5 VPN Test Steps to Check If It’s Working and If It’s Safe to Use
If you are using a VPN, it is because you take internet security very seriously. The use of a VPN encrypts your connection and secures you from prying eyes, keeping you safe, and your activities private. There are a lot of VPN service providers out there and you are most likely subscribing to one already, or considering it. Do these services truly do what they promise by keeping you anonymous and untraceable? Are you connected to a server that truly gives you the IP of the country you choose? These questions and more are what you need to answer before investing in a VPN service and one way to find out if your VPN is actually working is by carrying out VPN tests.
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A properly functioning VPN allows you to have access to the internet without leaving any trace. It acts like a tunnel through which your traffic goes through instead of having direct access to the internet. And so whatever passes through the tunnel is encrypted and no one, not even your internet service provider can see what you are up to. It easily bypasses basic DNS (Domain Name System) and IP checks so you can have access to otherwise restricted pages and content. Investing in a good VPN system keeps your business out of the reach of even Internet service providers that make use of invasive Deep Package Inspection.
A good VPN will mask your origin so that no one can tell your location. It does this by masking your real IP and displaying that of the server you choose instead. This IP won’t be detected as false and will be considered as your actual IP. Different VPNs have their different levels of security and that is why you need to be sure of what you are getting.
Types of Data Leaks from Your VPN
A VPN that offers little security to you could cause any of the following data leaks:
1 . DNS Leak
A DNS leak takes away all the anonymity you were supposed to have, and it exposes you to other threats. A leaked DNS leaks your IP information and leaves you traceable.
In the working of the DNS, web addresses in the forms that we can understand and remember example www.limevpn.com are translated into IP addresses that computers can read and understand. Your internet service providers handle all these processes and by doing so, can keep track of your internet activities.
Your internet activities are still visible to your ISP even if you go incognito on your browser, but a good VPN protects your data and internet activity from the ISP. Since the ISP can’t make use of what they don’t have, you can be sure that you will be secure and remain private.
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Apart from compromising your anonymity and keeping you locked out of the content you wish to access due to restrictions, a leaked DNS leaves you susceptible to DNS hijacking. DNS hijacking occurs when an attacker changes your ISP’s DNS server route to different websites. These websites are fake and may remain unknown to you so whatever data you share there is being stored by criminals. They do this to steal your information like email, social media details and account details too. ISPs also indulge in DNS hijacking when they collect your information or display ads to you.
2. IP Leak
Your device’s IP is its identity on the internet. It is tied to your location and so a leaked IP is like leaking your location. A VPN is meant to hide your IP thereby protecting you, so if it doesn’t do this, it has no use to you at all.
A visible IP leaves you exposed and an easy target. Troll and government agencies can use your IP to track you down if you make bad comments online. Using torrents will also make your IP accessible to copyright trolls and copyright protection agencies.
Apart from the security risks associated with leaked IP, there are other issues you may face. Streaming services and some websites do IP checks to determine if you can have access to the geo-blocked content. So all the contents you were hoping to have access to, not possible. Some companies may even ban you or suspend you temporarily for trying to use a VPN to disguise your location.
Incompatibility between IPv4 and IPv6 is one of the reasons your IP may leak as the security protocols are not interoperable. IPv4 was launched first and as IP available addresses started getting depleted, IPV6 was created.
3. WebRTC Leak
WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communication, and it is a feature that can be found in most popular browsers. What it does is to enable your browser to make and receive voice and video calls. So it, therefore, it allows you to make real-time voice and video calls without the involvement of a third-party app.
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WebRTC isn’t perfect and can be a threat to your security. How? A program can be coded TO create a WebRTC connection to your browser. By doing so your real IP and location can be gotten. Since this leak is a fault of the browser, websites that block content based on location can find out your real IP even if you connect through a VPN.
Since WebRTC leaks expose real IPs even when a VPN is used, most sites that make use of geo-blocking check for these leaks. If your VPN cannot protect your IP in this situation, then you obviously need a new one.
