By my understanding of how VPN's work the answer is no because the VPN doesn't reveal the source IP is from AWS. But, I asked this question on Quora and everyone is saying they can still see the AWS source IP address. https://www.quora.com/If-an-AWS-machine-accesses-something-with-a-VPN-can-the-other-side-find-out-if-its-an-AWS-machine

  • 3
    The reason you get confusing answers is because you use imprecise English. Better explain your problem in points, listing all the relevant machines, or with a diagram.
    – techraf
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 0:16
  • It's still unclear what exactly you mean by "AWS machine .... through VPN". Is the AWS machine making the http connection to the website through some third party VPN service? Are you using that AWS machine as VPN to connect to that website from your computer through that AWS machine? Something else? The details matter, an exact and exhaustive description is the only way to get an accurate answer.
    – Peteris
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 0:59
  • I am not using the AWS as a VPN for my computer. I am using a AWS machine, to connect to a website, via (through) a VPN service. Like, the AWS is a virtual machine, and it "uses" some third-party VPN which I purchase (I've actually never done this before so I'm not sure how it works exactly). So it should be AWS -- VPN -- Website ABC. At least, that is how I understand VPN's work. But now I'm not so sure anymore.
    – pete
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:10

2 Answers 2


For TCP/IP to work (the connection protocol the internet is built on), it MUST known a destination and source.

A VPN (it the consumer sense) alters the routing of information in such a way that there is no direct path to the requesting party (yourself) from a destination (a website).

If you access a website from a AWS machine, the destination party will know your AWS machine's IP address.

If you access a website from a AWS machine, which then tunnels its connections through a VPN, then the destination party will see the VPN's IP address.

Web Links:

What are the advantages of paying for a VPN service as opposed to hosting your own?

  • In the last case, "If you access a website from a AWS machine, which then tunnels its connections through a VPN, then the destination party will see the VPN's IP address." It is also impossible for the destination party to know it's from AWS, as long as the VPN is configured correctly, right?
    – pete
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:12
  • @pete I think some study of how the internet works is in order. The requester is the VPN. The destination is a website. As far as the website is aware, it's talking to the VPN. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:13
  • I mean there are no weird fields in the packets or anything that will include original IP or other info that can be used to determine if it's an AWS machine? Because I have heard something about proxies revealing identifying information even though they're supposed to be anonymous
    – pete
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:27
  • @pete As for your last question, I've answered that here security.stackexchange.com/questions/148750/… . As for your "weird fields in the packets" consult the the Internet Engineering Task Force RFC 1180: tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1180 and RFC 4413 2rfc.net/4413 Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:47
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    @pete: there is no IP fields that will disclose your AWS IP address to the site. However, in the application layer, the application can still send your IP address to the site. For example, WebSocket and P2P application will send all your IP Addresses that your browser/p2p app can find, to facilitate finding the fastest peer connection.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:50

Updated answer to reflect the updated question wording, the answer is now no, website ABC cannot know the source ip/location of the client connecting to Website ABC through a VPN service. Website ABC will think you are coming from one of the IP addresses that the VPN provider owns and assigns to your connection.

However, before you bank on a VPN shielding your location or identity, consider that your browsing activities tell a lot about you, so don't ignore the browser security aspect of this.


--- Original Answer --

Yes, the VPN server you connect to knows your source IP address. There is no avoiding that because in order to route encrypted traffic back to your endpoint it has to know your IP address. That is how the IP protocol is designed. The VPN is a tunnel over IP. The content is encrypted but the source and destination are not.

This is why, if one is looking to hide their identity and location of their endpoint, one chooses a VPN provider that keeps no logs. Of course, you are trusting that the provider is living up to that, and also that they are not compromised and your activities exposed to some party.

  • Okay, my question might have been unclear; I changed the wording.
    – pete
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 0:52
  • Updated answer.... Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:49

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