VPNs stand for security and data protection. This way you can check whether your VPN really protects your privacy.
With a virtual, private network – VPN for short – you can handle your Internet usage securely and protected from unauthorized access. Whether you are at home or at a public WLAN hotspot. But how secure is your data really over a VPN? How can you be sure that the VPN is doing its job correctly and is not distributing your data halfway around the world?
For the latter there is a relatively simple way: Enter the sentence “How is my IP” in Google. The hits then appearing name your current, public IP address. If you are on a VPN, Google should show the IP of the VPN here instead. If this is not the case, you already know that there is a problem.
If you don’t know your VPN’s IP address, copy the IP address Google shows you (e.g. 188.8.131.525) and re-enter it into Google in the following form: IP 184.108.40.2065. The first few search results should tell you where the IP address is located. For example, if you live in Munich and your IP address is registered in Switzerland, your VPN works perfectly.
However, your public IP address is only one way in which private data can reach the public. To check your full privacy status, visit the IPLeak website. Here various possibilities are tested, how and whether your data gets to the outside, for example with the help of DNS leaks, torrents, WebRTC and geodata.
However, not all of these tests work automatically. For example, the torrent test requires the download of a small torrent file in advance to check whether torrents are being routed through your VPN or not.
The geodata test is helpful, but keeping your location data secret is a rather simple task anyway. Just don’t allow any website to ever access your location while you’re on a VPN. One way to achieve this is to define a special browser – such as Firefox – as your personal VPN browser. Alternatively you can use a browser extension like anonymoX for Firefox, which forwards an incorrect location to websites if required.
If information seeps through your VPN, the domain name system (DNS) is usually the culprit. In order to navigate the Internet, your terminal device needs contact to DNS servers. These in turn help to translate web addresses from names into numerical IPs. A PC typically uses the DNS servers of your Internet provider. However, using a VPN and obtaining DNS data through a local service provider can provide enough information about you to direct spies in your direction.
For example, you can fix the problem by permanently switching to an alternative DNS provider, such as Google or OpenDNS.
As soon as you have got your DNS problems under control, visit IPLeak again and check the test results. If DNS servers that are not related to your ISP or general location information are displayed there, you have done everything right and now enjoy full protection via your VPN connection.