VPN Test: Check If Your VPN Is Working in 2022
A VPN is the best tool if you want to hide your online browsing activities and ensure no one can see what you do online. But, sometimes, your VPN might not be working correctly, which could lead to a leak. So, how to tell if VPN is working? Moreover, what VPN test can you perform to know if the VPN is not leaking?
The quickest way to check if a VPN is working is to see if it says that it’s connected in the app. Besides that, you can do a VPN location test by checking for DNS, IP, or WebRTC leaks. These are the three most common types of IP leaks, so it’s essential to be certain your VPN always passes them.
IPv4 and IPv6 Leaks
IPv4 is the most common version of the IP address that is used on the web. It is a direct link between you and your browsing activity. No VPN should ever have a simple IPv4 leak. If it does, this means that the service has some serious technical issues. You should stop using such a VPN service and switch to the one that does not leak.
IPv6 leak is like IPv4, but it is just a different version of the same address. Many ISPs like Verizon or Comcast already assign you both versions of addresses.
If a VPN provider does not take into account IPv6, there’s a chance it can leak it. Nowadays, the best providers have IPv6 leak protection that blocks this type of IP. Plus, you can easily check for IPv4 and IPv6 leaks without much effort (read below).
A DNS leak can reveal the websites you are visiting to your ISP. Your device queries the IP address of the website you are trying to access before even connecting to it. These DNS requests must be routed inside an encrypted VPN tunnel.
If VPN apps do not handle these requests, there’s a risk that the websites you access are exposed. To prevent this, it is best to use a VPN that uses its own private DNS addresses. If you’re concerned that your VPN might have this problem, check if your VPN leaks DNS (read below).
WebRTC is a browser feature that is commonly used for real-time communication. This technology allows faster speeds for video chats, live streaming, and file transfer. But when it comes to privacy, it may not be the best solution out there.
WebRTC can create communication channels outside the encrypted tunnel. VPN apps can not control this feature, and thus it has to be handled manually. You can also turn it off with a VPN extension for your browser. Checking for WebRTC leaks can be done in just a few quick steps (read below).
How to Check if a VPN is Leaking IP Address?
When you want to check if your VPN is leaking IP addresses, you need to do a VPN test. IP leak tests will show you if your service is properly configured and verify all types of leaks. 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 your IP address:
- Write down your current IP address when you are not connected to a VPN. You can check your real IP address at https://ipleak.net/
- Connect to a VPN server you wish to test
- Go to ipleak.net and wait until all automatic tests finish. It is best to run this test on a clean browser session. You can use the Private Window to avoid any false positives as the websites may cache the data.
- Check the results. If you are connected to a VPN server, and you see your IP address, it means that a VPN is leaking your IP address.
- Double-check. Use browserleaks to verify your results. This is another great website that can check for any of the leaks a VPN might have.
How to Check for DNS Leaks
If a VPN is leaking DNS, it can’t guard your online activities and keep you private from any snoopers. This is why it’s crucial to know how to check for any DNS leaks.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to check your VPN for DNS leaks:
- Connect to a VPN server you want to use.
- Go to a DNS leak test site like DNSLeakTest.com or ipleak.net.
- Click to start the test. The site will complete the DNS leak test within several seconds.
- Assess the report to see if the data matches up to your real details. If the answer is yes, the VPN is leaking DNS and isn’t hiding your online activities.
How to Check for WebRTC Leaks
Lastly, checking for WebRTC tests will help you make sure your VPN isn’t experiencing any WebRTC leaks.
Here’s how you can check for WebRTC leaks:
- Find a WebRTC test online. (Some VPNs offer it, and you can also try the trusted BrowserLeaks site)
- Test your connection without being connected to a VPN server
- Connect to a VPN server and repeat the test
- If the second test shows a different IP address than the first test and says that you don’t have any potential WebRTC leaks, the VPN is working.
What to Do if a VPN Is Leaking Your IP Address or DNS?
If you notice that a VPN is leaking your IP or DNS, it is a bad sign. You should immediately change to a VPN with DNS protection. Services like NordVPN, Surfshark and PrivateVPN are the best choices for privacy.
It is not much you can do to fix those issues as it depends on the under-the-hood configurations. Changing to a different VPN server might temporarily help, but a root cause can only be fixed by the provider itself. A VPN with an IP or DNS leak is unsafe to use.
What to Do In Case of a WebRTC Leak?
As mentioned before, WebRTC is a tricky technology that a VPN can not control. To protect yourself from this leak, you can disable it manually or use a VPN browser extension.
