why does my VPN keep disconnecting

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become increasingly popular in recent years as more internet users prioritize privacy and security while browsing the web. VPNs help safeguard your data by creating encrypted connections between your device and a VPN server, thereby masking your IP address and making it harder for third parties to track your online activities. However, VPNs are not perfect, and one common issue that many users encounter is their VPN connection disconnecting frequently.

When a VPN connection drops, your online privacy and security can be compromised or be exposed to potential security risks. Several factors can cause VPN disconnections, ranging from server issues and protocol settings to problems with your device or internet connection. Understanding these factors and knowing how to address them is crucial to maintaining a reliable VPN experience and ensuring your online activities remain safe.

Key Takeaways

  • VPN disconnections can be caused by various factors, such as server issues, protocol settings, and device limitations.
  • Ensuring connection stability and using the appropriate security settings can help maintain a reliable VPN experience.
  • Troubleshooting steps and choosing a recommended VPN provider can help minimize disconnects and ensure your online privacy.

Common Causes of VPN Disconnecting

Unstable Internet Connection

One of the most common reasons for a VPN to disconnect frequently is an unstable internet connection. If your Wi-Fi signal is weak or inconsistent, the VPN may lose connectivity. This is because your VPN requires a stable connection to maintain a secure tunnel between your device and the server. A few factors that may cause instability in your internet connection include:

  • Interference: Other electronic devices around your Wi-Fi router, such as microwaves or cordless phones, can cause interference.
  • Distance: If you are too far away from your Wi-Fi router, the signal may not be strong enough to maintain a stable VPN connection.
  • Congestion: High network traffic on your internet connection, for example, during peak usage hours, may lead to a slower or unstable connection.

Incompatible Router Firmware

Another potential cause of VPN disconnecting is incompatible or outdated router firmware. Your router’s firmware controls the features and settings of your router, and outdated firmware may lead to compatibility issues with the VPN app. Some routers may not be able to handle the encryption protocols used by the VPN, causing it to disconnect frequently. To fix this issue, it is essential to update your router’s firmware to the latest version available from the manufacturer.

Outdated VPN App

Lastly, an outdated VPN app may be the culprit behind frequent disconnections. VPN service providers continually update their apps to improve performance, security, and stability. If you are using an outdated version of the VPN app, you may experience connectivity issues, including disconnecting from the VPN. Make sure you regularly update your VPN app to the latest version to avoid frequent disconnections and ensure optimal performance.

In summary, frequent VPN disconnections can be attributed to an unstable internet connection, incompatible router firmware, or an outdated VPN app. By addressing these potential causes, you can improve the performance and reliability of your VPN connection.

VPN Settings and Server Issues

Incorrect VPN Settings

One common reason for frequent VPN disconnections is incorrect VPN settings. You need to ensure that the configuration is accurate and updated for your specific VPN protocol. There are various protocols available, including OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and more. Each protocol has its own set of requirements, such as ports, firewall settings, and MTU settings. Make sure to carefully review and follow your VPN provider’s instructions for setting up the appropriate protocol.

If you encounter issues with your firewall blocking the VPN connection, make sure to allow the necessary traffic by adjusting your firewall settings. You can consult your VPN provider’s documentation or customer support for specific ports and rules to configure your firewall properly.

Overloaded VPN Servers

Another possible cause of VPN disconnections is an overloaded VPN server. An excess number of users connecting to the same server can lead to insufficient bandwidth, high latency, and poor overall performance. This can result in unstable connections and frequent disconnections. To remedy this issue, you can try connecting to a different server provided by your VPN service.

Most VPN services offer a vast server network with various locations around the world. Choose a VPN location that is closer to your physical location for improved performance, or select a server with a lower load. Some VPN services also provide obfuscated servers for users experiencing connection issues due to strict network restrictions or censorship.

Overcrowded Servers

Overcrowded servers can have similar effects as overloaded servers, causing unstable connections and frequent disconnections. This issue is often seen with free or low-cost VPN services, which might not have the resources to maintain an adequate infrastructure for their user base.

To avoid overcrowding issues, consider upgrading to a premium VPN plan, which typically offers a larger server network and can handle a higher number of simultaneous connections. Additionally, premium VPN services often provide various features to enhance your online security and privacy, such as advanced encryption methods, no-logs policies, and dedicated IP addresses.

