Why does Captcha Appear when Using a VPN? (How to Avoid it)

why does Captcha appear when using a VPN
why does Captcha appear when using a VPN

VPN is something that is used by most people around the world. It helps in protecting your online data from intruders and government agencies. Not only this, but it also helps in bypassing the geo-restriction that is imposed on most online services and products. However, there is a loophole in every cyber security product, and here, with a VPN, you can expect a repetitive amount of Captcha challenges on your screen, which can also get annoying at times. So, the question is, why does Captcha appear when using a VPN?

Well, let’s find out the answer.

Why does Captcha appear when using a VPN?

When you hop on to an active VPN connection, your VPN provider camouflages your real IP address and provides you with a fake one. Now, the IP address that a VPN provider provides to its customers is the same for most users. This means that you are sharing one of the same IP addresses with other users around the world. 

Now, according to Google, when it gets a maximum number of search requests from the same IP address, it starts doubting the legitimacy of that user and marks it as spam. And, in this case, when Google gets maximum search requests from the same IP address simultaneously (thanks to VPN’s IP sharing policy), it flags this kind of behavior as spammy and automated, thus throwing off a Captcha challenge to give the user a fair chance to prove his/her innocence.

How to deal with Captcha when it appears while using a VPN?

Well, there are some tried and tested methods that can help you deal with this Captcha thing while using a VPN.

So, if you want to try them, then just keep reading the article.

Use dedicated IP address:

As mentioned earlier, Google or any other website increases the frequency of Captcha challenges when it detects that a maximum number of search requests are being made from the same IP address simultaneously, in order to protect their platform from harmful bot attacks namely, DDOS attack.

So, if you are using a VPN service that provides you with a shared IP address, then it is high time you switch to a dedicated IP address to avoid frequent Captcha challenges. 

Although, remember, making a switch to a dedicated IP address can cost you more in terms of money as well as privacy. Yes, it may compromise the whole being “anonymous” thing, as the dedicated IP is only allotted to a particular user, thus giving anyone a chance to trace that user.

Use different extensions:

Secondly, you can try installing browser extensions like Buster, which helps solve Captcha audio challenges in just 30 seconds, hence saving some of your time. 

Another great option is “I am not a robot Captcha clicker.” As the name goes by, this browser extension helps in solving “I am not a robot” type of Captcha challenges. Although remember, it won’t be able to click twice within seven seconds.

Try connecting to a different server:

There might be two possibilities because of which you are getting frequent Captcha challenges; (a) You are connected to a far-off VPN location that has caused a bad ping, or (b) You are using that IP address that was, or is flagged by Google as “Spam” due to suspicious incoming traffic.

So, it is better to abort that particular location and try connecting to another virtual location provided by your VPN provider. 

Try different search engines:

No doubt, Google has a huge amount of traffic and database when it comes to day-to-day searches. But sometimes it is better to try another search engine to decrease the frequency of Captcha challenges (yes, the Captcha won’t go away magically).

Some of the alternatives that you can try are DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and searX. 

Try a different browser:

Like the search engine, you can always experiment with browser alternatives that can help you lower the frequency of the Captcha challenges. 

Some of the best alternatives are Firefox, Tor, and Brave.

Use Uncaptcha:

Uncaptcha is a Captcha solving tool that can solve Captcha audio challenges with around 85% success rate. So, you can give this tool a try. 

Although, this tool is not suitable for everyone, because it does not come in the form of a web browser extension and needs to be installed with the help of python. So, in short, you should know a little bit about programming. 

Additionally, the developers of this tool have also mentioned that with the advancement of Google and other search engines, the success rate of this tool might nullify. Therefore, it can be clearly said that it is just like taking a shot in the dark.

Stop clearing cookies:

Cookies are an integral part of the internet world. Many websites, even Google, add some of their cookies when a visitor visits the site for the first time so that the next visits to the site would be snappier. 

