Can our ISP's view our traffic and browsing data even when we are using HTTPS protocol? Is it the same for VPN? How can we secure our data from our ISP's?


2 Answers 2


You're ISP (internet service provider) is your internet provider, so the short answer has to 'yes', they can monitor all traffic you generate on their network...because it's their network.

Now, encrypting traffic (HTTPS) can secure the CONTENT of that data, stuff like bank logins, blog posts, etc. Ideally this security works, but you don't really have any of confirming that fact with the ISP.

VPNs (virtual private networks) basically move you outside your network to someone ELSEs network. All your ISP should see from this is that you are connected to a VPN. At the other end of that pipe, however, your VPN provider has an ISP. It's nearly impossible to know how much that data is secured if it wasn't encrypted to begin with.

Hope that helps.

  • 2
    Can you clarify the meaning of "but you don't really have any of confirming that fact with the ISP"? Apr 21, 2018 at 2:00
  • Your answer conveys a feeling of suspicion about how secure HTTPS is. It's misleading.
    – Luke Park
    Apr 21, 2018 at 7:12
  • I had in mind SSL stripping/MITM while I was writing that bit, but the necessary details to that seemed out of scope. That is probably not something an ISP would concern itself with unless warrants were involved, but I did not want to leave @multithr3at3d with the false impression HTTPS was completely secure. Make sense?
    – warybyte
    Apr 23, 2018 at 19:28

Yes ISPs can see network routing information as well as unencrypted data (such as DNS and HTTP). Some ISPs, also by law in the UK, will log some of this data. Some of this data is also transparently cached for faster browsing.

A VPN will effectively tunnel your network traffic down a padded connection to a third-party provider network, resulting in your ISP just seeing the network routing and protocol information (depending on VPN protocols used).

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