Last Updated on October 13, 2020 by Staff Writer
Some countries have internet restrictions
Can your ISP see that you are using a VPN or proxy? This is the subject of this article. When you use a VPN or proxy, usually one of the reasons is to hide your online activity from your ISP. This happens mainly in countries where there is restricted access to internet like China and North Korea. In these countries, if you access sites that are blocked, the government through your ISP can actually see all your traffic.
VPN vs Proxy
When you access a website on the internet, the server that retrieves the website can identify your IP address so that it knows where to send the data. Your ISP can also see the site that you visit and the traffic that is exchanged between you and the server.
There are services that can change your IP address so that you appear to be accessing that site from another location. Your actual IP address doesn’t change and your ISP can still see that your are connected to the internet.
Your ISP gives you with the ability to connect to the internet and to identify you on the web, you are provided with a unique IP address. This means all your traffic passes through the ISP and if you remove the ISP from the equation, you have no internet.
Now here’s the thing..
A proxy changes your IP address at browser level such that whoever tries to pin-point your location on the internet sees a fake location. Only browser traffic is secured by a proxy, otherwise all other traffic from other apps does not pass through the proxy.
The remote server where you find the website only sees a new location, not your actual IP address. Take note that the same ISP still provides the internet service.
A VPN is similar to a proxy except it works at operating system level, hence all the traffic from a device passes through the VPN. You have to install a VPN client on your device so that all the apps are linked to the VPN.
In addition, a VPN encrypts all traffic before it is sent to the remote server you want to access. Similarly, you appear as if you are located at a new IP address and you are still connected to the internet via your ISP.
Can your ISP see that you are using a VPN or proxy?
The answer is a big YES!
The difference is in what they are able to see as far as your traffic is concerned.
In a proxy, your ISP can see that you are using a proxy and the type of proxy you are using. To find out more about proxies read this article in another section. The ISP can see the sites you are visiting and even view your traffic.
In other words, you are exposed and the only comfort you have is that the remote site you are accessing cannot see your actual location. The proxy service can see everything and that includes your actual IP address, your traffic and sites you are visiting.
If you want to use a proxy, you can try proxy versions offered by NordVPN and other top VPN services. If you use HTTPS proxy, there is some degree of encryption but it’s not 100% secure in some cases.
On the other hand, if you use a VPN, your ISP can see that you are using a VPN and the type of VPN you are using. The remote site you are visiting cannot see your actual IP address, but that of the VPN service.
The VPN services can see your actual IP address, you traffic and the sites you visit. That is why we encourage you to use trusted VPN services that don’t keep logs of your data and have strict privacy policies.
Your ISP sees only encrypted data when using a VPN and that means it is more secure than a proxy.
In conclusion, if you want total anonymity and security on the web, it is best that you use a VPN instead of a proxy. Make sure you check out reviews of the best VPNs currently and avoid exposing sensitive, personal information on the internet. Share the information with your friends and leave comments below.