One problem when using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an IP address leak. This is especially true for IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6).
What does this mean for you? When you assume that the VPN guarantees your security, your private information (IPv6 address and location) may be leaked online. But before we delve into the details of IPv6 VPN issues, let’s take a quick look at some of the basics.
What is IPv4 and IPv6?
Each device connected to the Internet has a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address. This address can be used to identify your specific device and location. The IPv4 address is a 32-bit decimal number (this is the case: an IP address system 192.0.2.235 ). But as we are rapidly exhausting IPv4 addresses and more devices are connected to the Internet, we will soon transition to IPv6.
An IPv6 address is an updated IP address system that uses a longer 128-bit version – thereby significantly increasing the number of available IP addresses. It looks like this: 2001:0db8:0000:0042:0000:8a2e:0370:7334
The ongoing transition from IPv4 to IPv6 poses a major problem for most VPN services.
IPv6 VPN problem
Most VPNs are difficult to adapt to this transition to IPv6 and update their server network. Of course, upgrading servers to support IPv6 is an expensive and difficult problem to solve. Most VPNs prefer to focus their resources on marketing rather than providing users with high-quality servers that support IPv6.
That’s why when you’re looking for a VPN service, always take a deeper look at the details on its server. Most importantly, try to find a server status page that provides real-time bandwidth information. The following is an example of NordVPN :
A good server status page will display:
- All server locations and number of online servers
- Real-time bandwidth statistics
- Which servers support IPv6
Obtaining this information is important because it affects the performance of the VPN. Because many providers over-sell their VPN services, VPN servers are often overloaded by users. This means that the user is slow, disconnected, and poorly reliable.
Can my IPv6 address use VPN securely?
A short answer may not be – especially if you use a cheap VPN. A study found that 84% of Android VPN applications will reveal your real IP address. This big problem exposes millions of people and is further explained in the VPN warning list, which contains a series of VPN providers with privacy/security issues.
what should you do? First, use this IP address checker to check if your IPv6 address is public. If you see a very long IPv6 address and it is not from your VPN provider, your IPv6 address will be leaked. (You should also run the DNS leak test, but this is the subject of another article.)
Don’t test the feature, don’t trust your VPN.
VPN IPv6 solution
The best solution is to use IPv4 and IPv6-enabled VPN services on its VPN server network. As we have already discussed, few VPNs offer this solution.
One suggestion is Perfect Privacy, which will provide you with dual-stack VPNs – IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
When you check the IP address when connecting to the Perfect Privacy VPN server, you will see the following:
If you want to test your VPN for IPv6 leaks and other issues, check out the VPN Test Guide .
To see a list of VPNs that have been tested and found to maintain IPv4 and IPv6 security (no IP address leakage) , see the list of best VPNs .