Can't connect to internet without using PIA

Hello,

I have a problem.  When I try to connect to the internet through the ethernet cable via my router, I simply cannot connect without using PIA.  To be clear, what I mean by "connect" is that I cannot browse using a browser.  It seems that some "listeners" such as windows update works just fine but trying to load any web page in my browser fails (as if I am not connected).  If I actively connect to a PIA server then it works fine.  I do not experience this problem using my WiFi.

Could this be a firewall issue? 

I am running Windows 10.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Posts: 71
    Shouldn't be a firewall issue. I would start by changing your DNS servers to reflect ours. Change DNS in Windows

    Let me know how this works for you. I will be happy to continue troubleshooting with you if necessary.
  • Posts: 13
    Hello.  Thank you for your response.

    I am unable to force the DNS servers on my windows 10 machine because when I do the PIA tray icon goes away and so I cannot use the program itself.  Also, once I do this I cannot recover except to do a complete uninstall-reinstall of PIA.  So I do not want to do this.

    What I would say is that I encountered the problem where the tray icon disappears when I force the DNS servers mid last year sometime and so if this is a known problem with PIA and it has been fixed then I will give it another try.  I spent a large amount of time last year trying to solve the tray icon problem but eventually gave up and I don't want to get into trying to solve that particular problem again.

    On to the problem that I have posted about, do you have any more ideas?  What do you think is causing it?  I mentioned a firewall problem because what is happening is similar to a firewall problem I had with another machine on a different VPN a while back. 

    Currently with this issue, I can ping an IP address successfully, but I cannot ping a URL (in cmd prompt).  This is exactly what was happening to me with the other machine and VPN and that was a firewall issue.

    I am just grasping at straws though and have no real clue why this problem exists.  Why does my WiFi work but ethernet does not?!
  • Posts: 1,018
    Hi @Pat888!
    I am unable to force the DNS servers on my windows 10 machine because when I do the PIA tray icon goes away and so I cannot use the program itself.  Also, once I do this I cannot recover except to do a complete uninstall-reinstall of PIA.  So I do not want to do this.
    This is strange because these two are completely unrelated. There is absolutely no reason why the DNS settings would have any impact whatsoever to the PIA application. You could have no DNS or even no internet connectivity, and the app would still open and work fine (just unable to connect).

    Currently with this issue, I can ping an IP address successfully, but I cannot ping a URL (in cmd prompt).  This is exactly what was happening to me with the other machine and VPN and that was a firewall issue.
    That definitely looks like a DNS issue to me. DNS (Domain Name Service) is the service responsible for taking hostnames (like example.com) and turn it into an IP address the computer can use (like 93.184.216.34). Being able to ping IP addresses but not names is a quite clear case of DNS issue.

    It's not impossible that it is a firewall issue (please whitelist these files in your firewall) as PIA's DNS servers being firewalled would act the same way as not having any DNS, but given it works when using PIA it doesn't look like it.

    The only reason I can think of that it would work on Ethernet but not WiFi would be that those don't have the same DNS settings on them, and your ISP may not allow you to use PIA's DNS.


    This is kind of a brutal and overkill way to go for the situation at hand, but this guide should completely reset all of your network settings to their default which will also undo any setting change PIA (or any other software on the computer) would have done on your computer. Your computer should then learn back its IP and DNS configuration from your router and work as it should.
  • Posts: 13
    This is strange because these two are completely unrelated. There is absolutely no reason why the DNS settings would have any impact whatsoever to the PIA application. You could have no DNS or even no internet connectivity, and the app would still open and work fine (just unable to connect).
    Sorry for the late response!  So yes, I agree it is strange but it is most definitely what is happening.  On my windows 10 computer when I force the DNS servers I LOOSE the PIA tray icon.  It goes away.  This obviously renders the program useless as I cannot use it.

    I spent quite a bit of time last year trying to resolve this issue but could not.  It is very consistent.  Everything works fine until I force the DNS servers, then and only then, when I reboot, the tray icon simply does not show up when I run PIA.  It is bad in that once I have done this the only way to recover is to do a complete uninstall-reinstall.  What I can tell you is that PIA resides in memory just fine.  I can see all the correct processes running.  I tried all permutations for showing the icon and looked in all places it could be, but it was simply gone.  I eventually gave up.  This does NOT happen on anther machine I have running windows 7.

    Anyway, on to the problem I posted about, yes, I agree again, it does look like a DNS issue.  The thing is, PIA works fine on my windows 7 machine.  I have no problems.  So this does not have to do with my ISP.  I will flush the log files as you suggest and see if this helps.  I will post again with the results but give me a little time.  Thanks for the help!!
  • Posts: 1
    Im having the same issue. I'm pretty sure it has to do with virtual network adapter (Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections) conflict, but have yet to sort it out. 
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