Ever encountered a problem with your VPN that says ‘You’re Connected‘ but you still get a feeling that your online activity and privacy are at risk? Well, it is possible. Although VPNs are one of the best tools to make sure your online privacy and security are maintained by encrypting your traffic. But is also possible that a VPN can choke in many ways. That’s why you should know how to check if your VPN is working, or not.
How to Check if VPN is Working?
The way how VPNs work, they are pretty unbreakable to leak user activity as far as it is a reputable VPN service you are subscribed to, like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. But nonetheless, there are various tests you can perform on your VPN. You can check your VPN by testing it with IP Address Leak Test, DNS Leak Test, or WebRTC Leak Test. As there are many reasons why leaks happen, it is advised that a user should often check if their VPN is working properly or not.
Other than that, you might face the problem with your VPN not working in the first place. There are some basic parameters to check which can solve your problem. A VPN can be a very useful tool to maintain online privacy and security. We will talk more about all of those in this guide.
How to Check if VPN is Working by IP Address Leak Test?
By just doing this simple trick, you’ll get to know if your VPN is working properly or not. Follow these step-by-step guidelines to know how you can check if your VPN is working or not.
- If you are connected to your VPN, disconnect it.
- Go to your browser, search for ‘whatismyipaddress‘. You will get your original IP Address. Note it down somewhere.
- Now enable your VPN.
- Go and check your IP Address again on ‘whatismyipaddress’.
Now match your original IP Address with the one which appeared on your screen after you enabled your VPN. If the IPs are different then your VPN is perfectly fine. But if the IPs are the same then your VPN is not working properly.
You can also check your VPN for IP Address Leak Test from these websites,
How to Check if VPN is Working by DNS Leak Test?
DNS (Domain Name System) is a term that means to give some name to an IP Address. Suppose if there is an IP Address (18.104.22.168) then its DNS would give it a name (like howdoesavpnwork). In simple words, DNSs are the names of the websites.
A DNS leak happens when a VPN fails to encrypt your online activity and the DNSs of the websites you visit get vulnerable to anyone having the intent to monitor you. This means it is now possible to monitor which websites you are accessing as the VPN is not encrypting your traffic.
This is how you can check if your VPN is leaking DNS or not,
- Connect to your VPN by setting VPN server to the US.
- Go to DNSLeakTest.com
- You will see your IP Address and location on your screen with two options of ‘Standard Test’ and ‘Extended Test’, go with Standard Test.
If all the results you get are from the US, then your VPN is working fine. But if you get a result with your ISP name on it, then you have a DNS leak.
How to Check if VPN is Working by WebRTC Leak Test?
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a tool that is used browser-to-browser for high performance with low latency. Being announced in 2011 by Google, it made it possible for the browsers to work video streaming, transfer of files, voice communications in webpages themselves without any plugins.
But WebRTC requires your original IP Address to work efficiently across browsers. And if you have your VPN enabled but it is not hiding your IP Address, then there is a WebRTC Leak.
By following these steps, you can check if your VPN is working properly or not.
- Connect to your VPN, and go to ExpressVPN’s WebRTC Leak Test.
- It should be showing you your IP Address.
- If the IP Address shown to you is different from your original IP Address, then your VPN is working fine.
- If your IP Address is your original IP Address, then there is a WebRTC Leak.
How Often Should I Check if VPN is Working?
You should always have to make sure that your online privacy is up to the mark. Do a quick test of DNS Leak and WebRTC Leak always before you start with your routinely browsing activities. It will eliminate the risks of your online identity being exposed while you are busy working on torrenting your favorite movie.
2 Reasons Why Leaks Happen.
Wondering why and how you have DNS Leak or a WebRTC Leak? It might be because of these two reasons,
Faulty VPN Service
You might have a VPN that has a fault in its algorithm or encryption method. It is possible to happen if you go for a free VPN service or a poorly managed VPN service. To eliminate the risks of DNS Leaks and WebRTC Leaks, go for a reputed VPN service like Surfshark, which also has a user-friendly interface, being really just a cherry on the top of a cake!
Dropping of VPN Connection
Similarly, the second reason for the leaks to happen is because of the VPN connection dropping without any warning to the user while the user is busy performing his/her online activities. It is advised to the users to get a VPN with a kill-switch feature in it. That way the VPN will always stop your activities by shutting them down and notifying you that the VPN connection has dropped.
Why VPNs Don’t Work Sometimes?
It can be a pain in the neck when you encounter a problem in which you find yourself helpless to JUST make your VPN work. Well, it can happen because of some basic checklists which you have to cover by looking into them whenever your VPN is not working. Those are,
Invalid Username and Password
Maybe you’re entering the wrong credentials to your VPN, which is making it hard for you to connect to your VPN. If you don’t remember your password, go for the option of recovering your password by setting a new one through your email ID.
Limited Internet Connection
It is possible that your internet connection is causing a problem for you to connect to your VPN. Make sure your internet speed is fast enough for you to connect to a VPN. Or try connecting to a different WiFi connection and check if you can connect to your VPN. If that is the case, try contacting your ISP to solve the problem.
Dead VPN Server
The server which you have connected through your VPN might be offline or dead. Try connecting to a different server and check if your VPN is now working or not.
Firewall or Antivirus
Maybe your Firewall or Antivirus software is not letting your VPN app work properly on your system. Try disabling your antivirus and then connect to your VPN to check if that’s really the problem.
If even after checking all these problems, still, your VPN doesn’t work then it is time to realize to change your VPN and go for a reputed VPN provider.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Can you track a VPN?
How can I know if my VPN is protecting me?
Are free VPNs good to use?
Where can I see my IP Address?