What is Incognito Mode? Does It Make You Anonymous?

What is Incognito Mode? Does It Make You Anonymous?

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

What is Incognito Mode? Does It Make You Anonymous?

Published on: October 14, 2023
Last Updated: October 14, 2023

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Are you among those people who are wondering, ‘what is incognito mode?’ In this write-up, we will share all the useful information about it.

Web surfing is the most common thing in everybody’s daily life, and the searches made by an individual on the web are considered private and confidential.

To provide the best experience, web browsers often collect and analyze your activities on the web to create a personalized web surfing experience for you.

The personalized content improves usability, but privacy is at risk as every activity of the user is being collected and analyzed.

In addition, other people who have control of the device have access to all the browsing activity.

To prevent this from happening, the user can surf through the incognito mode for a private browsing experience.

Even though it provides some level of privacy, there is a lot of activity being tracked and gathered.

Let us know more about the incognito mode and learn how to surf anonymously on the web. 

What is Incognito Mode?

Incognito mode is the private browsing window offered by almost every web browser.

With the help of the incognito mode, the user can surf the web without worrying about the data or browsing history being stored on the device.

The word ‘Incognito’ means hiding your identity.

However, the incognito mode is not capable enough to hide all your tracks as the IP address, and your browsing activity is still visible to all your associated third parties.

In simpler words, the incognito mode is useful for hiding your activity only from other users who have access to your device.

Can Incognito Mode Make you Anonymous on the Web?

Incognito Mode

When you surf the web using incognito mode, you’re visiting the web as a new user.

As a result, there are no auto-fill-ups, saved caches, or login information resulting in standard web experience.

But if the user sign-in using a personal account, all the session data is synced to your account even in the incognito mode.

Regarding anonymity, the incognito mode might make you anonymous from the websites until you surf without signing in using a personal account.

Apart from this, all the network administrators, Internet service providers (ISP), and search engines can still track you down using the IP address.

To narrow down, the amount of anonymity the incognito mode offers is very minimal, and you’re easily trackable on the incognito mode by all third parties.

What is Incognito Mode: Its Advantages

Even though the incognito mode is not the best way to be anonymous on the web, it is helpful in a few cases, such as;

  • Hiding your search history: Incognito mode might still gather some activity of yours, but it is very efficient at hiding all your browsing activity and prevents anyone with control of your device from gaining access to your history.
  • Less scope for Ad-Tracking: As the incognito mode presents you on the web as a new user, all the suggestions and ads are not displayed based on your activity. Hence the scope for tracking by the website is very less.
  • Prevents misuse: The other users who have access to your device might misuse it if they get hold of your sign-in information. With the incognito mode enabled, your personal information is held private and secure.
  • Blocks Cookies: With cookies being blocked, you can visit a specific website multiple times using multiple devices as you’re always a new visitor to the website. 
  • Clearing browsing data frequently: With all the browsing data being not gathered on the local device in incognito mode, the user doesn’t have to worry about clearing the history, cookies, site data, cached images, and files.

What are the Risks Involved with Surfing Using Incognito Mode?  

Most people believe that surfing in incognito mode might make them completely anonymous and safe on the internet; here are the two main risks involved with surfing using incognito mode.

  • You’re always being tracked: The incognito mode isn’t powerful enough to make you anonymous on the web.
    Whenever you visit a website using your public IP address, many different parties, such as advertisers, servers, switches, hubs, ISP, network administrators, and Government, can easily track you.
  • You’re not secure: The incognito mode doesn’t protect you with any level of security. Hence you’re always prone to the dangers of the web, such as being infected with the virus, and malware.
    In addition, you could be a potential victim of spyware.

Apart from these risks, the most basic issue with the incognito mode is that it needs to be manually activated every time.

If the user accidentally surfs on the web without the incognito mode, all the activity is completely tracked.

What are the Best Ways to Surf Safely and Anonymously on the Incognito Mode?

Incognito Mode

Considering all the risks that are associated with surfing in incognito mode, it is always better to take preventive measures. Some of the best ways to surf safely in incognito mode are:

  • Using Anonymous Proxies: A proxy server can be defined as a medium that acts as an intermediate server to retrieve data on behalf of the user from the internet.
    With the help of anonymous proxies, the user can gain anonymity as the public IP isn’t used, and the organizations cannot track the user down.
    Hence all the user’s activity is secure. (It is always advised to be extra careful while using free proxies, as you are easily prone to viruses and malware).
  • TOR and TOR Combos: The Onion Router, popular known as the TOR browser, is a military-grade browser providing excellent security and anonymity for the user on the web.
    The entire TOR browser routes data via 6000 relays, hence the latency is high, resulting in slower browsing.
    To achieve the best anonymity, TOR combos are the best approach, as they do a great job at keeping the user anonymous and secure with decent surfing speeds.
  • Sandboxing: Sandboxing is arguably the most effective way to go anonymous on the web and is achieved by using virtual machines.
    Where an isolated virtual environment is used by the user to browse the internet instead of the local machine, hence making the user anonymous.
    (The only downside with sandboxing is that it takes a lot of system resources)
  • Operating Systems: One might be shocked to know this, but the standard operating systems and web browsers that we use daily are highly prone to attacks.
    To be anonymous and secure online, there are dedicated operating systems, such as Whonix and Tails, designed specifically to provide anonymity and security online.

