Is Your VPN a Fake? How to know if VPN is Working?

Updated on April 26, 2023
Is Your VPN a Fake? How to know if VPN is Working?

In an increasingly digital world, protecting our data has become even more critical. It’s important that you can trust your VPN to keep your data safe and secure. But how to tell if your VPN is working?

The short answer is that it’s tricky but can be done. In this article, we’ll look at some key factors to consider when evaluating whether your VPN service provider is trustworthy. We’ll also look at a few tips on checking if your VPN is secure so that you can have peace of mind while browsing and streaming online.

What Is a VPN and Why Use One?

You’re not alone if you’ve heard of a VPN but still have no idea what it is. It stands for Virtual Private Network and is an encrypted server that creates an extra layer of security between you and the internet. It’s like having your own personal tunnel between you and the internet. Your data is protected from snoopers when connected to a VPN.

VPNs provide more than just security. Users can access previously censored or blocked content, hide their IP address for better anonymity online and browse the web with complete privacy.

How to Test a VPN?

The best way to make sure your VPN is working properly is to test it. There are a few simple ways to do a VPN test:

  • Checking your IP address:

Your IP address should differ from the one you had before connecting to the VPN. You can check what IP address you have on a website such as what is my IP.

Checking your IP address:
  • Visiting region-blocked content:

If you’re trying to access region-blocked content, connecting to a VPN should allow you access that you wouldn’t have had before. You can test this by visiting a blocked website in another country and seeing if your location changes or by using a service such as Netflix or Hulu and switching regions after connecting to the VPN.

Visiting region-blocked content:
  • Running speed tests:

When connected to a VPN, your connection speed will often change depending on the server’s location. To test this, compare download speeds with and without the VPN by running speed tests on sites like Speedtest.

By running these tests, you can understand whether your VPN is working properly and help ensure that your data remains secure and private while online.

Running speed tests:

How to Know if a VPN Is Working?

If you’re wondering if my VPN working or not, it’s pretty simple.

  • First, your IP address should show the location of the country or region that you’ve chosen in your VPN settings. This IP address change confirms that your activity is routed through the VPN.
  • You can also check for DNS leaks. A DNS leak is when DNS requests (requests from your computer to access a website) bypass the VPN tunnel and use your actual public IP address instead. These types of leaks are common, and unless you use a reliable and secure VPN, you might be at risk of having your true IP address revealed. Luckily, there are tools that you can use to test for DNS leaks, like DNS leak test.
  • Run an internet speed test to ensure your connection is running smoothly with the changes. If things seem slower than usual or unreliable when connected to a VPN server, it could mean that the server isn’t configured correctly or something else is at fault, causing an issue with speed and stability.

How to Properly Test Your VPN Connection?

Here are two methods you can use to test it:

Method 1: Website visits from different locations

This method is pretty simple.  All you have to do is visit websites from different locations and see if you can access region or country-restricted content. For example, if you’re in Saudi Arabia, you should be able to access YouTube once you’ve connected to a VPN server based in another country. If that works, then your VPN is probably working properly.

Method 2: Speed test

Another way to check whether your VPN connection is up and running is to do a speed test. To do this, run a speed test on the server closest to your actual physical location and then compare those results with the speeds that show when running a speed test on various servers available through your VPN provider. If your connection speeds remain steady no matter what server you’re connected to then that means that your VPN connection has been set up correctly and is doing its job of protecting your privacy and anonymity online.

Checking Connectivity With DNS Leak Test

Now, how do you know if your VPN is working? You can test it out with a DNS leak test. This is a quick and easy way to see if your internet traffic is securely passing through the VPN tunnel.

Conducting a DNS leak test doesn’t require any special knowledge or technical skills. It only takes a few clicks! Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Go to https://www.astrill.com/dns-leak-test
  2. Run the extended test and confirm that all results show your VPN connection is working properly and not leaking any information.
  3. If there are any inconsistent results, contact the customer service for help.
  4. Make sure you repeat this process every month or so just to ensure that everything is secure.
  5. If you find that it isn’t working properly or experiencing slow speeds, it might be time to switch providers or upgrade your existing service.

