How to Prevent DNS Leaks When Using a VPN
Using a VPN is the easiest way to stay anonymous online. It takes just a few simple clicks and some information to mask your location from any site that you visit. A DNS leak can entirely void the purpose of a VPN. A domain name system (DNS) is a system that links URLs and IP addresses. When browsing a website, it sends a request to a DNS server containing the URL that is visited, and it points to the right IP address.
When you use a VPN (virtual private network), the request is sent to an anonymous DNS server through the VPN and not directly through the browser, making sure that the ISP is not monitoring the connection. Sometimes browsers will ignore the use of a VPN and will send the DNS request right to the ISP. This is called a DNS leak and will lead someone to believe that they are staying anonymous when in reality they are not. This is how to keep that from happening.
Diagnose the Leak
When a computer is using the default settings and is not routing DNS applications by means of the VPN’s DNS server, this will not be obvious. It will be necessary to perform a leak test. You can visit cryptoip.info for the test. After the test is run, you will know your DNS leak status and can continue on appropriately.
Change DNS Servers
The default DNS server is more than likely the one that the ISP assigned, and one of the easiest ways to make sure that the ISP is not seeing your online activity is to change your DNS server. Even if leaks are not a huge concern to you, this might still be a good idea because it can result in faster internet speeds while stopping a DNS leak as well. There are DNS servers that exist that will provide you with great security and performance, and are well-maintained to prevent DNS leaks.
Use VPN with DNS Leak Protection
A number of VPNs come with a property that can allow for monitoring your DNS requests to make sure that they are going through the VPN rather than directly to the ISP (this is what causes the DNS leaks). To see if a VPN has this, open the settings and there should be an option that checks for and prevents DNS leaks.
Use VPN Monitoring Software
Some software that monitors VPNs will also include support in the event of a DNS leak. This might only be available in the premium version of some software, but some VPN monitoring software does include a monitoring option for those that are concerned about a DNS leak or online security hacking.
This is a Windows-based technology that will allow for communication across two IP protocols, but sometimes this software will cause DNS leaks, so it would be wise to disable it if there is worry for the leaks. To deactivate Teredo, you will need to open up the command space and enter this in: “netsh interface teredo set state disabled” (no quotation marks). If the times comes to enable Teredo again at some point, type in the following command: “netsh interface teredo set state type=default” (no quotation marks).
Some people that use a VPN are under the impression that their information has become totally secure, when in reality there may be leaks for one reason or another. For those who are concerned about their private information being sent to their ISP through a DNS leak, it is vital to perform all of the necessary tasks to stop and prevent leaks from happening when using a VPN.