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Guide

The Difference Between Anti-Tracking Software and VPNs

Key Points:

  • VPNs and anti-tracking software are two popular options for enhancing online privacy, but they have different functions, scopes, and impacts on performance and speed.
  • Anti-trackers prevent websites from gathering personal data about you while VPNs hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic. They protect your data privacy.
  • The best choice for you depends on your personal needs and preferences. Both tools work together for better privacy protection.
The Difference Between Anti-Tracking Software and VPNs
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The Difference Between Anti-Tracking Software and VPNs

Online privacy is a crucial issue in the digital age. With more and more websites collecting personal data, tracking online behavior, and selling information to third parties, it is important to protect yourself from unwanted surveillance and exposure.

We will explore the difference between anti-tracking software and VPNs, two popular options for protecting online privacy.

What is Anti-Tracking?

Anti-tracking software is a type of application that prevents websites from gathering personal data about you. This data can include your browsing history, preferences, location, device information, and more.

Websites use this data to tailor ads, content, and services to your interests, but also to share it with other parties, such as advertisers, analytics companies, or government agencies.

Purpose of Anti-Trackers

The main purpose of tracker blockers is to protect your data privacy. By blocking websites from collecting your personal data, you can prevent them from creating a detailed profile of you and your online activities.

This can help you avoid targeted ads, price discrimination, identity theft, and other potential risks.

Anti-trackers or tracker blockers work by shutting off various methods that websites use to track you online.

Ghostery Browser Extension

Ghostery Tracker & Ad Blocker is a powerful tool that helps you block trackers, ads, and pop-ups while you browse the web.

Ghostery also improves your browsing performance and gives you 2x faster speed by blocking unnecessary elements that may slow down your loading time and bandwidth consumption.

Ghostery Anti-Tracking

Ghostery's anti-tracking protection aims to prevent web tracking by removing your unique identifiers from data sent to third parties. The system analyzes requests and strips values from web requests that could be used for tracking.

Ghostery can block different tracking methods by either deleting or modifying tracking requests, or preventing them from loading entirely.

The browser extension also generates fake data to confuse fingerprinting algorithms.

Read more: How Ghostery Protects Users from Web Tracking

What is a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?

How does a VPN work?

What is the definition of VPN? A VPN is a service that encrypts your internet traffic and masks your IP address. An IP address is a unique number that identifies your device and location on the internet.

When you use a VPN, your traffic is routed through a secure server in another location before reaching its destination. This way, your online activity appears to come from the server’s IP address instead of your own.

Primary Function of VPNs

The primary function of VPNs is to protect your user anonymity. By hiding your IP address and encrypting your traffic, you can prevent anyone from seeing what you do online or where you are located. This can help you avoid censorship, surveillance, hacking, and other threats.

Benefits Beyond Privacy

VPNs can help you access geo-restricted content. You can change your virtual location and bypass content blocks or restrictions by using a VPN.

Another benefit is securing public Wi-Fi connections. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and vulnerable to threats. Hackers can intercept your traffic and steal your personal information.

Check out our article on VPNs and see one of the best vpn providers.

Key Differences Between Anti-Trackers and VPNs

Anti-trackers and VPNs are both useful tools for online privacy protection, but they have some key differences that affect their performance and scope.

Performance and Speed

One difference between anti-trackers and VPNs is how they affect the performance and speed of your browsing experience.

Anti-tracking browser extensions like Ghostery result in 2x faster page loads. They improve your browser’s speed by blocking ads and other unnecessary elements that may slow down your browsing.

VPNs may increase the latency and reduce the bandwidth of your connection. The performance of a VPN may also depend on the quality and location of the server you are using.

Scope of Protection

Another difference between anti-trackers and VPNs is the scope of protection they offer.

Anti-trackers only affect browsing, which is the activity of visiting websites and using web-based services on your browser. They do not protect any other online activity or application on your device. Their dedicated purpose is to block trackers.

VPNs affect entire device connectivity, which is the activity of connecting to the internet and using any online service or application on your device. They protect all your internet traffic, regardless of the source or destination.

Read more: Security vs. Privacy vs. Anonymity

Which One Should You Choose?

Both anti-trackers and VPNs are valuable tools for online privacy protection, but which one should you choose?

Evaluating Your Privacy Needs

If you mainly browse the web and want to protect your personal data from websites, then an a tool to block trackers, ads and popups like Ghostery may be enough for you.

If you also use other online services or applications and want to protect your identity and location from anyone, then a VPN may be more suitable for you.

By using both, a tracker blocker and a VPN, you can enjoy the benefits of both tools without compromise.

For the most extreme anonymity and fingerprint protection for an anti-tracking device, please use the Tor Browser.

Final Thoughts

With more and more websites collecting personal data, tracking online behavior, and selling information to third parties, it is important to protect yourself from unwanted surveillance and exposure with a private network.

Online privacy is not a luxury but a necessity. By using anti-tracking software and VPNs, you can take control of your online experience and safeguard your personal information. Stay safe and secure online with these powerful tools.

Get in touch if you have questions. We’re always happy to help.