For Belgian sports fans, traveling abroad can be a very annoying experience. The main Belgian network for covering sporting events, Sporza, is only available within the country’s borders.
This means that if you have to travel abroad during your favorite sports event, unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy this content in your own language. Or maybe not even at all.
The reason behind this is that Sporza has secured its content by blocking non-Belgian IP addresses. But, if you are in another country, is there a way to change your IP address and access Sporza?
Fortunately for you, yes there is. Using a VPN can be a real life-saver.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an easy solution for masking your IP address and accessing Geo-blocked or even censored content. With a good VPN provider, you will be able to access Sporza from anywhere in the World.
Additionally, the network will keep you completely anonymous on the Internet by encrypting all of your traffic. These VPNs create a tunnel between you and their servers. The tunnel is or should be encrypted, which will make everything you do on the Internet incomprehensible for your Internet Service Provider.
Besides, after choosing one of the available VPN servers, your real IP address will be masked with one of theirs. So, why is this important?
Sporza uses technology that blocks every IP address that is not located in Belgium. This way you won’t be able to watch the missed broadcasts on their website, let alone live-stream the games. You will be blocked, and an error message will appear on your screen.
To prevent this from happening, as previously said, you should use a Virtual Private Network. Luckily for you, the block on Sporza is not a strict one, unlike for example the Netflix ban.
DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks
In order to know whether your VPN is leaking, first, you need to know the types of leaks that might put you in danger and how they happen.
As was briefly mentioned before, without a VPN you use the IP address that your ISP has provided for you. This means that all of your online data can be traced and stored by your provider, including personal information that you would rather keep private.
Using a VPN means that you can mask your real IP address with a different one given to you by your VPN provider. This way only you and your VPN server can have access to this information. Of course, in case your VPN is not leaking.
Let’s say that you want to access Hulu, which can only be accessed in the US. In order to do that from another location, you need to use a US server that will appear as if you are located there yourself.
But if you have a problem connecting, it means that the service is tracking your original IP address, rather than the one from your VPN server. To be more precise, your VPN is leaking.
A Domain Name Service (DNS) is a way of simplifying our access to the Internet, by making it possible to type words instead of numbers for the website we want to visit. Therefore, a DNS job is to translate these words (basically the URL) into the numeric identifier (IP address).
The process is called a DNS resolution. When you use a VPN provider, this DNS resolution should take place on the servers given by your VPN, and if not, then your real IP address can easily be tracked. This is just a simple way of explaining a DNS leak, but in reality, it’s much more complicated.
WebRTC or Web Real-Time Communication is an application programming interface (API) that allows voice and video chats, as well as P2P file sharing between browsers, without the need of an intermediate server.
There are a few benefits when using a WebRTC, however, VPN users need to be careful. For two devices to communicate via WebRTC they need to know each other’s real IP addresses, which means that a third-party website might exploit this and detect your real IP address.
Is your VPN affected?
If you want to be sure that you are completely safe when using a VPN provider, then you need to test it. Doing this is as simple as it gets. The only thing you need to do is visit a website that has these leak tests, such as “What is my address”.
Even some VPN websites offer this kind of tracking. For example, on Perfect Privacy’s website, you can check for IP, DNS, WebRTC, and MS leaks.
Make sure you check before and after logging into your VPN account. If you see the same address before and after connecting, then we have bad news for you. It’s time to change your provider and invest your money in a better and more secure one.
Many VPNs in their feature package include leak protection, and a large number of them deliver this. However, don’t believe everything you see. The best thing you can do is try a VPN provider for free before deciding on buying it. If they don’t offer a free trial, make sure it has a money-back policy.
Additionally, don’t trust free providers, because chances are they won’t grant you a secure protection. If your privacy and personal information are at stake, you need to do everything in order to protect them. Don’t you agree?