Incognito vs VPN – The Best Way to Browse Privately
Many people run to the incognito and other private browsing modes to protect their online privacy. Since they are referred to as “private browsing” it makes sense as that should be their purpose right? In reality, you can only benefit from private browsing if you use a shared device and don’t want the other users to know what you have been searching for or doing online. An example of this is in the office or workstation where anyone can use the computer after you. if you have the computer all to yourself, then incognito isn’t doing a great job at protecting your privacy and that is why we are comparing incognito vs VPN in this article.
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Unlike the private browsing mode, a VPN will protect the traffic you send out of our device to the web. It doesn’t make sense to even compare incognito to a VPN but just to clear all doubt and set the air straight, we would discuss how both work.
What Is Private Browsing Mode?
According to Google, what private browsing does is as follows:
- Your searches or sites visited won’t be saved to your browsing history
- The files you make and bookmarks you create will remain on your device
- When your browsing window closes, or you close a tab the cookies will be deleted
- Search results and suggestions may still come up based on your location or recent searches you made
It’s worthy to note that if you are signed in to your Google account, your web searches on google may be saved to your google account as well. What this implies is that your browser won’t save any records of your online activity, but all your searches, session data you create, site history, or the files you download including the cookies would be saved in your google account if you are logged in.
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With private browsing mode, your ISP still monitors your activities and can see everything you do. Network monitors and advertising companies can also get your data once you send it so you are not truly protected.
How Private Browsing Mode Works
If you connect to the internet without switching private browsing mode on, your browser would give different website details about you. Details like your location, the type of device you are using, what you search online, and the sites you visit. When websites get such information, they create a profile on you and send targeted ads your way. It doesn’t just end with the ads, your location can be traced and also your browsing habits.
When you however connect to the internet with a private browsing feature turned on, your browser window gets separated from your OS. This is supposed to block websites from getting any information about you, your browsing history, and block your cookies. This is all theoretical as the EFF’s Panopticlick privacy test would still show details on the type of device, location, OS, and other details even with the private browser feature turned on.
How VPN Protects Your Privacy
When browsing through a VPN connection, companies can’t have access to the direct personal information they need to track you. It creates a tunnel that encrypts your connection, and hides your real IP address, replacing it with another one. Your IP address is your identity online and that is the way websites recognize you and know your location. VPNs also protect your privacy by confusing the data contained in cookies since the owner of the cookie will think you are in a different location from your actual one.
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LimeVPN goes further than just changing your IP address, they heavily encrypt your traffic using AES 256-bit encryption. By this, your transferred data would be unreadable even if intercepted. You also have DNS leak protective features in place, to ensure your data is secure and private. So your ISP and others who are targeting your data would be left in the dark.
How to Maintain Online Privacy
It isn’t easy to maintain your privacy online, and they are a lot of tools that work to this end but is it sufficient? Many people use browsers that are meant to ensure privacy, ad blockers, and also browser extensions but even at that security experts encourage the addition of VPNs to ensure privacy.
You can begin your journey to maintaining your online privacy by using search engines that protect your privacy like DuckDuckGo, and logging out of your social media accounts. With a VPN, your browsing activity, and sent and received traffic would be protected so that not even your ISP would know what you are up to.
With this comparison of incognito vs VPN, you would have made up your mind on what the best approach to protecting your privacy is. Maintaining your online privacy and security can be tough with all the snooping and active efforts to steal data by attackers. Being careful with your browsing activity can only take you far, but you also need a secure channel through which everything you do online goes through. LimeVPN is such a channel and they are highly recommended due to their heavy encryption. Apart from protecting your privacy, a VPN also protects your anonymity by changing your IP address. So no one knows your real identity and location.