DNS leak test
Check if your internet traffic is being routed through your chosen domain name system (DNS).
How to read your results
You may have a DNS leak if:
- Any of the IPs or countries match your public IP or location.
- The DNS servers are different from the ones your privacy tool provides.
If you’re connected to NordVPN and suspect a DNS leak, contact support.
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What does DNS mean?
The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users easily access websites and other internet resources. DNS translates easy-to-understand website names (like google.com) into IP addresses (like 192.0.2.1) that devices use to locate each other. Thanks to DNS, we only need to type in a domain name instead of a string of numbers. In simple terms, DNS is like the phonebook of the internet.
What is a DNS leak?
A DNS leak is an online security flaw that occurs when your computer sends DNS requests to the wrong server, potentially revealing your browsing activity and compromising your online privacy.
If you’re using a VPN or a proxy service, a DNS leak may show that your virtual private network isn’t working properly. However, DNS leaks can happen even if you’re not using a VPN. DNS affects almost everything you do online, so finding and fixing DNS leaks immediately is key.
What causes a DNS leak?
A DNS leak may happen for several reasons, such as:
Misconfigured network settings
Software updates or manual changes to the network settings could cause a device to use the wrong DNS servers.
VPN or proxy services
Some VPNs may have misconfigured DNS settings or use servers outside of the intended network.
Malware can alter the DNS settings of a device and redirect DNS queries to unauthorized servers.
An unauthorized party may carry out a cyberattack by intercepting DNS queries and providing false responses.
Some apps or services installed on a device may alter DNS settings or intercept DNS queries.
ISP DNS redirection
Some internet service providers may redirect DNS queries to monetize user traffic, potentially bypassing the user’s configured DNS server.
What are the types of DNS leaks?
Standard DNS leak:
A device sends DNS queries to an unintended DNS server (e.g., an unsafe public server or an untrusted third-party DNS server).
IPv6 DNS leak:
A device uses the IPv6 protocol to send DNS queries. However, because not all VPN or proxy services support IPv6, these queries may be sent to an unintended DNS server.
WebRTC is a communication protocol used for video and voice chats that may inadvertently reveal the user’s IP address or DNS requests.
Router DNS leak:
Misconfigured DNS settings on a router may lead to the device sending DNS queries to unintended DNS servers.
Why should you check for DNS leaks?
Checking for DNS leaks helps protect your privacy and ensure that your internet browsing activity is not exposed to unauthorized and potentially malicious parties. You should check for DNS leaks regularly to verify your DNS requests go where they should and that your online activity remains private.
How do you check for DNS leaks?
The easiest way to detect a DNS leak is using a specially designed DNS leak test. NordVPN’s DNS leak test tool checks for DNS leaks and shows whether your internet traffic is routed through your chosen DNS or going elsewhere. You’ll also find a guide on reading your results.
How to fix and prevent DNS leaks
Frequently asked questions
What is a DNS leak test?
How does a DNS leak test work?
If you’re connected to a VPN or proxy and at least one of the servers in the results belongs to your internet provider, your connection likely has a DNS leak.
What are the signs of a DNS leak?
Slow internet connection
Sending DNS requests to unintended servers can cause delays in website loading times.
Can you access websites that are supposed to be blocked? It may be because your DNS requests are being sent to unauthorized servers that are not implementing the blocks.
Unexpected pop-ups or ads
Malware may sometimes alter DNS settings to redirect you to malicious sites.
Unusual IP addresses
If your device is communicating with unusual IP addresses or is using multiple DNS servers, it may be a sign of a DNS leak.
Inconsistent geolocation information
If you use a geolocation service or app, you may notice that the location information is not consistent with your actual location. This difference can occur if your DNS requests are being sent to servers in different locations.
However, the most reliable way to find out if your DNS is leaking is by performing a simple DNS leak test using NordVPN’s tool.