Can using HTTPS or a VPN Overcome Deep Packet Inspection?

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Meta title – How much do you know about Deep Packet Inspection? Can a VPN or HTTPS overcome deep packet inspection? Find out more here! 

Everything that you do online, any amount of data that is transmitted from your device to the internet and so forth, can all be seen and inspected by either your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other network providers. This method is usually called deep packet inspection (DPI). There are a few possible solutions to bypass these issues and that is through using a top VPN service or entering only HTTPS websites. But, does it really help? 

What is Deep Packet Inspection? 

Picture a kind of technology that can put a stop to most DoS attacks, malware, or other viruses from taking place on your device? Any government agency or your internet service provider using the technology will be able to block downloads that they deem as illegal, fight off spam or malicious attacks or even prioritize data sent to and from your device to the internet. 

Plus, the major goal of it is to prevent children of underage teens from accessing websites that are illegal or prohibited. That does sound like a fair deal, but at the same time, deep packet inspection also comes with a few cons. 

Deep packet inspection is a fancy term used by government officials, your internet service provider, or other surveillance bodies. It might clean your device from possible or incoming threats but what about the other side of things? Through Deep Packet Inspection technologies, these officials will also be able to tab into more personal corners of your device or online files. 

They will be able to read your text messages, listen to your recordings, go through your email, and even monitor all web-traffic – controlling the websites you visit. It is also one of the many reasons why people are told not to discuss religious or controversial subjects online or through texts – as is the law in most countries. 

You will find countries like China, North Korea, or Russia that heavily use Deep Packet Inspection, to keep a careful and close eye on what its citizens are up to online. They go so far as to even restrict or control accessing online encyclopedias like Wikipedia. 

Things your Internet Service Provider can see when they use Deep Packet Inspection

When most users connect to a VPN, they do so without being sure of what their internet service provider sees online. If you ever wondered what your ISP could see while you’re connected to a VPN, you should also take into consideration of what they can see without one using Deep Packet Inspection. 

With this technology, using the payload (IP packet content), your service provider will be able to see everything you do online, from analyzing your network traffic in real-time to getting information about what pages you visit and what information is sent out, or even look into SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) email. 

It is why most users are requested to protect themselves online with the help of a Virtual Private Network. It helps prevent ISP’s from hijacking your DNS traffic or running DPI on your network. For starters, if you’re looking up websites that aren’t allowed by rules of your ISP, you may have noticed that the website is either not reachable or blocked.

 It means your ISP is looking into your DNS traffic, tracking everything, and enforcing restrictions. Such is the case when trying to access a geo-restricted streaming service. This is also regardless of the case of you using any HTTPS websites, as that won’t be encrypted to the point of hiding all traffic. 

When you connect to a VPN, your connection is encrypted, which is likely to prevent Deep Packet Inspection from your internet service provider at the very least. However, make sure you choose one that offers the best security features. There are providers that claim to offer a lot, but the sad reality of it is that only a few VPN services work reliably. 

Will a free VPN help prevent Deep Packet Inspection?

Just in case you are wondering if you should consider using a free VPN service to prevent deep packet inspection, then think again. A completely free VPN can’t do much against anything, and especially DPI technology. It does not come equipped with proper encryption, nor offers adequate features for online protection. 

How does HTTPS or a VPN prevent or restrict deep packet inspection? 

  • Using HTTPS would just mean preventing your Internet Service Provider from reading data from the websites you visit or how you use the internet. However, this won’t work all the time considering only a few services use HTTPS.
  • With a VPN, you will be able to hide your identity against packet inspection run by your service provider. However, your ISP will still be able to see that you are using a VPN but will not know for what. 
  • If you connect to one of the best VPNs, your entire connection is passed through an encrypted tunnel right up to the exit node. As mentioned in point two, all your traffic will be encrypted. The only thing that will show is the metadata that leaves trails from your computer to the VPN server. This isn’t something alarming, as that is all your service provider can see.

To wrap things up

From what we discussed so far, Deep Packet Inspection is something to stay vary of. It does come with a fair deal of pros, especially where cleaning your system or traffic of oncoming threats are concerned. 

However, because government officials and your internet service provider are using this technology to basically inspect your entire network traffic, it also means that they are taking the same liberties to loom into more personal material. 

That is going beyond personal levels. No one wants their text messages, emails, social media content, or online surfing traffic being looked into. Because of this heavy surveillance, it is always recommended that you use a VPN to at least encrypt your connection.

 However, do not just use any VPN, there are certain providers that offer the best services, and you could always test them before settling. Using a Virtual Private Network still goes a long way to protect your online security and privacy.

 

Author Bio:  Jade Nazareth is a writer at topvpnservice. She takes a keen interest in writing how-to guides and awareness blogs related to cybersecurity measures and software. To instill a little cyber-knowledge in her readers using layman’s terms is what she aims to do.

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