VPN Leak Tests for IP, DNS, & WebRTC Leaks
The use of VPNs has become quite common and the biggest reason is that users wish to protect their privacy on the web because of the obvious reason as we are living in the post Snowden era.
So, where millions are using tools like VPNs to protect their privacy, they must also be aware that many VPN services leak important information which can expose the users in the online world.
The most common and significant leaks include, WebRTC leaks, DNS leaks, and IP leaks. So, here we are going to tell you everything about VPN leaks and how you can test them.
Additionally, we will also suggest the best leak proof VPN services among the many out there.
Why do VPNs Leak?
Before we move to some common leaks and the VPN leak tests, it is important to discuss why VPN services leak at the first place.
There are various reasons why VPNs leak and with these various reasons there are various types of leaks. However, to risk users’ privacy on the web, even a single leaked data packet is enough.
Many VPN services apparently give brilliant performance and seem to work fine for your privacy but they might be leaking your IP address and DNS requests which can leave you exposed.
Some broken features can also lead to such leaks in which the nonfunctional internet kill switch and ineffective IPv6 protection are common. There are many VPN providers that provide the Kill Switch feature, some of them are NordVPN, ExpressVPN and SurfShark VPN.
Additionally, some conflicts in the WebRTC servers or DNS servers can unveil your true location which is something you would not want and that is why you are using a VPN service.
So, if you find a VPN that is leak proof then you need to stick to it and to find such a service the tests mentioned in the next section can help.
Types of VPN Leaks
There is a variety of tests which can determine how airtight your VPN is, but the basic and mostly sufficient VPN leak tests which can determine the security of your VPN.
This includes IP leak test, DNS leak test, and WebRTC leak test. We will discuss each of them individually below.
IP Leak Test (IPv4 & IPv6 Leak Tests)
Most of us know that VPNs are effective in masking the real IP address of the users and get them a new one from their desired location via connecting to the VPN server.
However, even though everything may seem to work just fine, you VPN might still be leaking your IP address due to some technical reasons.
So, in order to be extremely sure about your privacy and real identity on the web, you should run some IP leak tests.
The following sites offer free tests which are good enough to determine how airtight your VPN regarding the IP leaks. We too use the following for our evaluation of VPNs.
DNS Leak Test
The DNS i.e. Domain Name System helps browsers to bridge the gap between internet IP address and the domain names which are words.
Every domain has a unique IP address and to match that IP address, every request of the user to open a certain website goes first to the DNS server.
This means that all the request must pass through the DNS server which is usually the property of ISP and is logged by ISP or even governments. So this way, all of your activities can be monitored.
However, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN server. Now, what the ISP or any logging party see is that you are connected to the VPN and that’s it.
They cannot log your activities further, but if your VPN working perfectly and it is not leaking.
But, if in any instance the VPN server is bypassed or ignored then the DNS leak occurs and can leave you exposed.
So, in order to fully test your VPN for DNS leaks we recommend the following tests:
These DNS leak tests are good enough to make sure that your VPN is working perfectly fine without leaking your DNS.
WebRTC Leak Test
Web Real Time Communication or WebRTC leak is a comparatively recent finding using which your real IP address can be traced.
WebRTC is a free open source project that provides applications and browsers real time communication via a simple API integration.
Where it is exceptionally useful for streaming, it can be harmful for the privacy of users even with VPN if there are WebRTC leaks.
So, in order to confirm whether your provider is preventing such leaks, we suggest you to run the following test.
The results will easily tell you whether your service provider is sufficient enough or is leaking WebRTC.
How to Test VPN Leaks?
Checking for VPN Leaks via several tests is not too tricky. To make it even simpler, just follow the steps mentioned below.
However, it is assumed that you already have a VPN, but you do not have one then go to the next section to see the best Leak proof VPN services and get one of them first.
- Download VPN app and install it on your system
- Open app and sign in using your credentials
- Select OpenVPN (if not selected as default) and select your desired server
- Connect VPN, Open your browser and check your IP online
Now that your VPN is connected and you have verified it by checking your IP on the web, we suggest you to visit the following sites one by one and run the tests mentioned there.
These tests will help you see all the possible leaks if they are there. If your VPN provider is totally airtight then it is all good for you.
However, if there are some leaks found in the tests, we suggest you to cancel your current provider and see our picks for the most leak free VPN services in the next section.
Best Leak Proof VPN Services
We have run the mentioned tests on various top VPN providers and among them all, we have handpicked the following three as they were the three of few providers which passed all the leak tests.
ExpressVPN: The best all around VPN with strong encryption and powerful unblocking abilities. It is sufficient for torrenting and unblocking Netflix from any location.
It has a network of servers in more than 90 countries which are optimized for the best performance.
NordVPN: Another fantastic service with six simultaneous connections and more than 3000 servers across borders.
It is one of the very few which can still get Netflix unblocked for you. Additionally, it offer brilliant security and privacy features which makes it a leak proof VPN.
Perfect Privacy: Great for the privacy of the users with unlimited connections to ensure the protection of the whole household.
The innovative security and privacy features of Perfect Privacy make it leak free and it is also brilliant for safe torrenting.
So, these are the best VPN services which have been proved to be leaf proof. If your VPN could not pass the VPN leak tests, then you know which one to go for as these are handpicked after several tests.