Are you guilty of looking up embarrassing stuff on the Internet? There’s no need to feel ashamed because almost everyone is guilty of doing this.
But everyone searching for embarrassing stuff online doesn’t mean you want your search and browsing history to be made public. This is one of those things you would want to keep private. Right? This is where VPNs come to the rescue because they are incredibly effective in hiding browser and search history.
While many people are turning to VPNs, do you know what is a VPN connection? It is software that secures your access to the Internet by establishing a private and protected connection. Even if you are accessing the web while connected to a public Wi-Fi network, your security, and privacy are protected. A VPN hides the IP address, makes your browsing private, and stops your ISP from tracking you.
If you have doubts about whether VPNs are truly of assistance when it comes to keeping your browsing history a secret, continue scrolling to clear your doubts.
Difference Between Browsing History and Search History
Browsing history refers to a record of pages and websites visited by users during an Internet session, which includes titles, URLs, and timestamps of visited pages. Browsing history makes it convenient for users to revisit the websites they have accessed previously and allows browsers to suggest relevant content according to the users’ past behavior.
On the other hand, search history refers to specific search queries entered by users into search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It helps search engines tailor future search suggestions and customize the search results according to the user’s previous searches and interests.
How Do VPNs Hide Your Browsing History?
When browsing with a VPN, your Internet traffic will be encrypted and routed via a secure server. A secure connection is established between the server and your device, which is encrypted.
Once you are connected to VPN, all your Internet-related activities, including downloads, web browsing, and uploads, pass via the encrypted tunnel and reach the remote VPN server. Here, the server acts as an intermediary to send requests to the destination websites and receive the requested content. Hence, it appears that the VPN server is accessing the sites and not your device.
VPNs hide the real location and IP address, so websites only see the IP address of the VPN server and not your actual IP address. Due to this, your security and privacy are enhanced, and your ISP is prevented from tracking your browsing activities. Also, it lets you access geo-blocked or censored content outside your region.
Overall, VPNs help to hide your browsing history from your ISP, router, employer, and Google.
Do VPNs Hide Your Search History?
It is essential to note here that VPNs cannot hide your history from search engines like Google. If you are browsing the web while logged into your Google account and not using Incognito mode, Google will be able to track your searches to your account.
However, it is possible to minimize the trace between yourself and your history. This can be done by searching in a private browsing mode. Also, you must not be logged into your account during your searches.
As for VPN’s role, it hides your IP address and makes it much harder for anyone trying to connect your search history with your identity.
Also, since search history is stored locally, anyone accessing your computer can see what you have searched. Hence, to effectively hide your search history, the best solution is to clear your search history manually.
Additional Tips to Hide Your Browsing History
Although VPNs help hide your browsing history, it doesn’t do a foolproof job. It is better to take matters into your own hands. Some helpful tips are:
- Browse privately, such as Google’s incognito mode, to prevent your browser from remembering your sessions. This is one of the best ways to hide your browsing and search history from your roommate if you share the same computer.
- Manually delete your search and browsing history to cover your tracks.
- You can opt for privacy-focused search engines, such as Tor or DuckDuckGo.
- Remove local logs, such as cookies, to make it harder for search engines and websites to identify you.
The Bottom Line
In summation, VPNs can hide search and browsing history from search engines, employers, and your ISP. It encrypts your Internet connection and makes sure your privacy remains intact. Also, if you use premium VPN services, it would mean your browsing history will not be logged with them either. So, you can browse the web anonymously.
Colin Hughes, a passionate wordsmith and digital raconteur. He ghostwrites for numerous websites that include travel, culture, and lifestyle content. When not traveling for work, he loves to spend his time at home with his husband and two border collies, Reggie and Tuesday.