All the ways mentioned above are the most effective ways to stay anonymous and secure online, but the major downside is that the user requires a learning curve to use them.

In addition, compromises such as slow browsing speed, high maintenance costs, and excessive need for system resources make these approaches hard for everyone.

To avoid such compromises, the most efficient, effective, and simple way to stay anonymous and secure online is through the use of VPNs.

Best VPNs for Incognito Mode in 2024

Speaking of VPNs available online, not every VPN offers the best security and safety for the user.

Considering that incognito mode is not capable enough to provide security and anonymity online for the user, one must be aware of the internet dangers and take great precautions to stay safe online.

As internet dangers are completely unpredictable, the VPN must be flexible and robust to handle every website the user visits.

In addition, the VPN must provide a great level of anonymity for the user to protect the privacy and prevent any data leaks.

Keeping all these miserable outcomes and risks associated with surfing in incognito mode, we have narrowed down to the three best VPNs.

After testing these three VPNs thoroughly, we found these great at providing security and anonymity to the user.

Here are the best VPNs to surf anonymously and securely in incognito mode;

  1. NordVPN – 🏆 Winner!
  2. Surfshark
  3. Atlas VPN

1. NordVPN

NordVPN

Recommended Guide: NordVPN Review

NordVPN is one of the most prominent VPNs accessible on the internet, with great reviews and ratings.

When compared with the rest of the VPNs available, NordVPN stands out because of its effective security and efficient features designed specifically to face the dangers associated with the web.

The main reason for considering NordVPN is because of its extensive research and improved features made to provide the best possible security for the user to surf confidently on the web.

As we are talking about surfing anonymously and safely in incognito mode, the first feature that caught our eye on the NordVPN is “Threat Protection feature.”

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It protects the user from hard-to-identify malware and trackers in real-time. The best part of this feature is that the user doesn’t have to connect to the server to use it.

In addition, the user is provided features such as dedicated IP and IP Masking to hide the public IP and use different IPs to surf on the internet, which helps with providing anonymity to the user.

Along with these features, Dark Web Monitor, Utilization of obfuscated servers, Double protection, and network kill switches makes it more secure for the user to surf in incognito mode.

As we have learned before, the TOR combo is extremely powerful and efficient.

To achieve utmost security and anonymity, NordVPN has collaborated to create a TOR+VPN combo, where the user can use the TOR network combined with NordVPN.

One of the major downsides with most VPNs is the surfing speeds.

Still, NordVPN bandwidth is outstanding because of NordVPN’s 5200+ stable servers providing uninterrupted streaming and downloading support without any restrictions.

Speaking of privacy, one doesn’t necessarily need to worry about data gathering or activity tracking while using NordVPN as they come with a strict no-logs policy.

Hence the user can surf on the web with peace without worrying about privacy leaks.

Apart from these features, NordVPN supports multiple platform compatibility and simultaneous device connectivity support for up to 5 devices.

Regarding pricing, all the plans on offer are made keeping everyone in mind, which are extremely affordable and flexible with monthly and yearly packages.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Recommended Guide: Surfshark VPN Review

Next on the list, we got Surfshark; it is amongst the most heard VPNs while speaking about the best VPNs that provide excellent security and anonymity features.

Similar to NordVPN, the Surfshark VPN’s outstanding improvement and dedication to keeping the user safe and anonymous on the web make it a great choice.

The “CleanWeb” feature offered by the Surfshark VPN keeps the users safe from unimaginable phishing attempts.

With this feature, the user is all covered while surfing in incognito mode, even from potential malware and trackers.

As the incognito mode is not efficient on most web browsers, tracking down the user is very easy for third parties.

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  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 3200+ servers in 95 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: private browsing on a budget
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iOS, Linux, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

To prevent this from happening, the user can make use of dedicated IP and IP masking features offered by Surfshark VPN to stay anonymous.

The most impressive and reliable feature of the Surfshark VPN that comes in handy for the user while surfing in incognito mode is the “Camouflage Mode.”

With this feature, the user can go anonymous, and the best part is that the network provider might not notice that the user is using a VPN.

Alongside these outstanding features, additional features such as Kill Switch, Private DNS, leak protection, advanced encryption, and secure protocols make the web browsing experience more effective and efficient for the user.

Speaking of bandwidth, the latency is very minimal.

