Unique IP address is the identity of users connecting to the internet. Every user is identified by an IP address assigned to him by his internet service provider. Your IP addresses reveal your true location which makes it easier for ISPs and other entities to track you, and IP leak make it further easy to access your information even if you are protected online.
A VPN is a great way to hide your IP address. It is one of the many reasons to prevent unwanted monitoring from ISPs, government agencies, and hackers. Unfortunately, some security flaw (WebRTC) may leak your IP address location even though you are using a VPN. Here’s everything that you should know about IP leaking, how to check it and stop IP leak.
What is IP leak?
IP leaks occur when you are using a VPN to hide your location, but a website still gives you access restriction error. It means that it is tracking your original IP address that is being revealed a security flaw (Web Real-Time Communication – WebRTC), a feature built into majority browsers.
Port Fail Leak also made news in 2015 for affecting VPN providers who used Port Forwarding feature.
The worst IP leak that could happen when your DNS provider fails. As, VPN or not, you are going to connect to your DNS provider.
How To Test IP Leak?
Most users often overlook IP leaking. But how would you know whether your IP is leaking your original location and private data? Here are few tips to check your IP address.
- Before you follow these steps, disconnects your VPN, if running.
- Go to WhatismyIPaddress or IP2Location to check your real IP address.
- Now connect your VPN, and any server of your choice.
- Again go to WhatismyIPaddress or IP2Location to check your new assigned IP, and the location of the server should be same.
- Visit WebRTC test page by Roselers and check your IP address shown.
If both tests show the same IP address after connecting to the VPN you are good to go. However, if both the tools show your real IP address and new IP address then you are having an IP leak.
How To Stop IP Leak?
To prevent IP leaking, you don’t have to wait for VPN providers to fix the issue.
WebRTC is enabled by default in your browsers. There are few easy steps that you can take to prevent IP leaking by disabling WebRTC feature in your browser.
Internet Explorer & Safari Browser
IE and Safari browsers do not have the support for WebRTC. You don’t have to do anything.
Chrome supports WebRTC, and you would have to disable it. You would have to go under the hood to disable this feature. Luckily, you can do it with the help of ScriptSafe extension from the Chrome Web Store. It will disable the WebRTC function through its interface.
Opera has a simple interface and it is easy to find this feature. Hit (Alt+P or Menu) to open the settings window, go to “privacy & security,” under WebRTC heading and select “Disable non-proxied UDP.” Alternatively, you can use the extension “WebRTC Leak Prevent.”
Firefox also supports WebRTC function. You can disable this function using the extension Disable WebRTC. Or you can manually disable it with these steps.
- Type “about:config” in the address bar.
- Select “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
- A long list of settings will open up with a search bar.
- Type in the search bar, “media.peerconnection.enabled” and tap enter key.
- Double click on the resulting setting and set it to false.
- Close the tab and restart your Firefox.
Not everything is perfect and there will always be flaws around that will cause such problems to you and the service providers. The best way to avoid all these hectic is to select a reliable, affordable and secure VPN that keeps on updating and offering advanced services. We have listed 5 Best VPN Services that addresses these issues and offers premium service.