Most businesses and individuals using the VPN service are always promised by the providers of secure and private connections. However, service providers leak their clients’ data to third parties, exposing their identity and confidential information. Through the review section of VPNs, you can notice how secure a VPN is, and it is recommended to try a free IP testing tool to ensure if the selected VPN has information leakages.
There are studies conducted, and they show a significant number of VPN provided to the general population have leaked their users’ IP address information. When the VPN security features are broken like the kill switch, security measures are compromised, and third parties quickly access the formerly privatized information.
There are different levels of VPN testing, including;
Advanced testing– to perform these tests, high technical expertise and proficiency must correctly carry out the set-up to identify leaks in the VPN. Different VPNs provide several tools to test for leaks, and it is advisable to check if your network has any leaks constantly.
Basic testing– they are simple, and most network users can run them. The procedure of testing for leaks involves connecting the VPN and then links to the testing sites. The only disadvantage with basic tests is they may fail to identify all the leaks. They recognize the following leaks; DNS, IP address, and WebRTC.
How to test for VPN leakages
To identify if the VPN has any active leaks, one only requires connecting to a VPN server, then visit the testing site. When on the testing site, you will be checking how the selected VPN performs when you have an active and stable connection. In addition, you can simulate different interval interruptions to check the VPN performance whenever there is a drop in the network connectivity like;
- Connecting to a specific VPN server and loading ipleak.net in the browser
- Interrupting the network manually when the client VPN is still running
- While the VPN reconnects, load several different testing websites, and you will directly identify any reconnection leaks.
Most VPN service providers do not support IPv6; hence they mostly block it from the operating system making it a common issue. Also, your VPN connection can be stable and still experience leaks from IPv6.
VPN Testing Sites
If you wish to test your VPN, there are a few websites that you can use, including;
- ExpressVPN leak tests, among others
How to identify VPN leaks
When you directly use the testing websites, you will quickly identify any problems or leakages, mainly when directly connected to a VPN server abroad. Some sites like WebRTC show the local IP address when appropriate leak tests are conducted, and they are not identified as leaks, but if your actual IPv4 or IPv6 is identified, there is an actual leak.
Advanced VPN testing
Creating a testing suite for the operating system you are using is considered the best way of identifying any VPN leaks. After creating the testing suite, run barrage tests for analyzing traffic for the packets that have leaked. The operating system determines the complexity of creating the testing suite to effectively and efficiently capture and analyze all the traffic. There is an open-source used as a leak test suite, and people who wish to devote their time to testing VPN leaks can explore the option.
Checking VPN for DNS leaks
The DNS system is used to covert the URLs into a numeral IP address. When you do not have a VPN, then your internet service provider handles the translation process. Using an internet service provider has proven problematic during the translation process since the DNS system requests clear text logs from all the visited websites.
An internet service provider quickly logs all the requested records of the browsing history from their clientele. In some countries, the recorded data is sold to third parties like advertisers. The government agencies and the information recipients use the recorded information to expose the VPN user’s information. Whenever any user information is leaked to third parties, it can be easily exposed to the general public endangering the user directly.
DNS leaks transpire when the requested translation leaks from the VPN tunnel hence leading to exposure of the IP address of the used internet service provider. The orientation includes the browsing history and information from the connections. Since most VPNs fail to offer adequate and effective DNS leak protection, the DNS requests often run via the internet service provider leading to exposure of the user’s online activities through DNS leaks.
Some sites are efficient for conducting the DNS leak test, including;
- Perfect privacy DNS leak test
- DNS test at ipleak.net
Testing VPN speeds
If you want to test the speed of your VPN, you can use the following sites;
What factors influence VPN speed?
Several factors directly affect the speed of any VPN, and putting them into consideration during the testing phase is essential.
- The covered distance between the VPN server and your location- when you are located further away from the VPN server, the speed will be slower.
- How many users are on the VPN server? – There are VPN providers who overload the number of users in each VPN server resulting in slower speeds and dropping connections.
- The geographical bandwidth limitations- poor bandwidth infrastructure limits the speed from the VPN servers, and most countries have this problem. The server speeds can be slowed down by the number of people connected to the system, and during the day, more people are online than at night.
- Internet service provider- the speed of your VPN is determined by the internet service provider’s speed. The only exception to this limitation is when the internet service provider limits the user’s bandwidth. A VPN can offer a simple solution to the problem through connection encryption and hiding online service providers’ online activities.
In conclusion, checking how your VPN is working is vital to prevent data leaks that may expose your business and individual private information to third parties.