McAfee Safe Connect not working

If you’ve been using McAfee Safe Connect VPN and it’s not working, you’re probably running into compatibility issues between what you’re trying to do online and the VPN’s capabilities.

To get straight to the point, McAfee Safe Connect VPN is simply, not a very good VPN. From our tests, it struggles to provide users with IP addresses that will allow them to watch streaming services from other countries, it lacks advanced features and often it simply doesn’t work as intended.

The best way to fix McAfee Safe Connect VPN not working is to upgrade to a better VPN, however if you want to stick with the VPN we have a number of fixes you can try to resolve the issues you’re running into.

In this article we’ll explain the ways we fix any VPN that isn’t working. Go through all of these steps until you can get McAfee Safe Connect working again.

How to fix McAfee Safe Connect VPN not working

  1. Check your internet connection

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    Sometimes when McAfee Safe Connect VPN stops working, it’s actually your internet connection that’s having issues.

    A good place to start is making sure that you’re still connected to the internet. If so, check that your internet is running correctly.
    The way to do that is to check your internet speed. You can do that here.

    If you think your internet is running slower than usual, that can be a sign your internet connection is having problems. This can create issues with McAfee Safe Connect VPN. Call your internet service provider (ISP) if this is the case.

  2. Disable antivirus

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    If you have an antivirus installed on your device, try uninstalling it and then try McAfee Safe Connect VPN .

    VPN software can often be mistaken for a virus or malware by antivirus software. When this happens, the antivirus blocks the VPN.

    This might be what’s happening with McAfee Safe Connect VPN . Disabling your antivirus or making McAfee Safe Connect VPN an exemption may fix the problems you’re coming across.

  3. Try a different device

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    If McAfee Safe Connect VPN is no longer a working, a great test is to try it on a different device.

    If McAfee Safe Connect VPN on your smartphone, but not your computer, then you know McAfee Safe Connect VPN isn’t the problem.

  4. Delete Cookies

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    Deleting your cookies can potentially fix issues you’re having with McAfee Safe Connect VPN.

    Accumulated or corrupted cookies in a browser might interfere with the way websites and online services function, especially when using a VPN.

    Clearing these cookies removes any old or problematic data, thereby ensuring a cleaner slate for your McAfee Safe Connect VPN connection to operate.

    This can help in establishing a more stable connection when using McAfee Safe Connect VPN.

  5. Change to a different server

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    If McAfee Safe Connect VPN has suddenly stopped working, it might be because of what you’re trying to access with the VPN turned on.

    For example, some websites and streaming services try and block VPN connections. They do this by identifying the IP address that McAfee Safe Connect VPN has given you.

    If this has happened, changing to a different server will give you a different IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked, you shouldn’t run into any problems with McAfee Safe Connect VPN again.

  6. Change protocol

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    VPN protocols are the beating heart of a VPN. They determine how the VPN works. When you use a VPN the protocol is responsible for hiding your data and rerouting it via VPN servers.

    If McAfee Safe Connect VPN isn’t working, it might be because the protocol you’re using is no longer working.

    Try changing to a different protocol to see if that fixes the issue. Take a look at our VPN protocols article to discover more about which technology might be best for you.

  7. Reinstall McAfee Safe Connect VPN

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN can sometimes inadvertently download bugs and errors. These can cause the software to run slowly or even not work at all.

    A good way of getting get rid of bugs and errors is by starting the VPN with a clean slate. To do that you should reinstall the software.

    This ensures you have a clean version of McAfee Safe Connect VPN and also, the latest version. McAfee Safe Connect VPN may have updated its software with fixes and reinstalling McAfee Safe Connect VPN will ensure you’re VPN is up to date.

  8. Upgrade to a better VPN

    McAfee Safe Connect not working

    If the above fixes don’t work, either McAfee Safe Connect VPN isn’t managing to keep up with the demand of its many customers, or it’s not fast enough to enable you to do what you’re trying to do.

    This can be a problem because you’ll have to wait for McAfee Safe Connect VPN to fix the issue. Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling how long this will take and there’s no guarantee that McAfee Safe Connect VPN will even fix it.

    The best thing to do in this situation is to upgrade to a VPN that has the resources to keep up with increasing demand and has an incredibly fast, secure connection.

    The VPNs we recommend are NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Why isn’t McAfee Safe Connect VPN working?

If McAfee Safe Connect VPN isn’t working as expected, it could be due to a number of different reasons:

  1. Overcrowded Servers: McAfee Safe Connect VPN might have a limited number of servers that cannot handle high traffic volumes, leading to slow speeds or connection failures.
  2. Outdated Technology: The VPN might use outdated encryption or tunneling protocols, compromising both performance and security.
  3. Compatibility Issues: McAfee Safe Connect VPN could have issues working efficiently across all devices and operating systems, leading to frequent disconnections or an inability to establish a connection.
  4. Poor Configuration: Incorrect configuration settings within the VPN application or on the user’s device might prevent the VPN from connecting properly.
  5. ISP Restrictions: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throttle or block VPN connections. McAfee Safe Connect VPN may not have the features to circumvent these restrictions effectively.
  6. Software Conflicts: Conflicts with other security software, firewalls, or network settings can interfere with the VPN’s operation.
  7. Limited Customer Support: Inadequate customer support makes it difficult for users to resolve issues, contributing to ongoing problems with connectivity or performance.
  8. Lack of Regular Updates: Without regular software updates to address bugs, improve performance, and enhance security features, the VPN may become less effective over time.
  9. Bandwidth Throttling: The VPN service itself might limit bandwidth or have restrictions on certain types of traffic, affecting overall performance.
  10. Legal and Regulatory Challenges: In some regions, VPN use is heavily regulated or restricted, which can lead to service interruptions or the inability to connect to servers in those locations.

