Enhancing the security of your information and keeping your privacy protected are top reasons for using a VPN to connect to internet. A VPN can disguise your IP address, allowing you to protect your identity online, but it is worth checking if you are actually secure. Since there are different services, configurations, protocols, platforms and devices, there is a possibility of mistakes being made during the setting up process or failures that would result in data leaks and insecure connections that will reveal your actual IP address. The majority of VPN users don’t think about checking their VPN connection to make sure that it is working as it should, even though this is crucial to know that their data is secure and that their privacy is being protected.
The purpose of this article is to help you to understand how you can confirm that your VPN connection is secure. There are different aspects to keep in mind and that can cause issues such as DNS leaks, which means that a query from your Internet provider will result in your actual DNS being revealed. This would mean that your browsing history can be compromised and since DNS leaks are not uncommon, it is important to keep an eye on this. Thankfully, the best VPN services in the industry are known for providing an additional layer of protection against DNS leaks.
One thing to consider before checking if your VPN is truly secure, is that OpenVPN protocol is the best option to keep your connection and it is advisable to use it whenever possible. This protocol provides a high level of security and it is very reliable. L2TP and IPsec are other good alternatives, but PPTP is an option that is generally not recommended as the level of security that it supports is very weak when compared to other protocols. OpenVPN is the safest solution and it is possible to find software developed by providers that work on OpenVPN open source code, such as Viscosity VPN.
In order to check if your VPN is secure, you can rely on website tests that are easy to carry. These tests need to be done while you are connected to your VPN service. Here is what you can do to confirm if your VPN is actually providing the security and protection that you expect from it.
Checking your IP address is the easiest and quickest way to confirm if your VPN is working. You can go to whatismyipaddress.com, where you will get an overview of the location of your IP address. The map would show a location estimate and if the information matches your current location and IP, unfortunately you have a reason to be concerned because it means that your VPN is not protecting you.
The next step is to carry an extended IP address test, which will help you to verify if Java and Flash are applying protection behind the VPN or if your actual DNS information is being exposed. To check this, you can go to whoer.net/extended where you will get a detailed report of how your connection is being tracked.
DNS Leaks Test
With the help of dnsleaktest.com, you can easily find out if there is a DNS leak issue with your VPN. First of all, you will need to connect to your VPN and then you can go to the website to carry the test. The results will display your DNS hostnames, IP addresses, ISP service and location. If your actual location, IP address and internet service provider appear listed, your information is not being covered and your DNS is being leaked.
P2P Torrent IP Address Test
Since a VPN is a convenient solution for P2P applications, making sure that it is activated and protecting your anonymity is crucial. In order to check this, you can go to Ipleak.net where you can find an option to perform a torrent IP check test. You can download the test torrent file on your P2P client and once you have it, you will need to launch it to verify if the IP information included shows your actual location and DNS. If that is the case, it means that you are not being protected as the results should only show the information provided by your VPN.
What to do if you find out that you are not being protected?
In case the tests reveal that you have leaks issues, you can follow a simple process to fix any small errors. If there is an IP address leak, you can check if your VPN is connected and once you confirm this, you can do an IP test again to see if you get different results. You can close the VPN and connect again to test once more and if the results continue showing leaks, the best thing may be to change your provider.
If the extended IP test shows that your Java or Flash are leaking, you can try the same process to verify that your VPN connection is active and if needed, you can close it and re-connect. If the results don’t change you may need to consider getting a different provider.
When it comes to DNS leaks, it is worth considering that they are very common but if you choose a reliable VPN provider that offers a good quality service, you shouldn’t experience these issues.
If everything else seems working well, but your P2P torrent test shows your IP, you can check what ports are being used for the P2P connection to make sure that they match your VPN service. You can take a look at your VPN connection setup to ensure that everything is fine. If the tests keep showing that there are leaks, this may indicate that your VPN service keeps disconnecting and there is no kill switch in place to keep you protected. There is no point in having a VPN that doesn’t offer effective protection so if you find out that there are DNS and IP leaks even though the VPN is correctly set up, you need to move to a better VPN solution that can actually keep your data secure at all times.