How to Prepare For VPN Test
The leaks mentioned above can only occur if you make use of a VPN that is not good enough. A good VPN protects you from everything that will compromise your privacy and the best way to know just how good your VPN is would be to carry out a VPN test.
When checking for leaks, you need to be sure of the data you are looking for to avoid going about it pointlessly. Ideally, you need to first find the data you are trying to protect, and then you go on with testing for leaks. Take note that carrying out these tests does not require any additional software.
- Disconnect from your VPN connection: this is an important step because you need to find your real IP address and the use of a VPN may alter that information.
- Check out your real IP: to check for your device’s IP address, visit the IP test page. It goes further to give you details like the country your IP is linked to.
- Write your IP down: write this down because you will be needing it later during the leak tests with the VPN on. If your VPN is a good one, these numbers are not what you should be seeing during the test.
- Check for your DNS: to find your DNS, visit the DNS leak test page. You will get your DNS provider, your country, and your assigned IP.
- Write the DNS result down: you would need this information during the DNS test and if your VPN is a good one, you wouldn’t be seeing it.
Test To Check If Your VPN Is Leaking Your DNS Address
One of the most basic and easiest ways to keep your online presence hidden is to obscure your DNS address. You don’t need a VPN to do this as there are other apps available that can help you do this. If you are however using a VPN, this feature is a necessity as the idea of using a VPN is to make sure you are anonymous and hidden while you access the internet. The following are steps to test for DNS leaks:
- Connect to a VPN server: put on your VPN and connect to any server of your choice. If you don’t have any server in mind, you can allow for random connection as it will most likely connect to the fastest available server or the one you use frequently.
- Visit the DNS test page: once you enter the page, the test will be carried out automatically. Information that you should note is the IP from your ISP, country, and DNS provider.
- Compare results: remember the DNS test result you got while preparing for the DNS leak test. Now compare your recent with the other one and look out for any similarities. If both results are the same, then your VPN isn’t protecting you and is leaking your DNS data.
- Connect to different servers and test again: similar DNS test results before and after VPN connection shows that the server you connected to isn’t secure, but that doesn’t say all other servers are the same. So to be sure, connect to other servers and test again each time. Is the leaks are consistent with every server, then it is a sign that the VPN is incompetent.
Test To Check If Your VPN Is Leaking Your IP Address
Your IP address is your address as will be seen online. It can give out personal information like your location that is why it is important that you mask it if you want to remain anonymous and secure. This is a very important duty to be performed by a VPN and to be sure that your VPN is doing the job, here are steps to carry out the leak test:
- Connect to a VPN: turn your VPN on and connect to any server. You could allow for random automatic connection too as the service will either connect to the fastest available server or the frequently used one.
- Visit the IP test page: once the page opens, the test will run automatically and you will see the results on the opening page.
- Compare results: compare the new result with the one you obtained when you checked your IP without connecting to a VPN. What you are expecting is a different IP address on display. If the first one you have is the same as the new one obtained after the connection, then your VPN is leaking your IP address.
- Connect to different servers and test again: connecting to different servers and performing the IP test each time is a way to confirm that your VPN is alright. It will also let you know if the servers are in the countries they say they are.
Test To Check If Your VPN Is At Risk of WebRTC Leaks
WebRTC leaks are not the same as IP and DNS Leaks. WebRTC is not part of the internet but a technology that is used by some browsers. Tapping information via WebRTC requires a bit of coding and the following are steps that can be used to check if your VPN can prevent this from happening:
- Connect to a VPN: turn your VPN on and connect to any server. You can allow automatic connection and this will take you to a frequently connected server or the fastest available server.
- Visit the WebRTC test page: once this page opens, the test runs automatically. On the opening page, you will see your IP address, your internet protocol version; IPv4, or IPv6, and you will know if there is a leak.
- Compare results: check to see if the IP address on the test page matches your real IP address. If both addresses are the same, then there is a WebRTC leak.
- Connect to different servers and test again: doing this will help ensure that there is nothing wrong with your VPN and all its servers.