Protocol and Security Concerns

Conflict between Security Software and VPN

VPN services are designed to create a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet. However, there can be conflicts with antivirus programs and firewalls. These security software solutions are built to protect your system from viruses and other malicious activities, and they may mistake VPN traffic for potentially harmful data.

This conflict can lead to your VPN connection being disrupted or disconnected entirely, as the antivirus software or firewall may block the VPN traffic. To resolve this issue, it may be necessary to adjust the settings of your security software to allow for an exception for your VPN service or temporarily disable the antivirus/firewall during VPN usage.

VPN Traffic Blocking

Some internet service providers (ISPs) and network administrators implement measures to block VPN traffic as a way to maintain their control over network resources, prevent the use of unauthorized VPNs, or adhere to location-based restrictions. This blocking can lead to VPN connections being frequently disconnected.

Identifying whether your VPN traffic is being blocked can be challenging, but observing patterns, such as a consistent timing of disconnections, can suggest that the VPN is being deliberately targeted. In such cases, switching to a different VPN server or using a different port may help bypass the blocking and maintain the stable connection.

Choosing the Right Protocol

The reliability and performance of your VPN connection can be significantly impacted by the choice of VPN protocol. Commonly used protocols include PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and SSTP. Each protocol has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, with varying levels of security and speed.

Selecting an inappropriate protocol for your specific use case can lead to unstable connections and frequent disconnections. For instance, the PPTP protocol is known for its ease of use and relatively fast speed, but it is less secure than other protocols like OpenVPN. By contrast, OpenVPN protocol provides strong security but may require additional configuration and be slower to establish a connection.

To achieve the best balance between security and performance, it is important to understand the capabilities and limitations of each protocol and choose the one that fits your needs. This may involve experimenting with different options or consulting your VPN provider, who should be able to provide guidance on the most suitable protocol for your requirements.

Connection Stability and Speed

Connection stability and speed are crucial factors in ensuring a seamless VPN experience. This section will discuss some common issues affecting the performance of your VPN, such as latency and packet loss, switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data, and the importance of testing speed and stability.

Latency and Packet Loss Issues

Latency refers to the time it takes for data packets to travel from one point to another. High latency can lead to lag and slow internet connection, impacting your VPN’s performance significantly. Packet loss, on the other hand, occurs when data packets fail to reach their destination. This can cause your VPN to disconnect frequently, compromising the reliability of the connection.

The choice of VPN protocol can affect latency and packet loss. For instance, WireGuard and OpenVPN UDP are known for their low-latency performance, whereas OpenVPN TCP might introduce higher latency due to its error-correction mechanism. To mitigate these issues, try connecting to your VPN provider’s nearest server or changing the VPN protocol to one with lower latency.

Switching between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data

A common reason for VPN disconnection is the switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data. When your device transitions between these two connections, your IP address changes, causing the VPN to disconnect and reconnect. This could result in unstable connections and frequent disconnections.

To ensure a more stable connection, consider using an Ethernet cable when possible or disabling mobile data if you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Additionally, some VPN providers offer customer support for connection stability issues, so reach out to them for assistance if the problem persists.

Testing Speed and Stability

Regularly testing the speed and stability of your VPN connection is essential for identifying and addressing potential issues. You can perform a speed test using various online tools to determine if your VPN is causing a slow internet connection. If you notice significant speed drops, it may be worth contacting your VPN provider or trying alternative servers.

Furthermore, monitor the stability of your VPN connection over time. Take note of any frequent disconnections or significant fluctuations in speed. These indicators could signal issues with your ISP, network connection, or VPN provider. Addressing these concerns promptly will ensure you maintain a reliable and stable connection.

By proactively addressing latency, packet loss, and connection stability issues, you can enhance the overall performance of your VPN and ensure a seamless browsing experience.

Device and Subscription Limitations

There could be various reasons behind a VPN connection disconnecting frequently. Two common factors include reaching your device limit or an expired VPN subscription.

