VPN & Torrent IP Leak Test

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What Our VPN Leak Test Does

Our fully-automated VPN leak test will check your VPN for IPv4, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. We’ll also test your IP location, Flash support, user via Tor, and user via data center.

What Our Torrent IP Leak Test Does

This test will check that your torrent client is using your VPN IP address and DNS server, ensuring that your privacy is protect while torrenting. We send requests to TCP and UDP based torrent trackers.

This tool checks if your VPN is working correctly. The VPN leak test checks for IP, DNS, WebRTC, and geolocation leaks, while the torrent IP leak test detects which IP and DNS server your torrent client is using. Read exactly how the tool works.

What Are IPv4 & IPv6 Leaks?

IP leaks occur when your VPN fails to mask your personal IP address with one of its own. This is a significant privacy risk as your ISP and any websites you visit can see your real IP address instead of the one your VPN has assigned you.

IP address leak diagram

If your IP address is leaking your VPN is simply not doing its job. Your privacy is not protected and your online location remains the same, rendering the service essentially worthless. In this case, we highly recommend you check our updated list of the best VPNs.

IPv4

The first test this tool runs is to retrieve your real public IP – that’s the IP address that you present to everyone else on the internet.

When you run this test with your VPN turned off, you’re using your ‘true’ IP address – the one assigned to your router or device by your ISP. It is unique to you and can be used to both identify your device and find your real-world location.

When you turn your VPN on, your ‘true’ IP address is replaced by the IP address of the VPN server you’ve connected to. If the test does not detect this change and shows the same IP as you saw before, then your real IPv4 address is leaking. This type of leak is rare, and is usually the result of your VPN failing to establish a connection.

IPv4 leaks mean that your ISP and all of the websites you visit can still monitor your activity and physical location. Streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer can use this information to block users from accessing content from other countries.

IPv6

Until recently, the whole world used IPv4. However, to keep up with the demand for unique IP addresses, the IPv6 standard was introduced. IPv6 is supported by all modern operating systems, but most websites and ISPs haven’t caught up yet.

This forces IPv6-compatible websites to support both IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses, depending on who is connecting to them. Many VPNs have also been lagging behind when it comes to IPv6 support.

Unless a VPN supports or actively blocks IPv6, your personal IPv6 address can be exposed if you’re on an IPv6-enabled network. IPv4 traffic will be routed through the VPN, but IPv6 traffic will be routed straight to your ISP – revealing your ‘true’ IPv6 address.

In our test, this would mean seeing the same IPv6 address when you have your VPN turned on as when you have it turned off.

IPv6 leaks are just as dangerous as IPv4 leaks – websites and streaming services will have access to your real location, and your ISP will still be able to record all of the websites you visit.

What Are DNS Leaks?

When you enter a URL into your browser to connect to a website, you first contact a DNS server which requests the IP address of that website. This server then sends your browser the ‘directions’ to the website you’re looking for.

If you’re not connected to a VPN, this process is carried out by your ISP’s DNS servers. This is a serious problem for privacy, because your DNS requests are essentially plain text records of the websites you visit. More often than not, ISPs will store these requests along with the IP addresses that make them.

A secure VPN is supposed to encrypt these requests and route them to private DNS servers. If they are routed to your ISP’s DNS servers instead, it’s called a DNS leak. This exposes your browsing activity to your ISP and any other eavesdroppers.

Diagram of a VPN leaking DNS queries.

A DNS leak can occur if your VPN is manually configured, you have changed your computer’s settings, or your VPN provider doesn’t provide adequate technical protection against leaks.

Our VPN leak test checks if your HTTP and DNS requests are coming from the same network. If they aren’t, it’s a sign you are trying to hide your real IP address.

While DNS leaks won’t expose your IP address itself, they can reveal that things aren’t what they seem. Netflix for example uses those hints to prevent geo-spoofing and block your access to international streaming content.

A leak-free DNS test result shows that your DNS and HTTP requests match and appear to come from the same area. This means that other people can’t see the sites you’re browsing – it doesn’t mean your real IP address is hidden.

You should be aware that when using a VPN this test can give a false alert if you are using an anonymous DNS server that is not on our list of safe servers, or if your DNS and HTTP endpoints are located on different networks.

What Are WebRTC Leaks?

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a browser-based technology that enables video chat, voice calling, and P2P file sharing from within your browser. It is enabled by default in Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome.

Two devices communicating directly via WebRTC need to know each others’ IP address. This means websites can exploit your browser’s WebRTC functionality to capture your true IP address, even when using a VPN.

