Here are some tips for using VPNs more effectively:
Perform A DNS Leak Test
DNS is the “domain name service” that is required to use internet. It translates a domain name (e.g. “Amazon.Com”) into a IP address (e.g. “22.214.171.124”). When using a VPN, do a DNS leak test to make sure that you are not revealing your ISP name servers (your ISP is the company giving you access to the internet).
Use A Private DNS Provider
To enhance your privacy I recommend using a private DNS provider, or preferably, two different private DNS providers. Here are some DNS providers that purge their logs regularly:
- Censurfridns.DK is the name of two Danish uncensored DNS servers, which are available to anyone, free of charge
- The DNS servers listed on the OpenNIC wiki (a user controlled Network Information Center)
How to change your DNS:
- Windows users will need to go into their network device’s properties, then go into the IPv4 properties, and then change the DNS servers in the bottom section of the window.
- Mac OS X users will need to go into their System Preferences, click on “Network“, choose their network device, click on “Advanced”, and then enter DNS servers after clicking on the DNS tab.
- Linux users will need to click on their network applet, choose Edit Connections, click on “Edit” for your network device, and under the “IPv4 Settings” tab, choose the “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only” profile, and then add the DNS servers into the DNS servers textbox, with each server address separated by a comma.
Use OpenVPN where possible — it’s the most secure VPN protocol. On Macs, you can use the free Tunnelblick app with OpenVPN. With Ubuntu, you just install openvpn packages. In Windows, download the OpenVPN installer. Currently, you can’t use OpenVPN on iPhones and iPads, due to Apple restrictions. You can use the GuizmOVPN app on a jailbroken iPhone or iPad. On Android, you can use FeatVPN app. Also, if you have a “rooted” device running Android 4, you can use the OpenVPN Settings app.
Use Ports That Aren’t Blocked
If your ports are being blocked or censored, you need to experiment with ports when using a VPN. With the OpenVPN protocol, port 443 (used by secure pages in web browsers) is usually a safe bet, another good port to use is 53 for UDP (DNS port).
Don’t Use Leaky Browser Plug-Ins
Log In To Online Accounts
It might seem obvious but don’t login to online accounts that could identify you! You can of course create online account with fake information.