You thought the “private browsing” window was the solution to your online anonymity? Think again: it offers you at best a certain discretion.
Private browsing is a feature found on most web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.). Around this option, there are many received ideas that are however far from reality.
In a blog post, the Mozilla Foundation states that the first mistake users make is to believe that “private browsing makes you anonymous on the Internet”. In this case, it only allows you to hide your online activity from people who use the same browser on your device. For example, they will not be able to access your history, the cookies placed, or your passwords.
No, Private Browsing Does Not Make You Anonymous
In other words, the private browsing window does not make you invisible on the internet. If this incognito mode allows you to hide from the eyes of other users of the same machine, it does not allow you to hide your activity from the eyes of your internet service provider (ISP) or the websites you have visited.
The latter can explicitly see your IP address and know precisely the services to which you have connected. In the case of a company, your employer (or network administrator) may also know your activity, even if you thought you were anonymous. If you are looking for the ultimate level of privacy, so that neither the ISP, your employer, nor any site can identify you, you will need to use a VPN.
In its post, Mozilla specifies that “only a virtual private network (in English virtual private network, abbreviated by VPN) can hide your location and encrypt your online activities, thus keeping your identity and your data safe from prying eyes”. Among the benchmark players, we can mention NordVPN, which publishes the only quality European VPN.
Why use the incognito window if it’s not so private? In reality, it can be useful in many ways. For example, if you share a computer (in a university establishment, in a hotel, or in a shared office), it allows you to have a minimum of confidentiality in relation to other users.
Choose A VPN To Be Anonymous
If you want to erase all traces of your internet browsing, then you should choose a VPN. But not just any VPN: a reliable VPN and above all without log storage (as is the case with NordVPN ). Using its virtual tunnel, it will allow you to connect from a remote server that does not keep any browsing history. It will therefore not be possible to link a visit to a site to your IP address.
Concretely, your internet service provider will only see your connection to an anonymous NordVPN server. On the other hand, the website you are surfing on will only see the IP address of NordVPN’s anonymous server. Since this server instantly deletes all browsing history, no one will know who did what. There are thousands of users who use these servers, everything will be perfectly scrambled.
In France, it is estimated that 28% of Internet users use a VPN. They don’t just want to be “discreet” with a private browsing window, but they want to be completely anonymous. This response to different aspirations, which do not necessarily have a link with a dubious activity. Indeed, today’s Virtual Private Networks go well beyond mere anonymity.
In addition to the ultimate discretion it confers, the VPN highlights other advantages. For example, it will encrypt all your data when you browse the internet to offer you maximum protection against hackers. Any data you enter in the clear will be encrypted so no one can access it (useful on public or shared Wi-Fi networks).
The VPN also allows you to virtually relocate to other countries to access geo-blocked content. They are popular in countries with strong censorship, but also in the rest of the world where users want to access blocked content for other reasons. For example, video streaming platforms show very different catalogs of content from country to country, because they don’t own the copyrights in all regions. A VPN circumvents these limitations and offers unlimited access to all content, regardless of the country in which you reside.