How to check if my VPN is working

Last updated: January 6, 2021
VPN tutorial - How to check if my VPN is working

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If you’re one of the VPN users asking “how to check if my VPN is working?” or “how can I test my Virtual Private Network?”, we’re here for you. It is reasonable to be concerned whether it’s working or not. Even with the best VPN providers there is always a potential for an IP leak to develop while on a VPN connection.

Several things can be done to help you check and see that your Virtual Private Network is actually running right and that it is protecting your data. For web browsing, the basic tests may be all that you need. However, for p2p file-sharing, you will want to use more advanced DNS leak test, to make certain that your VPN is working accurately and keeping you safe from online fraudsters. You also need to take a cautious look at how your VPN is organized and managed, so you can secure a proper VPN connection. Here are several ways that can be done to help you check and see if your Virtual Private Network is actually running right.

Tests to check if a VPN is working

Basic IP Address Test

IP Address Test

One of the simplest ways to check if your VPN is working is to do a routine IP address test – check VPN location. First, before connecting to your Virtual Private Network, visit an IP check website, or simply type ‘what is my IP’ in Google, to see what your IP address is. This should be your authentic IP address, currently provided to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and can be traced back to you from the ISP’s records. Next, connect the VPN software and use the same site to check the detected IP address. The IP address should be different. If it is not, then the VPN is not working. Besides, the new IP address issued by your Virtual Private Network provider should match with the country’s server you chose in your VPN app.

You can perform this IP test at any given time to see if you’re regular IP or your VPN IP is being used. But are there other ways how to check if my vpn is working, you may ask. And, the answer is: Yes, of course.

The extended IP address test

An extended IP test is a more detailed analysis for a VPN detection leak and the browser as well. Different websites such as https://ipleak.net/ or https://whoer.net/ carry out this test. It checks your Flash, Java, and DNS to ensure they are not leaking your IP or DNS. The extended IP test searches all the sources within your browser and displays the IP detected. This makes certain that no other IP address is detected or only the Virtual Private Network IP address appears. If the VPN IP address shows up, there is a leak, and your VPN is not working.

Use a DNS leak test

The DNS leak test is the most common and important leak of all. It takes some time since it tests a VPN server and sometimes your computer may freeze. Once the test has been run, check your DNS hostname and IP address. Ensure that any of the possible DNS servers that show up are not related to your ISP. You may see a range of DNS hosts, which is good. The only thing you need to ensure is that DNS is not your personal. If it is, you are not properly protected by your VPN.

Do a torrent test

check my ip

A torrent IP address test works by downloading a torrent test on a p2p user. It reviews IP information that you are using and tests VPN server. You can tell that you are secure if your VPN address is shown and not the IP address provided by your ISP. Your VPN-based information should be the only points that are listed on the site.

WebRTC test page

Visit WebRTC test page and note the IP address displayed on the page. If it’s not your VPN IP address, then your VPN is not working properly. WebRTC is a protocol that lets your web browser control peripherals like a webcam. But it can also be used maliciously to trick your browser into exposing your non-VPN IP address.

What should you do if your VPN is not working?

If your VPN is not working, you will always get an IP leak. So what should you do?

  • Report to your Virtual Private Network provider immediately.
  • You will have to close the VPN application and reconnect.
  • You can also opt for a VPN service with a flash or Java test to look at how well the Flash plugin or Java is being used. This should be monitored based on how a connection is established and if there are problems relating to the Virtual Private Network.
  • You must also look at the ports used for a P2P connection. Check if they are correctly aligned so you can get a clear idea of how your setup is being run.
  • Make sure to look how well your VPN is being connected. You must get it tested so you can ensure there are no problems involved where your IP might leak.

In an ideal case, “how to check if my vpn is working?” is not a question any longer. But please feel free to leave your comment below if we can help with any related questions you may have.

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9 comments
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  1. Duncan Riordan

    Hello,
    I use Express VPN. Sometimes when I run a DNS test I get a failed test because Avast sro are on the test. I us AVG as my anti virus package, bought out by Avast. No problems on my phone just the computer. I would appreciate some help


    1. Benjamin Jordan

      Hey Duncan,

      I bumped into the same issue.
      There were DNS leaks whenever I ran DNS leak test.

      I found out it was because the “Real Site” feature in Avast Premium Security was turned on.
      As the “Real Site” feature redirects your traffic to one of Avast’s servers to check whether the website you’re visiting is safe.

      I turned this feature off and it has been all good since.
      No more DNS leaks from various DNS leak test websites (expressvpn.com, ipleak.net, dnsleaktest.com).
      And Avast still protects my PC by blocking websites that contain malicious coding.


    2. Julie Cole Author

      Hey Duncan, thanks for stopping by. I would suggest turning off your antivirus while you’re doing a DNS leak test. If you’re doing plenty of those and it’s a nuisance to turn the VPN on and off every time, consider contacting ExpressVPN and/or Avast support. Maybe it’s a known issue that can be solved easily.


  2. Zeke Krahlin

    Your “Download test torrent file” link doesn’t work. 🙁


    1. Julie Cole Author

      Hi, Zeke, thanks for stopping by! I’ve checked all the links and they seem to be fine. That was probably some temporary issue. I hope it works for you now as well.


  3. 7889Savannah.May

    There are little things we neglect while using VPN or perhaps we simply do not know. Like checking the working status of our VPN. A basic test to ensure our web activities are protected may be all we need


  4. Kamron Cash

    I discovered some strange pop-up on my screen and the question on my mind in recent times is “how do I check if my VPN is working”? Now, you’ve been able to put that mind disturbing question to rest. Thank you so much


  5. Sammie Yung

    What if one gets a WebRTC Control that helps to disable | enable your real IP will that helps protect against the leaking your real IP when using A VPN?


  6. BarneyH

    I didn’t know there were so many tools to check if a VPN is working or not. It’s not a bad thing though, knowing if your VPN works is really important! Thanks a lot for the guide.

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