Can VPNs Be Traced?

It is possible to trace VPNs. In spite of this, using a VPN does offer additional protection and helps to encrypt data transmitted online, meaning that it is always better to use one to try and reduce the risk of having secure information accessed by attackers. VPNs are usually considered the most secure way to protect users online.

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How Are VPNs Traced?

Attackers will trace VPNs using advanced technology and working with the data which they have available. Data can be made available when users sign into a website. At this stage, they will probably be required to provide some basic information such as a username, email address, phone number and/or password.

Other information which may be required could involved payment details, gender, address or date of birth. If an attacker is looking to access online accounts or impersonate an individual, they could use this data stored on various sites to build a clear image of a person. This information will be stored by websites even if a VPN has been used, meaning that an attacker would have to work harder to discover the user’s original IP address.

Consequently, users should not access sites which they believe appear conspicuous and should not share personal data unless it is a necessity. They should remember that all data input into a website may be stored and read any terms and conditions available to them if they have any doubts whatsoever.

Internet users will also leave behind a digital footprint regardless of whether they have used a VPN, which attackers may be able to access. VPNs cannot offer total anonymity, however they do provide increased protection through rerouting a connection to the internet.

In addition to this, not all VPN providers will offer leak protection. Leak protection ensures that any data which is transmitted to a VPN provider through tunnelling cannot be leaked at any point. Whilst the data may already be encrypted by the time an attacker could potentially gain access to it, there is no guarantee of this, meaning that they may be able to intercept transmissions before connections have been rerouted.

 

Is Tracking a VPN Easy?

It is not necessarily easy to track a VPN, however attackers with great skill and technology may be able to do so. VPNs work through providing users with a new IP address and transmit connections through various servers. Most VPN providers will transmit data through only one new server, however there are some which offer the option to transmit through multiple for increased security.

Transmitting connections through new servers does making tracing a user difficult. In addition to this, most providers should not store a user’s data, meaning that even if the provider has technical issues then an attacker should be unable to locate any sensitive data.

Assigned IP addresses should not show up as linked to a physical address. If a VPN provider keeps assigned IP addresses and physical addresses on their server, then the user should be made aware of this. This can risk data being leaked if the VPN provider comes under attack, leading to a loss of user information.

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What Does a Kill Switch Do?

A VPN kill switch automatically severs a user’s connection to the internet if the provider is unable to reroute it through a VPN server and disables it when the VPN is back up and running. That means that during the time when the VPN is not working properly, the user will not be left exposed online.

If a provider does not offer a kill switch, users may continue to access the internet without knowing that their connection has not been rerouted. This means their IP address may be visible to attackers online without them realising, and they will be paying for a service which is not operating as it should.

It is crucial to know whether or not a VPN provider offers a kill switch. If this is not the case, it is usually worth swapping to an alternate VPN provider to ensure that all data is protected and cannot be accessed by a third party. The kill switch is used as a last resort and will only be activated when it is necessary, meaning that users should remain connected to the internet as much as possible.

 

Do Protocols Protect VPN Connections?

There are protocol options available which can help users to increase their security. Some protocols have increased speed or security options available, allowing the user to choose the protocol which is best for them.

VPNs which offer multiple protocols are available. These are ideal for those who desire the option to vary both security and speed if the VPN will be used across a variety of tasks. For example, users may want to use different protocols for sending emails or streaming content. This means that providers will frequently offer different protocols to protect VPN connections based on what the user desires.

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