Can You Trust Your New VPN Here’s An Easy Way To Investigate
ByMike Williamslast updated 15 November 2021
Not sure if you can trust that new VPN? Time to dig deeper
There are plenty of quality big-name VPN providers out there, but sometimes, when you’re shopping for a new service, someone new might catch your eye.
Maybe it’s the low prices. Perhaps it’s the lengthy feature list, or the big promises about how this VPN beats the rest in just about every way. You’re so tempted to sign up on the spot, and yet, something feels wrong…
You’re right to be cautious. Use any VPN and you’re trusting it with your most important online activities. Should you really do that if it’s a tiny provider that you only discovered ten minutes ago, and a quick Google search gives you no useful background information? We’d say, probably not.
That doesn’t mean you should only ever use the most well renowned VPNs. But if you’re looking at someone brand new, and you’ve no idea who runs the company, who’s behind it, if it’s safe or a total scam, then it pays to do a little investigating. In this article we’ll explain how you can look into any provider, find out more about the business, and see if this is a VPN that deserves your trust.
- Looking for a bargain? Here are today’s best VPN deals on the biggest names
How To Choose A VPN
When we review VPNs, there are a few key metrics we look for. For one, a VPN service should allow you to connect at least five devices simultaneously. The best services now easily surpass this requirement. Another is whether the VPN service allows BitTorrent or P2P traffic on its serversif you’re planning to use either of these technologies. Nearly VPNs allow them on at least some of their servers, but you don’t want to run afoul of the company to which you’re paying a monthly fee.
Speaking of fees, the average cost of a top-rated VPN service is $10.21 per month. A VPN service that is charging more per month isn’t necessarily ripping you off, but it should offer something significant, such as a great interface or lots of server locations to sweeten the deal.
You can usually get a discount if you buy longer-term contracts. The average price of an annual VPN subscription, for example, is $71.58. However, we recommend avoiding long commitments until you’re certain that you’re happy with the service. Start instead with a short-term subscription or, better yet, a free subscription so you can test a VPN in your own home.
The most important thing about a VPN is trust. If the location, pricing, or terms of service don’t fill you with confidence, try another service. In all our VPN reviews, we make sure to report on all of these issues and highlight anything we think is confusing or problematic.
Find Your Ip Address From The Command Line
Windows users can use a DNS request withinCommand Prompt to locate their public IP address. Just open Command Prompt andexecute this command:
nslookup myip.opendns.com. resolver1.opendns.com
Youll first see results from the DNS server but then another set of results at the bottom. Your IP address is listed below the line that says Name: myip.opendns.com.
If you get any kind of error when running this command, try doing just opendns.com. , which should give you the IP address of opendns.com. Then run the command again using the myip. part in the front.
A similar command can be used to find yourpublic IP address in PowerShell:
$tmp =Invoke-WebRequest -URI
After entering that command, enter $tmp.Contentto see the result.
If youre using Linux, try this command from aterminal window:
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Why Is Ping A Problem When Using A VPN
Low ping rates can reduce web page load times, but in most situations, you are unlikely to notice the difference from using a VPN unless the VPN server is on the other side of the planet to you.
A notable exception to this, however, is when using a VPN for online gaming. In order to react with lightning fast precision in games where the person with the fastest reflexes is king, gamers require high ping rates.
For these people, a delay of just milliseconds between pressing their mouse button and the action being performed on-screen can be a matter of victory or death.
Note that ping rates affect response time, and therefore have little effect on streaming with a VPN, where bandwidth is a much more important factor.
Check Your Ip Address With The Command Line
If your device doesnt have a web browser, your internet access is restricted, or you want more detailed network information, there is another way to find your IP address: using the command line. However, you should note that the commands are different for every operating system. Take a look below for a step-by-step guide on how to find your IP address on Windows, MacOS, and Linux:
Windows 8 and 8.1
First, open up the console by pressing the Windows key, typing cmd, and pressing Enter. In the console window, type the following, pressing the Enter key after each line:
Note: many guides recommend running some variation of the ipconfig command, but this will not work. IPConfig will only show you your internal IP address, but your router gives you an external IP address, which is what the websites you visit will see.
Windows 10 / MacOS
If youre a Windows 10 user, you can open a command prompt by pressing the Windows key and typing cmd before hitting the Enter key.
