This Article is About
virtual private networks
anonymous ip
proxy sites
proxies
middle man
public computer
advantages and disadvantages
Software To Hide Ip Addresses For Surfing Anonymously
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Software to Hide Ip Addresses for Surfing Anonymously

There are basically two types of software to hide IP addresses for surfing anonymously: Proxies and VPNs. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but in my opinion, there is clearly one that is better for most users. Read about these two types of software.

Proxies

Under the heading of proxies there are a few things to cover. Some proxies are software based, and some are web based. I think if you want to use a proxy, it's best to go with the web based one. I will explain in a bit.

Basically, proxies have are a kind of 'rerouting' of your information. By sending your site requests to a middle man first, you don't have to directly contact websites, and are therefore hidden. You can use this 'anonymous IP' to surf blocked sites.

The problem with proxies is that there is usually very little information about what type of proxy it is. Many proxy sites are often poorly constructed, and don't mention much about what information is shared, and what isn't. Not all proxies keep your info private. Some are just used to change your IP, and if a site or 3rd party were to request information about your real IP, they could easily find it. Some proxies are more secure, but they usually come with larger fees. Also, because proxies are often used for cyber crime and hacking, proxy websites are often short lived.

That's not to say there are no good proxies - there are plenty of reputable services out there. But there are many more that I would recommend you stay away from.

The main advantage in my opinion is that web based proxies require no installation, so they can be used on devices that you're only using temporarily. Maybe you're using a public computer in a wifi-cafe, at the airport, or at work. You can access a proxy site and surf anonymously without having to install anything.

Virtual Private Networks

These work like proxies in that there's a middle man VPN server between you and the websites you want to browse. However, there are layers of encryption and VPN tunneling added which means you're more heavily protected against hacks, eavesdropping, and other types of online attacks.

They need to be installed, and you need to choose the right VPN protocol to match your device. But with a bit of extra work you can have high level anonymity for browsing and downloading online.

One huge advantage of VPNs over proxies is that they work with other apps and programs running on your computer or phone. Proxies only hide the IP of your browser and other browser based apps. VPNs tunnel your whole computer/phone, making all of your online activity private.

Conclusion

As I mentioned earlier, if I were to choose one, VPNs would be the clear winner. A VPN service can provide you with better encryption, better anonymity, and a more comprehensive way to hide your IP address while your surf the internet. Surprisingly, a VPN service won't cost you much more than a reputable proxy, so even budget-minded anonymous surfers can use this software.


Street Talk

Thanks for this information. I always wondered what the difference between the two was.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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