How To Test If Your VPN Is Working

Letter blocks stacked to make the acronym VPN.

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service that allows you to connect to the internet safely and privately. When you use a VPN, your traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel, making it difficult for anyone to track what you’re doing online. In addition, a VPN can give you access to websites and services that are blocked in your country.

But not all VPNs are created equal. Some VPNs are downright dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to test if your VPN is working. We’ll cover the most crucial VPN tests that you need to run to see if your Internet connection is secure, as well as our top pick for the best VPN available today.

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The Most Common And Vital VPN Tests

How to make sure your VPN is working

You can run several tests to check if your VPN is working correctly or see what kind of information a particular service leaks about you. Some of these tests are easier than others, but all of them will give you an idea of how secure your connection is. Here’s a list:

DNS Leak Test

​DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it’s responsible for translating web addresses into IP addresses. Your DNS should be automatically routed through the encrypted tunnel when you connect to a VPN.

But, a DNS leak occurs when the DNS requests from your device (usually via browser) go through the default unencrypted gateway instead of being routed through the encrypted tunnel provided by your VPN software. This means that websites can still identify you based on your IP address even though they’re not able to see any other identifying information about you, such as your location or ISP.

Continuous leaking of DNS requests can expose your browsing habits to any website you visit, allowing them to know what kind of content you’re looking for and where from. This information could be used by advertisers or others who want to track your online activity.

A standard VPN leak test will show whether a particular service is leaking DNS requests outside of the encrypted tunnel provided by its software client. If this happens, then it’s time to find another provider that doesn’t have such issues with its services (or use one without encryption at all).

IP Address Leak Test

An IP address leak occurs when the VPN software fails to route all traffic through its encrypted tunnel and instead sends some packets out over an unencrypted channel. This can be caused by various issues, including misconfigured DNS servers, port forwarding settings on routers/firewalls, or something else entirely. It’s important to note that not every connection will leak information and that it may take several attempts before you find one which does successfully connect without revealing any data. If this happens repeatedly, there could be something wrong with the VPN service you’re using.

WebRTC Leak Test

Tips for troubleshooting your VPN

WebRTC is a technology that allows for voice and video communication. It’s often used by online gamers and services like Google Hangouts and Skype. However, you can also use it to track your location and other personal information.

When you’re using a VPN, all of your traffic should be routed through the encrypted tunnel. However, if there’s a WebRTC leak, some of your data will still be sent out over the unencrypted connection. Websites could potentially use this information to track you down, even if you’re using a VPN service.

To prevent WebRTC leaks, you can use a browser extension like uBlock Origin or NoScript or disable WebRTC in your web browser.

Below are steps to follow to check for WebRTC leaks on a Windows computer:

  • Open Google Chrome and type “chrome://net-internals/#webRTC” into the address bar.

  • Click on the “STATS FOR THIS PAGE” button in the upper right corner of the page.

  • Under “WEBRTC,” look for the entry that says “IP addresses”. If this field is blank, then you’re not leaking any information via WebRTC. If it’s populated with a list of IP addresses, you are leaking information and should take steps to fix it.

VPN Speed Test

When looking for a VPN service, one of the most important factors to consider is how fast it can connect to servers worldwide. A slow connection could mean waiting forever to watch your favorite show or movie, or it could result in buffering and other playback issues.

The following are factors that determine how fast your VPN connection will be:

  • Your internet service provider (ISP) and the quality of their network itself- it’s impossible for a VPN to be faster than your ISP

  • The distance between you and the server you’re connecting to- The further away it is, the slower the connection will be

  • How many people are using the same server at the same time- if there are too many people trying to use the same server, it will slow down everyone’s connection

If you want to see how fast your VPN is, try running a speed test before and after using it. You can find some free online tools that allow you to compare speeds by country as well.

To test the speed of a VPN service, you can use a tool like Speedtest by Ookla. This will give you an idea of how fast your connection is when connected to different servers worldwide. It’s important to note that speeds will vary depending on various factors, including your location, the time of day, and server load.

Malware Tests (Usually Only Relevant for Free VPNs)

Test your VPN to keep your connection secure

VPNs are a popular target for hackers and cybercriminals, as they can be used to steal personal information or inject malware into your computer. It’s essential to ensure that the VPN you’re using is safe and protected from these types of attacks.

One way to test if a VPN is safe is by checking for malware. Several online tools can scan your device for viruses and other forms of malware. One such tool is VirusTotal, which allows you to upload files and URLs for scanning.

If you’re using a free VPN service, it’s essential to be extra careful when looking at these tests. Many free VPNs are not secure and are ridden with malware. It’s always best to stick with a reputable, well-known VPN service.

Make Sure You’re Using The Right VPN

Most of the best VPN services should pass all of these tests. If you find a service that doesn’t, you may want to consider a different one. A good way to trust any provider is by checking out their reviews on independent websites and reading about user experiences with that particular VPN provider. Also, look for features like Kill Switch or DNS leak protection, which will ensure your identity stays hidden even if the connection drops or fails in any other way (which happens quite often).

When it comes down to using a VPN, you always want to run tests to make sure it’s working properly to secure your device without slowing down your internet connection.

VPN.com Suggests NordVPN

NordVPN is a popular VPN service that has been around for years. They offer several features, including:

  • A large selection of servers located all over the world.
  • Military-grade encryption to keep your data safe.
  • An easy-to-use app with a variety of settings to customize your experience.
  • A WireGuard-based protocol called NordLynx, allows users to enjoy the speeds of WireGuard, without the tradeoff of privacy risks that can come with that protocol.
  • Over 5200 servers in 60 countries, so there are always fast servers to choose from; hence this is the fastest VPN service.
  • An excellent user interface with easy-to-use apps for all devices that you might want to use, whether it’s your phone or computer. It helps quickly configure settings like auto-connect when entering untrusted networks and more.
  • The most advanced leak protection, so there’s no need to worry about DNS leaks or IP address leaks while using NordVPN – they are all blocked by default.
  • The NordVPN website has a knowledge base that contains in-depth explanations about VPN protocols, servers, how-tos on increasing VPN speed, and other helpful reading material.
  • The NordVPN app automatically chooses the fastest server in a selected country.
  • A 24/7 customer support team that will help you out with any issues.
  • NordVPN is a twice audited no-logs service to ensure users’ online activities remain confidential, so your activities will be private and your devices risk-free.
  • It’s a continuously updated service, rolling out updates every few months with critical security updates for reliable user online safety.
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