Does your carrier know if you use a VPN?

Having a VPN on our mobile or computer is quite common. It is used to hide the IP address, encrypt connections and be able to avoid geo-blocking. Now, does our operator know that we are browsing with a VPN? We are going to talk about it in this article. We will also explain some tips to avoid problems when using this type of program in our day to day.

Can you tell if I use VPN?

Perhaps that is one of the questions we ask ourselves when using a VPN: Could the operator know if we are browsing this type of applications? And there are also some more questions, like if they can do something about it or even if it is illegal to use these types of services.

The truth is that an Internet operator can know if we are browsing through a VPN or not. This is so because when browsing the Internet directly without VPN, our system automatically connects to the operator and, from there, to the website we want to visit.

Now, when browsing through a VPN, the process goes from the operator to that server to which we connect and, later, to the web page that we visit. The operator could easily figure out that we’re accessing through a VPN, even though she can’t really figure out which one.

Should our operator care if we connect to a VPN or not? In most cases, no. This is something that it won’t affect anything, nor would we be committing a crime, except in certain countries. This leads us to a couple of circumstances in which the operator would care if we use this type of service:

  • Countries in which it is legal for the operator to collect user data, where they browse from, and when using a VPN this would not be possible.
  • Countries in which the use of the VPN is prohibited and the operator could block it, in case it is detected, or even carry economic sanctions.

Tips for using VPN safely

What should we do to be able to use a VPN with total security and not have problems? The first thing is choose very well which one we are going to use. Our advice is to avoid free or trial ones, as they are not always secure and we could have privacy issues.

In addition, another important issue is that this program is updated correctly and download it from official sources. On the one hand, we are going to avoid vulnerabilities that may appear and that are corrected with patches and updates. On the other hand, by downloading them from legitimate sites, we will have more guarantees that they have not been maliciously modified.

On the other hand, we can always perform VPN leak tests. This will alert us in case it is leaking information, such as the IP address, where we are located, etc. There are different free tools that we can use to do this and avoid problems that may affect operation, but also security.

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