We browse daily and even in between every hour of a day! Browsing is one of the possible solutions to get you the right information at the right time. Are you aware that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can view the history of what and when you have browsed? If not, then it is a must to read! There is another shocking news for you people that the ISP even sells our information to third parties so that they can earn some extra money! People who are aware of that are even helpless in this regard as they do not know how to hide browser history from ISP. Well, there are some interesting ideas to hide browser history from ISP and lets us discuss those now.
Government Recommendations Against such Surveillance
When an individual or a common man view our data without our permission, we call him as an intruder. When the ISP does the same, unfortunately, we are in a position to accept it. Some people even ask what the government is doing against these fraudulent activities? Well, we cannot regard these as fraudulent activities as those ISP never informed us that they would not sell our data to third parties. Anyhow, there are few government recommendations against such selling and they come under the entities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These entities just recommend few guidelines to get the customer’s permission before selling their information. But they are just recommendations and not Laws to be followed strictly. Hence, we need to find some other means to hide browser history from ISP.
Would Incognito Browse help to Hide Browser History From ISP?
The Incognito browsing gives us private browsing experience by deleting all browsed history and cache data once the browser is closed. It can save us from others letting know what we have browsed but it is not a solution to hide browsing history from ISP. Probably, it is useful when you browse on someone’s laptop or so. Therefore, we need to find better solutions to hide browser history from ISP.
Ways to Hide Browser History from ISP
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The Virtual Private Networks offers various benefits when you use the Internet. It enables you to access the Internet securely, anonymously and with privacy. Also, it helps in unblocking geo-restricted websites such as Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, etc in your place. VPNs are the best solutions when you use unknown Wi-Fi networks such as in a coffee shop, restaurant, airport, etc. So try using it to safeguard your data and to get access to blocked websites as well.
Coming to our need here, would VPNs can help us to hide browser history from ISP? Well, the answer is partial ‘yes’ and partial ‘no’. We have a feature with every VPN that deals with it and is known as the ‘Logging Policy’. Few VPNs never log anything and others do log information such as connection time, connection data, duration of the connection, etc. Those VPNs often say that they are logging such information as per the government norms. So again there are chances that our information can go to third parties. Therefore, is better to go for VPNs that never logs any of our information. Read here to know the 5 Best VPN Services 2017.
Pros & Cons of using a VPN
A VPN encrypts your data before sending it to the common communication channel, the Internet. Therefore, hackers could never get access to your information such as passwords, account details, etc. It is for this reason, most companies use a secured VPN service to protect communication among its employees. Also, it gives more protection to your data, especially, when you use a public Wi-fi such as in a coffee shop or airport.
Unblocks Websites or Bypasses Geo-Restrictions:
Perhaps, it is the most important reason for which people get a VPN account. VPNs never let your IP address to anybody and it seems that you are accessing a website from the IP of the VPN server. So only the VPN server’s IP address is shown to all websites that you access. It is really helpful to unblock certain websites such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc, as they allow only the local IP addresses. With a local VPN server, you can also pretend to be local to these websites. So VPNs not only hide browser history from ISP and it also hides your IP address! Read here to know How Can You Use a VPN to Unblock Websites?
We all know that Torrents help in anonymous downloads but still, your ISP can track it! Only a VPN can provide you complete anonymous uploads or downloads and even your ISP cannot track it. Therefore, if you aim to access websites anonymously and to hide browser history from ISP, then VPN is a good choice.
A VPN encrypts all its traffic before the actual transmission. In order to do the encryption, it needs some time and this leads to slower connections. We can also go for VPNs with minimal encryptions but we need to compromise on security.
Increased Complexity of the Network:
The virtual private networks generally use a lot of hardware, protocols and encryption schemes to protect its channels. It results in increased complexity of the networks and requires our knowledge on it to better understand how our data traverses through it.
The Onion Router (TOR)
It is a network protocol for private browsing experience and you need to download the TOR browser to use it. The best part of it is that the TOR is free while the VPNs costs you some money. We have few free VPNs as well but we need to compromise on the speed of connections. Tor offers us slower connections but it ensures privacy and safeguards our data.
TOR is an efficient option to hide browser history from ISP and even the U.S. Naval Research Lab and Darpa are said to use TOR behind their technology. The TOR browser is a modified FireFox browser and is present at torproject.org. It is being maintained by a group of volunteers and it gets its fund in the form of donations and also from the National Science Foundation, etc. Read here to know How to Use TOR for Anonymous Web Browsing.
Go to EPIC Privacy Browser
Epic Privacy browser is built on the Chromium platform and it has its own built-in proxy that is located in New Jersey. Also, you can enable the “Do Not Track Header”, so that your connection time and the browsing history are never tracked. There is a small inconvenience while using it as you cannot get auto-fills, password management, etc. As those activities require your browsing history and EPIC privacy browser do not keep it. It is a good option to hide browser history from ISP and try that too! Read the EPIC Privacy Browser Review here.
What Else to do to Hide Browser History from ISP?
Using a VPN or a TOR alone cannot ensure our privacy but we should also follow few other guidelines to hide browser history from ISP. They are as follows.
- It is a good practice not to use BitTorrent while you browse. BitTorrent is a torrenting protocol that enables Peer-to-Peer sharing. It can sometimes let your identity to others in the communication channel.
- Never open any of your documents or media files while you are online as we never know when will it get hacked. Opening such files while you are online can result in an exposure of your data to intruders.
- We recommend you not to install the browser add-ons if you wish to maintain privacy in your transmissions. The browser add-ons can put your files in potential risks by serving as a medium between your computer and that of the hacker.
- It is advisable to use only the HTTPS websites as they are very secure ones. You can also use the plug-in, HTTPS Everywhere to ensure that you are using only those websites. It is available with TOR as well as with other browsers. Read here to know How Does HTTPS actually work?
- By default, you would get the NoScript plug-in pre-installed on your TOR browser. This plug-in never allows java scripts, Flash, or any other code to run on your browser. Such scripts are potential means to bring malware such as the Trojans to your computer. So it is better to avoid them at all to hide browser history from ISP.
Conclusion-How to Hide Browser History from ISP – Say No to Surveillance
Privacy is a term that is most expected and targeted when it comes to the Internet. Yes, common people expect it and the hackers target it! To be safe from such attacks or fraudulent activities, we should never let our data going to anyone including our ISP. ISP can even sell our data to third parties to earn some extra money. Therefore, it better to hide browser history from ISP using means such as the VPNs, TOR, EPIC Privacy Browser, etc.
Apart from these, we also have HTTPS on the URL bar and do look for it as well. Each of these possible means has its own advantages & disadvantages and we need to pick the right one as per our needs. We have also discussed what other means exist to protect our data and do use them wisely. Hope the information in the article is useful to you and do let us know if you wish to know more.