The benefits of VPNs are manifold. Apart from being stout go-to security companions, another main reason why many users get a VPN is to conceal or modify their default IP address. While connected to a VPN app, your entire internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a remote VPN server.
VPN service providers ensure that your actual IP address and other user data are protected, and for that matter, strong privacy and encryption features are deployed like server obfuscation and no logging of data. Despite all these trailblazing features, it’s likely that your real IP address gets sneaked through and detected by third parties.
We have compiled this guide to educate you on how to check if the VPN you are using is leaking your information, what kind of threats it poses to you, and how you can stop it. You should also go through the best VPN recommendations by VPNRanks that come with IP and DNS leak prevention features.
What Is an IP Leak?
A user’s actual IP address leaking even with a VPN is known as an IP leak. It can happen when a user’s device accidentally connects to standard servers instead of the private VPN servers that the VPN has given. Here is a clear illustration of IP leakage:
Let’s say you like to access a certain website that is geo-blocked or restricted in your country. Normally, you can select a server from a wide range of countries using your VPN app. Your location will be “pretended” to be on the particular location via the VPN. It is plenty to deceive your ISP. So far, so fine!
However, if you attempt to access certain content and remain subject to geo-limitations, this indicates that the website you are attempting to access is monitoring your actual IP and not the VPN server’s IP. This implies that your VPN app is exposing your real IP.
The majority of IP leak forms can occasionally damage any set of protocols of your phone, but the top VPN companies have remedies incorporated into their system to reduce the risk of IP leaks. IP leaks are typically not your VPN provider’s responsibility. They are frequently brought on by flaws in current technology, including browser extensions (like Flash), online surfing applications, and mobile OS (operating systems).
Likewise, certain DNS breaches might reveal the DNS server’s real IP address. Your DNS queries are being forwarded to an unprotected DNS server if the VPN does have a “DNS Leak” bug (usually one managed by your ISP). Your DNS queries will always be routed safely, within the encrypted tunnel of a VPN, due to the integrated DNS leak protection offered by certain VPNs, as well as the usage of their own unique DNS servers and advanced technologies.
“Transparent Proxying” is a technique that certain ISPs deploy. They are able to block all DNS queries that pass via their servers by using this technique. These queries can still be monitored if you choose another DNS server for your modem or home computer.
If you updated your DNS servers to utilize a service like OpenDNS or Google believing that your IP and DNS data will no longer be transmitted to your ISP’s DNS server, it will be surprising for you to learn that they have deployed transparent proxying.
How to Run an IP Leak Test
Your ISP (internet service provider) assigns you an “actual” IP address, which can be employed to precisely identify your specific internet service. Your home service’s devices also have the same IP.
So, here are some helpful steps to check that your VPN is functioning properly and not exposing your IP address:
Step 1: Check your IP
Confirm that your VPN connection is inactive. When certain that your VPN connection is lost, visit “Google” and search “what is my IP address” to find out your actual IP address.
Step 2: Sign in to VPN
Sign into your VPN account and select the server you prefer. Make sure you are linked properly.
Step 3: Check your IP again
To find your new IP, visit Google and input “what is my IP address” once more. A new address that matches your VPN server and the nation you choose should appear.
Step 4: Do IP Leak test
You can verify whether your VPN connection is leaking IP by using a number of free sites. Regarding user anonymity rights, there is a decent tool for evaluating IP leaks. It stands out since it’s a cutting-edge online application that comes with a free phone API. Today’s DNS or IP leak tests are hardly mobile-friendly, or more significantly, they are out of date. For instance, the tool’s API verifies if DNS through TLS is active, something the earlier DNS leak test websites do not do. Although this method is pretty recent, it is going to become more crucial as it encrypts your DNS queries. Additionally, it checks the status of “Checking Disabled” and DNSSEC using its API. Data integrity, source validity, and validated refusal of presence are all provided by DNSSEC. You may now have a more thorough understanding of your security and confidentiality settings thanks to these results obtained.
What Other Leaks Can Expose Your IP Address? And How Can You Fix Them?
Another typical leak called “Dropped Connection” is when your VPN abruptly disconnects; in this situation, your online traffic is sent over your ordinary online connection (less safe). This is the most typical IP leak that is most easily stopped.
For your cellphones, selecting a VPN provider with a kill-switch option is the best option. A major feature of your VPN software is a kill switch, which continually checks your network and ensures that your real IP address is never made public online in the case of a failed VPN connection. It will immediately halt all internet access and attempt re-connecting to the VPN if it notices any disruption. When evaluating VPNs, I suggest checking for this function.
When it comes down to protecting one’s privacy online, VPNs prove to be a very effective tool for that, but occasionally they can get damaged or sabotaged. We hope that our blog has helped you in any way by making you aware of the risks of having IP leaks and how important it is to keep a regular check on them to make sure that your information remains safe.