Anonymous Surfing and Proxy IP Addresses: What is Actually the Problem?
The IP address is a piece of information that many people may want to keep secured to prevent their private information from being traced. There are a few ways to do this, with software and proxy websites being the most common methods of anonymous surfing.
The Internet has slowly become a part of the daily routine of a large percentage of the global population, with more and more people becoming connected on a daily basis. Whenever anyone attempts to connect to a website, it requests numerical data that corresponds to its “address” on the Internet. In exchange, the computer also provides its own locator data – the IP address. This exchange is usually harmless, though many people find it necessary to hide IP addresses when using private computers. Trying to mask IP addresses is crucial for a computer’s security.
The IP address potentially contains a lot of information, which is the reason those who want to ensure their privacy attempt to hide or mask IP data. Due to the way it is structured, the IP address will contain the country of origin, and possibly the city where the computer is located. In some instances, this may also have one’s name associated with the IP. There are situations where the IP address contains information on the nature of the network connection, including whether it is part of a larger network. There is a huge amount of information that someone can get from it, so people take an extra step in protecting their privacy by trying to mask IP information.
This information is remarkably easy to acquire, and detailed instructions on how this can be done readily available on the Internet. Depending on certain protocols and software, it is even possible to acquire someone’s IP address from their e-mail contact information. Websites that allow anyone to look up publicly available information about a given IP address also exist. While a real name is not going to be released in this manner without a court order or explicit instructions from the person allowing their service provider to do so, there is still a lot of data that can be obtained. Doing something to mask IP addresses can at least help reduce that risk.
Software products that mask IP addresses are starting to emerge, with varying levels of efficiency and flexibility. These programs are designed such that the limitations of proxy websites are not an issue for them. Anonymous surfing is much easier using such software, and testing whether or not it is performing its primary function is a simple matter. In most cases, potential users look towards the various additional features that differentiate one from the other. One such feature is the option to have the IP masking start up at the same time as the computer, which can be useful for certain types of network connections. Another is the option to select the country that the proxy IP will be from, to get past websites that block out certain regions.
It isn’t a requirement to mask IP addresses when on the Internet, but like firewalls and spyware blockers, it can add another layer of security to the browsing experience. There are a few options available, like software and anonymizer sites, and the choice falls on the user on which one suits their situation and needs best.
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