Staying Anonymous Online

There is a number of ways one can stay anonymous online so that your personal information is not known to those websites you might visit. One of the best and most failsafe methods for remaining anonymous online is through:

1. A VPN (Virtual Private Network)

When you type in a website it has access to your IP address which is a physical address of sorts for your computer on the internet. A VPN allows you to redirect your IP address and website request through another internet company or provider quite literally bypassing most if not all restrictions put upon you by your local internet company. When you connect to a website regularly, that website and other information on it has access to your IP address and other sensitive data, furthermore your internet service provider and their location. When you browse the internet through a VPN you submit data to be channeled through another internet service, in essence masking your real IP address and identity. By doing such you are now giving the websites you visit the IP address and data of another company or service, which is your VPN.

Choosing a VPN can be a hassle especially since most of them are a paid service and since many of them keep logs or your billing information upon signing up. If a subpoena is given to one of these VPN’s then they are, by law, required to give the information they have on you, including billing information to the authority that delivered the subpoena.

When choosing a VPN you want to make sure they don’t keep logs of your traffic and IP address and if possible find one that can be paid for through a gift card or some other means that keeps your billing information anonymous. Any google search of a VPN will yield many results. One particularly good service is private internet access as they let you use a walmart gift card to sign up with their service. Paid VPN’s usually have more options for servers to use and higher, dedicated internet speeds.

Free VPN’s are more difficult to find and are usually less reliable where it concerns their uptime and internet speed. However, I’ve found a few free VPN’s that seem to be worth trying or using if you cannot afford a paid service. They are frootvpn or spotflux.

VPN’s are one of the most failsafe ways to stay anonymous online and keep your identity truly hidden and these days are much easier to setup and use.

After you have chosen a VPN and it is running on your computer go to whatismyip.com to check your IP address. If this address is different while using your VPN as compared to before running the VPN than it is working and routing your internet through an anonymous channel.

  • 2. A Web or CGI Proxy

A web or cgi proxy is like a VPN in that, it redirects your traffic through another server or internet company. Many of them are free and some easier to use than others. The downside to using a proxy is that your internet speed is usually more restricted and slow than as compared to a VPN. However, they are useful on the fly or when on a computer that is not your own. Basically you will open a link to a proxy, type in the address of the website you want to access or the website that is blocked in the provided space and hit enter. The proxy will now reroute the request for the website through another server. Proxies are more trial and error as their website uptime is iffy and since some of them don’t load all of the original pages content. The best method for these is trial and error. You can find a list of web proxies by searching for them online or by visiting this list of web proxies.

There are different kinds of proxies and these are the easiest to use if you are on a school or work computer that blocks certain websites. Other kinds of proxies you have to manually setup in your browser or computer which requires you to be a little more tech savvy.

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