It is surprising how much data your Internet service provider (ISP) collects from you. What makes it worse is you can’t know who they give that data to. They might give into corporations, social media companies, or even governmental agencies.
If you use the IP address given to you by your ISP, your online activity is probably far from save. One thing you can do is use a VPN service. Here are several tips to help you conceal your online activity from your ISP.
Maintain Caution When Using Private Browsing
When you see words like private and incognito it makes it sound like your activity is going to be concealed. But private browsing is nowhere near as private as the name sounds. Using an incognito mode will keep your activity from showing up in your search history, but it won’t hide the activity from your ISP.
Your ISP will still be able to track your online activity and sell the data to corporations and other organizations. It is always a useful feature if you have to borrow someone else’s computer or you have roommates that use your computer without asking, but it isn’t going to hide your activity from your ISP.
Install the HTTPS Everywhere Extension
This browser extension will make sure every website you visit uses SSL/TLS encryption. This won’t guarantee your activity is hidden, but it will deter passive collection of your data by your ISP. The reason is that most websites support this extension, but not all of them. Keep in mind that this extension will hide the content of the websites, but not the name of the site.
Consider Your DNS
DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS is a graduated naming systems for devices connected to the Internet. Essentially, DNS is the white pages of the Internet. This naming system adds functionality to the Internet. The problem is that your computer is going to use your ISP’s DNS by default 99% of the time. One way to increase privacy is to set it, so your computer uses a third-party DNS, like SafeDNS.
Use a VPN
VPNs are the best way to hide your activity from your ISP, as long as you use one that is reputable. A VPN will provide you with a secret and private channel that is encrypted. If you are using the Internet at home, it will look like your accessing it from a random server miles away so that they will have no idea it’s you. When using a good VPN, your provider will not be able to see your online activity at all.
You can use a VPN on your computer or your mobile device. You can find free VPN, but the paid VPNs are almost always going to be better options. You will be able to find a quality VPN without having to pay an arm and a leg, though. Most are reasonably priced. ExpressVPN is one of the most well-respected VPNs on the market right now because it is fast, highly secure, and capable of offering a lot of privacy.
You will want to set up the VPN, so it works automatically, and you don’t have to manually connect it every time you need to create a private tunnel. This will make your life easier. You also want to make sure you have VPN active on all of the different devices you use to access the web.
Tor is another option. Tor offers another layer to keep your ISP from allowing corporations and governmental agencies to spy on your online activity. Tor is a privacy software that defends against traffic analysis. Tor creates a layer of anonymity by bouncing your activity around a distributed network relays. Volunteers operate these relays all over the globe. The downside of Tor is that you have to use the Tor browser for it to work. You will likely notice that the Tor browser is slower than your regular browser. This is another tradeoff. Overall, Tor offers a lot of anonymity, but it is much less convenient than using a VPN.
Epic Privacy Browser
Another privacy browser to consider is Epic. This one runs on Chromium, so it is more similar to Chrome. Epic Privacy Browser offers several useful features, such as Do Not Track and a built-in proxy that conceals your IP address. Epic also block annoying things like cookies and plug-ins. One downside of Epic is that it does not work with password managers.
While the easiest way to hide your activity from your Internet Service Provider is to use a VPN, using privacy browsers and software on top of a VPN can add additional layers of privacy and act as a backup in case the VPN connection fails.