If your VPN is not hiding your real location, then it is a serious error that requires your immediate attention because it can compromise your privacy and expose your genuine home address.
In this article, we are taking a look at the most common reasons why a virtual private network service is failing to do its job properly. Of course, we cannot let you go without also giving you the answers to fix these issues, so stay tuned.
Check out today’s topics in the list below (click to jump).
- Make sure you are connected to a VPN server
- Connect to a different VPN server
- Check your IP address and location
- Disable WebRTC in your web browser
- Enable DNS leak protection
- Enable the VPN kill switch
- Log out and clear cookies
- Remove location permissions for Geolocation API
Make sure you are connected to a VPN server
It may sound as simple as “have you tried turning it off and on again?”, but it is more common that you would think. Some people rely on automated tasks so that they do not have to move a finger.
And yes. In many cases, the VPN service gets launched at system startup and connects to a VPN server automatically.
So, before jumping to the conclusion that your virtual private network service is a failure, double check and make sure that the application was launched and that you are connected to a server.
Connect to a different VPN server
All software programs bump into errors every now and then, and VPNs make no exception. Sometimes, the VPN provider simply has a bad day at the office and fails to properly maintain all VPN servers.
In this case, the VPN is not hiding your real location because the server you are trying to reach is either crowded or has some technical issues.
Under normal circumstances, you can get in touch with tech support and let them know about your problem. Usually, it is resolved on the spot, which is particularly useful if the server you are attempting to reach is the only one that works with Netflix.
But if the problem takes more time than normal to get fixed, you would be wise to temporarily connect to a different VPN server that works the way it should.
Check your IP address and location
If your VPN is not hiding your location because it connects to faulty IP addresses, that could be an underlying problem with the application’s architecture and supported servers.
Unfortunately, there is no workaround for this. You can try contacting tech support to request assistance but, if the issue does not get resolved, you should turn to another, more dependable VPN service.
Disable WebRTC in your web browser
WebRTC is an incredible technology that was integrated with web browsers for the right reasons: to facilitate real-time communication between browsers, mobile apps and IoT devices.
It is used by many popular online services like Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and Discord. On the negative side, WebRTC exposes your IP address to the websites you are visiting.
Therefore, the problem is not that your VPN is not hiding your real location, but that your web browser has WebRTC leaks. This issue cannot be fixed by the VPN desktop tool but by manually disabling WebRTC in your browser or by installing browser extensions that can do this automatically.
Enable DNS leak protection
DNS leaks are security flaws that expose your DNS requests to your ISP, even when using a virtual private network service to hide your DNS requests.
To find out if your VPN application is compromising your DNS requests, visit a website like DNS Leak Test. And, if the VPN is really the culprit, then you must locate and activate a DNS leak protection module.
But most VPN tools that support this feature already have it enabled by default. If the DNS leak protection setting does not exist, then you can make up for it by resorting to DNSCrypt. It prevents DNS spoofing and fixes the problem where your VPN was not capable of hiding your real location.
Enable the VPN kill switch
If your Internet connection drops unexpectedly, you are in danger of exposing your IP address to the websites you visit. It happens because the VPN service takes a while longer to connect to a VPN server after the Internet connection is up and running again.
However, you can prevent this from happening by activating the VPN kill switch in the settings area of the software program.
But if a kill switch exists and does not work the way it is supposed to, then it is time to look for alternate VPN services.
Log out and clear cookies
If you were already logged into a personal account before launching the virtual private network service to hide your IP address, then the problem is not that your VPN is not hiding your real location.
Instead, the issue is that the site you are visiting has already recorded information about your online profile, which can be used to pinpoint your genuine location. You simply waited too long to connect to a VPN server.
However, you can fix this in some simple ways. For instance, if you are logged into your Gmail or Facebook account, then log out before deploying your VPN.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to clear your browser session cookies to get rid of details that prevent a VPN from hiding your real location, including your history of visited sites.
An alternative to all of this is to start a private/incognito browsing session before connecting to a VPN server. By default, this stealth mode does not record any browsing details, so you are safe.
Remove location permissions for Geolocation API
Google Maps and other online services that request your permission to know your location use HTML Geolocation API. If you suspect that your VPN is not hiding your real location, then you can run a geolocation test after connecting to a VPN server.
If results return your true location, it probably means that that you previously allowed the site to know your location before you connected to the VPN. And now, it remembers the original information instead of the new one supplied by the VPN provider.
To fix this, all you have to do is look into your browser settings, in order to remove location permissions for all websites and apps.
There could be other reasons why your VPN is not hiding your real location. And the best course of action is to get in touch with the support team to find out how the issue can be resolved. In the worst case scenario, you need to find a better VPN service.