An IP leak means that your VPN service is failing to establish a connection resulting in your ISP can see your computer's IP address and the website you are visiting
IP, WebRTC, leaks occur when your internet service provider (ISP), such as AT& T or Xfinity, can see the computer's IP address and the website you are visiting.
The ISP knows what sites you visit and how much bandwidth you consume during your daily browsing habits. ISPs have been known to provide this information to advertisers and marketers for targeted marketing purposes.
In some situations, hackers may even be waiting with software that is able to identify your IP address over the network and track it back to your physical location. Your ISP will know when you visit a website and how much bandwidth is consumed but they won't know what specific pages you visited or what information you entered.
Your ISP will see that you've visited the website but won't know what information was submitted because it is encrypted with HTTPS. You can read more about how HTTPS works here.
For example, let's say that an attacker is able to break into your home router and install some malware on your computer or any other device that uses your router's connection.
Your Internet Service Provider searches for the last known IP address that searches for publicly accessible devices out on the internet. The attacker can then use your ISP to confirm your computer was online, so he knows which IP address to target and connect to it.
You would completely lose this battle if you used a wireless connection at a coffee shop or any other public location. This is because you have no control over the router and the information being sent from your computer is not encrypted.
Is IP leak safe?
Since the beginning of the internet, all our journeys online have been effectively identified by an IP (Internet Protocol) address. This means that if someone was able to track down your IP address, they'd be able to pinpoint your physical location and home address.
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns a new IP each time you connect to the internet. However, even if you were to disconnect from your ISP and borrow someone else's connection, they'd still be able to see what you've been up to online.
What does this mean for your VPN (Virtual Private Network)? Does having a VPN make you more vulnerable? Should it worry us that our IP is visible when using a VPN?
Can I be identified when using a VPN? Is IP leak safe?
It is possible to link the IP you receive from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to your online activity, including websites visited and whatnot, but it does take time and effort on the part of the person doing the sleuthing. DNS leak protection includes VPN service for public IP addresses for secure VPN connection and DNS queries.
For example, with most broadband connections, your ISP assigns a new IP each time you connect to the internet. However, even if you were to disconnect from your ISP and borrow someone else's connection (like at a local coffee shop), they'd still be able to see what you've been up to online.
The same is true for your VPN – if you're receiving a new IP from your VPN each time you connect, then it's only the ISP that knows what content you've been viewing or where you've been browsing. Nothing interesting, considering they already know what sites are legal and which ones are illegal in their own terms of service.
That doesn't mean a determined individual can't piece together your online activity over time, but this type of sleuthing requires an intense amount of effort and know-how for something as simple as finding someone's real IP address. DNS servers come with the original IP address for a VPN tunnel.
So no, having a VPN provider does not make you more vulnerable to being identified when using a VPN server. It all comes down to the type of content you are viewing – if it's legal, then your identity is safe.
How do I stop IP leaks?
IP leaks can happen when something goes wrong with the network configuration or firewall settings. They may also happen as a side-effect of using certain addons or firefox itself. The purpose of this article is to help you identify the cause of your IP leaks and explain how to stop them.
Note that it helps to have some basic knowledge of both networking concepts and configuration/installation procedures. If you are not sure about this, please skip to “How can I reduce my chances of having an IP leak test?” below. A DNS leak test promotes VPN providers with DNS requests for transparent DNS proxy and DNS settings.
A note on terminology: an “IP address leak” is not the same as a DNS leak. In fact, what most Firefox users refer to as an “IP leak” is actually a DNS leak. An IP addresses leak can be either a TCP or UDP leakage, whereas a DNS leak must always be a TCP (port 53) leakage.
What most people mean to refer to as a DNS leak actually involves the leakage of all network traffic. The difference between each type of leak is important and will be explained later on in this article. An internet provider offers an actual IP address for effectiveness.