How to Test Your VPN?
VPNs are crucial online tools as they encrypt your traffic and spoof your IP address. By doing this, they hide your online activities from your ISP, government, and other prying eyes. However, different VPN services offer different levels of privacy.
A 2016 study of Android VPN apps found that 84 percent of the services tested were leaking users’ IP addresses. Such VPNs give you a false sense of privacy, and so it’s important to regularly test your VPN service and ensure its 100% secure. In this guide, we’ll take you through the different types of VPN leaks and the tools that you can use to test for these leaks.
IP Leak Tests
The IP – Internet protocol – is an address issued by your ISP. It denotes your online presence and can be used to track your activities or identify your location. Scary right?
That’s where VPNs come in. These services allow you to spoof your IP with a VPN IP from a different region. In so doing, you can avoid unwanted spying from your ISP. Well, at least until your VPN decides to leak it. Note this can happen with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
Most IPv4 leaks occur due to a VPN flaw, which allows your internet connection to sidestep the VPN’s servers and instead communicate directly with your ISP server. This exposes your real IP and prevents access to restricted sites and services. To test your VPN service for IP leaks, you can use the ipleak.org test tool.
IPv6 leaks, on the other hand, occur due to limited compatibility. The technology is yet to be fully adopted, and so far, only a few websites support it. If your ISP has issued you with both IPv4 and IPv6 and your device communicates with a site that supports the protocol, your IPv6 address is automatically sent to the website.
To prevent this, several VPNs offer IPv6 Leak Protection, which disables IPv6 traffic when connected to the VPN. You can quickly test your connection for IPv6 leaks by visiting ipv6leak.com.
DNS Leak Test
Short for Domain Name System, DNS is the phonebook of the internet. When you search for a domain name like ‘wincert.net,’ a DNS resolves it into an actual IP address for the computer to understand. Typically, this is done by your internet provider’s DNS server, which means your ISP can see every search query you submit.
VPNs protect you by redirecting your traffic before it can reach your ISP’s DNS server. Some VPNs, however, fail to do this and therefore case a DNS leak. To test for DNS leaks, go to DNS leak test. If the displayed address and location match your real ones, then your DNS is leaking.
WebRTC Leak Test
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a feature that enables browsers with Real-Time communications. While helpful, WebRTC has been found to expose user’s IP addresses. You can find out if your IP is leaking via WebRTC APIs using Browser Leak’s WebRTC Leak Test. To avoid any future leaks, you can disable WebRTC in your browser.
VPN providers usually make a lot of promises, and it’s always better to ‘trust but test.’ This way, you can know whether your VPN is providing the privacy and security that you are seeking. IP leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks can all be tested online, and the above guide should help you do so.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article.