WebRTC Leaks Diagram

While any IP address leaks threaten your privacy and anonymity, WebRTC leaks are particularly worrying because they are so easily overlooked. In addition, not every VPN provider can protect you.

The only way to guarantee you won’t share your IP address this way is to use a VPN that protects against WebRTC leaks, or to disable WebRTC completely.

What Are HTML5 Geolocation Leaks?

HTML5 geolocation, otherwise known as browser geolocation, is your device’s geo-coordinates as detected by a browser API (application programming interface). The browser API detects the latitude and longitude coordinates by using either the device’s GPS or information gained from the devices’ mobile/WIFI signal depending on what is available.

HTML5 geolocation can be very accurate, sometimes to a street-level, depending on the availability of device GPS and the quality of the mobile/WIFI signals. Although this can be useful for some activities, it also means your actual location may be exposed even if your IP address is hidden by your VPN.

The good news is that HTML5 geolocation is strictly permission-based. Some websites prompt you with a browser pop up to ask permission to share your location (for example if you’re looking at a map service, or trying to find restaurants near you). If you deny this request, your longitude and latitude coordinates will not be shared. Using a VPN browser extension that has built-in HTML5 Geolocation leak protection can also help avoid this issue. Be sure to test if your VPN browser extension is working well by running it through our testing tool.

What Is Flash Support?

Flash Player is an outdated and insecure browser plugin which used to be the go-to for playing ‘rich media’ – things like embedded videos and browser games. As well as causing serious security vulnerabilities if not regularly updated, it also offers multiple weak points to leak your real IP address, even while using a proxy or VPN.

It has now been entirely replaced by HTML5. To protect your privacy, we recommend blocking Flash completely, or as an absolute minimum preventing it from starting automatically.

Our test doesn’t check if your IP is leaking through Flash, it just tests if Flash is enabled. We show you how to disable Flash on all the most popular browsers here.

What Is Tor Exit Node?

Tor is short for The Onion Router, a special software designed for extra-private web browsing.

You can access the Tor network by downloading a special browser. When you use the Tor Browser to visit a website your request is relayed through multiple servers, known as nodes. By the time your request reaches the final node (referred to as an exit node) and is sent on to the site you’re trying to visit, your IP address is practically untraceable.

There’s one giant central database which keeps track of all the IP addresses associated with Tor exit nodes, and our test checks to see if yours is one of them.

This result will almost certainly come back as negative, unless you deliberately converted your home computer into a Tor exit node.

What Is Data Center IP Address?

This part of the test can detect if your connection is typical of a home internet user. Strange connection types could imply a data center, where a proxy or VPN would be placed.

By examining the TCP and IP data packets sent by you we can also detect how many steps a request took. Requests from the same country take fewer steps than requests from the other side of the world – which could identify proxy or VPN use. Most proxies and VPNs open new requests and reset the hop counter, so they won’t be identified by this test.

This test is expected to come back positive when you use a VPN. If you use a VPN and it comes back as negative then you are likely using a smaller provider with fewer users and less available IP addresses – you may find it to be more effective at unblocking websites and services like Netflix as a result.

What Are Torrent IPv4 & IPv6 leaks?

Torrent IP leaks occur when any of your torrenting activity is accidentally associated with your true IP address, rather than your VPN IP address.

With this test you can check that your torrent client is using your VPN to send requests to a torrent tracker, rather than them slipping out of the encrypted VPN tunnel.

We test TCP and UDP based tracker requests, which also makes sure that any IP address information shared is that of your VPN, not your own personal one.

What Is TCP?

TCP (or Transmission Control Protocol) is the most common protocol for transferring files when torrenting. It’s quick, and has minimal data overhead. However, there are still a few scenarios in which your IP address may leak via a torrent TCP connection.

Some VPNs may only protect IPv4 traffic, leaving IPv6 exposed. Your torrent client may then make a connection over IPv6 to a peer, and your true IPv6 address is leaked.

If your torrent client is set to proxy via another machine on your local network and it’s one that isn’t protected via a VPN, your true IP address may be leaked (either IPv4 or IPv6).

Finally, a leak can occur if your VPN hasn’t reset any active network connections when it was activated, and your torrent client was running at the time. Any existing torrent traffic will likely still come from your true IPv4 or IPv6 address. For a broad overview of these potential risks, read our guide to torrenting safely.

What Is UDP?

User Datagram Protocol, much better known as UDP, is a carrier protocol used to transfer data packets while torrenting. It’s far less common than TCP, and as a result there’s a chance that your VPN does not support it.

