Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

VPN Test: How to see if your VPN is working

The best VPN for Mac is NordVPN.
NordVPN

Once you’ve picked up the best VPN for your home, it’s likely you also want to check that it’s working well for your needs. It’s a sensible idea to check whether VPN is working correctly. No one wants to pay for something that they’re not actually using, plus if it turns out it’s not working, your data and browsing activity isn’t as safe as you thought it was. Fortunately, there are a few different ways of doing this. With different methods available, read on while we guide you through how to see if your VPN is working and what to look for. Don’t worry — it’s fairly simple stuff once you know how.

What is a VPN meant to do?

Knowing what a VPN is used for is always a good starting point when it comes to understanding why you need it to be working properly. To cut to the chase, you really need one to stay secure online, especially if you travel frequently and use public Wi-Fi.

Effectively, a VPN is a tunnel between you and the internet. Working as a kind of shield, it helps keep you anonymous while you browse the internet. It even keeps your activity private from your ISP. A secure line of communication, outside observers can’t see the data passing between you and the internet, with that information encrypted and secured. The VPN can’t see what you’re doing either with the best VPNs offering a strict no-logs policy so nothing is ever monitored.

It’s important to use a VPN at home as well as while out and about connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. There are many benefits so you want to make sure it’s working properly.

How to initiate a VPN test

Initiating a VPN test can be pretty quick and easy. Oftentimes, if you simply navigate to your VPN website, it will help you out by throwing up your IP address at the top of the screen. Sites like NordVPN do this and you can check your IP address at a glance. More importantly, you can check the ISP it has listed next to it. Is your regular ISP listed? That means you’re not protected. If it’s something you recognize then you’re almost certainly connected via VPN.

Another method is to check your VPN software. Once connected, it typically tells you if you’re hidden via VPN. However, this won’t be an option if you connect via your router’s settings.

What to look for to see if your VPN is working

Generally, the best way to check that your VPN is working properly is to learn how to find your IP address and compare that with the one the VPN is offering you once you connect to a VPN server. If they are different, you’re good to go and you’re safely protected.

While checking you’re protected, it’s also a smart move to check that your VPN is working in terms of allowing you to connect to the internet. If you can’t browse online or your connection is very slow, try switching to a different server on your VPN. You don’t have to change the country. Many VPNs offer numerous servers for different countries. Just change to a different area to see if it corrects the problem. If not, keep on trying and switching up servers till you find one that works.

Editors' Recommendations

Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a technology writer with over 10 years of experience. She primarily writes about the best deals coverage…
The 5 best laptops for working from home in 2024
The HP 14-inch laptop on a small desk with some headphones.

Hybrid and remote employment has reached an all-time high in countries around the world. This is why it’s important to own the kind of PC that can handle everything you need for both work and play. Work-from-home laptops should check all the important boxes for the average computer, with criteria like processing power and battery life being paramount.

We here at Digital Trends know a thing or two about working from home, and we’ve funneled a lot of our expertise into this buying guide. The five laptops we’ve selected are incredible for several reasons, and we’re about to get into the nitty-gritty of who each model is for, and why you should (or shouldn’t) buy it.

Read more
The 5 best HP laptops for working from home in 2024
man having work chat from home office with colleagues on screen.

If you're working from home and are looking for a new laptop, HP has a large variety of laptops to pick from, and is one of the best laptop brands out there. In fact, it makes some of the best laptops on the market, including some of the best gaming laptops, so there is a huge variety of things to pick from. That said, you don't always need to buy the highest-end laptop for working from home, which is why we've gone through HP's whole lineup and pick our favorite HP laptops for working from home and compiled them for you below.

On the other hand, if you don't quite find what you're looking for below, then be sure to check out some of these other great laptop deals as well.
The Best HP Laptop for Working from Home in 2024

Read more
Squarespace free trial: Build and host your website for free
Squarespace Fluid Engine screenshot.

With so many folks running their own websites these days, you may be considering getting one for yourself, and it's actually surprisingly easy to build a website without a ton of effort. Even better, Squarespace is one of the biggest and most well-known website builders out there, and even offers things like domain hosting and Squarespace courses, which is pretty interesting. Of course, it is quite a financial investment, even if you take advantage of one of these Squarespace deals, so you'll be happy to know that there's a great free trial to test out if Squarespace is the service for you.
Is there a Squarespace free trial?

Yup, there's a Squarespace free trial. You don't even need a credit card to start out with one of the best website builders -- Squarespace -- so there's absolutely no risk. All you need to do is pick out a template that works for your needs and go from there.

Read more