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Why does my VPN connection keep dropping every couple minutes?

There are many reasons why PrivateTunnel might be dropping its connection. Here are some of the more common reasons:

  • Inadequate Signal Strength - If you are connected to a signal based network such as Wi-Fi or on a mobile Internet connection, low signal strength will likely cause your connection to drop due to excessive data losses. To resolve this issue, try using a wired connection or a signal booster which can help increase the reliability of your connection.
  • Network Congestion - When connected to a network that is shared with other individuals, such as coffee shops, airports, apartment complexes, heavy utilization of the Internet connection can cause your PrivateTunnel VPN connection to become unstable. Whenever possible, try to connect to a connection that is not heavily utilized when you require consistent connectivity to our service.
  • High Network Latency - High latency network links, such as those using satellite type uplinks, may cause excessive data losses that result in a connection timeout. While PrivateTunnel generally works fine under these situations, the VPN connection will not be optimal when subjected to very high network latencies.
  • Misconfigured Firewall / Routers - PrivateTunnel operates primarily on the connectionless UDP protocol and improper configuration of your firewalls / routers may cause your connection to drop frequently. Unfortunately, this scenario also happens with smaller, international mobile carriers, and adjustments to your configuration may be necessary to maintain consistent connectivity. If you suspect misconfiguration, you are encouraged to check the following:
    a. Windows - On your local computer, make sure that any security software that may be installed on your computer is allowing both ptcore.exe and PrivateTunnel.exe access to the Internet.
    b. If restrictive firewalls are being used, make sure these firewalls allow outbound connections to TCP/80, TCP/443, and UDP/1194. If non-stateful firewall rules are used, the reverse direction must also be allowed.
    c. Make sure that the UDP connection / state timeout setting on your router is set to at least 300 seconds (5 minutes). Some optimization guides online advise using smaller values that cause the connections to expire prematurely and therefore causing a timeout on your VPN connection.
    d. If you do not have access to any of these settings (e.g. if you are a subscriber to a mobile Internet service and have no access to these settings), force the client to connect using TCP mode. Do note that you will encounter a performance penalty under TCP mode so please refrain from using this unless it is your last option of choice. Please contact support if you require directions on how to do this on your device.
  • Device Sleep Modes - Some mobile devices, such as the iPhone and some Android devices, disables the Internet connection when the device is in sleep mode to conserve battery power (i.e. if you turn your screen off.) Under these circumstances, the VPN connection will also be put on standby until a connection is made available. If you frequently turn your screen on and off, you may notice that the VPN connection will attempt to reconnect as soon as the device is turned on. This is normal behavior and should not be a reason for concern. If this behavior is undesirable, consult your device manual on how to disable these power-saving features on your device.
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  • 11-Feb-2017