VPNs have become instrumental in online safety and privacy. But they, too, are merely software. As such, they are fraught with issues. One such problem with a VPN provider is the question of compatibility. Today, the internet is a valuable marketplace that everyone wants to conquer. Hence, several entities censor, monitor, and control the internet for profit. A VPN is paramount when navigating such spaces without raising questions. But sometimes, it fails to deliver as it suddenly fails to work or simply doesn’t support a particular device or system. It happens due to varying compatibility among VPNs and the devices they are running on.
What is VPN Compatibility?
VPN compatibility is the ability of a VPN to work flawlessly with popular services and features. Because all these things are made by different companies and developers, occasionally compatibility issues might arise. A good VPN will work even with any possible incompatibilities.
Why VPN Compatibility is Important?
Just like any other software, a VPN must be compatible with your device and other software installed. If not, it will not only cause the VPN to not run but also result in other tools misbehaving. Thankfully, most of the VPN services that are regularly updated, are compatible with almost any popular tool or device.
Before blindly going for any particular VPN provider, it is vital to understand the features and functions it provides. You should also avoid using multiple VPN services (traditional ones), without proper research and configurations. In this particular scenario, go for a double VPN.
Common VPN Compatibility Troubleshooting Methods
If you suspect compatibility issues with your VPN, then don’t worry. All is not lost; you can first try these easy and quick troubleshooting methods to rectify the situation. But we do recommend contacting the service provider if your VPN still fails to work after trying such methods.
Method 1. Test your internet connection
VPNs require an active internet connection to function. If you are trying to connect to a VPN server and failing, then it’s time to check your internet. Oftentimes, a slow or faulty internet connection can prevent a VPN from working. So before using the service, open your web browser and check if your internet is working fine or not. You can also try to change your network or switch to a wired internet connection. However, if the internet is fine and the VPN still fails to function, you might try other methods.
Method 2. Check Minimum Requirements
Software is a program that can run on a device. However, every piece of software is different, and it requires different things. Take VPNs, for example. Most come with a list asserting the minimum requirements needed for optimal use. Hence, check with the provider and visit the VPN website to figure out the system requirements for your VPN and ascertain that your system meets all of them. If not, then it is obvious that you will have compatibility issues.
Method 3. Check System Compatibility
VPN providers offer software for more than one system or OS. However, not every provider is the same. While top-tier vendors do offer different VPN clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and even gaming consoles, VPN routers, and streaming devices, many VPN services cater only to a particular system. Thus, if you are trying to install a Windows VPN on a MacBook, that certainly won’t work. Before downloading a VPN, make sure to check your system’s compatibility.
Method 4. Ensure you have downloaded the right software
Some users try to get their VPNs from third-party vendors or suspicious sources. Such VPNs are guaranteed to work and, in extreme cases, might even harm your system. We recommend everyone get the VPN from the correct and trusted source and always download the right software after checking the system requirements, and the current version of the software, and referring to the official VPN website. VPNs are essential to your online security, so it is paramount that such software not be from a dubious source.
Method 5. Update the VPN client
VPNs also fail to work if the software is old. Such VPN applications are infested with bugs and are vulnerable to threats. Hence, chances are the VPN is no longer compatible because it has stopped receiving security patches. To rectify this, you need to update the VPN app on your system. You can visit the official website and download the latest version of the VPN or use the app store on the system to update it.
Method 6. Prevent Human Error
Human error is also a contributing factor in digital problems. While most VPN providers offer a friendly and easy-to-use UI, there are some that feature advanced settings. Sometimes playing with such settings can cause issues, such as, but not limited to, a faulty VPN connection. If you have changed the protocol or switched off ports, then the VPN might not function. Some VPNs are installed manually using the system’s in-built functions. Choosing the correct protocols and servers can prevent compatibility issues.
Method 7. Check your VPN credentials
If you are entering the wrong username or password, then your VPN won’t connect. It is important to keep your VPN credentials safe. Hence, if your VPN is not connecting, or you are not even able to log in, chances are you are entering either an incorrect username or password. You can recover it from the official website by clicking on the Forgot Password link.
Method 8. Turn off Firewall and Antivirus
A firewall is a security feature that prevents malicious entities from accessing your network. However, sometimes a firewall can also prevent your VPN from establishing a connection, especially if it fails to recognize it as a trusted application. The same is true for antivirus software. An antivirus primarily prevents suspicious files from accessing your system. Hence, if you are experiencing VPN trouble, it is recommended to turn off your firewall and antivirus and try again.
Method 9. Remove older or additional VPN
Sometimes a user may have more than one VPN on his system. Or he might have used a VPN once but failed to remove it completely. In such cases, the current VN might experience conflict with the additional and leftover files. Hence, you are advised to clear your system of any older or additional VPNs to prevent compatibility issues. Also, take note that when uninstalling a VPN, you remove all the associated files.
Method 10. Reinstall your VPN
Lastly, we have to suggest reinstalling your VPN to rectify compatibility issues. Chances are your VPN was installed incorrectly, or your VPN settings are in disarray. Thus, you should first cleanly uninstall the VPN and then visit the official VPN website to download the latest version to reinstall it.