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What your ISP sees when you use a VPN

What your ISP sees when you use a VPN


We depend on your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to surf the web and enjoy countless online applications. However, the ISP can also track what we do online and they can even sell our online data to third parties. Our internet browsing history is shared with those willing to pay the highest price. In light of these discoveries, people concerned about their privacy have chosen to use a VPN to protect their online activities from prying eyes. More and more internet users are signing up for VPN services in order to prevent ISPs, government organizations, and big companies from spying on them. One of the first questions you might ask when you consider getting a VPN is what exactly your ISP sees when using this technology. Here we will explore this.

Is your ISP able to see that you are using a VPN?

When you use a VPN, a secure connection is established between the device you are using to access the Internet and a private server. Your traffic is encrypted and data received by your ISP is sent through the VPN server you are connected to, preventing snoopers, including your ISP, from accessing your traffic. Regarding the question of whether your ISP can see that you are using a VPN, the answer is yes.

However, they cannot see the websites you visit or what you do when you are online. As the VPN encrypts your internet traffic, the data becomes unreadable. Your ISP will not be able to track you and will not have any browsing history to sell. Additionally, when you use a VPN, your IP address is hidden. Instead of seeing the IP address assigned by your ISP, others (including the ISP itself) will see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to. This keeps your identity and your browsing history protected.

Are there any security holes that could make your data visible to your ISP, even if you use a VPN?

While a VPN is an effective solution in many cases, it is not 100% secure and there are some potential weaknesses that should be taken into consideration. One thing to note is that your traffic is available to VPN providers, which means you’ll need to trust that they won’t use or sell your information. Many VPN service providers claim that they do not monitor or keep logs of your online activities, but it is important to pay close attention to the provider’s privacy policy and to choose a service that has a good track record that protects the privacy of its customers.

A reliable VPN can defend your privacy from threats like online government surveillance, hacking, and ISP tracking. However, there are drawbacks that can reduce the level of protection you can get from a VPN. For example, the WebRTC issue, affecting popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox, may affect your privacy and anonymity, even if you use a VPN. WebRTC may reveal your real IP address if a website you visit uses this technology. Many good VPN providers offer information and solutions that deal with WebRTC, so it is important before you sign up for a VPN, that you check reviews and find out what technology is supported.

How to check the performance of your VPN

The vulnerabilities we mentioned earlier can affect popular VPNs, as well as others that are not well known. This is why it is important to run some tests that will let you know if your VPN really protects your privacy. With the help of tools like IP testing and DNS leak testing, you will be able to get a better idea of ​​how effective your VPN is and what your ISP can really see when using your VPN.

DNS Leak Test

DNS stands for Domain Name System and converts a website from a common URL to a digital Internet Protocol address. When you use a VPN, the ISP’s pre-configured DNS is changed, which prevents your ISP from monitoring your browsing activities. With a test site like, you can see if there are DNS leaks that expose your privacy. First of all, you need to disconnect the VPN and take note of your ISP DNS. Check the IP address and location that the test site shows. Then, you can complete the same process after connecting to the VPN, which should show a different IP address and location, depending on which VPN server you are connected to.


Most security experts agree that despite its advantages, a VPN is not a fallible solution. Ultimately, you have to trust that your VPN provider will not monitor, hand over or sell your data to the highest bidder. The best option is to go for a well-established VPN service that offers a clear and transparent privacy policy. It is advisable to avoid free services because it is possible that they are trying to make a profit by selling your information. Choosing a quality VPN that is committed to protecting your privacy will help you prevent your ISP from tracking your online activities.

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