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VPN vs Incognito mode: What’s the difference?

Among the most often used technologies for internet privacy are VPNs and Incognito Mode. All they have in common is that they both hide your browsing history. While a VPN keeps you anonymous and protected from everyone on the internet, the incognito mode shields your privacy from other users of your device. Both technologies are important for online privacy but serve different situations and privacy needs.

To make the best decision, let us learn more about the differences between VPN vs incognito mode.

VPN vs incognito mode

What is Incognito Mode?

Incognito Mode, also known as Private Browsing or Privacy Mode, is a feature of most modern web browsers. When you open a new Incognito window, the browser does not save your browsing history, cookies, site data, or text messages. It also doesn’t hide downloaded files, providing temporary browsing sessions that are separate from your normal browsing activities.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network, VPN, is a service that encrypts your Internet connection and routes it to a remote server controlled by a VPN service. A VPN creates a secure and private way for your data to transmit, protecting it from the prying eyes of things like your internet service provider (ISP), government agencies, hackers, and more. A VPN also masks your IP address, making it look like you are browsing from another location.

Anonymity and Privacy: VPN vs Incognito Mode

While VPN and Incognito Mode aim to increase privacy, they do so in different ways. The Incognito Mode focuses on keeping your browsing activity private from others who can access your device. It prevents the browser from storing your history and cookies, but it does not store your Internet connection or hide your IP address from outsiders. On the other hand, a VPN like Planet VPN provides a higher level of anonymity by encrypting your entire internet connection, making it virtually impossible for anyone to intercept or monitor your online activities.

VPN incognito mode

Security Features: VPN vs Incognito Mode

VPNs provide a more comprehensive solution compared to Incognito Mode. In addition to encrypting your connection, VPNs often include integrated protection protocols which include OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec, which similarly hide your information from potential threats. Some VPNs offer features like malware safety, ad blocking off, and DNS leak safety to enhance your standard online security. 

Incognito Mode, at the same time, prevents your browser from storing local data, it doesn’t provide encryption or protection beyond your browsing session.

Use Cases: When to Use Incognito Mode or a VPN

The choice between Incognito Mode and a VPN depends on your specific privacy needs and concerns. Incognito Mode can be useful if you’re using a shared device and want to prevent others from accessing your browsing history. However, if you’re concerned about your online privacy, especially when connected to public Wi-Fi networks or accessing sensitive information, a VPN is the preferred choice. VPNs are also valuable for bypassing geo-restrictions, accessing region-locked content, and securing your connection while traveling or working remotely.

VPN vs incognito

Does Incognito Mode Hide Your IP Address Like a VPN?

Incognito Mode does not hide your IP address like a VPN does. While Incognito Mode prevents your browser from storing local data, it does not encrypt your internet connection or mask your IP address. Your IP address remains visible to websites you visit, your ISP, and other third parties. In contrast, VPNs hide your IP address by routing your traffic through a remote server, making it appear that you are browsing from a different location.

Can You Use VPN and Incognito Mode at the Same Time?

Yes, you can use a VPN and Incognito Mode simultaneously. Combining these two tools can provide an extra layer of privacy and security. When you use a VPN with Incognito Mode, your browsing activities are not only shielded from your local device but also encrypted and anonymized by the VPN’s servers. This setup can be particularly useful when accessing sensitive information or when you want to ensure maximum privacy during your online sessions.

Best free VPN

In conclusion, VPNs and Incognito Mode serve different purposes and aspects of online security, despite both offering privacy-enhancing features. Incognito Mode is ideal for keeping your browsing history private from other users of your device, while VPNs provide a comprehensive solution for encrypting your connection, hiding your IP address, and protecting your online activities from potential threats. Depending on your privacy needs and concerns, you can use either tool individually or in combination for enhanced online privacy and security.

Remember to choose a trustworthy VPN provider that offers robust online privacy and security. Planet VPN offers a free VPN service with unlimited bandwidth, traffic, and time for any OS and device, along with smart filters for sites in browser extensions. There are no logs or personal data collected, and no registration is needed. With Planet VPN, you don’t have to worry about GEO blocks, internet censorship, or accessing your favorite websites.