What does a VPN hide?
The answer may not be as simple as it looks.
Users can send and receive data over public networks more discreetly by connecting to a virtual private network (VPN), which conceals their IP address, geographical location, and browsing history.
Your online activities (searches, social media interactions, etc.) leave traces in the form of your browser’s record, plugins, and cached information.
What you look up, where you travel, and what you download online can be monitored by your Internet service provider (ISP), the authorities, and other parties.
Your IP address can be gathered even if you are using a private browsing mode.
Downloading and activating a VPN before going online can boost your safety and confidentiality by masking your location and encrypting your data.
Any outsiders or cybercriminals will only see the distant VPN’s IP address.
This means they can’t see where you’ve been, what sites you’ve visited, or any private data you may have transmitted or received while on the internet.
Seven key aspects of privacy are preserved while using a virtual VPN.
1. Your IP Address
Using its own database, the VPN program replaces your original IP address with a new one. Just like that, you’ll become completely untraceable in cyberspace.
IP addresses are the backbone of Internet communication.
Information such as your Internet Service Provider (ISP), location, and even your city and country can be deduced from your IP address.
However, knowing only your precise geographical location and street address is insufficient.
No one can find out your exact location; however, snoops will know that you are in the United States.
However, if they have your IP address, your Internet service provider (ISP), websites you browse, internet platforms, and even authorities can monitor your every move.
Strong data loggers piece together your digital life story. A complete record of your life and digital pursuits can be found in your digital profile.
Just a few examples would be how often you check Facebook when you look for a new job and where you travel on vacation.
This information can then be used to send you unsolicited emails or tailored advertisements.
You may avoid being followed on the web by encrypting your IP address. Because of this, your online actions can never be linked back to your IP address.
2. Your Personal Data
The most important aspect to discuss while answering what does a VPN hide is securing your personal data. You should not underestimate the worth of your data.
In light of this, there are untold numbers of hackers whose whole purpose in life is to steal your personal data and then either use it themselves or sell it to someone who will.
However, your personal information may be at risk of being intercepted in different ways, depending on where and how you access the internet.
However, if you connect to insecure wireless internet hotspots, you significantly increase your vulnerability to attack.
This is because hackers can easily steal your information using methods like man in the replay attack, rogue (fake) connections, packet detection systems, and identical doppelganger attacks at a public hotspot.
Luckily, your VPN will take care of all of these security risks for you, so there’s no requirement for you to have expert knowledge in every area of cyber security.
Your information is encrypted before leaving your device, so even if you connect to a connection that is full of hackers, no one will be able to see what you’ve been up to.
You may be assured that even if they do successfully obtain part of your information, it will be absolutely unusable owing to the encryption.
3. Your Location
To conceal your location, a VPN is required. Although an IP address can reveal your location, it may not give precise details.
For the most part, your IP address will only reveal data that your internet service provider (ISP) makes available, such as the location of the servers you are using to access the web.
However, your IP address isn’t the only information that may be used to identify you online.
For instance, several programs do this by tracking your device’s precise geographical location via GPS.
Your cellphone’s GPS functionality may be required to use some applications. Then, the apps monitor your every move and site visit.
If you use a VPN and disable GPS tracking, Google will not be able to triangulate your location based on other Android customers who linked to the same unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot at the same time.
4. Your Browsing History From Your ISP
Since your ISP acts as a go-between for your computer and the internet, the data stored on its servers could potentially reveal a lot about you.
To put it another way, even when HTTPS encryption is in place, they can still see the websites you’ve visited and the dates and times you were there.
Additionally, many American ISPs have been discovered to share customer navigation data with their parent corporations or companies, which in turn sell the information to data brokers, who in turn sell the information to advertisers, who use the information to give you personalized adverts.
This is why many people look for ways to conceal their online activity from their Internet service provider.
VPNs are the most hassle-free option available. Using a VPN prevents your ISP from seeing any of your internet traffic because it goes over an encrypted tunnel.
Data transfer rates are visible to them, but they cannot read the data themselves.
To add insult to injury, users can see that data is being sent to a VPN server and not where it travels from there. Therefore, your true browsing activity cannot be determined.
5. Medical Information
Medical care is only one of many sectors that are going digital. You may have heard from your doctor that you may use a special app to get in touch with their practice.
These apps go beyond merely making appointments; they also provide access to your medical records, test results, and even private interactions with your doctor.
If you’re scared about your personal information online, you may be skeptical of the healthcare industry’s shift into online databases.
Thankfully, any competent healthcare staff will have their equipment shielded by a VPN.
Exactly what kind of medical data can be concealed by using a virtual private network? It makes an encrypted informational portal that can’t be hacked.
It’s unlikely that anyone would be able to learn anything about the system even if they gained access to it.
