A VPN leak can happen to anyone. The risks of operating your systems while your VPN is leaking is high. Unauthorized parties can easily access all the information you have onboard. You can work so hard to secure your networks and still have substantial information leak out to hackers.
Although many Virtual Private Networks are considered relatively reliable, there is substantial evidence that indicates that up to 80% of modern VPNs aren’t just vulnerable to traffic leaks, but they also leak their users’ IP addresses.
If that’s not scary enough, then consider the fact that most of these VPNs don’t have a fail-safe when it comes to leak protection, which means all your IP data is susceptible to a third-party breach.
Note that without the use of instant proxies, most VPN networks cannot guarantee full proof protection all the time. This is mainly because InstantProxies offers private dedicated proxies that give you an extra layer of protection, making data breach that more complex for hackers.
Regardless of how much your VPN service provider insists on the security of the network, it is crucial to take steps not only to test this system but also to verify and rectify any possible risks. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to test how secure your VPN is, and if not, how to fix it.
VPN Leaks: Causes, Tests and How to Fix them
Leaks can be rather costly, this is why you need to understand what causes them, how to identify different types, and how to fix each one. Here is a summary of the causes of leaks, and how you can work your way around them to mitigate the damage.
A poorly configured network is usually the result of frequent network changes. You will also be vulnerable to leaks in your VPN if your server is run on manual setup.
You may not be aware of this, but Internet service providers redirect traffic back to their sites using forced proxies to ensure no third party server gets the advantage of piggybacking on their traffic. These proxies, also referred to as transparent proxies, pose a very high-security risk, exposing you to a very high chance of a data breachOpens a new window .
Other factors like Teredo and some new windows features like SMHNR are also considered a serious threat to securityOpens a new window . The latter can be disabled on Windows 8, which makes it easy to prevent breaches
VPN efficiency testing is two-pronged. You can either go for the DIY, basic testing, or you do a more advanced, more target specific leak identification test.
The basic test involves a test website, in which case all you need to do is connect to an active and stable VPN network Below are the basic steps for identifying: If you already have a test site on standby, then all you need to do is connect it to your VPN, create disruptions. This can be a simple manual internet disconnection, after which you can reconnect and slide in a couple of more test sites to see how the VPN server works after this process.
Note that this is a simple way to identify that the VPN server does have leaks, it in no way identifies all the possible leaks you may have on your network. That requires a more elaborate process.
More advanced tests require several systems checks that require traffic analysis and a whole bunch of complex procedures. The need for advanced testing is based on the fact that leaks differ substantially depending on Operating systems. This means that a basic screen test may not identify leaks on different levels.
There are sites, however, that make advanced testing more convenient. The likes of Express VPN offer free leak testing, giving you the necessary tools you need to identify serious problems on your network. Basic tests work, but only on an entry-level, if you are committed to establishing a secure network, then you should use these resources to show your clients that you can deliver online anonymity.
How to fix VPN leaks
The most common leaks VPNs have to deal with are IP leaks, DNS leaks and browser-related leaks referred to as webRTC leaks.
Fixing IP Leaks
Your IP address is, quite simply, your online identity. Your location is tied into this series of numbers, and it generally links your online activity to you. It’s a long set of numbers separated by periods. Fixing IP leaksOpens a new window requires, for the most part, extra layers of security, updated firewalls that hinder remote access from unauthorized users.
Since it comes in two varieties, IPV4 and IPV6, you can disable the IPV6 strategically from your operating systems, and hopefully, get rid of the leak gradually.
Lastly, considering you have some knowledge in finding leaky VPNs, you can always try to find one that is full proof, in which case you won’t have to jump through too many hoops to rectify the situation.
Fixing WebRTC leaks
These kinds of leaks are pretty common because they manifest in some of the main browsers used across the globe. The likes of Google Chrome, Opera Mini and even Firefox are all vulnerable points. Using advanced testing to identify these leaks is usually the first step, at which point if you have a resource such as Express VPN, or any of the various test sites, you will be able to use a more effective VPN to block suspicious content.
There is also a WebRTC leak guide that is available, another resource you can use to identify and fix these kinds of leaks easily. Lastly, you can always disable WebRTC on your browser, but this is usually the last resort.
Fixing DNS leaks
Many people opt to use a manually configured DNS request as a means to adopt some effective third party options. This does work, but perhaps an easier option would be to find a Virtual Private Network server that has its DNS resolver to rectify the problem.
You will also notice that although most servers are IPV6 enabled, there are still some that run on IPV4, which essentially blocks off all IPV6 traffic. The solution to this is to ensure you go for an IPV6 enabled VPN server to counter this issue.
How committed you are towards security will dependOpens a new window on the kind of steps you take to safeguardOpens a new window you and your client’s online anonymity. It is for this reason that identifying and fixing leaks is a very important part of this process.