Not being able to connect to your VPN can be extremely frustrating.
However, even the most reliable technologies are not 100 percent bulletproof, and sometimes these things happen.
The most suitable solution in this situation would be to locate the problem and find the best way to fix it.
NordVPN is a capable VPN service provider, and it doesn’t often display connection problems. However, when it does, the reasons behind it differ from a simple issue with your account to something much more serious.
To help you detect the problem and apply the fitting solution, I will go through all of the possible issues that might cause connection problems in NordVPN.
Where Are You Located?
Before I start listing all of the possibilities, let’s first get this out of the picture.
Your location can be the main cause behind your failed connection, so start there.
If you are currently based in a country with high internet restrictions, you might not be able to connect to NordVPN via regular servers.
Internet Service Providers might notice that you are using a VPN and block your traffic. That’s why, in this case, your best alternative is to connect to one of NordVPN’s obfuscated servers.
The provider’s secret weapon against VPN bans and strong internet restrictions lies in these servers. They mask your OpenVPN traffic and make it seem like regular HTTPS traffic. That allows you to connect and browse through a VPN even in countries with strict internet and VPN policies, including China, Russia, Turkey, Cuba, Iran, etc.
In case this does not apply to you, let’s move on to our next potential solutions.
Let’s Try Out Some Quick Solutions First
Sometimes, the answer is right in front of us, but we can’t see it.
If you can’t connect to NordVPN, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are facing a severe problem. It might be something a lot milder than you think.
So let’s start with the quick solutions first.
Have You Tried Turning It On And Off?
When something’s not working, the first thing you do is to turn it off and on again, right? It’s the universal solution for most problems, and it might just work with this one as well.
In this case, you need to log out of your NordVPN app/VPN client, and then try logging in again.
Sometimes the program needs to be refreshed, but if this does not help, you should try some of the next steps.
Check Your NordVPN Account
The problem could also originate from your account. It can be an inactive profile, wrong credentials, or an expired account.
Check Your Login Credentials
Make sure you have the right username and password.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect to your NordVPN account on any device.
To do so, you should enter NordVPN’s website, and click on the My Account menu in the upper right corner to log in.
In case you can’t remember your password, you should click on the “Forgot your password” and enter your account’s email address to receive a reset link in your email inbox.
Check Whether Your Account Has Expired
Once you log in with the right credentials, you’ll be able to see your profile and whether or not you are still subscribed to NordVPN. If you can’t connect, this can be a simple explanation behind it. Your account might have expired, and you will need to renew your subscription.
Check if your account status is Active or not and if your last payment was successful (also, check the date). If you locate the problem here, you can reactivate your subscription, or contact customer support for more detailed info.
If everything seems to be okay, then it’s not an account problem.
How Many Devices Are Connected to NordVPN?
NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections.
That means no more than six different devices can be using this VPN at the same time. So maybe you are trying to connect on more devices at the same time, which is why you are experiencing these difficulties.
If you want to increase your simultaneous connections to more than just six, think about setting the VPN on your router. Once you do it, you won’t ever experience this problem again, and you will be able to connect to as many devices as you need.
Is Your App Up to Date?
One of the reasons why NordVPN is not connecting might be because of an outdated software version.
Your application and/or VPN client updates automatically.
However, you might get the update later than other users, usually within a few days.
To get the latest version without having to wait for the update, you can check NordVPN’s downloads page. For your mobile apps, check the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
If you are a Linux user, you’ll have to run a few commands on your device to automatically update the NordVPN software. You can see more on that here.
Check for Basic Connection Issues
Your problem might lie in your VPN connection. It can be either the connection ports, the servers, or maybe your VPN client on the device.
Let’s see these possible and their easy solutions:
Switch the Server
Change to a different server if the one you are trying to connect does not work.
The server might be crowded or down, so you can’t connect to the VPN.
Switch between a few servers to see if the problem originates here.
Switch the Device
Next thing is to try NordVPN on several devices.
