How to See if Someone is Using a VPN

If you’re wondering whether someone is using a VPN, there are several ways to check it. By checking website IP addresses, using packet sniffing or various VPN detection tools and tests, you should be able to confirm whether they use a VPN or not.

In general, a VPN user is easy to spot. All of their traffic is routed through the same IP address of the VPN server it is connected to. Without a VPN connection, traffic will be routed through different IP addresses, depending on the websites the user visits.

The IP address assigned by the VPN will also differ from the real IP address, which can be found by comparing the user’s displayed IP address with the VPN’s known IP address. But this fact can be concealed by using the hidden servers feature, which masks the VPN metadata and prevents others from seeing that a VPN is used. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use the most popular VPN detection tools and tests for identifying VPN users.

How Can I Find Someone Using a Vpn?

How Can I Find Someone Using a Vpn?

The most crucial factor is the type of VPN protocol and how it has been configured. For example, OpenVPN uses SSL/TLS for encryption and can be set up to run on any port. This makes it very difficult for VPN detection and blockage.

Other VPN protocols, such as PPTP and L2TP, are not as well encrypted and can often be blocked by firewall rules. Another factor is whether the VPN service keeps logs of user activity or not. If they do, it would be possible to determine if a VPN is used. Let’s look at different ways to confirm that a VPN is used.

Check the IP address

If the device uses a known VPN server, the IP address should match the server’s address. One way for VPN detection is to look at their IP address. If their IP address is different than what it usually is, or if it’s from a country you don’t recognize, they might have used a VPN to change their location.

Watch the person’s internet activity

Another way to check is to see if the person’s internet activity is routed through a server in another country. To do this, you can use a tool like Whois to check the IP address of the websites they visit. If the IP address doesn’t match the country they’re supposedly in, then they’re likely using a VPN.

Whois is a command-line interface tool helping you find information about a particular domain or IP address. To use the Whois VPN detection tool, you need:

  • to open the terminal window 
  • type in the following command: whois <domain/IP address>

If you want to check the IP address for the domain, you need:

  • to type in the following command: whois This will give you information about the domain, including the IP address.

Use packet sniffing

Packet sniffing is a process of monitoring data packets passing through a network. And it’s a great way to tell if someone is using a VPN. Analyzing these packets makes it possible to determine what traffic is sent and where it’s going. This method can also be useful for troubleshooting network problems or security purposes.

To use packet sniffing, you’ll need to install it on your computer. Once you have a packet sniffer installed, you can open it and look for any signs of VPN traffic. If you see data packets coming from an IP address different from the person’s actual IP address, they’re likely using a VPN.

Run a VPN detection test

This test checks for common signs of VPN use, such as increased encryption and tunneling. If the device passes the test, a VPN is likely used. However, it is necessary to note that some VPNs are difficult to detect, so these VPN detection tests can sometimes be unreliable.

Use IP and reverse DNS lookup tools

IP Lookup VPN detection tool checks the IP address of the person you are trying to track. If the IP address is from a different country than the one they are currently in, then it is likely that they are using VPN. The DNS lookup method checks whether the person’s IP address resolves to a domain name associated with a VPN service. If it does, the person likely uses a VPN.

Check a device’s network traffic

If all traffic goes through the VPN, it will be encrypted and, therefore, not accessible to anyone who does not have the key to decrypt it. However, if only some traffic goes through the VPN, it will be possible to see what kinds of data are sent through it. To detect VPN usage, you will need to use a VPN detection tool that can analyze network traffic. 

There are many such tools available, both free and paid. The most common tool is the “netstat”, which can view all current connections to and from a device. Another service is “tcpdump,” which can capture and view specific traffic. Finally, “Wireshark” is a more advanced tool to analyze traffic in more detail.

Test internet connection

Another way to tell if someone is using a VPN is to see if their internet connection is slower than usual. This can happen because VPNs reroute traffic through their servers, slowing things down.

Contact the VPN service provider

You can try to contact the VPN service provider directly and ask if they have any information about the person you’re looking for. Keep in mind, however, that VPN providers are not required to keep logs of their users’ activities for detection, so they may not have any information to give you.

A Word from vpnXpert

It can sometimes be tricky to confirm if someone is using a VPN. However, it is necessary to try various methods and choose the most appropriate and efficient option. 
Our vpnXpert team comprises experienced experts who know all the latest VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity trends. Our goal is to make VPNs understandable and accessible for everyone to use.


  1. How do I find someone’s IP?

    You can ask the person directly for their IP address. Otherwise, you can use a tool like Whois to look up information about a domain name or IP address.

  2. Can the use of a VPN be detected?

    Most people believe that using a VPN service is completely anonymous and that their online activities cannot be detected. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some cases, VPN use can be seen and even blocked.

  3. Why can the IP on the phone change?

    Your IP address can change if you move to a different location, a town, a city, or even a country. Additionally, your IP address can change if your network provider assigns you a new IP address or switch to a different internet service provider altogether. Sometimes, your IP address may even change dynamically, meaning it can change periodically.

  4. How to protect your IP address?

    A VPN is the easiest and most secure way to hide your IP address and protect your data with encryption while maintaining a fast connection. For example, ExpressVPN comes with world-class privacy and security features.