NordVPN Won’t Connect – How to Fix?

Updated: 25 April 2021
Updated: 25 April 2021

Miklos Zoltan

Fact-checked by

In this guide, you will learn to troubleshoot:

  • Common NordVPN connectivity issues.
  • Platform-specific connectivity issues on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
  • No internet when connected to NordVPN.

Quick Summary

You may experience connectivity issues while using NordVPN. These issues may stem from the VPN app, your system, the network, or other configurations. This guide will help you solve common and complex problems most users encounter with NordVPN.

Use the Chapters section on the right to jump to a fix for the issue you’re experiencing.

NordVPN Won't Connect

Troubleshoot Common NordVPN Connectivity Issues

Check your internet connection

Ensure you have a working internet connection before connecting to NordVPN. Test your internet connection by opening your favorite websites. If they are working, you can connect your VPN. If you have no internet, check whether your other devices can connect to the internet. If not, proceed as follows:

  1. Restart your router.
  2. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network or the ethernet cable if you are not using Wi-Fi.
  3. Contact your ISP regarding your internet connectivity.

Check your VPN account status and credentials

Verify if you are entering the proper credentials and you have an active VPN subscription. You can check your account status on the Nord Account page. You can also check your credentials on the account dashboard. Note, router VPN credentials are different from the VPN app credentials.

If you have an active account and the proper credentials but cannot connect, check out the following fixes.

Connect to different VPN servers

If a server is congested, it may reject new connections. Reconnecting to a different server may solve the problem. To check for server congestion on the NordVPN app:

  1. Go to the server countries section.
  2. Hover your mouse on your preferred country and click on the three dots.
  3. On the server section, click the drop-down arrow, you will see server congestion in percentages.

NordVPN automatically connects to the fastest server. However, this might not always be the case.

Important: This solution usually solves 90% or more of the known NordVPN connection issues. Sometimes you just need to keep trying different servers until you find one that works.

Check if the correct TCP and UDP ports are open

NordVPN opens the 443 TCP and 1194 UDP ports for connectivity. It does this automatically with little intervention. However, some services and even your firewall may deny NordVPN access to these ports.

During installation, allow NordVPN to pass through the firewall. You’ll learn more about this under the troubleshooting platform-specific connectivity issues section.

Antivirus issues

Antivirus suites may block NordVPN connections. These suites may recognize tunneling activities as potential malware services. Some antivirus suites also have a firewall that might block your VPN connection. Add NordVPN to the exception list to avoid connectivity issues.

VPN software bugs

A bug in the VPN software may cause connectivity issues. Software bugs are hard to resolve as they are hard to detect. You can solve software issues by reinstalling NordVPN, using the most up-to-date version, and updating your system. You can also try to optimize your system, clearing the cache and deleting temporary files.

Platform-Specific Connectivity Issues

Windows

NordVPN connectivity issues on Windows can be due to some issues. Here is a systematic rundown on how to troubleshoot them.

Step 1: Set up the NordVPN app correctly. Adjust connection configurations such as:

  • Reconnecting to another server.
  • Switching between UDP, TCP, and NordLynx protocols.

Step 2: Reset the NordVPN application using the following method:

  • Launch the VPN app and click on Settings.
  • Go to Advanced.
  • Click Run Diagnostics Tool.
  • In the new window that opens, select Reset app.

Step 3: Ensure TAP adapters are functioning correctly. This will solve the ‘TAP driver error’ and the ‘FATAL: Blocking DNS failed’ error. Proceed as follows:

  • Uninstall and reinstall the NordVPN TAP drivers:
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Under Programs, click Uninstall a Program.
  3. Find the NordVPN Network Tap and uninstall it.
  4. Download and install the TAP drivers and try connecting again.

Step 4: Configure the TAP driver as follows if the TAP issue persists:

  1. Open the Control Panel and click Network and Internet.
  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Go to Change Adapter Settings.
  4. Right-click TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter and select Properties.
  5. Go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
  6. Click on the Advanced tab, uncheck Automatic, and set Interface metric to 1.

Step 5: If you still have connectivity issues, configure your firewall, network settings, and even check for System Updates.

