VPN Articles and News

How To Fix a DNS Leak?

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2015


Dynamic Name System (DNS) is a mechanism which is used for translating alphanumeric domain names into numeric IP addresses. The system is necessary because while it is far easier to remember domain names and type web addresses in the browsers, the network communication which happens between clients and web servers in the background is in the language of IP addresses. The DNS translation is usually handled by ISPs or network service providers who maintain their own list of DNS servers (one-to-one mapping between Domain Names and IP addresses).

What Is a DNS Leak?

When you use a privacy tool (like a VPN) to anonymize your online sessions and hide our online activities from your ISP, the DNS translation for web requests made by you should be done by your VPN provider rather than the ISP. However, sometimes the web requests are passed on to ISP for DNS translation even when you are using a VPN. This error is known as DNS Leak and it usually happens when the VPN connection is not configured correctly or if there is another problem within the network.

As you can imagine, having a DNS leak would defeat the very purpose of using a VPN since the entire web traffic becomes visible to the ISP. The problem usually affects Windows based systems due to the way the operating system handles the network communication. However, it is not unusual to see the problem occurring in other desktop and mobile operating systems as well.

How To Get Rid Of DNS Leaks?

Before you take steps to fix DNS leak, you need to be 100% sure that your VPN connection is indeed leaking your web requests. This can be done by visiting specialized websites that are designed to capture DNS and IP leaks. Once you are connected to your VPN, visit one of the following websites to check for DNS leaks:

www.dnsleaktest.com
www.ipleak.net

If you can see your real location or IP even through the VPN connection, there is a big possibility that your service provider is leaking your web requests. In such an event, follow the steps given below to fix such leaks (for Windows OS):

1) If your VPN provider offers its own VPN client, check whether there is an option available to stop or prevent DNS leaks. Once you select the option, all web requests made by you would be translated using the DNS server list of the VPN provider (or a public DNS list).

2) If the VPN client does not have the above option or if your provider does not provide a proprietary VPN client, it is also possible to change DNS servers manually. First, type the following command at the command prompt to flush the DNS Resolver cache

ipconfig /flushdns

Next, you need to locate the network connection (broadband or Wi-Fi) for which you wish to change the DNS server. Open the “Network Connections” window by selecting the “Network and Internet” option in the “Control Panel” and then by clicking on the “Change the adapter settings” option (Refer to imagesup.net/?di=9141892088213, imagesup.net/?di=114189208832, imagesup.net/?di=314189208833). Once you have the list of network connections, right click on the connection name for which you want to change the DNS values and click on the “Properties” option (Refer to imagesup.net/?di=1014189208833). Next, click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” value and then on the “Properties” button (Refer to imagesup.net/?di=1214189208832). Finally, change the DNS server values as per the values supplied by your VPN provider or by using Google Public DNS (or OpenDNS) values as follows (Refer to imagesup.net/?di=10141892111711):

Google Public DNS –

Preferred DNS server – 8.8.8.8
Alternate DNS server – 8.8.4.4

Open DNS

Preferred DNS server – 208.67.222.222
Alternate DNS server – 208.67.222.220

Click on the OK button and you are done. All the future web requests will use the DNS values supplied by you and protect your online sessions from DNS leaks.


January 20, 2015
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