VPNs can be a powerful privacy tool. It hides your IP address as well as your location. However, not all VPNs protect your privacy as well as they should.
Misconfigured apps can expose your real IP address and reveal your true identity. If you’re concerned about your connection status, you should do a VPN test. How can you check if VPN is leaking your IP address?
Let’s first take a look at the ways how your service can leak your IP address.
What is IP Leak and How Can It Happen?
VPN leaks can reveal your real IP address when you are connected to a server. This can be caused by misconfigurations or poor technical implementation. Your identity can be exposed by a VPN leak. It could leak your IPv4, IPv6, and DNS. Your IP will never be leaked by a secure service.
An IP address is the best way to identify who you are online. This information should be hidden by VPN services. Your IP could be leaked, which can lead to:
- All online activity can linked to you
- Your connection is now public
- It is possible to detect torrenting and P2P files
- Websites can identify you
- Your ISP can see where you browse
Let’s see what leaks a VPN may have.
IPv4 & IPv6 Leaks
IPv4 is most commonly used version of an IP address on the internet. It acts as a direct link between your browsing activities and your IPv4. It is unacceptable for a VPN to have an IPv4 leak. If it does, it is likely that there are serious technical issues. This VPN service should be stopped and you should switch to one that doesn’t leak.
IPv6 leak looks like an IPv4, but is just another version of the same address. Both versions of the address are already assigned by many ISPs, such as Comcast or Verizon.
If a VPN provider does not take into account IPv6 there’s a chance it can leak it. The best VPN providers offer IPv6 leak protection to block this type of IP.
DNS leaks could reveal which websites you’re visiting to your ISP. Before you can connect to the website, your device asks for the IP address. These DNS requests should be sent through an encrypted VPN tunnel.
If VPN apps do not handle these requests there’s a risk that the websites you access are exposed. It is recommended that VPNs use their own private DNS addresses to prevent this.
WebRTC is a common browser feature that allows for real-time communication. This technology allows for quicker file transfer speeds, live streaming and video chats. Privacy is not the best option.
WebRTC is able to create communication channels that are not encrypted. VPN apps cannot control this feature so it must be done manually. A VPN extension can be used to disable this feature.
How can I determine if VPN has a leaking IP Address?
You can test your VPN to see if it is leaking IP addresses. IP leak tests will verify that all leaks are being detected and show you if the service is configured correctly. IP leaks might be inconsistent, so it’s best to check with a few VPN servers.
Here’s how to check if VPN is leaking IP address:
- Step 1When you aren’t connected to a VPN, write down your current IP address. https://ipleak.net/ can show you your true IP address.
- Step 2Test your connection to a VPN server
- Step 3Go to ipleak.netYou should wait for the automatic tests to complete. It is best to perform this test in a clean browser session. The Private Window can be used to prevent false positives from websites that may store the data.
- Step 4The results are available. If your IP address is visible when you connect to a VPN server, it could be a sign that the VPN is leaking your IP address.
- Step 5:Double-check. Double-check. browserleaksVerify your results. This website is another great one that will help you check for any leaks from a VPN.
What should you do if your IP address is being leaked by a VPN?
It is a sign that your DNS or IP is being leaked by a VPN. Change to a VPN with DNS protection immediately. Services like NordVPN. SurfsharkOr ExpressVPNThese are the best options for privacy.
There isn’t much you can do about these issues, as they depend on the configurations under the hood. While temporarily switching to another VPN server may help, the root cause cannot be fixed by the provider. VPNs with IP leaks are unsafe to use.
What to do in case of a WebRTC leak?
WebRTC, as we have said before, is a complicated technology that a VPN cannot control. You can use a VPN browser extension or disable it manually to prevent this leak.
WebRTC is easily disabled by the top VPN services. You can also disable it manually by going to your browser settings.
How to disable webRTC on Chrome
Install the WebRTC Leak Prevent Extension to disable WebRTC leakage on Chrome. It will prevent IP leaks, but not disable it. It alters privacy and security settings to allow you to use it.
How to disable WebRTC in Firefox
- Type into URL field “about:config” and accept the risk
- Type “media.peerconnection.enabled” into a search bar
- Change the value to “false”
- That’s all, you are protected from WebRCT leak on Firefox!
What Happens If Your VPN Leaks
Your Identity is exposed
VPNs are able to hide your identity from websites that you visit. It does so by using a VPN server’s IP address on your behalf. Your IP address and location can be leaked if your real IP is compromised. A leaky VPN will not prevent you being tracked by advertisers, or traced.
ISP’s Browsing Habits Reveals
Your DNS requests may be leaking if your ISP has access to the logs. ISP can view logs stored on the DNS server. If your VPN doesn’t handle DNS queries, you can track all of your browsing activities.
You Can Get a Fine For Torrenting
VPN protects you from torrenting and P2P traffic. Your torrenting activity can easily be detected if your IP is leaked. You could be fined if your ISP detects you sharing copyrighted material.
Learn more: What happens when your VPN disconnects
Poorly constructed VPNs can leak IP. You can find IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks in VPNs. You can test your VPN to see if it leaks. This will tell you if a VPN can protect your privacy.
The best VPNs won’t leak your IP address and will give you all the tools necessary to protect yourself at all times.
These VPNs offer IP and DNS leak protection.