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- Having a VPN on your PC is great for your privacy and security, but do you know how to test if your VPN is working?
- Masking your IP address doesn't always mean that your VPN provides you with the optimal level of security and privacy as it should.
- Check out our Cybersecurity Section and learn how to enhance your digital protection.
- Visit our How-To Hub for more easy-to-follow troubleshooting guides and tutorials.
How to check if your VPN is working?
Check if you’re connected
- Locate the icon in your system tray
- Double-click it to display the client’s main window
- Check the dashboard to see if you’re connected
This step might sound silly, but sometimes yourconnection might suddenly drop. If you’re unfortunate enough to use a without a killswitch, your Windows PC will almost immediately default to your previous, insecure connection.
As a result, you won’t be connected to theserver of your choice (even though you thought you were), and your connection won’t be secured and anonymized.
Perform a data leak test
- Launch your Private Internet Access) client (we used
- Connect to a server of your choice
- Launch your favorite web browser
- Go to either one of these services:
- Run a leak test
- Check if any of the following data leaked through your
- IP address
- Flash IP
- IPv6 geolocation
Just to make sure, you can run the leak tests on all of the servers we’ve mentioned above. If none of these tests pick any sensitive data from yourconnection, then your is leak-proof.
However, note that some VPNs might leak data from some of their servers, while others are kept airtight. We’re not telling you to run leak tests every time you connect to aserver but is that such a crazy idea? Better safe than sorry, after all.
Bonus: Note that ipleak also has a torrent address detection feature. You add a magnet link to your torrent client of choice and wait for the results. If you see your real IP address in the torrent address testing area, youris not secure.
Run a speed test
- Disconnect from your (if connected)
- Launch a web browser
- Run an online speed test (we use Netflix’s fast.com and Ookla’s Speedtest)
- Wait for the results
- Launch your client
- Connect to your desired server
- Run the same speed test
- Compare the results to see how your speed affects your connection
- Optionally: run the tests on multiple servers to see how location affects your speed
Naturally, speed is an important part of your . Having a secure, but slow can turn simple, mundane activities, such as checking your email into sessions of endlessly waiting for the page to load.
We recommend sticking to only one speed test tool, and switching only if it doesn’t seem to work with your (it’s not unheard of). On the other hand, running tests on multiple servers can help you understand if and how location affects speed.
It’s worth mentioning that certain speed/bandwidth limits only on some of their servers/locations.enforce
Final thoughts on testing your
All things considered, it’s of utmost importance to understand how yourworks and test it for leaks at least every once in a while.
Remember, even if yoursuccessfully masks your IP, that doesn’t mean it also shields other sensitive data from prying eyes.
Last, but not least, running speed tests on your can help you learn if the limits bandwidth/speed, and also how location can affect your connection speed.