VPN or virtual private network is the strategy where your device connects with a virtual network that helps hide your device information to any server you connect. This lets you access several sites confidently without worrying about hackers getting a hold on information like your computer’s IP address. From letting you access sites restricted in your region to increase the security of your connection, there are many benefits that the best VPNs offer.
What could be the problem?
The core concept is to encrypt your IP address and make sure that the site you connect with doesn’t trace it. However, does this happen? Is your VPN masking your IP address? If it does, then it means that your VPN is working. A fancy website and promising plenty of features would not be sufficient. You should not blindly trust any VPN providers without actually testing whether it is working. If you do, you might be accessing risky connections without even realizing that your VPN has been leaking your device’s IP address.
Signs that your VPN connection is live
Some of the straightforward indicators that let you know that your VPN is still working would be
- On personal gadgets like phones and tablets, there is usually an icon that you can find on the top portion of the screen when the connection is live. This shows that your VPN is active, and when you browse the internet, your device’s IP address is ideally not visible to the servers you connect.
- When you use a VPN on a computer, you should check the VPN for a change of IP address. Before you turn the VPN on, you should see the PC’s original IP address displayed. Once you turn on the VPN, the newly assigned IP address would be visible. This would be a random IP which the virtual network then shares with the site you access.
What are the possible problems when a VPN is not reliable?
There are several kinds of information that your VPN can continue to leak even when you connect with it. This is the kind of information that can put your computer at risk again, proving the services of the VPN to be futile.
Here are some details that can be leaked
- IP – given that your device’s IP address alone can give out a whole lot of information, your chosen VPN mustn’t reveal the IP address.
- DNS – sometimes it is the domain name server that is visible. Even if the IP is hidden, the DNS details can tell about your device location, which is another sensitive detail to leak.
Is your VPN leaking your device information?
There are plenty of readymade tools that let you check whether your VPN is working. These can test the VPN connection and provide you information about the details that the VPN is masking and the amount of data it is leaking. With these tools, you can enjoy a user-friendly experience. You do not have to be an expert to use these tools. Anyone who knows to use a VPN would be able to check the credibility of the VPN with these tools.
Checking whether your VPN is leaking the IP address is relatively easy. Several sites let you identify your device’s IP address. Check the default IP of your machine without the VPN turned on. Turn on the VPN and then refresh the site. If you find a new IP address in place of your device’s original IP, then it indicates that the VPN is not leaking the IP address.
Most of these IP details sites also provide information like the internet service provider you use and the location of your machine. If you find this information also changing once your VPN is on, then it means that your VPN is working as intended.
Look for credible IP leak tests and DNS leak tests that are available online. Most of them are free and easy to use. One other benefit is that you do not have to install any software to use most of these tools. They can directly be accessed from your browser. You would also be able to test the leaks without risks of your device data being stored. Look for no-log leak test tools online. These help you get a credible picture of your VPN. This lets you decide whether you want to stay with the same VPN or choose a different one.
Sometimes people use free VPN tools and for different applications. Depending on the level of security you expect, you can always pick a plan that fits your budget. One good way to finalize your VPN is to try the free version and then check in one of the online tools to find whether there are no leaks. You can then proceed to choose the paid service with confidence.