When it comes to being anonymous online, the most effective method is to utilize a VPN to conceal your IP address and physical location. This technology protects your connection from being spied on. However, a DNS leak may render the VPN ineffective. We’ll demonstrate how to prevent this leak.
While Virtual Private Networks provide excellent security, they are often used to mask or change an IP address. Those that utilize a VPN are essentially concealing their true IP address. Additionally, with a VPN, all of your online activities are encrypted and routed via a VPN server. These servers, which are managed by your VPN provider, handle and encrypt all data on the server-side. VPNs provide secure internet access, streaming services, and the ability to conduct online transactions anonymously. A secure VPN offers numerous server locations, allowing users to connect to VPN protocols even when they are not connected to a wired network. This way, you will be safe.
As a result, any outside observer sees just the VPN server’s IP address, not your IP address. VPN companies have taken stringent steps to safeguard their customers’ IP addresses, including IP sharing and no-logging policies. However, while utilizing a VPN, there is always a danger that your IP address may be found. Continue reading to learn whether your VPN is leaking your IP address and how to fix it.
What is the Domain Name System (DNS) leak?
This is an excellent topic to ask yourself, since DNS breaches may jeopardize your online privacy. The sooner you understand what they are, the more likely you are to avoid them.
DNS stands for Domain Name System. They are in charge of converting domain names to IP addresses and vice versa. Consider DNS to be the internet’s phone book—it facilitates communication between connected devices and websites, and each DNS server keeps a directory of domain names that may be converted to IP addresses.
The DNS system establishes a connection between domain names and the target servers’ IP addresses. When you use your browser to visit a website, it sends a query to a DNS server with the requested URL, which resolves to the proper IP address. It is a critical component of the internet’s operation.
Regrettably, there are instances when your web browser disregards the VPN’s existence and directs the DNS query to your ISP. This is referred to as a DNS leak. When this occurs, you believe you are surfing anonymously and evading online monitoring, when in fact you are not protected at all.
An IP leak occurs when a user’s true IP address is exposed when connecting to a VPN service. This may occur when a user’s PC inadvertently connects to the default server rather than the network-assigned anonymous VPN server. Here is a very basic illustration of this “IP leak”:
Assuming you wish to access content that is not available in your country (due to geo-restriction). When you connect to your VPN account, you often have the option of selecting from a variety of servers located in various locations. The VPN will “pretend” that you are physically located in the selected area. This is usually sufficient to persuade you that you are in one of the supported countries.
However, if you continue to have geo-restriction problems when attempting to access the material you want, it indicates that the service you are attempting to access from a restricted region is monitoring your original IP address, not the VPN server IP address. Your VPN allows access to your original IP address.
The majority of IP leaks occur when your smartphone connects to a network protocol, however, the top VPN companies have incorporated workarounds into their software to minimize the probability of IP leaks. Typically, IP leaks are not the fault of the VPN service provider. These are often caused by flaws in current technology such as browser plug-ins (flash), online browsers, and mobile operating systems.
Similarly, some DNS leaks may expose your primary IP address to the DNS server. If your VPN suffers from a “DNS leak,” this indicates that your DNS queries are being routed to a potentially hazardous DNS server (usually a server controlled by your ISP). Certain VPNs have built-in DNS leak protection, use their unique DNS server, and depend on proprietary technology to guarantee that your DNS queries are routed securely inside the encrypted VPN tunnel.
Certain internet service providers (ISPs) use a technique known as “transparent DNS proxy.” This enables them to monitor all DNS requests that come through their servers. If you configure your home computer or router to use a different DNS server than your ISP’s, this does not prevent these queries from being intercepted. If you’ve ever altered your DNS settings to use an “open” DNS provider, such as Google or OpenDNS, in the expectation that your DNS traffic won’t be routed via your ISP’s DNS server, you may be shocked to find that they also utilize the “transparent DNS proxy.”
How to check if your VPN is leaking your IP address
Your true IP address is the one given to you by your Internet Service Provider. This is a unique identifier for your online subscription. All of your home network’s gadgets share the same IP address.
Here’s a quick test to see if your VPN is functioning properly and not exposing your IP address:
Step 1: Verify your IP address — Ensure that your VPN is turned off. Once you’re confident your VPN has been unplugged, open Google and enter “What is my IP address” to check your true IP address.
Step 2: Log in to your VPN — Connect to your VPN account and then to the server of your choosing. Verify that you are logged in.
Step 3: Connect to your VPN account — Log in to your VPN account. Verify that you are connected.
Step 4: Conduct a DNS Leak Test — Several free services enable you to determine if your VPN is leaking your IP address. These findings generally provide you with a more comprehensive picture of your security and privacy settings.
What additional vulnerabilities does your IP address have? How are we going to resolve this?
Another frequent kind of leak is “dropped connection,” which happens when your VPN abruptly disconnects. All of your online traffic is sent via your standard (less secure) internet connection in this scenario. The most common kind of IP leak is also the simplest to avoid.
For instance, you may choose a VPN provider that has a “kill-switch” feature, even for your smartphone. The “kill switch” is a critical component that continuously checks your network connection and guarantees that your true IP address is never revealed online, even if the VPN connection is lost. If a change is detected, the kill-switch instantly disconnects the internet connection and attempts to reestablish the VPN automatically. I encourage you to compare this feature.
VPNs may be an excellent tool for safeguarding your online privacy, but they are not without controversy. I hope this post has raised your awareness of the dangers of IP leaks and the critical need to do frequent checks to ensure your data is secure and security procedures are in place.