The best VPNs to stop your ISP from tracking your activity

It comes with the basics like a kill switch for all apps, including Linux and its custom router firmware. ExpressVPN also has the ability to auto-connect to the last location selected, traffic obfuscation, and a free password manager.

Prevent ISP Tracking

Want to put an end to your Internet Service Provider tracking and recording your internet activity? Use IPVanish to take back control of your internet privacy and stop ISP tracking.

What is ISP Tracking?

ISP tracking takes place when your ISP, or Internet Service Provider, watches and records your online activity. This invasive practice includes the monitoring of your search history, communications, and other activity that occurs when you’re online.

Without the right protection, ISP tracking can log connection data on any of your household devices, impacting your digital privacy.

Why is my ISP tracking me?

ISP tracking is used for a number of reasons:

Data Collection

In most regions, ISPs are legally required to track their customers’ data for safety reasons. In the case of an investigation, ISPs must provide the government with access to a customers’ information. While this is enforced with anti-terroism and crime prevention in mind, it comes at the cost of online privacy for the average internet user, as well as journalists and other important figures in the digital realm. And those who haven’t done anything wrong shouldn’t be treated like criminals or suspects.

Selling Data

Another reason ISP tracking takes place is because data is profitable. Beyond legal requirements, ISPs may collect customer data in order to sell it to advertisers and other third-party companies. Then those companies will turn to targeted advertising using purchased user data – another complete breach of customer privacy.

Bandwidth Throttling

Many ISPs perform ISP tracking to impose bandwidth throttling, the targeted slowing down of internet speed. Providers often claim they use this practice to lighten network congestion, but their true intentions may be to push customers to upgrade their ISP subscription. At any rate, bandwidth throttling occurs when customers use a significant amount of bandwidth, which can be disruptive to those who work from home or rely on the internet for streaming purposes.

What data can my ISP track?

ISP tracking impacts the privacy of almost all your online data. When you’re not using a VPN, your ISP can track and record your:

  • Geo-location data
  • Email communications
  • Social media data
  • Financial and health information
  • Children’s information
  • Social Security numbers
  • Web browsing history
  • App usage history
  • Content of communications
  • Timestamp of communications
  • Cryptocurrency transactions

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a tool used to mask your true IP address, encrypt your data, and prevent ISP tracking.

When you use a VPN, you establish a connection with a secure server of your choice. Once connected, all your internet traffic travels through an encrypted tunnel. Using a VPN protects data by rendering it indecipherable to third parties, but a VPN from IPVanish also provides increased anonymity by altering your IP address.

An IP address is a unique set of numbers issued by your ISP to identify your specific web activity. When you connect to a VPN server, your real IP address is masked with an IP address from IPVanish. Best of all, that IP address is shared with other IPVanish users in real-time. So, your individual activity can’t be traced to you. If you would like to determine your current IP, you can use our “What is my IP address?” tool to find it.

How does a VPN prevent ISP tracking?

The main function of a VPN is to encrypt, or secure, your online traffic. A VPN prevents ISP tracking by hiding your true IP address and scrambling all of your activity so it’s unreadable to your ISP. This way, you’ll be able to browse, message, download, and more online with total privacy.

What else can I use a VPN for?

Using a VPN comes with a number of benefits beyond protection from ISP tracking. IPVanish provides you with:

A person using IPVanish VPN app on mobile phone

Public Wi-Fi Safety

Using public Wi-Fi is convenient, but it’s certainly not safe. Anyone using the same shared network has the opportunity to snoop into your device and spy on your activity. Use IPVanish to secure your traffic while using public hotspots.

A person using IPVanish VPN app on mobile

Safe Website Access

Certain regions around the world impose restrictions on which websites people can access. IPVanish lets you safely bypass this form of censorship by masking your true geo-location, allowing you to restore your rightful access from anywhere with added security.

Online Security

Our internet-connected lives can make it easy for cybercriminals to find their way in. Prevent malicious online activity with the help of a VPN. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, encrypting your devices makes you less of a target for cybercriminals and protects your data from being stolen.

ISP Tracking: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I stop my ISP tracking?

