Prevent DNS Leaks When Switching Network Interfaces

Published Categorized as Tips & Tricks

In today’s digital landscape, maintaining your online privacy and security is paramount. This is where Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications come into play, promising to safeguard your data and keep your online activities private. However, not all VPNs are created equal, and ForestVPN understands the importance of ensuring your DNS requests remain private throughout your VPN connection.

DNS Leaks

Understanding DNS Leaks

To grasp the significance of preventing DNS leaks, let’s delve into how they occur. DNS leaks happen when your DNS requests, which translate domain names into IP addresses, are exposed to third parties instead of being routed through the encrypted VPN tunnel. Picture this: you’re connected to your VPN, feeling secure, but unbeknownst to you, your DNS queries are leaking out to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other prying eyes.

Scenario: DNS Leaks After Switching Network Interfaces

One common scenario where DNS leaks can occur is when you switch between different network interfaces. Imagine this: you’re at home, browsing the web with your laptop connected to Wi-Fi. You fire up your VPN for that extra layer of security. Later, you decide to plug in your Ethernet cable. Most VPN applications won’t detect this change, leaving your DNS requests vulnerable to leakage.

Technical Breakdown

Let’s break it down further. Take, for example, a Mac user with both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections available. The system prioritizes one connection over the other, typically preferring Ethernet if available. If your DNS is set to a “local” IP address, indicating your router acts as the DNS server, your DNS requests may bypass the VPN, exposing your online activities to your ISP.

How to Test for DNS Leaks

Worried about potential leaks? You can conduct a DNS leak test to ensure your VPN is keeping your DNS queries secure. Here’s a simple method:

  1. Unplug your Ethernet cable.
  2. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  3. Activate your VPN.
  4. Use a DNS leak tool to check for any leaks.
  5. Plug in your Ethernet cable and rerun the test.

If you notice a change in the list of DNS servers after plugging in your Ethernet cable, you may have a DNS leak.

Understanding the Root Cause

So, why does this happen? It boils down to how your operating system determines which DNS servers to use. The system defaults to the DNS servers associated with the highest priority active network service. When you switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet, the Ethernet connection takes precedence, potentially exposing your DNS queries to your ISP.

Additional Testing Methods

Beyond DNS leak tools, you can also use terminal commands like tcpdump or scutil to investigate DNS behavior further. These methods offer more insights into how your system handles DNS traffic.


1. Can VPN applications prevent DNS leaks effectively?

Yes, VPN applications like ForestVPN can prevent DNS leaks by ensuring all corresponding requests are encrypted and routed through the VPN tunnel.

2. Are DNS leaks a significant security risk?

Absolutely. DNS leaks can expose your online activities to your ISP or other third parties, compromising your privacy and security.

3. How often do DNS leaks occur?

DNS leaks can occur under various scenarios, including when switching network interfaces or experiencing network disruptions.

4. Can users detect DNS leaks on their own?

Yes, users can perform DNS leak tests using various online tools or terminal commands to check for any vulnerabilities.

5. Is ForestVPN effective in preventing DNS leaks?

Absolutely! ForestVPN prioritizes user privacy and employs robust measures to prevent these leaks and safeguard your online activities.

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To access restricted content safely and securely, we recommend using a reputable VPN service like ForestVPN. ForestVPN offers robust encryption, reliable servers, and strict no-logs policy to protect your online privacy and security. By connecting to ForestVPN, you can browse the internet anonymously and access geo-restricted content without risking your data or violating any laws.

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Your Online Security is our priority at ForestVPN