As information has become an actual resource with a humongous potential for potentially gaining extreme value in actual money. The hunt and even scavenge for it has become a real deal on the Internet, especially the darknet. Daily news about phones and computers getting hacked are ever-growing. All that because of a sloppy approach towards one’s cybersecurity overall and during browsing particularly.
Our service has covered multiple VPNs, reviewing them from every side, aiming for a multi-dimensional review of a product to share its credibility and worth with you. From Proton to NordVPN – we’ve seen them all. Being a potential user and a consumer of a particular VPN, we cater to your need to be educated about the application and to invest in the chosen one wisely.
The team that gathers the necessary data about a VPN, which we then neatly wrap into a readable text, consists of experienced IT-specialists. They analyze a VPN for usual activity through credible testing tools and put it through a test drive by straining it with relevant cyber interferences. Then, we compare what’s being marketed with the test results to see what’s up.
Since you’ve ended up on this page, it means you care about your privacy during browsing and, generally, while being exposed to interconnection with different services and content. FYI: the VPN industry has generated over $15 billion in 2016, which means you, us, and everyone cares a lot about our privacy during browsing. As the real pros we are, let us run you through an overview of how we test VPNs for you to have a better vision of how things are done here.
Our Step-by-Step Process of Testing
There are multiple variations and phases you can go about while testing any cybersecurity program, including a VPN. But, overall, it comes down to testing every feature it has to offer separately. Therefore, we take what VPN markets and then check each feature’s functionality. On the regular, we examine the VPN on the following steps:
- IP Test Leaks
- DNS Test Leaks
- WebRTC Test Leaks
- Speed Tests, Servers
- Using on different devices
- Torrent Testing
- Netflix Testing
- Support Testing
These are the common avenues VPNs offer to conceal the user’s presence on the Internet to override or bypass any governmental or private blocking of certain content and to shroud their browsing from malware or prying eyes. We come to a 360o conclusion based on how well each vital and supportive feature functions, share the facts and our opinion, you decide.
IP Test Leaks
Do keep in mind that most of the features VPNs offer have similar tools online that can help you test them out for functionality and credibility. Our VPN testing methodology includes a couple of reliable ones as well. Internet Protocols (IPs) often get leaked because VPNs tend to overlook the addition of IPv6 on top of covering for IPv4. This step is key to hiding your device.
If the VPN fails at this basic yet crucial step, it means your identity is visible to the Internet as if you weren’t using a VPN tool. The testing tool has to check how the VPN hides your IP during an active connection and reconnection since it is usually during the latter step that it may leak your IP. It should also have a kill switch to block all traffic once the connection drops.
There are various testing tools that we use to test a VPN for IP leaks. We also put it through a rapid-fire test. It means we kill the connection while the VPN is on, open several tabs with an IP testing tool and click to refresh them. After that, we put the connection back on, keep refreshing a few times, and stop. If any of the tabs show a leak, then we know what’s up.
DNS Test Leaks
The Domain Name System (DNS) is another area that serves as a junction between you and the global Internet. If it gets leaked, it means you’re as exposed as if someone was looking you up in a phone book: middle name, address, telephone, everything public. Not directly, but the exposure of your real ISP will quickly lead to discovering your real IP.
Internet Service Providers (ISP) does the translation of DNS into respective IPs, both of which can eventually reveal your precise location. VPN is meant to mask that, hiding your ISP’s whereabouts. Sometimes DNS leaks happen in the VPN tunnel. Usually, connecting to a VPN server that is outside your country should do the trick, but it depends on that tunnel’s security.
To check whether your DNS is safe and tight, use a DNS leak test. It’s effortless, and it will reveal what IP and DNS your device exhibits through the VPN. Logically, if everything is secure down your VPN tunnel, then your real ISP and, respectively, you IP won’t be visible to the world.
WebRTC Test Leaks
Another gap where you can get exposed out of your superhero-VPN mask. Put, WebRTC is a particular feature seen in popular browsers, like Chrome or Firefox. It makes it possible for P2P to share files video and voice chats in-built in those browsers with no need for extra plug-ins. It’s along the WebRTC APIs that your real IP can get leaked.
Firstly, you should disable WebRTC in your browser if you genuinely want to hide your presence. Secondly, use this WebRTC leak test to see whether your real IP is secure along the WebRTC APIs. Nothing extraordinary here, similarly to previous steps, but these are crucial since any small leak of data about your device and connection will result in breaking the shroud.
