There is more to securing your computer and network connection than just purchasing a VPN package from a provider and using the client. There are other concerns to take to mind, there are exploits that can be taken advantage of by even the most basic hacker. DNS leaks, DNS Spoofing, disconnects. Every system has potential problems, but the common ones are easy to prepare for.
Forewarned Is Forearmed
New VPN users are often intimidated by the terminology and acronyms that go with the industry. But, in this day and age there are websites that specialize in educating new users in plain, easy to understand language. VPNReviewz is one such site, and they list helper applications to solve common issues as well as fixes for the not so common ones. Here are 3 they list as the better ones to solve the above problems:
VPNCheck is a very popular application that works well. This program has a free version, but there is a paid version that allows more running programs to be shut down, and a few more options and features. Here are some of the major features of VPNCheck:
- Protocol Support – PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN are supported. DNS leaks and spoofing are accounted for. Other protocols may work, but aren’t listed on the website.
- Automatic Protections - Once started, the program monitors your VPN connection for dropped connections. If the connection crashes, or disconnects, VPNCheck will suspend or close all programs that are using the connection…up to 3 in the free version.
- Other Automatic Protections – Automatically restarts the VPN connection, and 3 apps, (pro version more,) and notification of the disconnection.
- Computer ID – This feature is for the paid version only, but will protect your MAC ID, provide further security for WPA/WPA2, stop certain phishing techniques…highly recommended.
A popular open source application that is very effective in monitoring a VPN connection. It insures against DNS leaks and spoofing, and has several nice automatic features. Here are a few highlights of this one:
- Blocks/Suspends Traffic – It will suspend, block, or close, programs and applications when it detects a VPN disconnect.
- Automatic Features – Will reconnect to the VPN server upon crash, reload applications that have been shut down, or suspended, and notification to the user.
- Protocols/Traffic Supported – Some monitors won’t support certain types of applications, but P2P, Firefox, and torrents are supported. Protocols include PPTP, and L2TP, OpenVPN isn’t supported at this time.
This monitor application is very configurable, and the free version is fully functional. There are paid versions that have special features, but the free version is the best for the average user. Here are a few of the highlights of VPNetMon according to VPNReviewz:
- Protocols Supported – PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. Client can be used as default to start the VPN service.
- Special Shutdown – The client has settings for a soft or hard shutdown of specified applications. This means that if the program will not accept a suspend or cease command, VPNetMon will order the program to completely close.
- Automatic Restart – You are able to specify which programs restart or start automatically with VPNetMon.
Look Close At The Information
There are a lot more to these specific exploits that some people may need to know, and a lot of websites out there offering both good and bad information on them. Select your informational website carefully, with at least as much care as you put into the tests and solutions in this article.