Whether you use a identify VPN connection for work or pleasure, chances are you’ve used it to protect your privacy online. And while VPN connections are often used for good — including accessing a corporate network, anonymous browsing and protecting your online privacy— cybercriminals also abuse these networks to engage in click fraud, credit card chargebacks and other bad activities.
So how can you identify a VPN connection? The easiest way is with an IP address lookup tool, which details a person’s location. If a person’s IP address changes quickly, it suggests that they are using a VPN.
The VPN Detective: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying and Monitoring VPNs
Another method involves analyzing the type of encryption and tunneling protocols a VPN uses to protect its data packets. Known VPN protocol types include OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP. Using tools such as Netstat or Wireshark can identify traffic patterns that suggest the presence of VPN use.
A service provider can also recognize VPN use by tracking the amount of data a user generates on their device. A VPN server typically sees a high volume of data, while a home IP address will generally generate much less.