Can You Be Tracked with a VPN?

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It is hard but not impossible to track your activities if the VPN provider monitors traffic at the VPN server. Moreover, you can be tracked if the VPN provider keeps logs or if they are hacked.

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a popular way to increase privacy and security while browsing the internet. However, many people are unsure if their VPN traffic can be tracked.

This blog post will elaborate more on how VPN traffic can be tracked and what technologies are used to do so. We will also provide a list of reputable VPN providers that you can use to keep your traffic safe and private.

VPNs are a great way to increase your privacy and security online, but they are not 100% perfect. It is possible for your traffic to be tracked, depending on several factors.

If you use a reputable VPN service with quality encryption, it is unlikely that your traffic will be tracked. However, if you are using a free or less reputable VPN service, then it is more likely that your traffic will be tracked.

This is because free and less reputable VPN services are often less secure and may keep logs of your traffic. Besides, the poor-grade VPNs often store the users’ data and then sell it to the highest bidder. So, if you are not careful, your identity and personal data could be compromised.

Different Techniques Used to Track VPN Traffic

There are a few different ways that can be utilized to track VPN traffic:

Cookies

Websites can use cookies to track a user’s VPN traffic. When a user visits a website, the website can send a cookie to their computer. This cookie can then be used to track the user’s traffic even when the VPN is on.

Malware

If a user’s computer is infected with malware, the malware can be used to track their VPN traffic. This is done by either monitoring the traffic going in and out of the computer or taking control of the VPN connection.

Port Number

VPN utilizes different protocols which use specific port numbers. When the port number is known,  it is possible to track the traffic.

IP Address

When a user connects to a VPN, their IP address is changed. This can make it difficult for websites to track the user’s traffic. However, if the IP address of the VPN provider is known, it can be used to track the user’s traffic.

DNS Leak

DNS leaks can be used to track VPN traffic. When a user connects to a VPN, their DNS requests are usually sent through the VPN tunnel. However, if there is a DNS leak, the DNS requests are sent outside of the VPN tunnel and can be seen by third parties.

WebRTC Leak

WebRTC leaks can be used to track VPN traffic. WebRTC is a protocol that allows browsers to communicate with each other. When users have a VPN enabled, their browser will usually send the traffic through the VPN tunnel. However, if there is a WebRTC leak, the traffic is sent outside of the VPN tunnel and can be seen by third parties.

Deep Packet Inspection

Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a sophisticated technology used to track VPN traffic. DPI is a technique that allows a network to examine the data in each packet that passes through it. By using DPI, it is possible to track the traffic of VPN users. Several governments use this technology to block VPNs.

Logging

VPN providers can keep logs of their users’ traffic. This means that if a user is using a VPN, the provider can see what websites they are visiting and when they are visiting them. Some providers even keep logs of the user’s IP address.

What Makes a VPN Secure?

It is essential to choose a reputable and secure VPN service when choosing a VPN. A good VPN service will have the following features:

Clear No-log Policy

A good VPN service will not keep logs of their users’ traffic. This means that even if the government or another third party requests logs from the provider, they will not have any to provide. Make sure to check the  VPN provider’s website for their no-log policy.

Kill Switch

A kill switch is a must-have for any VPN user. This feature will block all internet traffic if the connection to the VPN server is lost for any reason. This prevents your real IP address from being exposed.

Leak Protection

Leak protection ensures that your traffic is not leaking outside of the VPN tunnel. This can happen if your DNS server is not configured correctly. A good VPN service will have leak protection built into its software.

Advanced Encryption

The best VPNs use the latest encryption technologies, such as AES-256-bit encryption. This type of encryption is virtually impossible to crack; even the US government uses this to encrypt their confidential data.

Multiple Protocols

A good VPN service will offer multiple protocols, including OpenVPN and IPSec. This allows you to choose the protocol that works best for you. It is essential to select a VPN that arrives with proper protocols that are secure and has been audited by a third party.

What Are Some Best VPNs in Terms of Security?

There are many reputable VPN providers that offer good security features. Some of them include:

NordVPN

Screenshot of nordvpn.com

NordVPN is a very popular VPN provider that offers good security features, such as AES-256-bit encryption and a kill switch. However, they do not keep logs of user activity. It is one of the most reliable VPNs, with over 14 million users worldwide.

Some features of the NordVPN include:

  • Multi-factor Authentication.
  • Auto Kill Switch.
  • Complete Data Leak Protection.
  • DoubleVPN and CyberSec.
  • Onion Over VPN Integration.

PrivateInternetAccess

Screenshot of www.privateinternetaccess.com

PrivateInternetAccess is another top-notch VPN service provider based in the United States. It offers good security features like AES-256-bit encryption, a no-log policy, and a kill switch.

Some features of PrivateInternetAccess include:

  • World Class Protocols.
  • Integrated Auto Kill Switch.
  • Integrated Ad Blocker.
  • Highly Modifiable Settings.
  • Sophisticated Split Tunneling.

ExpressVPN

Screenshot of www.expressvpn.com

ExpressVPN is a British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider known for its high-security standards. The company keeps no logs of user activity or IP addresses. ExpressVPN is also one of the few providers that encrypt all traffic with AES-256 ciphers and stores no identifying information about users.

Some features of ExpressVPN are as follows:

  • IP Address Masking.
  • LightWay VPN Protocol.
  • TrustedServer Technology.
  • Kill Switch Network Lock.
  • Top-notch AES Encryption.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while VPNs are great for privacy and security, they can be tracked with the proper techniques. The statement is especially true for the free and poor-quality VPN service. So, it’s crucial to choose a secure VPN with strong encryption and other security features to protect your data.