Horror of horrors… have you been letting it all hang loose on the internet? It can happen, like last week, when you screamed at your toddler with the mic left on during the zoom meeting.
VPNs (virtual private networks) can and do fail, leaving you exposed to surveillance without even realizing it. A simple VPN test can tell you if your VPN is doing a proper job to mask your IP address or if it’s letting the whole world in on your private business.
When a VPN is worth what you’re paying for, it should hide all your online activity. It does this by funneling all your data through an encrypted tunnel between your device and the website you want to visit. That means, no one, not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP), can see what you’re up to. Imagine all those prying eyes just waiting for your VPN to suffer a blip so they can get hold of your information.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your VPN is doing its job properly!
The first step is to make sure that you’re connected to your VPN.
Are You Connected to Your VPN?
Let’s have a quick peep…
Open your VPN app. It should say ‘VPN connected’, and show the server and location you’re connected to.
Once you’ve established that you’re connected through your VPN, you need to check if it’s protecting you correctly.
Is Your VPN Giving You Proper Leak Protection?
The best way to be sure is to take our privacy test. With just one click, you can find out a lot about how your VPN’s performing.
Run the test with your VPN switched off and then on, and compare the results.
When your VPN is turned off, the results will show that your location, real IP address, and User-Agent details (operating system, browser, and system architecture information) are exposed. You’ll also notice that you have DNS and WebRTC leaks.
Now, turn your VPN on and run the test again.
You should get the all-clear, but if you still come up with IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, then your VPN is leaking.
Most VPN providers promise to hide your personal information from online snoopers, but some may allow information about you to slip. Cyberattackers can use this information to potentially hack your device, steal your identity, and more.
Here are 3 common VPN leaks that could let your sensitive information fall into the wrong hands:
- IP leaks
- DNS leaks
- WebRTC leaks
Let’s go over each of these in more detail.
Test for IP Leaks to Regain Your Anonymity
Every device you connect to the internet has an IP address (IP) that reveals your geographical location. Your ISP and streaming services use this IP to prevent you from accessing geo-restricted content. Snoopers also use it to monitor your online activity.
For a VPN to protect you correctly, it has to hide your IP. How? By hiding your original IP behind another from its servers. That way, no one can identify your real identity and track your online activity.
If you see your real IP address in the privacy test or when Googling “what’s my IP?”, then your VPN is leaking and exposing your real location. That can happen when your VPN drops momentarily or if it doesn’t support IPv6 protocols.
How Do I Fix an IP Address Leak?
Try connecting to another VPN server and running our privacy test again. You could also try disabling IPv6 protocols on your device.
If these tricks don’t fix it, I suggest you try a different VPN provider with better security.
CyberGhost VPN disables IPv6 by default, so you don’t have to worry about that! It also offers unbreakable encryption across all of our 7200+ servers worldwide to hide your IP address and give you 100% anonymity, wherever you are.
Protect Your Valuable Information from DNS Leaks
The Domain Name System (DNS) matches a website’s IP address (a long series of numbers that no one can remember) to its domain name — like cyberghost.com. The DNS makes finding websites easier.
If you’re surfing the web without a VPN, your local ISP handles your DNS requests. It can see and keep records of websites you visit (and throttle you if you’re engaged in data-heavy activities, like gaming or streaming in HD during high peak hours). Scarier still, all the websites you visit can see where your DNS requests are coming from (i.e., your IP address).
A VPN’s DNS protection feature offers a protective layer by handling DNS requests for you. Not all VPNs offer this feature, allowing websites to know your IP address and your ISP to watch your every move.
What can go wrong? Your operating system could automatically restore default settings. Then, your internet traffic returns to the ISP route, instead of taking the encrypted VPN route, and you’re back to being exposed. Now anyone can monitor your DNS requests and track you. Cybercrooks might even hit you with ‘DNS poisoning’, send you to ‘lookalike’ phishing pages, and steal your data.
How Do I Fix a DNS Leak?
If our privacy test shows a DNS leak while you have your VPN on, it may be that your VPN doesn’t offer DNS protection.
If so, then it’s probably time to switch to CyberGhost VPN. Our ‘Prevent DNS leak’ feature will keep your IP hidden and your data safe. We also have an automatic kill switch that kicks in if your VPN connection ever shuts down. That cuts your internet traffic to zero until you regain your VPN connection, keeping your IP address, location, and all your information private.
Enjoy Safe Streaming by Preventing WebRTC Leaks
WebRTC enables real-time communications through video and audio live streaming. WebRTC leaks occur when your browser exposes your actual IP address as it processes WebRTC requests. A reliable VPN should prevent WebRTC leaks, but then again, is your VPN reliable?
How Do I Fix a WebRTC Leak?
You could disable WebRTC leaks in your browser settings. That’ll stop WebRTC leaks, but it also will prevent you from using certain WebRTC-related functions like live streaming and audio and video conferencing.
The best solution is to use a VPN that protects against all leaks.
CyberGhost VPN has all the security features you’re looking for (OpenVPN, AES-256 encryption, kill switch, and leak protection) to help you stay completely invisible online. With just one CyberGhost VPN subscription, you can keep your identity and data safe across all your devices.
Once you’ve plugged all your leaks, move on to assessing your connection speed.
Is Your VPN Crippling Your Speed?
