How To Test If Your VPN Is Working?
Have you ever wondered if your VPN is connected then why can’t you open the websites or access the content you want to which won’t open until your VPN connection is on?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to browse the internet anonymously by routing your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server in a different location so your ISP and anyone else on the network can’t see or observe your online activities.
But how do you know if your VPN is actually working and keeping you anonymous? One essential way is to perform a VPN test. This VPN test can help determine if your connection is functioning properly and not leaking your real IP address and location.
In this guide, we will cover the main methods to verify your VPN effectiveness, like testing VPN Leaks, DNS Leaks, WebRTC Leaks, VPN Speed, and more, using various VPN test tools.
We’ll also discover the VPN solutions you need, including the solutions for IP Leaks, DNS Leaks, and WebRTC Leaks, and address why your VPN might not be working when it’s connected to the internet even after a successful VPN test.
How To Tell If A VPN Is Working?
There are many ways to confirm your VPN is connected and encrypting your traffic, and we’ll cover all of them so don’t waste a single second, and read this article till the end.
First, Check the VPN app to see if it shows a connected status. Most VPN providers have an indicator that changes color or shows “Connected” when active. Then, Look for the VPN icon in the system tray or menu bar which is usually a small lock icon that appears when the VPN is on.
We recommend you visit a website that displays your IP address like WhatIsMyIPAddress.com and IPLocation.net. It’s better to go to a website that is blocked in your country. If you can now access it through the VPN, this verifies that your traffic is being routed through the VPN tunnel.
You can also run a speed test and check if your speeds drop significantly because connecting through a VPN usually causes some speed reduction.
And don’t forget to check if your public IP differs from your local IP address because your public IP is what websites see while your local one is what devices on your home network use. These should be different when using a VPN.
If your VPN connection shows up as active in the app, changes your IP address, and lets you access blocked sites, then it is most likely working fine.
Test A VPN For IP Address Leaks
Your IP address is one of the main ways your identity and location can be revealed online. Knowing how to test a VPN connection is crucial. When you use a VPN, your computer should be assigning the IP address given by the VPN server rather than your true one. A big part of this is understanding how to test a VPN connection for any vulnerabilities.
To test for IP leaks: Use a website like IPLeak.net or BrowserLeaks.com which will run a series of tests and clearly show if your IP is leaking.
You should also check the raw headers when visiting a website. In Chrome, right-click on a page and select Inspect. Go to the Network tab and reload the page. Click on a file and check the headers for X-Forwarded-For or Your IP.
We recommend you ensure VPN kill switches and IPv6 traffic blocking are enabled in your VPN software as leaks frequently occur due to IPv6.
How To Fix IP Address Leaks?
First, make sure the VPN app is correctly configured and connected as connection errors can often cause leaks. Then, toggle your VPN off and on again–A simple reconnect will solve some IP leak problems.
Now, it’s time to check your VPN protocols, and don’t forget that OpenVPN and WireGuard offer the best leak protection on most networks so avoid PPTP.
You should also ensure any VPN kill switch features are enabled to cut your internet access if the VPN drops.
We recommend you use a VPN client that offers an Internet Kill Switch like NordVPN or ExpressVPN to prevent any traffic from leaving your system outside the VPN tunnel.
As a last resort, reboot your device fully to clear any network issues causing consistent leaks because IP leaks are often preventable by setting up your VPN application properly and enabling all available leak protection features.
Test A VPN For DNS Leaks
Your DNS records can also potentially expose your true location or identity while using a VPN. If you want to check for DNS leaks: Use a DNS leak testing site like DNSLeakTest.com to check what DNS servers you are using while connected to your test VPN server.
You have to make sure the DNS servers match those provided by your VPN. If you’re using NordVPN or a test VPN server, the DNS should show some variation of “nordvpn.com.”
In Windows, go to your network settings, and adapter options, and check the DNS servers listed. They should match the VPN. On Mac OS, go to System Preferences>>Network>> Advanced>>DNS–The DNS servers here should match your VPN.
We recommend you flush your DNS cache and reconnect to your VPN to solve simple DNS leaks. Run “ipconfig /flushdns” on Windows and on Mac, run “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” in Terminal.
How To Fix DNS Leaks?
If you want to stop DNS leaks when using a VPN: Configure your VPN application to exclusively use its own DNS servers, and disable any other third-party DNS services you may have active like Google DNS or OpenDNS.
You also need to renew your DHCP lease to force your device off your ISP’s DNS. On Windows run “ipconfig /renew” and on Mac “sudo dhclient -r && sudo dhclient en0” in Terminal.
We recommend you flush your DNS cache again after reconnecting to your VPN to clear out any old DNS records and check for IP leaks because DNS and IP leaks often come hand-in-hand.
You must set up a firewall rule that blocks all traffic except to your VPN provider’s DNS servers which will force a shutdown if anything but the VPN DNS is used.
Finally, configure the VPN connection directly on your router if the leaks persist on a device level.
Test A VPN For WebRTC Leaks
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is a browser-based protocol that can potentially leak your real IP address when enabled.
If you want to check for WebRTC Leaks, go to a WebRTC leak testing website like BrowserLeaks.com using your VPN connection to check if your real public IP address is exposed via WebRTC. If it is leaked, you’ll see your true IP instead of the VPN IP.
