How to Check If Your VPN is Working (and Spot VPN Leaks)

Got introduced to a new VPN and would like to make sure it's safe before using it to surf the net, then the best way to know this is by testing its authenticity.

Several free tools that allow you to test your connections' security and determine whether or not your VPN is doing its job.

If you don't know what a VPN is let me gist you briefly about what they do, VPNs are services that will let you connect to the internet through their servers, effectively changing your IP address and partially protecting you from tracking by your ISP and any websites that you visit.

If you want to keep yourself undetected while browsing, they're an important part of your toolkit, although you'll also need to use incognito mode and other steps for anything anonymity.

However, you shouldn't place so much trust on a VPN connection, some leaks that might come up with your VPN that'll make it reveal your original IP address to the site you're browsing.

Let's take a brief look at the types of leaks that can occur to a VPN connection.

Types of VPN Leaks

There are mainly 3 types of leaks that might occur to a VPN connection, which are:

  1. IP leaks, 
  2. WebRTC leaks, and 
  3. DNS leaks.

- IP leaks comes in two forms IPv4 and IPv6 leaks. This simply occurs when the VPN fails to protect your connection.

- WebRTC leaks which full meaning is Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a collection of standardized technologies that allows web browsers to communicate with each other directly without the need for an intermediate server. As this goes on, occasionally, a browser can accidentally reveal your IPv4 address and with it, your location.

- Lastly, DNS leaks occur when your DNS requests are sent to your standard DNS servers directly without going through the VPN and using the VPN’s DNS servers. 

Now, you've known what VPNs are and the type of leaks that can occur while using them; let's learn how to test if our VPN connection is working and also check for VPN leaks.

You need no special knowledge to do so, so let’s get started.

How to Test Your VPN Connection

To run the VPN connection test, follow the below steps:

Firstly, visit ipleak.net on any browser without enabling a VPN. (You should be shown your test result immediately)

At the top is your IP address followed by your country and city you're located. However, sometimes, your city might show up differently.

The IPv6 test is on the right side of your IP address. If it shows "not reachable" then it implies that you passed.

Also, make sure that WebRTC detection is empty. if that's it then you're also good.

Lastly, is the DNS test which shows a list of IP addresses from any region. (These are the different servers that your signal has bounced through before hitting ipleak.net server), so, don't panic.

Now, let's connect to a server in France and reload the site again to re-run the test automatically.

Now, to find out if our VPN passed the DNS leak test, we need to take a look through the list of IP addresses and check if or not our original IP is there; if it's not there, then we are all good.

Obtaining the above result means that the connection is good and the VPN has passed.

However, note that the VPNs IP address might be different from what you selected, don't panic, this has to do with the way IP is registered. IP addresses can be moved around, but it often takes a while for the registrar to update this information.

In conclusion, IPv4, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks aren't likely to occur, however, DNS leaks are the most common leaks to watch out for, so always be sure to update your VPN and run tests often.

That's it.

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