Evaluating VPN Speed and Performance

One key element to evaluate when you want to know if your VPN is working is by testing for speed and performance. After all, what’s the point of using a VPN if it slows down your connection?

Fortunately, you don’t need any special tools or skills to test a VPN’s speed and performance. All you need to do is run a few tests and compare the results with your basic internet connection.

So what should you look for? Here are three key elements:

  1. Download Speed: This measures the rate at which data is transmitted from the server to your device, and naturally the faster it is the better.
  2. Latency (or Ping): This measures how long it takes for data sent from your device to reach its destination and return, and this value should be as low as possible.
  3. Upload Speed: This measures the rate at which data moves from your computer or device to the server and again, a high speed here is preferable.

You can use a service like AstrillVPN to measure all three of these elements easily on any device connected to a VPN network so you can have peace of mind that it’s not slowing down your connection significantly compared with an unprotected one.

Checking for Fake Encryption?

One of the biggest threats to your online privacy and security is a fake VPN. You can’t be too careful when it comes to your security so it’s important to know how to spot a fake encryption. Here are some tips to help you tell if your VPN is actually working:

Check the config files

If you’re familiar with how VPNs work, you should check the configuration files to make sure that they’re set up correctly. This means looking at things like server IP addresses, encryption protocols and firewalls. A fake encryption will often have configurations that don’t match what legitimate services use.

Look for an audit certification

A good indicator of a legitimate VPN service is if the company has undergone an independent audit. These audits can show that the VPN service follows industry standards for privacy and security and that data isn’t being shared with third parties without permission.

Do a speed test

A great way to tell if your connection is secure is to do a speed test from outside. If you’re connected via a VPN, the performance should be equal regardless of where you get on the connection from so if there’s any drop in performance, it could be an indicator of a fake encryption.

Best Practices When Using a VPN

It’s important to have the best practices in mind when using a VPN because you want to make sure that everything is working correctly. One of the most reliable methods is to use a VPN that uses strong encryption like AstrillVPN.

AstrillVPN will make sure that your data is encrypted so only authorized people can access it. Not only that but it also provides other features like split tunneling and kill-switch, which will help you stay safe while browsing online.

FAQs

Here are some answers to those FAQs.

Q: Is my VPN always on?`

Yes, it is supposed to be. If your VPN isn’t always on, check to make sure it is configured correctly and that you don’t have any connection problems.

Q: Is it easy to tell if someone is using a VPN?

No. The only way to tell if someone is using a VPN would be with specialized software or by analyzing the traffic going through their connection.

Q: Can someone track you even if you are using a VPN?

Yes, they can potentially track your activity online via your IP address and other identifiers associated with the same IP address. A good quality and trusted VPN can help prevent this from happening.

Q: Does a VPN turn on automatically?

Most modern consumer-grade virtual private networks (VPNs) activate automatically when launched and will keep running until you quit the application or disable the feature in the settings menu.

Conclusion

Choosing a reliable and trustworthy VPN is key for secure browsing and it’s important to stay vigilant about what you’re signing up for. There are many fake VPN apps and services out there, so it’s worth checking with the provider and conducting your own tests to ensure you’re getting the security and privacy you need.

The key is to do your research and choose a reputable VPN provider. Read reviews, research their policies, run a VPN test and ensure you’re comfortable with their level of privacy and security. It’s also a good idea to periodically revisit your research and ensure the provider you chose still has your best interests in mind.

About The Author

Bisma Farrukh

Bisma is a seasoned writer passionate about topics like cybersecurity, privacy and data breach issues. She has been working in VPN industry for more than 5 years now and loves to talk about security issues. She loves to explore the books and travel guides in her leisure time.

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