You may think that a VPN test is something complicated. Complications often scare people who are not technically savvy. It can be a notable problem for users who would like to stay anonymous on the internet but do not know whether VPN of their choosing works. The solution is simple: test your VPN.
Our main goal in this short guide is to explain what are DNS leaks and how to prevent them. This issue is the thing that defines the quality of service provided by a VPN company. If you want to use only great reliable services, this guide is for you.
What Is a DNS Leak?
One of the reasons that you may need a VPN test is when you feel that something is wrong. If you are browsing the internet and suddenly receive regional ads, it is a sign of a problem. One of the reasons why you use a VPN is to hide your actual location.
Websites should not know where you are connecting from if your VPN provider does a good job.
A DNS leak happens when your provider cannot entirely hide your online identity or doesn’t even intend to. In such cases, the websites you visit know your IP address and geographical location. While it may seem like not that much of a deal, there are many issues with allowing everyone to know where you are. This problem is also a reason why you need to test VPN connection quality as frequently as possible.
DNS leaks are quite regular for some service providers that do not focus on the quality of their service. It is a problem that can be observed if you sign up for a service that does not have a solid reputation in the industry. Low-quality control standards or straight up lying to customers are two issues that, sadly, occur more regularly than we would like.
A DNS leak means that your IP address is not protected. As mentioned before, it may not look like a big problem, but there are many cases of identity theft when hackers knew only your address and IP. There should be no compromises when it comes to security.
Testing Your VPN
You may ask: how do I know if my VPN is working? Many ways and tools can help you identify whether your VPN provider is a reliable company. If you think that your VPN may be leaking valuable DNS information, we suggest using free web services. Sites like DNSleaktest.com or astrill.com help you get detailed information about your current connection.
You need to test your connection before and after enabling the VPN app. It is easy. Go to any site for a VPN check before connecting to another server. Do not close the tab or just copy the information on the screen.
Enable your VPN connection and go to the test site again. If the information did not change or your location did not change (or your IP), your DNS is leaking. Also, your geographical location should be corresponding to the geographical location of the server you are connecting to.
IP Address Leak Check
The IP address is also the crucial information that a lot of users would like to keep secret. Whether you frequently shop online or stream games online, you will need protection from possible DDOS attacks. Online stores also won’t have much information to bombard you with annoying ads of things you don’t need.
Methods described above are perfectly fine to determine whether your IP address is hidden or not.
WebRTC is a commonly used interface that allows your browser to communicate with various web services in real time. Your browser connects to them through various APIs, special applications to access specific features of services. APIs may send you ads, notifications or even request specific data.
Many people concerned with security disable WebRTC to prevent such issues. You can do it quickly. There are several methods depending on which browser you use. We will talk about them below.
What to Do If You Found a Leak?
If you conducted a VPN test and identified a leak, we suggest you to contact the support team of your provider. Attach screenshots of test results to your message. It is a very important issue and a very basic part of the service.
The support team should respond quickly. Most companies hire multiple support team employees to work with clients. If you are waiting for a response for a long time, it is a bad sign. If you were contacted by an employee and they said that the issue would be solved, wait a bit. If the situation does not change, consider switching to a reputable provider.
Can I Do Something About Leaks?
Sadly, the frequency and the issue of DNS/IP leaks, in general, do not depend on your actions. Your VPN service provider should be responsible for keeping your data private. Now that you know how to test your VPN just use this knowledge to your advantage.
The best course of actions is simple. Most services will give you a couple of weeks or even a month to try out their service. Use this period of time to monitor whether DNS leaks happen or not. If there are problems with the service, simply ask for a refund and switch to a better provider.
The probability of having to deal with DNS leaks will be very low if you learn how to test your VPN. DNS leak protection is the responsibility of your provider, but it is you who chooses a provider in the first place.
VPN Speed Testing
Many users are concerned not only with safety but with speed of connections. While every provider promises unlimited bandwidth and traffic, you may notice that your internet is not as fast as promised.
One of the simplest and most reliable ways to determine the speed of your connection is to use the service called speedtest.net. It is a very old and reputable website that has been providing speed-testing services for more than a decade. You can trust their methods and results.
While VPN speed tests may not be the best criteria for rating a VPN provider, such tests still help you make a better choice.
VPN Malware and How to Detect It
Sometimes, your router can be infected with malware that steals your personal information or any not encrypted data. One of the simplest ways to know whether your router is infected is to run a simple VPN check. You can go to Symantec.com and use their filter check feature. It will quickly test your connection and notify you about possible malware and weird filters.
Protecting Yourself from DNS leaks
You can prevent data leaks by using several time-tested methods. A VPN leak test will help you to identify a problem, but you can preemptively solve a lot of issues. Below are methods to reduce the occurrence of DNS leaks.
If you do not like the idea of using a VPN leak test in the future, you can try to prevent some data leaks by disabling webRTC. Methods depend on the browser that you use. Note that disabling this feature can make some APIs unusable. Fully removing all webRTC interactions is not recommended to inexperienced users of the internet.
- Go to “Customize and Control.”
- Choose “More tools.”
- Go to “Extensions.”
- Go to the webstore and search for WebRTC control extension.
- Add it to the browser.
- Turn it on when you need to protect your data.
- Type “about:config” in the address bar.
- Type “media.peerconnection.enabled” in the search bar.
- Right-click it to toggle.
You can also use specialized add-ons. Choose WebRTC Control app in the collection of add-ons or other similar extensions.
- Go to “Extensions Gallery.”
- Search for “WebRTC control.”
- Add to Opera and use it when necessary.
Disabling WebRTC is one of the ways to reduce the possibility of leaking data, but the best way is to shield your PC from any data leakage completely.
Configuring Your Router
If you use a router, take your time to configure your connection. Detailed instructions will be provided to you by your VPN service provider. Settings are different for each specific case. This method requires some legwork. However, you will enjoy absolute safety.
Your safety and security will obviously depend on the quality of service offered by the provider. As mentioned previously, some companies are better than others when it comes to protecting your data and personal information.
The Main Takeaway
You should never take risks when it comes to online safety. Your personal information is precious. There are scammers and hackers out there who will gladly use your identity and personal data.
Protecting your IP address and geographical location is the first step on the way to perfect security. While there are more important issues that you should address, getting rid of DNS leaks is a nice place to start. We recommend you test your connection right now.