Is Your VPN Working? Quick Ways to Tell in Under 100 Characters

Ever wondered if your VPN is truly keeping your online activities under wraps? I’ve been there, and I know it’s crucial to ensure that the VPN you’re relying on is actually doing its job. After all, what’s the point of a security tool if you can’t tell whether it’s working or not?

I’ll guide you through some simple steps to check your VPN’s effectiveness. From verifying IP addresses to testing for DNS leaks, I’ve got the know-how to help you confirm that your privacy isn’t just a promise—it’s a reality. Let’s dive in and give you the peace of mind that comes with a fully functioning VPN.

Verifying IP Address

When setting out to confirm if my VPN is working, I always start with verifying my IP address. This is a critical step because a VPN, in essence, masks my real IP, giving me a different one that should point to a location different from my actual one. How do I know if my VPN is working in terms of IP concealment? It’s quite straightforward.

First, I’ll disconnect from my VPN and go to a website like ‘’. Here I note down my real IP address and the location it’s linked to. Then, I reconnect to my VPN and refresh the page. If my VPN is effective, the IP address shown should be different, reflecting the VPN server’s location rather than my own.

If I’m still seeing my original IP, there’s cause for concern. It means my VPN isn’t functioning as it should. But why would that be the case? Here are a few things that could go wrong:

  • The VPN service is down.
  • My device has disconnected from the VPN without notifying me.
  • There’s a breach in the VPN tunnel, potentially exposing my data.

To check if my VPN is working, I’ll assess the new IP address against the server location I selected in my VPN settings. If there’s a match, it’s a green light that the service is operational. But I don’t stop there. How to check if my VPN is working involves more than just an IP check; I also need to be on the lookout for any IP leaks, which could still reveal my true location despite being connected to a VPN.

To check if your VPN is working properly to protect against leaks, several online tools can be used. They run checks to see if any requests I make over the internet are exposing my real IP. The peace of mind in knowing that my online identity is shielded is well worth this routine check.

Checking DNS Leaks

When I seek to understand how to check if my VPN is working, one essential aspect I focus on is detecting DNS leaks. A DNS, or Domain Name System, leak occurs when queries are sent outside the encrypted VPN tunnel, potentially exposing my browsing activity to my Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other eavesdroppers. To ascertain my online security, I need to ensure there are no DNS leaks that could compromise my anonymity.

How do I know if my VPN is working effectively to prevent these leaks? The process is straightforward. There are numerous online tools designed to test for DNS leaks. By simply visiting sites like or, I can initiate a test to verify if the VPN’s DNS servers are in use or if my requests are going through my ISP’s servers.

To perform the test accurately, I first disconnect from my VPN and note down my regular DNS server addresses. Next, I reconnect to the VPN and use the testing website. If the results show servers that are different from my ISP’s and are related to my VPN service, it’s a good sign that how I set up my VPN has been successful in preventing leaks.

But how do I know my VPN is working all the time? It’s advisable to run these tests periodically, especially after updating VPN software or changing configurations. Even if I’ve confirmed no DNS leaks previously, that doesn’t guarantee future security without regular checks.

Here’s what else I do to ensure my protection:

  • Keep my VPN software updated since patches often fix security vulnerabilities.
  • Enable DNS leak protection features if my VPN offers them; some providers specifically highlight this in their settings.
  • Choose VPNs that use their own DNS servers, as this generally provides greater security assurance.

Even with diligent measures, I’m aware that technology isn’t infallible; hence, maintaining vigilance with regular checks is part of my routine to safeguard my online identity. Using these tools helps clarify how to check if your VPN is working without any unwelcome surprises.

Testing for WebRTC Leaks

It’s essential to understand the mechanics of WebRTC and its potential to expose your real IP address, even under the cover of a VPN. Standing for Web Real-Time Communication, WebRTC enables direct peer-to-peer communication within web browsers. While it’s fantastic for video chat services and live streaming, it’s a common leak source for VPN users. Monitoring for unwanted WebRTC leaks is therefore crucial when assessing if your VPN is safeguarding your online identity.

