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How to Browse the Web Anonymously – Lifewire
Untraceable web browsing prevents or severely limits others from knowing what you’re doing on the internet. While staying truly 100% hidden is next to impossible, you can employ several techniques to remain as anonymous as you can, and you don’t even need to significantly change how you interact with the internet to make it happen.
Normal web browsing leaves your information exposed to the website owner, your ISP, the government, and whoever else can gain access. Fortunately, there are several privacy tips you can adopt to use the internet with a little more stealth.
Why Browse Anonymously?
The answer might be different for everyone, but for most people, it boils down to privacy.
If you’re looking for a new job and would rather your employer not know, being more aware of your online presence can help limit what they can learn about you. Or, maybe you’re searching for prescription drug information, and you don’t want the website to track you or collect your real email—spamming your email isn’t as helpful to them if it’s not your “real” account that you check every day.
Anonymous web browsing can also be useful if you’re in a country that has constraining web policies. You can hide your browsing habits to bypass access restrictions.
If for no other reason, maybe you just want to feel comfortable knowing that your internet habits aren’t being tracked and logged for advertising purposes.
Anonymous Browsing Options
There are several things you can do to stay anonymous online, but some methods are better than others. Follow these steps to become the ultimate anonymous browser:
These are ranked in order of strength of privacy and ease of use. You can use one or more of them if you wish.
Hide your IP address with a web proxy. Not all proxies are created equally, but there are several free ones that are great for browsing the web anonymously, such as Hidester.
When you access a website through a proxy, what’s happening is that all the traffic is routed through a remote server before the page is downloaded onto your device. This means that your browsing appears to anyone who may be watching (the website you’re on, your ISP, the government, etc. ) to be originating from that server’s location instead of your real location.
Connect to a VPN. A VPN is similar to a web proxy, but useful in situations where you want everything encrypted and routed through other servers, not just one website. A VPN keeps not only your browsing anonymous but also any file sharing, messaging, etc.
Something important to look for when choosing a secure VPN is whether they keep logs pertaining to your visits and your search history. If they do, there’s a chance that they’ll give up that information to an authority figure if demanded, or that your private details will be leaked if a hacker gets a hold of it.
A VPN will only keep you as anonymous as you let it. For example, posting things to your public social media accounts, sending emails from your primary email address, etc., will expose your identity despite the fact that you did those things while using a VPN.
Use a privacy-minded web browser. One example of an anonymous browser that hides your web surfing habits is Tor Browser, which encrypts the traffic and routes it through multiple servers.
Search the web with a secure search engine like DuckDuckGo or Startpage, which promise to block advertising trackers and keep your search history private.
Other search engines might tell the websites you’re on what you were searching to get there, or share your habits with third-party companies to target you with ads, or disclose your search history to government authorities.
Which Search Engine Should You Be Using?
Avoid public Wi-Fi networks like in hotels and restaurants. It’s unclear who’s monitoring the traffic from the other side of the building, or what’s going on behind the scenes when it comes to that business’s security and privacy protocols.
In the same vein, don’t connect to a Wi-Fi network unless it’s using a modern encryption method like WPA2. To stay anonymous on Wi-Fi, make sure the network is using encryption.
Use your web browser’s private mode to prevent it from keeping track of the web pages you visited. Just close out of it when you’re done to prevent saving any passwords and history.
This anonymous browsing mode is helpful if you share your computer because the alternative is to use regular mode which does store a history of the pages you’ve opened and searches you performed.
Be mindful of cookies, and delete them if necessary.
Cookies are important for storing login information so that a website can give you access to your online account. However, other websites might be able to access them to expose who you are and what you’ve been doing online.
Other Ways to Stay Anonymous Online
Web browsing is just one facet of the online world. If you use email, a web-based texting service, a file transfer website, etc., you’ll need to consider how to stay anonymous there, too.
Use a secure email provider like ProtonMail, an anonymous email service, or a disposable email account.
The cloud storage service you use should promise zero-knowledge encryption.
