We have already spoken several times about VPN connections and their main purpose, which is to protect our traffic through encryption so that we can hide our personal information and our identity from anyone who may be monitoring the network and, in many cases, even protect our privacy, Unfortunately, not all DNS are equally secure, and not all of them have security features and measures that protect us from major vulnerabilities, such as DNS leaks.
There are several ways to connect to a VPN server to protect our traffic. Depending on the service and the protocol that we are going to use, we can connect from a client installed on our computer, thus encrypting all the traffic generated on the computer, whether it comes from the browser or any other application, or using an extension for Google Chrome or Firefox, encrypting all browser traffic, but leaving the rest of the traffic of other applications unencrypted.
Once connected to a VPN server, our traffic is already protected, to a greater or lesser extent, but protected. However, there may be some weaknesses in this security that may endanger our connections, and this is what we will learn to identify below.
How to verify that our VPN works and that we are not compromising our data
The first thing we should check to make sure we are correctly connected to the VPN server is the IP that identifies us on the Internet. When we connect to this type of servers, in broad strokes what we are doing is establishing a private communication with the server so that, instead of sending our traffic directly to a remote server, we do it to the VPN server and, from it, It is sent to the remote server as if it were he who sent it.
Therefore, one of the basic elements to verify that our VPN works correctly is to check our IP. When we connect to the Internet directly, facing the servers we will be reflecting our public IP, as well as our location. However, if we have connected through a VPN the thing changes, and instead of appearing our public IP we should see another IP, that of the remote server, along with its location.
If the IP shown on this page does not match our public IP provided by our Internet provider, the connection, at least from the browser, is being made correctly. We can also check our IP from other applications, or from other browsers such as Internet Explorer, to ensure that all our traffic is being adequately protected, not just that of a browser.
The IP address identifies your computer on a network. In the case of the Internet, it is the address that makes your connection unique to other users. Thanks to your IP, servers and other online services know where they have to send you the information you ask.
What IP address do I need to be the host in a video game?
To create a game and that your friends can access the machine you need to provide the public IP that appears in this section. Depending on your operator and the type of connection it can be fixed or static. In case you have an FTP server you also have to provide this address.
Once you have your IP, you should check that you also have the port that corresponds to your network game or application open. Use our port test for this task.
DNS leaks can also be a problem
One of the weakest points of our connection is the requests to the DNS server. This may allow, when we visit a website, when making the corresponding query to the DNS server our IP is filtered, as well as the website we visit, which can pose a danger to our privacy, since such information could be collected, for example, by large organizations.
We can check if DNS requests are also filtered from the following link. If, when performing the tests, different servers appear to our DNS, then this information is being filtered despite being connected by VPN to the network.
Do you usually verify the correct functioning of your network when you connect through a VPN server?