Why if your VPN does not support IPv6?
(IPv6) If you are reading this article and you don’t know the purpose of IPv6 well, you should know that it is the natural replacement of Internet addresses that we have all been using for years.
The old system, known as IPv4, does not offer enough combinations so that all the new devices that connect to the Internet, among which are the so-called IoT (Internet of Things), have a unique address.
Something similar happens with landlines and mobiles, so you can call someone using either method, but IPv4 is the landline here, and it’s starting to be outdated from mobile usage.
Today, both IPv6 and IPv4 are used together, but they are incompatible with each other. If your home laptop connects to the Internet through your ISP, which assigns you only one IPv4 address, you would not be able to see the web pages that support IPv6.
This doesn’t seem like a problem these days, as 99.9 percent of websites are proven to still support the old IPv4 protocol. They can also support IPv6, but all those new ones make sure to maintain IPv4 so you don’t lose traffic.
What does IPv6 have to do with VPNs?
Most VPN providers do not yet support IPv6. If your ISP provider only grants you an IPv4 address, that is not a problem since all Internet traffic will pass through an encrypted ‘tunnel’ that uses the same IPv4 protocol.
However, if your ISP supports IPv6 (such as Telefónica in Spain and Mexico, or Vodafone in Germany), it is likely that your device has IPv6 and IPv4 addresses assigned.
Windows and other operating systems, in addition to software such as web browsers, are designed to use IPv6 whenever it is available, so they will use that protocol when you search on Google, for example.
If your VPN service does not support IPv6 and you are connected to one of their servers, then the following may occur. In an ideal scenario, the VPN will successfully block all IPv6 traffic and force everyone to use IPv4 in order to be protected.
However, what could happen is that the IPv6 traffic is not blocked and any web search that uses the IPv6 protocol will be done through your ISP and not through the encrypted VPN tunnel.
That means you don’t get any of the protection a VPN is supposed to give you, and you may not even realize it because, as far as you’re concerned, your VPN app is connected and working fine.
What VPN services support IPv6?
Not all are compatible with IPv6, but the vast majority are working on it to be able to guarantee it as soon as possible. Today CyberGhost , hide.me , AirVPN, or Perfect Privacy are a prime example of IPv6 support.
Is it safe to use a VPN that is not IPv6 compliant?
It depends. If designed and implemented correctly, there should be no risk of IP leaks where your IPv6 traffic can flow out of the VPN tunnel, exposing your real IPv6 address along with your real location and identity.
That’s what all VPNs that don’t support IPv6 say. They claim that they completely block IPv6 connections and exclusively use IPv4. We tested this when we review VPN services with pages like ipleak.net to make sure of it.
And there is another additional benefit of using IPv6 networks, which is none other than a higher connection speed since they are much less congested networks than those based on IPv4.
We have chatted with technology guru Tomislav Cohar from hide.me and he tells us that “as a general rule, a VPN provider publishes an application that is in charge of blocking IPv6 with more or less success. It usually works, but it incurs a penalty for the client since the IPv6 sites do not work and they end up using the ones developed with IPv4 ”.
“DNS queries must be filtered to ensure that IPv6 addresses are not served to a client. Such operations can be registered, so that anonymity is reduced and connectivity suffers, “concludes the expert.
There is also the manual configuration section that some VPNs support. With no IPv6 blocking or leak protection (which is generally handled by applications), your IPv6 traffic flows through your ISP. Customer security is seriously compromised and so-called protection will no longer be ideal.
The adoption of native IPv6 worldwide according to Google is around 25.29%, while in Spain we barely reached 2.1% of Internet connections. Although operators are already deploying this protocol, they are not natively deploying and use techniques such as DS-Lite during the transition period.
If you choose a VPN service, there is an argument that it is worth choosing one that already supports IPv6 if your broadband and mobile Internet providers are already using IPv6. You can find tips in our article on the best VPN services .
In the event that you are already using a VPN service that does not support the newer IPv6 communication protocol, as is the case with NordVPN , Surfshark and many other known ones, you may be able to log in to your broadband router and disable the IPv6 connection.
Then you can access the settings of your mobile phone or device in question to do the same and eliminate any possible risk of leaks by browsing in the IPv6 environment.