MacOS users can open a terminal window by pressing Command + Space at the same time, then typing Terminal.
Windows 10 and MacOS both include an application called cURL which allows you to see your IP address with a simple, one-line command. Once youve opened the command line, just type the following and hit Enter:
Sudo apt install curl
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Check For Webrtc Leaks
These capabilities decrease the lag for specific applications when transferring files, using communication services like Skype, etc.
Many browsers use this technology by default. Thats why the devices using WebRTC need to see each others IP addresses to communicate. This might permit third-party websites to use the WebRTC to find a devices IP address.
Once someone detects an IP, they can identify the user of a device. This may all sound confusing, but checking for these leaks isnt!
Just follow these steps:
Step 1) Perform a WebRTC leak test with the VPN off
Step 2) Perform the test again with the VPN on
As you can see, this test indicates any potential WebRTC leaks in red. It also shows that the IP address is different with and without a VPN, meaning its working well.
How To Find Private Ip Address On Windows
Follow these steps to find your private IP address on Windows:
1. Click the Internet icon on the bottom right corner of the taskbar and select Network & Internet Settings.
2. Click Change adapter options and look for your active Ethernet or wireless connection in the new window. Right-click the connection and select Status.
3. Click Details. Youll now be able to see the private IP address along with other network settings.
You can also find your private IP address by running ipconfig/all in Command Prompt this works on all modern versions of Windows.
If youre using Wi-Fi to connect to the local network, youll be able to find your private IP address under the Wireless LAN adapter Local Area Connection section.
However, if youre using an ethernet cable, the active IP address will be displayed under the Ethernet adapter Ethernet section.
Note: If youre running an old version of Windows like Windows Me or Windows 98 , you can find the private IP address by using the winipcfg command.
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How To Check If Your VPN Is Working
Is your new VPN leaking your data or giving an unreliable connection? Well show you how to perform a VPN test and check if your VPN is working properly to hide your IP address and protect your info. Then, find out why its important to protect yourself with a reliable VPN like Avast SecureLine VPN.
Using An Online Service
There are numerous services available online that promise to provide your real IP address, along with your location and other identifying information. To find your real IP address with these, follow these instructions to troubleshoot your VPNs effectiveness:
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Is My VPN Running Heres How To Find Out If VPN Is Dripping
Is my VPN Running? Heres How to find out if VPN is dripping
Every individual online is identified by her or his internet protocol address. An IP tackle is really the net identification of any net user. The ip are assigned to customers by the companys internet service provider . If somebody can track your own internet protocol address, possible quite easily observe you and your on line tasks. Right here, best a VPN could save your day!
Setting Up And Using The VPN
So, its time to use your VPN. To connect to another country, simply open the application, browse through the list of the countries available, and click on the one that you need. Once you dont need to be connected to a VPN anymore, click the Disconnect button and your connection will be back to normal.
In case you want to tweak a feature or two , youll need to open the Settings menu. There, youll be able to see all the extra features offered by your VPN.
It’s always a good idea to enable a kill switch. That way, your Internet will be shut down each time the connection to a VPN server drops. This can protect your online safety from accidental IP address leaks.
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When Should I Use A VPN
For the best security, you should use a VPN as often as possible, whether you’re using public Wi-Fi or working from homeall the time, ideally. But that’s an aspirational goal, and it’s not always achievable. If your VPN is causing problems and you need to switch if off, don’t beat yourself up. At minimum, you should use a VPN whenever you’re using a network you don’t control, and especially if it’s a public Wi-Fi network.
VPNs for Android and iPhones are a little trickier, particularly if you frequently move in and out of cellphone coverage. Each time you lose and regain data connectivity, the VPN has to reconnect, which adds a frustrating wait. It’s also just less likely that your cell traffic can be intercepted by bad guys, but we’ve seen researchers prove that it can be done.
Most mobile devices can automatically connect to any familiar looking Wi-Fi network. That’s out of convenience to you, but it’s trivially simple to impersonate a Wi-Fi network. Your phone may be connecting to a digital honeypot without you even realizing it. At minimum, you should use a VPN when connecting via Wi-Fi to keep your data safe, even if your device falls for an attack like this one.
