Help, My Windows Doesn’t Connect with My VPN Solution

Misc, Q&A

OpenVPN Connection ProblemMost of our readers are Windows users. While using my VPN solution, which comes with an OpenVPN client, I found out that sometimes everything seems to be connecting fine: I enter my credentials, then the connection log displays with a lot of information that barely make sense to a regular user that doesn’t want to care about what’s said. After a few lines, Windows shows on the status bar that I am now connected through my VPN; it even shows that I now have a 10.10.10.x IP address. Learn about the OpenVPN connection problem.

Content not available for your country

Most regular users would think that when this Windows message stating that the VPN connection is established shows up, everything is fine and that they now have a secure VPN connection. They think they can now access services like Hulu, Spotify or any geo-targeted website. Then, surprise, when they try to access this site, they still have the regular message “content not available for your country.” What’s happening? Didn’t I use my VPN connection? Is this VPN solution I opted for lying to me? ….

Verify your IP address

The most advanced user will then try to verify what IP address the whole internet think they have. So let’s say that I am based in Madagascar, and I usually an IP address similar to 41.x.x .x. If I go to places like xmyip.com, it will confirm that I am actually based in Madagascar. If I used a VPN connection, and if this connection was setup correctly, xmyip.com would see that I now have a 208.x.x.x – like IP address, and it will think that I am somewhere in Los Angeles, or whatever VPN endpoint that I would have chosen.

However, most of the times, when you run an  OpenVPN client on Windows (OpenVPN is the most popular VPN protocol), everything seems to be connecting fine although the whole internet still thinks you are not behind a VPN, though you’re still showing your original country IP address.

Not an issue with the VPN provider: OpenVPN connection issues

It’s not an issue with the VPN provider that you opted for; it is an OpenVPN connection problem. A lot of people are using this software so it must be working, right? It’s not your fault too, as you are proceeding the way it should be, which is: use the OpenVPN client, enter your credentials and then hit “connect,” wait for the client to confirm that you are connected.

The issue resides in the fact that some OpenVPN client is launched at Windows startup phase, but with the wrong credentials. To be able to do low-level network configuration, the OpenVPN needs to be run with Administrator privileges. That’s where the issue lies. Most OpenVPN clients aren’t run with administrator privilege at startup, though some network components failed to load successfully.

Simple solution: Run as administrator

Luckily, the solution to the OpenVPN connection problem is pretty simple: you first need to stop the currently running OpenVPN client (this usually is a matter of exiting from the OpenVPN). Then you need to relaunch the OpenVPN with administrator mode. This is often just a matter of right-clicking on the OpenVPN icon, then chose “Run as administrator.” Now you should have the OpenVPN client running, then you can connect, and xmyip.com should find your VPN IP for this session.

This is a bit tricky and can sometimes lead you to unpredictable results.

Other possible solutions for troubleshooting OpenVPN:

  • Take a look at the OpenVPN client log file. It may show some error messages that may help you find the problem.
  • Close the OpenVPN application and restart it. If the error persists try to:
  • Restart your computer.

Some articles that may help you if you are still not able to make the OpenVPN work:

Now we’d like to hear from you any other issues you had while using your VPN connections. Tell us more in the comment section.

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