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How to Prevent DNS Leaks When Using a VPN

How to Prevent DNS Leaks When Using a VPN

Using a VPN is the easiest way to stay anonymous online. It takes just a few simple clicks and some information to mask your location from any site that you visit. A DNS leak can entirely void the purpose of a VPN. A domain name system (DNS) is a system that links URLs and IP addresses. When browsing a website, it sends a request to a DNS server containing the URL that is visited, and it points to the right IP address.

When you use a VPN (virtual private network), the request is sent to an anonymous DNS server through the VPN and not directly through the browser, making sure that the ISP is not monitoring the connection. Sometimes browsers will ignore the use of a VPN and will send the DNS request right to the ISP. This is called a DNS leak and will lead someone to believe that they are staying anonymous when in reality they are not. This is how to keep that from happening.

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Diagnose the Leak

When a computer is using the default settings and is not routing DNS applications by means of the VPN’s DNS server, this will not be obvious. It will be necessary to perform a leak test. You can visit cryptoip.info for the test. After the test is run, you will know your DNS leak status and can continue on appropriately.

Change DNS Servers

The default DNS server is more than likely the one that the ISP assigned, and one of the easiest ways to make sure that the ISP is not seeing your online activity is to change your DNS server. Even if leaks are not a huge concern to you, this might still be a good idea because it can result in faster internet speeds while stopping a DNS leak as well. There are DNS servers that exist that will provide you with great security and performance, and are well-maintained to prevent DNS leaks.

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Use VPN with DNS Leak Protection

A number of VPNs come with a property that can allow for monitoring your DNS requests to make sure that they are going through the VPN rather than directly to the ISP (this is what causes the DNS leaks). To see if a VPN has this, open the settings and there should be an option that checks for and prevents DNS leaks.

Use VPN Monitoring Software

Some software that monitors VPNs will also include support in the event of a DNS leak. This might only be available in the premium version of some software, but some VPN monitoring software does include a monitoring option for those that are concerned about a DNS leak or online security hacking.

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Disable Teredo

This is a Windows-based technology that will allow for communication across two IP protocols, but sometimes this software will cause DNS leaks, so it would be wise to disable it if there is worry for the leaks. To deactivate Teredo, you will need to open up the command space and enter this in: “netsh interface teredo set state disabled” (no quotation marks). If the times comes to enable Teredo again at some point, type in the following command: “netsh interface teredo set state type=default” (no quotation marks).

Some people that use a VPN are under the impression that their information has become totally secure, when in reality there may be leaks for one reason or another. For those who are concerned about their private information being sent to their ISP through a DNS leak, it is vital to perform all of the necessary tasks to stop and prevent leaks from happening when using a VPN.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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