You require VPN services, subscribe to the best one, download the app and hit the connect button. But, how do you know if you’re VPN is working? This guide will show you how to check if your VPN is working and what you can do to make sure it works smoothly.
All you need to do is follow the guide below, run a few tests, and get your VPN up and running. If all else fails, it’s time to think about investing in another more reliable VPN.
How to conduct tests to check if your VPN is working
A VPN can offer a Kill Switch or even advanced features that claim to protect your device or allow you to unblock geo-restricted streaming services, but how can you be so sure?
If a VPN leaks your data or exposes your IP address, then the VPN you’re using might not be the best for you. Just one test isn’t enough. Run around 3 to 4 rounds of testing, and if an issue arises 3 out of 4 times, it’s time to switch it up.
Problems that indicate your VPN isn’t working
There are a number of reasons that can hamper your overall VPN experience. It will also show you that your VPN isn’t working effectively. Here’s how to detect it:
- You connect to a US or Netflix server, and still can’t access the platform or any other service for that matter.
- Your ISP can still see the websites you visit.
- Your Kill Switch hampers your internet connection overall.
However, the most common or best way to make sure your VPN is working is by testing it for IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. I used ExpressVPN to run my tests and here’s how you can start:
IP leak test
- First, take note of your physical IP address, without connecting to your VPN. You can check it on org.
- Now, launch your VPN and connect to a server. It can be any one, for example a US one.
- Now, go back to ip.leak.org and check your IP address.
- If the results match your physical IP without using a VPN, then that means your IP is exposed.
For this, I connected to a VPN’s Singaporean server, here’s what I got:
DNS and webRTC leak test
Testing DNS and webRTC is just as important. Here’s how you can do it:
- For DNS, go to com and make sure that the IP displayed matches the IP you got after connecting to a particular server, which in my instance is a Singaporean server. Here are the results:
- Now, check for the webRTC leaks. Go to com/webrtc and make sure the public IP matches the VPN’s Singaporean server. Here’s what the results should look like:
Just in case you’re looking for VPNs that work and don’t leak data
If you’re looking for VPNs that do work here’s a quick list. Plus, you can also run tests to check them out for yourself since these providers offer free trial and refund periods, they are:
- Surfshark – highly recommended and allows unlimited device connections
- NordVPN – the best for online protection
- ExpressVPN – gives some of the fastest speeds
- IPVanish – allows unlimited device connections and access to the US Netflix
- CyberGhost – privacy-focused VPN
- FastestVPN – best-budgeted VPN
- PureVPN – fast and unblocks services worldwide
- VyprVPN – great for streaming
- Private Internet Access – a large number of servers
- Windscribe – great free and premium app
- iProVPN – great for your budget
As you can see from the results, the VPN passed all the leak tests. These steps are necessary for anyone who requires safe access to geo-restricted streaming services, who’re trying to bypass ISP throttling, or even protect their device from online threats. If your VPN is exposing your data there’s no point in using it. With that said, you now know how to check if your VPN is working!
However, there are some instances where you’ll have to try different servers. Mishaps happen, but one wrong result doesn’t determine the entire software. Always run multiple tests to get the best results.