Has your connection been crawling since you turned on your VPN? Many things could be affecting your speed: too many people accessing the same server overloads the server and slows down VPN download speed, the distance between you and the server could also mean slower internet speed.
How Can You Fix Your VPN Speed Issues?
Run a quick speed test to find out how your VPN is performing. If it’s slow, switch to another server and then test the speed again.
If that doesn’t fix it, your VPN’s protocol could be the culprit. Different protocols offer different encryption and security levels, but they may also cost you your speed. Try switching to a different protocol and note any speed change.
If things still don’t pick up, you may need to try a better VPN. CyberGhost VPN constantly upgrades its global server network to give you the fastest VPN servers available.
Download CyberGhost VPN, and you’ll never have to worry about slow connection speeds, no matter what you’re doing. Lag, buffering, and slow loading times are history. Stream in full HD, play games online, or do anything else online; you’re good to go!
If you run into any glitches, our friendly customer support team is ready to assist you anytime. Troubleshoot data leaks and speed issues, get help picking the right server, and find out how to protect your privacy wherever you are!
What if, when you checked your VPN, you found it wasn’t connected? What can you do?
What Can I Do If My VPN Isn’t Working?
If your VPN is giving you trouble, you could try these 7 steps.
- Restart your device and router. Sometimes your technology needs a reboot. Restart, and things should get back to speed.
- Switch servers. The server you’re connected to may be overcrowded or too far away from you. Changing to another server could fix your problem.
- Check if the kill switch is on. The kill switch will cut your connection to zero if the VPN drops. If your VPN isn’t connecting, check if the kill switch is on.
- Check your internet connection. It could be your internet connection that’s the problem. Check that you have a connection and try restarting your router. If that doesn’t work, your ISP could be experiencing trouble.
- Temporarily disable your firewall or antivirus software. In some cases, these can interfere with the VPN. That’s why disabling them could fix your issue.
- Update your VPN app. Go to your VPN app settings and look for any updates. Older versions may have some bugs, which could be the cause of the problem. Updating your VPN software should fix it.
- Contact the support team. When all else fails, reach out to the pros.
If you’ve tried all of the above and your VPN is still not working, it could be something out of your control. The website you’re trying to access could be blocking VPN connections, or the country you’re in has banned VPN use.
Worst case scenario, attackers could be controlling your VPN. If that’s the case, turn off your VPN immediately. It’s riskier to use a server that’s been hacked than connecting without a VPN since all routed data is now in the cyberattackers’ possession. Once the VPN is off, you should select another provider with stronger security to continue to protect your digital life.
Switch to CyberGhost VPN and experience complete privacy protection and 100% anonymity, without losing connection speed. Disguise your online identity with end-to-end security on all your devices with CyberGhost VPN.
Test your VPN to Protect Your Privacy and Secure Your Digital Life
Once you’ve tested your privacy and speed and found your VPN is performing well with no leaks, you can breathe easy knowing your digital life is secure. Surf the web with complete peace of mind, knowing advertisers, governments, snoops, and cybercrooks can’t get their grubby hands on your sensitive data.
How do I know if my VPN is working?
Take our privacy test to check if your VPN is working and protecting your sensitive data. If your result shows that you’re exposed, your VPN isn’t doing its job. Try CyberGhost VPN with our 45-day money-back guarantee and see what real VPN protection looks like.
Why would my VPN stop working?
For many reasons like server congestion, bad internet connectivity, country and site-specific blocks, software incompatibility, incorrect login details, unpaid subscriptions, and overprotective firewalls. Check out these common troubleshooting guides.
Here are some quick fixes that may help:
- Restart the VPN
- Check if your VPN software is up-to-date
- Switch VPN servers
- Try a different VPN protocol
- Check your firewall
- Make sure the site or service hasn’t banned VPNs
- Reach out to your VPN’s support team
What is a kill switch?
If your VPN connection drops, a kill switch automatically cuts your internet connection to zero, ensuring your privacy is intact until you regain your VPN connection. If your VPN isn’t working, check that the kill switch isn’t on.
What is an IP leak?
An IP leak is when your real IP address shows instead of your VPN’s. Sometimes your computer reverts to accessing the default ISP servers instead of the secure VPN servers. To check if your VPN is leaking your real IP address, take our privacy test. If it is, switch to a more secure VPN. With AES-256 encryption, a kill-switch, support for multiple protocols, 24/7 customer support, and automatic Wi-Fi protection, CyberGhost VPN should be your first choice.
What is a DNS leak?
A DNS leak occurs when your VPN fails to reroute your DNS requests through its servers and your ISP continues to process your requests. That’s bad because it leaves your private browsing data exposed to ISPs, third-party organizations, and cybercriminals. To check if your VPN is leaking your real IP address, take our privacy test.
Are free VPNs safe?
No. If you want proper protection online, avoid free VPNs. Aside from security concerns, free VPNs can make your internet experience a real drag, with slow speeds, annoying pop-ups and ads, and limited streaming. A free VPN is likely to log all your activities and sell them to third parties for profit. Plus, you’ll never enjoy encryption like you would with a paid VPN.
CyberGhost VPN is a trusted and affordable premium VPN provider with strong encryption protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. Since we don’t keep any logs, no one will ever get their hands on your data. Try CyberGhost VPN risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee.