Vpn detection can be used for good actions like securely connecting to a corporate network while traveling for work or accessing online content that would otherwise be blocked by a country’s internet policy. However, cybercriminals and bad actors also abuse VPN connections to conduct nefarious activities such as credit card fraud, account takeovers, click fraud, malware distribution, and more. For these reasons, it’s important for website operators and software users to be able to detect if someone is using a VPN.
VPN Detection Methods: Identifying Virtual Private Network Usage
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to identify VPN usage and block users who are using them. A basic method is packet sniffing, which looks at data packets and identifies them as being from a VPN server based on encryption and tunneling. A more advanced method is a deep packet inspection (DPI), which uses programmed rules to examine the contents of data packets in more detail. DPI is primarily used by governments with harsh internet policies, big businesses, and ISPs.
Another way to recognize VPN usage is to use a DNS lookup, which identifies the person’s IP address as belonging to a VPN provider. This is particularly effective in identifying users who are using the service to access online content that’s only available from a certain country or region. For example, if a person signs into their bank account and then visits websites from Mexico, Japan, or England in consecutive days, it’s likely that they are using a VPN to access the content.