Speed Tests, Servers
As you may already tell, there is a lot of stuff going on when a VPN runs to mask your identity on the Internet. These small steps seem bizarre, yet they all form your digital imprint, any part of which will give you out if it’s leaked. Because VPNs are multi-dimensional masking tools, their features tend to take a toll on your Internet speed.
Many factors define how a VPN impacts your speed. The higher the encryption level, the lower the speed. If your end goal doesn’t require extreme encryption, use a VPN with a lower encryption level to have higher speed. The physical distance between your location and the VPN server slows it down, too. Firewalls can seriously affect the VPN traffic and CPU.
How good your device processes power and your ISP’s offered speed play a part, too. Your speed is never going to be higher than what your ISP has set for you, so let’s just get that out of the way. VPNs perform various functions that reflect as encryption/decryption processes in the background of your device, which consumes a lot of power, impacting the CPU and speed.
Last but not least: the amount of physical servers a VPN offer is crucial to how well you’re masked and how fast you’re going to be. Not only do VPN servers provide you with a different digital print, but they also impact your speed. The more VPN servers, the higher the speed because, otherwise, they will get overcrowded. Use this Speed test to see how your VPN fares.
There are different ways VPN companies handle privacy; it depends on the jurisdiction. Some of them create a fake ID for the user and store certain information there; some jurisdictions allow not to store any data at all. Opting for VPNs that serve under jurisdictions like Panama or Switzerland offer the most privacy. We check these nuances and provide the overall picture.
VPN privacy policies will affect how comfortable you feel about exposing your masked online activity to this company. Your digital imprint includes session information, traffic logs, IP, history, and other data. The best logging policy is an automated one where only mal performance and crashes are logged while everything else isn’t. We check for all those facts.
Using on Different Devices
The number of devices a VPN allows you to use one subscription for directly impacts the pricing of a package, as well as your experience. Obviously, anyone would want to get the maximum out of paying for a certain service, Most likely, you’ll want to enjoy the benefits of a masked online identity on more devices than just your PC. We check the prices and test the keys.
The company’s device count allowed for one VPN key to be used on varies. Usually, the price packages will include 1, 3, 5, or 10 devices, but everything depends on the brand. We check for the number of devices, what’s the monthly and yearly plan price, compare it with other VPN features and prices on the market. This step either adds or detracts from our rating of a VPN.
Our team also checks whether devices with the same VPN key function at the same quality separately and simultaneously. This moment matters because you will use the same VPN for different reasons on different devices. It will also mean different online behaviors you will have and how that will fare and whether the price package is a good bang for your buck.
Whether a VPN will hide the user’s torrenting from the ISP and the world is one of the first things consumers look for in a respective brand. We check the policy to see what privacy and features a VPN offers for torrenting to check that out. ISPs are considered among the biggest threats to online privacy by consumers, so we check what a VPN will do to mask you in P2P.
We analyze the official policy regarding torrenting and query the brand for a more detailed explanation of its VPN torrenting feature. Users want their torrenting practices, especially if they are questionable, to be fully hidden from the ISP and, possibly, the law enforcement. Consequently, we gage the explained torrenting policy to see how protected your traffic will be.
Probably the most requested VPN feature to be confirmed. Copyright and government censorship are becoming crazier each year. Consumers are forced to pay to more companies to see the same content, or they are blocked from watching it by their government. Netflix, as the most popular streaming TV platform, falls into many of the controversies a VPN can solve.
Netflix ardently enforces copyright and censorship agreements and licenses, including by breaking the masking a VPN offers. Additionally, you may want to keep your traffic hidden, but Netflix can block you out because of using an ‘insecure’ network. We check for how many servers a VPN has, where they are and whether connecting to them lifts the Netflix blocks.
Not everything, even the best VPN offers, is bulletproof. There are things like crashes, mal performance, or confusion that you may encounter while using a VPN, and these will lead to you trying to solve them with the help of a respective support team. There are many ways a VPN company can provide excellent support for its consumers, and we test all of them.
Proficiency and efficacy are what we look for while support testing a VPN. Our team tests the knowledge base, how fast and effective their email responses are, what is the level of the live chat supporters’ expertise and how well the ones who support via telephone fare. You are paying for the support team, too, so we check what you get for paying the VPN subscription.
Testing a VPN is both a relatively easy task, but it takes time. To save you the effort and time, we outlined the process provides you with a general insight into how we test VPNs without going into all of the details. We aim to produce well-rounded VPN reviews that our readers will deem as credible, which is why we decided to share our testing process with you.
Enjoy any content the Internet has to offer, guys, and use an excellent VPN to stay safe.