To protect your privacy and stop ISP tracking, you’ll need to connect to a VPN. Once you connect to a secure VPN server, your online traffic will be encrypted, which prevents your ISP from tracking your web use.

2. Can ISP track IP address?

Yes, your ISP can track your IP address. In fact, they’re even responsible for assigning the IP address associated with your home network. If you wish to change your IP address, you can use a VPN to do so.

3. Can ISP track incognito?

Yes, your ISP can track you while you are using incognito mode. Despite the privacy that is promised by this feature, incognito mode does not prevent your ISP from monitoring some of your data. Your ISP will still be able to see traffic to a certain website is coming from your IP address.

The best VPNs to stop your ISP from tracking your activity

stop your ISP tracking

ISPs are able to see pretty much everything you do while you’re online. This includes the websites you visit, anything you search for, or even the contents of your emails. It’s not ideal from a privacy standpoint, especially as ISPs may not be heavily regulated when it comes to what they actually do with user data.

For example, ISPs in the United States are allowed to track and sell user data, and most have access to lots of personally identifiable information (PII). Examples of PII include the user’s name, phone number, and home address.

A study by the FTC found that ISPs amass huge pools of sensitive consumer data and use it in ways that could cause customers harm, primarily when classifying them by demographic characteristics, including race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality.

A VPN is an effective way to prevent your ISP from monitoring your web activity. It works by encrypting all of the traffic sent to and from your device, routing it through a server located elsewhere. Your ISP will know that you’re connected to the VPN, but it can’t see the websites you visit, the apps you use, or what you’re doing while you’re online.

If you only have time for a quick roundup, here are our top choices for preventing ISP tracking.

Best VPNs to stop your ISP from seeing and tracking your internet activity:

  1. NordVPN: Our top recommendation to stop ISP tracking. Excellent speeds, streaming, and security, NordLynx protocol, Meshnet, lots of additional features. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: The best budget VPN to keep your ISP at bay. Unlimited device connections, ad blocking and malware filtering, and numerous features to improve privacy and security.
  3. ExpressVPN: Popular provider with reliable unblocking, Lightway protocol, beginner-friendly apps, rotating IP addresses, and custom router software.
  4. CyberGhost: Provides security and streaming support, always-on kill switch, WireGuard, and intuitive apps. 45-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Mullvad: Ideal for improved privacy and security, simple pricing, and advanced features.
  6. ProtonVPN: Offers a free tier that has no bandwidth limits, good streaming support, and a watertight no-logs policy.
  7. Atlas VPN: Affordable provider offering unlimited devices, multiple privacy tools, capable servers, and WireGuard connections.

Summary table

No value TEST WINNER No value No value No value No value No value No value
No value NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN CyberGhost Mullvad Proton VPN Atlas VPN
Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Avg Speed (Mbps) 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps
Simultaneous Connections 6 Unlimited 5 7 5 10 Unlimited
Dedicated IP possible? US (four cities), UK, France, Germany, Netherlands New York, San Jose, Los Angeles, Dallas, London, Amsterdam No United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany No No No
Number of Servers 5,400 3,200 3,000 9,308+ 800+ 1,925 750
Best deal (per month) $3.29
SAVE 63% + FREE months
84% off 2yr plan
Save 49%
SAVE 83%
SAVE 50%
SAVE 83%

Most providers can perform the basics in terms of connecting the user to a server found elsewhere, while masking their IP address. However, some VPNs are far better than others when it comes to hiding your IP address from ISPs and other interested parties.

We’ve been able to narrow the field with our case-specific inclusion criteria. Here are some of the non-negotiable characteristics we looked for when picking out the best VPNs to prevent ISP tracking:

  • Servers in multiple countries, ideally offering features like MultiHop and obfuscation
  • Fast connection speeds are beneficial in all circumstances, having less of an impact on the user during any online task
  • Strong privacy and security features – including leak protection and a kill switch
  • In order to qualify for one of the top three positions, the VPN must operate a 100% diskless server network and have had its infrastructure audited by a reputable third party

For more information about the specific criteria, we used for picking the best VPNs to prevent ISP tracking check out the testing methodology section found later in this article.

