5 Signs You Can Trust Your VPN Client

Dann Albright 14-03-2017

You should definitely be using a virtual private network 8 Instances You Weren't Using a VPN but Should've Been: The VPN Checklist If you haven't already considered subscribing to a VPN to secure your privacy, now is the time. Read More (VPN). Your ISP is spying on you Two Ways Your ISP Is Spying on You and How to Be Safe [10 x SurfEasy Total VPN + BlackBerry Z10 Giveaway] It's a bad time to be a Verizon customer. Read More , governments are monitoring internet traffic, and identity thieves abound. Using a VPN helps protect your traffic from snooping and your information from theft. But how can you be sure that your VPN is protecting you?


There are a number things to think about, and a number of ways to test them. Here are five signs your VPN is trustworthy.

1. The Policy Is Clear About Logging

Many VPN providers keep logs of your data. When you log on, when you log off, your IP address, and so on. And if all you’re concerned about is keeping your data from being hacked while it’s in transit, you might not be bothered by logs. But if you’re looking for privacy, logs could be a deal-breaker.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to figure out just what sort of information a VPN provider is logging. Almost all of them keep at least some sort of data 5 Ways Your VPN Is Not as Private as You Think It Is Your VPN is not as secure or private as you think it is. We explain why you and your browsing history might not be anonymous after all. Read More — without it, they wouldn’t be able to limit traffic by usage, limit streams per user, or provide any sort of statistics. But they could be collecting quite a bit more than that.

To find out, you’ll probably need to dig into the privacy policy. Here’s an example, from HotSpot Shield:

When you use our Service, we may automatically record certain information from your web browser by using different types of proprietary technology (such as cookies), which may include your IP address or unique device ID. For example, we may collect your IP address when you commence your use of the Service; we do not, however, store logs associating your IP address with your online activities that take place when you are using of the Service.

It goes on to say that HotSpot Shield might use some of the automatically collected information to customize the ads you see. Which you might feel is a violation of your privacy. LiquidVPN, on the other hand, clearly outlines the exact types of data that it collects and has a strict no-ads policy.


Each VPN has different policies, and you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not you’re okay with them. It takes time and effort to get this all figured out, but if you’re serious about privacy, it’s time and effort you need to spend.

2. Other Users Haven’t Found Evidence of Logging

As with any business claims, it’s good to be a little skeptical. Just because a service says they keep no logs doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth. In fact, if they say “no logs,” you should definitely look at their policies, because it’s extremely hard to run a business without logging of any kind.

5 Signs You Can Trust Your VPN Client nordvpn logging

Fortunately, a lot of people put a lot of time into figuring out if VPNs are secure and private. Running a search for the name of your VPN and “logging” is a good way to get a start on the search. Reddit page /r/VPN has a lot of updates on these types of issues, too.


3. Leak Tests Come Up Clean

It’s always a good idea to test your VPN periodically. You can do this by going to What Is My IP Address or using another method How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own Want to see the IP address of your computer? Perhaps you want to discover where another computer is situated? Various free tools are available that tell you more about a computer an its IP address. Read More . Write it down. Then fire up your VPN and go back to What Is My IP Address. If it shows the same address, your VPN isn’t protecting you. You should also go to the WebRTC test page to see if your VPN is vulnerable to WebRTC.

There are a number of other sites you can use, like TorGuard’s VPN test, IPLeak, DNS Leak Test, DNS Leak, Perfect Privacy’s tool, and a number of others. Placing all of your trust in any of these sites isn’t a great idea, as some have been known to not give accurate results. Test your VPN with a number of different sites. And if you have a recommendation for a good DNS leak test, share it in the comments below!

5 Signs You Can Trust Your VPN Client ipleak test

Both TorGuard and IPLeak have torrent-specific tests or tools. If you’re torrenting, it’s a good idea to double-check with those.


4. It Ranks Well in Comparisons

Many services regularly test and review VPN services, and that can provide you with some additional information. We have our own regularly updated best VPNs list The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More , TechRadar updates theirs often, VPN Service Point keeps a list, and there are tons of others you can look into. We also recommend giving ExpressVPN a try.

