A VPN service is the best way to make certain that your browsing is completely anonymous. The following utilities can help you to make sure that you have properly secured your VPN and that you don’t have any applications skirting the edges of your protection.
VPNCheck comes in a free and paid edition. The free edition only allows you to check PPTP VPN connections. You can check OpenVPN connections with the professional version of the software. This software will automatically close down your connection if your local IP changes or if your IP goes off-line. This software is easy to configure but, because the free version only covers PPTP encryption, it may not be enough for those seeking the ultimate in privacy.
VPNetMon has both a free and paid version, the free version being limited by time restrictions on how long it may be used. The software is simply unzipped and installed on your computer. It shuts down software that you specified should be monitored if a break in your VPN connection is detected. The time limitation on this software’s free version may make it unsuitable for P2P users who want those applications monitored.
Another option for securing your VPN connection, VPN Watcher will automatically stop any program specified when your VPN network goes off-line. Unlike some other options, however, this program merely suspends the activity of those programs instead of actually shutting down the program itself. This particular application works with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. The program will also restart any programs that were suspended due to a lost VPN connection.
DNSLeakTest.com doesn’t require you to install anything on your computer and the service is completely free. This service doesn’t shut down any programs if your VPN is compromised, but it does allow you to cover a major security hole that many VPN users probably have not addressed. If your DNS requests are going to a server from your own ISP, you’re not surfing anonymously. This service will let you know the IP addresses of your DNS servers and, if they happen to be owned by your ISP, you need to reconfigure your network connections so that you are not leaking your DNS requests to prying eyes.
ibVPN gives detailed instructions on how to configure your torrent client so that everything you do is encrypted. A series of tutorials allows you to get easy instructions on how to secure your torrent client and make certain that it is using a VPN connection. Instructions are given for many of the above listed software packages.
Why Do This?
No matter what VPN service you are using, security is complex. There are plenty of ways that even a very skilled user can forget to attend to something that leaks vital information about their online activities. Software that monitors applications to make certain it shuts down in the event of a compromised VPN service can protect you from traffic shaping and other nuisances on the part of ISPs. If you are transferring secure data over a torrent or other type of connection, it’s always good to know whether what you’re doing is protected and to take measures to correct the situation if it is not.