Does a VPN Hide Your Internet Activity From Your ISP
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
The most basic question that anyone contemplating on getting a VPN is whether it can truly do what the advertisements say. To be more specific, can a VPN really hide browsing activities and make one anonymous? These are just some of the burning questions we’ll be answering in the blog. If you want to learn how a VPN works and how the underlying technology ultimately works to build a secure and private web experience for you, then let us explain by answering some frequently asked questions.
Virtual Private Network
A private network is one that is exclusive to the devices that have been given access. You can create a private network locally between multiple devices, or you can create one through a remote server. In the case of VPN services, a remote server allows you to connect and use it as a proxy for internet access.
It’s quite simple to understand. You pick an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and access the internet. If you wish to open Google, that request will first go the ISP, who will then lookup the domain name using a DNS server. A DNS server is like the phone book that contains all the domains and their respective IP addresses. Once it has found the IP address matching the domain name, the ISP will return the webpage to you.
A VPN assumes control of that responsibility as soon as you connect to the server. The ISP forwards the request to the VPN server, which then looks up the webpage for you. All this back and forth communication happens in an encrypted manner, so the ISP only knows the address of the VPN server, but not the webpage you have requested or the content of the data packets.
What Does a VPN Hide?
In short, everything. Data during communication is sent in packets. The packets contain a header with the source IP address and the destination IP address on top of the actual data. VPN encrypts the data, leaving only the VPN server’s address for the ISP to know.
Can ISP See VPN Being Used?
There is a common misconception when it comes to VPN. A VPN does hide your internet activities, but your ISP can still see that you are connected to a VPN server.
The ISP is your gateway to the internet. Whatever destination – including the VPN service – you wish to access, it will go through the ISP. So, can internet provider detect VPN? Yes, it can. It can determine that you are sending data back and forth between a server in the United States and the bandwidth usage. But the contents of the data packets and the destination address attached are something the ISP cannot see.
It is similar to sending a box through a courier. The delivery service reads the label and the package arrives at the destination. Whether the package gets rerouted from there is something the delivery service is clueless about. Encryption ensures the highest level of confidentiality.
Can Your ISP See What You Do With a VPN?
The ISP’s job is to connect you to the VPN server; it cannot see your ultimate destinations.
FastestVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption on all of its servers. To explain in simple words, the encryption process takes data and converts it into an unreadable format. A secret key is then required to decrypt data. As a third-party, the ISP has no capability to decrypt that data.
Data packets contain a destination address and the source address. Wrapping the data packets in encryption conceals the part that contains the actual content. So beyond knowing where the packets are going, your ISP cannot see much.
Does VPN Prevent My ISP From Seeing What I Download?
It does not matter whether you’re browsing Facebook, scrolling through Instagram, streaming a video on YouTube, or watching a movie on Netflix; everything gets encrypted. You can even play games online with a VPN so that the ISP cannot throttle your bandwidth.
FastestVPN supports P2P downloads. So downloading off torrent websites anonymously is entirely possible if a restriction is in place.
How to Protect Your Browsing History
VPN’s fundamental job is to protect your privacy by bypassing the ISP. But what if the VPN service that is tasked to protect you is tracking your every activity? Since it serves as a proxy, it knows what websites you visit and when you visit.
Finding the right VPN service is just as crucial as ensuring privacy and security in this day and age. FastestVPN follows a strict no-logs policy. What it means is that your web browsing history will never be tracked or logged. Whatever you do, we are in the unknown. Operating from the Cayman Islands allows us to uphold that commitment to you. It’s a region outside of the Five Eyes alliance. Hence, no mandatory data retention laws can force us to monitor users.
With growing concerns regarding Net Neutrality laws and the impact it can have on one’s web browsing experience, VPN can remedy those concerns.
How to Get Started
Getting started with a VPN requires no technical understanding. FastestVPN is built for convenience. Here’s how easy it is:
- Buy VPN service and download FastestVPN’s app on your device.
- Launch the app.
- Connect to any VPN server.
That’s it! There’s no complicated tutorial to be followed, no tinkering with device settings. A simple app lets you hide internet traffic from ISP and choose between 350+ global servers.
Conclusion – Does a VPN Hide Your Internet Activity From Your ISP
The short course on VPN should give you a better understanding of how VPN technology works, and why protecting privacy is more crucial than ever. VPN’s encryption is not just for concealing private data from the ISP, but it also provides security on unsecure Wi-Fi networks. It prevents Man-in-the-Middle attack by someone on the same network.