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Which VPNs Leak Your Data? (90 VPN Services Tested)

JP Jones - CTO @ Top10VPN

JP Jones is our CTO. He has over 25 years of software engineering and networking experience, and oversees all technical aspects of our VPN testing process.

VPN leaks can expose your IP address and web activity to anyone monitoring your internet connection. Unless you know how to detect VPN leaks, you may never realize they’re happening. Discover which VPNs leak with our up-to-date leak test results.

Illustration of two characters trying to fix a leaking pipe.

Many VPN services that claim to protect your privacy are in fact leaking your IP address, DNS requests, and location without you even knowing it.

Your VPN connection may seem safe: there are no notifications or errors, your VPN service has a strict no-logging policy, and it’s headquartered in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.

However, it’s still possible your internet service provider (ISP), government, and anyone else monitoring your traffic is watching everything you do online.

One study of free VPN applications found that over 80% of the VPNs tested leaked their users’ IP address.

Our own investigation into free VPNs revealed that 25% of the most popular free Android VPN apps fail to protect users due to DNS and other leaks.

Unless you know how to detect IP and DNS leaks, you may never know that your VPN is leaking.

There is no room for error with these leaks: just one leaked data packet is enough to reveal your identity and activity to anyone viewing your connection.

So which VPNs can you trust to hide your IP address?

We tested 90 popular VPN services for data leaks, using our VPN leak test tool. We found that many popular VPNs leak some kind of user data through DNS or WebRTC:

  • 19% leak user data in some form
  • 16% leak DNS requests
  • 6% leak your IP address through WebRTC

We also found leaks in as many as 17 of the VPNs we’ve reviewed. That’s 19% of the ‘best’ VPNs on the market.

All the 90 VPNs we tested, and the data they leak, are listed in our VPN leaks comparison table.

What Is a VPN Leak?

A ‘leak’ is when your VPN exposes personal information that could be traced back to your true identity. This typically refers to your IP address, DNS information, or geographic location.

VPN leaks leave you vulnerable to hackers as they reveal your identity and activity to your ISP, government, and any other third party monitoring your connection. For this reason, a leaking VPN is fundamentally useless.

You undoubtedly want to keep this information private, so VPN providers market themselves accordingly. The truth is, however, that most VPN protocols were not actually designed with privacy in mind.

By default, most protocols send DNS requests to default servers. They leak IPv4 traffic when forced to reconnect, and they are usually completely oblivious to IPv6 traffic. Only the VPNs specifically developed to offset these problems will offer you protection.

Illustration of four types of VPN Leak

Here is a summary of the four main types of VPN leak:

  • IP Address 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 will be able to link your activity to your identity.
  • DNS leaks: A VPN is supposed to route your DNS requests to its own DNS servers. If your VPN routes these requests to your ISP’s DNS servers instead, it’s called a DNS leak. This exposes your browsing activity and any websites you visit to any other eavesdroppers. To find out which servers your device is using, you can test your DNS servers using our tool.
  • WebRTC leaks: WebRTC is a browser-based technology that allows audio and video communications to work inside web pages. WebRTC has clever ways of discovering your true IP address even if a VPN is on. The best VPNs block WebRTC requests.
  • IPv6 leaks: IPv6 is a new form of IP address that is not currently supported by most VPNs. Unless a VPN supports or actively blocks IPv6, your personal IPv6 address can be exposed if you’re on an IPv6-enabled network.

To find out if your VPN is working as it should, you can run your own basic test at home using our VPN and Torrent IP leak testing tool. It requires very little technical knowledge and takes just a matter of minutes.

You can also conduct a basic manual test for IP leaks using our What Is My IP checker tool.

Simply check your IP address before and after connecting to a VPN server – if your IP address doesn’t change, your VPN isn’t working.

Which VPNs Leak Your Data? (90+ Tested)

illustration of two characters fixing a leaking server

We tested 90 of the most popular VPN services for data leaks. Our research revealed that a significant number of VPNs leak some kind of user data through DNS or WebRTC.

We found that of the 90 services tested:

  • 19% leak user data in some form.
  • 16% leak DNS requests.
  • 6% leak your IP address through WebRTC.

The following tables list all 90 VPNs and the specific types of data they leak. If you’re searching for a specific VPN, use Ctrl+F to find the provider you’re looking for. An asterisk means we detected a leak when using the VPN’s browser extension or other custom application.

If you’d like to skip this table, you can jump straight to the bottom line on VPN leaks.

VPN Leaks: The Bottom Line

Data leaks pose a significant risk to your online privacy, especially if you’re using a VPN for torrenting or streaming.

Your VPN could be exposing your identity and activity to anyone viewing your internet connection, and unless you take active steps to test it, you may never know.

The first step to protecting your privacy is choosing a trustworthy VPN provider that has been verified by an expert third party. Check the research in this guide to make sure your chosen provider hasn’t got a history of poor security, and make sure you test your VPN regularly if you’re truly concerned about your anonymity.

For more information about VPN or torrenting leaks and to test your provider yourself, use our free VPN leak test. If you’ve spotted a leak from your VPN service, read our guide to fixing IP, DNS, and torrent IP leaks.