Some Web Detect Your VPN? Here the reasons

When you get the Netflix proxy error, do you ever wonder, "How do websites even know I'm using a VPN?" So, look no further. Here are some ways websites can detect your VPN usage. We've also included some dependable methods for circumventing these detection methods and concealing the fact that you're using a VPN.

1. The IP address of the VPN server has been blacklisted.

VPNs mask your true IP address and replace it with a different one depending on the server to which you connect. These VPN IP addresses are, of course, public information. As a result, companies such as MaxMind and other VPN detection services can easily collect them and sell them to websites for blacklisting.

IPs owned by the same host or datacenter are frequently blocked as well. Yes, even if they had never been associated with any VPNs in a detection service's database. Netflix mistakenly blocked the residential IP addresses of users who weren't even using a VPN in August. All because some VPN providers began using residential IP addresses to conceal their presence.

Websites may also suspect you're using a VPN if they detect an unusually high number of requests from the same IP address. Any network administrator would be suspicious of a thousand different accounts all using the same IP address.

Of course, this does not always result in the IP address being blacklisted. In what way? Businesses such as airports, hotels, and universities, for example, may share an IP address with hundreds or even thousands of users. As a result, blocking IPs solely based on these criteria would result in a large number of false positives.


  • Just change to a different VPN server in the region and retry accessing the website. To circumvent geo-blocks, the best VPN services have massive server networks and regularly refresh their IP tables.

2. Websites are aware that you are using a VPN. Because of a DNS mismatch

VPNs frequently have their own DNS servers. This is done to ensure that your ISP cannot see what you do online by inspecting your DNS requests, thereby protecting your privacy. In the event of a VPN leak, it also aids in preventing mismatches between your IP and DNS regions.

However, assuming your VPN does not leak, DNS location mismatches can occur when using an online service's app version. Netflix's iOS and Android apps, for example, completely override your VPN's DNS settings, revealing your true location.


  • To avoid the app overriding your VPN's DNS settings, always use the browser version of any online service. Alternatively, you can prevent such problems by installing a VPN on a compatible router. This will also allow you to use a VPN connection on game consoles, smart TVs, and other devices that do not natively support VPN.

#3 They Examine Your System's Time Setting

Through a process known as browser fingerprinting, websites can easily verify your system time settings. What happens is that your browser sends out information about your device, including your timezone. As a result, if your system time and the timezone of your VPN server differ, websites may suspect you're using one.

While browser fingerprinting is generally considered to be quite intrusive to privacy, it is not without its benefits. Security emails, for example, frequently contain information about any devices that have recently accessed your account. Here's an example:

"New login detected from [IP address/ location, browser X, Operating System Y] – is this you?".


  • Always ensure that your system clock settings correspond to the timezone in which your VPN server is located. If you connect to a server in Montreal, for example, you should set your system time to GMT-4 (adjusted for daylight savings). After adjusting your clock settings, it's a good idea to restart your computer or use a different browser.

#4 VPN use can be detected by websites using GPS data.

It's pretty simple. Allowing online services to use your location data for any reason effectively nullifies a VPN's location-hiding capabilities. Of course, in some cases, websites or apps will not even ask for your permission to track your GPS data. Alternatively, they bury the option to disable GPS tracking deep within the app's settings in order to discourage users from disabling it.

Fortunately, avoiding this problem is relatively simple. Aside from being cautious about which apps and websites you use, you can also use a VPN that spoofs GPS data, such as Surfshark. Otherwise, simply use a different device that does not have built-in GPS capabilities.

#5 Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

Without getting too technical, DPI is essentially examining network data under a (metaphorical) microscope to determine its origin, destination, content, and other valuable information.

DPI is primarily used by businesses, Internet service providers, and governments to detect and prevent cyberattacks, optimize servers, and analyze and control user behavior. For the most extreme examples, consider China's Great Firewall or Russia's Sovereign Internet project. Websites may simply not work if you use a VPN in an area with known Internet censorship issues.

When analyzing VPN traffic with DPI, the company or government body typically looks for signatures specific to protocols such as OpenVPN. Consider it similar to identifying a pattern in the encryption that distinguishes it from the regular encryption used by websites or HTTPS. They still don't know what your data is made of; all they know is that you're using a VPN and possibly which protocol.


  • All of this is avoidable if you use a VPN with obfuscation technology. VPN obfuscation is a method for concealing VPN traffic. It will not, however, alter the traffic; instead, it will use a "mask" to conceal its patterns from ISPs and governments.

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