Opting for a VPN service is a brilliant move towards secure, comprehensive, and more reliable internet browsing. VPNs are used for several reasons like overcoming geo-restrictions, getting access to blocked websites, ensuring more security, and privacy.
VPNs prevent the data from getting collected by ISPs which ensures secure internet interactions. VPN services are not designed based on your convenience, safety, and security needs.
It is quite possible that the most reliable VPN services will not be able to give the best quality service and uninterrupted security all the time. So, how can you know if your VPN service is providing you with full protection?
VPN performance testing is the only possible method to understand if the VPN service is providing all the security and privacy that it claims. It also gives you a good understanding of the defenses provided by the VPN provider.
So, here are some of the most secure methods to verify your current VPN service for dependability, and what could be done if they do not meet your expectations.
Testing a VPN
With so many free online services available in the market, testing a VPN is not a hassle. The online service may test different aspects of the VPN service, but they will provide almost the same information.
VPN service testing is mostly used to know about the security features, including DNS conversions. They are also used to know about the speed of the VPN, download speed, and other additional features.
Since these are some of the important factors that are considered when analyzing various VPN services, it is suggested to have all the necessary information before choosing a particular VPN service or while switching to some other VPN service. Also, it is essential to have good efficiency of the VPN services to ensure top-notch security and privacy.
Here’s a detailed list of some of the essential VPN tests to run and a few tips to make it even more simple, so that you can utilize the most out of your VPNs and also know the right time to switch in another service.
Testing the VPN Speed and the Download Speed
If you are using your VPN to transfer files, then speed must be your top priority and holds the utmost importance. Several different factors contribute to the speed of a VPN. The distance of your location from the nearest ISP server, also how far the nearest VPN server is located, the kind of protocol that you are using, and the quality of the VPN will be some of the biggest factors.
There are various types of protocols like PPTP, and L2TP, that determine the efficiency of the VPN. The VPN provided by the VPN while you are transferring files also determines the quality of the services given by your VPN. So, it is highly suggested to check for VPN speed.
You must know that most VPN providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, provide free speed tests to their users. The process followed to determine the speed is:
- First, you must check your internet speed before connecting to the VPN. Check the upload and download times to know about the speed of your regular connection. If you face any speed issues with the regular connection, then it is essential to understand that it is not a VPN related issue but one that needs to be administered separately.
- Shut down other applications running in the background before proceeding with the speed test, and then record the results.
- It is an excellent idea to run the test a few times to get a detailed overview of an accurate reading.
- The next step is to run a VPN speed test. For that, you need to open your VPN service and visit a website using a private window. Then run the speed test mentioned above. Then analyze the figures to know if your traffic is slowing down by the VPN in either direction.
These numerous tests will be able to determine the general bandwidth speed. It will also give a clear understanding of the download and upload speed with or without your VPN server.
Testing for a DNS Leak
The Domain Name System test is essential as it is the only feature that can hide your URLs from anyone authorized ( like government, or workplace) or illegal ( like hackers) bodies from getting to know about your internet usage conversation.
Ideally, your VPN is responsible for converting any URL into a numerical IP address. Sometimes due to data leaking, there are high chances that your IP address’ location and ISP are visible.
It can be a bad thing as anyone restricting you from accessing any website because of your geographical location, or other similar limitations will be able to see your real location and block you from accessing the website or material. That defeats the objective of using a VPN service.
It is easy to run a DNS leak test. You need to go to a VPN server that is not located in your country as this makes it simpler to detect if the DNS is leaking, and then try to visit one of the websites mentioned below:
- Perfect Privacy
Perfect Privacy displays the details of ISP, IP, and country of origin. It determines if your VPN is working or not.
IPLeak shows you in a clear and easy format the information that can be seen by someone who is trying to collect your IP data that includes the ISP’s location, IP address, the browser that is currently in use, and plugins used. IPLeak will also reveal if your VPN is leaking DNS information.
The DNS leak will not show your IP address. It reveals the IP address of your ISP. But once the IP address of your ISP is known, then it is easy to determine yours too. So it is essential to run an additional IP leak test to check whether your actual IP is getting leaked or not.
Testing for IP Leaks
IP leaks are a major security breach that is not addressed by many VPN providers.
VPNs might not be able to protect you fully while they are reconnecting, even though they can give strong protection when they are active.
Thus, even the best VPN services may not be able to block traffic whenever the server is down. It can reveal your IP address. You can test this issue by completing the following steps:
- Disconnect your internet connection while the VPN is active.
- Reconnect, and then run a rapid-fire test sequence using a website like IPV6Test. You can easily do this by opening numerous tabs within the testing windows. Then, refresh each of these pages instantly while reconnecting. Analyze each of the results shown by the test page to detect if any of them show your IP address. It will determine a leak.
What Can Be Done If Your VPN Service Fails the Test?
If your current VPN service fails any of these tests, then it is a good thing. It is always better to know that you aren’t being protected and than to keep on using a service that doesn’t give you strong security and privacy.
Two things can be done when you have an unsecured VPN connection:
- You can connect with your service provider regarding the issue, and try to fix the problem. It may not be a successful attempt, as many of these service providers already know about the flaws in their services. They hope that the customer never finds it out. Even if you confront them regarding such issues, then they may not be able to solve it.
- The next thing that you can do is to choose a more secure and resilient VPN service.
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