DNS Leaks Clogging Your Network? Here’s a Simple Fix
DNS leaks are a big deal. You might not realize it, but your web browser could be leaking personal and potentially damaging information. DNS leaks open the door for hackers to see which sites you’re visiting at any given moment.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. When you use a VPN (or virtual private network), you’re able to conceal your location and prevent your DNS from leaking your info to anyone, including your internet service provider.
Here’s how a VPN can help prevent DNS leaks.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for domain name system. It’s how your internet browser obtains and exchanges data with other websites. It works with your IP address to match your browser to the specific sites you’re visiting.
When you use a VPN, you’re able to hide your real IP address by taking on an IP in another location. Most VPNs offer server options in various countries around the world. You can live in the US and browse a VPN server in the UK, Japan, Australia, or any other country of your choice.
Attacks through DNS servers
One of the most common ways hackers are able to gain access to a network is through distributed denial of service attacks (or DDoS for short). By overloading DNS servers with an onslaught of constant, unyielding server requests, hackers are able to gain control of a network by circumnavigating any cybersecurity safeguards that may have otherwise been in place. Mammoth sites like PayPal, Twitter, and Reddit have all been subject to DDoS attacks through their DNS servers. If it can happen to them, it can happen to you.
How to put the plug on DNS leaks
When your DNS leaks, it opens the possibility for any onlookers to see which websites you visited and which apps you’ve used. When set up properly, a VPN service should naturally prevent DNS leaks. Unfortunately, there are incidents where either a VPN may get disconnected or the user may be using an obsolete VPN application.
Most cases of VPN-related DNS leaks occur when:
- You’ve manually configured your VPN service in a way that doesn’t safeguard against leaks
- You’re using an unsecure wifi network where traffic is being redirected without you knowing
In either case, even with a VPN, DNS leaks can occur, so it’s advisable that you stick to your VPN’s recommended server settings. If you’re not sure whether your DNS is leaking, an easy way to check for vulnerabilities is to run a simple DNS leak test.
Going the extra step
As DNS leaks are more common on public networks like coffee shops, airports, and schools, it’s a good rule of thumb to run the DNS leak test every time you use your VPN on a public wifi network. It only takes a second and the results are instantaneous.