If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’re already aware that virtual private networks (VPNs) are a pretty handy tool when it comes to keeping your digital security in check. A VPN can be used to securely connect to public Wi-Fi networks, thereby protecting your personal data as you stream movies or download software. In this article we will discuss some of the most common methods to ensure you know your VPN is working properly.
Checking The IP
No, we don’t mean the food group. When you connect to a VPN, your computer’s IP address will change to something that looks more like this: 18.104.22.168. This is the IP address of the VPN server that you’re connecting to (in this case, IPVanish). Your device will retain the IP address of the server (in this case, 22.214.171.124) even when you’re connected to a different server. So it’s important to check this number to see if everything is functioning as it should.
To find out your current IP address, you can either use your device’s network setting or open a web browser and type in http://whatismyipaddress.com/. When you visit the website, you’ll see a list of the IP addresses currently being used by computers on the network you’re connected to. Your IP address will be revealed along with the rest of the network’s IPv4 addresses.
Now, if your IP address is not on the list (or if it’s not a valid IP address), it could mean your device is experiencing connection issues (this is especially common with shared devices such as mobile phones or laptops). If this is the case, try to restart your device or contact the device’s service provider for assistance.
Checking The Subdomain
When we use the term VPN, we typically mean a virtual private network established by a VPN provider. However, there is a type of VPN–known as a ‘hybrid VPN’–that is established using a public network such as the internet and has the appearance of a traditional VPN. For example, if you were to visit https://secure.myvpnservice.com/ (this is a fake exampleURL), you would first see something like this:
Then, once you’ve logged in you would see this:
This type of VPN is useful in situations where you need an easy way to briefly connect to a VPN before connecting to a public network. As you can see, the appearance is that of a regular VPN, but under the hood, this is a hybrid VPN.
Checking DNS Leaks
DNS is an abbreviation for Domain Name System. When you connect to a VPN, it changes the way your device’s network address is structured and presented to the internet. For example, if you were to connect to www.google.com using your device’s normal connection settings, the address would normally look like this: 126.96.36.199. However, if you were to connect to the same website while using a VPN, the address would instead look like this: 188.8.131.52. This is why it’s important to check DNS lookups when using a VPN.
If you’re worried about your privacy, you can use an encrypted DNS service like Cloudflare DNS. To access it, visit https://dns.cloudflare.com/ and enter the domain name you want to use in the search bar. If everything looks okay, simply click the Lock icon to proceed to the login page.
After you’ve logged in, you can click the Settings link and then click the IP Settings tab to see the full list of IP addresses currently being used by computers on the system. Your DNS settings will be displayed along with the rest of the system’s entries.
Monitoring Bandwidth Consumption
Bandwidth is another way of saying speed or capacity. When you connect to a VPN, your device will need to consume more bandwidth in order to process security-related data. Everything you do on the internet while connected to a VPN will count towards your monthly data usage. This is why it’s important to monitor your bandwidth consumption when using a VPN.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by using a VPN software provider’s bandwidth management tool. These tools allow you to easily monitor and limit your VPN’s bandwidth consumption. You can decide how much data you need every month and set limits accordingly.
Avoiding IP Conflicts
When we use the term ‘public Wi-Fi’, we typically mean an access point that is linked to the internet and shared with various devices. These devices could be computers, tablets, or mobile phones. As we mentioned, when you use a VPN, your IP address will change to that of the specific server you’re connecting to, thereby preventing you from being identified by the device that you’re connecting to. However, this does not mean that your VPN will always be able to protect you from being identified by other devices on the same network.
As a general rule, if you’re going to be using a VPN, then avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi with the intent of accessing content that is restricted to certain regions or countries. This is because the service you’re using may be blocked by your device’s country settings, preventing you from viewing the content you’re trying to access. If this is the case, then you’ll need to find another way to access the content you need (such as through a virtual private network).
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, suppose you’re in New York City and you need to access Netflix. Even though the service is blocked by your device’s country settings, you could use a VPN to access Netflix’s US library of content. This is because Netflix’s servers are located in the US and not in your country (at least not yet). Thus, connecting to a VPN in this case could allow you to access content that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.
Using A VPN To Access Geo-Restricted Content
It’s important to keep in mind that not all content is available to all users. This can be because of geographical restrictions, copyright restrictions, or the type of device you’re using. For example, Netflix is mostly available in the US, but it can’t be accessed in some countries. This is why it’s important to know which countries your device can access and which ones it can’t.
In this case, a VPN is an excellent way to gain access to content that is restricted to certain regions or countries. For example, if you’re in the UK but need to access US Netflix, you could use a VPN to do so. Once you’re connected, you can simply search for “Netflix” and then use the website’s embedded VPN app to connect to Netflix’s US servers. This will allow you to watch all of the shows and films available on the platform.
If you have a need or want to access content that is only available in a specific country, you can use a VPN to do so. For example, if you’re in Canada but need to access Netflix, you could use a VPN to do so. Once you’re connected, you can simply search for “Netflix” and then use the website’s embedded VPN app to connect to Netflix’s US servers. This will allow you to watch all of the shows and films available on the platform.
Of course, this is all assuming that you have a valid reason for wanting to access the content. If you do decide to use a VPN for this purpose, then make sure that you’re aware of the legal, geo-political, and security implications of doing so. Remember, you’re giving up control of your personal data by connecting to a VPN, so make sure you’re aware of the risks involved.
Monitoring Your Connections
Once you’ve logged in to your VPN account, you can click the Settings link to access the account’s settings. From here you can view a list of the services the network has enabled. You can disable or change any service that you do not want to use (or need to use with restrictions).
If you’re accessing a service that is already enabled, simply click on the enabled button next to it to enter its settings page. You can then change the settings for that particular service, as needed. If you’re not sure what a service is or whether or not it’s safe to use, then it’s best to leave it enabled and change its settings only if needed. Checking for updates frequently is also a smart move to ensure you’re always up-to-date with the newest security measures and features.