VPN Troubleshooting FAQs

As many of us are now working from home using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) software, these FAQs can be helpful for troubleshooting some common issues.

What is VPN?

At a high level, once you’ve launched and authenticated VPN software, you’ve created an encrypted connection between your home and your workplace.

Why do I sometimes have performance/access issues when using VPN?

In most VPN configurations, internet requests from your computer no longer travel directly from your home to the website or service you’re trying to access.

Instead, requests go from your home to your workplace and then back out to the internet and get returned the same way. This can decrease the performance of basic internet browsing, and in some cases even prevent you from accessing websites or services based on network rules set by your workplace.

What should I do if I’m having issues while using a VPN?

First, check to make sure no one else at home has launched a game download, or is uploading video to a platform like YouTube, or performing any other network-intensive task that may be taking over your connection. Consider asking others at home to wait until later to do these things.

Next, try a computer or device in your home that’s not using the VPN or turn the VPN off to see if your connectivity issue goes away.

  • If other devices at home are working normally, or disabling the VPN resolves the issues, the issue is with your VPN. Contact your workplace’s IT support team or VPN provider to see if there are any issues or restrictions on the service.
  • If the issue is occurring on all devices at home, contact our Home Internet Technical Support for help.

Are there basic things I should be aware of when using a VPN?

Your IT support team or VPN provider likely has a guide specific to their services, with recommended best practices. Generally though, it’s a good idea to:

  • Find out if you need to be connected to VPN to use the service you need to access, and only connect when necessary. A lot of common office collaboration tools – like Office 365 or Google Suite – don’t need you to be connected to a VPN to use.
  • Avoid streaming video while connected to VPN. This can be very demanding on the service, as delivering video increases the load on your company’s connection. This can result in a connection that seems slower or non-responsive for you and those you work with. Stick to voice conferencing when possible.