To check for WebRTC leaks, I typically head to websites like or These sites can quickly reveal whether my public IP address is visible due to a WebRTC leak. When I visit, I ensure that no identifiable IP addresses linked to my actual location are displayed. If my VPN is working correctly, I should only see the VPN server’s IP address and none of mine.

Sometimes, I’ll stumble upon unexpected results, indicating that my online privacy might be at risk. That’s when I delve into my VPN settings or consult with my provider to strengthen leak protection features. A good VPN should offer a dedicated WebRTC leak prevention setting or, at the very least, some guidance on how to disable WebRTC in my browser. Since browser configurations vary, I’m mindful of this when switching between Chrome, Firefox, and other web browsers.

Lastly, besides routine checks using these websites, I take a proactive approach by using VPNs that provide built-in WebRTC leak protection. Opting for these services usually means I can breathe easier, knowing they’re continuously working to shield my privacy against these leaks. By consistently monitoring my VPN’s effectiveness against WebRTC leaks, I remain one step ahead in maintaining my online anonymity and security.

Assessing Connection Speed

When it comes to maintaining my online anonymity, understanding how to gauge if my VPN is functioning correctly is crucial. One of the telltale signs is checking the connection speed. I’ve often wondered, “How do I know if my VPN is working properly?” and “How to check if my VPN is working efficiently?” The answer often lies in a simple speed test.

Whenever I suspect there might be a slowdown, I use trusted speed test websites to check the performance. I make sure to run a test before turning on the VPN to get a baseline for my internet speed. Then, after connecting to the VPN, I run another test to compare the results. It’s normal to see some speed reduction because encryption adds overhead, but a significant drop might indicate an issue.

Here are the steps I follow to assess the connection speed and verify VPN effectiveness:

  • Disable the VPN and run a speed test to get a baseline of my internet connection.
  • Enable the VPN and connect to a server of choice.
  • Run the speed test once more to note any changes.

If there’s a drastic decrease in speed, it’s time for me to investigate further or consider switching to a more efficient VPN provider. Sometimes, connecting to a server closer to my location offers better speed, and I make sure to check if the server isn’t overloaded, which could be another reason for a slow connection.

Moreover, knowing how to check if your VPN is working involves ensuring the speed reduction aligns with the VPN’s expected performance – after all, a quality VPN shouldn’t slow down my connection to a crawl. It’s about finding that balance between security and usability.

Remember, a sudden drop in speed after connecting to the VPN could be indicative of a deeper issue, potentially even a leak that compromises my online privacy. So it’s not just about asking, “How do I know my VPN is working?” It’s also crucial to make sure it’s doing so without slowing down my productive flow on the web.


Ensuring your VPN is up to the task is crucial for maintaining online privacy and security. By running speed tests and monitoring any significant changes in connection speeds you’ll know if your VPN is performing as it should. Remember it’s all about striking the right balance—you want a VPN that offers robust protection without hindering your internet experience. If you’re seeing a substantial slowdown it might be time to shop around for a better option. Stay vigilant and keep your online activities shielded with a reliable VPN.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main reason for assessing the effectiveness of a VPN?

Assessing the effectiveness of a VPN is crucial to ensure that it is providing the necessary security without significantly slowing down your internet connection.

How can you test if your VPN is working correctly?

You can test your VPN’s performance by running speed tests before and after connecting to the VPN to see if there is any significant drop in connection speed.

What should you do if you notice a drastic decrease in internet speed when using a VPN?

If there’s a substantial decrease in internet speed, it’s advisable to investigate the cause further or consider switching to a more efficient VPN provider.

Why is it important to find a balance between security and usability with a VPN?

Finding the right balance between security and usability is important because while a VPN should protect your online privacy, it should not impede your internet browsing experience by slowing down your connection excessively.