- We're all aware that VPNs are these awesome tools that can keep your online privacy safe by encrypting your traffic, but can they hide download activities?
- As long as you're not using selective traffic tunneling, your VPN should be able to cover all of your tracks, including your downloading habits.
- Check out our best VPN recommendations that can keep help you secure your privacy.
- Visit our Security VPN Hub if you need more tools and guides on how to keep your online privacy safe.
We’re quite sure that you know this already, but a VPN can help you pull a privacy sheet over your entire Internet connection. What you do online stays with you and nobody else.
You can dodge ISP snooping gracefully that way, without taking any complicated steps. Just purchase a subscription plan, install a small client on your computer, log in, select a secure server and that’s it.
Nothing you do online can be leered at by your nosey ISP or anyone who would be interested in finding out about your Internet whereabouts. As long as you don’t go ahead and post private information all by yourself, that is.
So a VPN can help you hide websites that you visit online from your ISP. But what about downloads? Can it hide that information, or is it still crystal clear to whoever it may concern? Let’s find out.
How does a VPN work?
Essentially, your VPN helps you protect your privacy by redirecting your traffic through a secure tunnel. You install a client on your PC, which encrypts your traffic and routes it through the encrypted tunnel.
Once it gets out of the tunnel, it reaches the VPN server, where it gets decrypted. Finally, it reaches the destination (website, server) in its unencrypted form.
The host generates a response, which gets sent back to you the same way, only in reverse. Meaning that it gets encrypted by the VPN server, runs through the secure tunnel, gets decrypted by the VPN client, and is then shown to you.
Quite simple, come to think about it, right?
Normally, your ISP can see certain things about your online activity, such as the website you visit, how much time you spend on them, and what files you download.
However, what your ISP can’t see is encrypted traffic. For instance, an email you sent to your co-worker. Or a username-password combination that you used on an HTTPS-encrypted website.
Well, what your VPN does is encrypt all the traffic between you and the VPN exit point, so your ISP can no longer access it. But what does that include?
Can VPN hide download information?
Everything that happens in terms of online activity on your PC is masked and that’s the end of it. Visiting a website? Encrypted. Watching an online movie? Encrypted. Downloading a file via torrent or direct download? Definitely encrypted.
So, to answer your question, yes, a VPN can and does hide download-related info. However, this doesn’t mean that you get a free pass at downloading pirated content.
In no way do VPN providers (nor we) endorse piracy, so you should reconsider your actions if it did cross your mind to do it.
Although trustworthy VPNs have a zero-logging policy, some of them have other means to detect unlawful usage of their service.
However, as a rule of thumb, make sure that your VPN enforces a zero-logging policy. That way, you can rest assured that your private VPN data won’t fall into the wrong hands.
What’s the best zero-logging VPN?
There’s no absolute best service that doesn’t log your private information. However, we’ve prepared a list of our best suggestions, so that you can choose from a variety of options.
|Product Name||Keeps logs?||Company Name|
|Private Internet Access||No traffic logs||Kape Technologies|
|CyberGhost VPN||No identifying data||Kape Technologies|
|BullGuard VPN||No identifying data||BullGuard|
|NordVPN||No logs||Tefincom & Co., S.A.|
|Surfshark VPN||No logs||Surfshark LTD|
Note that there are subtle differences between these services in terms of speed, price, and security options. However, regardless of the choice you make, your data will definitely be in good hands.
VPN encrypts everything, including download data
To wrap it up, you can certainly use a VPN if you want to keep your download habits a secret. VPN doesn’t filter out certain types of traffic to encrypt, so everything that happens between your device and the VPN exit point will get encrypted.
More so, if you want your data to remain private, make sure you pick a zero-logging VPN. We can’t stress the importance of this enough, but consider this: if the VPN gets hacked, or seized, there won’t be anything to find, to begin with. Stay safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re not careful enough with handling your data and the VPN is not a trustworthy one, yes, you can get caught. However, you shouldn’t think of VPNs as your personal unlawful behavior cloaking device.
It’s quite simple. Actually, you don’t have to do anything special aside from connecting to the VPN server of your choice and downloading your files as usual. Your traffic will be automatically re-routed and encrypted.
If you want to use a VPN but don’t know where to start, check out our best VPN recommendations.