Feeling watched when you’re online? We’re all familiar with the feeling. You can never really tell when someone’s tracking you.
Consider investing in a virtual private network (VPN)! A VPN hides your web activities and improves your digital privacy.
In this article, I’ll go over what exactly a VPN hides, and clarify just how anonymous you really are when you’re connected to a VPN.
Hide your online activities and protect your privacy with CyberGhost VPN.
- Subscribe to CyberGhost VPN. It’s fast and easy!
- Connect to any server.
- Stay safe online.
6 Things a VPN Hides
1. Your IP Address
The VPN app changes your real IP address and assigns you a new one from its database. That’s how you go invisible online.
What does hiding your IP address look like?
Internet communication relies on exchanging IP addresses. Your IP address reveals details about you like your Internet Service Provider (ISP), city, region, and country.
It isn’t enough to pinpoint your exact location and physical address, though. Snoopers would know you’re in the US, but no one can know your street address.
That said, your ISP, websites you visit, online apps, and even governments can track everything you do online if they know your IP address. Powerful loggers connect the dots to create a personalized digital profile. Your digital profile contains everything about you and your online activities. This includes how often you use Facebook, when you apply for a new job, and where you go for vacation – just to name a few. Third parties can then use this information to spam you or send targeted ads.
Hiding your IP address helps you stop online tracking. That way, no one can ever trace your activity back to you using your IP address.
2. Your Geo-Location
A VPN also conceals your real physical location since you connect to a server from a different country. If your real location is in Austria and you connect to a US VPN server, anyone sticking their nose will think your location is somewhere in the US.
Spoofing your location also allows you to:
- Bypass online content restrictions – some websites or apps place geo-restrictions, only allowing users from specific countries to access or view their content. When you connect through a VPN server, you can change your IP address to bypass censorship or retain access to your favorite websites from abroad.
- Enjoy support for worldwide streaming services – no matter where you are in the world, you can keep watching your favorite shows. You might use a VPN to watch streaming services if you’re on a restricted network like at work or traveling abroad.
- Avoid online purchase price discrimination – websites or services show you different prices for the same items based on your location. Change your IP address to one located in a different location and you’ll discover the best possible prices or deals.
3. Your Search History (Not Entirely!)
A VPN hides your search history from your ISP, governmental entities, and cybercriminals. Once it encrypts your internet traffic, your online data going through the VPN server turns into indecipherable codes. It’s practically impossible for anyone to crack the code and figure out what you’re doing online. That said, your default web browser can still see your online searches when you connect to a VPN.
Here’s a good example: if you own a Google account, every time you’re logged in and search for something on Chrome, the web browser can see your online searches even when you’re connected to a VPN. Websites can’t make connections between your searches and your IP address, though.
To maintain your browsing security, select a more private browser and be sure to clear your cookies. Cookies expose what you’ve been doing online!
Use CyberGhost VPN’s free Cookie Cleaner add-on to ensure browser privacy!
4. Your Downloads
When you share or download files, your identity isn’t private. Your IP address is the first element that turns up into your ISP’s data detectors since you’re using up too much bandwidth. Apart from your ISP, the government and advertisers can also track your download activity. Depending on what you download, you might get warning letters, fines, or legal actions. All these risks go away when you connect to a VPN! Hide your IP address and encrypt your data so no one can ever check when, what, or how much you download.
5. Your Streaming and Gaming Activities
Streaming and gaming are notorious for their massive data consumption. That’s your ISP’s nightmare since data-heavy activities strain its network. ISPs tend to throttle bandwidth during data-heavy activities and especially during peak hours.
When you hide your streaming activities with a VPN, you get to enjoy countless streaming hours. Once the VPN hides your IP address, your ISP can’t track or see what you’re up to online and can’t throttle your bandwidth! That way, you can challenge your friends to play online games whenever you want.
6. Your Personal Data
Data breaches, malware attacks, and other online threats expose your information. They threaten your sensitive information like your login information, credit card details, and email conversations.
A VPN is the most efficient tool to help you protect all this personal information. It uses a secure tunnelling process and impenetrable 256-AES-bit encryption for added security. Even the fastest and smartest computers would find it challenging to crack this encryption.
The ultimate benefit? You get to keep all your data for yourself and away from snooping eyes.
Evade any unnecessary surveillance and choose CyberGhost VPN!
Next, let’s find out what a VPN can’t hide and what you can do to preserve your privacy even in exceptional situations.
