Your ISP tracks you over the web, which shouldn’t surprise you. It acts as a watchman on the internet with all the details about your online activities, including your IP address, website visited, and time spent on the web.
The primary purpose of the ISP is to get more and more information about you. After collecting much information about your online activities, the ISP uses it the way they want. Sometimes, they restrict you from doing certain activities, while others share your data with government surveillance agencies and even sell it for profit.
Your ISP does everything that violates your digital privacy. If you think you can’t stop it, you’re wrong because you can. Using tools like a VPN or encrypted browser can stop your ISP from tracking.
The article below gives a detailed insight into the best four ways to stop ISP tracking. So, continue reading!
Four Best Ways to Prevent ISP Tracking
Whatever the reason might be, ISP tracking poses a severe threat to your digital privacy and security and needs to stop. Some best-tested methods that prove helpful in preventing ISP tracking are as follows. Read about them and decide one for yourself.
1. Use a VPN
The first and most effective method to prevent ISP tracking is using a reliable VPN provider. VPNs are the best anonymity tools for boosting your online security and privacy. They protect your online identity by masking your actual IP address and encrypting the contents of your online communication. Your data goes through the encrypted tunnel and then leaves to the designated sites, further enhancing your online security. Also, by routing your data via remote VPN servers, a VPN obscures your location and allows you to retain more anonymity over the internet.
Besides this, a VPN enables users to enjoy unlimited streaming and downloading with fast speeds. You can even bypass the censorship filters and access any blocked service and website without your ISP knowing about it. Make sure that while you opt for a VPN, you choose a trustworthy VPN provider that providers maximum online protection and doesn’t log or sell your data to anyone.
2. Use HTTPS Sites
Using HTTPS-supported websites is another best way to prevent ISP tracking. HTTPS is the secure and encrypted version of HTTP. When you use any website that has HTTPS written in its URL, it means they’re encrypted and by no means allows anyone to intercept and view which websites you accessed. It encrypts the connection between your browser and the websites visited, but still, ISP can cleverly follow you via browser fingerprints or cookies. By disabling the cookies and using secure browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere, you can ensure that no traces of your activities are left over the web by which the ISP might track you.
3. Use Encrypted Browser
The Tor browser was designed to achieve anonymity over the internet. When you use a Tor browser, it passes your data through multiple nodes and fulfills anonymity claims. Using an encrypted browser like Tor also proves to be great in stopping the ISP from spying on your online activities. However, there are significant drawbacks of using a Tor browser:
- It partially encrypts the data.
- You could experience slow speed.
- Tor exit nodes are malicious and prone to hacking and online surveillance.
Unlike a VPN, the Tor browser provides layered encryption meaning that when the data leaves the last exit node, it goes unencrypted to the open internet. This makes your data vulnerable to online spying. Anyone monitoring the exit nodes can track you and compromise your data. Moreover, as the Tor browser routes your traffic thrice, it increases the load time and decreases the speed. All this makes the Tor browser quite unreliable to use, but there’s a solution to it.
You can use the Tor browser in conjunction with a VPN. Some VPNs offer Tor compatibility. VPNs first encrypt the data traffic and then connect to the Tor browser. In this way, your data is encrypted, and no one can know about your online identity.
4. Use Private Search Engine
Using private search engines is yet another reliable method to prevent ISP tracking. A private search engine comes with remote servers and a range of advanced security and privacy features that helps in getting away with tracking. By blocking trackers and cookies, these search engines route your search queries and data via the remote servers and ensure anonymity over the web.
You might end up finding several search engines that claim to provide exceptional service over the web, but not all of them are reliable to use. DuckDuckGo is a secure and private search engine that doesn’t log and share your data and prevents tracking. It comes up with impressive features that wipe out the pop-up ads, cookies, and trackers and ensure that none of your searches are recorded or sold to any third-party company.
However, there’s a drawback to using a private search engine. These search engines fail to encrypt the data entirely, and there’s a chance that your data content can be viewed. But there’s a way to get this fix. You can use a VPN and a private search engine and enjoy the top-most level of anonymity and safeguard your data from reaching the sight of the ISP.
The best way to bypass ISP tracking is to encrypt your data traffic. Make sure you do always use a VPN, even if you use any of the other methods mentioned above other than using a VPN.
Why Does ISP Tracks You?
