The term private browsing encompasses a wide array of precautions that Web surfers can take to ensure that their activity on the Web cannot be traced. Motives for private browsing are plenty, with both privacy and safety at the forefront of many Internet users' minds. Whatever the inspiration for browsing privately may be, the bottom line is that many people want to avoid leaving tracks behind.
Proxy Servers for Private Browsing
Private browsing can involve utilizing firewalls and proxy servers to prevent those in the outside world from viewing Web surfing activity, including rogue individuals as well as Internet Service Providers and even the government. These types of private browsing measures are commonly used in countries where access is limited as well as at the workplace or on campus.
Private Browsing Within the Web Browser
For many Web surfers, however, private browsing involves clearing their tracks from others who may have access to the same computer or mobile device that they're currently using. Most popular Web browsers offer ways to browse privately, with no history or other private data such as cache or cookies left behind at the end of your browsing session.
How to Activate Private Browsing
The methods for activating this type of private browsing differ across browsers, operating systems, and device types. The following step-by-step tutorials teach you how to browse privately in the browser of your choice.
IE9 offers private browsing in the form of its InPrivate Browsing mode, easily activated via the browser's Safety menu or through a simple keyboard shortcut. With InPrivate Browsing active, IE9 does not save any private data files such as cache and cookies. Browsing and search history are also wiped out while using private browsing within Internet Explorer. This private browsing tutorial steps you through the process.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of IE
In Google Chrome, private browsing can be achieved through the magic of Incognito Mode. While surfing the Web incognito, your history and other private data are not saved on your hard drive. Entering private browsing mode in Chrome is easy to do, and our Windows tutorial shows you how it's done.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of Chrome
Private browsing in Firefox involves utilizing Private Browsing mode, where sensitive items such as cookies and download history are never recorded locally. Activating Private Browsing is a simple process, and this private browsing tutorial makes it even simpler for Windows users.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of Firefox
Private browsing with Safari 5 can be accomplished by entering Private Browsing mode via the Action menu. While in Private Browsing mode all private data including browsing history and AutoFill information is not kept, ensuring a private browsing experience. This graphical tutorial explains how to use Private Browsing mode in Safari 5 for Windows.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of Safari
Opera 10.6 allows you to enable private browsing in your choice of a new tab or new window. Depending on your preference, the private tab or window can be accessed via the browser's Tabs and Windows menu or through a keyboard shortcut. Our private browsing tutorial details privacy in Opera 10.6 for Windows.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of Opera
Flock, also known as The Social Browser, includes a nifty feature called Stealth Mode which opens a new window in which private browsing takes place. No private browsing data whatsoever is saved to your computer while in this mode. Activating private browsing in Flock is quick and painless, and this tutorial explains it thoroughly.
Private Browsing in Other Versions of Flock
The iPad's default Safari browser does not offer a built-in feature for private browsing. However, there are several alternative browsers available via the App Store which do offer this added level of privacy.
Perfect Browser is an iPad application that offers a plethora of features, including some unique to this app. One of these features is Private Mode, which gives iPad users the ability to browse privately.
Atomic Web Browser for the iPad offers a robust feature set normally reserved for desktop browsers. The main selling point lies in its full screen browsing mode, but it is the other functionality that really makes this app stand out from the pack. A key piece of this functionality is Atomic's Private Browsing mode, which does not record private data and includes an optional passcode lock.
The default Safari browser on the iPhone and iPod touch does not offer a built-in feature for private browsing. However, there are several alternative browsers available via the App Store which do offer this added level of privacy on both devices.
PrivateWeb for the iPhone and iPod touch is a Web browser that deletes your cache, cookies, and browsing history each time you exit the application. Based on the same core components as Safari, PrivateWeb offers a basic yet private browsing experience on your portable device.
Aquari Browser provides a secure browsing experience without sacrificing other functionality. Access to the application can be protected with an optional 4-digit passcode, giving you the ability to prevent others from accessing your bookmarks, history, and other configuration items. In addition to this secure access, Aquari also includes a private browsing feature. When browsing in Incognito mode, your browsing and search history is never saved. Also, session cookies can be automatically wiped out each and every time you close the application.
iBrowse2 gives you the ability to view two Web pages simultaneously by displaying them side by side. In addition to dual page viewing, this browser offers a number of desired components found in some of the most robust Safari alternatives. This includes a private browsing mode in the event that you do not wish to save a record of where you have been.
Privately is a Web browser designed with your privacy in mind. Based on the same core components as Safari, Privately ensures that no tracks are left behind when you are finished surfing the Web. The addresses of any and all Web pages that you visit are instantly deleted when you press your device's Home button. Cookies downloaded by websites are automatically wiped out upon arrival. In addition, any keywords entered in the Google Search box are not recorded. All of this results in a true private browsing experience on your iPhone or iPod touch.