Privacy Methods: Hide IP/Proxy Server

 

As a method to surf the net somewhat anonymously there are methods to hide your true IP. These should not be considered if privacy is really a concern as this method does nothing to encrypt or otherwise protect the content of your data except to the extent SSL may be used on sites you visit.  All they do is substitute an alternate IP for the one provided to you by your ISP.

There are two main methods used to do this. One is to use a free or subscription software application that masks your real IP and replaces it with one of their own.  These typically will only work with web browsing and may not provide any anonymity when using your email program or other web enabled apps such as Skype.

The second method is called a Proxy Server which can be done free either by configuring any of the many available free servers in your web browser or by using an online Proxy Server provided by many privacy sites. In the last method you just enter the desired URL into the field on their site and your web site is delivered via their internet connection.

We do not recommend these for serious or critical use but they can be handy if you are using a public WiFi or as an added layer when using other security measures such as a VPN or TOR.

This is one example of a free proxy list you can use. Firefox and other browsers have plug ins available to let you switch servers.

The two major disadvantages of most proxy servers, particularly the free ones, is the iffy reliably, availability and speed. A proxy you use now may be gone tomorrow....or in an hour and you will need to reconfigure each time and check to see if the next server is available.