A VPN can cause an unusual traffic error message. VPN services will route your web traffic through hundreds or even thousands of servers. It also routes the web traffic from other users through the same servers. This causes a huge number of shared queries on Google from the same IP address. When this happens, the error message may appear.
VPNs are a great way to protect your traffic from being monitored by internet service providers and the government. They allow you to surf anonymously, change your location, and have more control over what you can see on the web.
But there is one potential downside: sometimes, when using a VPN, you may get the “unusual traffic” error message on your screen. In this post, we will discuss if a VPN can cause this error and how to solve the problem.
What is the “Unusual Traffic” Error Message?
The unusual traffic error message pops up on your screen when Google suspects your traffic is problematic. The Google system suspects your web traffic is malicious or automated, such as that caused by search bots, malware, hackers, or viruses.
While this isn’t an error that should worry you a lot, it can be very annoying as it will repeatedly show up until whatever is causing it is fixed. As we will see later on, there are various things that can cause unusual traffic error messages.
VPN: Is It Causing “Unusual Traffic” Error Message by Google?
Using a virtual private network (VPN) can cause an unusual traffic message to pop up on your screen. Here’s what happens:
When using a VPN, the traffic routed through its servers may cause Google to rate-limit the searches made. Often, the VPN services will route your web traffic through hundreds or even thousands of servers.
It also routes the web traffic from other users through the same servers. This causes a huge number of shared queries on Google from the same IP address.
When this happens, Google may decide to block your IP address. If this is done, your search results will be limited because of the unusual traffic message.
Google has recently started using machine learning to fight against spam and non-human behavior on its services, so it’s possible for them to detect VPNs that are not “working right.” This may lead you to receive an unusual traffic error message.
What Else Can Cause Unusual Traffic Message?
There are several other factors that can make Google block your IP address with the unusual traffic error message. They include:
If you have malware installed on your system, it could cause an unusual traffic message to appear. Malware can create a huge number of queries from Google’s servers that use up its resources and cause this error to show up.
Using advanced search operators repeatedly.
This is another common culprit. Using advanced search operators on Google, such as the “intitle” operator, can cause Google to rate-limit your queries.
Using them too frequently will make suspicious traffic appear and trigger an unusual traffic message.
Using child or adult content filters
Google uses these filters to block access to websites that show sexual material involving children (child pornography). When you use either of these filters, you may get an unusual traffic message.
Scraping Google search results
If you try to scrape search results from Google, you may get an error message. This is because Google blocks scrapers and bots that send too many queries to its servers at the same time.
Blocked IP address
Some servers may have blocked your IP address. When you try again, the unusual traffic message is triggered, and Google blocks your queries.
How to Solve Unusual Traffic Error?
There are multiple ways to solve this issue. If you are using a VPN service, you can do the following:
Perform the CAPTCHA test
Often, a capture test appears beside the unusual error message. This is to make sure that you’re not a robot.
You can prove it by solving the test and continuing your search queries.
On mobile devices, click “More” then tap on “I’m not a robot.” On desktop computers, click the checkbox beside the message and continue searching as usual.
Note, however, that this may not always work as the VPN is still installed.
Switch VPN servers or uncheck the “Use location” option
It’s possible to switch your servers or uncheck the setting that says “Use location.” This will prevent Google from seeing suspicious traffic coming from one IP address.
Switch internet connections
Switching your internet connection from, say, WiFi to mobile data can bypass this error. This is because Google uses your phone’s internet connection to confirm that you are not a robot or spammer.
Uninstall the VPN
This is perhaps the best solution because it does not require any further action on your part. Uninstall the VPN, and you will no longer receive this error message when searching Google.
If you are not using a VPN, do the following:
Check for malware
This is the most common method. If you have malware, it can cause an unusual traffic message to appear and block your search results. Remove them from your system and try again.
Check for access filters
If you use Google’s child or adult content filter, you might get an unusual traffic message. To stop this, remove the filters from your account and try again.
Use Google advanced search operators carefully
Using advanced search operators can cause you to trigger a rate-limit error on Google’s servers due to suspicious behavior by bots or scrapers. Avoid using these too frequently if you want to avoid this.
Unblock your IP address
If the problem is coming from an unblocked IP, you can ask the owner of that server to remove it or have them check whether Google has blocked their servers. You may also try using another VPN service if all else fails.
Unusual Traffic FAQs
Can a VPN cause unusual traffic?
Yes. Some VPNs have too many users to handle, which can cause Google to see this as suspicious activity. They may also send web traffic that violates Google’s terms and conditions.
Does the unusual traffic message appear with all VPNs?
No. It varies per service, but some are known to cause this issue for users who search Google too frequently or try using advanced operators. This is why it’s important that you check your VPN before trying anything else.
You can ask their support team if they have had any reports of this issue or if they have any solutions for it.
How to solve unusual traffic errors?
There are multiple solutions, but the best is to uninstall your VPN. Of course, if you have a paid service and are having issues with it, contact their support team for further assistance. If all else fails, try another VPN service – we recommend PureVPN.
Using a VPN service can and does cause unusual traffic error messages on Google. This is not a serious issue, and there are several ways to solve it, as discussed above.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough information to help you solve the problem the next time you encounter it.
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.