VPN settings in the Windows settings panel
Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

You can fix any connection error with Urban VPN by switching servers to one that hopefully doesn't have load problems. The best solution, though, is to use a different, better VPN service.
Urban VPN is a free VPN that offers a lot of locations you can connect to, as well as a wide range of apps for the most common phones and computers. However, there are some issues with Urban VPN, most notably some all-too-common connection errors. Let’s go over how to fix those.

How to Fix the Urban VPN Connection Error

There are a few different things you can do if Urban VPN is not connecting. We’ll start with the easiest fixes and progress until your problem is solved.

Change Servers

The most likely reason Urban VPN’s not working is because the server in question is overloaded. This is common among free VPNs: as they don’t have the money to maintain top-of-the-line VPN servers, they can’t handle heavy loads which leads to slowdowns and even can make servers freeze up completely.

Overload is why most free VPNs have a bandwidth cap, restricting how much you can use the service for. Since Urban VPN does not have one, this makes it even more likely servers will be overloaded. As a result, the best thing to do when the Urban VPN connection fails is to simply try another server and hopefully get one without too many users on it.

To change servers in Urban VPN, while the VPN is active click on the “locations” tab at the bottom of the app and from there choose a different server from the list. Try to pick a server close to you to start with and work outward from there to minimize speed issues.

Hit the Locations tab in Urban VPN

Reinstall the Urban VPN Client

If changing servers doesn’t help, you can also try to reinstall the Urban VPN client by simply downloading the latest version. First deleting the current version on your device before getting the new one is a good idea, though, just to make sure all cache and data files are refreshed. It won’t fix an overloaded server, but it should fix any bugs that could cause connection issues.

If you aren’t sure how to remove an app from your device before reinstalling it, check out our guides to deleting apps on iPhone, uninstalling Android appsuninstalling applications on Windows 10, and uninstalling on Windows 11.

Check Your Internet

If neither of these options work, it could be that the problem isn’t with Urban VPN, but with your connection. The easiest way to do this is to check whether the Wi-Fi symbol is on (or a LAN symbol on a cable connection). Most mobile devices have this at the top of the screen, while Windows has it on the lower right. Alternatively, you can have a look at your router and check if all the right lights are on.

If all is well, you can proceed to the next step; if things aren’t the way they should be, check out our 10 troubleshooting tips for internet connection issues.

Check Your Firewall

Finally, you can check your firewall if it’s letting Urban VPN traffic through. This should have been arranged while you were setting up Urban VPN, but Windows Firewall especially can get a little overzealous, as can some third-party antivirus solutions.

If a firewall is the issue, you’ll likely see a notification pop up that tells you the app is blocked. To fix the issue, you should go to the firewall’s settings. In Windows you can find it under “Windows Security” while most antivirus software will have some kind of control center. There, simply create an exception for Urban VPN to bypass the firewall, just follow the instructions on screen.

However, under no circumstances should you disable the Windows Firewall. You’d be leaving the gate wide open just to get a VPN to stop misbehaving.

How to Truly Fix Urban VPN

With all of that said, chances are that there is nothing wrong with your connection or firewall: Urban VPN simply isn’t a very good VPN. Even if you get it to work, it’s slow as can be with numerous bugs and connection issues—our testing was an exercise in frustration. Worse yet, it seems like Urban VPN may be collecting information about you as the privacy policy doesn’t plainly state how your data is treated.

As a result, if you’re having issues with Urban VPN, and you likely are, we recommend you ditch it completely and instead use one of the best free VPNs instead. Unlike Urban VPN, these are all free tiers of otherwise paid VPN, most of which are on our roundup of the best VPN services. Though they will cap your usage and limit the servers you can connect to, you’ll likely encounter far fewer problems than you would with Urban VPN.

The Best Free VPNs of 2023

Best Free VPN for Netflix
Best Free VPN for Browsers
Proton VPN
Best Free VPN for Privacy
Proton VPN
Best Free VPN with Lots of Servers
Profile Photo for Fergus O'Sullivan Fergus O'Sullivan
Fergus is a freelance writer for How-To Geek. He has seven years of tech reporting and reviewing under his belt for a number of publications, including GameCrate and Cloudwards. He's written more articles and reviews about cybersecurity and cloud-based software than he can keep track of---and knows his way around Linux and hardware, too.
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