From searching “is the earth round?” to “how big is average?” on Google, we’ve all tried to clear our browsing history to eliminate the chance of explaining an embarrassing search query.
Nonetheless, everyone wants to keep their browsing history private for many reasons. And when it comes to privacy and anonymity, VPN is the first thing that comes to mind.
But can a VPN really hide your browsing history? The short answer is Yes, it does. How it does it and should you be trusting it, that’s another debate.
So let’s get to know how a VPN hides your browsing history first.
When you’re browsing the internet without a VPN connection, your traffic has to go through multiple checkpoints.
Upon making a browsing request to some web page, the traffic leaves your device, it passes the first checkpoint (your router), then the second checkpoint (your internet service provider), and at last, it reaches the destination page.
So whatever you’re surfing on the internet is visible to your internet service provider. And if any other entity has cracked their way into your system, then they can also see what you’re up to.
Although, when you’re using a VPN, it adds a layer of encryption to your traffic. You see how a VPN works, it creates a secure tunnel from which your traffic passes.
So when the traffic leaves your device, it is encrypted by the VPN along the way.
The encrypted traffic again in a similar fashion passes through the router and then through the internet service provider. But this time, it has to go through a VPN server before reaching the destination page.
The VPN server changes your IP address by hiding the real one and assigning a bogus one to your internet traffic. So whatever destination page you’re accessing, you’re accessing it with that VPN-generated IP address.
So even though your traffic is passing through your ISP, it won’t be able to see what you’re doing as it’s encrypted with a key that only you and the VPN server possess.
Which makes us come to the next point. Should you be trusting a VPN having access to the only key that can decrypt your traffic?
Well not blindly.
To simplify this equation, you need a VPN provider that you can trust.
Because if you choose a non-reliable VPN provider, it will eventually compromise your online identity. Then you’re just handing your traffic over to another entity (the VPN provider) by hiding it from the first one (your ISP).
This is why it is always recommended to go for a VPN provider that is tested, audited, and reviewed by industry experts.
ExpressVPN is a top-scale VPN service with a strict no-log policy. The amazing thing about ExpressVPN is that it cannot log any customer’s data as the VPN servers of ExpressVPN are running on volatile memories.
Similarly is the case for NordVPN, it only stores the email addresses of the users, for marketing or troubleshooting purposes and the billing information, for refund procedures. And it also has a strict no-log policy.
Moreover, both of these elite VPN providers are audited by a third-party firm called PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), which means your online anonymity is guaranteed.
The VPN market is growing with each year and according to Statista, the global VPN market is forecast to reach 75.59 bn US dollars by 2027.
And observing it from the current state, the statistics do seem like being on the right course.
Your personal data is gold for marketers and advertisers. And your internet service provider can do all kinds of dubious stuff with your private information, including selling and handing it over to government authorities.
And if ISPs are storing online activities of their users, imagine what will happen if a hacker breaches into the central network database to obtain all the information of a million users.
So it becomes necessary to keep yourself balanced from both ends. So if you’re hiding your information, make sure you’re doing it the right way.