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Three privacy tools that block your Internet provider from tracking you

Ian Paul | March 27, 2017
The government may soon allow your ISP to sell your browsing data. Here's how to fight back.

You also want your VPN to protect against DNS leaks, which is a problem we’ll get to next.

Adjust your DNS

The Domain Name System is how your computer translates a human readable website name, such as NYTimes.com, into a machine-friendly numerical Internet Protocol address. It’s like the telephone book of the Internet.

The problem is that your PC is usually configured to use your ISP’s DNS, which means your ISP sees all your browser requests. VPNs typically configure your PC to use their DNS, and there is usually a DNS leak protection feature that makes sure your PC doesn’t ignore the VPN and use your default DNS settings.

Nevertheless, to be doubly sure you’re not using your ISP’s DNS, it’s a good idea to set your PC to use a third-party DNS provider such as OpenDNS. We have a tutorial from 2011 on how to change your DNS settings in Windows 7. It works pretty much the same way in Windows 10.

A good start

Now you’re off to a good start for protecting your data from a snooping ISP. It’s not fool-proof, but you’ve taken a number of important steps. Once you’re set up, consult IPLeak.net and DNS Leak Test (use the extended test for the latter) to make sure you’re not revealing any data that you don’t want to reveal.

Now all you have to do is hope your ISP doesn’t block or throttle your traffic whenever you’re using that paid VPN.

 

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