There are a few reasons that you may want to detect if a user is using a VPN. This can be a useful tool for many different types of businesses, from financial institutions to streaming services.
Fraudsters are increasingly hiding their IP addresses behind a variety of VPNs, including data center proxies and residential proxies. These are typically used to circumvent content access restrictions that are enforced by digital rights management (DRM) strategies and systems.
A VPN detection API can help you identify a potential proxy user so that you can prevent unauthorized use of your network and content. This can be especially useful for e-commerce websites, gaming communities, research universities & institutions, and large financial institutions that are concerned about the impact of fraudulent activity on their business operations.
One of the most popular ways to identify a proxy is to check whether the IP address falls within an officially published range. For example, if you’re connecting to Amazon Web Services (AWS) you can check if the IP belongs to an AWS data center by looking at their published IP ranges.
Another way to identify a proxy is by determining the original IP address of a device. This can be done by running a latency test or a WebRTC test. If you see that there is a significant delay between the original and proxied IPs, then it’s safe to assume that the device has a VPN installed.
You can also look for proxy IPs in your DNS logs. Some ISPs leak DNS records, which can be helpful when identifying a potential proxy user.
Proxies always modify connection details in one way or another, so it’s important to look at more than just the IP address when evaluating the likelihood that an IP is a proxy. This can include checking the browser timezone of a connection and looking at the number of HTTP header requests that a particular IP makes.
This can be especially valuable when a user’s identity is masked by a VPN, proxy, or Tor exit node. This can be a sign that they’re not really the owner of the account and are instead using a stolen identity to gain access to your network and its content.
Alternatively, you can use an IP address blacklist to identify a potential proxy. While this isn’t the most reliable method, it can be effective when a fraudster has changed their IP address and tries to access your network from a new location.
Finally, you can check the timezone of a connection to determine whether it has originated from a proxy. This can be particularly helpful when a proxy is used to bypass a geofilter.
In addition to detecting a proxy, a VPN detection API can also identify users who are trying to access content from illegitimate regions. This can be especially useful for online streaming services, as it can prevent piracy and cut compliance risks. This can be done by integrating an accurate VPN detection solution into your streaming platform and blocking any connections that appear to originate from illegitimate regions.