With a VPN, your internet connection is encrypted, ensuring that all data transferred is private. However, like with any cybersecurity product, some VPNs are less effective than others and may not work all the time. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to work out whether your VPN is functioning properly or not.
Whether you suspect that your VPN doesn’t work or simply want to check that everything is running smoothly, there are a few things you can do to check that it is working as it should be.
Watching foreign TV shows and films in Netflix and other streaming service libraries is one of the most common reasons for using a VPN. By connecting to a server in a country of your choice, you can change your geo-location and trick websites into thinking you’re based elsewhere.
A quick and easy way to check if your VPN is working is to connect to a server in another country and access Netflix or your favorite streaming site. If you successfully get past the service’s VPN block, it means that your VPN is working correctly.
Of course, if you don’t manage to bypass the Netflix VPN firewall, this doesn’t necessarily mean your VPN isn’t functioning properly. For example, it could simply not use obfuscation to hide the VPN traffic, or Netflix could have blacklisted some IP addresses of your VPN provider. Therefore, if accessing Netflix fails, try a few other things to check if your VPN works.
Use an IP checker
When you use a VPN, your IP address will always change, even if you connect to a server in the city you’re physically based in. So before connecting to the VPN, make a note of your actual IP address and then connect to a server. After doing so, use an IP address lookup tool to see whether or not your IP has changed. If yes, then this means your VPN is working well!
Run a leak test
DNS request leaks can expose information such as your web activity to your Internet Service Provider and other third parties. Your DNS requests should be private with a VPN, assuming you use a VPN service that operates its own private DNS.
You can run a DNS leak test on many websites to double-check whether or not your VPN is exposing your requests and is therefore working.
Another leak that can reveal your IP address is a WebRTC leak. While WebRTC enables video and voice calls online, third parties can easily find your real IP address using Web Real-Time Communication. Like with DNS leaks, you can use a tool to check whether or not you are experiencing WebRTC leaks that expose your real IP address and, therefore, your location.
Find a VPN that Works
With so many VPNs available, it isn’t easy to find one that is highly reliable in keeping your online activities private and secure. Thanks to PrivacySharks, you can easily compare the top VPN providers and choose the best one based on your online needs. Check out the site for more information about VPNs and other cybersecurity products.