Wondering If Your VPN is Really Secure? Here's How to Test It

By: Tyrone Jackson

2021-02-02
Is Your VPN Really Secure? Here's How to Test It

If you think that your data is safe because you have a VPN, think again. A recent study found that 84% of free VPN apps leaked the user’s IP address and that many paid VPNs were vulnerable to leaks and have broken features.

Not even the best VPN provider can offer 100% uninterrupted protection all the time. The leaks leave you exposed and could place you in a dangerous situation, especially if you think you are protected from prying eyes when you are not.

The best part?

Is that today you can perform tests, which will help you to determine if the VPN provider is giving you the quality and uninterrupted protection that they claim you are getting.

Here’s how to test a VPN for security features such as DNS conversions, how fast the VPN is working and the speeds you can expect to get with downloads together with lots of other useful information.

This test should be done periodically, whichever VPN you decide to use especially after new updates. The test is easy to do with several free online services you can use, some VPN providers also provide free speed tests for their users.

Speed is one of the most important factors when using your VPN for transferring files and there are a number of factors that can affect the speed of a VPN. Like:

  • The distance you are from your nearest ISP server
  • How far you are from the nearest VPN server
  • Type of protocol you are using
  • Also the type of device you are using to connect with

Let’s get started!

Sites like Speedofme or TestMy are available to perform your tests.

  • First, check the speed of your regular connection before you connect to your VPN. You do this so that you can rule out poor speed issues with the regular connection, which can affect your VPN.
  • After you have shut down all applications, run the speed test several times, recording the results. This will give you a more accurate reading.
  • Now open your VPN service, visit a website in a private window and run the speed test, again several times to give you a more accurate reading.

Compare the results from the first and second test to see if it is your VPN that is slowing down your traffic. It will give you the general bandwidth speed together with how fast the download and upload speeds are for both the VPN and regular connection.

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Now, test for a Domain Name System (DNS) leak which is one of the most important. Why? Your IP address location and ISP can be exposed to eavesdropping and you may find that you are denied access because of your geographical location/restrictions. It defeats the whole purpose of using a VPN if there is a DNS leak.

Let’s get started:

  • Find a VPN server that is located outside of your country and visit one of these sites: Perfect Privacy, it will give you the details of your IP, ISP and country of origin-this will let you know if your VPN is working or not.
  • Visit IPLeak, (this is really scary), you will see who is collecting your IP data, your ISP’s location, which browser you are using, IP address, screen info. You will be able to determine whether your VPN is leaking DNS information or not.

Next, you should test for IP Leaks, most VPN providers that offer ‘kill switches’ for when the internet has an interruption and then reconnects. The ‘kill switch’ is supposed to automatically shut down your connection when this happens, so that your IP address is not revealed.

  • With the VPN running disconnect your internet
  • Then, using a site like Perfect Privacy, reconnect and run a rapid-fire test sequence. Open a number of tabs, 10 or more that is in the testing windows. Next refresh each of the pages as quickly as possible when you reconnect. Then check the results from each of the test page’s, checking to see if any of them show your IP address. If it shows your IP address then you know you have a leak.

By running the tests you will be able to see if your VPN service has failed. At least now you know and you can act accordingly. You can either confront the VPN provider, (which will not make much difference) or you can look for a more reliable VPN provider like Private Internet Access.

Private Internet Access offers 2 Kill Switches, the app kill switch shuts down applications but not traffic while the Internet Kill Switch blocks all traffic. This gives you an extra layer of privacy and security.

That’s not all...

They offer some amazing features that have made them the no. 1 destination by users when looking for a VPN provider.

Bottom Line?

Choosing a reliable and reputable VPN provider you will be less likely open to experience security issues and you can be secure that your data is safe.