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I am wondering whether a website you are accessing can tell if you are using a VPN or not based on your IP address? I have done some Google research and it appears, that this is the case.

However, I am not exactly sure whether it is different if you use a dedicated IP from a VPN service instead of a dynamic IP address. Can it be possible that your IP looks like a "private" IP from a private household?

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4 Answers

If you use a public VPN service: Yes.

You know it's a VPN; so can a third-party.

Dedicated IP reduces the problem but doesn't eliminate it, as an agency could simply ask for all IPs controlled or purchased by the VPN provider; or infer it from Whois/DNS contact details or monitor propagation of software patches from a known VPN company to any server.


If you create your own private VPN: No.

At least if you don't specify what precisely you are using the box for and your VPN software doesn't leave open obvious ports or phone home for patches.


Regarding IP spoofing: Most ISP routers reject spoofed IP packets nowadays, so that option is ruled out. If you start using onion routing then you have really replaced one VPN with multiple VPNs

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While it is true that if you are using a public VPN service doing a whois in the IP will most likely show that you are visiting through that VPN, you should also consider running your own VPN solution. Say for example you are running OpenVPN on a machine that you own, that is connected to the Internet through a regular end-user ISP plan. In this case when someone is doing a whois lookup on that IP, there will be nothing to point out to the website you are connecting to that this IP is used for VPN (instead it will be showing something like the address being part of a subnet that the ISP is using for their clients).

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If you use a VPN service from a service provider like Overplay, your IP will show to be one of their IPs. IF someone took that IP and did a whois on it, It will show that someone is comming through a VPN server.

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Thank you for your answer! I just contacted some VPN service providers and got the following response (I will update, when I get other replies): "Yes it's possible to have a dedicated IP assigned to you to make it look like you're using a private IP." From ExpressVPN, but they "Unfortunately, do not offer dedicated IPs." –  Gustav Oct 13 '13 at 10:36
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from past experiance - i used us vpn to open a paypal account (since paypal doesnt support my location )- and they limited my account almost immediatly, after a frusterating process of verification with them , they reviewed my account and permenently limited my account saying that i was hiding under a vpn which is prohibited. so there you go paypal can see you are using vpn , and so do other websites

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