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The reason people use VPNs is because they want true privacy – that is they do not want the government or their ISP sticking their beaks into what they are doing online. However, there are times when your VPN does not work, and that means you are unable to get online and appreciate the comfort of the privacy that you are paying for. The good news is there are plenty of ways to solve this problem without having to work too hard. Fixing VPN problems on Windows 10 is actually quite easy. 

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Having a guide to fix VPN problems in Windows 10 keeps you from pulling your hair out from frustration of VPN not working. Regardless of if you have the fastest VPN on your PC, if your VPN is not working, then speed is pointless. There are a bunch of reasons that your VPN may not be working, and the steps listed below handle all sorts of issues like the VPN is not connecting, there is a connection but no access, webpage doesn’t load, or you could need something simple like a DNS flush or more complex solutions like registry entry editing. 

Before we get going on solving these problems, just some simple housekeeping. Make sure that your Windows 10 is updated so that you are running the latest version. Many times, these updates will fix your VPN issues and this guide will not be needed. Another trick is to reinstall the different network drivers. Find the latest version of the drivers; if that does not work, try the old drivers. Sometimes this will also fix issues. A cached DNS could be a problem if you changed it, but the computer keeps defaulting to the old DNS. Flush the cache. If connected to a router, check the router and update if need be. 

There is a bit of a learning curve on these tips, so if you are a novice and don’t feel comfortable, that’s ok. Have someone who is comfortable with Windows 10 help you out. Make sure you are using the administrator’s account, this way you will have no problem fixing the issues. 

Reinstall VPN Software

This solves a lot of problems because sometimes the VPN software does not agree with Windows 10. Uninstall the software and reinstall it. Often, one of the biggest issues that happens is the VPN configuration conflicts with what Windows is doing, and the reinstallation fixes these issues. 

That being said, also make sure that your subscription to the VPN is active. If your subscription is not active, the VPN will shut down your access. Make sure that if you have auto debit or other features that everything is working properly on your end before progressing to the next step.

Reinstall WAN MiniPorts

The drives for different types of network connections are called WAN miniports. The WAN miniport (IP), WAN Miniport (IPv6), and the WAN Miniport (PPTP) are what’s used for connecting to the VPN. The good news is reinstalling these drivers is simple when using Windows. Here are the steps:

Open Device Manager

Select Network Adapters

Uninstall WAN Miniport (IP), WAN Miniport(IPv6) and WAN Miniport (PPTP).

Select Action, and then select Scan for hardware changes

At this point, all of the uninstalled adaptors should return, and once this happens, you should try to reconnect. When you reconnect, this means you will probably be ready to go.

Troubleshoot TAP-Windows Adapter

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There are plenty of tutorials on this particular feature, but the reality is applications that are software based offer what’s called TAP functionality. This is required for most VPN software to run properly. The truth is this is pretty easy to fix, and there are many different tutorials available for people who need to fix their TAP-Windows Adapter.

Insert an Exception for UDP by editing The Registry

Another way of transmitting data is through something called User Datagram Protocol, or UDP. UDP is ideal for applications connecting with low latency and have the ability to tolerate loss. Most VPN and Windows software uses this. Whenever there are security issues or failures, the UDP must establish security associations with both the Windows PC and the server. 

Accessing the registry editor to get this done is pretty simple, but you might need to create a new input or just update one. Here are the steps:

Backup your registry.

Within Cortana’s Search Bar, key in “regedit” and you will open the Registry Editor from the search results

Scroll until you get to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PolicyAgent

Right-click on this and you will create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Key in AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule, and then press ENTER.

Right-click AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule, and then select Modify.

There is a Value Data box, key in 2. A value of 2 configures Windows with the security associations for the time where the server and Windows-based VPN client are using NAT devices. 

 Reboot, and see if this works.

Configure Firewall

The function of the Windows Firewall is ensuring no unsecured or unauthorized connection accesses your PC. The Windows Firewall will sometimes not allow those requests because it assumes the VPN software is a threat. 

Go to the Cortana Search Bar, key in “Firewall”; then you will select “Allow an App Through Windows Firewall.”

Select the Change Settings option

There will be a massive list, but all you need to do is make sure to find your VPN software. Once you do that, make sure Public and Private networks are enabled.

If, for some reason, the software is not there, then use another app to find it manually.

Disable IPv6

One problem that can happen is the IPv6 has issues connecting with the network. Network defaults are usually IPv4. You can check these by disabling IPv6 and then forcing everything to run on IPv4. Every VPN builds its own software-based network adapter. The way to take care of this is changing the settings for the VPN to IPv4.

Here’s how to do it:

Open Network and Internet and then go to Network and Sharing Center.

Choose Change adapter settings from the left pane.

Right-click on VPN network adapter and select Properties.

Uncheck box beside IPv6 and confirm changes.

Reboot your PC to tray again.

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