Step by Step Guide to Prevent VPN DNS Leak in Windows 10
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DNS Overview: what is it about?
You might be wondering what a DNS is, yet you have been using the internet all this time. A DNS (Domain Name System) refers to a system that associates URLs with IP addresses. Usually, when you are visiting a website, your browser such as Chrome, will send a request to a domain name system with the URL you have just typed in – then the URL will be directed to the desired IP address.
So, What is a DNS Leak and VPN DNS leak?
Normally, the internet service providers (ISPs) are the ones who assign DNS servers. This simply means that they have the power to monitor as well as record each and every activity you conduct online as long as a request is sent to a server. Connecting to the internet through a VPN means that the domain name service request is directed to an unspecified domain name system server via the VPN. This is what keeps you anonymous while connecting to different websites. However, there are some unfortunate occasions when your operating system (specifically Windows) will ignore the VPN tunnel and send the request to a DNS server from your browser. This occurrence is what is referred to as a VPN DNS leak. Once a DNS leak occurs, you will no longer be anonymous and your ISP surveillance, hackers and all sorts of online criminals will be able to track your activities.
How to do a DNS leak test ?
The best way to test for a DNS leak is to do it through www.dnsleaktest.com. When you visit the website, you will be presented with the following depending on your IP address:
There are two tests that you can perform: the Standard Test and the Extended Test.
- The Standard Test carries out one round of six queries for a sum of six, which should be more than enough to pinpoint a DNS leak. This is the faster of the two tests.
- The Extended Test carries out six rounds of six queries for a sum of thirty six queries. This test is highly effective for unveiling all possible DNS leaks.
How to Prevent DNS Leak
1. Go for a VPN with In-Built DNS Leak Protection
This is the best as well as the simplest method of stopping/ preventing a DNS leak. The only problem with this method is that only handful VPN providers have such abilities. VPN providers with in-built DNS leak protection also feature internet kill switch.
2. Pro Version VPN is The Best
If you truly want to protect yourself against any VPN connection failure, then you have to go for the Pro version of a VPN provider. The Pro version package consists of a DNS leak fix, such as Stop DNS leaks; in addition to clean and fresh static private IP, dedicated private VPN node; dedicated bandwidth of 1 GBPS; and 20+ concurrent connections.
3. Change DNS Servers and Get a Static IP
The main benefit of changing DNS servers is ensuring that your internet service provider does not track you. You can always direct your request via a public DNS server. Some of the public DNS servers you can use are
- Comodo Secure DNS
- OpenDNS and
- Google Public DNS.
How to Change DNS Server on Windows 10
- Locate the network connections symbol and right-click on it; then open Network and Sharing Center.
- Under Network and Sharing Center click on Change Adapter Settings.
- Click on Ethernet and choose Properties and access the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
- Double click on TCP/IPv4 and you will be presented with list of static IP information. It does not matter if yours is static or dynamic, since you can still set the IP address of the DNS server. Therefore, just make sure you check the boxes.
- You have to make sure that you use DNS server addresses that are in use and not just any kind.
- So, open command and input the various details as demonstrated on the image below.
- Based on the tests above the DNS that picks up is 18.104.22.168; so you can go ahead and use that DNS address if you want.
- You can also use the secondary one, which is 22.214.171.124 under alternative DNS server address.
- Check the Validate settings upon exit box and press OK.
- The system is going to do a quick detecting problems scan and when it is done you will have successfully changed the DNS server.
Always Perform A DNS Leak Test
As mentioned earlier a DNS leak test, either standard or extended will clearly tell you if you are experiencing a leak or not. The test results at dnsleaktest.com means that the owners of the servers that have been identified can link your personal IP address with all the websites you connect to every time you go online. The worst part is that they can store the data indefinitely. When connected to a VPN, you will know whether or not you are experiencing a VPN leak if the servers listed in the results are not provided by the VPN service you are using. A DNS leak test will always keep you alert, and you can take the aforementioned precautionary measures at any time.
The use of VPN does not always mean that you are 100% secured, because of what is referred to as DNS leaks. When using the internet, it is important that all the traffic coming from your network device is routed through anonymous network. This simply means that if any traffic leaks through the underlying connection, then any snooping eyes will be able to log your online activities.
DNS leaks are a primary privacy threat because the anonymity network may be presenting a false sense of security while your personal data is leaking. Do not completely trust your VPN service and Windows, particularly Windows. Windows will always attempt to improve your web performance. As a result, the chances of Windows ignoring the VPN DNS servers are high. You might think that you are safe because you are using OSX or Linux; well, you are wrong. Always take the above measures to avoid the worst regardless of the operating system you are using.