VPNs have helped people equip themselves better to protect their identity and keep their data safe when they are using the internet. Violation of online privacy has been the cause of many people opening their eyes to the different threats they face while surfing the internet. Attacks like the Ashley Madison attack that exposed over 37 million users led people to use VPNs in a bid to keep their identity hidden from onlookers. While VPNs do provide this feature, people’s identity might still be leaked without their knowing despite using a VPN. This happens because of a DNS leak.
Before going into DNS leak, we need to understand what DNS is. DNS stands for Domain Name Server. It is a server that keeps a mapping of the IP addresses each website is hosted on and the name of the website. Whenever you want to access a website, a DNS table is checked before the DNS tells your browser which IP address it needs to go to access a particular website.
When you use an open network like your ISP, all traffic goes through your ISP as your ISP sends and receives all DNS queries. This means that your ISP can monitor all your internet activity. When you use a VPN, the VPN tells your system to use its encrypted servers for DNS queries rather than the default DNS. However, due to a security flaw in Windows operating system, your system might switch to using your default DNS even when you are using a VPN. This exposes your IP address and is called a DNS leak. This is a serious issue because this defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place. Your IP address is revealed even though you are using a VPN. There are many different ways this can happen, with one of them being a delay in the response from a particular website. This causes Windows to switch to the default unsecure DNS and leak your identity.
Our Windows VPN software has built in feature to secure you from DNS leak, however if you have decided to setup VPN connections manually there are a few ways you can fix the issue of DNS leak:
1. Configure your system to use static IP address to prevent your system from ignoring new DNS properties that are provided by the VPN.
2. Websites like DNSleaktest.com check whether your system is vulnerable to DNS leaks and also provides the necessary software to fix the issue
3. Set up a manual DNS for your computer:
– Go to network connections and right click on the network adapter you use
– Click on properties
– Select Internet Protocol version 4 and click on properties
– Click on Use the following DNS Server Address-
– Enter new DNS information (VPN DNS address is listed in “Client Area” also, you can use Live Chat option and simply ask our Staff for help)
In this article, we saw what a DNS leak is and how it can affect you. DNS leaks are a grave issue that can expose people who use a VPN as well. The methods discussed can help you protect your identity from being exposed even when you are using a VPN.