There are a lot of VPNs out there. Some people use them to improve their internet security, while others use them to access content that's blocked in their region. Regardless of the reason, more and more people are turning to VPNs every day. But can apps detect VPN? In this blog post, we'll explore everything there is to know about app detection and VPNs. We'll cover how both work and the benefits of using each one. By the end of this post, you'll be able to make an informed decision about which is right for you. So, let's get started!
What is a VPN and why do people use them?
VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a type of software that allows you to change your IP address and encrypt your traffic. This means that your internet traffic will be routed through a server in another location, making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from that location. People use VPNs for a variety of reasons. Some people use them to improve their internet security, while others use them to access content that's blocked in their region. Regardless of the reason, more and more people are turning to VPNs every day.
Originally VPNs were created to be able to access private networks remotely. For example, if you were working from home and needed to access a work server, you would connect to the VPN which would then allow you to connect to the private network as if you were in the office. This is still a common use for VPNs, but now people are also using them for personal use as well.
Can apps detect VPNs?
Apps can detect if a user is accessing the app via some VPN. However, not all apps can do such checks. It usually depends on relevancy and financial means if such detection features are implemented.
The world of tech is usually very quick with coming up with measures and counter-measures alike. Therefore, it is probably not much of a surprise if I'm telling you that apps can detect VPNs.
However, not all apps can detect VPN. So the answer to this question really depends on the app you're using.
If an app can detect VPN depends mainly on two reasons:
- The app provider does not care whether users connect via a VPN or not
- The app has not the capabilities to check if someone is using a VPN
The latter is usually the case for smaller apps with limited financial means.
For the most part, apps can detect VPNs. There are a few ways they can do this.
How do apps detect VPNs?
If you are wondering how apps detect VPNs you need to know that there are usually two ways to do so:
- The app uses a blacklist of VPN IP addresses
- The app is programmed to specifically look for characteristics of a VPN connection
The first reason is the most common and usually the easiest to get around. This is because one way to detect if your are using a VPN is by looking at the IP address you are ultimately using to connect to the app.
If your IP address is registered to a VPN server, then the app can flag it as being suspicious. For this apps usually consult specialized blacklists of VPN IP addresses.
The second reason is a bit more complicated. If an app is programmed to look for characteristics of a VPN connection, it can be more difficult to bypass. However, there are still some things you can do. For example, you can try connecting to a server in a different country or using a different port.
Another way apps can detect VPNs is by looking at the packets of data being sent. If the app sees that the data is encrypted, it can assume that you're using a VPN. But to assume doesn't mean to know.
Further, just because an app can detect a VPN doesn't mean it will always block it. In fact, many apps will simply ignore VPNs altogether. This is because there are many legitimate reasons to use a VPN, and blocking all VPN traffic would cause more harm than good.
Even apps that detect if someone is using a VPN are usually not doing the checks themselves. For the most part this job is done by specialized software the app is making use of via some API calls.
The implications of app companies being able to detect VPNs
If an app company is able to detect if you are using a VPN, it could have some implications for you. For example, the company could decide to block your access to their app altogether. Or, they may show you different content than what everyone else is seeing. This is because the company may think you are in a different location than you actually are.
Whether an app is blocking you or not if they detect that you are using a VPN usually depends on your intent. If it seems like you are just using the VPN for privacy reasons you are good to go most of the times. If, on the other hand, you are trying to use the app for something it's not intended for - like getting around regional restrictions - you may get blocked.
If you want to learn more about you more about app blocking I have an in-depth article for you here.
Ways to get around app companies detecting your VPN
There are a few ways to get around app companies detecting your VPN. One way is to use a service that uses a different IP address for each user. This makes it impossible for the app to flag all of the traffic as being from a VPN.
If the app is consulting blacklists for VPN IPs and you get banned, theoretically, all you need to do is connect to a server that isn't on the list the app is checking you against. This is usually not too difficult, as most VPN providers have a large number of servers to choose from. However, the lists are becoming better and more conclusive every day. But as long as both, blacklists and VPNs get improved you should not have many issues using your VPN.
Another way is to use a service that uses a different port than the usual VPN port. This can also help to avoid detection. However, this is a more technical solution which is not always possible as many apps block unwanted ports altogether and which require quite some technical knowledge about ports and their usage..
The future of VPNs and how they will be used
The future of VPNs is looking bright. As more and more people learn about the benefits of using a VPN, the demand for them will continue to grow. This means that we can expect to see more innovation in the space, and more features being added to VPNs. Additionally, we can expect to see more app companies starting to allow VPN traffic through their apps, as they realize that it's not a threat.
Related article: Können Apps Fake GPS erkennen?