We all use VPN from time to time for different reasons. We are sure to choose a leading tool and don’t worry about our IP address or web activity to be disclosed. And we should while VPN leaks start in your operating system and web browser and even the best solution can’t protect you from them.
Identifying DNS and IP leaks is not an easy job but doable. So, follow our tips below to find out if you are protected by your VPN well. And in case you are not, you will learn how to improve the situation.
The types of VPN leaks
Your VPN may not be working as it should for several reasons. If it doesn’t do its job well, you can’t count on 100% security and your private information will be exposed. To figure out how to avoid and prevent it, you should first know what kind of leaks you may face when using a VPN.
You know probably that any device has its unique identifier called IP address. You may be surprised but it may tell a lot about you. It can provide information on your location and the sites you browse. VPN aims to protect that information and if there is an IP leak, the usage of the VPN doesn’t make sense. The reason for that leak is the incompatibility of the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.
Your DNS-address usually shows your location even though your IP address is hidden. DNS-server aims to change the usual URL-address to IP-addresses. Your internet provider and its server are guiding this process if no VPN is used. They can monitor the users and what sites they visit. In the case of the DNS leak, anyone can access that information.
The majority of web browsers contain WebRTC, i.e. Web Real-Time Communication. Thanks to it, it is possible to communicate in a real-time mode in video and voice chats. However, if you are one of the VPN users, your information is vulnerable because of it. Some sites prefer finding out your real IP-address and see your geo-location.
How to detect the IP leak
You can find out if your IP or DNS leaks by fulfilling a couple of steps below.
- At first, you should turn your VPN off to find out your real IP address given to you by your Internet provider on one of the IP-test websites you can easily find online.
- Copy your internet address somewhere or write it down.
- Now activate your VPN again and get to the test website again. Now you have to see a different IP address and location. And if you see your real IP address, congratulations, your VPN is leaking.
How to detect the DNS leak
Sometimes it is impossible to detect the DNS leak with the help of the IP test site. So you can do the following:
- Visit one of the DNS leak test sites online.
- Check your location and your new IP-address when the VPN is on.
- Select the Extended Test.
- Check your IP address and location again. If it shows your new ones, there is no DNS leak.
How to detect the WebRTC leak
- Find out your real IP –address on the IP leak website and save it.
- Turn the VPN on and refresh the page. Now you have to see your new IP-address and location chosen.
- On the page, you should see a private IP-address that is different from your real one. If you see a private IP starting from 192.xxx or 10.xxx or IPv6 sometimes, congratulations, there is no leak!
How to resolve the IP or DNS leak
Resolving the problem is not difficult at all, you can do it in one of the following ways:
- Change your VPN provider. Choose a provider that offers DNS leak protection or has specialized DNS Servers.
- Turn IPv6 off manually on your computer. You should have a certain technical knowledge to do it.
How to resolve the WebRTC leak
In this case, you can’t simply change your VPN or settings. If you faced the problem of WebRTC leaks, do the following:
- Use the WebRTC-free browser. The list of such browsers is available online.
- Disable the WebRTC in your browser.
How to turn off WebRTC on Chrome
It is not that easy to do that on Chrome. So you’d better use a special extension for that purpose. In this case, you will not have to edit setting files manually. WebRTC Leak Prevent is the best extension you can use for avoiding your web leaks. This extension doesn’t turn WebRTC off but changes its settings.
How to turn off WebRTC on Firefox
There is no extension for that browser, so you should follow these steps:
- Give “about: config” command in your bar and push Enter. Then “accept the risk”.
- Find “media.peerconnection.enabled” with the help of Ctrl+F on Windows, Cmd+F on Mac in the page search function. Don’t touch other settings offered.
- Type “boolean” and value “true”. The status has to change from false to modified, so you should double click on it. Your WebRTC is off!
How to turn off WebRTC on Safari
The task is difficult but doable, you should just search deeper.
- Select “Preferences” in the Safari menu.
- Choose “Advanced” and go to the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox.
- Click “Develop” and “WebRTC” in the menu. Disable “Enable Legacy WebRTC API” if necessary. That’s it!
My VPN still doesn’t work
Your VPN may not be working well not only for the reason of different leaks but for some others, too.
- The VPN speed is too low because the server is too overloaded or is on the other side of the world. But you can check the VPN speed easily.
- The VPN usage is blocked by your ISP or your country. In such countries as China, the usage of the VPN is illegal. There are special VPNs approved by the government.
- VPN connection dropped and the internet connection is terminated. In this case, the system-level kill switch is activated. You will need to get back to the VPN server in that case.
- Malware. Free VPN is not the best solution while it will grant you with annoying ads and even malware.
- Hacker’s attack. This is a rare case in fact. More likely, you could have a phishing attack or just visit a malicious website. VPN can do nothing in case of a hack.