Refrain from using your real payment information when shopping online, and instead opt for virtual cards from a service like Privacy or Blur.
Log in to a website with an account sharing service like BugMeNot to avoid attaching your personal details to the profile.
Stick to anonymous social networking sites.
Avoid instant messaging apps that don’t support end-to-end encryption; good choices include Signal and WhatsApp.
Set up your phone with a fake GPS location to fool apps and websites that use location tracking.
Delete your personal information from the internet, which anyone can use to dig up information like your phone number, address, relatives, etc.
Send texts anonymously with a website like Text’em.
Switch up the DNS servers you’re using; opt for a company that won’t log DNS queries, such as the Fourth Estate.
Make calls with an app that gives you a second number that isn’t tied to your real name.
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How to Browse the Internet Anonymously | Tips to Stay Private
Click here to see a summary of this article Summary: How to Browse the Internet AnonymouslyAnonymous surfing, streaming and downloading can be difficult. Websites, companies and services can closely follow our online behavior. Do you want more online privacy and prevent people from studying your online activities? There are a few ways to protect your online privacy. A VPN can help you access the internet anonymously. When you’re connected to a VPN, your internet traffic runs through a secure connection. The VPN software encrypts all your data using encryption protocols. Your data can no longer be intercepted or read by third parties. ExpressVPN is an example of a reliable and good you like to know in what other ways you can make your browsing more anonymous? Read the full article below for six tips on how to protect your online of your online actions are not as private as you might think. These days, countless parties attempt to follow our online behavior as closely as they can. Our internet service providers, the administrators of our networks, our browser, search engines, the apps we’ve installed, social media platforms, governments, hackers and even the websites we visit all know – to a certain extent – what we’re doing online. If you don’t want your partner to find out the special birthday gift you’ve ordered, using the incognito mode will suffice. However, if you don’t want anyone to know what you do online, a simple incognito mode won’t Ways to Stay Anonymous OnlineDo you want to surf, stream or download anonymously? There are a few ways to protect your online privacy. Here are some efficient methods to stay anonymous online:Use a VPN a privacy-friendly a proxy the web with an anonymous search stall browser extensions for your your privacy ’ll go into more detail below and explain each method 1: Safe and Anonymous Browsing with a VPNUsing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a suitable way to browse the internet anonymously. When you’re connected to a VPN server, your connection is secure. The software ensures that all your online traffic is encrypted using special protocols, so your data can no longer be read by reover, your IP address stays hidden, because you automatically take on the IP address of the VPN server you’re using. An IP address is the identification number of your internet connection and can reveal your location and ultimately your identity. A VPN hides your real IP address for others; they only see the IP address of the VPN server. This way, the websites you visit won’t be able to see your own IP address and won’t be able to identify you want to surf anonymously at school or at work? A VPN will help here, too. With a VPN you’ll be able to stay anonymous whether you’re at school, at work or just on your home network. It’s also quite effective against doxing. A lot of VPN providers don’t log your activity while you use their services. This is the product they promise you: anonymous browsing. These providers offer their users guaranteed anonymity with their safe and secure VPN mbining a masked IP with a secure connection ensures VPN users that their online behavior can no longer be traced by anyone. However, not all VPN providers are as strict when it comes to making this promise. If you want to anonymize your internet connection, it’s important to look for a trustworthy and good VPN provider with a zero logs policy. A zero logs policy ensures that the VPN provider doesn’t registers any of your online activities. This way, not even the government can get a provider to hand over this information, because there’s simply nothing to give. Below we will discuss two trustworthy VPN VPN: A trustworthy giantOne example of a trustworthy VPN provider is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN has a large amount of servers all over the world and offers strong security options. If you subscribe to ExpressVPN, you gain access to software that protects all of your devices and works for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can simultaneously connect to the internet with up to five devices on just one subscription. ExpressVPN is highly suitable for those who want to be able to surf, stream and download with complete VPN is very user-friendly. After getting a subscription, you can install the application and connect to a secure VPN server in just a few clicks. The app will run on the background of your device while you can browse and stream as usual. You won’t really notice anything in your everyday browsing experience, but you are far more safe and anonymous. If you want to know more about this provider, please read our full review of ExpressVPN. Very easy to use VPN Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i. e. Netflix) 3000+ servers in 94 countries Visit ExpressVPN CyberGhost: A user-friendly VPNA second well-performing VPN is CyberGhost. CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN provider that helps you browse anonymously. They have a large number of servers all over the world, which makes it extremely easy to find a server that suits your needs. Their servers will make sure you can browse the internet without any restraints. You can even use Netflix and freely download torrents with CyberGhost. The CyberGhost app is very easy to use, and if you have trouble figuring it out, CyberGhost also has a great customer support team that can help there is a HTTPS alternative for the HTTP website you’re trying to visit, CyberGhost will make sure you are automatically redirected to the secure version of the site. This way, you can browse anonymously and safely at all times. Read our detailed review of CyberGhost to learn more about this VPN. Very user-friendly High quality for a low price Torrents and Netflix possible Visit CyberGhost Browsing the internet anonymously with a free VPNIn addition to paid VPNs, there are numerous free VPNs. A free VPN may sound attractive, but often these VPNs aren’t secure. It’s often wise to consider a paid VPN provider instead, because your private data might not always be in good hands with a free provider. Some free VPNs register the sites you visit and resell this data to advertisers. As a result, you certainly won’t be anonymous or secure stead of a free VPN, it’s better to opt for a reliable, cheap 2: Use the Right BrowserIt’s wise to go back to basics and make sure to choose a browser that helps you protect your anonymity. But which browser is the best to use in this case? Different popular browsers have very different ways of dealing with user privacy. They also have different levels of safety. In this section, we’ll be discussing several well-known browser options. And for a more thorough analysis, you can always take a look at our in-depth article on privacy-friendly away from Microsoft EdgeWhen considering online safety and privacy, we’d advise you not to use Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge is the official successor of Internet Explorer and still gets regular safety updates, as opposed to IE. Still, the privacy levels of this browser aren’t great. It doesn’t have any tracking protection, which other browsers do. This, and other ways in which Microsoft lacks in terms of privacy, lead us to advise you to stay away from Edge if you want to focus on protecting your Chrome: awesome browser, lacks some privacy featuresThe Chrome browser supports several pop-up blockers and other privacy-oriented browser extensions. Still, Chrome is the property of Google, which might have implications for your privacy. Google profits from having as much data on its users as possible. This data is used to show personalized advertisements and to improve Google’s search of people critique Google for the way the company handles users’ privacy. For example, it has been questioned why Chrome users are often automatically logged in to their Google or Gmail accounts. This way, Google can trace all of your browsing activity and connect it to you as a person. This information is then synchronized across all your devices. Do you use an Android smartphone with apps like Google Maps? Then Google instantly knows even more about you. If you value your privacy, there are some alternative browsers that might suit you better than ’s Safari does its job wellLately, Apple’s browser Safari has been doing really well in terms of privacy. The browser has seen the introduction of new features that stop digital fingerprinting, making it a lot harder for other parties to follow you online. It also has Intelligent Tracking Prevention. This automatically deletes first-party tracking cookies that websites place in the Safari browser after seven days. Because of this system, websites are able to track visitors for a much shorter length of time. Aside from that, Safari offers some useful extensions that improve your online privacy. We’ll get back to this zilla Firefox: the best and most well-known browser for privacyIf you ask us, Mozilla Firefox is the best ‘normal’ browser for users that value their privacy. To kick things off, Firefox has several security features, such as protection against phishing and malware. Aside from that, Firefox users automatically receive a warning whenever a website tries to install add-ons. When it comes to privacy, Firefox is a very secure choice, also because it offers useful extensions that protect users against all sorts of tracking and privacy breaches. These