Most people are familiar with how a VPN works when browsing the internet. But what if you are offline? Can you still connect to a VPN?
There are some situations where you can use a VPN to connect to an offline network. This is most common in businesses. For most people, though, you’ll need to have the internet when using a VPN. This will allow you to connect with a remote server.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need the internet to use a VPN. Keep reading to take a closer look at how this works.
Using a VPN Without the Internet
In recent years, VPN has become associated with protecting your data online. Technically, though, a VPN doesn’t have anything to do with the internet.
To explain, we need to talk a little about what using a VPN actually means. In this case, it refers to a secure connection between two endpoints. For most people, this means establishing a connection between your computer and a private server. From there, you will be able to browse the internet anonymously. Your private data will be encrypted, making it nearly impossible for people to find what you have been looking at.
But this isn’t the only way that a VPN can be used. It can be used to establish a connection to an internal network. This is most common in the workplace. In this case, you will be able to make this connection without needing the internet. Though you will need to be in a location where you can access this server. Often, this might mean using an Ethernet.
If you are planning on accessing these servers remotely, you will often need to use the internet or a form of Wi-Fi. This has become increasingly popular when working from home. Companies use this technology as a way of making sure that their data is being stored securely.
There are other ways that this technology can be used. For example, the CEO might want to use a VPN to connect with a private email server. This will allow them to send messages privately. No one else on the network will be able to read these communications. However, they will still need an internet connection to send these messages.
For most people, though, they won’t be using a VPN to connect with a private server. They will want to use it to protect their identity online. If you want to do this, you will need to have an internet connection.
Types of VPNs
Many people think that there is only one type of VPN. But this isn’t true. There are a few varieties. Most of these will require you to have an internet connection. The VPN options are:
- SSL VPNs. These are common for use with companies. It requires employees to sign in before they will be able to access the internet. You’ll often need to have a hardware box to use this option.
- Site-to-Site. This allows two intranet systems to connect. It’s most common in large companies, which allow secure communication between departments or locations.
- Client-to-Server. This is another corporate option. It allows employees to sign in to a VPN. From there, they can dial into the office, so they can access the same networks they would as if they were at work.
- Remote access VPNs. This is the most common. It allows you to connect with a remote server. This will allow you to use this server to mask your browsing activity online. Often, you’ll be able to install these apps easily on your devices, including mobile devices.
Can a VPN be a Substitute for the Internet?
The VPN is used to connect you to a private server, masking your activity online. But it won’t be a substitute for the internet. Without the internet, you won’t be able to connect with the remote server.
While it can be a good way to protect your information when using public Wi-Fi, using a VPN is not a way of getting free internet. You will need to have the internet to access the remote server that you use to mask your activities online.
Will a VPN Work Without Wi-Fi?
Most of the time, you will use Wi-Fi to use your VPN to access the internet. But if this isn’t an option, there are a few other ways that you can use your VPN. First, you can use an ethernet cable. As we mentioned, this is common in workplaces. It will allow you to access the network directly.
The most common option, though is to use your mobile data. This can provide a good internet connection in places that don’t offer free Wi-Fi. The biggest downside, though, is that the VPN will use more data. This will allow it to encrypt your data properly. It can also slow your internet speed.
Internet Problems When Using a VPN
Some people will report internet issues when they are using a VPN. There are a few reasons why this might be happening. To make sure that this problem doesn’t impact you, here are some quick troubleshooting tips that you can try:
- Check the strength of your signal. Often, the issue will be stemming from a weak signal. You can check a different device to see if it fares better. Or you can open a hotspot to see if this helps.
- Changing the servers. Most VPN companies will offer you a wide range of servers for you to choose from. Some servers might be blocked in some countries. If this is the problem, the solution might be as easy as changing the server you are using and trying again.
- Changing your proxy server settings. Sometimes, your browser might block access if they think that a proxy is being used. To check if this is the case, you should be able to go to the browser settings, scroll into the advanced settings and untick the “Use proxy server” option.
If you are still having problems, it might be best to talk to the VPN support team. They will be able to go into more advanced settings.
What Happens if the VPN Connection Breaks?
Sometimes, you will be using a VPN when the connection drops out. There are a few reasons why this connection might be disrupted. Most commonly it occurs because you have poor internet. It might also happen if you forget to turn on the VPN before trying to access the internet.
If the connection isn’t made or gets broken, the kill switch will be activated. This will disconnect your device from the internet. In most cases, this will occur automatically. The reason this happens is to prevent your IP address from becoming visible, which hackers can use to target your device.
Sometimes, it will turn off your internet entirely. At other times, though, it will only apply to specific applications, like emails or your internet browser.
In most cases, this kill switch can be easily reversed. You’ll need to get a stronger connection or open the VPN. When you are protected again, you can start browsing through the internet. However, you might need to open the VPN settings and deactivate the kill switch manually.
There are some circumstances where a VPN can be used offline. These are often in companies, where you are trying to access an internal server. Though, you’ll still need to use some kind of wireless network or ethernet cable. If you are planning on using a VPN to protect your data online, you will need to have an internet connection. This will allow you to connect with the remote server.