You want your data to be private and secure from any third party with a VPN. VPNs are a great tool to do this. But, you may wonder if it can be tracked. Is it possible to detect it? Can it be detected using a VPN?

These are crucial aspects to consider if you want to keep your online privacy private. Let’s see if VPNs can be traced and how to find you.

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Is a VPN possible?

You can detect VPN usage. An ISP can track a VPN using IP addresses, Port Numbers, and other technical parameters. Some services offer features that make VPN traffic less detectable or less traceable. These features can decrease the likelihood that a VPN will be detected.

VPN obfuscation methods can be used to bypass VPN blockages. This is common in countries that restrict VPN usage. These countries include Iran, UAE, and China.

Let’s take a closer look at the ways ISPs can track a VPN.

How can VPN be detected?

There are many methods to detect VPNs, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. There are three main methods to detect VPNs.

How VPN traffic can been detected:

  1. VPN server’s IP address
  2. By Port Number
  3. Deep Packet Inspection

IP Address

Knowing the IP address of the VPN server is the easiest way to locate it. Websites and ISPs can see that this IP address is used to connect. It’s easy to determine if an IP address belongs to VPN providers. All you need is an IP address lookup. Third parties can also collect information about each IP. They maintain updated lists of addresses belonging to the most popular VPN services.

Port Number

VPN connections are made using a specific VPN protocol. These protocols have their own port numbers. It is easy to identify a VPN connection by knowing the port number. Port number 1194 is used by OpenVPN UDP protocols, while port 4500 is used by IKEv2.

Deep Packet Inspection

Deep packet inspection is the best way to check internet traffic. This method is used by the most advanced ISPs as well as governments. DPI can be used, for example, to detect and block VPN traffic from the Great China Firewall.

DPI examines internet traffic beyond IP and port numbers. It analyzes every packet structure using sophisticated algorithms.

DPI can detect simple VPN traffic if it contains technical details. Few VPN providers have found a way to hide their VPN connections. This makes it harder to spot and makes it appear more normal. This allows you to bypass VPN blocks and gain access to restricted content.

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With a VPN, can you be tracked?

It is very difficult to track your movements when you use a VPN. Websites cannot see your true IP address, and your ISP doesn’t know what you are doing online. Even though VPN masks your IP address, it doesn’t make you anonymous. Advertisers can still track you with a VPN because they use different methods of tracking.

Let’s take a look at the tracking technologies that are used to track you.

How can you be tracked when using a VPN

A VPN makes it difficult to link back internet activity to you. A VPN is a missing link that prevents governments, ISPs, and website owners from connecting the dots.

You aren’t completely anonymous. Websites can track you and identify your online activities using a variety of methods.

These are some of the ways that a VPN can track you:

  1. Tracking cookies for websites
  2. Browser Fingerprinting
  3. DNS leaks
  4. VPN logs
  5. Money Trails

Website Tracking cookies

Cookies are used by many websites for tracking and functionality. Cookies are small text files which are saved locally to your browser. Cookies are small text files that are downloaded to your browser once you have accepted a site’s cookie policy.

Cookies can store information like your login name and a unique user identification. A website may also include advertiser network cookies. These cookies enable advertisers and websites to track and identify you online across multiple websites.

Browser Fingerprinting

A common way to track you is to use browser fingerprinting. Your browser transmits lots of information when you visit a website. This information includes browser parameters such as screen size, language, installed plugins, version, OS, and OS.

These browser parameters are all fairly common, and anyone can have them. Digital fingerprinting merges these data into a unique identifier. Although this identifier doesn’t specifically point at you, the accuracy is quite high.

Logs VPN

VPN logs are essential for tracking someone online. This data can be used to link internet activity to an individual. VPNs may keep logs of internet activity on their servers. These VPNs are to be avoided.

Logs are required by intelligence agencies when they want to track down someone who has used a VPN. A warrant is issued to a VPN provider asking them to give the files from their server. It is possible to track you if a VPN stores logs.

DNS Leaks

A DNS leak can occur when you use a VPN. This is most common with poorly designed VPNs. DNS leaks can be used to show which website you attempted to access, even if you are using a VPN.