If your VPN does not support torrent UDP then it won’t encrypt it, and if it doesn’t encrypt it then your IPv4 or IPv6 address might leak.

What Are Torrent DNS Leaks?

If a magnet link or a torrent file contains a tracker which is addressed with a domain name, your torrent client has to resolve this domain name to an IP address. This test detects the DNS server your torrent client is using.

If your torrent client is using your ISP’s DNS server instead of your VPN, your identity and activity is at risk.

How Does This Tool Work?

This tool is capable of checking if your VPN is leaking by running tests in a browser, and separately via your torrent client. Here’s a little more information on how it works:

How We Test for VPN Leaks

There are several different types of leak that the VPN leak test portion of the tool tests for:

IPv4/IPv6

The most basic test, but arguably the most important, our tool first detects your public IPv4 and IPv6 address before you connect to a VPN, and then again once connected. From there it simply compares the two sets of IP addresses. If they’re different then there is no IP leak.

DNS

Our tool makes a DNS request for a unique hostname in your browser when you don’t have a VPN running. That hostname points at DNS servers hosted by us, and we log all the IPs that contact our server using that unique hostname. The tool then repeats this process once you turn your VPN on.

The IPs that we see are the DNS servers that your browser is using, and we map these to the organization that owns those IPs – if the organization is the same both before and after you turn on your VPN, then the tool will warn you of a DNS leak.

WebRTC

To detect a WebRTC leak we use JavaScript to create a peer-to-peer connection via your browser, utilizing the WebRTC API built into your browser. The WebRTC API allows STUN requests to be made which returns both the public and local IP addresses for the browser, which can then be read by JavaScript.

If the connection is successful and the IP listed is your own IP, then a leak has occurred. If the IP listed is that of your VPN then everything is fine.

HTML5 Geolocation

Your HTML5 geolocation will closely mirror your location in the real world, often even when your VPN is activated. This geolocation information is collected and made available via an API in your web browser.

Our tool asks for permission to access this data – should you grant it, it can then check your HTML5 geolocation and compare it to the location associated with your IP address. If those two locations are not a close match then there’s a chance that websites and services will know that you are not connecting from the location your VPN claims you are.

Flash Player

Flash Player is an extreme security risk, and has now been officially discontinued. Our tool runs a Javascript command to check a list of plugins running in your browser – if Flash is listed, then the tool warns you to disable it.

Tor Exit Node

Certain IP addresses are registered as exit nodes on the Tor network. These IP addresses are publicly known and listed. Our tool cross-references your IP address with a database of all known Tor exit nodes, and will tell you whether or not it appears on it.

Data Center IP Address

Some IP addresses are classified as data center IPs, rather than residential IPs. Our tool cross-references your IP address with a database of known data center IPs, and will tell you whether or not it appears on it. Data center IP addresses are commonly associated with VPNs, which means that this result is highly likely to come back as positive if you’re using one.

How We Test for Torrent IP Leaks

This tool can also check whether or not your IP address is leaking if you use a VPN while torrenting. Here’s what the torrent IP check tests for and how it works:

TCP

Once you download our TCP test file and add it to your torrent client, the torrent client will connect to our torrent tracker and we’ll be able to see the IP address used – the same one that is visible to every peer in any torrent transfer you are a part of. If the IP address shown (both IPv4 and IPv6 where possible) matches that of the browser you started the test in, then it will confirm there is no leak.

UDP

The process for checking your IP address via UDP is exactly the same as with TCP: download the IPv4 and IPv6 UDP files and add them to your torrent client. Our tool will then cross-reference the IP address (or addresses) given with the IP address of your browser – no differences means no leaks.

DNS

Our tool also checks for DNS leaks from your torrent client. First, the tool makes a request for a domain (which points to our DNS server) in your browser. Then the torrent magnet file you downloaded makes the torrent client it was added to send its own request to our DNS server.

We log all the IPs we see making requests to our DNS server. If the address we log from your torrent client doesn’t match the one we log from your browser then it warns you of a torrent DNS leak. These logs are deleted at the completion of the test.

If you are struggling to find a VPN which properly protects you, you can find an updated list of safe VPNs for torrenting here.

About Doileak.com

We recently acquired the Doileak.com IP leak test tool, which is now hosted on this page.

In addition to the original tool, we’ve added two new VPN and Torrent IP leak test ones. The new tools are more focused on VPN privacy, and run more comprehensive geolocation and IPv6 tests.

Please send feedback on any of the tools to hello@top10vpn.com.