What Does A VPN Hide?
A VPN is a layer of security that helps keep your connection to the internet safe. There are a lot of things on the internet, ranging from everyone trying to track you, to malware and viruses on different sites. And so you can’t be too sure of what goes on when you put your data on and load a web page.
Since a VPN serves to hide your real IP address, you can go about your internet activity without having to reveal what you are up to. But apart from your IP address, what else does a VPN hide?
When websites track you, it’s not always for bad reasons as most of them do this to improve your experience on the site. Third parties, the government, and your ISP also track you and the reasons are not always the same. Even though it may be for a good cause, not everyone is comfortable knowing that there are bodies monitoring their web searches, downloads, and video streams to mention but a few.
With a VPN however, your online traffic is encrypted, and your IP address anonymous. Those who monitor your traffic would only know you are using a VPN, but not the content of your traffic. So you can send and receive traffic privately and securely.
Table of Content
- Why Should You Use A VPN to Hide Your Browsing History?
- What Does A VPN Hide?
- What A VPN Doesn’t Hide
Why Should You Use A VPN to Hide Your Browsing History?
Your ISP has a long-lasting record of your internet activities. This means even if you have cleared your cache and your browsing history, it’s still stored somewhere. It doesn’t matter what you have done from your end as they still have the information you are trying to hide.
ISPs can also sell the data they have collected from you. This is legal as long as they don’t tie the data to you.
LimeVPN believes that your data should be your own alone, and so we encourage that you use a VPN before you access the internet. By doing so, you are encrypting every request and data that leaves your device. Even if you don’t delete your browsing history, your ISP won’t see what you have done online.
Also Read : An Ultimate Guide on Why You Should Use A VPN When Working with Cryptocurrencies
What Does A VPN Hide?
1. Your IP Address
Every device that tries to access the Internet gets an IP address. It’s the address through which your requests are sent, and through which responses are received. Your IP address is like your identity on the internet and it holds data about you such as your location, ISP, and internet browsing history.
When you connect to a VPN, the VPN servers now come between you and the web. So when you send requests, they don’t go straight from your device to the web. The VPN server receives the request, processes it, and then sends it on your behalf. This way, your IP address is not visible to stalkers on the internet. The VPN also receives the response to your query on your behalf, and then sends it to you. By this, the website doesn’t know who you are.
2. Your Geo Location
By hiding your IP address, a VPN also hides your location as your IP address contains this data. It isn’t however accurate as the location data your IP address displays are more generic. It only shows the location of the internet servers you are connected to.
A VPN goes further to hide your location by preventing apps in your device from sending out your physical GPS location. Many apps ask for permission to your location, and by doing this they always know where you are. Anyone with access to those servers can also tell where you are. With a VPN however, the location the apps get is that of the servers you connect to.
3. VPN Prevents Bandwidth Throttling
It can be frustrating when your ISP throttles your internet speed when you are streaming your favorite TV show or movie. It’s common for them to do this and what’s more, some ISPs throttle some streaming services more than others. With a VPN, you can stream without your ISP knowing what you are doing. This way you will avoid bandwidth throttling.
Your internet speed is also slowed down when your ISP notices you are downloading torrents. Many ISPs frown at torrenting, and so to discourage the activity, they slow down users’ internet. They can only slow you down if they know what you are up to, and so by keeping your activities private through a VPN, you can bypass bandwidth throttling.
Bandwidth throttling is particularly annoying when you are gaming. Some online games take up a lot of bandwidth, especially those which integrate torrents to share large files. Your ISP may slow you down to provide equal speed to other users too. It reduces the gaming experience but a VPN masks you and allows you to enjoy fast speed continuously
So when the question “what does a VPN hide” pops up, a good answer would be “internet activities that trigger bandwidth throttling”.
4. Personal Data
Free Wi-Fi spots are havens for hackers and cybercriminals as they deploy man in the middle attacks in such places. You can compromise a ton of information by sending official documents, or your details over such connections. It’s best to avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, or public Wi-Fi. This way, you won’t be a victim of cybercrime and lose confidential files.
