I have a professional laptop for working at the office and at home. There is a VPN to connect to my work network.

I know that my employer can see which URL I visit even in incognito mode because all the connections are going through my work network.

I was wondering what if I install a VPN plugin directly on my web browser (browser extension) ? Can my employer see what website I am visiting ?

Also can my employer see what site I'm visiting when I use my personal laptop to check websites ? And when I connect my professional and personal laptop to the same router (personal WIFI)


  • When you connect your work notebook to your personal WiFi at home it might be possible to record the DNS names you visit but I don't think that this would be legally in any democratic country of the world.
    – Robert
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 21:02
  • Several VPN browser extensions were found to not guard against DNS leaks (note: I do not intend to promote any vpn service(s) mentioned in that link), which would reveal the websites you visit to your employer even if they haven’t installed any monitoring software on the device itself.
    – nobody
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 22:35
  • Note that the URL's themselves can be hidden by TLS, which is now used by any other website. However, spyware or indeed certificate substitution can still take place (where the browser has an additional trusted certificate installed which can be used to spoof any web server authentication). If you want to hide stuff from your employer, use a different machine, as indicated by the other answer. I even bought a VLAN capable set of switches / routers installed at home (these are remarkably cheap), if I want I can put the employer's machines on a separate network segment. Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 14:15

3 Answers 3


Since this is an employer-provided machine, they could install whatever they want. In many corporate environments, this includes various types of monitoring (spy?) software. On machines with this software, it provides a list of all activity you did, including all sites visited, regardless of the other steps you take.

That aside, the laptop isn't going to be snooping on what other machines on the network are doing - only do work-related activities on the work laptop, and you'll be fine.


A work VPN in a non-split-tunnel configuration could easily end up routing whatever backend traffic that browser extension generates into the work network... if discovered, that is much more likely to be met with adversity that you visiting non-objectionable, non-dodgy websites.

Any traffic from your personal machines getting routed through the work VPN, or monitored by your work machine, would if at all only be possible by intentional and arguably malicious actions by your employers IT staff. Exception: If there is malware on the loose in your home network, it could very well trigger alarms if it tries to attack the work laptop.


Why download and login to a vpn that leaves traces aswell why not use a browser proxy-https-site or a tor browser if you are able to download.

VPNSs are to more less disguise the device you are on, if you want to browse and leave little tracks you would have to disable javascript, and multiple coded plugins that front end coders use for most reputable sites, hence defeating the purpose of even visting.

  • 3
    VPNs are mostly to obscure the network routing - most often, to make a machine appear to be in a different network segment. They are almost never configured to disguise the machine. Note that the OP isn't trying to disguise their traffic in general, but only from their employer, so simply using their own machine will be sufficient. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 4:34

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