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How do websites detect VPNs

15.04.2024
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Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer a shield for online privacy and security. But have you ever wondered how websites sometimes know you're using one? Here, we explore the methods websites use to detect VPNs and how you can potentially stay anonymous.

Identifying VPN IP addresses:

Many users rely on VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions. Companies track and sell lists of IP ranges associated with VPN servers. Websites can then block these addresses, preventing VPN access. Additionally, websites can analyse traffic patterns. Seeing a surge of users from the same IP (common with VPNs) might trigger a red flag.

Also read: What is a dirty IP address and how does it affect your security?

DNS leaks:

A well-functioning VPN encrypts all your data traffic, including DNS requests. However, some VPNs suffer from leaks, revealing your true location through unencrypted data. This can lead to website blocks despite using a VPN. Choosing a reliable, leak-proof VPN like Expert VPN is crucial.

Must read: What to look for when buying a VPN.

Cookies, cache, and browser fingerprinting:

Websites often use cookies to track visitors. These stored bits of data can expose your location even with a VPN. Similarly, browser fingerprinting techniques gather details about your device, operating system, and time zone, potentially conflicting with your VPN's location. Clearing cookies and cache, or using privacy-focused browsers like Firefox or Brave, can help mitigate this.

Account tracking:

Some services monitor account activity for suspicious VPN use. Frequent logins from geographically distant IPs within a short time frame might trigger a block. Most services block the VPN IP itself, not your account.

Here are some solutions:

Use the same VPN server: Connecting to the same server constantly avoids triggering multiple IP detections on your account.
Dedicated static IP: Some VPNs offer dedicated IPs solely for your use, reducing the chance of being flagged.
Clear cache and cookies: Regularly clear browsing data to minimise location leaks.
Disable location sharing: Turn off location services on your device and browser to prevent conflicts with your VPN.

By understanding these detection methods, you can opt for Hide Expert VPN with strong leak protection and employ privacy-conscious browsing habits. Remember, staying informed empowers you to navigate the online world with greater anonymity and control.