There is no denying integrity and confidentiality of data has turned to be one of the biggest online concerns. Likewise, the increase in number of DNS leak issues has added fuel to the fire when it comes to exploring various measures that relate to secure web browsing.
In this guide, I would like to highlight DNS leak issues and how you can keep your privacy intact through DNS leak test. To prevent IP leaks or other leak tests, make sure you have the best VPN in the first place.
What is DNS and how it Works?
DNS is a Domain Name System that allows your devices to communicate with the internet system appropriately. In the absence of DNS, the internet will not work and provide you the required browsing results.
Whether you use Windows, Mac, Android or iOS, all devices have an IP address. This IP address helps computer systems or devices in working and recognizing together. Furthermore, it aids your browser in identifying the devices to whom results should be delivered.
Image Credit: TechNet
If you enter a URL www.vpnranks.com into your browser then the browser will send the request to your DNS server. Hence, the DNS server transfers the request to IP address set up for that particular domain name.
Through IP address, your browser shows your desired website in no time.
What is a DNS Leak and how can it affect us?
At times, a VPN is unable to secure user device’s DNS query despite the rest of internet traffic is masked through VPN tunnel. You may term this situation as a DNS leak. As a result, online snoopers or other unwanted personnel can trace your online activities.
In general term, DNS acts like an internet address book. Therefore, it influences your online privacy a great deal. Whatever you do over the internet becomes visible. The browser as well as other apps uses DNS to explore servers that manage sites and services you visit.
Likewise, your device sends its queries to a DNS server and the server sends direction back to your searches. This is how DNS leak can cause privacy hassles to another level.
How can I check If my VPN is safeguarding me or not?
You will have to rely on DNS leak test that provides enough insights about a VPN effectiveness. In order to perform the leak test, you just have to connect to a VPN provider whose server is present outside your country. Hence, you can use different tools like http://dnsleak.com/to check if your VPN leaks your DNS or not.
However, bear in mind that DNS leaks do not expose your actual IP address. It exposes your ISP IP address. This way, your original IP address can be exposed too.
Why do I need to check DNS if I am already using a VPN?
There are chances your device might send DNS traffic outside the VPN tunnel. Likewise, it may send DNS traffic within the VPN tunnel but to unknown DNS server. Therefore, unwanted third parties can trace your web surfing and other online tasks.
Hence, you are bound to perform DNS leak test even you are protected through a VPN. If you want to know how to test for DNS leak, use online privacy tools like www.doileak.com, https://whatismyip.live/dns-lookup and others.
How does my VPN leak DNS?
Unfortunately, you can become a victim of DNS leak if these two below mentioned situations arise:
- Your device directs DNS traffic outside the VPN tunnel
- Your device directs DNS traffic with the help of VPN tunnel but do not send to your VPN DNS servers
As a result, third parties may trace your online activities like list of websites. Similarly, they can monitor your activities through your apps too.
Image Credit: The Windows Club
What causes DNS leak?
Sadly, different factors can lead to DNS leakage issue. Therefore, you have to perform DNS leak test to secure your privacy. Here is the list of those factors that may contribute towards DNS leaking hassle:
- You are not using a VPN app
- If your router is controlled by hacker
- If you have done manual DNS setup
You are not using a VPN app
In case you have performed manual VPN configuration, risks of DNS leaks improve to another level. Thus, you should consider using VPN apps to overcome DNS leak problems.
If your router is controlled by hacker
If you are using a public Wi-Fi, a hacker can disclose your DNS traffic by sending it outside of VPN tunnel. Hence, you need to avail a VPN service that offers DNS leak protection feature.
If you have done manual DNS setup
If you have categorically explained to your operating about not using DNS servers of your VPN services, you may find yourself in trouble. By conducting DNS leak fix process; you can avoid anticipating DNS leaking issues.
How to test for DNS leaks?
You can test for DNS leaks through a simple procedure. Here is how you can do:
- Go to DNS leak test website
- You should check if displayed IP address and location correlate with your actual IP address and location
- If this is the case, you are exposing your true identity
- Either your VPN is not working or not connected
- During the best DNS test if your actual ISPs DNS servers are not shown, your VPN is working and your traffic is protected
Image Credit: Dark Web News
How your IP could be leaked?
You may face IP leak hassles in different ways. You may contemplate these IP leaks in the form of torrent DNS IP leak, WebRTC DNS leak and VPN IP DNS leak.
Torrent DNS IP leak
Surprisingly, your IP addresses can be identified through torrenting process. When you conduct torrenting task, your torrent client can insert your IP address into various packets it delivers to tracker. Check out best VPN for torrenting to bypass the above problem instantly.
WebRTC DNS leak
WebRTC, commonly known as Web real-time communication is a process by which users can perform tasks like audio and video call within web browsers. Sadly, the above-explained procedure may become a cause of WebRTC DNS leak issue.
VPN IP DNS leak
When you use a VPN, you can hide all your online activities. However, your DNS queries are not limited to an unknown network as it is directed to local network, which your system knows. The DNS queries are sent to neighboring DNS server straightaway without the protection of a VPN.
The neighboring DNS server identifies all your DNS queries you make. This way, your actual IP is exposed
Major DNS leak issues explored
You may face different DNS leak issues like irregular network configuration, IPv6 and Windows OS versions. Here is the list of crucial DNS leak hassles that consists of:
Irregular network configuration
Netizens from all around the world uses different Wi-Fi connections like office Wi-Fi, home Wi-Fi, and public Wi-Fi. You may anticipate unstable DNS system issue that could lead to DNS leak in the end.
