Can VPN prevent DDoS attacks? How does it work?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • We've already agreed that VPNs can generally prevent a wide range of issues from occurring on your system, but can VPN prevent DDoS?
  • Realistically speaking, any VPN that can hide your IP address and keep it hidden from prying eyes can be very effective against DoS or DDoS attacks.
  • Check out our best VPNs that can protect you against DDoS attacks effectively.
  • Visit the Security Hub to learn more about keeping your device's security at optimal levels.
Can VPN prevent DDoS attacks?
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We’ve already agreed that VPNs can generally prevent a wide range of issues from occurring on your system, but can VPN prevent DDoS? If you’re not exactly tech-savvy, you might not be aware of DoS and DDoS attacks.

These are not exactly dangerous for the casual Internet user, as they can cause mere interruptions. However, when it comes to large organizations or online-based utility services, these can be downright hazardous.

What are DoS and DDoS attacks?

DoS stands for Denial of Service and it’s exactly what it sounds like. This type of attack is meant to make a machine or entire network shut down by either flooding the target with traffic or crashing it by sending corrupted information.

Depending on the technology used, a DoS attack can last temporarily or indefinitely.

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack operates on the same principle as a DoS attack. However, it’s far more dangerous and efficient since it makes use of multiple systems to deliver huge amounts of traffic.

More often than not, botnets (networks of compromised devices used in cyberattacks) are used to strike with DDoS attacks. The scary effectiveness of this type of attack comes from the inability of the target to block the source of the traffic.

With DoS attacks, you can simply locate the incoming source of traffic and use something as simple as a firewall to block it.

Since DDoS attacks use several machines to deliver the traffic, it becomes extremely difficult to defend against them.

Can VPN prevent DDoS attacks?

Essentially, a VPN can easily protect you against an incoming DDoS attack. For such an attack to occur, the perpetrator needs to know your exact IP address or hostname.

Now if you know a thing or two about VPNs, you’re probably aware that a VPN can hide your real IP address. So, depending on the circumstances, a VPN can prevent an attacker from getting to know your real IP address.

Thus, a DDoS attack should become impossible to target you specifically.

For instance, if you’re playing an online game, an attacker might sweep the server in an attempt to reveal the IP addresses of the active players. If you’re not using a VPN, your real IP address will be visible.

While behind a secure connection, your VPN-assigned IP address will appear instead.

Therefore, even if someone were to believe that they’re hitting you with a DDoS attack, they will target the VPN server, instead. You won’t even have to deal with it, so you should be perfectly fine.

Sometimes VPN can’t save you from DDoS

We’ve made it pretty clear that a VPN can be a lifesaver when it comes to DoS and DDoS attacks. However, the VPN can only protect you in terms of shielding your IP address, making it invisible to whoever might want to use it in such an attack.

So, if someone figures out your real IP address, you can still be targeted by a DDoS attack, even if you’re behind a VPN.

There’s no way a VPN could protect you from a DoS or DDoS attack if the perpetrator gets to know your real IP address. You can find a bunch of DDoS protection software solutions, but these only tend to work for websites.

What’s the best VPN to prevent DDoS attacks?

If you’re worried that your public IP address might be used in a DDoS attack, you can rely on a trustworthy VPN service such as Private Internet Access.

PIA is brought to you by Kape Technologies and provides you with a wide range of security and privacy features, a large network of servers, and malware-blocking capabilities, not to mention the 24/7 customer support.

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If you want the optimal amount of DDoS protection from PIA, you might want to keep the VPN always on, regardless of your online activity of choice.

More so, make sure to enable the kill switch. Doing so will prevent your PC from re-establishing the default, insecure connection whenever your secure VPN connection drops.

VPN can prevent DDoS attacks most of the time

All things considered, it’s easy to fend off DoS and DDoS attacks with a VPN, just as long as you remember that VPNs don’t actually block the attack.

Instead, they cloak your IP so that the attacker won’t be able to pinpoint you in a sea of IP addresses and use your address as a target for their attacks.

FAQ: Learn more about VPN preventing DDoS attacks

  • Does NordVPN have DDoS protection?

Yes, NordVPN does offer DDoS protection on the entire range of their VPN servers. However, this only means that its servers are protected and won’t be taken down by means of Denial of Service attacks.

  • Can VPN be hacked?

Yes, it’s possible for VPN services to be hacked. However, the incidence of this happening is quite low and doesn’t happen too often.

  • What’s the best VPN to use against DDoS attacks?

Realistically speaking, any VPN that can hide your IP address and keep it hidden from prying eyes can be very effective against DoS or DDoS attacks. Check out our best VPN recommendations if you don’t know where to start.