We live in a dangerous online world where people can wrongly use your online information for their gain. The same goes for ISPs as they can keep a record of your browsing data without your consent.
In this post, we will find out if an ISP can see your search histories despite using a VPN or not.
Can an ISP see my search history with a VPN?
ISPs can detect if you are using a VPN service. But, they cannot trace your browsing histories when you use a VPN. However, your employer can access your web surfing tasks, including the websites you have visited for official purposes, when connected to a top VPN service.
On the contrary, your selected VPN service may observe what you do over the web. It means they can compile a log of your web surfing activities performed using the VPN connection.
Therefore, you should look for different features like no-logging policy, DNS leak prevention, IP leak protection, kill switch, etc., when choosing a reliable VPN service. Consequently, your ISPs will not be able to trace your online tasks when you use a VPN.
Why do ISPs record users’ online activities?
ISPs know about many things you do online like internet searches, web pages you have visited, what you have downloaded, and so on. Likewise, they may record your online activities as they have to abide by local data retention laws applicable in different countries.
Moreover, they can even sell your crucial information to third-party advertisers to make their ends meet. Similarly, they have to retain users’ data for 3 months in the US as they are required to do so by law.
ISPs store their users’ online data to throttle their internet connection. It means they deliberately decrease the internet connection speed of their users to manage or overcome network congestion issues.
But mostly, they do this activity to compel their users to subscribe to expensive internet connection packages. In addition, they keep an eye on their subscribers’ online tasks to see if they indulge themselves in torrenting or not.
Torrenting is considered illegal in different countries of the world. In case users download copyrighted content through torrenting, ISPs can send them copyright infringement notices. As a result, they need to pay hefty fines or face imprisonment.
How Can I Hide my Browsing History from my ISP Apart from Using a VPN?
Luckily, you can use other options that allow you to safeguard your browsing information from the prying eyes of ISPs. For that reason, you can consider using a TOR browser. A Tor browser provides a secure web browsing experience to its users. By doing so, you can hide your browsing history from your ISP.
However, this tool has its downsides as it will not help you protect your IoT devices. That said, TOR is still an impressive privacy option you can opt for protecting your online tasks from your ISPs.
Besides, you can use HTTPS browser extensions to secure the activities you do while visiting different websites. ISPs know when you visit streaming websites but they cannot trace what TV shows or movies you have watched.
In short, an HTTPS browser extension helps you encrypt your communication with different websites or services. For example, HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension you can download on your different browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
So, there you have it, folks. Your ISPs can see that you have connected to a VPN. It can also monitor how much data you have consumed in terms of downloads and uploads while using a VPN.
However, your ISP cannot monitor the websites you visit after connecting to a VPN server. Surprisingly, a VPN itself can keep an eye on your web browsing activities. Therefore, you should prefer to use a VPN that does not store its users’ data.
There is no harm in selecting a VPN service that offers features like a no-logging policy and an internet kill switch. This way, you can comprehensively safeguard your online whereabouts.