Browsing the internet while keeping your identity private is a major challenge these days. Not only are government agencies using technology to constantly sweep for information, but private companies regularly gather data, as well.
It may seem impossible to accomplish a simple task like hiding your IP address from strangers. It is vital in some instances that you can protect your personal information from others. There are times when users would prefer their Internet Service Provider not be able to track their browsing.
If you are concerned about your privacy, and wish to remain anonymous while browsing the web, read these four tips on how to do so.
Download a VPN
Virtual Private Networks are a must have for anyone accessing the internet. A VPN encrypts data being sent to the provider’s servers and back to your computer.
Installing a VPN on any device you use to connect to the internet is a good first step toward thwarting attempts to watch your online activity. The encryption tunnel created by the VPN protects from a hacker spying on your web traffic.
Websites can easily identify you as the one accessing their page by tracking your IP address. A VPN helps hide your IP (read more) by making the website believe the traffic is originating from the VPN server.
Another benefit to using a VPN is the ability to select your server location. If you want to avoid geo restrictions, you can request to connect through a server in an unrestricted country.
A VPN is not without flaws. It is crucial to opt for a fee-based service. Free VPNs are slow and can disconnect without notice – leaving you and your connection suddenly vulnerable.
Free VPNs are also problematic for those concerned about privacy because some transmit browsing data to third parties. This behavior runs contrary to the point of browsing anonymity.
It is important for those who subscribe to a VPN service to view privacy conditions. These should be readily available and detail how the VPN protects your identity. Some VPN services offer payment through digital currencies to provide ultimate anonymity.
The Onion Router is software once owned by the United States Navy and used to browse the internet undetected. It has since become available to anyone who would like to download and use it.
Tor works by encrypting data and sending it through multiple servers on the way to the destination. This makes the origin (your computer) harder to track as the data has been sent through many pathways.
Tor is easy to use. Simply download the special browser. You should be aware that Tor can be slow. All the data goes through many servers, which adds to the typical response time from sites.
The network of servers Tor uses is a volunteer group of other users. This can also add to its reliability issues because it relies on a high volume of available servers to work efficiently.
Combine a VPN and Tor
For truly anonymous web browsing, combine a high-quality VPN with the Tor browser. Signing into the VPN provides the encryption needed to hide from your ISP. This will prevent your internet provider from noticing you are using Tor.
Using both protections in tandem can substantially slow your connection speed. This method is ideal for those requiring ultimate anonymity.
Use a Private Proxy
A private proxy provides anonymity by assigning a unique, non-identifiable IP address to each user. Once the new IP has been assigned, it is sent to the website on your behalf, preventing the site from seeing your real IP.
Private proxies also offer features like choosing an IP address in another country. This is beneficial for those hoping to evade geo-restrictions without using a VPN.
A private proxy does hide your IP address from the sites you are accessing. It does not encrypt data being sent from your device. Thus, a VPN is safer than a private proxy. Most users opt for private proxies when they prefer faster connection speeds than a VPN can provide.
Anonymous browsing is a growing concern as people begin to realize the amount of data and personal information being shared with others. Taking a few steps like the ones listed here can drastically reduce invasions on your privacy.