add-ons are, more often than not, specifically for ntrary to most other browsers, Firefox is open source. This means that everyone can check out the code that makes up Firefox’s software. Because of this transparent way of working, Mozilla couldn’t just build in tracking features even if it wanted to. Someone would notice and make a show of it, which would be awful for Mozilla’s level anonymous browsing: the Tor browserIf you really want to browse anonymously, the Tor browser could be an interesting option. Tor (The Onion Router) is an online network for encrypted and anonymous communication. Tor works pretty much the same as other browsers like Firefox, Safari and Chrome. However, unlike other browsers, Tor allows you to browse completely anonymously. The Tor network consists of thousands of servers worldwide. All data traffic that passes through it is cut up in little pieces that are subsequently encrypted and sent through several servers before ending up at its destination. This process costs time, and therefore the Tor browser can be relatively slow. But no matter how slow it is, it does make sure nobody can see what you do important side note to the use of Tor is that it only encrypts part of what you do online. Only the internet traffic that goes through the browser is protected. Services like Skype and WhatsApp access the internet without the use of a browser. Tor can’t offer you protection there. Another thing worth mentioning is that Tor provides users with access to the dark web. So be wary: surfing the dark web should be done with great care. This ‘dark part’ of the internet isn’t regulated, which means it comes with a lot of risks for your safety. For example, it’s very easy to run into malware there. Therefore, for most of us, using a VPN along with the Firefox browser is an easier, better, and more secure alternative to 3: Anonymous Browsing with a ProxyThe use of a proxy server also provides some anonymity online. When using a proxy, you send a request for information to that proxy server, which then sends it on to the right website. The website will only be able to see the IP address of the proxy server and not your own. A proxy doesn’t have the same level of encryption as a VPN does. Even though the websites you visit won’t be able to see directly who you are, your IP address and online traffic are still much easier to unravel than would be the case when using a VPN. Other parties will still be able to see what you do. The only thing keeping them from knowing your identity is the proxy’s IP. This is because proxies don’t protect or encrypt your servers are mostly seen as lighter, free alternatives to a VPN. They might suit your needs, but do keep in mind that they don’t have the same security standards as a VPN. Even so, a proxy server might suffice if your only goal is to circumvent certain geographical online 4: Use an Anonymous Search EngineThere’s also the option of using an anonymous search engine. DuckDuckGo is probably the best known anonymous search engine. Anonymous search engines such as DuckDuckGo are alternatives for Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines that like to collect and use your data. When you use DuckDuckGo, your search terms and the links you clicked aren’t traced. Moreover, the websites you visit won’t be able to see which search terms you used. However, they’ll still know that you’ve visited their page. This registration happens through your IP address. Through DuckDuckGo you can search the internet with more anonymity than a regular search engine, but it can’t offer you full anonymity or DuckGo doesn’t have the same budget and manpower as big businesses like Google. This means that the presented search result won’t be as optimized. However, some say that this is actually a good thing for those who focus on privacy. After all, DuckDuckGo shows everyone who enters the same keywords the same search results. Google, on the contrary, adjusts your results to your user profile. The inaccuracy of DuckDuckGo, hence, shows that they’re actually sticking to their promise of anonymity. Our advice is to try out DuckDuckGo to see whether you like it. A second anonymous search engine is Startpage. This is a privacy-friendly search system that draws its search results from Google, but doesn’t use tracking. We also recommend you try out this 5: Minimize Tracking with the Right Browser ExtensionsThere are many browser extensions out there that help increase your online privacy and safety. These extensions are often easy to install and use. Aside from an adblocker, a password manager and a VPN browser extension, you could also try specific add-ons and extensions that minimize ivacy Badger and GhosteryPrivacy Badger and Ghostery are browser extensions that detect and block third-party tracking cookies that are placed on your computer while you browse. Blocking these cookies keeps third parties from following you online. Did you install Privacy Badger or Ghostery and did you visit a webpage that tries to install third-party tracking cookies? Then these extensions will come into action. Good for you, bad for online marketeers, and very good for your 6: Be Wary of Big Tech Companies and Big DataFacebook