A Virtual Private Network (VPN) has the prime function to protect users privacy and to provide security to their data. However, if your VPN connection is inefficient to encrypt your data traffic than what’s the benefit you are getting through it?
VPN is a technology that protects user data from the snooping eyes such as hackers, governmental agencies, and ISPs. Through obscuring IP and DNS protection the user remains anonymous while web browsing.
Masked IP address helps you to bypass website restrictions and to evade the chances of your data being tracked by any third party. Whereas, your real IP address is assigned by your internet provider through which your location and web traffic are known to the ISP. For instance, you have noticed a display message like “sorry, this video is not available in your country” or a similar disclaimer while accessing a video content. This is because your real IP discloses your location and you are unable to view content which is blocked into your region.
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This is why VPN is getting an extra ordinary and exceptional attention, however, an immense rise is been seen in the VPN users. But unfortunately, many of the individuals are new to this technology and are unaware of security risks that a VPN could have.
Where a VPN Could Have Vulnerability
A recently discovered flaw that could reduce security through faulting VPN encryption is the one to which most of the people are unaware. Remote sites take benefit of the browser’s WebRTC feature, built-in to almost every browser.
This could help reveal user’s real IP address even if they have a VPN service connected into their device. Even though the websites are not using this technique up till now but, it will not remain unused by the websites such as Netflix, Hulu and other which are eagerly questing a way to block VPN users from accessing their services.
VPN obscured details, such as your real location and internet provider could be figured out through a few lines of code. WebRTC vulnerability is a web based issue but it could affect the applications that can render web pages. Snooping entities such as Governments, ISPs, Marketers and other could track your data traffic and web browsing history.
Related Article: How to hide Browsing History From ISP
Therefore, you should check your VPN connection and implement privacy measures to avoid a sudden blockade to your favorite services like BitTorrent, Netflix, or any other streaming and browsing content.
How to Check Your Traffic Encryption through Specific Tools
VPN security test could be carried out through different testing tools so as to ensure a perfectly working and secure VPN connection. The mentioned techniques are the ones which will take a few minutes and are really simple to follow. However, they can protect you from extreme data thefts, ISP snooping, government surveillance and cyber threats.
DNS Leak Test
To analyze DNS leak, you have to visit dnsleaktest.com which will verify your connection’s DNS leak issue within few seconds. First, carry out the test without enabling VPN connection and jot down your IP address and location details.
Now, turn on your VPN service and head on to the website to perform the test again. The displayed result should contain a fake IP address which is assigned to you by the VPN provider and the location must be changed according to your connected VPN server. Whereas, if your previous details are same as the one with VPN connection than your DNS is leaking.
P2P Torrent IP Address Test
P2P torrenting is the most popular cause for which the users are opting VPN services to stay anonymous. However, if your anonymity is not secure through a particular VPN than what’s the benefit of using it. Therefore, it is really important for you to carry out P2P torrent IP Address test.
Ipleak.net is an efficient application that could provide you a quick torrent IP check. Below the application, you have a torrent IP check test for which you have to download the test torrent file on your P2P client. After downloading, open and analyze the IP address details it contains. If it displays your real IP address and DNS then your VPN services are faulted and you are not secure.
IP Address Test
You should check your IP address through visiting whatismyipaddress.com. Here also if you get information which is similar to your real IP address and location than your VPN connection probably contains vulnerabilities.
However, to carry out an extended IP address test, go to the whoer.net/extended. This application will help you to analyze your VPN performance for Java and Flash which will tell that they are protected or leaking your real DNS information.
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How to Check Encryption Default on your Device
To check VPN connection on your device, there is an easy way through which you can judge the encryption performance of your VPN provider.
Analyzing Data Encryption on PC
- First, download free software such as WIRESHARK and install it into your device.
- To start the process of data analysis you should find out a web page that is not secure. For instance, the site you are choosing should not contain ‘HTTPS’ in the web address. A secure web page would make it difficult for you to figure out the encryption vulnerabilities.
- Now open WIRESHARK and click the “Capture” option shown at the top of the displayed page. After that press “options”.
- This will bring you to a different menu of the same thing as the previous one.
- Click on “Ethernet” through which you could view IP address of your router or the regular IP if you are not behind a router.
- Now hit the “start” button and reload the web page you have opened into your PC. Carry out the reloading process as quick as possible.
- Hit the Red Cross button which is displayed at the top of “Capturing from Ethernet” tab to stop a long list of capturing results that are unnecessary.
From the displayed list of captured results, you will see Protocols section which has varying protocol results such as DNS, TCP, HTTPS, etc.
- Now, click onto the different captures one by one and you will notice a lot of readable stuff such as web page names, in the text appearing below.
This is what the result is when you are not connected with a VPN provider, however, to inspect the performance of your VPN; you have to carry out the previous process again after turning on the VPN connection in your device. Whereas you must give a few seconds to your VPN for proper connection.
After carrying out the capturing process, check protocols from the displayed list. For an efficient working VPN, all the protocols should be ‘UDP’. Also, clicking the captures should display a content that is unreadable. If it is not the case then your VPN encryption is faulted and you must consider an authentic provider.
How to Protect Against such Issues
You could be an easy prey for hackers and individuals with malicious intentions if you are using an inefficient and unprotected VPN service. Most of the individuals are unaware of WebRTC vulnerability which could infect any of the VPN.
Therefore, an intelligent user must check their VPN service and should follow measures to evade the vulnerability risks. Here are some of the most convenient tips you could follow immediately to protect yourself.
Disable WebRTC in Your Browser
If you have witnessed the tests and they have worked into your browser than it is affected and you need to fix the vulnerability as soon as possible. Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera and the ones based on these, mostly enable WebRTC by default. Whereas, Internet Explorer and Safari don’t work in a similar manner until you particularly turn on WebRTC.
People would think to switch their browser to get the one without WebRTC enabled. However, preventive measures for your existing browsers are less time consuming and more effortless. Also, the users of these popular browsers wouldn’t like to switch their browser.
- For Chrome and Opera, install the Chrome Web Store extension ScriptSafe to your browser. This could be installed in Opera browser too and will disable WebRTC in your browser.
- For Firefox, you could opt between two options, either install Disable WebRTC add-on from the Mozilla Add-ons or you could disable WebRTC directly from your browser settings.
Open a tab in your Firefox browser and go to “about: config” in the URL bar. Now, find and set the “media.peerconnection.enabled” to false.
Related Article: Disable WebRTC on Firefox, Chrome and Opera – 2018
However, the efficient privacy extensions such as Adblock, PrivacyBadger, and Disconnect could help against such behavior. Although these could not stop WebRTC but will definitely update you to block WebRTC in the near future.
Many of the VPN services provide their users a trial period to check if the VPN is efficient and could provide sufficient privacy to their data or not. Therefore, it’s better to check a VPN performance through implementing these tools before considering it.
A few minute investment could save you from losing you money and most importantly your sensitive data from snoopers.