How to Find Out if your VPN is Working as it Should

VPNs are a great way for hiding your internet traffic to mask your address details and access history. You can also use VPN for carrying out safe transactions or for your personal use. So what is the assurance that your IP address or DNS is not being leaked to potentials hackers or the accessed websites?

VPN terminology
VPN terminology

For starters, you can easily check your IP address from different IP address checker websites. This will tell you your physical location (or what it thinks your physical location is according to your VPN). Later on, we can also double-check your address by accessing another IP address checker website. If all of them have a constant result, it probably means your VPN is doing a good job.

Method 1: Testing IP address leaks

IP checker websites are platforms who retrieve your IP address details through your internet traffic and traces them back to where your physical location might be. These are third-party websites which are usually not dependable. However, if you check from several of them and the result is constant, it may indicate that the VPN is masking your location well and there is nothing to worry about.

Testing for IP address leaks
Testing for IP address leaks

You can check websites like whatismyipaddress or checkmyip and compare both results. As you can see, my current address is masked properly and the address shown is not even close to my real address. If you are getting your actual location or locations near you as a result, it may probably mean that your VPN is not doing a good job.

Method 2: Testing for VPN Leaks

There is a phenomenon known as VPN leaks. If internet connection gets interrupted for any reason, there are chances that your real IP address and location details are sent over the network. This is a very common phenomenon which can prove dangerous according to the circumstance why you are using the VPN service.

To remedy this, you can manually interrupt your internet connection while the VPN is connected and check some of the websites listed below. If you see your ISP, it means that your VPN is leaking WebRTC leaks.

  1. Connect to your VPN properly and make sure that it is masking your IP address correctly (as in solution 1).
  2. Manually interrupt your internet connection. You can easily do this by disconnecting your WiFi or taking out your Ethernet cable while the VPN client is running.
  3. After a short while, reconnect to the internet and navigate to the following websites. Check if your ISP is being shown. If it is shown even on one website, it means that there is a leak.

ipleak

Perfect Privacy

In this example, we are using a VPN server in Sweden. We also used the multi-hop VPN chain and in the results shown below by ipleak, all the address correspond to Sweden.

Testing for VPN leaks
Testing for VPN leaks

Method 3: Checking for DNS leaks

Domain name server (DNS) is a system for converting URLs into IP addresses so they can be processed and reached by your computers. If you are not using a VPN, the translation is the responsibility of your ISP. Requesting your ISP for resolving DNS address is a clear log of which websites you visited or were redirected to. This way they can record your activity and stored. In the US and Australia, the data is recorded and stored for up to 2 years and is readily available upon a proper request by the authorities.

A DNS leak can occur when your translation requests leak out of your VPN tunnel which in turn expose your and your ISP’s IP address. There are numerous VPNs who do not provide proper DNS protection.

Here are a few websites from where you can check for your DNS leaks.

Perfect Privacy DNS Leak Test

IP/DNS Test at ipleak.net

  1. Attempt at connecting to a VPN server outside your country. Open a few websites before navigating to the websites listed above.
  2. Now check the log of DNS requests through the websites. If you see any DNS request which originates from somewhere else rather than where the VPN server is set, it means that there are DNS leaks in your connection.
Checking for DNS leaks
Checking for DNS leaks

There are several VPN services who do not leak DNS and provide optimal security. One of them is CyberGhost.

Using CyberGhost

If you are suffering from any leaks diagnosed using the above solutions, you can use more reliable VPN services (such as CyberGhost). CyberGhost not only protects your entire information and data but also provides streaming modes for your usage. We tested CyberGhost with all the tests listed above and found no problems in any case whatsoever.

  1. Download CyberGhost from (here).
  2. After downloading the VPN, install it on your computer. You might be asked for proper permissions. Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator and there provide all the permissions needed.
  3. Now launch the VPN and select a server from the list of servers available. You can check the load and distance of the server. Fewer the load and distance, the better the service you are going to get.
Using CyberGhost VPN
Using CyberGhost VPN
  1. Click on the power button to enable the connection initiation. The VPN will be connected in a short while. For your state of mind, you can always recheck your VPNs integrity using the methods listed above.

Note: You can choose optimum servers for torrenting and streaming by clicking the categories present at the left navigation pane on your VPN.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Find Out if your VPN is Working as it Should

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