is known to share its users’ personal information with advertisers. This is why women tend to get menstrual care ads on their Facebook feed while men don’t. However, Facebook takes this practice a lot further: they also track what you do when you aren’t on their site. If you’ve been looking for car insurance online, it’s very likely you’ll see a relevant ad on your Facebook feed. Facebook allows you to change this slightly in the privacy settings of your account. After you have changed these settings, they might not show selected ads anymore, but you will still see ads. Moreover, they will keep gathering information on you. Through their own services, it isn’t possible to turn off their tracking. You can only slightly tweak what comes up in your also allows you to turn off add personalization. Again, this does not mean all ads will disappear, nor will Google stop tracking your data traffic. As a rule, you can say that these big companies built on advertisement revenues won’t stop tracking us, unless we make it impossible with, for instance, a ThoughtsThere are several steps you can take in order to better protect your online safety and privacy. Do you want to browse the internet anonymously? Then these are the tips we’d like to give you:Install a VPN, such as Mozilla Firefox or the Tor a proxy server as an alternative to a an anonymous search engine, like mize tracking with the right browser extensions, such as adblockers and anti-tracking your privacy settings on social media you combine these tips, your online privacy is much better guarded already. You’ll be able to browse the internet much more anonymously. How to Browse the Internet Anonymously: Frequently Asked QuestionsDo you have a question on how to browse the internet anonymously? Check the overview below with frequently asked questions to see whether your question is listed. Click on a question to see the can I surf the internet anonymously? Combine the tips below to stay anonymous online:Use a VPN a privacy-friendly a proxy the web with an anonymous search stall browser extensions for your your privacy settings. How can I surf the internet anonymously with a vpn? Using a VPN is a good way to browse the internet anonymously. The VPN software ensures that all your online traffic is encrypted using special protocols, so your data can no longer be read by others. In addition, your IP address remains hidden, because you automatically take on the IP address of the VPN server you’re using. What is the best VPN to browse the internet anonymously? It’s important to choose a reliable VPN provider with a zero logs policy, so you can be sure that it doesn’t register any of your online VPN is an example of a reliable and solid VPN that will definitely help you surf the internet more securely and anonymously.
Search & browse privately – Computer – Google Support
Send feedback help content & informationGeneral Help Center experience You’re in control of what information you share with Google when you search. To browse the web privately, you can use private browsing, sign out of your account, change your custom results settings, or delete past activity.
If you want to search the web without saving your search activity to your account, you can use private browsing mode in a browser (like Chrome or Safari).
How private browsing works
Private browsing works differently depending on which browser you use. Browsing in private usually means:
The searches you do or sites you visit won’t be saved to your device or browsing history.
Files you download or bookmarks you create might be kept on your device.
Cookies are deleted after you close your private browsing window or tab.
You might see search results and suggestions based on your location or other searches you’ve done during your current browsing session.
Important: If you sign in to your Google Account to use a web service like Gmail, your searches and browsing activity might be saved to your account.
Open private browsing mode
Sign out of your Google Account
When you browse in private you’re signed out of your Google Account by default. If you sign in to your Google Account, through a web service like Gmail, your browsing activity might be saved to your account.
Visit any Google page, like
At the top right, click your Google Account profile picture Sign out.
If you see the “Sign in” button, you’re already signed out of your account.
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Frequently Asked Questions about how to search the web anonymously
Can you browse the Internet anonymously?
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a suitable way to browse the internet anonymously. … An IP address is the identification number of your internet connection and can reveal your location and ultimately your identity. A VPN hides your real IP address for others; they only see the IP address of the VPN server.
How can I search the Internet secretly?
To browse the web privately, you can use private browsing, sign out of your account, change your custom results settings, or delete past activity. If you want to search the web without saving your search activity to your account, you can use private browsing mode in a browser (like Chrome or Safari).