Device Limit Reached

Most VPN services have a limit on the number of devices you can simultaneously connect to the same account. For example, NordVPN allows up to 6 devices connected at once, while Private Internet Access permits up to 10 devices. If you try to connect more devices than the allowed limit, the VPN might disconnect on one of the existing devices to accommodate the new connection. To avoid this, consider the following options:

  • Log out of the VPN on devices you’re not currently using.
  • Prioritize essential devices for VPN usage to avoid reaching the maximum limit.
  • Consider upgrading your plan to a subscription that supports more simultaneous connections, if available.

Expired VPN Subscription

An expired VPN subscription can cause connection issues or even lead to abrupt disconnections. Most VPN services offer multiple subscription plans to suit the varying needs of users. However, these subscriptions may lapse if not renewed on time or if there is an issue with your payment method. To resolve this, you can:

  • Verify your subscription status and plan details with the respective VPN provider.
  • If expired, renew your subscription or update your payment information as required.
  • Check for any system updates and ensure your VPN settings are up-to-date.

Maintaining your VPN’s privacy and security features, such as IKEv2, DNS protection, and the kill switch, requires a valid and active subscription. Ensuring that your subscription is up-to-date will enable the VPN service provider to keep delivering regular software and security updates. These updates can help prevent connection issues, improve Wi-Fi stability, and enhance compatibility with various devices, including Android systems.

By keeping your subscription active and managing your device connections efficiently, you can experience a more reliable VPN service and minimize the occurrence of disconnection issues. In case of persistent problems, it is advisable to consult your VPN provider’s troubleshooting guides or contact their support team for in-depth assistance.

Troubleshooting Steps

When your VPN disconnects frequently, it can be frustrating, but there are several steps you can take to resolve the issue. In this section, we will discuss three main sub-sections: Restarting Router and VPN App, Checking Device Settings, and Contacting Customer Support.

Restarting Router and VPN App

One of the simplest solutions to the problem of your VPN disconnecting is to restart both your router and the VPN app. This can help eliminate any temporary issues that may be causing the frequent disconnections.

  1. Power cycle your router: Unplug the router from the power source, wait for 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Allow the router to reboot completely before proceeding.
  2. Restart your VPN app: Close the VPN app and then relaunch it. Make sure that you are using the latest version of the app to ensure optimal performance.

Checking Device Settings

Another possibility for VPN disconnections is related to your device’s settings. Here are a few settings you should check to ensure proper VPN functionality:

  1. Update your Operating System: Make sure your device’s operating system is up to date. Outdated OS versions can cause compatibility issues with VPN apps.
  2. Disable your device’s power-saving mode: For mobile devices, power-saving mode can interfere with the VPN connection. Disable this mode and check if the disconnects persist.
  3. Change VPN protocols: Sometimes, the VPN protocol in use could be causing connection issues. Switch to a different protocol in the VPN app settings to check if it solves the issue.

Contacting Customer Support

If the issue persists after attempting the aforementioned steps, it is advisable to reach out to your VPN provider’s customer support for further assistance. They can help you identify and resolve specific issues with your VPN client, as well as offer guidance on proper configuration or any known issues with their service.

Remember to provide them with as much information as possible, such as when the problem started, the frequency of the disconnects, and any troubleshooting steps you have already tried. This will help ensure a more efficient and effective resolution.

Recommended VPN Providers

In this section, we will discuss three recommended VPN providers: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Private Internet Access. These VPNs have a good reputation for providing reliable and secure services, and they are frequently mentioned in various reviews as top choices for users seeking a premium VPN experience.


ExpressVPN is widely recognized as one of the leading VPN providers in the industry. With a large network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, it offers excellent global coverage and fast connection speeds. It uses strong encryption and supports a variety of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2, to help ensure a secure and stable connection.

One of the main reasons for VPN disconnection is an unstable or poor-quality server. ExpressVPN addresses this issue by offering a wide selection of servers, enabling users to switch to a different server if they experience disconnections. Additionally, their 24/7 customer support can provide assistance in resolving any connection issues.


NordVPN is another premium VPN provider that has gained popularity due to its commitment to security and privacy. This VPN service has more than 5,400 servers in 59 countries, which allows for reliable and fast connections around the world. NordVPN also has a strict no-logs policy and utilizes advanced security features, such as Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, and CyberSec, to protect user data.

