OpenVPN is a freeware and open-source application used to create and implement virtual private networks and other secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections.
Although known as one popular VPN protocol, and trusted for its security and connection speed, OpenVPN is sometimes not forwarding traffic or even stops working.
If you find yourself struggling with this issue, check out the solutions detailed below.
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What can I do if OpenVPN is not forwarding traffic?
1. Add an exception to the firewall
- Click on Start icon from your taskbar, type firewall, and open Firewall & network protection.
- Click on Allow an app through firewall.
- Click Change settings (with admin rights).
- Search for OpenVPN in this list and click on the Private and Public checkboxes.
- If it’s not in this list, click the Allow another app button to find and select it.
2. Whitelist OpenVPN in your antivirus
The exact steps to perform this action will vary a lot depending on the exact antivirus software you’re using, but usually, this setting can be adjusted by opening the Settings menu.
As in the case of the firewall, having your antivirus software stop OpenVPN from accessing the network will cause the issue discussed in this article.
3. Reset the TAP adapter
- Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Network adapters menu.
- Look for any TAP drivers, right-click and select Uninstall device.
- Open the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes.
4. Check if the DHCP service is running
- Click on the Start icon from your taskbar, type services and click on it.
- Right-click DHCP Client and select Properties.
- Set Startup type to Automatic.
- Click OK.
5. Flush the DNS
- Run Command Prompt as admin: press Ctrl + R, type cmd, hold Ctrl + Shift and press Enter
- Copy and paste the next lines (press Enter between each line):
- ipconfig /flushdns
- ipconfig /registerdns
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- NETSH winsock reset catalog
- NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log
- NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log
- Restart your PC to apply the new changes.
6. Change to a reliable VPN client
If OpenVPN is not forwarding traffic on your device, consider installing a reliable VPN app that supports the OpenVPN protocol.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great option because it automatically makes changes to the system firewall and installs its own TAP adapters.
PIA supports a range of VPN protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and PPTP and allows you to completely customize your OpenVPN connection preferences.
What’s more important, you can even choose your own encryption cipher out of:
- AES-128 (GCM)
- AES-256 (GCM)
- AES-128 (CBC)
- AES-256 (CBC)
More useful features:
- OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
- Split tunneling and kill switch
- Private DNS servers and DNS leak protection
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Not being able to use your VPN software efficiently can cause a variety of issues, especially if you’re using it for location-sensitive work.
This guide provides you with all the information you need to resolve this dreaded issue, and we hope that it managed to help.
If you use OpenVPN on a Windows 7 PC and need additional support, follow our guide on how to fix the OpenVPN unsigned driver error.