From the browser WebRTC settings, make sure the VPN IP is showing up. In Chrome, type chrome://webrtc-internals/ in the address bar to check that only your VPN’s IP appears.
For additional assurance, use the Chrome extension WebRTC Network Limiter to force WebRTC to only work through your VPN tunnel.
How To Fix WebRTC Leaks?
If you want to prevent WebRTC IP leaks when using a VPN, we recommend you follow the given rules & regulations:
- Disable WebRTC entirely in your browser if you do not require it
- Use a VPN that offers WebRTC leak protection
- Set your browser to only use your VPN’s network adapter
- Use a browser or VPN app that lets you block WebRTC at the application level like Brave or Opera browser
- Enable the VPN kill switch on your client
- Employ a firewall app to block WebRTC traffic outside of the VPN tunnel
- Check your VPN’s general settings for an option to disable WebRTC
- Limit WebRTC connections only to VPN servers with an add-on like WebRTC Network Limiter for Chrome
VPN Test By Speed
Even if your VPN is working perfectly, slow speeds can make it difficult to stream videos, play games, or browse certain sites, but don’t worry because we’ll show you how to test your VPN connection speed with a simple step-by-step tutorial:
- First, use a site like SpeedTest.net or Fast.com to check speeds without a VPN active first
- Connect to your VPN rerun the same speed tests, and compare the results to see how much your speed drops through the VPN tunnel
- Try changing VPN protocols and locations to see if you can find a faster connection
- Disable VPN kill switches, IPv6 blocking, and any other bandwidth-limiting features temporarily during testing
- Try connecting to the same VPN server location through different devices to narrow down the cause of speed problems
Test If Your VPN Is Blocked
VPNs are restricted in some countries and networks so you may encounter VPN blocking if connected to certain hotels, airports, or public WiFi hotspots. Therefore, conducting a VPN test can help determine if restrictions are in place. If your VPN works elsewhere but suddenly won’t unblock sites like social media and news in a specific location, it indicates blocking.
You should also check VPN error messages. Those related to the connection timing out or failing to establish usually point to interference from blocking. We recommend you look for VPN ban notices because some networks will display warnings if you try using a forbidden VPN. In such cases, another VPN test can provide clarity on the exact nature of the blockage.
You also need to determine if VPN protocols work selectively. Conduct a VPN test by switching between protocols like OpenVPN vs IPSec because one may work while others are blocked. It’s better to verify if the VPN works outside a restricted network. If your VPN connects fine elsewhere, but not on a particular WiFi network, it might be helpful to utilize a VPN test to see if there are any leaks undermining your connection.
Why Is My VPN Connected But Not Working?
It can be quite frustrating when your VPN app shows connected, but you still have no internet access. Before jumping to conclusions, conduct a VPN test to ensure everything is functioning properly. If anomalies are detected in the VPN test, try to update your VPN app and network adapter drivers to the latest versions because old software bugs can prevent proper connection.
You should also switch VPN protocols to find one that maintains connectivity, or you can simply disable or uninstall other VPNs, firewalls, or internet-filtering software that may disrupt your primary VPN tool. A VPN test can also help identify if there are conflicts with these.
In this case, the VPN server you’re connecting to could be overloaded with users and unable to handle any more traffic, so try to switch locations. There are many problems with your router, ISP, or network adapters unrelated to the VPN that can prevent proper access. A quick VPN test might pinpoint if the issue lies with your VPN or other parts of your network. Turn your VPN off and on again to get a fresh session.
In addition, some VPNs limit data bandwidth per session, and exceeding this threshold can temporarily disrupt the connection. If you encounter an odd connected but not working scenario, systematically try the usual troubleshooting steps to isolate the problem, and contact your VPN provider for support if the issues continue across multiple devices and networks.
What To Do If My VPN Isn’t Working?
If your VPN outright refuses to connect or stay connected here’s a checklist of actions to try:
- First, reboot all devices fully and try reconnecting to eliminate any software issues
- Update your VPN app, VPN driver software, operating system, and router firmware to current stable versions
- Switch VPN protocols such as from OpenVPN to IKEv2 or WireGuard, and pick one officially supported by your VPN
- Try alternative VPN server locations in case an entire data center is down
- Temporarily disable firewalls, anti-virus, and internet filtering tools interfering with your VPN client
- Reset network adapters on your device via Device Manager on Windows or Network Settings on Mac
- Consult your VPN app’s support site for connection troubleshooting guides if available
- Contact customer support and ask if they recommend specific VPN servers to use
- Finally, request a refund within the trial period if you cannot get a VPN working on any device despite troubleshooting
A VPN not only provides you with privacy and anonymity online but also allows access to geo-restricted content. However, it’s crucial to perform a VPN test to verify that your VPN is functioning properly without any leaks or blocking.
You can use the IP address, DNS, WebRTC, and speed test methods as part of your VPN test to confirm your traffic is securely encrypted and not exposing your true location or identity.
You have to ensure your VPN connection is performing optimally with a reliable VPN test, giving you peace of mind that your online activities aren’t being monitored. But don’t hesitate to contact your VPN’s customer support if you encounter any connection or speed problems you can’t resolve independently after a VPN test.
Please contact us without any hesitation, in case these solutions can’t help you out because it’s our policy to solve the problems of our clients & customers without expecting anything back in return.
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