6. Life Events
You shouldn’t have to worry about different locations or people allowing exposure to your information sources when something important happens in your life.
Advertisers will take note of your upcoming marriage once you begin making plans for things like the reception and honeymoon.
There’s a good chance that you wouldn’t want your personal life details broadcasted to the entire internet.
Defend yourself from advertising that tries to categorize you based on the decisions you’ve made in life. A VPN allows you to maintain complete anonymity online.
7. Travel Plans
Sites like Expedia and Orbitz utilize IP addresses to track customers so they can charge them more or lock in lower rates depending on when they book.
The website will remember your IP address if you use it for hunting for airfare discounts to Aruba; as a result, the next time you come, you will see the higher-priced deals rather than the ongoing, maybe better ones.
When you utilize a VPN, your true IP address cannot be seen, making it impossible for booking sites to change the prices on their end.
Have you ever downloaded something using BitTorrent and then received a legal notice from the authorities? Torrenting is not unlawful; however, there may be repercussions for downloading unauthorized content using such networks.
It’s not a myth that your ISP can see what you’re downloading; the state can work as well.
While we deplore the use of torrents for illegal file sharing, we advise hiding your torrent activity by connecting to a virtual private network.
A VPN can easily hide your identity while torrenting.
9. Your Social Media Identity
It is crucial to include this feature while talking about what a VPN hides.
The original purpose of social media was to keep tabs on loved ones, but now it serves many other purposes as well.
There is now a space for those with a public platform to protest what they see as wrongdoing.
Because the real world is risky, you should always use discretion when sharing personal information online.
Keep in mind that this is only one of several potential motivations for going online. Those that advocate for human rights does not represent everyone.
However, you’ll require more than a cunning codename if you’re trying to conceal your real identity online.
If you post under a nickname, you aren’t hiding anything. The site’s admin will eventually discover the truth even if you try to hide your identity.
A virtual private network, however, allows you to mask your online footprint by masking your IP address, even when you’re on the go.
With an obfuscated IP address, it would be more difficult for anyone to follow your online movements.
10. Online Activities On Your Smartphone
We are so accustomed to and dependent on having a constant internet connection that it is unthinkable to take a vacation from social media and mobile devices in the modern world.
Cell phone internet use exposes us to the same safety and privacy threats as desktop use of the internet.
Your personal data, including IP address, location, and browsing history, is vulnerable to hackers. Not a fan of keeping things between the two of you?
Install a VPN app on your mobile phone whenever you connect to a network outside of your home, workplace, or private Wi-Fi network to keep your data safe and your identity intact.
11. Your DNS Requests
It becomes tricky here because not all VPN services allow you to route your DNS queries through their servers behind the scenes for added security.
Without a VPN tunneling your DNS traffic, your ISP will be able to see which pages you’re browsing but not which pages you’re actually visiting.
Helpful hint: Domain Name System (DNS) is a system employed to convert living thing domain names like “Google.com” into their corresponding numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
What the software system uses to link is the IP address.
Since DNS is not a secured protocol, your ISP can still track your DNS activity even if you switch to a different DNS provider.
The only method to circumvent this is to route your DNS queries over your VPN’s secure tunnel.
Does a VPN Hide You from DDoS Attacks?
A VPN should protect you from DoS/DDoS assaults, in theory. Understanding your IP address allows them to flood your network with requests.
A VPN will prevent anyone from knowing your real IP address, rendering you immune to such attacks. As an alternative, they’ll aim for your VPN’s server.
But if the person trying to DoS/DDoS currently has your IP address, a VPN won’t help much.
Your next step should be to contact your Internet service provider (ISP) and request a new IP address.
If your network uses dynamic IP addresses, simply rebooting your router or connection should be sufficient to obtain a fresh one.
Can You Be Tracked If You Use A Free VPN?
To stay in business, free VPNs often share your information with advertisers or other third parties.
Certain free VPN services store logs of your connections, including your Internet protocol address and other metadata.
Your IP address, the IP address of the webpage you’re attempting to access, the time of your login, and the volume of information exchanged are all part of this.
Tracking this data, as you can understand, reveals virtually all of your online activity without providing any anonymity, rendering a virtual private network (VPN) pointless.
Avoid free VPNs at all costs; with a paid service like NordVPN, you may surf the web without worrying about the provider collecting and storing private information about your online activities.
The Bottom Line
It’s safe to say that anyone concerned about the security of their online activities should seriously consider purchasing a VPN.
By using a VPN, your online activity is encrypted in a way that your connection and internet service provider (ISP) cannot decipher. It makes it nearly impossible for your business to monitor your internet activity.
Unfortunately, Google and your browser still sometimes see your online activity even when you use a VPN.
You should be able to understand the full answer to “what does a VPN hide?” after this comprehensive explanation.