Do ISP Care If You Use a VPN? | Common Questions Answered

VPN personal online security virtual private net

What is a VPN?

A VPN or virtual private network can help shield your online activity from prying eyes. ISPs (internet service providers) see what their customers do online with their internet access, so it’s important to use VPN connections to ensure your browsing history and browsing activities are private.

How does it work?

When you connect to a VPN or make a VPN connection, you tell it to send that request to the VPN server. The data package from that point on, tells the VPN server takes over, and the ISP will never know its final destination. To sum up, the ISP sees the following information:

  • The IP address of the VPN server

  • The connection timestamps of when you connected

  • The port number your VPN protocol is using

  • The amount of data you’re sending or receiving

computer, laptop, vpn
computer, laptop, vpn

Can my internet provider see my VPN service?

It’s possible that your ISP can see you’re connected to a VPN server, however not every ISP can detect that you’re using a VPN. Read your Internet provider’s privacy policies to gain a better understanding of what they are able to ascertain. What’s clear is that your ISP can’t see anything you do online when you have a VPN service activated.

Do ISP care if I use VPN service?

It isn’t really crucial to the Internet service provider how often their users use VPN services. However, certain service providers are required to care for local communities.

In Russia for example VPN use is heavily restricted and even in some countries such as Belarus is illegal. It also states that VPN services have to notify the authorities or block specific VPN service websites in order to prevent them from functioning or gaining subscribers from this area.

While most ISPs don’t really care if you use a VPN or not, there are some who may throttle or block access to specific web pages depending on the provider. If you’re concerned about this and would like to use an encrypted VPN tunnel anyway, be sure to research which VPN provider offers unrestricted speeds.

The countries where VPNs are illegal - Illustration from top10vpn.com
The countries where VPNs are illegal – Illustration from top10vpn.com

Why use a VPN service or VPN server?

Well, there are a few reasons actually…

If you’re concerned about your privacy and the security of your data, a VPN service can be a great way to safeguard yourself. A VPN hides your device’s IP address (real IP) and encrypts everything you do online, effectively making you anonymous and making it difficult for third parties to track your web traffic.

VPNs are also useful for bypassing geo-blocks and accessing content that is otherwise unavailable in your region. For example, if you’re traveling and want to watch your favorite show from home but find the local version is unavailable, a VPN can help you get around the restriction.

VPNs are also useful for keeping your data safe when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Many public Wi-Fi hotspot networks are not secure or not lacking security, and by connecting to a VPN you can ensure that your encrypted data is protected.

vpn, server, router
vpn, server, router

What are the common types and protocols of VPNs?

The VPN protocol is the set of rules that govern how data packets are encrypted and transmitted across a network. Each protocol has its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • PPTP is a fast, simple, and secure VPN protocol. But it can only be used on Windows systems with Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE) installed.

  • L2TP/IPsec is a fast, secure replacement for PPTP that can be used on any operating system.

  • IKEv2 is more secure than PPTP because it uses the IPsec encryption protocols to provide a better and wide range of security features than PPTP, but it’s not as widely supported as L2TP/IPsec.

  • OpenVPN is the most popular open-source software for running VPN services and offers the best performance among all protocols in terms of speed and stability. however, you should be aware that it is not without flaws that exist within the application and client implementations.

vpn, address, anonymous
vpn, address

What is the difference between ISP and VPN?

ISP vs VPN: Internet service providers facilitate Internet navigation and help transmit your online packets, but VPNs create a secure encrypted tunnel where the transmitted data is encrypted.

Can a WiFi owner see what sites I visit with VPN?

VPNs create an encrypted connection that will prevent any person from viewing what you do. The router will only see fragments of information if the user uses a VPN service.

computer, vpn, server
computer, vpn, server

Can my ISP see what I download with a VPN?

Internet service providers will not have access to download content on a VPN server. Most reliable VPN providers use military-grade encryption that can’t be easily broken down. There is something called VPN leaks and if happened when (the VPN connection drops), your ISP can view your actions online. Make sure your VPN includes a kill switch and IP leak protection. The VPN should also use no-log policies which means it will not log your internet traffic. Also, meaning that it doesn’t collect all other data. Otherwise, the VPN would be able to see what files you download, which compromises your privacy.

Why are no-logging policies important?

When VPNs log your activity, they aren’t better than ISPs. The application can even extract data from your website without restriction, to be sold to others. What is most worrying about the data logging is whether that IP address the VPN server gave you or the real IP address is used to identify an Internet-based user that can then trace its usage back.

vpn, security, service
vpn, security, service

Are there VPN alternatives that hide you from ISPs?

The basic answer is Tor. Tor is a Project initiative. The Tor website requires downloading a Tor Browser. If you use Tor to browse a page, it sends your data to at least 3 nodes (run by volunteers) before it reaches the website. The data can only be encrypted with a single node. The node is able to see everything that’s happening and see their neighbors as well!

Can you use a free VPN to hide data from ISPs?

You can use a free VPN service but the short answer is no. A free VPN is an alternative that offers many disadvantages and privacy is one of the reasons to avoid a free VPN. Free VPN servers need to earn some revenue. The sensitive information they collect is also used to promote their business. So any data might be stored and can still be accessed. While the premium VPN services earn revenue from subscribers. Again you have to read the policy that this premium VPN server offers.

technology, icons, internet
technology, icons, internet

Does incognito hide activity from ISP?

Nope. Incognito or other private browser mode does not prevent your internet provider from receiving your internet activities. This prevents websites from using cookie data or storing your activity on your computer. However, while incognito, the ISP can identify an Internet browser’s address, and may also know about your online behavior.

Conclusion: Why you should think twice before disabling the VPN protection

In conclusion, VPNs are a necessary part of the internet. They provide security and privacy to the user by hiding their identity and location. They also allow the user to bypass geographic restrictions. VPNs are useful for many reasons, but also have a bunch of drawbacks such as slow speeds and limited server locations. Even though there are disadvantages, I believe that VPNs fill a necessary need for internet security and privacy today.

https://ahmedradwan.dev

Reach out if you want to join me and write articles with the nerds 🙂