Private Browsing or VPN: Which to Choose to Stay Anonymous?

Unsure of the difference between the private browsing window and a VPN? Below, discover the advantages and disadvantages of each of the solutions.

Private browsing and VPNs are two tools that guarantee you a certain level of privacy when browsing the internet. If both will allow you to hide your browsing history, cookies and passwordstheir resemblance ends there.

The use cases are very different and only one of the two will offer you real anonymity on the internet: the VPN. That said, the private browsing window still has the advantage of offering a modicum of discretion (if several people are using the same device) without putting in too much effort.

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Our opinion : A very good VPN for security and anonymity



Why choose private browsing?

The incognito mode that is available on the majority of web browsers allows you to have some privacy when browsing the internet. This dedicated window allows you not to keep your browsing history, your cookies and your passwords. Once you close the private browsing window, it will no longer be possible to find your history.

In fact, it does not make you anonymous. Your ISP, a network administrator (if you’re on shared Wi-Fi), the government, or the very websites you’ve visited will know that you’ve connected to a particular service. They will be able to trace your IP address and they will know precisely your online activity. If you want to leave no trace, you will have to go through a VPN.

Why choose the incognito window if it doesn’t make you anonymous? This incognito mode will allow you to have a certain discretion with respect to other people using the same computer (or smartphone) than you. Above all, it only takes one click to switch from a window of your navigation to this private mode.

The VPN: the 100% anonymous solution

If you are looking for complete anonymity on the internet, private browsing will show its limits: you leave traces, so you are not at peace. If you aspire to become invisible on the web, we will therefore advise you to go for a VPN. In France, almost a third of Internet users use such software. There are several reasons for using such a service, such as anonymity, online security or circumventing geo-blocks.

In a decade, the VPN has established itself as a reference tool for those seeking anonymity on the internet. Better than private browsing, it will scramble all your activities – including your ISP, the network administrator or the sites you visit. It is for this reason that many dissidents to censorship regimes favor this software.

Faced with the craze around online privacy, many VPN vendors have emerged. All are not equal, so you have to know how to make a wise choice to protect yourself. To maintain maximum discretion, you will first need to find a no-log VPN that does not keep any browsing history. Everything that will be done on its server will be deleted instantly: we lose track of you here.

The principle of VPN is as follows: create a virtual anonymous tunnel between your machine (and your IP address) and its server. It is then from this server that you will then navigate everywhere on the web. Your ISP will see nothing but fire: it sees you connected to an anonymous remote server, it will know absolutely nothing about what you are doing there.

For maximum anonymity, NordVPN or ExpressVPN are recommended. The first is a reliable publisher, originally from Europe, which has established itself as the world reference for this type of activity. They offer the ultimate level of privacy and security on the net. Moreover, NordVPN includes highly effective antivirus features in its offer.

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I discover ExpressVPN

What can we blame VPNs for? Unlike an incognito window, the VPN is not free. This choice is totally legitimate since VPN publishers manage thousands of servers around the world to offer users this anonymity. In addition to this point, another element can make more than one hesitate: the connection speed. Since you will be going through an intermediate server, there may be a little latency. However, the best publishers offer speeds almost similar to that of your live box, thanks to an optimized infrastructure (see graph below).

VPN comparison
Connection speeds by publisher © NordVPN

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Private Browsing or VPN: Which to Choose to Stay Anonymous?

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