As technology improves at the speed of light, we can barely keep up with it. The Internet has become the main battleground, so online security is of the utmost importance for countries, businesses and individuals.
And the online war between hunters and the hunted is only becoming fiercer. On one hand, new discoveries that can improve online safety are made every single day. On the other hand, however, every once in a while, we find out about a newly-discovered flaw that can compromise our security.
One of these flaws is called IP leak. If are wondering ‘What is IP leak?’, keep reading this article to find out everything you need to know about this concept.
What Is IP Leak?
A VPN (virtual private network) is a way to extend a private network over a public network. People use VPNs to connect to a public or shared network of servers and send and receive data as if their computers were directly connected to the private network.
Another reason why people use VPNs is to hide their real IP address. When they use a VPN, all the Internet traffic is encrypted and sent to a VPN server which is managed by the VPN provider. This way, anyone observing from the outside only sees the IP address of the VPN server.
Nevertheless, a security flaw which was recently discovered enables outside observers to find your true IP. This IP leak is possible due to WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) feature, which we will explain later on.
So, simply put, an IP leak is a security flaw which allows your real IP address to be revealed in spite of the use of a VPN.
What Is DNS Leak?
A DNS (Domain Name System) leak is an IP leak which leads to loss of privacy and happens when DNS queries are sent over insecure links instead through the VPN connection.
A DNS query is a request to translate a server name (e.g. www.geosurf.com) to an IP address, which is a numerical representation of a domain. If your request does not pass through the VPN tunnel, it can reveal your activity.
This is usually a result of the inappropriate configuration of network settings and VPN connections.
WebRTC Leak Test
Web Real-Time Communication is a rather useful tool which enables browsers (Firefox, Chrome and Opera) to incorporate various features that facilitate communication (voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, etc.)
However, WebRTC also allows websites to identify the real IP address of your hosting machine even if you are using a VPN.
If you want to find out whether you are affected by this flaw, you should use the best DNS leak test. We recommend that you go to www.dnsleaktest.com or ipleak.net if you want to get an accurate and reliable answer.
How to Disable WebRTC?
Unfortunately, if you want to avoid IP leaks, you will have to disable WebRTC in your browser settings.
Firefox is the only browser that allows you to disable WebRTC without installing a plugin.
Type ‘about:config’ in the URL bar. Click on I accept the risk. This will open Firefox’s advanced settings. Enter ‘media.peerconnection.enabled’ in the Search Bar and press Enter. Right-click on the line listed and choose Toggle. This will disable WebRTC in Firefox.
Another option is to install the Disable WebRTC add-on from Mozilla Add-ons. Other plugins which can disable WebRTC are uBlock Origin, NoScript and Statutory.
Go to Customize and Control and under the Extensions section, choose More Tools. Scroll down and select Get more extensions. Type ‘webrtc control’ in the Search Bar in the upper left-hand corner. Select Add to Chrome, click on Add Extension and activate the plugin. If the WebRTC Control icon in the upper right-hand corner turns blue, the extension is functional.
Go to the Extensions and enter ‘webrtc control’ in the Search Box. Select WebRTC Control plugin, click on Add to Opera and activate the plugin. If the WebRTC Control icon in the upper right-hand corner turns blue, the extension is functional.
A Safer and Simpler Alternative to VPN ‒ GeoSurf Residential IPs
If you are a hard-core VPN fan, you might not find this process bothersome or complicated. However, if you prefer a simpler way to remain safe while hiding your true IP, we have a solution.
Instead of using a VPN, you can use residential IPs to mask your real IP address and access websites around the world.
GeoSurf offers various residential proxy plans that give great value for money. With more than 2 million residential IPs in over 130 countries worldwide, we are number one proxy provider.
Our proxies are fast, secure and reliable. Whether you want to use them for regular browsing or more advanced purposes like SEO or data mining, contact us and let us take care of everything else.