Are you wondering why certain apps installed on your device won’t work when Bitdefender VPN is in use, or why are you having trouble getting them to connect over VPN? Some services detect and block traffic from VPN servers to enforce geographical restrictions. Consequently, the applications that use those services will not load or display errors when the Internet connection is filtered through a VPN.
To determine whether the problem lies within the VPN, temporarily disconnect from Bitdefender VPN and then try using the problematic app again (e.g. Outlook or another email app, Xbox, Steam, etc.). To disconnect Bitdefender VPN, simply press the power button on the VPN interface. If you still can’t get your software to work without Bitdefender VPN, the issue lies somewhere else. If the app functionality resumes after turning the VPN off, then you know for sure it’s the VPN that is causing the issue.
Here’s everything you should know in order to get your apps working again with Bitdefender VPN:
Step 1 – Connect to another Bitdefender VPN server
Certain services block traffic from VPNs to limit the use and access to their content geographically. Geo-blocking is done by identifying an IP address. What does that mean? For instance, if you live in the USA and you connect Bitdefender VPN to the Sweden server, an IP corresponding to that country will be assigned to your device. Now, it will appear as if you are accessing the Internet from Sweden. So if a service isn’t available in Sweden, its app will stop working properly.
Thus, if you can not get an app to work with Bitdefender VPN, the first thing you should do is to change the server location from the list of available locations.
Start with the country you are currently in. Bitdefender Premium VPN provides servers in over 45 regions across the globe. If there is no VPN server for your country or the VPN location is already set to your country, then choose the nearest region. For example, if you live in Monaco, choose to connect to France.
To connect to a different server:
- Open the Bitdefender VPN app on your device.
- Press the Virtual Location button in the lower part of the interface.
- Select any country you wish, or type the name of a country in the search bar to filter your results.
- Click on the Connect to [country of choice] button in the lower part of the interface.
If the app doesn’t work regardless of the VPN server, go to the next step.
Step 2 – Use Split Tunneling to bypass the VPN
Split Tunneling allows you to route any apps that won’t work with Bitdefender VPN outside the VPN tunnel, to access the Internet directly.
ⓘ Note: This section only applies to Windows and Android devices.
The Split Tunneling feature is handy for various purposes, namely:
- Preserve Bandwidth – VPN traffic is encrypted, so it’s transmitted slower than regular, unencrypted traffic. Enabling split tunneling can enhance speed, which is paramount if the network has bandwidth restrictions.
- Use LAN Resources – If you need to access network resources such as shared folders, devices or services, doing so is impossible if your entire traffic is routed through a VPN tunnel. Split tunneling lets you exclude certain apps or services from being tunneled, letting you access LAN resources.
- Enhanced Security for remote work – Split tunneling lets employees work remotely with sensitive resources securely through an encrypted connection, while also letting them access other non-critical Internet resources faster through their ISP connection.
- Flexibility – While traveling, you can enable split-tunneling to access content in your home country and still use geo-restricted local apps by excluding them from the encrypted VPN tunnel.
Select one of the following to learn more:
Exclude Windows apps that won't work with a VPN
Exclude Android apps that won't work with a VPN
Applications added to the Split Tunneling list should now work with Bitdefender VPN. To remove an app from Split Tunneling, simply click the trash can icon next to it.
Step 3 – Change your default DNS server
If some apps still won’t work and connect via VPN, consider changing the DNS settings on your device.
A DNS (Domain Name System) works like a phonebook for Internet-enabled devices: it lets you access websites and other online services by using domain names instead of IP addresses. Most users rely on ISP (Internet Service Provider) supplied DNS servers. While this is not inherently wrong, your ISP or network administrator can easily prevent you from accessing certain apps and services by blacklisting their domain. The good news is that you can circumvent this by changing your ISP-issued DNS server.
Changing your DNS is perfectly legal, reversible and, unless your ISP has some hardwired limitations, it’s also a great way to circumvent geoblocking. Follow this step-by-step guide to change your DNS settings and see if that’s why some apps won’t work.
Step 4 – Configure a Default Gateway address
If you are still experiencing issues connecting your applications to the Internet while VPN is turned on, set the Bitdefender VPN traffic to use the default gateway on your network.
ⓘ Note: This section only applies to Windows computers.
1. First, open your Network Connections: press the Windows Start menu on your screen, then type in ncpa.cpL and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
2. The Network Connections window will pop up on your screen, displaying several icons. Each icon represents a specific network adapter of your computer (E.g. Bluetooth, Network cable, Wi-Fi, etc). TAP-Windows Adapter V9 is the Bitdefender VPN adapter
Double-click on the TAP-Windows Adapter V9 icon in this list, or right-click and choose Properties from the menu.
3. Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click the Properties button below.
4. Open the General tab in the window that displays TCP/IPv4 protocol properties, then click the Advanced button.
5. Go to the IP Settings tab and click the Add button in the Default gateways section.
6. Enter the IP address of your router, then press Add and OK to validate the modification.
How to find your Default Gateway
In the example above we added a default gateway 192.168.0.1 which is the default IP address of most routers and ADSL modems.
To find the IP of your own router:
- go to Windows Start menu , type in cmd and press Enter
- type ipconfig in the Command Prompt window, then press Enter
- your gateway IP address is shown next to Default Gateway
After following all of the above steps, reconnect to Bitdefender VPN. The app that initially didn’t work should now be able to connect to the Internet.