When I use VPN is entire Internet usage protected or only some subset of traffic? For example,

  1. Is my IMAP email provider only going to see VPN's IP address?
  2. Is my DNS provider only going to see VPN's IP address?
  3. If I play some computer game that uses some port, say 44521, is my game server going to see only VPN's IP?

p.s. my routing table.

tr@trhost:~$ netstat -rn
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags   MSS Window  irtt Iface         U         0 0          0 ppp0 UH        0 0          0 ppp0 UGH       0 0          0 eth0 UGH       0 0          0 eth0   U         0 0          0 eth0
  • Careful, now. If you're using a work-provided VPN, they may not be thrilled about you running your computer game on it. And, definitely don't be browsing for shrimp on it.
    – Iszi
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:13
  • lol. - no - I'm really concerned about our wonderful government eavesdropping, not my employer.
    – buntul
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:16
  • I'm a bit more concerned about you losing your job. Not your employer sniffing your WoW credentials. Just sayin'.
    – Iszi
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:20
  • all these recent revelations about "tripwire" and "stellar wind" programs.... You know what "stellar wind" does - records all of your emails. Apparently it's not against the 4-th amendment as long as they only record and don't look (allegedly they're not looking).
    – buntul
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


When I use VPN is entire Internet usage protected or only some subset of traffic?

This depends on how your VPN client is configured. It might send all traffic over the VPN connection to the remote network or only traffic that has an endpoint inside the VPN. I've seen them configured both ways.

One reason the IT staff would force all traffic to travel through the VPN is to prevent your machine from routing internet traffic into the VPN if your machine has been compromised. If all of the traffic goes through the VPN, then they can log the attacker connecting to your machine or detect it with an IDS.

To answer the rest of your questions: if all of your traffic travels through the VPN, then it will appear to external servers that you are connecting from the VPN's outgoing interface.

  • at this point I simply added pptp vpn into Linux's networkmanager. Do you know if that makes all the traffic travel through vpn?
    – buntul
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:40
  • I'm not sure. I think you can check using 'netstat -rn' and looking at your routing table. If there is a default gateway specified over your pptp link then all traffic will go over it. If the route is specified only for the VPN subnet, only that traffic will be sent to it. Aug 30, 2012 at 16:45
  • emm. I've added routing table above - any chance you could tell me if it's routed correctly. ip is my ip through vpn, when I disable vpn - my ip is different.
    – buntul
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:52
  • I'm pretty sure that the first entry means that all destinations are routed through the ppp0 interface. There are sites that tell you the IP address you are using. You should hit one of them to verify. Aug 30, 2012 at 16:59
  • Thanks! yep. whatismyip.com tells me that my ip is going through vpn, I just wasn't sure that all of the traffic was.
    – buntul
    Aug 30, 2012 at 17:02

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