The main reason why people use a VPN is to protect their data and you definitely need to know how to test your VPN. However, you need to be sure that your preferred VPN is protecting you. This is a major concern for many users.
The process of setting up a VPN involves a number of steps that could lead to errors and ultimately expose your IP address and leak your data when you connect to the VPN.
In this post, you are going to learn how to verify VPN connections for different types of leaks using different tools. These tools will help you know if the VPN you are using is keeping your data secure or not.
VPN DNS Leak Test
DNS is the short form for Domain Name System. Its purpose is to maintain and translate a directory of domains to IP addresses. This is important because, even though it is easy for people to remember domain names, computers, or machines rely on IP addresses.
In most cases, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is responsible for translating domain names to their respective IP addresses. However, when using a VPN, your real IP address is hidden, thus hiding your IP address and preventing hackers from tracking your geographical location.
However, sometimes translations may be visible from the VPN tunneling, exposing your IP address and location of your ISP. To perform a DNS leak test, you will first need to connect to a VPN server outside your country.
Use tools like dnsleaktest.com to run the test. If the details (IP address, location, etc.) match with those of your IPS, then your DNS is leaking.
One thing to keep in mind is that DNS leaks don’t expose your IP address but rather leak your ISP’s location and IP address, which makes it easier to track your IP address.
You can prevent DNS leaks by choosing a VPN service that uses its own encrypted DNS system.
IP Address VPN Leak Test
Although most VPNs promise to hide your IP address, that’s usually not the case. A study of Android free VPN apps found that 84% of VPNs leak users’ real IP address.
Keep in mind that it is important to test a VPN for IP address leaks when you have an active VPN connection and also when it is reconnecting. Most VPNs tend to leak IP address in the reconnection phase.
In the event that a VPN connection drops, there should be a kill switch that stops traffic from the internet.
Here are the steps you need to follow to test an IP address leak during the reconnecting phrase:
- Disconnect your internet connection while connected to VPN
- Once the connection drops, reconnect to the webpage and open several tabs with IP leak test tools. You can open the tabs before disconnecting the internet.
- Refresh the tabs as fast as you can after re-establishing the VPN connection
- After connecting to the VPN, quit reloading the tabs
- Check test results to see if your IP address shows in a few tabs. If it does, it means your VPN is leaking IP address during the reconnection phase.
You can prevent IP address leaks by choosing a secure VPN. If you are experiencing IPv6 leaks, manually disable IPv6 connectivity. In addition, keep in mind that if your VPN service supports IPv6, you get protection against IPv4 automatically.
WebRTC Leak Test
The next test is the WebRTC leak test. WebRTC is an API definition that provides web browsers and mobile apps with real-time communication through simple application programming interfaces.
It allows P2P files sharing with video and voice chats in a browser, without using extensions or external plugins.
You can use various plugins to add WebRTC support externally to your web browser. When you have IP address leaks through WebRTC APIs, you will experience WebRTC leak.
To test your VPN for WebRTC leak, go to the Perfect Privacy WebRTC Test.
You can prevent WebRTC leak by disabling it on your web browser.
VPN Speed Test
In addition to security and privacy, you also need to consider the speed of the VPN service. There are many factors that play a critical role in the speed of a VPN service.
- Internet limitations by your ISP
The speed of your VPN is limited by the speed of your Internet Service Provider. Regardless of how fast the VPN is, it can never exceed the speed of your ISP.
- Level of encryption
The speed of a VPN reduces with as the encryption level increases. Although the L2PT protocol is more secure than PPTP protocol, its speed is significantly lower. If you don’t require a high level of encryption, you can go for low encryption level options.
- Distance between you and the VPN server
This is another important factor that affects the speed of your VPN. For example, if you are in Australia, and you’re using a VPN that is located in the United States, you are likely to encounter slower internet speeds. Choose a VPN that is near you to solve this issue.
- Number of people using the VPN
When a VPN server is overloaded with many active users, it tends to become slow, and this is usually the case with the most popular VPNs. Before you commit to any VPN, check their server status page with real-time bandwidth details.
- Firewall settings
When firewall settings interfere with VPN traffic or the performance of the CPU, it can affect the speed significantly.
- The processing power of your device
When using a VPN on your device, the device encrypts and decrypts the data in the background. This process consumes a lot of CPU resources. The higher the internet speed, the more the processing power required.
This means even if you have a fast VPN, but your internet connection is standards, your CPU might be limiting your speed capability.
Use this site speedof.me to test the speed of your VPN.
If you find that you have a VPN leak after conducting the tests, contact the VPN’s customer support to see if they can fix the problem. You can also switch to a better VPN service that doesn’t leak data. Generally, VPN services target new users and convince them to use their VPN.