3 Things a VPN Can’t Hide or Protect
1. Your Account Activity
A VPN connection won’t stop platforms from seeing your account activity when you’re logged into an account on a website, app, or online service. Platforms can understand you have a different IP address and see you’ve spoofed your location, but that’s the farthest the camouflage can go. Keep this in mind and pay attention to what you do and how much personal information you share online.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep a low profile, don’t use your real name and use a separate email address for non-essential accounts.
2. Your Device from Online Threats, Viruses, and Infections
Another common misconception is that a VPN protects you from online threats or cyberattacks. A VPN helps you stay invisible and behind the scenes, but it doesn’t give you immunity against online risks like malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, or even computer viruses. That’s where your antivirus software comes in.
Pro Tip: Look for a VPN that offers antivirus or malware cover within its services. Take advantage of CyberGhost VPN’s security suite that covers both privacy and security.
3. Your Entire Online Identity
Remaining anonymous is the dream for anyone online. Unfortunately, it isn’t 100% possible.
Cybercriminals and intelligence agencies use complex methods to get to your valuable data. This includes browser fingerprinting, background scripts, and other wicked measures. A VPN can’t do anything against this.
How much and what you share online also plays an important role. A VPN can never revert the information you post on social media.
Pro Tip: Think through what you post or share online. It’s better to set some boundaries, so check your privacy settings. Toggle off all unnecessary boxes or any icon you think could invade your privacy.
The Bottom Line – A VPN is Your First Digital Defense Line
A leading VPN like CyberGhost will keep you secure online and help you maintain your privacy.
With our stress-free 45-day money-back guarantee, you’re not risking a thing! Get a premium VPN now!
CyberGhost VPN’s strict No-Logs policy is no marketing hook. Whatever you do online is your business, and we’re here to support that. That’s why we don’t track your online activities and keep zero logs. You get a private and secure digital experience.
We’ve got NoSpy servers that operate under strict security and quality standards. CyberGhost VPN crafted these servers specifically to reduce hardware attacks to zero. We’ve maintained direct control over these servers, ensuring seamless encryption.
Automatic Kill Switch
Our automatic Kill Switch feature helps you avoid any data exposure. If your VPN connection ever drops, the Kill Switch shuts down all internet traffic until the VPN resets. That way, you’ll keep your data, IP address, and location private.
Though a VPN is highly accurate and efficient, you shouldn’t rely on it to fend off all online privacy and security risks. To guarantee your security, follow these instructions:
- Use strong passwords: set up strong, hard-to-guess, and unique passwords.
- Pay attention to common WFH app privacy risks: manage a safe work-from-home environment and check the privacy settings on Zoom, Slack, Google, and Microsoft.
- Keep your email addresses safe from data breaches: Use CyberGhost VPN’s ID Guard and regularly check your email addresses to see if they were involved in a data breach. ID Guard offers a continuous inspection service and will notify you if anything compromises your accounts.
A VPN encrypts and conceals your entire online traffic. It hides your IP address, location, and all digital activities, including downloads, streaming, and gaming activities. A VPN hides your browsing history from your ISP, websites, online snoopers, and even the government.
A VPN doesn’t hide your activity from online registered accounts. Anyone can still see your social media shares, posts, and pictures. A VPN is also different from antivirus software; while it boosts your online security, it doesn’t protect you from cyberattacks.
Yes. Hiding your IP address is what a VPN does. The VPN reroutes your connection requests through a remote VPN server. It then sends all your requests to the web using an IP address from the VPN database. That way, the websites you visit will only see the VPN’s IP address and your real IP address becomes invisible.
In some cases, yes. Your ISP can detect you’re using a VPN because they can trace the VPN IP address. Streaming services can also tell you’re using a VPN since they can see that you share the same IP address with other VPN users. That’s one reason why you sometimes can’t access streaming channels even if you’re using a VPN.
ISPs also can trace your VPN connection through port numbers. VPN protocols use specific and unique port numbers; for example, the IKEv2 protocol links with port 4500. Websites and ISPs can even dig deeper and use the more complex deep packet inspection system to uncover VPN connections. They use sophisticated algorithms to discover VPN servers.
No. The VPN software encrypts your online connections. That makes it impossible for anyone to see what you do. The ISP can tell you’re using a different IP address from the one it assigned you and figure out you’re using a VPN. It can’t monitor what you’re up to online, though.