What to do when it is impossible to establish a secure connection

Complete guide to understand what is the meaning of the error message "unable to establish a secure connection", its causes and how to solve it.

"Unable to establish a secure connection", an error message not so rare when, from a computer, smartphone or tablet, we are browsing the Internet and typing the name of a site in the search bar of the browser that we are used to using. The present control screen then activates a real block, which prevents us from accessing the web page of our interest.

Not only that, in some cases we'll also run into a whole series of rather frustrating errors, with the result of giving up. Yet it is possible to stem this age-old problem of secure connection, going to evaluate one by one different fundamental elements, illustrated in this article.

Unable to establish a secure connection: the meaning and possible causes

As we were saying, surfing the web it can happen to come across some portals for which the display of content is prevented, due to the presence of a screen that returns the words "unable to establish a secure connection". Followed by the indication of an error, which on Google Chrome, for example, is identified by the code ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. When this message appears, it means that an error has occurred and the search engine prevents access to the site. The causes of the error - very frequent on Chrome and less so on competing browsers - could be different, and not always attributable to the site you are trying to reach. Once the meaning has been metabolized, it is now time to understand what the problem is due to, and only then to check if it is possible to do something to continue browsing.

The site doesn't have an SSL certification

When the error appears saying that it is impossible to establish a secure connection, and the already mentioned ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR code, it is likely that the web portal we are trying to access does not have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification, i.e. the cryptographic protocol that allows secure communication from the source to the recipient. In this case, the data sent to the browser is not recognized and consequently considered unsafe. To immediately recognize a secure site, pay attention to the presence of the https code in the initial part of the address. You will also understand that the problem is due to the server, and we will have to wait for the site manager to update its certificate in order to try a new access.

Device-related problems

In case the web portal we want to access does not present any criticality related to the SSL protocol, the causes that could make it impossible to establish a secure connection with Wi-Fi - or with other means of surfing the net, must consequently be found in some problem of our device, be it a PC, a smartphone, a tablet or a game console equipped with a browser. And if it's true that for the Secure Sockets Layer we can't do anything but wait patiently for a resolution "from above", in the same way in the second hypothesis we can act concretely following the indications in the final part of this guide.

Unable to establish a secure connection: how to solve

If the error message "unable to establish a secure connection" is due to our device, a great way to eliminate the problem could be to analyze our protection software. The various antivirus and firewalls on the market - however absolutely essential to ensure the security of our devices, are in fact always "vigilant" when an Internet connection is active. It could therefore happen that one or more domains we want to access are classified as unsafe when they are not recognized, leading to the appearance of the error we are talking about. To verify that the connection problem is related to the presence of the antivirus or firewall, the advice is to go and temporarily disable all installed protection software: if the website is displayed correctly, it means that the error was caused by the antivirus or firewall.

In other occasions, the error message is displayed for problems that could be caused by information saved in the cache of your web browser. Nothing could be simpler: clear your cache and cookies and try to access the site again. To complete this process, just click on the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and then choose the Settings option, select Advanced and then again the Privacy and Security option, where you'll find the Delete Browsing Data option. The case in which the time and date in the system is wrong is also very trivial. We will then have to set the correct information manually to try to eliminate the anomaly.

To close, at the base of the errors related to the absence of a secure connection there could also be a malfunction of a web browser extension. As many of you already know, extensions are additional features that we can add to our browser to make it more complete and comfortable to use when browsing. To check right away if it is some extension that is causing the conflict, you won't have to disable them one by one, but it will be enough to access the Internet in incognito mode and try to access the page of our interest again.