Question

Can't access email accounts and some subscription websites with VPN on

  • 10 July 2019
  • 6 replies
  • 97 views

Userlevel 2
Badge +3
I have to routinely disconnect my VPN throughout the day as email does not download and I cannot gain access a subscription website.

The two problem email servers are protonmail and chaossoftware. The 3rd blocked website is a streaming video website (I get the login page, but cannot log in). I am a registered language editor of their videos and am on and off the site regularly throughout the day. I have to disconnect VPN to gain access to these sites.

This has become a major headache. Connect, disconnect, connect, disconnect all day long. I also have a very long password for my VPN, so it is not like entering abc123 each time! :)

Is there a correct procedure or workaround or is this a symptom of VPN in general?

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Skye

6 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +14
Video websites sometimes block people they detect as using VPNs for licensing reasons - Netflix for example stops using it detects are using a VPN to prevent them watching American content whilst abroad and vice versa. As it isn't possible to detect the user's actual location it will do this even if you are connected to an American VPN server whilst in America. What happens when you try and login? Does it simply say invalid username/password, do nothing or show another message?

With reference to the email servers - do you have an geo-restrictions set on your accounts? If you have set ProtonMail (for example) to only allow logins from American IP addresses it makes sense you may not be able to access your email if your location is set to "Automatic" and you are being connected to - for example - Mexico. Try explicitly setting location to US West or US East and seeing if you are able to access your email that way.

I have restrictions on some services and had to enable access from Japan when I was travelling recently.

If that doesn't work I'd suggest logging a support ticket with our excellent support team regarding the email accounts and probably the video website as well.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
You are on to something.

It seems that I can at least sometimes connect when using US West but not Automatic (when on my PC. The behavior is different on my cell phone, which seems to connect to everything most of the time.). On my PC, I noticed that my protocol is set to "automatic" in Settings. All other options are grayed out. I set my US West connection as a favorite. I don't know what repeatable behavior this produces yet. I have to try for a day or two to see if it defaults to US West, or, as was happening today, refuses to connect to anything other than Automatic, no matter how I beg and plead to connect to US West.

I seem to be able to get access to all of the problem sites on my cell phone most of the time. I keep it set to US West, but today, when the connection went to Automatic of its own volition, I could not access my websites and could not get the cell phone connection back to US West. I eventually got my PC to accept the US West connection, and then I could get the US West connection to stick on my cell phone.

I will shut everything down later today and go through my steps carefully to see if I can determine a pattern.

You are always so helpful. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the time you take.
Best,
Skye
Userlevel 6
Badge +14
How are you getting on after having a few days to experiment? If you're still struggling to connect to the US West endpoint I will feed back to our product team and ask them to check capacity.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
Regarding my cell phone, I cannot access US West (I have this set as a favorite). I can access Automatic and US East. I cannot access my 3 mail servers (gmail, protonmail, chaos!ntellect) when on Automatic, but I can assess these using US East. At least during my brief trial just now. I can also access using France. My cell phone VPN has wifi secure and web filtering enabled.

My PC can be set to US West. Web filtering is on. Now, for some reason, I can access all of my email accounts when set to any location. I cannot access my bank account on Automatic, but can on US West (at least today). Other than that, there are times when I can access a particular site and times when I cannot access the same site. It is still a better experience than before. FYI, I have web filtering set to on. There is no option available for wifi security on my PC.

Except for my cell phone, which has become a pain, because I don't get my email notifications, I can live with my PC issues.

What do you think about the VPN issues on my cell phone. It is hopefully in the settings. But why is US West unavailable?

Thank you again!!!
Skye
Userlevel 6
Badge +14
@SkyeMo Unfortunately I don't work on the WiFi Security client team (I work on backend services) and this has exceeded the level of knowledge I have of the apps themselves. I have shown the thread to a Consumer Support Manager and he has suggested you might want to try with Web Filtering disabled, but would encourage you to raise a ticket in order give them a chance to troubleshoot this with you (and if necessary raise any issues with our VPN service partners).

I've sat with the support team and they are excellent.

If however for any reason you don't get any success with the initial ticket Direct Message (DM) me your ticket or email address and I'll refer it to the Escalations team.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
Thank you, as always. I will do as you suggest and post the result if a solution is found.

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