Therefore, try not to delete them when using a VPN, because the cookies will help the websites or search engines recognize you as a regular visitor even if you are on a different IP address. Thus, saving you from the Captcha trouble.

Try Captcha solving services:

Now, this option is just a solution for those of you who don’t want to waste time solving the Captcha challenges in order to enter the main content of a website.  

There are many Captcha solving services in the market. Plus, these services are reliable, as the Captchas are solved by real human beings, in real-time. 

Some of the best options under this category are “2Captcha” and “AntiCaptcha” which can help you solve Captcha challenges in 15 seconds or less. Plus, they only charge around $0.5 or $1 for 1000 normal Captcha.

Give less popular VPN services a try:

With the increase in the demand for VPNs, many VPN vendors have established their place in the market. Although, the problem with popular VPN services is that many people use them, which results in shared IP addresses. 

Therefore, if you find an unknown or less popular VPN service, I recommend getting it as your backup, because less or unpopular VPN will have fewer users, and fewer users = fewer chances of shared IP address, which in turn will lessen the chances of Google flagging you as spam.

What are the types of Captcha challenges that you can face while using a VPN?

If you are unaware of the types of Captcha challenges that you can face while using a VPN connection, then don’t worry, and follow the list that is mentioned below.

Text Captcha:

This is one of the oldest types of Captcha challenge where users are presented with distorted text or number, which needs to be retyped by the user inside the given box to proceed further.

Text-image Captcha:

After discovering that text captcha was vulnerable to attacks, developers introduced text-image captchas.  

Text-image captchas are an upgraded version of text captcha, where users are provided with text in an image format, which needs to be retyped inside the given box.

Image Captcha:

Image Captcha is a type of Captcha challenge where users are presented with a set of 9 to 16 random images. Now, to pass this challenge, a user needs to select only those images, which is a perfect representation of the given criteria. For example, you may be asked to select only those images that contain “dog” inside them.

Audio Captcha:

It is a type of Captcha challenge where users are provided with the audio version of a Captcha challenge, which a user needs to listen to carefully, and then write it down properly inside the box. Now, this Captcha challenge was specifically designed for people who had weak to no eyesight.

Math Captcha:

This is yet another interesting Captcha challenge that one can encounter while trying to visit a website. In this type of challenge, users are provided with basic math problems like “6+8” or “9×3-7”, that need to be solved by the user.

Puzzle Captcha:

Websites like Roblox can give you such kind of Captcha challenge, where a user is asked to solve the images like a puzzle game. For instance, you may be asked to rotate the animals in such a way that they stand on their limbs.

I am not a robot Captcha:

This is more of an advanced approach to the Captcha community. When this type of Captcha appears on your screen, it only asks a user to click on the “I am not a robot” checkbox. After that, based on the mouse movements, it determines whether it is a bot or a real human user.

Invisible Captcha:

This type of Captcha requires a user to do nothing. Yes, you heard it right, you don’t need to do anything because it determines the legitimacy of a user by running in the background and analyzing the history as well as cookies of a user. 

Are Captcha’s a privacy concern while using a VPN?

No, Captcha’s cannot compromise your privacy while using a VPN connection because when you are on a VPN connection, you are on a shared IP address, which means that many other users are also using the same IP address as you.

So, there is no chance that Google can determine your device and location.

How many times do you see Captcha while using a VPN?

Unfortunately, it is hard to predict the exact frequency of a Captcha challenge while using a VPN.

Although, according to some Reddit and Quora users, Captcha’s can pop-up, up to 5 times per day.

Final Remarks on “Why does Captcha appear when using a VPN?”

Captcha code is one of the most popular and loved security tools in the website business. It helps a website to determine whether the user is a bot or a human. 

Although, in past few years the popularity of VPN has increased and many people are now using it as their go-to security tool, which has directly caused the increased frequency of Captcha challenges. 

Therefore, if you are someone who is annoyed with the constant Captcha pop-ups while using a VPN, then I recommend you follow these tried and tested methods to lessen the frequency.