  • Firewall and antivirus configurations: Add exceptions for NordVPN.exe, nordvpn-service.exe, and openvpn-service.exe. Also, add these exceptions to your antivirus. For advanced firewalls, you can also add inbound and outbound rules for the three programs.
  • Configure NordVPN smart DNS.
    1. Open the Control Panel and click Network and Internet.
    2. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
    3. Go to Change Adapter Settings.
    4. Right-click TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter and select Properties.
    5. Go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
    6. Select Use the following DNS addresses and add Nord DNS addresses 103.86.96.100 and 103.86.99.100.
  • Reset your network stack. You can do this via the NordVPN app or through the command prompt.
  • On the NordVPN app:
    1. Launch the VPN app and click on Settings.
    2. Go to Advanced.
    3. Click Run Diagnostics Tool.
    4. In the new window that opens, select Network Flush.
  • On the command prompt.
    1. Click on the taskbar search box, type command prompt. Under the command prompt app, click Run as administrator and confirm.
    2. At the command prompt, enter the following commands one by one.
      • Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
      • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
      • Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter. (wait for a moment)
      • Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
      • Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
      • Type netsh interface ipv4 reset and press Enter.
      • Type netsh interface ipv6 reset and press Enter.
      • Type netsh winsock reset catalog and press Enter.
      • Type netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log and press Enter.
      • Type netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log and press Enter.
    3. Restart your computer.
  • If the issues persist, update your Windows system.

macOS

NordVPN connectivity issues on Macs are primarily due to app configurations. Here is how to troubleshoot them:

Step 1: Reset the NordVPN app through the terminal. Proceed as follows:

  1. Shut down the NordVPN app if it has been running. Right-click NordVPN in the Dock and select Quit.
  2. To open the Terminal, Press the Command button + space bar and then type ‘terminal’ in the search field. Click on the Terminal app icon that appears.
  3. In the Terminal, enter these commands:

    defaults delete com.nordvpn.osx-apple (if you installed Nord from the App Store)

    defaults delete com.nordvpn.osx (if you installed Nord from the official website)
  4. Launch the NordVPN app.

Step 2: Change the connection protocol if the connectivity problem persists.

  1. Launch the VPN app and click on Settings.
  2. Select General tab.
  3. On the VPN Protocol, select either UDP or the TCP protocol.

Linux

You can solve NordVPN connectivity issues on Linux by updating the system, the app, or doing a manual install.

Step 1: Update the NordVPN app through the terminal. Proceed as follows:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Type the following commands to update the app. These commands will also update apps that have newer versions.

    sudo apt-get update 

    sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. Open NordVPN after the update.

Step 2: Uninstall the app and resort to a manual connection.

  • Use the following command to uninstall NordVPN. You might be required to enter your system password.

    sudo apt-get – -purge autoremove nordvpn*

Step 3: Use a manual connection through the terminal.

Before switching to a manual connection, first, you need to disable IPv6. This addressing scheme can cause conflicts with the VPN connection. How to disable IPv6 is different on most Linux variants:

On a Red Hat-based system:

  1. Open a terminal window and change to the root user.
  2. Enter the following commands: 
    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1

    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6=1
    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.tun0.disable_ipv6=1
  3. To re-enable IPv6, enter these commands:

    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0

    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6=0

    sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.tun0.disable_ipv6=0

    sysctl -p

On Debian based distributions

  1. Open a terminal window and type this command:
    
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
  2. Add the following at the bottom of the file:
    
net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
    
net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1

    net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1

    net.ipv6.conf.tun0.disable_ipv6 = 1
  3. Save and close the file.
  4. Reboot the device.
  5. To re-enable IPv6, remove the above lines from /etc/sysctl.conf and reboot the device.

After disabling IPV6, start the manual connection procedure as follows:

  1. Open the Terminal and enter the following command to install the OpenVPN client. You might be required to enter your system password.
    sudo apt-get install openvpn
  2. Enter the following command to go to the OpenVPN configuration directory;
    cd /etc/openvpn
  3. Download the OpenVPN configuration files with the command;
 sudo wget https://downloads.nordcdn.com/configs/archives/servers/ovpn.zip
  4. If you encounter ERROR: The certificate of `nordvpn.com’ is not trusted, use the following command to install the ca-certificates package
    sudo apt-get install ca-certificates

    Otherwise go to the next step
  5. Use the following command to extract the downloaded ovpn.zip
 
    sudo unzip ovpn.zip 
  6. Enter the directory containing the server configurations.
    They will be named either ovpn_udp or ovpn_tcp.
  7. To access the list of all available NordVPN servers, enter the following; 
 
    ls -al
  8. Choose a server to connect to and start OpenVPN with the chosen configuration.
  9. Enter your NordVPN credentials and the VPN will establish a connection.
  10. To disconnect, open Terminal and press Ctrl + C

Android

To troubleshoot NordVPN connectivity issues on Android, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Configure the NordVPN app correctly by:

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the app from Play Store.
  • Switching between UDP and TCP protocols.
  • Connecting to different servers.

Step 2: Configure Firewall app, antivirus, and your Network settings.