If, perhaps, you can’t connect on your phone, check if NordVPN works well on your PC or vice versa. In case it does, the problem might be connected to an installation error, or it has something to do with your device.
Go back to the previous step, and update your app. You can also try reinstalling it, or check for additional device problems, but more on that later in the article.
If it won’t work on your other devices that are connected to the same network, then it’s most probably a network problem.
Switch the Protocol
NordVPN can be connected to a TCP or UDP protocol.
They are different from one another, as UDP is faster, and TCP is more reliable.
Changing from UDP to TCP might solve your connection issues.
To do this you have to open:
NordVPN Settings – Advanced Settings – then select TCP protocol.
Still Can't Connect? Let's Troubleshoot!
If the fast and easy solutions were not helpful to diagnose the issue, we’ll have to move on to the more advanced resolutions.
However, this might differ based on what type of device you are using currently.
NordVPN supports different devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, as well as Android and iOS. On their website, you can find support for troubleshooting problems with each of them.
Depending on which device you are using, NordVPN can be fixed differently:
Windows 7, 8 and 10 Troubleshooting
There are several ways in which you can detect and resolve a problem on your Windows device.
Besides, NordVPN has videos and tutorials with instructions that can be very helpful. They explain the process step by step. An excellent example of that is this video for troubleshooting connectivity for Windows 10.
Overall, their support is on point, and if you are experiencing any kind of problem, chances are you’ll resolve it in no time.
Here are the best ways to solve a connectivity issue on Windows devices:
Run Diagnostics Tool & Reset App
In Advanced settings on the VPN client, you will see a button that says “Run Diagnostics Tool”. When a piece of software is experiencing issues, you usually run a diagnostic check to possibly locate the error.
Once you click on this, your device will start collecting data and report any issues to the developers.
When it’s done, click on the “Reset app” button, and NordVPN will return to its initial app settings and possibly resolve the issue you were having with your connectivity.
Check Your Firewall Settings
Your firewall might be blocking the VPN connection. It’s a common issue that happens on Windows devices. Turning off the Windows Defender Firewall is a potential solution.
To do that, you need to right-click on your PC’s Start button and choose “Run”.
In the Open text button type firewall.cpl and then click Okay.
Your computer will open the Windows Defender Firewall and from there you can choose whether to turn it off or turn it back on.
Restart The TAP Adapter
You might have noticed that when you install a VPN, you also install a TAP adapter.
This is a special network driver that helps the VPN to operate properly on your device.
But if an error message starts appearing you might need to think about restarting the TAP adapter.
The process is easy. Start by opening the Run command on your Windows (either right-click on the Start button to find it or use the quick Windows key + R keyboard shortcut).
Type ncpa.cpl on the Open text button, and press Okay.
In your Network Connections, find the NordVPN TAP adapter and right-click on it to disable it. After that, do the same, but this time click to enable it.
Connect to NordVPN again and see if it is working.
Reset Windows Network Settings
You are going to need the Run command on this one again.
However, it’s important to be careful this time. Open Run, and type cmd in the Open text box.
Once the window is open type the following controls, and press enter after each one.
netsh winsock reset
netsh interface ipv4 reset
netsh interface ipv6 reset
netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
Restart your computer AFTER you’ve entered and run ALL of them. If the problem continues, try this next alternative.
If nothing else works, remove the VPN client and reinstall NordVPN again on your device.
This time, make sure to follow the installation process as well as every instruction.
NordVPN has a lot of excellent tutorials and videos on the subject.
MacOS is different than Windows, but some of the quick solutions that I mentioned before can be used to resolve the VPN connectivity issues. Make sure to check if you have problems with your account, whether it is active, check different servers, etc.
However, in case these tips don’t help, the next step is to reset NordVPN’s app preferences on the device.
To do that, you need to start by closing NordVPN completely, through the “Quit” button.
Press command + space button at the same time and search for the Terminal.
Once you open the Terminal, run the following commands:
defaults delete com.nordvpn.NordVPN
defaults delete com.nordvpn.osx-apple
defaults delete com.nordvpn.osx
Close the Terminal and reopen NordVPN’s client to see if the problem was successfully fixed.
Have you checked everything from the quick solutions mentioned before?
The one with changing between TCP and UDP can be really helpful when it comes to connectivity issues in Android. So, make sure to:
- Check for account issues;
- Switch between TCP and UDP;
- Reinstall your app;
- Switch between servers.
If you have tried everything from the list, but NordVPN is still not responsive and you can’t connect, here is what else you can do:
- Allow NordVPN on other applications such as your antivirus, the power saver app, etc.
- If you have any, remove running Firewall applications on your Android. Your VPN won’t be able to connect while a Firewall is running on the device simultaneously.
- Change the DNS servers (Settings – Wi-Fi – Modify Network – Show Advanced Options – change IP settings to Static – add 126.96.36.199 to DNS1 and 188.8.131.52 to DNS2 – press Save – disconnect and reconnect on your network).
- Reset your network settings (Settings – Backup & Reset – Network Settings Reset – Reset Settings).
To resolve the connectivity issue on your iPhone or iPod, check if there is something wrong with your account, whether you’ve got the password right, etc. For more, check the quick solutions from above.
If this doesn’t help, the problem most likely lies in the connection configuration.
Reset Network Settings
Make sure that you are using Wi-Fi for this instead of cellular data.
The process is simple, and it won’t take too much of your time. Only follow these instructions:
- Open Settings – General – Reset – Reset Network Settings;
- Settings – Wi-Fi – press the ‘i’ button to see the settings – click ‘Renew Lease’;
- Restart your device.
To add the provider’s DNS server addresses, open your device’s Settings once again. Find the Wi-Fi and pick a network. Tap on the ‘i’ icon and select Configure DNS – Manual – Add server.
Once you are there, add the next two DNS addresses: 184.108.40.206 & 220.127.116.11 then click on the Save button.
Finally, Linux is a bit different than most operating systems.
You can still, however, use some of the quick solutions mentioned before. If they don’t seem to be helpful, proceed with the following:
If you want to update the application, you’ll have to open the Terminal and type the proper commands that will then update NordVPN.
You can find out more about that here.
To reinstall NordVPN on Linux, you should first remove the app properly by typing this command:
sudo apt –purge autoremove nordvpn
Once it’s removed, you can install the app again following one of NordVPN’s tutorials.
Manually Connect to NordVPN
Finally, if you still cannot connect to NordVPN, try your last resource and connect manually through the Linux Terminal.
For more info on how to do it, check this NordVPN video.
Still Nothing? These Are Your Final Options
If after all of this, you still have issues with your connectivity, I suggest taking a look at the ultimate two options.
Keep in mind that if there is a temporary issue going on with NordVPN that prevents you from connecting, the company will most likely disclose the information on the website or Twitter.
If there is no official statement by them, then proceed by contacting their customer support.
Contact Customer Support
NordVPN has 24/7 customer support.
You can either use the live chat or their ticketing system. Explain your problem to the customer support representative.
Go through every solution you already tried, and see if they can offer something new.
After all, a capable customer support can help you with pretty much anything, unless the problem is permanent. In that case, the final thing that you could do is to switch providers.
Try Alternative VPN
If NordVPN is not working and you can’t seem to find a solution to the problem, the best thing would be to try an alternative VPN. I know how difficult this transition can be, in terms of time and money, but it’s better than staying unprotected online.
Although NordVPN is a very capable provider, sometimes these things happen.
Make sure to check every option on the list before you turn to this last resort, and report the issue to NordVPN.
For an alternative VPN, I would recommend ExpressVPN (get a discount).
As the leader in the industry, and one of the most capable providers alongside NordVPN, ExpressVPN has much to offer. It’s reliable, very secure, and rich in features.
So if NordVPN is not working, I would much rather turn to ExpressVPN, than staying unprotected online, and I advise you to do the same thing.