What to do when antivirus blocks VPN

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Using a VPN can add an extra layer of protection to your system but sometimes it can create a conflict with your antivirus.
  • To fix this issue, use a VPN like PIA or add your VPN to the firewall's exceptions list.
  • For more guides on how to fix Windows issues, check out our comprehensive Troubleshooting Page.
  • If you want to take advantage of all the features your VPN offers, check out our VPN Guides where we explain how VPNs works.

 

antivirus blocking vpn

In order to unify all standard protective features, contemporary antivirus solutions come with firewalls, antispam tools and even backup and VPN tools of their own. It’s just easier to acquire the all-in-one suite than to reach for an abundance of different programs.

However, there emerges a question of third-party firewalls usability, especially when they keep on blocking other third-party applications. Like, in this case, the VPN client.

The cooperation between the built-in Windows Firewall and third-party apps is resolved through the installation, where an exception (entry/exit point) is automatically created. Sadly, that doesn’t work for third-party firewalls that are the part of an antivirus suite.

Therefore, the VPN service is blocked by default and you’ll need to unblock it manually. For that purpose, we compiled the list of possible solutions, so make sure to check them out below.

How to keep your antivirus away from VPN in a few simple steps

  1. Change your VPN supplier
  2. Add an exception in a firewall
  3. Enable SSL port access (turn off monitoring)
  4. Stick to antimalware protection and ditch the third-party firewall

1. Switch over to Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

The sign of a good VPN client is that it works with other software installed on your system without causing conflicts. Private Internet Access is a tried and tested VPN client which has been designed to have as little impact on your system as possible.

PIA works alongside most antivirus software and should not cause any compatibility issues on your system.

Another advantage of using PIA is that in the extremely unlikely event that a problem occurs, you can always contact the support team who will guide you through diagnosing and fixing the issue. Additionally, you benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee, should you decide PIA is not right for you.

Take a look at some of the other features offered by PIA:

  • Cross-platform support, including PC, Mac and mobile.
  • Per-app VPN control
  • Simultaneously use PIA on 10 devices
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Multiple VPN Gateways
  • SOCKS5 Proxy support
  • Block ads, trackers and malware
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2. Add an exception in a firewall

So, to avoid possible confusion, it’s not the antivirus that blocks your VPN, but rather a third-party firewall that comes with it. So, what you’ll need to do in order to fix this problem is to create an exception for the VPNs executable file. This procedure varies from suite to suite, so make sure to google your version and add an exception.

We’ll explain the procedure for Avast and it should closely resemble the procedure for other similar solutions. With minor differences, of course. Here’s how to let your VPN go trough Avast Firewall:

  1. Open Avast Internet Security.
  2. Click on Protection and then on the Firewall section in the left pane.antivirus blocking vpn
  3. Select Application rules.antivirus blocking vpn
  4. Click on the New group button at the bottom.
  5. Name the new group by VPNs name and add its exe file.
  6. Set the orange scale to the maximum of 5 bars for both group and exe file.
  7. Confirm changes and start VPN again.

After that, you should be able to use VPN in a seamless manner. A firewall should let it communicate freely.


3. Enable SSL port access (turn off monitoring)

Another thing you should consider disabling is SSL port (443) monitoring which most VPN services use to connect. Some antivirus solutions that come with the web access protection, will block this port as a safety measure. Because of that, we advise you to either disable that security measure or to disable monitoring for the aforementioned port.


5 best network security antivirus to use for your business


4. Stick to antimalware protection and ditch the third-party firewall

Finally, an obvious step is to completely disable the firewall part of antivirus suite and stick with the antimalware protection. Windows already comes with the built-in Windows Firewall that should be enough to protect your PC.

Of course, it depends on your needs and, in the enterprise use, Windows Firewall just won’t cut it for some users. As a side note, make sure that your VPN is trusted. Bad VPN is more of a problem than the solution, and maybe, and just maybe, a third-party firewall blocks it for a good reason.

We hope that it was a helpful read and you’re able to make antivirus and VPN coexist in the Windows shell without issues. Make sure to share additional solutions or post a question or two in the comments section below. We’ll be glad to hear from you


FAQ: VPN being blocked by the antivirus software

  • Does Avast free antivirus block Opera VPN?

Sometimes, Avast does block Opera’s VPN. You should be able to fix this issue if you add the following URL to the Avast exceptions list:

https://api.surfeasy.com/*
  • How to know if antivirus is blocking VPN?

If your VPN client either doesn’t start or it doesn’t connect to any server, then it might be because your firewall is blocking it. To solve this problem, open your antivirus software and go the firewall exceptions and add your VPN client to the whitelist.

  • Do I need antivirus with VPN?

A VPN and an antivirus do not serve the same purpose. VPNs encrypt data and mask your IP address so your Internet connection is secure. Windows comes with built-in antivirus, ransomware protection and firewall, so you don’t necessarily need a third-party solution.

  • What is blocking my VPN connection?

Sometimes your VPN can ben blocked by your firewall. To fix this, add it to the exceptions list, flush your DNS or configure your VPN manually. To learn how to do this, check out our guide on how to fix the issue.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2017 and was revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.