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Can The Wifi Owner See What I Search? [2022]

Written by, Andriana Moskovska

Updated January, 14, 2022

WiFi is handy and accessible, but you’ve surely wondered at some point, “Can the WiFi owner see what I search?” We’d like to elaborate on that in this article and provide a complete response. But first and probably most important, let’s talk about the basics. 

Can The Wifi Owners See What I Search?

You’re not going to like the answer. Yes, they certainly can! 

They will only be able to see the URLs you’re browsing, not the content you’re looking at if you’re using HTTPS. So, if you use Hotmail, the WiFi admin will just know that you’re using Hotmail, but they won’t know what emails you’re reading. 

Let’s dig deeper and find out what they can exactly see:

  • The name of the sites you’re visiting
  • The URLs of every website you visit and the content you download
  • Companies that are you seeing ads from
  • When you go online and offline and connect to the web
  • Duration on staying online
  • Duration on staying at every webpage
  • Who are you having internet calls with
  • Who are you exchanging messages with
  • Your messages (while using unencrypted messaging apps)
  • What apps do you use, when you use them and how long you use them

Wow! You had no idea your browsing history was so public. But, you can protect yourself, so keep reading to find out how. 

Can WiFi Provider See Your History On A Phone?

Yes. Your WiFi provider of WiFi owner can monitor your traffic and search your WiFi history if you use a smartphone to access the Internet. Besides the browsing history, they can see what apps are you using, your IP address, and all unencrypted data from the HTTP sites. 

Probably you are asking yourself why Internet providers monitor and track our activity. Usually, they are collecting this data and selling it to other companies, mainly used for adds distribution tailoring. However, be aware that the government always have access to your activity and may use it in various ways. 

WiFi owners can use tools like packet sniffer to examine the data streamed online. So, when you give access to your WiFi provider, you are not only jeopardising your web browser history but all of your sensitive information. 

Can The WiFi Owner See What I Search With VPN?

Let’s take a closer look at the journey your information goes on when you’re surfing! 

When you type a query into your search engine, the data is sent to a router and then to your ISP. It then proceeds to its goal, like the Google search page. The interactions can leave a trail on every section of the web and device they pass through. This makes it easy for hackers to spy through wifi router

But are VPNs worth it? When you use a VPN, your surfing and browsing history is hidden from your ISP because the VPN provider employs high encryption to ensure that only the connections to a VPN server are visible to your ISP. As a result, your Internet history is absolutely secure and private. Only the times when you attempted to connect to a VPN are visible to your ISP.

Finally, a piece of good news, right? Below are explained the two main ways on how to hide your history. Keep reading! 

How To Hide Browsing History On WiFi

If you’re concerned about WiFi administrators monitoring your internet activities, simply connect to a network using a VPN or Tor. 

Tor Browser 

You can’t go wrong with the TOR network browser if you want something free. A non-profit organisation created a TOR browser to help disadvantaged people escape government censorship.

Because all traffic passing over the Tor network is encrypted, no one will be able to see what pages you were visiting. However, it’s still possible to detect that you are connected to the Tor network, which is suspicious in and of itself. Tor is also extremely slow for activities like video streaming, so your high-speed connectivity is limited.


Another option is to install a VPN to prevent someone from secretly monitoring your browsing history. You can use it to protect yourself from WiFi history viewer and to surf the Web anonymously, even if you’re linked to someone’s WiFi. That’s because a VPN gives you a new IP address, masks your location, and encrypts all of your Internet communications. A great option to check out is ExpressVPN.

Why It’s the Best Option

  • A VPN is faster than Tor

Using a swift VPN, you can handle many things that demand a fast connection speed. For example, because all data is routed through a single high-speed tunnel, you can watch high-definition movies without any problems. On the other hand, Tor relies on a network of volunteer-run tunnelling servers, generally known as nodes, to dramatically slow down your connection speed and restrict your activities.

  • A VPN provides better security

A VPN offers substantially more protection than Tor. To begin, a military-grade VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your online traffic using AES-256 encryption, which is impenetrable to hackers. Second, it protects your data until it reaches its destination point, whereas Tor decrypts data packets flowing out of the final node. Advanced security features such as Kill Switch are also available with paid VPNs.

Wrapping Up 

Hopefully, we managed to give you the details you desired to know while wondering: “Can the WiFi owner see what I search”. Just remember that online security is essential, and you can protect yourself with Tor or VPN service.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Can the WiFi owner see what sites I visit on the phone?

Yes. If you use a smartphone to access the Internet, your WiFi provider or WiFi owner can track your traffic and see your WiFi history.

Can you see your search history on your wifi bill?

There is no such thing as WiFi bill search history, meaning your WiFi bill will never contain your browsing information, but only data consumption. 

Can the WiFi owner see what I search on private?

Given the correct tools, WiFi network operators can track what pages you can browse even if you’re in incognito mode. Only cookies, passwords, and site data can be secure in private searching.

As a digital marketing specialist, I am well aware of how hard it can be to find credible sources online. Frustrated at the state of affairs, I created Don’t Disappoint Me. Now, together with my team of dedicated experts, we aim to bring you 100% reliable, unbiased and recent content on everything you could ever imagine. When I’m not working, you’ll catch me watching a documentary or two, rewatching LOTR for the 20th time, or going on walks with my two dogs, which take up most of my free time. But hey, who’s complaining?