How to prevent an ISP from seeing your online activity

A VPN is a safe and simple solution that will prevent your ISP from seeing your online activities. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you get started.

  1. Sign up with a secure VPN, and make a note of your login details. (NordVPN is our number one recommendation.)
  2. Download and install the VPN app to your device.
  3. Open the app, and sign in.
  4. Select a server, and hit connect.
  5. You should get a notification when the VPN is connected.

That’s all it takes to keep ISP tracking at bay. For the best results, ensure that the VPN kill switch is active at all times.

Best VPNs to stop ISP tracking

Here’s our list of the best VPNs to stop ISP tracking:

1. NordVPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 7.5/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 10/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 10/10

Panama-based NordVPN is packed full of features that are designed to improve user privacy. The provider doesn’t rent any of its 5,600+ servers, ensuring the highest levels of security with a sturdy RAM-only network in 60+ countries.

You’ll find a kill switch for all apps, along with obfuscated servers and Double VPN. This feature routes your traffic through two of Nord’s servers, doubling encryption in the process. The second VPN server won’t know your real IP address, and your ISP won’t have a clue about what you’re up to.

Unique extras like Meshnet allow the user to create private, encrypted tunnels between devices they trust, and it has recently been made free of charge, even if you don’t have a NordVPN subscription. Another interesting feature is the custom NordLynx protocol that offers a combination of high speeds and strong security.

NordVPN has been audited multiple times, including both its infrastructure and software. It’s also one of the best VPNs for streaming, whether it’s Netflix, YouTube TV, or some other geo-restricted platform that you’re hoping to access.

It would be remiss not to mention that Nord was hacked in 2018, via a third-party hosting company. The incident prompted a switch to diskless servers soon after, so it’s unlikely to happen again.


  • Diskless infrastructure
  • Constantly improving security tools
  • Audited zero-logs policy
  • Fast speeds and multiple security features including obfuscated servers
  • Meshnet feature is now free for everyone


  • Suffered a security incident in 2018
  • Lags while switching servers on desktop

BEST VPN TO STOP ISP TRACKING: NordVPN is packed full of features to prevent ISP tracking. NordLynx, Meshnet, audited apps, speedy servers, and comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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2. Surfshark

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 7/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 10/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9.8/10
Customer Support: 10/10

Surfshark is our top pick if you’re looking for a low-cost VPN to improve online privacy. The provider will be able to prevent ISP tracking easily, and it has 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries worldwide. It aced our IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests, offering capable apps for Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.

The kill switch has two different settings (Soft or Strict). The first is enabled if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops, while the second cuts the internet every time the VPN is disconnected. It’s handy if you want to ensure no data leaks under any circumstances.

Surfshark has obfuscated servers, which are used to stop ISPs from detecting VPN usage in the first place. It also comes with advanced features like rotating IPs and MultiHop connections, as well as offering ad blocking, tracker blocking, and malware blocking via CleanWeb.

It’s a worthwhile option despite a lower asking price, while it allows for unlimited device connections, making it possible to share an account with others. Servers are RAM-only, and apps have been independently audited.

Its privacy policy states that it doesn’t “collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, network traffic, and other similar data.”

That’s a comprehensive result, so it ticks every box if you’re aiming to avoid ISP tracking with nearby servers in 100+ countries.


  • Affordable deals
  • Unlimited devices with a single account
  • Audited no logs policy
  • RAM-only servers


  • Based in the Netherlands
  • Some servers are faster than others

BEST BUDGET OPTION: Surfshark has RAM-only servers in 100+ countries, and ensures secure connections despite a lower price point. Camouflage Mode, NoBorders, blocks malware, trackers, and ads. 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. ExpressVPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 6/10
Value for Money: 6/10
Streaming: 9/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9.5/10
Customer Support: 6/10

ExpressVPN is leakproof, and it uses a feature called TrustedServer for its RAM-only infrastructure. All data stored on the server is wiped when rebooted for added security. Server locations are found in 94+ countries worldwide, which is second only to Surfshark.

