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Privacy Alert! Renown Chrome VPN Extensions Leak Your DNS Data

  • Salman Ahmed
  • 27th Apr, 2018

This past month, The Register revealed that a various number of renowned VPN’s were leaking users’ real IP locations.

Recently, another news went viral on different websites claiming that the popular Chrome VPN extensions leaking DNS data.

Leaking of a DNS is a security flaw from a VPN provider where your online activity is leaked to your ISP. However, note that leaking of DNS is not the part of WebRTC; they are completely different from each other.

Hence, this also might be possible if any VPN Chrome extension leaks, it doesn’t mean that the whole VPN service is leaking your data. It happens in Chrome browser because DNS prefetching is turned on by default.

Total 17 Chrome VPN extensions were tested. Shockingly, according to test, 7 out of 17 Chrome VPN extensions leak your DNS.

Chrome VPN Extensions That are Leaking Your DNS Data

  • Hola VPN (8.7 million users)
  • Touch VPN (2 million users)
  • Betternet (1.4 million users)
  • DotVPN (900,000 users)
  • HoxxVPN
  • Ivacy VPN
  • Opera VPN

If you analyze only top 4 VPN Chrome extensions, they provide services to millions of users globally, which means DNS data of millions (in millions) is presently at great threat.

Chrome VPN Extensions that are Not Leaking Your DNS Data

  • Nord VPN
  • Pure VPN
  • WindScribe
  • Cyber Ghost
  • Tunnel Bear
  • Zenmate VPN’
  • Hot Spot Shield
  • VPN Unlimited
  • Avira Phantom
  • Private Internet Access

DNS Prefetching Explained

Based on the Explanation by Google Officials, Prefetching DNS is a process to settle the actual domain names before user search for any link.

It can be done by using system’s basic DNS: no connection is necessarily needed to Google. So when a user directs to some specific domain, there will be no such detention due to DNS resolution time.

The most basic information that can help you understand DNS prefetching is when you’re surfing a website with different links to numerous domains i.e. search list.

Solution for Chrome VPN Extensions Leak DNS?

According to our tech experts, you can resolve this issue by following these steps

Steps

  1. First Launch Chrome browser and type “chrome://settings/” in the search bar
  2. Now Search Setting type “Predict”
  3. Now Turn Off “Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar” and “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly”.

How to Know That Your Chrome VPN is Leaking DNS?

By following instructions you can test that your Chrome VPN is leaking your DNS or not:

Steps

  1. First Launch Chrome > Enable VPN extension
  2. Now type “chrome://net-internals/#dns” > Select “clear host cache
  3. Now check whether your DNS is leaking or not

If you still find it difficult to follow above-mentioned steps, you can also watch the following video:

We hope that you would find this article informative and helpful in resolving the issue. In case, if you still have any query or want to add something, feel free to contact us by commenting below.

Salman Ahmed's Biography
Salman Ahmed Siddiqui is a passionate writer who loves to write about online privacy, crypto economy and trending technological developments. He loves to provide effective tips and guideline related to rising cyber challenges. When he is not writing, Salman watches Manchester United play and demonstrates his love for football with his mad FIFA skills.

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