Which VPNs work reliably?

For VPNs to work reliably, they must embody a suite of critical features and characteristics that ensure performance, security, and user satisfaction. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Robust Security Features: A reliable VPN should offer strong encryption (such as AES-256), secure VPN protocols (like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, or WireGuard), and a no-logs policy to protect user privacy.
  2. High-Speed Connections: The VPN should have a large network of servers in various locations to ensure high-speed connections and reduce latency. Optimized servers for streaming, gaming, and downloading are also beneficial.
  3. Stable Performance: Consistent and stable connections without frequent drops are crucial for a good VPN service. This stability ensures that activities like streaming, gaming, and browsing can be done without interruptions.
  4. Cross-Platform Compatibility: The VPN should work across various devices and operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android) with easy-to-use apps to cater to different user needs.
  5. Customer Support: Efficient, accessible customer support (24/7 live chat, email support, detailed FAQs) is essential for resolving any issues users might encounter.
  6. Kill Switch Feature: This feature automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops, ensuring your data remains secure.
  7. Split Tunneling: This allows users to choose which traffic goes through the VPN and which accesses the internet directly, offering flexibility in internet usage.
  8. No Bandwidth Restrictions: Unlimited bandwidth and no data caps are important for uninterrupted streaming, downloading, and browsing.
  9. Privacy-Focused Policies: A strict no-logs policy ensures that the VPN does not store any data about your browsing history, IP address, or online activities.
  10. Global Server Coverage: A wide range of server locations provides more options for geo-spoofing your location and better speeds by connecting to a server closer to you or the content you want to access.
  11. Ease of Use: A user-friendly interface and simple setup process make it accessible for users of all tech skill levels.

The VPNs we recommend when McAfee Safe Connect isn’t working

1. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers

Streaming: NordVPN is highly effective for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: NordVPN’s server network spans 60 countries. While this is below the average of 71 countries for the top 20 VPNs, its commitment to physical servers ensures faster and more reliable connections.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons

Streaming: ExpressVPN excels in unblocking geo-restricted content and works seamlessly with streaming services, even in countries where VPNs are banned. It consistently performed well in tests with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Servers: ExpressVPN has a robust network with servers in 104 countries, significantly above the 71-country average. Less than 3% of these servers are virtual, ensuring a reliable and fast physical network.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • Verified no-log policy
  • Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • High use of virtual servers
  • Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • Lacks proprietary protocol options

Streaming: Private Internet Access works well with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, although it initially faced some difficulties with BBC iPlayer, which were resolved after some fixes.

Servers: PIA has over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which is above the average of 71 countries. However, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Robust security and privacy
  • 24/7 responsive chat support
  • Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • App can be overwhelming
  • Not the fastest among competitors

Streaming: Surfshark performs well with most streaming services but faces challenges with some, like Hulu. This could be a drawback for users who heavily rely on VPNs for streaming content from various regions.

Servers: Surfshark boasts a server network in 100 countries, which is well above the average and includes both physical and virtual servers, providing extensive geographic coverage.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. PureVPN

A mid-range VPN that balances performance and price

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks major streaming services
  • Use on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streamlined user interface
  • No log audit verified by KPMG
  • Several free add-ons
  • Buffering on BBC iPlayer at peak times
  • Past concerns with “no log” policy

Streaming: PureVPN has shown improvement in its ability to unblock streaming services. While it initially struggled with BBC iPlayer, its performance improved during less busy times. PureVPN can unblock major streaming services, but it may encounter buffering issues during peak streaming periods.

Servers: PureVPN offers a wide range of servers around the world. Although specific numbers are not provided, PureVPN’s server offerings are robust, allowing users to access various international content.

Privacy: PureVPN has faced criticism in the past for its privacy policies. However, it has recently undergone a no-log audit verified by KPMG in the past 12 months, aiming to reassure users about its commitment to privacy.

Price: PureVPN offers three payment options: a 1-month plan at $10.95/month, a 1-year plan at $3.74/month, and a 2-year plan at $1.96/month. PureVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other digital payment options.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance you can expect when using PureVPN. The VPN has shown variable download speeds across different streaming servers, with some experiencing significant drop-offs during peak times.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN189.44139.82
PureVPN UK Server24.3198.99
PureVPN US Server49.83106.52

Read our full PureVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

McAfee Safe Connect not working: FAQs

Q: Why is McAfee Safe Connect VPN not connecting on my device?

Answer: It’s possible that McAfee Safe Connect VPN is facing server overload or your internet connection is unstable. Try switching to a different server location or check your internet connection to resolve the issue.

Q: How can I improve the slow speeds I’m experiencing with McAfee Safe Connect?

Answer: Slow speeds may be due to high traffic on the server you’re connected to or bandwidth throttling by your ISP. Connect to a less crowded server or use a wired connection to potentially increase your VPN speed.

Q: What should I do if McAfee Safe Connect is constantly disconnecting?

Answer: Frequent disconnections can be caused by software conflicts or outdated VPN software. Ensure McAfee Safe Connect is updated to the latest version and check for any conflicting applications, especially other VPNs or firewall settings.

Q: Can McAfee Safe Connect bypass geo-restrictions on streaming platforms?

Answer: While McAfee Safe Connect aims to bypass geo-restrictions, some streaming services may still detect and block VPN traffic. Trying different server locations can sometimes offer success, but effectiveness varies across different platforms.

Q: Why is McAfee Safe Connect not working on my mobile device?

Answer: Incompatibility with the latest operating system update or insufficient permissions could cause issues. Make sure the app is updated, and all necessary permissions are granted in your device settings. If the problem persists, reinstalling the app might help.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like,, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.


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