With the dangers of surfing online, more and more people look for solutions that may guarantee their privacy.
One such solution is a VPN, which often requires the installation of files on your device.
One must choose a VPN service that not only ensures that your data is secure, but also that the service is compatible with your device.
If you are a frequent VPN user, chances are that you might’ve come across a file called TAP-Windows Adapter v9.21.2. Before going further let us understand what VPN is.
VPN, the acronym for Virtual Private Network, is a service that lets you access websites that are blocked in your country, gives you privacy from internet providers, hackers, ISP’s or sites that collect data and speed up your server connections by using private, direct routes.
Since it reduces the risk of many online and spy attacks, using a VPN is highly recommended by IT experts. VPN allows you to:
- Avoid ISP tracking
- Use public networks safely
- Downloads files anonymously from the Internet
- Stream blocked content
- Bypass traffic shaping
Now, let us understand what it is actually.
TAP-Windows Adapter v9.21.2
Most Windows users panic when they find an application they don’t remember which is a valid fear because many malware and spyware are capable of seemingly appearing out of nowhere as an app on your device. That being said, it is entirely harmless.
This is a network driver used by VPN services to connect to servers. Since it’s a driver, it can be found in the Device Manager. If you’re using a browser extension, you won’t come across it.
On the other hand, most full-featured VPN clients such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, etc require this driver to function properly.
In simple words, it is a Windows adapter that acts as a virtual network interface, allowing VPN clients access to create a VPN connection.
There are 2 different versions of this that you will come across depending on the version of your Windows:
- On Windows XP – NDIS 5 driver (tap windows 9.9.x)
- On windows vista / 7 / 8 / 10 – NDIS 6 driver (tap windows 9.21.x)
If you have configured your VPN client to not use it for establishing private connections, you can safely remove it. However, in this case, it may cause issues such as interfering with your internet connection, making it near impossible to go online. If you’re suffering from the same fate.
Although there are no drawbacks to keeping the adapter on your computer, there are cases in which the adapter makes it impossible to connect to the Internet.
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Uninstall your VPN client
This will become a useless driver if you have customized or uninstalled your VPN client, in which case it might start to interfere with your connection, not allowing you to get online.
The solution to this is to completely remove it from your system. The following steps will show you how to uninstall and reinstall it:
- Terminate all VPN connections and close your VPN. This is an important step that will make sure that it can be removed safely without any interruptions.
- Go to device manager and expand the Network adapters section
- Locate your file. You might see a yellow exclamation mark next to the icon of the driver. This means that a reinstall is required.
- Right-click on the driver’s option and select uninstall.
- Once it is successfully uninstalled, open your VPN client, which might prompt you to install the missing drivers, or reinstall the adapter automatically.
- If the VPN client only prompts the missing driver error but not an option to install them, reinstall the VPN client itself. This will prompt the installer to install the missing drivers as well.
- When the installation is complete, check if your connection issues are resolved.
If you want to completely remove it, you will also have to remove the VPN clients that require the adapter. If you do not remove the clients, the driver might appear the next time you boot up.
Other than that, the VPN clients will detect the missing drivers and attempt to reinstall them now and then.
It is a network adapter that allows your VPN client to function properly. This article talked about what a VPN is and how it helps.
Other than that it also discussed how you can uninstall and reinstall the driver to resolve connection issues.
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Github help: here