When I ask the VPN server to do the queries for me, does the VPN use its own ISP to run the queries over the internet?

Or did the VPN server use my ISP connection to search over the internet and by doing that he uses his own [VPN] IP Address and DNS server?

The question refers to VPN services like nordvpn, hidemyass etc..

  • What do you mean by "queries"? What is a "query"? – schroeder Jun 30 '18 at 19:08
  • my workstation output communication i.e website search or you can just say my internet use, if i want go to netflix watch youtube videos etc. – justlinx69 Jun 30 '18 at 20:23
  • fwiw I had nord for a while, if you're looking for a good one I have landed at cryptostorm.is for about 2 years now. It's not bad. – Anthony Russell Jul 1 '18 at 13:07

Most common use case for VPN service like nordVPN is anonymous browsing/streaming on internet. People wanted to hide behind VPN services to be anonymous.

Considering this common use case to answer your questions.

Q1: The VPN service will use its own ISP to surf the internet while you use your ISP to connect to the VPN servers (secure tunnel between your device and VPN servers). The VPN service provider will have several servers deployed across countries to provide faster/anonymous nature of service. For example the ‘nordvpn’ service provider has 4477 servers in 62 countries (Refer: https://nordvpn.com/servers/).

Q2: Yes, VPN service provider uses his own DNS and IP address to surf internet and this ensure your anonymity in the world. If you are using your ISP’s DNS you may loose the purpose of anonymity and your ISP can track your surfing.

Hope this clarifies your concerns…


There are various VPN technologies and various technologies which are sometimes called a VPN but which are not. A traditional VPN is a virtual network, i.e. it usually works at layer 3 (IP). These VPN do not care about DNS at all, i.e. the system using this VPN decides which DNS servers to use. Depending on the exact setup this might mean that the system is using some DNS server in the local network (usually at the router) which the uses the DNS server of the ISP - i.e. DNS lookups fully bypassing the VPN. This is also called a DNS leak and there are sites which let you check for this. A proper setup instead would use DNS servers which need to be accessed through the VPN, i.e. either DNS servers provided by the VPN provider or public ones like (Google) or (Cloudflare).

And then there are application level proxies which are sometimes called a VPN too, because they offer the [P]rivate part even though they don't protect a full [N]etwork. Commonly these are HTTP and SOCKS proxies. Properly configured the DNS lookup is only done at the VPN endpoint using the DNS servers configured by the VPN provider. But improperly configured the DNS lookup is again done locally, bypassing the VPN and causing a DNS leak.

  • i am sorry i really dont understand where your answer fit into my Question maybe i dont understand that well english but it seems your Answer focusing on DNS and how and if VPN use it,it's not what i ask – justlinx69 Jun 30 '18 at 16:36
  • 2
    @justlinx69: your question refers explicitly to which DNS is used and also to "queries" - that's why I assumed you've asked which DNS server it is using for DNS queries. If this is not what you are asking I'm not sure what you are actually asking. – Steffen Ullrich Jun 30 '18 at 17:23
  • @ Steffen Ullrich: when i watching movies or searching at google search. i use ISP "A" to give me that data, now my question is : when i connected to VPN is there ISP "B" that give the data to the VPN server and then to me ? or the VPN use My ISP "A" ? in other words how the VPN search and retrieve the information i search for. like movie or search in google – justlinx69 Jun 30 '18 at 20:33
  • @justlinx69: unless the VPN endpoint is at your ISP (unlikely) the traffic from the VPN providers endpoint will not originate from your ISP. "... i use ISP "A" to give me that data..." - it does not work like this. You use ISP A only to forward your traffic to the real server. It is like with phones: your telephone provider does not answer your call, it only forwards the calls to the next provider etc so that after several forwarding hops the call (i.e. the data) arrives at the intended target. – Steffen Ullrich Jun 30 '18 at 20:39

The fact is that VPN servers are always under some kind of ISP so online (because of your IP and DNS) it appears as if you are using a different one than you actually do get internet from. However, your ISP still will know that you are browsing but not what or where you are browsing. VPN could only share your information if they kept some kind of logs of your traffic that goes through their servers. That's why so many people make sure to get VPN outside 14/9/5 eyes regions. I myself just started using Surfshark as it's located in British Virgin Islands and it's not blocked by any websites or ISPs as it's still pretty new .

  • "However, your ISP still will know that you are browsing" - how would they know that? – schroeder Jul 4 '18 at 14:54

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