I need to hide my activity and IP address from those I share this network with. I'm unsure if a VPN will serve my needs, because I'm not concerned about the sites I access tracking me. I'm concerned about the owners of the network seeing what sites I'm visiting. I don't want my history showing up on their logs. What to do?
A VPN or an anonymity network such as TOR can hide the details of your activity from your network's owner, although the fact that you are using TOR or a VPN is not hidden (and may in and of itself be considered suspicious activity). You need to be careful when setting this up, though, since mistakes such as DNS leakage (where your DNS queries go out over the regular network) or split tunneling on your VPN (where some connections go out over the regular network) can defeat your attempts at preserving your privacy. Your best bet is to use something like a TAILS LiveCD where someone else has already looked at the technical pitfalls of configuring things.
You cannot hide your IP address from the network owner in any meaningful way.
Also most information has to be displayed somewhere, somehow and at sometime. How would you do this without an endpoint? Maybe send it everywhere rather than to one particular host? Why not just use your byod and 4G connection for yourself.
Of course, if said network operators are themselves being rather naughty, then they can do your job for you.
If the local network management has control over your client machine, you have no sure way (you can't guarantee, what type of watching software will they use).
If they don't: practically, you have to
- Hide your traffic (to protect from watching on the routers)
- Hide your browsing history.
For (1) the best solution if you have a remote "helper", practically a vpn server, and all of your communication happens with it on an encrypted vpn channel. But it can't always happen, for example because you don't have a remote server, or you can't install a vpn.
As an alternative, you can yet use tor. Tor hides for your network, where you are connecting, and hides from your target servers, where you are. But: it doesn't encrypts your connection, you need to install furhter encryption plugins to do that (f.e. https-everywhere).
Next to that, you have to delete your browsing history.