Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown

Skip to main content

Why do you see more CAPTCHA tests when using a VPN?

A CAPTCHA is a test we take online to prove we are humans instead of bots. Sometimes, we must mark all images containing traffic lights, crosswalks, bikes, or cars. While picking pictures containing objects is relatively easy, people often roll their eyes. When using a VPN, you might notice that the CAPTCHA tests challenge you more frequently. It might be an annoying task, but it is not something to stress over.

Why do you see more CAPTCHA tests when using a VPN?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Why does the web need CAPTCHA tests?

A CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Thus, its primary purpose is to differentiate between humans and machines. A CAPTCHA attempts to balance tests that would be relatively effortless for legitimate users but difficult for bots.

Websites implement these protective measures to recognize and grant access solely to authentic visitors. They attempt to detect fake online requests and prevent them from abusing online services.

For instance, a CAPTCHA could stop attackers from exhausting web server resources. It is also useful in fending off spam or automated login attempts. Malicious bots could also pursue different goals. They could partake in web scraping, DoS, or clickjacking. Websites can fend off simplistic script-based attacks using various technologies, including CAPTCHA tests. However, more sophisticated attack strategies can bypass a CAPTCHA, highlighting their limited mitigation abilities.

Over the years, these tests evolved to address their difficulty level and combat the elevated capabilities of AI. Studies show that with enough training, machines can learn to imitate humans and resolve CAPTCHA tests with high accuracy. With machines catching up to replicate our behavior, researchers explore different approaches.

There are many intriguing versions of CAPTCHA tests, and specialists have attempted to make them less infuriating. One such experiment turned them into game-like tasks that prompt users to get a high score. While such methods have potential, more monotonous alternatives persist online.

Why do you see more CAPTCHA tests when connected to a VPN?

Seeing more CAPTCHA tests when using a VPN does not indicate a threat. While it might be inconvenient to some extent, there is no reason to be alarmed. However, a VPN could be the reason behind the increased aggressiveness of CAPTCHA tests.

Essentially, people connect to VPN servers alongside dozens of other users. Thus, multiple clients receive the same IP addresses and share them. Such IP address allocation is not detrimental to the privacy and anonymity you attempt to get from a VPN. Nevertheless, websites could see this as a red flag since you share your IP address with many users.

Google is one of the strongest contenders for displaying more CAPTCHA tests to VPN users. Since dozens of people browse simultaneously from the same IP address, Google could see it as bot-like behavior. Thus, it will prompt netizens to complete a CAPTCHA, which might pop up more frequently than you would like. However, this response is normal, and users should not worry too much about spotting fire hydrants in images.

Is there a way to prevent CAPTCHA tests?

CAPTCHA tests are not the most seamless and pleasant security measures we encounter. However, they should not be a source of distress. Such challenge-response procedures simply attempt to combat bots and prevent attempts to harm websites. Experiencing more of them when connected to a VPN is a sign that the web does its job of detecting machine-like traffic. As mentioned above, it does not hinder the protection you receive from a VPN. However, if CAPTCHA tests irritate you, you might want to lower their recurrence.

You could try connecting to other VPN servers with fewer simultaneous connections. A smaller number of users might not initiate the overwhelming bot-like traffic. Thus, websites might not present as many CAPTCHA tests. You could also go as far as getting a dedicated IP address. Such VPN services assign IP addresses exclusively to you. As a result, you will be the only client browsing the web with it. However, dedicated IP addresses are costly, and users typically use them to solve more pressing issues. Furthermore, you do not blend into the crowd while using them, which reduces the privacy protection a VPN offers.