It comes with the basics like a kill switch for all apps, including Linux and its custom router firmware. ExpressVPN also has the ability to auto-connect to the last location selected, traffic obfuscation, and a free password manager.

As it’s headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, it’s perfect in terms of jurisdiction. There’s no connection to the UK despite the name, which means it’s not subject to any data requests from a Five Eyes member.

ExpressVPN’s infrastructure and apps have been independently audited, which does justify a higher asking price to some extent. We would like to see more simultaneous connections; five probably isn’t enough for the average user in 2023.

The custom Lightway protocol is one of the fastest we’ve tested, and Express is one of the best options if you’d like to access streaming content from the United States or the UK while abroad. It’s also more than capable of stopping your ISP from knowing what you’re up to.


  • Diskless infrastructure
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • Audited zero logs policy
  • Custom Lightway protocol


  • Relatively expensive
  • Only five device connections

SECURE, RELIABLE CONNECTIONS: ExpressVPN will massively improve your online privacy and security. RAM-only servers in 94+ countries, Lightway protocol, great for accessing geo-restricted content from abroad, and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
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4. CyberGhost

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Money Back Guarantee: 45 days
Speed: 9/10
Value for Money: 10/10
Streaming: 8/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9/10
Customer Support: 9/10

CyberGhost logs no personally identifiable information, and comes with an impressive network of 9,000 servers in 89+ countries.

Despite predominantly focusing on streaming access, it can still keep your ISP at bay. For example, CyberGhost offers bare metal NoSpy servers that are fully owned, operated, and controlled by the Romania-based VPN. These are ideal if you need increased online privacy.

It comes with a Content Blocker, which works to block malicious websites, tracking scripts, and adverts.

There’s no way to disable the kill switch on Android, Mac, and iOS, which is arguably beneficial if you’d like to be protected at all times. A kill switch works by cutting the internet connection if the VPN drops out unexpectedly. CyberGhost’s kill switch also comes with an auto-connect feature, which will attempt to reestablish the connection for two minutes if it drops out for any reason.

The WireGuard protocol ensures fast speeds, and there’s app support for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, and Linux. However, it is missing out on some of the advanced features seen with the providers above, such as MultiHop and obfuscation.


  • Thousands of servers and streaming support
  • Beginner-friendly apps
  • Includes ad blocking and malware filtering
  • NoSpy servers


  • Live chat could be improved
  • Lacks a few advanced features like split tunneling, port forwarding, MultiHop, and obfuscation

THOUSANDS OF SECURE SERVERS: CyberGhost comes with a large selection of servers to pick from, and is especially easy for beginners to use. Always-on kill switch, optimized for streaming and torrenting, and has a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Mullvad

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 10/10
Value for Money: 6/10
Streaming: 4/10
Ease of use: 8.9/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 7/10

Mullvad is a fantastic option for true anonymity. The service has been audited multiple times, offering advanced features like DNS leak protection, toggleable obfuscation, and MultiHop chaining. A total of 700+ servers are found in 42+ countries.

The ability to sign up anonymously is one of the main benefits that helps to set Mullvad apart from the competition, as you’ll be given an account number, rather than using an email address. You can also pay with crypto, so no personal information will be stored by the provider. Speeds are highly impressive, maxing out at 666.1 Mbps.

Mullvad comes with IPv6 support, rather than blocking the connections entirely to avoid leaks. It also allows port forwarding, which makes it a great option for torrenting.

While it’s undeniably a great option to improve online privacy, the same can’t be said if you’d like to access streaming services at the same time.

It’s not the biggest deal if you’re solely interested in preventing ISP tracking, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for reliability when unblocking sites like Netflix. Mullvad also lacks live chat, although it does have an extensive support system.


