How can my browsing habits be traced when I am at home on my own local network?

Technically how is it done ?

  • Your traffic leaves your home to the websites you're connecting to.
    – schroeder
    Nov 20, 2014 at 18:40

4 Answers 4


HTTPS is not designed to keep people from sniffing your browsing habits, and doesn't really protect you from this. Anyone able to sniff network traffic (your ISP, for example) can see https DNS and domain requests just as easily as http-- this allows visibility into what servers/IPs you have requested.

HTTPS only protects the CONTENT of the pages viewed, as well as protecting against man-in-the-middle attacks (modifications of pages on their way to you).

Protecting outsiders from sniffing your browsing habits involves other technologies such as TOR/Onion, or encrypted tunnelling/VPN.


Your browsing habits can be tracked even when using https because the destination is visible even though the messages are encrypted.

Even when using a VPN to escape your local networks, data volume and frequency can give an accurate representation of what types of data are being exchanged.


It doesn't matter where you are. Traffic leaves your device and travels over the network to the target. If the traffic is not encrypted (HTTPS, for example), those in that path on the network (the Internet Service Provider, for example) can see and read that traffic.

If you are connecting from a home device to another home device, then those on your home network can see that traffic, but those on the Internet cannot.

As for "browsing habits", that's a different story and that involves "cookies". When you visit a website, they store cookies on your machine that can end up being read by other sites. This is how ads on sites you have never visited before are still targeted to you, because the ad network stored a cookie that is read by other sites using that ad network.


Any network your non-HTTPS web traffic traverses is visible in plaintext. Your ISP can see your web traffic, including any credentials, messages, images, videos, etc...you upload/download to the non-HTTPS website.

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