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How to check if VPN is working?

To begin with, a VPN keeps your online activities safe, but sometimes it doesn’t work as planned. For example, your IP might leak or your VPN connection may drop. 

So, how can you ensure that your VPN is doing its job as it should? 

Let’s figure out the main VPN issues and how to fix them, so your online world stays on the safe side.

How to check if VPN is working. VPN on or off photo

Is Your VPN Working? Here’s How to Check

Check IP Address Status

First of all, check your IP address. When you connect to the VPN, your IP address should show the VPN server’s location, not your real one. Simply search “What is my IP address” before and after connecting to the VPN to see any difference.

If you see any issues or your real IP address is exposed despite using the VPN, fix it. Reconnect, choose a different server or ask your VPN provider for help. Keep an eye on your IP address regularly to make sure your VPN is working well.

Perform DNS Leak Test

The Domain Name System or DNS is the internet’s address book. It’s a system that translates human-friendly domain names (like www.example.com) into numerical IP addresses that computers use to identify and locate each other on the internet. In simpler terms, DNS helps your computer find and connect to websites by converting easy-to-remember names into the actual numerical addresses needed for communication on the internet.

A DNS leak happens if your internet connection accidentally reveals the websites you visit. To check for DNS leaks, use online tools specifically designed for this purpose. These tools will confirm whether your DNS requests are being routed through the VPN’s secure servers or if there’s a potential leak.

DNS Leak Test. Perform DNS Leak Test

Test WebRTC Leak

WebRTC is a free and open-source project that simplifies real-time communication between web browsers through APIs and protocols, enabling audio, video, and data exchange without the need for additional plugins or third-party software.

Web Real-Time Communication or WebRTC can unintentionally disclose your real IP address. To prevent this, perform a WebRTC leak test using online tools, for example (https://browserleaks.com/webrtc). If your VPN is functioning correctly, the test should reveal the IP address of the VPN server, not your actual IP address.

Verify Server Connection

Ensure that your VPN is connected to the intended server. Most VPN providers offer a user interface displaying your current server location, and confirming this information will help identify connectivity issues or unintended server switches.

Confirm Firewall Bypass

Firewalls stop unauthorized access to your network. Test if your VPN can access restricted sites or services in your location. If it works, your VPN is successfully getting around geo-restrictions and firewalls.

Assess Internet Speed

While VPNs reduce internet speed, a drastic drop in speed may indicate an issue. Use online speed test tools to measure your internet speed with and without the VPN. A significant difference could suggest a problem with your VPN connection or server congestion. You can try the Ookla speed test. Ookla Speedtest is a widely used online tool for measuring the speed of an internet connection.

Assess Internet Speed. Speed test performance on the phone

Access Geo-Restricted Content

One of the main reasons for using a VPN is to access geo-restricted content. Try to visit some websites restricted in your area. If it works, it means your VPN is hiding your actual location.

Review VPN Software Settings

Check the settings in your VPN software to ensure they align with your privacy and security preferences. Confirm that features like kill switch, DNS leak protection, and encryption protocols are enabled for optimal security. It is crucial to choose a reputable VPN provider such as Planet VPN that offers 24/7 customer support.

Check for Anomalies or Warnings

Regularly review your system logs or any messages from your VPN client for anomalies or warnings. Unusual messages or warnings may indicate a problem with your VPN connection or potential security threats.

Tips for Ensuring VPN Effectiveness

Select a Strong VPN Provider

As mentioned above, choose a reputable VPN provider with a strong track record of privacy and security. Research user reviews and independent assessments to ensure the reliability of the service. 

Keep Software Updated

Keep your VPN software updated to get the latest security fixes. If your software is outdated, it might have weaknesses that could put your online privacy at risk. Updating helps keep your information safe and your online experience secure.

Enable Kill Switch

Activate the kill switch feature in your VPN settings. It ensures that if your VPN connection drops, all internet traffic stops. It prevents any data from transmission without the protection of the VPN.

Use Strong Passwords

Use only strong and unique passwords. This adds an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access to your VPN and ensures the security of your online activities. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. It is recommended to use at least 12 characters long. An example of a strong password is .*42AN4TCmz203?bN’. Change your password every 6 months and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Use Strong Passwords

Verify Encryption Strength

Check and confirm that your VPN is using strong encryption protocols. The use of robust encryption ensures that your data remains secure and protected from potential eavesdroppers.

Experience Smooth Operations with Planet VPN

In conclusion, it is important to check if your VPN works properly and provides you with full online security.

Make sure the VPN provider you choose has robust security and privacy features and is a trustworthy and dependable company. Planet VPN does not keep logs on and HDDs in our servers are encrypted. Our servers provide high speeds with no registration or data collection in both free and paid versions. You get 5 locations to choose from on a free version, with no time limits, traffic, or bandwidth. 

You can download a free VPN from Planet VPN and in a few seconds you get a reliable and user-friendly experience.