  • Sign up anonymously
  • Supports P2P
  • Always-on kill switch
  • MultiHop


  • Lacks live chat support
  • Not great for geo-restricted streaming sites

BEST VPN FOR ANONYMITY: Mullvad puts an emphasis on security and privacy above all else. Neither they (or your ISP) will have any idea about what you’re up to. Anonymous sign-up is available and it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Mullvad Coupon
$5.50 per month on any plan
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6. Proton VPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 9/10
Value for Money: 7/10
Streaming: 8/10
Ease of use: 6/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 7/10

Proton VPN is another solid option to stop ISP tracking, with the added bonus of a secure free tier that has no bandwidth limits. Speeds are a little slower with the freemium plan, while you can only connect to servers in the US, the Netherlands, or Japan. Otherwise, Proton has a secure network with 1,900+ premium ​​servers in 67+ different countries.

While the free tier is decent, the Plus version of Proton is even better, including streaming support, and the ability to use up to 10 simultaneous devices. You’ll find apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and FireTV.

The Plus plan has no speed caps, and it also provides access to Secure Core servers, which are located in privacy-friendly countries such as Iceland, Switzerland, and Sweden. Secure Core servers route traffic through these locations before the country you’ve chosen, hiding the user’s IP address more effectively.

As with Mullvad, it lacks live chat support, and it’s more suited to users looking for advanced features like Tor over VPN or the quickest connection speeds.


  • Watertight no-logs policy
  • From the team behind ProtonMail
  • Premier tier offers fast speeds and streaming support
  • Advanced security and privacy features


  • Port forwarding is only available via Windows
  • Lacks live chat support

CAPABLE FREE TIER: Proton VPN’s free service packs a punch, but the premium version steps it up a gear. WireGuard connections, solid no-logs policy, advanced privacy features, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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7. Atlas VPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 8/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 9/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 8.6/10
Customer Support: 8/10

Atlas VPN rounds out the list. One of the more recent services to make it onto the market, the provider was only launched in 2020, and has quickly established itself as a solid option if you’re hoping to improve online privacy.

For example, Atlas VPN comes with split tunneling and rotating IPs, while a kill switch is built into its apps. You’ll find features like malware blocking and ad blocking, and it offers decent speeds from its collection of 750+ servers in 38+ countries.

The free tier will keep your data safe from your ISP, with a trio of locations in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York. However, it pales in comparison to the freemium offering by Proton, as Atlas caps the user at 5 GB of data each month. As you might have guessed, this isn’t enough for most people.

You’ll be able to use the premium version of the VPN with an unlimited number of devices, and it works with services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

One downside is that Atlas VPN’s custom kill switch momentarily leaked our IP address during testing. It happened while reconnecting, and can’t be avoided on Windows, macOS, or iOS.


  • Unlimited device connections
  • Streaming-optimized servers
  • Limited free tier with three locations


  • Fewer servers to choose from
  • Freemium tier is extremely limited, no router support

STRONG PRIVACY FEATURES: Atlas VPN allows the user to protect unlimited devices, has numerous advanced security features, and offers streaming support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Atlas VPN Coupon
SAVE 83% on a 3 year plan + 3 months FREE
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Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs to stop ISP tracking:

In order to select the top VPNs for the job, we used strict criteria, as set out in our testing methodology, to ensure you have the choice between the best providers in the business.

  • Servers: Speedy servers from multiple locations are a prerequisite, as well as options found elsewhere for anyone who wants to access blocked sites and services from abroad. Ideally, you will have nearby servers to connect with, offering features like MultiHop and obfuscation.
  • Speeds and performance: Connection speeds and reliability will have an impact on everything you do while you’re online. We’ve tested each of the providers, checking out average speeds from a range of different locations.
  • Privacy and security: Any notable features that help to set the service apart from the competition, whether it’s custom protocols or anything else that improves privacy or security. We’ve tested for leaks and checked for essentials such as a kill switch.
  • Third-party audits: Trust is the foundation of the value that VPNs provide. You are essentially placing more faith in your VPN provider than you are in your ISP. Almost every provider says they are a ‘no logs’ VPN. The only ways to test this claim are either through the courts or through audits. We will only consider providers for our top three positions if they have undergone infrastructure audits from a reputable third party. While this isn’t foolproof, it’s the closest the industry has to a verification process for logging policies.
  • Diskless infrastructure: Again, this is a prerequisite to be considered for one of the top three positions on Bleeping Computer. While the data stored on a VPN server should be minimal, it could, theoretically, be accessed if the servers were seized or hacked. Moving processes to RAM means that no information can be physically taken from servers and it is wiped on shutdown. It can also easily be wiped as a part of regular security procedures.

