Many countries use firewalls to block access to certain websites, and VPN connections are one of the ways to bypass those blocks. However, since VPNs encrypt traffic, it can be difficult for government agencies to tell when someone is using one.

To prevent VPN connections, governments can block specific ports used by the protocol. Some VPN services offer ports that aren’t commonly used by other applications, such as OpenVPN port 1194, to help avoid these types of blocks. Some VPNs also offer ‘Multi-Hop’, which routes traffic through multiple servers for increased privacy and reliability, although it often comes at the expense of speed.

There are also a variety of methods that VPNs can use to disguise their traffic, making it more difficult for firewalls to detect them. For example, many VPNs will change their IP addresses regularly, and they may use different protocols to communicate with servers. Some VPNs will even use a special type of DNS called ‘SmartDNS’, which replaces the default public DNS used by your router with a server that is more likely to be unblocked.

This can be particularly effective on devices that don’t support VPN connections, such as smart TVs and gaming consoles. However, it’s worth noting that this can also be a significant privacy risk, so it’s best used for short periods of time, and with caution.

The most common reason for VPN connection issues is that the network you’re connected to is preventing the VPN from working properly. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including public networks that are easy to hack. Public networks are a particular problem because they give anyone with malicious intent the ability to see a huge amount of data in a very short period of time. If you’re using a VPN on a public network, it’s a good idea to connect via Ethernet instead of WiFi.

In some cases, a VPN can be blocked entirely if the service’s servers are located in a country that has restrictive Internet policies. These restrictions are often used by governments to keep their citizens from using social media and other online tools that could lead to protests. Fortunately, this is a very rare occurrence, and the majority of top-rated VPNs will still be able to provide reliable protection even in restrictive states.

Another common cause of VPN disconnections is if your device isn’t compatible with the protocols that are used by the VPN. This can be caused by software or hardware conflicts, and can usually be resolved by deleting any VPN apps that aren’t currently in use on the device. If you have tried changing your VPN settings and reconfiguring the network and your device, but your VPN continues to disconnect, it may be a problem with your network itself. In this case, it’s worth trying connecting to a VPN on a different network or at a friend’s house. If the problem persists, it’s probably best to contact your provider for assistance.