One of the main reasons why people use a VPN is to disguise their identity and keep their online activities private. A VPN encrypts your traffic, protecting it from eavesdroppers and ensuring that not even your ISP can see what you are up to when you are connected to internet. This technology also allows you to change your IP address, which is not only useful to bypass geographical blocks (when you connect to a server in another country where the content you want to watch is available), but also to mask your identity.
Your real IP address is masked with one used by the VPN and if your provider doesn’t keep logs and has a strong commitment to privacy, tracing the IP address back to you will be practically impossible. Routing all traffic from your computer through a VPN network will add a strong layer of privacy, but if there are any leaks your activity and your identity can be exposed. This is why it is crucial to check if your VPN is not letting your real information leak through a security gap.
There are different issues that should be considered and that could affect the security of your VPN. If your real IP address is revealed while you are connected to internet using a VPN, it means that the service is not working as it should. It may be that it is not configured correctly, or simply that the service itself is not effective. Another way in which the privacy of your traffic may be compromised, even if you are using a VPN is a DNS leak.
DNS stands for Dynamic Name System and it is used to translate domain names we are used to (such as www.google.com) into numerical IP addresses that machines can understand. The process is usually carried out by your ISP using its own DNS servers, but when you use a VPN, the DNS request is sent through the VPN tunnel directly to your VPN provider’s DNS servers. If the DNS request is sent to the ISP’s servers instead of the VPN’s, a DNS leak occurs.
IP and DNS leaks are serious threats to the privacy of your connection because they can give away your location and information such as your ISP, which will help to narrow down the search if someone is following your tracks online. In order to prevent DNS leaks, it is important to choose a VPN that features protection against them. Additionally, it is advisable to opt for shared IPs as they offer a higher level of anonymity. Most VPN providers offer this option by default which simply means that several people are using the same IP, which keeps your identity difficult to discover. The below providers are ideal for hiding your IP because they offer high encryption, many servers and more importantly, DNS leaks protection. Additionally, they have strong privacy policies, accept anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin and offer reliability and efficient performance.
VPNArea is one of the most complete solutions in terms of privacy and security. They support a remarkable selection of security features that will keep your traffic protected. The kill switch function ensures that your IP address is not disclosed, even if the VPN connection suddenly drops. This function closes all internet applications if the VPN fails, so your real IP will not be exposed. They also have DNS leak protection and IPv6 protection as well. VPNArea has a no logs policy and provides high encryption to prevent eavesdropping.
NordVPN is one of the most recognized and respected names in the VPN industry. They support a fantastic selection of features that will keep your traffic secure and private. First, they have a no logs policy that means that they don’t monitor any aspect of your use of the service. NordVPN also offers strong encryption, shared IPs to make it more difficult for others to trace you and of course, they protect your DNS queries to avoid any leaks. They have more than 700 servers in over 50 countries and their network is regularly updated.
ExpressVPN’s client features DNS leak protection and it is very easy to use. Additionally, they have a large network of servers across 87 countries and no usage logs are kept so your browsing, communications and all your online activities will remain private. ExpressVPN is also known for providing impressive speeds for streaming and gaming and they have a SmartDNS solution as well. This is a good option if you want to disguise your IP address but are more concerned about speed than security. If security is your priority, you’ll be glad to know that ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is remarkably strong.
PureVPN gives you access to more than 500 servers in 141 countries. This gives you several options to disguise your IP address, no matter where you are. Their policy states that they don’t keep logs of your online activities. PureVPN also protects your data with high encryption and it offers additional security options like Kill Switch and SecureDNS, which protects you against DNS leaks.