Today, many Internet users give great importance to the protection of your privacy, so they resort to tools capable of protecting it, such as -for example- VPNs, services capable of tunnel all traffic between our device and the servers.
This ability of VPNs (acronym for 'virtual private network') allows them, in theory, not only anonymize our online communications, but also prevent a third party from intercepting them. That is why they are an essential tool when connecting to public WiFi networks.
However, not all VPNs are equally effective ... and sometimes they suffer from 'leaks' where they may end up leaking, during our browsing sessions, some of our private data.
Fortunately, there are tools that allow us to analyze the effectiveness of our VPNs (and web proxies and the like) in protecting our privacy. Today we are going to analyze one of those, a website called 'What Leaks?' ('What is filtered?').
Let's see what leaks out ...
What WhatLeaks.com offers us is that, just by entering it, it will show us all the data that you can extract about us from our connection and our browser.
Thus, for example, it will show us from which IP we are connecting (and if it belongs to a black list of IPs), and it will geolocate it with remarkable precision.
As you can see in the screenshots, before and after using a VPN service, the data varies significantly:
For some reason, my original IP is on a 'black list' for mass spamming, and the web detects where I am connecting from. WhatLeaks shows, in the following screenshot, that the VPN has been activated camouflaging my IP (and, with it, the geolocation option) ...
... but now, however, it shows how open several ports that were not before activation of the VPN (!!).
In another section of its website, WhatLeaks offers some recommendations on aspects to consider when choosing a VPN service (recommend, above all, never resort to free VPNs, and make sure that you do not keep a record of our activities).
In addition, it recommends a couple of VPN services (shown as 'partners' of the web, which allows to question the neutrality of the recommendation) and advises against another seven, among them coincidentally the one used in this test.
Image | Based on originals by J. Triepke & FreePNG