Many of us don’t want to be tracked online – especially when browsing private or sensitive websites. When this is the case, you will want to get an anonymous browser.
When you turn on the mode that Chrome calls Incognito, Firefox and Safari call Private Browsing and Edge and Internet Explorer call InPrivate Browsing, you get some privacy, but not much. Only your cookies, browsing history, form data and web cache won’t be saved on your computer from one session to another.
This doesn’t make you invisible on the web. It only erases most information from the computer you are on. The websites that you visit and whoever provides your internet connection can still see what you do.
To surf anonymously and privately, you need two things: to make sure your browser doesn’t leak your data and that your connection doesn’t reveal who you are. This is why you need both an anonymous browser and a VPN to secure your connection.
You can never be absolutely certain that any browser is protecting you. Even if you do everything right, you could be vulnerable to browser or device fingerprinting, or some other method of identification.
Tor Browser is a top contender for those who value privacy the most. It routes all the traffic through the Tor network, doesn’t retain browsing history or cookies and encrypts all your traffic – and it is completely free. If this sounds too good to be true, you would be right. A notable downside is that Tor is notoriously slow and this makes it very inconvenient for everyday use.
There are also other competitors for the private browser sphere, such as Epic Privacy Browser. There are also strong proponents for setting up the open source Chromium browser and configuring it properly for privacy purposes – which is too complex of a process cover in this article.
If you want to use a convenient and private browser and Tor’s notable limitations are too much for you, a VPN is the best solution for you.
When you browse the web unencrypted, all surfing activity can be tracked. Whoever provides your internet connection is able to see which sites you visit – even if the site was https encrypted. It could be worse, too – if you are on a non-encrypted (http) site, every single page you load, everything you write in forms, and all the files you send can be seen.
It’s also important to understand the sites you are connecting to can see your IP address. This alone can be used to identify you and even where you are, often with surprising accuracy.
Luckily, you can escape this. When you use a VPN such as F-Secure FREEDOME VPN, you can become anonymous while browsing.
When you turn on FREEDOME, two things happen. Your traffic gets encrypted, so your internet provider can’t read your internet traffic. They can see some unreadable encrypted data going through your connection, but they don’t know what it is and where it is going.
Equally importantly, the sites you are connecting to can’t figure out your real IP address anymore, so they don’t know where you are from and even more importantly – who you are. The only thing they see is the VPN’s IP address, which is shared by thousands of people. This will make you anonymous.
You can try F-Secure FREEDOME VPN free for 5 days. No credit card or even an email address needed.