Internet anonymity has assumed a great deal of importance more than ever now because your only privacy is constantly under attack. The good news is that you can make use of Internet anonymity tools to protect your privacy and security. The aim of this article is to provide you with some information about three most popular security tools for Internet anonymity.
The Onion Router (Tor)
If Internet anonymity is what you are looking for, you need Tor, which makes use of a large network of computers in order to route the traffic to your website through several encrypted layers for obscuring the point of origin of the traffic. It is an important tool as far as whistleblowers and political dissidents are concerned. It helps them to share information anonymously. You can also use it for ensuring your Internet anonymity.
All that you have to do get started is to download the Tor Browser Bundle. The Firefox’s customized branch also incorporates browser extensions to enhance privacy and connects you to the Tor network automatically. Though this package offers everything needed to successfully use Tor, you will have to change your behavior when it comes to web surfing in order to ensure Internet anonymity. You should comply with the Tor warnings because it is not a magic pill for Internet anonymity.
Tor, developed to protect the online communication of U.S. Intelligence, may substantially reduce the browsing speed as your data has to hop through a number of layers. The data transmitted across Tor may be encrypted at the relay nodes, but privacy can be compromised if the site requested for does not use SSL. Further, your online activity may be monitored as Tor is widely used by journalists, political dissidents and criminals.
The Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection enables you to browse the Internet securely as it makes you to appear as though you are from another place. This is achieved by creating an encrypted virtual tunnel from your computer to the server of the VPN provider. As a result, it appears as though you are using a specific server. As the Internet traffic is routed through this encrypted tunnel, your data will not be exposed to eavesdroppers.
If you are serious about maintaining Internet anonymity, you must consider using a VPN solution. This is because VPN, especially stealth VPN offered by some providers, disguises your traffic by hiding your real IP address from the world and making it difficult for others to decipher your traffic. VPNs are the best bet when it comes to bypassing censorship.
However, it important to choose a quality VPN provider that does not store communications logs or data. Further, the VPN provider should be one that implements server randomization and proper load balancing so that you are always connected to different VPN servers.
A proxy server can be defined as an intermediary between the Internet and your computer. The traffic that is routed through proxy servers will appear as though it is coming from the IP address of the server and not your computer. Proxy servers are not required to devote resources for the purpose of encrypting all traffic passing through them. Therefore, they can accept connections simultaneously from tens of thousands of users. Proxy servers make use of different protocols, HTTP/HTTPS and SOCKS (Private), to communicate with the Internet.
HTTP and SOCKS proxies do not encrypt data. On the other hand, HTTPS proxies offer encryption to the same level as any of the SSL websites. However, proxies are not designed to provide protection to all of the Internet traffic. Typically, it protects only the browser. Further, many proxies pass on the original IP address of the user to the destination site. This makes proxy servers less suitable for security or Internet anonymity. Finally, the proxies are required to be configured separately for each of the application such as browser, email, third-party apps, etc. Moreover, some applications may not support proxies.
As such, you need to judiciously choose one or more of these tools, depending on your specific requirement, in order to maintain the required level of Internet anonymity.