Can VPN Be Traced?

🕒 2 min
Can vpn be traced

It’s a question that’s on every VPN user’s mind. Can someone find out that I am using a VPN? Can my online footprint be traced even if I use a virtual private network? How protected am I really when I am browsing the Internet via a proxy network?
We know it’s a burning question because it has to do with the core purpose of using a VPN. You essentially want to stay anonymous on the Internet. If your identity can be traced anyway, using a VPN doesn’t make much sense.
The answer to the main question is not straightforward because there are a few caveats involved. Let’s take a quick look at what a VPN actually is to understand this better.

A VPN is a Shield

Here’s an example: you are in Salt Lake City, Utah and your friend is in Mumbai. You both want to share a couple of media files over the Internet. So, you settle on a medium of your choice, activate your virtual private networks, and communicate.
Now, two questions may arise out of this:

  1. Can a hacker intercept the data that you are sharing?
  2. Can the hacker know that you and your friend are using a VPN? In other words, can VPN be traced?

The answer to the first question is ‘a straight no’. Since you both are on proxy networks where all data is encrypted and then exchanged, the interceptor cannot interrupt your communication and steal the data. (You should know that advanced hacking along with vulnerabilities by the VPN provider may make this possible.)
Coming to the second question: yes, the hacker will know that you both are using a VPN. Identifying a proxy network is easy and a lot of websites do it these days. They keep a track of their traffic to see who is accessing directly and who is entering via virtual networks. But the hacker won’t be able to pinpoint your exact location.
This is because your IP will be masked by the proxy server provided by your VPN service. It acts as a shield and does not display your IP or your location to the interceptor.
(You should also know that there are other ways to trace your location, especially if you are active on social media and do not always use a VPN.)

How Safe Are You, Anyway?

Using a VPN, thus, becomes a necessity. It not only masks your IP and location but also encrypts the information that you share online. This is sufficient protection for most types of users.
However, your internet service provider (ISP) and government agencies can still gain access to your online activities through advanced mechanisms that we spoke about earlier. This is how legal cases are built when it comes to copyright infringement.
For better safety, you may consider residential IPs by tuxler VPN, multi-hop networks, and dedicated VPN servers (for businesses) to protect yourself and your data.

Learn more about residential IPs by following our blog here.

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