Having completed the WebRTC test, you will know for sure if you are safe or have your anonymity compromised. With this information, you will take the necessary steps needed to improve your security which is most likely going to be the need to switch to a different VPN.
Test to Check If Your VPN Contains Malware
It is common to have your VPN being infected with malware if you are using a free VPN. This means that it is possible that someone is collecting information from you which you are trying to protect. It stands against everything you are trying to do by using a VPN and to be sure that this isn’t happening, the following steps need to be taken in carrying out the test:
- Visit VirusTotal: it makes use of 70 different antivirus tests and internet blacklists to check for any malware. It is free.
- Upload the application file: the application file is the .exe file found in the VPN app installation directory. While that is specific to Windows users, Mac users should make use of the .dmg file.
- Run the test: this is easy and doesn’t require anything from you. The website will do it all.
- Check your result
Conduct A VPN Stress Test
All other tests above are conducted under perfect working conditions. No one can control the factors and so you can’t be sure that the conditions will always be perfect and what happens in such cases? Will your VPN still perform very well even with internet connectivity problems?
In this test, your VPN will be tested to check if its integrity will be maintained even if your internet connection breaks and is reestablished. It is similar to the other VPN tests but has some different steps added.
- Launch your VPN: once you have launched your VPN, connect to any server although it is most likely that the app will connect to the fastest or frequently used one.
- Visit the DNS, IP, and WebRTC test pages
- Take note of the results: the results should have a different IP and bear the server location of the country you are connected to. Note the results.
- Interrupt your internet connection while still connected to your VPN: you can do this by turning Wi-Fi or mobile data off or taking out any other source of internet connection.
- Connect to the internet again
- Check the leak test pages again to confirm that the results are the same
Carrying the test will allow you to know if your VPN can be trusted even in cases of network interruptions, to maintain its seal on you. A good VPN will maintain the parameters for the test leaks each time. But a VPN that is not good enough will show your real IP even though the VPN is connected after such interruptions.
It is good to run this test on different servers to be sure that everything is okay.
How to Handle a Leaking VPN Situation?
After conducting all the tests, what happens if you find out that your VPN is leaking DNS address, IP address, or WebRTC? This is the time for you to take charge and ensure that your security and privacy isn’t compromised. The steps you can take to remedy the situation are quick and easy steps but will nonetheless improve your internet security.
- DNS/IP/country leaks: with a paid and private VPN you can be sure of good security, way better than using a free one. A paid VPN like Limevpn takes your privacy seriously and you can be sure that all leaks tests will be passed.
- WebRTC leaks: to avoid such leaks, make use of only the best VPNs, and don’t compromise on this because of cost. Another way to avoid these leaks is to find and only make use of a browser that doesn’t have the WebRTC feature. It can be a bit difficult to find such a browser as most of them make use of this feature. Alternatively, consider disabling WebRTC on your browser, although the process isn’t easy.
- Malware: if after carrying out the malware test you realize your VPN is infested by malware, the best line of action is to uninstall the VPN app. Scan your device using antivirus and change to a better VPN, one you pay for. Always pass any VPN you intend using through the malware test just to be sure and a trusted VPN service provider that will pass the malware test is Limevpn.
With the ever-increasing number of cyber-attacks, it is necessary that one should be careful of all internet activities. You can never be too careful with your personal information because they are available for those who know what they are doing and that is why it is important that you mask your activities using a VPN. A VPN is like a tunnel through which your traffic leaves your computer and comes back. It is an encrypted connection, so whatever information you submit online when connected would be further protected.
A good VPN hides your real IP address, saving your location from being out there for just anyone to access. This in itself is a good step towards staying safe. Apart from the security benefit of using a VPN, it also gives you access to geo-blocked content, so now you can enjoy all the content you have been missing out on. Not all VPNs can offer you all of the above mentioned, and not all VPNs will pass the various VPN leak tests, so which one is best for you? Limevpn is one of the best choices you can make, and as a top VPN service, they take your security and privacy very seriously.