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virtual private network
changing ip address
changing your ip address
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Change Your IP With A Virtual Private Network Or Mask Your Ip With A Proxy Service
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There's a bit of confusion going around about the difference between changing and masking your IP address online.  Either way, we're talking about anonymous surfing. If you're just joining us, anonymous surfing means that you surf the Internet with an anonymous ID.  While you surf, your ID is your IP, and if you're got an IP other than the one that your network allotted you, this is anonymous surfing because no one knows who you really are, and data about your browsing activity is not traceable to you.

I've read some articles online that divide changing IP address and masking IP address into two different categories.  For me, there is no difference, but this is what the articles said.

Changing your IP address is done with a virtual private network. VPNs allow you to sign into a private network of computer servers and actually assign you a new IP address to surf the Internet with.  All of your Internet traffic is filtered though the private network.  This was labeled as "changing IP address".

They said however, that when you use a proxy, you "mask your IP address", and don't change it.  Proxies work differently than VPNs.  Instead of assigning you a different IP to surf the net with, you access data stored on the proxy - data from websites stored on the proxy server. This way, you don't actually communicate directly with websites, but with the proxy server.  If you make a site request that the proxy server doesn't have stored in it's servers, the proxy will transfer the request under its own IP, and then transfer it to you.  This process was labeled as "masking IP address".

For me, it seems like there's not much difference.  For both changing and masking IP address, a third party server is filtering your IP data and making requests for you.  I think that it's just two different terms for the same activity.  The Internet is full of uninformed people, and while one guy thinks that anonymous surfing seems like we're "changing" IP, another guy may think is more of a "masking" process.

Whether you're changing your IP with a virtual private network, or masking your IP address with a web based proxy, anonymous surfing can increase your online security tenfold. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but either way, being invisible on the Internet can protect you from identity theft and other malicious activity while you browse the Internet.


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