The Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for resolving domain names such as “nordvpn.com” into actual IP addresses to connect to. Basically, it translates the long, complex and hard-to-remember numeric names of web servers into human language, and the other way around.
So whenever your computer needs to connect to a certain website, such as when you enter “www.google.com” into your browser, it first contacts a DNS server and requests the unique IP address of that site. This procedure is a crucial piece of how the Internet works.
If you are trying to keep your online activities secure and private with a VPN service, it is extremely important that all the traffic originating from your computer is routed through the VPN network. That includes the above-mentioned DNS requests – they should go through the VPN tunnel to your VPN provider’s DNS servers, rather than those of your ISP.
However, your system may for some reason revert back to the default DNS servers, resulting in your ISP being able to see what websites you are visiting. Such DNS leaks are usually down to the machine you’ve got, especially if you’re running Windows or have recently reset your system preferences. It may also happen if you have set up a VPN manually or if you’re using a VPN service that doesn’t own its DNS servers nor offer an adequate protection from leaks.
Should any of your traffic go out through the regular, unencrypted route, it may be intercepted by unauthorized parties such as your ISP or DNS provider. This way, they would be able to see the websites your visit, the files you download, the services you use and more. And you won’t even know about it, unless you take a special test for DNS leaks, like the one provided here.
That’s why it’s imperative to choose a VPN service that ensures DNS leak protection. When you connect to NordVPN, your device will only use DNS servers operated entirely by NordVPN. This way, you never have to worry about your confidential information leaking and being intercepted by third parties.
You can check for DNS leaks in just a few easy steps.
Go to https://dnsleaktest.com/.
See if the displayed IP address and location matches your actual ones. If so, you are either not connected to VPN, or your VPN service is not working.
For DNS leak check, select Standard Test or Extended Test. If you are connected to a VPN server and the test doesn’t display the DNS servers of your actual ISP, your traffic is secure.
On the final note, both security protocols have their advantages and disadvantages in the certain situations. However, both of them are recommended by NordVPN and are safe options to use, if you are concerned with your online privacy and security.
What if I’m connected to NordVPN, and I still see a DNS leak during the test?
Please contact our support team via live chat, email or support ticket. We’ll help you sort out any issues as soon as possible.
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