How to Test Your VPN’s Security (Updated 2020)
While VPNs are fantastic for protecting your privacy while you surf online, they're not infallible. Here are some tools you can use to make sure your VPN is extra secure. Share
The primary aim of using any VPN service is data security. But how can you be sure that your VPN is actually protecting you? There are several steps involved while setting up a VPN which leaves the possibility of errors that can leak your data and expose your IP address even if you are connected to a VPN.
In this article, we will guide you through different tools that can be used to verify VPN connections for various types of leaks. All the different testing tools mentioned will let you know if your VPN is actually protecting you or not.
DNS Leak Test
DNS is nothing but the Domain Name System. It is used to provide easier access to websites by translating domain names to corresponding IP addresses. For example, vpnmentor.com has been assigned an IP address 184.108.40.206. You can check your IP address using this tool.
In general cases, the job of translating domain names to corresponding IP addresses is done by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, when you use a VPN, your real IP address gets masked, preventing others from tracking your location.
Sometimes, translation requests leak out of the VPN tunnel. Due to this, the IP address and location of your ISP is exposed to the outside world. To run a DNS Leak Test, simply connect to a VPN whose server is located outside of your country. Then you can use certain tools like dnsleaktest.com. If the IP address, location, and other details match to that of your ISP, your DNS is being leaked.
Note that DNS leaks do not expose your IP address. It leaks the IP address and location of your Internet Service Provider which can be used to easily track your IP address.
To prevent DNS Leaks, use a VPN that has their own encrypted DNS system.
IP Address Leak Test
Most of the VPNs claim to protect your IP address, however, the reality is quite different. According to a study of Android VPN apps, it was seen that 84% of the VPNs leak the user’s real IP address.
To test your VPN service for IP address leaks just use our IP Leak test tool.
You must note that it is necessary to test a VPN service for IP address leaks when the VPN connection is active as well as when it is in the reconnecting phase. Most of the VPNs will leak your IP address while reconnecting after a dropped connection.
In case the VPN connection drops, VPNs should have a kill switch that blocks all the internet traffic completely.
Steps to test a VPN for IP Address Leak in reconnecting phase:
- Disconnect the Internet while keeping you VPN connected and running.
- Once the connection has dropped, reconnect and run a rapid-fire IP test sequence. This can be done by opening multiple tabs of the IP testing webpage open and then refreshing each of it as quickly as possible.
- Once the VPN reconnects, stop refreshing and check the test results.
- If your real IP address is seen in a few tabs, you have a reconnection leak.
To prevent IP address leaks, you must make sure you get a secure VPN. You can manually disable IPv6 connectivity on your device if you are having IPv6 leaks. Also, note that if your VPN supports IPv6, you automatically get a protection against IPv4 too.
WebRTC leak test
WebRTC is an API definition predominantly seen in web browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Opera which allows P2P file sharing along with voice and video chats within a web browser, without the need of any external plugins or extensions. There are various plugins available to add WebRTC support externally for Internet Explorer and other browsers.
When your IP address leaks out via WebRTC APIs, a WebRTC leak occurs. You can test your VPN for WebRTC leak by visiting the website, Perfect Privacy WebRTC Test.
You can disable WebRTC in the browser you are using to prevent its leak.
VPN Speed Test
Along with privacy and security, speed is also one of the most important aspects of any VPN service. There are a lot of factors that affect the speed of VPN. Here is a list of a few of them.
- Limitations of your Internet Service Provider
No matter how fast your VPN is, its speed will never be more than the speed your Internet Service Provider provides. Your ISP controls the overall speed of your Internet.
- Level of encryption
As the level of encryption increases, the speed of VPN begins to lower. L2PT protocol is more secure than PPTP protocol but has significantly lesser speed. If most of the tasks you do on the internet don’t need a high level of encryption, prefer using a lower level of encryption.
- Physical distance between the user and the VPN server
This is the most common aspect that affects VPN speed. If you are in India and using a VPN server that is located in the United States, you will have to deal with slower internet speeds. Choosing a VPN service whose server is located in your close proximity will solve this problem.
- Number of active users on the VPN server
Many popular VPN service providers have their servers overloaded with users which result in slow speeds. Before buying a VPN, make sure that they provide a server status page with real-time bandwidth information.
- Firewall settings
Your Firewall settings must not interfere with the VPN traffic or CPU performance as it may affect the speed to a great extent.
- Processing power of your device
Whenever a VPN is active on your computer or mobile device, your device is constantly working in the background to encrypt and decrypt the envelopes of information. This uses a considerable amount of processing power. The faster the internet speed is, the more processing power is needed.
So, even if your VPN is fast and you have a high standard internet connection, your CPU might be capping your full speed capability.
To test your VPN for speed, visit the website Speedof.me
What to do if you have a leak?
If you have VPN leaks, you can contact the VPN’s support team and try to fix the issue. Apart from this, you can switch to a high-quality VPN service that won’t leak your data. VPN services generally target inexperienced users and lure them with their marketing techniques.
Here is a list of VPNs that we recommend.
With these tools, you can test your VPN to make sure it is securing your data and not leaking your information.