DNS is used to translate domain names into IP address, eg ovpn.com into 22.214.171.124. A simplification of DNS would be that it's the internet's address book.
Because of its role as that address book, DNS affects nearly everything that you do online since your browser, apps and other software use domain names to find the servers that they rely on.
A DNS leak is when a VPN fails to protect these lookups, even when the rest of your traffic is encrypted and protected by the VPN tunnel. As such, a DNS leak is a significant privacy risk since your device sends information regarding which domain names are requested.
By default, your device typically uses a DNS server that is operated by your internet service provider (ISP). However, as soon as you connect to OVPN, your device will start using the log free DNS servers that OVPN operates.
OVPN's desktop client uses several methods to ensure that you're fully protected:
DNS leaks may happen for several reasons - which is why we've integrated DNS leak checks in our desktop client as well as on our dashboard. Here are a few reasons why DNS leaks might occur:
Using OVPN's desktop client removes the vast majority of risks and is highly recommended.
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