There’s no hidden fact that your IP address tracks you, and they’ve justified it by providing various reasons. Below are some of the crucial reasons why ISP might track you. So, let’s have a look at them:
– ISP Throttling
You might all know about the unfair practice of ISP throttling. The ISP might track you to see if you are engaged in any activity like excessive streaming, torrenting, or gaming that consumes much of the bandwidth or congests the network due to server load. Once the ISP knows about all such activities, then throttle your bandwidth by tracking. As a result, you experience reduced speeds and continuous lagging that ruins your browsing experience. Although ISP does have valid reasons for throttling your internet connection from a users’ perspective, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be practiced.
– Monitoring P2P Activities
Another reason why ISP tracks your online activities is to know whether you’re involved in downloading torrents or not. Torrenting itself is not illegal, but the copyright issues make this practice quite controversial. Moreover, many countries have set strict rules against torrenting, and users have to pay hefty fines or end up in jail if found torrenting. Thus, your ISP might track you to prevent users from the legal consequences of torrenting and P2P file-sharing.
– Data Retention Laws
Data retention laws vary from country to country but are applicable in most parts of the world. These laws ask the ISPs to monitor and spy on the users and log their data for a specific time. Also, this might affect the life and jobs of a journalist or whistleblower. Even though the primary purpose behind these laws is to tackle criminal and terrorist activities, it still is a violation of the online privacy rights of the citizens.
– Enforce Censorship
Countries where the government controls the internet compel the ISP to track and sneak into the citizens’ online activities. They want to restrict the users from accessing certain websites, services, and web pages that may put their country’s integrity at stake. Thus, the ISP in such countries censors the internet and limits your online activities by tracking you. This usually happens in KSA, North Korea, South Korea, and China.
Other than this, an ISP might even track you because you’re living in a country that’s part of the global surveillance alliance. Under an agreement, the ISP collects and logs users’ online data and later shares it with the intelligence agencies of other member countries without the users knowing about it.
How Does the ISP Tracks You?
Your ISP mainly tracks you via your IP address. It is the address that the ISP assigns you and allows you to connect with the internet world. The ISPs quickly know about the websites you visit, what stuff you watch or download, and how much time you spend on a website by following your IP address. Moreover, you might also get tracked with the help of cookies that act as downloadable files within your browser to enhance your user experience.
Why Should You Care About ISP Tracking?
While your ISP is tracking you over the internet, they’re more often putting your online privacy in danger than you can ever imagine. Imagine how you would feel to share all your daily details exposed to a stranger. Here the stranger is none other than the ISP. Moreover, as ISP tracks you, they even collect and record your data, which they even sell to third parties without your permission and make money through it. Giving away your browsing data will eventually result in more personalized ads while you surf the web, and at the time, this may annoy you a lot.
If you live in an oppressive regime, your online data can be shared with the government. There are high chances that some action can be taken against you if they find you doing something against the law. Like, if you download torrents, the ISPs and the copyright troll can catch you, and you might serve with DMCA notices and penalties.
Which Is the Best Long-Term Solution to Prevent ISP Tracking?
Though there are various ways by which you can get rid of ISP tracking, all of them are helpful in one way or the other. But most of them lack data encryption features, which is vital in keeping the ISPs from interfering with your online behavior. However, a VPN offers this feature and other impressive benefits that enhance your online security and web browsing experience.
It hides your IP address and changes your data traffic into deeply encrypted packets that are impossible to detect. Because of encryption, the ISP has no clue about your online identity or what you’re doing on the web. In other words, a VPN makes you utterly anonymous over the web without the fear of anyone monitoring or tracking you. So, it’s the best solution to bypass ISP tracking.
Can ISP Block a VPN?
Using a trustworthy VPN can save you ISP tracking even though your ISP knows that you’re using a VPN. VPN uses strong encryption and tunneling protocols that are difficult to block by a firewall or ports. Your ISP knows about it by viewing the VPN’s IP address, but it can’t block the VPN and stop you from using it. So, theoretically, it might be possible, but practically it isn’t possible unless you use a poorly configured VPN provider.
For How Long Does the ISP Store Your Data?
Your ISP records your data for various reasons, but the time duration for retaining the data depends on the country where you reside. The data retention laws are applicable worldwide along with other regional privacy laws. As per the country laws, your ISP would keep your data. For example, in Australia and Canada, the data is retained for two years, while in Thailand, it is stored for six months under various data privacy laws.
Your ISP is the biggest privacy abuser that you can ever imagine. By monitoring and tracking your online activities via your IP address, they know everything you do over the internet. There are different reasons for ISP tracking, but they all violate individual rights to freely and anonymously browse the web. Hence, you must look out for ways to stop ISP tracking. The above article shares different methods like using a VPN, Tor browser, and HTTPS sites to prevent ISP from sneaking into your online activities. Using a VPN is the best method to get away with ISP tracking, so use it and say goodbye to ISP tracking.