If you must connect to a public Wi-Fi or unsecured network, do it over a VPN. With a VPN, every file you share, and every traffic you send and receive would be encrypted. This way, even if attackers intercept your data, it would be useless to the hacker. Using a good VPN like LimeVPN that provides you with AES 256 encryption is the best. This is because it will take more than a lifetime to crack such encryption with the resources that are available at this time.
5. Your Search History
Even if you clear your search history from your browser, your ISP would still have data about your web activities. Clearing the history from your browser only hides it from someone who uses your phone. With a VPN however, your searches and downloads would not be visible to your ISP. This way, you can have better control over who knows what you are doing on the internet.
6. Real Social Media Identity
If you are active on social media groups and forums, you may want to hide your real identity online so that the admin won’t know who you are. This is particularly useful in countries with strict censorship laws. Being yourself and saying what you feel may get you in trouble, hence the need for a fake identity.
It goes beyond creating a fake account, with the same IP address, it can be linked to you. A VPN would hide your real IP address and it would be difficult to track you down if the authorities have to.
7. VPN Hide Your Web Surfing from Your Boss
Depending on where you work, you may have access to the internet during working hours, or not. If you do, however, using a VPN would keep your internet activity from the watching eyes of your boss. No one else would know what you are up to accept yourself as the VPN would encrypt all your data.
8. VPN Keep Your Mobile Phone Activities Private
Your smartphone isn’t always your friend as many companies exploit it to their advantage. A lot can be learned about you from your use of your smartphone, and so you need a VPN if you must have some level of privacy. Your smartphone gives more specific information than just your IP address, it gives off your exact GPS location. And so turning your VPN on when you use your apps or go to the internet generally would work a great deal to keep your activities private.
9. Prevents Tailored Retail Prices
Many companies and service providers charge you for your purchases and services rendered based on data they collect about you. They use your IP data and cookies to know what you have been up to and to know your preferences before charging you for what you want. This can be seen when you try to purchase plane tickets by connecting to various locations. The prices would vary depending on the location. Also, the more you visit a website, particularly to book travel tickets, the higher the chances that the price would get higher.
Whenever you visit a website, your data is stored as cookies. These are used to serve you better when next you visit, and it also provides them with data about you. By combining all of these, they put forward a price for you.
A VPN prevents this history from being used against you as you connect with a different IP address. They don’t recognize you, and can’t bill you based on your past activities. All you need to do is delete your cache and cookies so that the website won’t recognize you with the VPN.
10. A VPN Hides Itself
Even though you may hide your internet activities and encrypt your traffic, your ISP would still know you are using a VPN. Not all VPNs are like this as some allow you to connect to the internet via obfuscated servers. This comes in handy when the government is against the use of VPNs and puts up firewalls to block them. You can also benefit from this if your ISP, school, or office has VPN blockers installed.
Using such VPNs keeps you a step ahead of the censorship that is rapidly growing around the world.
What A VPN Doesn’t Hide
- Using a VPN doesn’t automatically clear cookies that existed before you used the VPN. So if you want to truly stay private on the internet, clear those cookies.
- VPNs don’t prevent malware and viruses from infecting your device. Some premium VPNs offer some level of protection against some malicious attacks, but it’s only as effective as you are careful.
Also Read : 13 Cool and Interesting Uses of VPN
There are various myths about the use of a VPN, and it begs the question “what does a VPN do?”. The use of a VPN is most times limited to changing location, but that is just one of the many things a VPN can do. It’s beneficial in its encryption and provision of a secure connection whenever you access the internet. You can also use it to get the best deals and ensure that your activities on the internet remain private.
Not all VPNs are created equally, and so some offer you better features than others. To get the most from a VPN, you will need to use a premium VPN service. LimeVPN is one such service that keeps you anonymous and protects your connection at all times.