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DNS queries are monitored and recorded by ISPs all the time. Even if you have a VPN, DNS leaks can expose your identity to the world.

Money Trails

Your payment history will be permanently affected if you pay for VPN services with a PayPal or credit card. All payments are now linked to your VPN account. It is easy to identify if you are a VPN user by knowing the details of your online transactions.

Money trails don’t link you to any online activity when you use a VPN. It simply shows that you purchased one.

How to Avoid being Tracked Online

A VPN is the best privacy tool available. However, a VPN alone cannot stop all forms of tracking. To remain anonymous online, you will need to combine several techniques.

Here are some ways to remain anonymous online.

  1. Use a No Log VPN
  2. Use Incognito Window
  3. Use a different browser
  4. Tor browser
  5. DuckDuckGo search engine
  6. With cryptocurrency, you can pay
  7. Use Tails OS

Use a no-log VPN

To protect yourself against being tracked, a No-log VPN is essential. It would be impossible to track your online activities without logs being stored on a server. Only the most trusted VPNs can be trusted with a verified and audited zero-log policy. They are usually located in countries that have user-friendly data retention policies.

Some providers use RAM-disks to run their servers. This advanced privacy feature deletes all data on a server after it is restarted.

Use Incognito Window

Incognito Window protects against cookie tracking. It blocks cookies from being stored or sent to websites or third parties. Incognito mode deletes browsing history and clears cookies immediately after it is closed.

Use a different browser

It is difficult to avoid browser fingerprinting. Many websites use scripts to extract data from your browser without you knowing. To prevent websites from identifying your browser, you can switch to a different browser. If privacy is important to your business, you can switch to another browser. In your settings, you should disable flash players and javascript execution.

Use Tor Browser

Tor browser is one of most used anonymity tools online. It was specifically created for anonymity online. It blocks scripts from identifying you, and allows you to access the Dark Web. Firefox-based browser anonymizes your internet traffic and routes it via Tor network. This browser has a downside: it slows down the internet speeds.

Use DuckDuckGo search

DuckDuckGo could replace Google as a search engine. When you search, it does not record any queries. This protects you from having your searches tracked back to you. This is one of Google’s best privacy-focused search options.

Also Read:  10 Best Game Torrenting Sites 2021 (Safe and Fast Downloads)

Use cryptocurrency to pay

You can also purchase a VPN using cryptocurrency to increase anonymity. Your bank and credit card details will not be linked to a VPN account. It will be more difficult to track and link internet activity.

Use Tails OHT0

Tails OS, a unique operating system designed to anonymize, is Tails OS. It takes up very little space and runs on RAM. It deletes all data on the RAM disk and the computer itself when it is restarted. Journalists, whistle-blowers and intelligence agencies use Tails OS. It leaves virtually no digital footprint. This OS is not recommended for daily use. It requires advanced technical skills.

FAQ

Can your ISP detect a VPN

Many ISPs are capable of detecting VPN traffic. Although many ISPs don’t use advanced tracing techniques like DPI, they do know the IP address of a server. Even with VPN obfuscation, your ISP can see the IP address to determine if VPN was used.

How can police track a VPN

If the ISP has data, police can track down a VPN. After examining the IP addresses, it can confirm that a VPN was used. It can only determine that a VPN was used but cannot track any websites visited or link online activities to you. They would need logs from VPN servers to do this.

How can you tell if someone uses a VPN

It can be difficult to determine if someone is using VPNs. It is possible to tell if someone has enough technical skills to run scripts and hacks. If you spend a lot of time looking at a particular IP address, it may be possible to track VPN usage. In most cases, however, it is impossible to tell.

If you use a VPN , can your IP address been traced?

Imagine that you are connected to a VPN and comment on a website. The website can only trace the IP address of the VPN server in this instance. Although it is difficult to track your true IP address using a VPN, it is possible.

An ISP can see your IP address, but not the websites you visit. It is difficult to trace you if there is a VPN server between your website and ISP.

Conclusion

A VPN is an excellent tool to protect your online privacy. Although it is difficult to track you online, a VPN does not guarantee anonymity. It is possible to not only detect VPN use but also track you in ways that a VPN cannot protect.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.

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