Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy.
However, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan… and if you’re getting the VPN error “Connection failed with error 868,” it can quickly become a frustrating experience.
But don’t stress! Take a deep breath and relax.
VPN error 868 is common enough that we know exactly what the most likely causes (and their solutions) are.
Let’s start with…
What is VPN Error 868?
VPN error 868 is simply a connection issue Windows users sometimes experience.
Even if your version of Windows doesn’t include the error code, you’ll recognize the error by its message:
“The remote connection was not made because the name of the remote access server did not resolve.”
There are 3 likely causes for this error:
- Your system’s connection settings need to be reset and/or your DNS cache needs to be cleared
- A third-party app or Windows Defender Firewall is restricting connection access
- There’s an issue with the VPN itself
Let’s take a look at how to fix VPN error 868 in each of these scenarios!
Flush DNS and Reset Winsock
The VPN error 868 is most likely to originate on your device.
Flushing your DNS cache and resetting Winsock might sound super-complicated, but if you follow these steps, you’ll have it done in next to no time:
- Press Windows Key + X
- Select Command Prompt (Admin)
- Enter the following command prompts to flush your DNS:
- ipconfig /flushdns
- ipconfig /registerdns
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
4. Reset Winsock by using the following command prompt:
- netsh winsock reset catalog
Restart your PC and see if you can connect to your VPN again
Disable Your Third-Party Antivirus
Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your antivirus placed an otherwise necessary restriction on your device’s network connections causing the VPN error 868.
All you need to do is temporarily disable your antivirus and then check if you can connect to your VPN again.
If so, you’ll need to either add an exception in your antivirus for your VPN or talk with your VPN’s support agents about how to whitelist your VPN connection.
Disable Windows Defender Firewall
If you’re still getting VPN error 868 after disabling your third-party antivirus, enable it again and follow these steps to disable your Windows Defender Firewall:
- Press Windows Key + X
- Click Control Panel
- Click System and Security
- Click Windows Defender Firewall
- Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off (on the left side of your screen; you may need to enter your admin password)
- Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) under Private network settings
- Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) under Public network settings
- Click OK
Try connecting to your VPN again, but don’t close your Control Panel just yet.
If you’re still getting the VPN error 868 message, then you can turn your Windows Defender Firewall back on. Otherwise, try whitelisting your VPN app by following these steps:
- Click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall (on the left side of your screen)
- Scroll down to find your VPN app and make sure it’s selected
If you’re still getting the VPN error 868 message with your VPN app whitelisted, then the issue is either with the VPN app configuration or their server.
Make Sure Your VPN Server Address is Correct
Before you contact your VPN provider’s support team (and they should ideally have 24/7 live chat), use the following steps to make sure your VPN app is properly configured.
These are specifically for Windows 10, but we added the Windows 7 version in brackets where relevant:
- Press Windows Key + I
- Click Settings (Change PC Settings)
- Click VPN
- Click Advanced options and Edit (not necessary for Windows 7)
- Make sure your username and password settings are correct
- Make sure your VPN server address is correct – it should look something like this: usa.thisismyvpn.com
After saving these settings, check if you can connect to your VPN again. If not, go back to the VPN settings and use the VPN’s IP address instead of their hostname.
You’ll need to check with your VPN provider to make sure the IP address you’re using is correct.
If All Else Fails…
If none of the above options are working for you, then the issue is likely to be on the VPN server’s side.
There’s really nothing you can do in this case other than contacting their support team.
Best-case scenario, they’ll be working on fixing the issue with their server and recommend you an alternative server in the same geographical region for you to use in the meantime.
Worst-case scenario, you’ll need to switch to a better VPN provider.
Check out our guide on the Best Overall VPNs if you find yourself stuck in the worst-case scenario!