Public Ip Vs Private Ip
A private IP address is a type of IP address that is used solely within a private network to communicate with local devices.
Each device connected to your local network has a private IP address used to communicate with other local devices, and a public IP address used to communicate outside the network.
Only your local devices can use private IP addresses to communicate: its impossible for someone outside the network to establish a connection with your private IP.
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How To Test For Dns VPN Leaks
Sometimes when you are using a VPN, a DNS leak can occur. This happens when your DNS queries are sent outside of the secure VPN encrypted tunnel and your data is sent through your default DNS servers rather than the secure, anonymous VPN server. Often, a DNS VPN leak is due to improper configuration of your network settings.
Unlike testing for a webRTC leak, the best way to check for a DNS leak is to use a website. There are a number of free websites that you can use to test for a DNS leak, such as DNSleak.com*.
If you find that youre dealing with a DNS leak, there are several fixes you can try. Visit DNSleaktest.com* to find the best solution for your situation.
Can I Use A VPN On Any Device
No matter what kind of device you use, youll most likely be able to set it up with a VPN. Thats because most VPN services offer dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS operating systems. In other words, a VPN of your choice should perfectly function on both desktop and mobile devices.
Now, if you tend to use a lot of devices at the same time , you should consider getting a VPN that allows for multiple simultaneous connections. Most of the time youll get five, however, some VPNs dont limit the number of simultaneous connections at all.
Theres also the possibility to install a VPN directly onto your router. In this way, all the devices connected to the router will use the VPN connection even those that dont support VPNs on their own. Some VPNs make the installation process easier by offering you specialized router firmware.
Finally, some VPN providers help you enhance your streaming experience by allowing you to watch geo-blocked content on smart TVs and gaming consoles. This is done with the help of SmartDNS.
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Find A Manually Configured VPN Connection
And lastly, a VPN can be configured manually, which means that it comes without an interface. Heres how to know if you have a VPN installed by checking VPN connections on Windows.
How To Set Up And Use A VPN
A VPN is one of the simplest ways to protect your privacy online. Best of all, installing and using a VPN app is easy. Whether you’re working from home because of COVID-19 or you’re using unsecured Wi-Fi in a coffee shop, this is how to do so safely!
It might sound paranoid to say you should use a virtual private network as often as possible, but there are real threats to your privacy. Whenever you connect to the internet, your internet service provider has access to everything you send and has been given the green light from Congress to sell your anonymized information to advertisers. If Coronavirus has forced you to start using public Wi-Fi, unscrupulous individuals can attempt to intercept your web traffic. Out on the wide-open internet, advertisers can track your movements between websites and discern your location by peeking at your IP address. And don’t forget what three-letter government agencies may be up toit’s scary out there!
The fact is that the internet was created for easy information exchange, not user privacy, anonymization, or encrypted communication. While HTTPS goes a long way toward protecting your information, it doesn’t guard against all ills. Unless and until a new, more private internet comes togetherdon’t hold your breathusing a VPN is the easiest way to make sure that you’re sharing as little information as possible.
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VPN Test With No Leaks
Below is a leak test result from our NordVPN review:
Above, you can see there are no leaks with the IPv4 address matching the VPN location. IPv6 was blocked and there were also no WebRTC leaks. Finally, NordVPNs encrypted DNS resolvers are handling all DNS requests. This is a perfect test result with no leaks detected.
For a list of recommended VPNs that have passed all tests with no leaks detected, see our list of the best VPNs here.
A Virtual Private Network Levels The Playing Field
However, when you go online using a VPN account, you tilt the scales in your favor. A VPN account can instantly and continuously provide
- More privacy. Your connections cannot be linked to your computerand you. You can visit any website and your ISP doesnt know where youve been.
- Better security. VPN connections are super secure. The network is hack proof and all of your Internet activity is encrypted and unreadable in transit.
- Increased website access. No more blocks or censorship. They cant prevent from getting to websites based an IP address.
- Greater anonymity. Your true IP address is hidden! Youre unidentifiable online because youre constantly using a different IP address, never your own. In fact, it typically looks as if youre in a different part of the world from where you really are.
Heres the best part. Everything else about your Internet experience stays virtually the same.
But you will have so much more going for you.
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