  • Firewall: Ensure your firewall app is off when you want to use NordVPN. Firewall apps rely on the same VPN interface as NordVPN in Android. When one application is using this interface, no other application is allowed to use it.
  • Antivirus configurations: Add exceptions for the NordVPN app in your antivirus apps. Also, exclude NordVPN from power saving options, sleeping options, and other optimizers and cleaners. This ensures it runs in the background hence no disconnections.
  • Reset your Android network settings:
    1. Open the device Settings, tap on General management, and select Reset.
    2. Tap Reset network settings and click on Reset settings.
    3. You will be required to unlock your phone (if you have a lock)
    4. Tap Reset settings again to reset all network settings.
    5. Reconnect to your network, and activate your VPN.
  • Set the NordVPN smart DNS if the connectivity problem persists:
    1. Open the device Settings, tap on Connections and select Wi-Fi.
    2. Tap on the cog icon next to your current Wi-Fi network and click Advanced.
    3. Go to IP settings and change to Static.
    4. In the DNS 1 section, enter the following IP address: 103.86.96.100, and on DNS 2 section, enter 103.86.99.100.
    5. Tap on Save and disconnect and reconnect to the network.

iOS

Use the following steps to troubleshoot NordVPN iOS connectivity issues:

Step 1: Adjust the NordVPN app configurations correctly by:

  • Switching between UDP and TCP connection protocols.
  • Switching between various servers.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the NordVPN app.

Step 2: Configure the NordVPN DNS addresses for Wi-Fi connection:

  1. Open the Settings app and select Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap on the “i” icon next to the network you want to change the DNS.
  3. Scroll down and tap Configure DNS and select Manual;
  4. Tap the ‘red minus‘ to remove the existing addresses:>/li>
  5. Tap Add Server and add these DNS addresses:

    103.86.96.100
    
103.86.99.100
  6. Tap Save.

Step 3: Reset your Wi-Fi network settings and reconnect again if the problem persists:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to General > Reset and then Reset Network Settings.

Note: This resets all cellular, VPN, APN, and Wi-Fi network settings and passwords that you’ve used before.

Troubleshoot No Internet Access Once Connected to a VPN Server

If you have a successful connection but with no internet, try the following:

  • Restart your router and try reconnecting again.
  • Switch and test all the available VPN protocols; UDP, TCP, and NordLynx.
  • Temporarily disable your security software and try reconnecting.
  • Perform a Network flush using the VPN app as illustrated in the Windows fix.
  • Do a DNS change on the VPN app:
    1. Launch the VPN app and click on Settings.
    2. Go to Advanced.
    3. Enable Custom DNS settings.
    4. Click on Set DNS server address and enter 8.8.8.8
    5. Again, click on Set DNS server address and enter 8.8.4.4 on the second field.
    6. Try reconnecting again.

Wrap up

This guide will help you troubleshoot NordVPN connectivity issues. If you encounter new problems, let us know. We will try our best and find a fix for you.

Written by: Justin Oyaro

Connect with the author:

Tech and Cybersecurity Expert Justin is a cybersecurity expert with over 5 years of experience that stretches across various technological realms. He is a valued expert in cybersecurity, Cord-cutting, Cryptocurrency, Smartphones, How-tos and other related fields. Justin has written authoritative content for multiple Cybersecurity websites and blogs on matters regarding privacy and security. He also does pen test on tech products such as smartphone applications and websites. When he is not writing, Justin spends most of his time on the latest tech trends and Android Studio. Justin is also a degree holder in Information Systems Technology and Master of Computer Applications (M.C.A.), University of Adelaide.

5 thoughts on “NordVPN Won’t Connect – How to Fix?”

  1. Hassan says:

    It won’t work on my iOS devices whatever I do, works fine on my windows 10 laptop

  2. michael rodman says:

    getting NordVPN quit unexpectedly Exception Type: EXC_BAD_INSTRUCTION (SIGILL)
    Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000001, 0x0000000000000000
    Exception Note: EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY
    deleted and reinstalled app but still keep getting this and can’t open NordVPN….this all started after new MAC update to MacOS Catalina 10.15.3

  3. anachro says:

    NordVPN support could not get my installation to connect on os-x.
    Bogdan fixed it with the first sentence under mac: user OpenVPN app instead.

    Thanks

  4. Greek Soon says:

    can’t connect from Guangdong China, i have tried nordvpn and openvpn

  5. H. Goindalf says:

    I did all of the instructions under “Linux Fix” — 3 times, very carefully in LinuxMint 20.1. I also did this in Linuxmint 19.3. In both instances I get “Please check your internet connection and try again.” when I issue command “sudo nordvpn login”. When I issue the command “sudo openvpn /etc/openvpn/ovpn_udp/us2957.nordvpn.com.udp.ovpn” it seems to be running, but the whatsmyip site says it hasn’t changed. When I go the the nordvpn site to check my ip, it says “USA”. Some sites are blocked in my location. They remain blocked even when nordvpn is running. They are not blocked when I run tor, of course.

    History: NordVPN was working for a while, then it quit–I think after a system software update.

    I followed the instrux in “Linux Fix”, and it worked. —until I rebooted the machine. Now all I get is that same error about checking the internet connection.

    Also, I did disable ipv6 according to the instructions on the nordvpn site.

    How can I fix this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *