to fix this issue.

This is how you can reset Firestick:

  • From the System menu on Firestick, navigate to the bottom and select Settings
  • Scroll right to find “System” and select it
  • Scroll down and press “Reset to Factory Defaults”

After resetting the device, try connecting to PIA again. This fix was provided by one of PIA’s representatives on reddit:

For more information, see this guide about setting up PIA on Fire stick.

PIA not working with Netflix

Many users have found PIA VPN not working with Netflix. The truth is, there are quite a lot of services that have lost their ability to work with Netflix. PIA had lost its ability to work with Netflix like most other providers, but it has now restored its functionality for Netflix.

PIA worked completely fine when I tested it for some Netflix regions. However, it won’t work for all Netflix regions. You can learn more about which regions PIA is effective for Netflix in guide on using PIA with Netflix.

PIA not working on Android

If you are unable to connect to PIA on Android, your problem could be caused by one of the following:

  • Battery/storage saving app interfering with PIA connection.
  • App cache issues that need clearing.
  • Buggy app.

You should disable any battery management apps. If that doesn’t work, clear the cache stored in your PIA app from the settings menu. Finally, you should uninstall the current app and make a fresh installation. Or you can take a look at other Android VPNs.

PIA not connecting Windows 10

Windows users that find PIA stuck on connecting might be facing an IPv6 issue. One proven solution to this problem is to disable IPv6.

Here’s how you can disable IPv6:

  • Open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Change adapter settings.

adapter-settings

  • Right-click your internet connection, then click Properties.
  • Uncheck the box next to Internet Protocol Version 6 and press OK.

ipv6

Some speed issues with PIA may be caused due to the newer TAP adapters in Windows. You can try uninstalling your current adapter and install an older one by following these steps:

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type in devmgmt.msc.

run

  • In the device manager, find and click Network Adapters to expand this section.
  • Right-click the TAP-Windows Adapter and uninstall it.

device-manager

  • Now, install the older OpenVPN TAP driver from this link.
  • Run the installer.
  • Launch PIA once the installation has finished.

This should fix your Windows connectivity issues. If you’re looking for other VPNs, see this article on VPNs for Windows.

PIA kill switch not working

Users of PIA are probably aware that this VPN has a bit of a troublesome kill switch as reported by several users:

Is the Kill Switch still a problem to use? from PrivateInternetAccess

The good news is that these issues only exist in older versions of PIA apps. So, if you’re facing problems with the kill switch, try updating your app to the latest version. This should fix the problem and enable you to use the killswitch without any problems.

PIA Port Forwarding not Working

If PIA does not connect properly after setting up port forwarding, your Windows defender firewall settings might be causing the problem. After setting up the required port forwarding number in the app you want forwarded ports for, follow these steps:

  • Windows Defender Firewall > Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.

  • Search for the app you are applying port forwarding to and check both private/public options.

  • Visit CanYouSeeMe.org and enter the 5 digit port forwarding number in “Port to Check”.

This should fix your port forwarding problems right away.

PIA Chrome Extension not Working

If the PIA Chrome extension is giving you problems, you will need to clear the browser cache and cookies. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Press Ctrl+H and click on “Clear browsing data”

clear-data

  • Click on the Advanced tab > Select “All time” in the Time range drop-down
  • Now check the boxes next to “Cookies an other site data” and “cached images and files” > Clear data

clear-cache

After clearing these files, restart Chrome and try connecting to PIA again.

PIA Alternatives

Tried all the steps above but still have PIA not working? Maybe it’s time to cancel PIA and choose a new VPN. For instance, here’s how PIA compares to PureVPN, a super affordable VPN with top-notch features:

FeaturesPureVPNPIA
Price $2.91/mo $2.69/mo
Servers2,000+ in 140 countries3,200+ in 48+ Countries
Customer Support24/7 live chat & email support24/7 live chat & email support
JurisdictionHong KongUSA
Logging PolicyZero logsZero logs
Netflix supportStrongPoor
Trustpilot Score4.7/54.1/5
Website PUREVPN PIA

Final Thoughts

Private Internet Access is a decent VPN service, but it may undergo annoying errors that need fixing. You can resolve most PIA not connecting issues with the steps mentioned above, but if you’d rather try a different service, you can go with PureVPN which is quite inexpensive for the value and benefits it offers.

For more information, see this review of PIA.