What Does Your ISP See When Using a VPN?

Do you use a VPN? If not, then maybe you should. A VPN can be used to mask your location or activity on the internet by routing your data through another network. This is usually done so that users are able to bypass filters and other restrictions put in place by their country’s government.

But what is a VPN exactly? And what do Internet Service Providers (ISPs) see when people are using a VPN?

If you want to use a VPN but are still confused about how it protects your data and hides it from your ISP (among other prying eyes) you’re in the right place. Here is what you need to know about how a VPN masks your data from your ISP.

VPNs Hide Data from Your ISP

VPNs take all of your internet data, which normally runs through your network provider’s server and sends it through an encrypted tunnel. This doesn’t just hide your data, it scrambles it, making it essentially unreadable to third parties.

Most VPNs’ level of encryption is very difficult to decrypt, meaning your data remains private, even from your ISP.

What Does an ISP See When You Use a VPN?

Many people assume that since you need an internet connection to use a VPN, this means your network provider can see what you’re doing. However, this is not the case.

So, if your data is sent via an encrypted VPN tunnel, what exactly does your ISP see? Your network provider sees the VPN’s IP address, not yours. Moreover, the ISP cannot see your traffic, or where it is traveling to and from. However, your ISP will be aware that you are using a VPN, but won’t be able to decipher the contents of your internet use.

What Are the Benefits of Hiding Your Data from Your ISP?

There are many benefits of using a VPN to hide your data from your ISP.

If the government or another third party wants access to your internet activity they have to go through an external server rather than getting direct access from your network provider. This means your data is private and won’t be used to create a user profile.

Since using a VPN means that all of your internet traffic is sent via one encrypted tunnel, this makes it much more difficult for your ISP to see how much content you are transferring or what its actual content might be. This prevents bandwidth throttling, which can slow down your internet speeds and interrupt your internet activity.

Your ISP also won’t be able to see your browsing history. Since everything you do during a VPN session is connected to another IP address, when you end the VPN session, your ISP won’t be able to view your history from before and find out what you were up to – this information will simply be erased!

What Do ISPs Do with User Data?

Network providers know their customers’ identities and locations and they may choose to sell this information at some point in the future.

Furthermore, if ISPs are approached by governments requesting data, they may be forced to hand it over and the data may be used against you. So, by using a VPN, you never need to worry about ISP surveillance and the consequences it can have!

Author Madeleine Hodson

Hi, I'm Madeleine. I'm a British writer with a global background, currently based in the UK. I have always been interested in the online world and how it connects people worldwide. My keen interest in the internet led me to ...
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