The number of internet-connected devices is increasing at a humongous pace. Consequently, demand of unused IP addresses are on the higher side. But, the IP addresses are low in IPv4. Hence, IPv4 has been replaced by IPv6.
The transition phenomenon between IPv4 and IPv6 protocols has improved the chances of DNS leak hassles
Windows OS versions
Unfortunately, the latest versions of Windows have also increased the probability of DNS leak problems considerably. The feature of smart multi-homed named resolution is included in Windows 8 and other latest versions.
The said benefit improves your internet browsing speeds and sends request to all available DNS servers. Thus, you may face DNS leak issues on your latest Windows devices.
How can I prevent DNS leak?
The procedure of DNS leak prevention is a detailed one. Still, you should perform this process to attain online freedom. It is not a bad idea if you apply DNS leak security method on your browsers and operating systems.
Once you have secured your devices including browsers and operating systems through DNS leak protection process, you can conduct DNS leak test to check the reality.
VPN Services that Leak Users’ DNS
Unfortunately, you cannot trust every single VPN provider when it comes to bypassing DNS leak hassles. This issue arises when DNS prefetching process takes places on Chrome browsers automatically. Google Chrome offers a built-in advantage in the form of DNS prefetching that resolves domain names before a user attempts to follow a link.
When a user surfs the web through VPN browser extensions, Chrome offers two kinds of modes like fixed servers and pac script. In case of fixed servers mode, extension identifies the host of a HTTPS/SOCKS proxy server. Hence, all connection passes through proxy server later.
Similarly, in case of pac script, extension delivers a PAC script that helps in changing the HTTPS/SOCKS proxy server with different conditions. But, the issue of DNS leak becomes visible when PAC script is used and DNS prefetching also works simultaneously.
The HTTP proxy does not endorse the process of proxying DNS request. Furthermore, Chrome does not support DNS over SOCKS protocol. Therefore, prefetched DNS requests pass through system DNS. This way, DNS leak problem takes place.
Here is the list of VPN services you should avoid using in future that cause DNS leak:
VPN Services that offer DNS leak Prevention Benefit
Luckily, you have various online privacy options at your disposal that allow you to safeguard your digital identity. Here is the list of VPN services those provide DNS leak prevention to their users:
Privacy Brands that provide DNS leak test tool to subscribers
Fortunately, various online privacy brands take their users’ privacy quite seriously. These VPN services have offered DNS leak prevention tool on their official websites. Thus, privacy seekers can check either their VPN services are leaking their DNS or not. These are:
- Hidester VPN
How to test a VPN if it is leaking your DNS?
The task of testing DNS leak issue is simple and does not need any rocket science. This way, you can check either your VPN provider is experiencing DNS leaking issue or not. Here is how you should do:
- You should enable your VPN Chrome extension
- Go to Chrome://net-internals/#dns
- Click “clear host cache”
- You can visit any site to check the issue
DNS Leak Problem Solution
Interestingly, you can still combat the issue of DNS leak proactively. Here is the list of action you should perform:
- From the search bar, go to Chrome>Settings
- Write ‘Predict’ in “Search settings” and deactivate “Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs” option
- Inactivate “ Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly” option too
This is how you can overcome DNS leak hassle a great deal.
DNS Leak Test Reddit Reviews
Reddit has become a go-to platform when users from all around the world need to explore relevant and unbiased reviews about different services and products. You can opt the famous interactive community to find out efficient leak test tools hassle-free.
Here is the comment of one Reddit user indicating about the effectiveness of another DNS test tool.
Another Reddit user has identified testing tool that may secure your privacy from DNS leaking problems to certain degree.
Avast Secureline does not show up your original IP address during leak test. Likewise, it does not reveal your actual IP address when you go through IP and WebRTC leaks tests.
You can find out your DNS server by typing “ipconfig/all” at the command prompt. Thus, you should press the “Enter” key. You should search for the field termed as “DNS Servers”. This way, you can explore primary and secondary DNS servers.
The task of DNS settings is simple but a detailed one. Here is how you can do on your Windows devices:
- Open Control Panel by clicking on Windows button
- Click Control Panel then type “Network and Sharing” from upper right hand corner
- Click on “Network and Sharing Center” and click “Change Adapter Settings” too
- You should right click on network adapter you want to use and click Properties
- Choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties
- Ensure you do not have the SCS DNS entries described under Use the following DNS server addresses
- Opt obtain DNS server address automatically
You can reset your DNS server on Windows 10 devices after following below mentioned steps:
- You should right click Start menu and choose “Network connection”
- Right click on network connection you are using and choose Properties
- Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), click on Properties again
- Kindly ensure you have opted “Obtain IP address automatically and “Obtain DNS server Automatically”
- Click “OK” and exit from all the Windows
Here is the list of 5 best public DNS servers that includes:
- Norton ConnectSafe
- Commodo Secure DNS
- Google Public DNS Server
- DNS Advantage
You should consider DNS leak issue seriously, as it can harm your online privacy and anonymity a great deal.
In this scenario, you should contact customer support section of your VPN service at the earliest.
I hope you would have appreciated my guide.DNS leaks have become alarming threats. They pose serious question marks on users’ privacy even in the presence of such a unique commodity like VPN.
Still, you should not lose your hopes as I have described various DNS leaks in detail. I have also mentioned steps that relate to best DNS leak test. This way, you can secure your privacy to another level.
Feel free to share your thoughts in comments section below.