NordVPN’s extensive server network and robust security features make it an excellent choice for users who want a VPN that prioritizes privacy and minimizes disconnections. Additionally, their dedicated apps for various devices make it easy to set up and use the VPN service, reducing the chances of disconnection due to incorrect configuration.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-established VPN provider that offers a secure and affordable solution for users looking for a dependable VPN connection. With over 35,000 servers in 78 countries, PIA provides ample coverage and server options for users who may experience disconnections with other VPN providers.

PIA supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard, and L2TP/IPsec, all of which are designed to provide a secure and stable connection. Their strict no-logs policy ensures that user data remains private. Furthermore, PIA offers easy-to-use apps for various devices, which can help minimize disconnection issues caused by incorrect settings or configuration.

In summary, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Private Internet Access are all reputable and reliable VPN providers that can help reduce the likelihood of frequent disconnections. By choosing a premium VPN service like one of these three, users can benefit from better connection stability, strong encryption, and a more secure browsing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do VPN connections frequently drop?

VPN connections may drop due to various reasons, such as unstable internet connections, outdated VPN software, or server-side issues. Additionally, some VPN providers may enforce a time limit on connections, causing them to disconnect automatically. Always ensure your internet connection is stable and update your VPN software to minimize connection drops.

What causes VPN disconnections on Windows?

Windows users may experience VPN disconnections due to settings or software-related issues. One possible cause is conflicts between the VPN software and other network applications, or outdated VPN drivers. To mitigate this, try disabling unnecessary network applications or updating VPN software and drivers. You may also refer to a detailed guide about VPN setup and configuration on Windows 7 that might help address the issue.

How to maintain VPN stability on mobile devices?

To maintain VPN stability on mobile devices, ensure that your device has the latest OS and VPN software updates. Additionally, check that your device’s power-saving mode or battery optimization features are not interfering with the VPN connection. Furthermore, use a reliable WiFi connection instead of mobile data to reduce fluctuations in connection quality.

What leads to Cisco VPN disconnecting regularly?

Cisco VPN may disconnect regularly due to issues with the VPN server, network settings, or software compatibility. To resolve this, try checking server-side settings, updating VPN software, or contacting network administrators for further support.

Reasons for ExpressVPN’s constant disconnects?

ExpressVPN might experience constant disconnects because of server-side issues, software-related problems, or limitations on certain networks. Troubleshooting these issues involves trying different server locations, updating the software, or checking your internet connection for stability. If problems persist, contacting ExpressVPN’s customer support for additional guidance might be helpful.

Why does NordVPN have disconnection issues?

NordVPN disconnection issues can be caused by factors such as server-side congestion, outdated software, or conflicts with internet security applications. To improve connection stability, try switching between server locations, ensuring your NordVPN software is up to date, and checking for any conflicts with your device’s security settings or software.


It’s evident that VPN disconnections can be quite frustrating for users, especially when it occurs frequently. There are several factors that could contribute to this issue, ranging from software problems to hardware limitations.

One of the main causes for VPN disconnections is unstable internet connections. If your internet connection constantly fluctuates or is weak, it impacts the performance of the VPN connection. To combat this issue, ensure that you have a strong internet connection, or switch to a more reliable network.

Another possible reason for VPN disconnections is outdated VPN software. Regularly updating your VPN application can help eliminate this problem and provide you with newer features and improved performance. Likewise, it’s crucial to ensure that your device’s operating system and firewall are also up to date, as these may interfere with the VPN connection.

In some cases, the issue may lie with the VPN server. Overloaded servers or interruptions in the server’s network can lead to a compromised connection. To resolve this, try connecting to a different server or reach out to your VPN service provider for assistance.

Lastly, your device’s power settings could also affect VPN connectivity. Many devices prioritize power saving over maintaining a stable VPN connection when set to “battery saver” or “power saving” modes. Adjusting your power settings to prioritize performance can help maintain a stable VPN connection.

By identifying and addressing the factors causing your VPN to disconnect, you can ensure a more secure, stable, and reliable browsing experience. Remember to stay vigilant with updates and network connections, and don’t hesitate to contact your VPN service provider for technical support if the problem persists.

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