How to Check if a VPN IP is Residential or Datacenter?

3 min

The VPN market is so crowded these days that you can’t judge a VPN software just based on face value. You can never say for sure whether the residential VPN you are using is assigning you a residential IP or a low-cost server IP. The same goes for traditional VPNs too, although there you are more concerned about the encryption standard than the type of cloaking IP address.

TuxlerVPN recommends routinely testing your VPN software and its performance to see if you’re getting total utility out of it, in terms of both protection and anonymity. This means checking three things:

  1. If your IP address is hidden
  2. Whether your replacement IP is residential or datacenter
  3. If your connection is encrypted

We’ll focus on the first two points in this guide. Read on…

Residential IP versus Datacenter IP

The main difference between a residential IP and a data center IP is in how the IP addresses are generated. While residential IPs – as the name suggests – are generated by local ISPs and assigned to residential addresses (homes), data center IPs are generated by data centers or VPN servers. 

Another critical difference in our context is how easily the IP addresses can be procured. It’s easier to set up a VPN server than to have a system that can gather and manage residential IPs. This is why most new (and free) VPNs offer only server proxies; they take the easy and low-cost way in. Check out our residential versus data center IP comparison article to learn about the lesser-known differences between the two.

Residential IPs are more effective in circumventing geoblocks and helping you access web content. This is the primary reason why residential IPs are widely popular now. 

But what happens when your VPN does not stick to its claim? What should you do if you find out that your VPN IP is not traditional as advertised by your provider?

Why Should You Check Your VPN IP Type?

As a basic tenet, you should get what you pay for. If you’re paying a premium for a residential VPN, you should get the promised residential IP cover and encryption. Any deficiency in service goes against your contract with the VPN provider.

Moreover, as we have seen above, a traditional data center IP routing will do a poor job at unblocking websites. So, if you suddenly face access or speed issues while using a VPN, you should consider inspecting it. Here’s how.

Steps to Check Your VPN IP Type

Follow these steps to check if you’re getting what you paid for:

  1. Visit https://whatismyipaddress.com/
  2. Check your IPv4 or IPv6 address
  3. Read other WHOIS information

If your IP address is assigned by a local ISP, then you can confirm that it is residential. Sometimes, the WHOIS information may also mention the name of your VPN provider or classify the IP address as a virtual one. In such cases, you can confirm that the IP has originated from a VPN server.

For reference, here are some of the most common ISPs in the United States: AT&T, Spectrum, Verizon, Cox, Mediacom, and Optimum. 

You may use any WHOIS lookup tool to check your IP address. The key is to find out the IP assignor to detect whether your VPN IP address originated from a residence or data center.

To check if your VPN is hiding your IP address effectively, just compare your original IP address with the one that appears in the tool when you’re connected to the VPN tunnel. You can find more info on how to do this in our short guide.

How to Deal with This Situation?

If you suspect that your VPN provider might be duping and fleecing you by assigning a data center IP address, you have the following options:

  • Make a complaint to the provider (with proof)
  • Upgrade to a better plan
  • Switch to another VPN provider

Of course, we recommend the last option as the first two are unlikely to solve the issue. Even if your VPN provider admits to a deficiency in its service and provides you what it advertised, it may retract later. Not to mention the trust issues with the company that can affect your relationship with it. That is not an ideal situation, especially since it all concerns your online privacy and safety.

TuxlerVPN recommends testing your VPN regularly to ensure that you’re getting what you paid for. This involves checking the IP address type, the tunneling protocol, as well as the encryption quality. You may subscribe to TuxlerVPN Premium to enjoy uninterrupted tunneling and encryption. Check it out today.

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