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VPN Test: How to see if your VPN is working

The best VPN for Mac is NordVPN.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

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Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a technology writer with over 10 years of experience. She primarily writes about the best deals coverage…
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