ISP tracking VPN: FAQs

Is my data at risk with my ISP?

If you consider the fact that an ISP can sell user data, or may be forced to hand it over if asked, it’s clearly risky to trust them to look after your personal information. For example, the FTC looked into the privacy practices of six major ISPs in the US, and found that:

“Even though several of the ISPs promise not to sell consumers personal data, they allow it to be used, transferred, and monetized by others and hide disclosures about such practices in the fine print of their privacy policies. For example, several news outlets noted that subscribers’ real-time location data shared with third-party customers was being accessed by car salesmen, property managers, bail bondsmen, bounty hunters, and others without reasonable protections or consumers’ knowledge and consent, according to the report.”

Can my ISP see my VPN?

Your ISP may be able to see that you’ve connected to a VPN server, but that’s it. For instance, the ISP won’t know which sites you visit, or what you’re up to while you’re online. It will only be able to tell that encrypted data is traveling to a remote server.

Is my ISP tracking me?

It’s safe to assume that your ISP is tracking your online activity to some extent. It will vary depending on your jurisdiction, as well as the ISP itself. Regardless, unless the service expressly states that it doesn’t do so, we’d be wary of ISP tracking. It’s worth checking out your ISP’s privacy policy and terms of service to be sure.

Why do ISPs track users?

There are numerous reasons why an ISP may track its users. An obvious place to start is monetization, as user data is relatively valuable. An ISP might be obliged to keep data because of local laws, or to ensure users aren’t violating its terms of service. It may also want to collect more detailed diagnostic information.

Some ISPs are required to hold onto user data by the government. For example, the UK has enforced the Investigatory Powers Act since 2016. This surveillance law obligates web and phone companies to store browsing histories for 12 months, subject to a court order.

Can I hide my IP address from my ISP?

You won’t be able to hide your original IP address from your ISP. After all, your ISP is in charge of your real IP, which is used to connect devices to the internet. Even when a VPN is in use, you’re only masking your true IP with one that matches the server you’ve chosen.

However, a VPN can be used to prevent your ISP from seeing the information you send and receive, which will stop the ISP from being able to track the user.

Does incognito mode hide activity from ISP?

No. Incognito mode won’t be enough to stop an ISP from tracking the user. Incognito mode prevents the browser from saving your history, cookies, and site data, but your ISP will still be able to see the sites and services that you visit.

What data do ISPs track?

ISPs can keep track of a lot of user data. It will vary depending on the service and the country, but your ISP can see your location, any websites you visit, and what you do while you’re online.

Potentially, your ISP could hold onto all of your browsing history, in some cases for several years. This is obviously worrying in terms of personal privacy, even if you have nothing to hide.

Do ISPs pass data to the government?

Many countries have mandatory data retention directives that force ISPs to track user data on behalf of the government. Web Browsing data and communications metadata is used to investigate people if they are suspected of a crime. For example, the police may request people’s web data if they are suspected of hacking, cyberbullying, or other criminal activities.

The important thing to remember is that ISPs should only share your data with the government if you are part of an ongoing investigation. In most countries, this should only happen if there is just cause and a reason to suspect you. In addition, most countries will require that access to personal data held by your ISP must be requested using a valid warrant obtained from a court.

That said, it is important to note that the laws regarding data interception and surveillance vary around the world. This means that it is a good idea to do your own research and to check what the local circumstances might be where you live. In some countries, ISPs will share data with government authorities without the need for a proper warrant. This gives the police unfettered access to your data unless you use a VPN.

Below we have included a list of some countries where ISPs work hand in hand with the government to provide access to web histories and metadata without the need for a warrant:

  1. China
  2. Russia
  3. Iran
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Pakistan
  7. Belarus
  8. Egypt
  9. Vietnam
  10. Turkey

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and the situation may change over time. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice and it is important to do your own research to understand how data may be passed from your ISP to the government in your own country, or the countries you visit.

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