The best VPN services have extensions that can easily disable WebRTC with just a button click. Another way is to disable it manually in browser settings.
How to Disable WebRTC on Chrome
To disable WebRTC leaks on Chrome, you need to install the WebRTC Leak Prevent extension. It will block any IP leaks associated with it, but will not disable it. It modifies privacy and security settings so that you can still use it.
How to Disable WebRTC on Firefox:
Disabling WebRTS on Firefox involves a bit more steps than for Chrome, but we’ve prepared everything you need to know. Here’s how to disable WebRTC on Firefox:
- Type into the 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 Gets Exposed
A VPN can hide your identity from the websites you visit. It does so by using a VPN server’s IP address on your behalf. If your real IP is leaked then this means your location and your identity are exposed. A leaking VPN can not protect you from being tracked by advertisers or being traced.
Reveals Browsing Habits to ISP
If your DNS requests are leaking this means that the ISP knows where exactly you are trying to connect. ISP can read the logs that are stored on the DNS server. All your browsing activity could be traced back to you if the VPN did not handle DNS queries.
You Can Get a Fine For Torrenting
VPN hides your torrent and P2P traffic and data you download. In case of an IP leak, your torrenting can be easily detected. If your ISP catches you sharing copyrighted material you are at risk of getting a fine.
What to Do If My VPN Isn’t Working?
Unfortunately, a small number of users will find that after these tests their VPN connection has some leaks. While data leaks are no laughing matter, in most cases, they can be resolved fairly easily. So, if you find any such issues with your service, here are some useful tips on what to do when your VPN isn’t working:
- Connect to a different server – sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones. So, before you try out any other methods to get your VPN to work, change a few servers to see if that does the trick.
- Switch up protocols – alternatively, the problem might not necessarily be tied to the server itself but can also lie with the specific protocol. Test different protocols supported in your VPN app to determine whether the protocol is the one causing your VPN to fail.
- Faulty Connection – in some scenarios, the network you’re using can also be why the VPN isn’t working. This is most often the issue if you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network, so reconnecting might help your VPN to start working again.
- Update your app – another simple yet effective way to get your VPN to work is to update your app client. Top VPN services constantly work on improving their apps and roll out different software updates to iron out any issues.
- Contact the VPN’s support – lastly, if none of these tips have worked for you, the only ones who can help you are the VPN’s support technicians. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to switch to a new VPN service.
How to Test My VPN Speed
Testing your VPN speed is super simple and only takes a few seconds. Here’s how to test your VPN speed:
- Connect to a VPN server.
- Close all apps and browse pages that can use a lot of your bandwidth.
- Open a test site like Speedtest.net.
- After a few seconds, the speed test will show your download/upload speed as well as your ping.
- It’s best to repeat the test at least a couple of times, as the results might vary. Then, you can draw an average from the results to see what your real VPN speed is.
Keep in mind that there are many different elements that affect how fast your VPN connection will be. The two most important ones are the physical distance between you and the VPN server and the total number of users connected to the same VPN server.
VPN Leak Test FAQs
How do I know my VPN is working?
If you’ve ever wondered, “is my VPN working?”, an easy way to tell whether or not your VPN is working is to connect to a server and Google “what’s my IP”. If the results show a location you selected in the VPN app, the VPN is working. If they don’t show the test VPN server location, your VPN isn’t working as it should.
Do I have a VPN that’s keeping me safe?
The best way to tell whether or not a VPN you’re currently using is keeping you safe is to test it for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. If your VPN doesn’t leak any of this data, you can count on it to keep you safe while browsing the Internet.
Am I using a VPN that’s good for streaming?
A VPN service that’s good for streaming needs to have IP addresses that aren’t blocked by the streaming site. Whether we’re talking about Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or any other streaming platform, a good streaming VPN should be able to access any of these sites in different regions without a hitch.
Performing a VPN check from time to time is an absolute necessity if you want to ensure maximum privacy, no matter how trusted the VPN you’re using is. Luckily, IP, DNS, and WebRTC VPN checker sites are widely available online, so testing a VPN connection is pretty straightforward. Moreover, this guide on how to make sure a VPN is working provides you with helpful and direct tips on how to test VPN services for potential leaks.
With that in mind, you shouldn’t risk using a faulty VPN service, as doing so can cause you many privacy issues. Using a tested and proven VPN guarantees protection from IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. In this regard, we recommend signing up with one of our top VPNs with no leaks.