Of course, you can never be totally sure that companies didn’t pay for the rankings, or that the testers went through all of the various tests to make sure that the VPNs were highly secure. But they can flag some warning signs that tell you to stay away.

5. It’s Paid

This might go without saying, but a paid VPN service is almost always more secure than a free one 5 Reasons Why Free VPNs Just Don't Cut It VPNs are all the rage, but if you're thinking of going the free route, please reconsider. Free VPN services come with risks that may not be worth taking... Read More . Free VPN services need to make money somehow, and it’s often by selling ads. And those ads are often customized based on your behavior. Paid service revenue models mean they don’t have to rely on this.

And if your paid service also offers a free plan, be especially vigilant in checking out their privacy policy and terms of service. Make sure there’s a different set of standards for the premium plan.


Double-Check to Be Sure

Just running any random VPN isn’t going to be enough to keep your information secure and private. You need to spend some time doing research and running a few tests. By reading the provider’s policies, seeing what other people have been saying, checking for leaks, looking up rankings, and paying for your service, you’ll have a much better chance of being totally informed about your privacy.

It takes time, but if you’re serious about your privacy, it’s worth it.

Which VPN do you use? Which tests and rankings did you look at before choosing? Do you regularly run checks? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

Image Credits: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Related topics: Online Privacy, VPN.

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  1. DL
    September 15, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Protonmail came out with a new VPN service this year. ProtonVPN has a basic free version, and stepped plans that are vary reasonable. Based in Switzerland, they have some of the strictest privacy laws anywhere in the world. They are currently working on the mobile apps for the VPN, ( but recommend an open source Android client for now), but have a very good app for mail, with same pricing structure. Basic free, starter account. I highly recommend this company, as they spell out everything in black & white.

  2. Robin S. Hicks
    March 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    How are we supposed to know that our data is actually encrypted? It's easy to check to see if our IP address has changed, but that's only part of what the VPN service is supposed to be providing. It seems a little naive to pay money for a service without being able to verify that it's actually doing what it says it's doing.

  3. Ryan Stevens
    March 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Many people using VPN to secure their online privacy but really did it work? 1st I'm also thinking did my VPN working proper. Then I review about the VPN from reviewsdir. In reviewsdir you will get the review about the VPN and also will know which VPN is the Best.

    • Dann Albright
      March 29, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      That's exactly the question; no matter which VPN you use, you should definitely test it to make sure it's providing the services you think it is.

  4. A Beerda
    March 15, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I have my own VPN (OpenVPN) at home on a raspberry pi. It took some time to set it up and it works perfectly. I use it for untrusted WiFi spots and for when I'm abroad so I can watch Dutch TV online (it's geo blocked). My brother (who is a flight attendant for KLM) also uses it, so he can use all webservices like Netflix and Google when he is in China for instance.

    • Dann Albright
      March 29, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Running your own is always a good option, as it gives you total control over all of the settings you want. Good call!

      • A Beerda
        March 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm

        If you want to build your own:
        Buy a raspberry Pi with SD-card:
        Some remarks:
        * Somewhere it says:

        This should NOT be the IP-address fo the Raspberry Pi, but the subnet, what in my case was

        * Don’ t forget to forward port 1194 (UDP) on your router to the IP-adress of the raspberry Pi.
        * In the /etc/openvpn.server.cong: use Google DNS, because your router probably doesn’t do DNS
        * You don’t have to use Dynamic DNS if you have your own domain name and your assigned IP-address doesn’t change all the time. Therefore you can use for instance (where is ofcourse your own domain name).

        Might be a good article to cover since now all browser information in the US is up for grabs :-(

        Good luck!

        • Dann Albright
          April 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

          Thanks for that information! I haven't built my own yet, but it's definitely something I'll consider doing in the future.

  5. Mat
    March 15, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I actually use Mullvad, AirVPN and LiquidVPN. Was excited to Liquid mentioned here. I know they don't participate much in the affiliate racket.

    • Dann Albright
      March 29, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      That's always a big plus!