Hence there is uninterrupted streaming and downloading, thanks to the Surfshark VPN stable servers that are extended all over the world.

Surfshark VPN also offers a no-logs policy where no activity of the user is tracked or shared.

In addition, no data is gathered, and the user can surf the web using Surfshark VPN without worrying about privacy concerns.

All the plans of the Surfshark VPN are affordable and flexible.

Regarding connectivity and compatibility, Surfshark got you all covered as there are no limitations on the number of simultaneous device connections, and it also supports multiple platform compatibility.

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN

Recommended Guide: Atlas VPN Review

Atlas VPN is yet another VPN with advanced security and great features that are designed specifically to face all the dangers on the internet.

All the features on Atlas VPN make sure to provide the best security and anonymity for the user on the web.

As we are talking about being safe and anonymous while surfing in incognito mode, features such as IP change and private access to all its users make it easier for them to be anonymous on the web.

Alongside these two features, the network kill switch, MultiHop, superior web traffic encryption, and dedicated data breach monitor system increase the level of security for the user.

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  • Atlas VPN is the best free VPN
  • Privacy Pro servers
  • 750 servers in 40+ locations
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: people seeking a freemium VPN
  • Compatible with: Windows, MacOS, Android, iPhone & iOS, Android TV, Fire TV Stick

All these advanced security features work on keeping the users safe from trackers, malware, and phishing attempts.

Atlas VPN aims to provide outstanding speed for the user to surf, and to achieve this, it uses 750+ high-speed stable VPN servers which are spread around the world.

In addition, all the servers of Atlas VPN seek minimal performance glitches.

The most impressive part of Atlas VPN is its commitment to providing the best security and anonymity for its users, which is achieved through its constant improvements and research.

Every major update of Atlas VPN always offers new and improved features for their users.

Atlas VPN is one of the only few VPNs with the ability to bypass ISP throttling along with no bandwidth limits.

Hence the user can download and stream content without buffering.

Speaking of the pricing, Atlas VPN offers very affordable and flexible plans to match every customer requirement.

When it comes to connectivity, there is support for unlimited simultaneous connection support.

Similar to all the prominent VPNs, Atlas VPN also comes with multi-platform compatibility. Hence all your devices are covered.  

What Should you Seek in a VPN for Safe and Anonymous Surfing in Incognito Mode?

The important thing to check out before selecting a VPN to surf safely and anonymously in incognito mode are;

  • Every VPN must provide dedicated IP and IP Masking support for its users, so the user can surf in incognito mode anonymously.
  • Speaking about surfing on the web, there must be very minimal bandwidth latency so the user can stream and download content on the web without any issues.
  • The VPN must offer extremely advanced security features to keep the user safe from the dangers of the web, which include Private DNS, Threat, and leak protection, AES-256 encryption, Kill Switches, etc.
  • The VPN must offer a solid no-log policy to respect the user’s privacy so that the user can surf the web without worrying about data leaks and privacy concerns.
  • The VPN must be compatible with all devices on different platforms and promise 5 concurrent connections at once.
  • All the prices of the plans must be affordable and flexible, along with the endless responsive customer.

FAQs

How to Browse in Private Using Incognito Mode?

The private window (incognito mode) is available in most of the prominent web browsers. Opening incognito mode varies from browser to browser.

The easiest way to open the incognito window is by using the shortcut combination. For instance, the shortcut for incognito mode on Chrome is “Ctrl+Shift+N.”

Can Incognito Mode be Tracked?

Yes, the user can easily be tracked down while using surfing the web in incognito mode because of the requests that are made using a Public IP address.

All the third parties, such as advertisers, servers, switches, hubs, ISP, network administrators, and Government, can easily track you with the IP address.

Do All Browsers Offer the Same Level of Anonymity in Incognito Mode?

No, the amount of security and anonymity varies according to the browser, and there are special browsers that provide an extreme level of security and anonymity in incognito mode.

For instance, the TOR browser offers outstanding security and anonymity for the user in the standard window.

(There is no incognito mode on the TOR browser).

You can use Tor browser simultaneously with a VPN for extra security.

In Summary, the best VPNs in 2024 are;

Conclusion

Incognito mode might be a great way to prevent browsing data from storing on the local computer, but when it comes to anonymity, it is very weak as many third parties can easily track you down.

In addition, the incognito mode doesn’t offer any special security features in the private window. Hence the user is always prone to digital dangers.

With the use of VPNs, they got you all covered by providing an excellent level of security and anonymity.

👉 Get NordVPN’s FREE Trial

Even though the best possible VPNs might not protect you from everything, they can prevent most security attacks and threats.

Speaking on anonymity, high-class organizations and government can still track you down but it can keep you anonymous from most of the ad trackers and third-party service and network providers.  

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Written by Husain Parvez

Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves reviewing tech, writing about VPNs, and covering Cybersecurity news.

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