Guide to Surf the Internet Safely and in Private
The internet is not the epitome of freedom and liberty, as much as we appreciate the fact that it has changed how we interact and broken down geographical borders in ways previously unimaginable. Today, websites that you view can pin point your exact physical location, see details of the device you are using to surf and install cookies that keep track of your online activities.
If you are a person who does not like the idea of being followed around online, or you would like to access websites which restrict access to people located in some areas on earth then welcome, you came to the right place. But before we go into how we can surf the web in private, let us look at a few basics.
Staying anonymous online will involve changing your IP address, regardless of the specific method you use to do that. Proxies that come between your PC and the website help keep anonymity, for example, but there are a few things you need to know about these proxies:
- If you follow the right procedures, a proxy server will keep you anonymous.
- The proxy server can tell who you are by looking at your IP address.
- If the proxy server keeps logs then it can submit your information to the courts if it is required by law to do so.
- Regardless of the proxy, some websites will track you by use of browser plug-ins like Flash player-which is by the way known to submit more information on users than is necessary for its purpose.
- Many proxy services will allow sites to store cookies on your browser.
Proxy servers are good, but you need to choose your server very carefully, and that can be quite tricky.
Web based proxies are such that you got to the proxy site, take HideMyAss.com or Anonymouse.com for example, and then use their site to surf to other sites. Now while this type of proxy is free and helps you stay private, there are a few concerns:
- Free web-based proxies result in slow internet speeds, simply because a lot of people are using the free servers.
- They will burden you with adverts of their own-that is how they make money.
- Some type of content will be difficult to access, for example, some video and music formats will refuse to play.
- Some site will not load when accessed through a proxy.
- There are some unscrupulous free web-based proxies whose intention is to steal log-in details of people as they log-in through their site.
Web-based proxies need to be carefully chosen too, as we can see.
Manual proxy services
The manual proxy service work in that you do not have to go to the proxy server’s site to surf privately. The proxy company gives you some proxy server configuration which you will have to feed into your browser so that every time you are using the browser, all traffic goes to the proxy server then to the sites, keeping you anonymous.
Again, there are limitations with manual proxy servers, for example speeds go down, some servers keep logs and others will track your traffic and sell that information to internet marketers.
To stay fully anonymous, most internet experts will recommend that you use a VPN service. Let us take a look at VPN below.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN works by routing all your traffic through a server of your choice located in any location on earth where the VPN company has servers. A few things that you need to know about VPN services are:
- VPNs also encrypt your traffic so that any snoopers will not be able to crack the specific details if they ever access your traffic.
- They allow you to choose the server that you want to connect through.
- They do not slow your speeds as much as other anonymity methods.
- They are not free; they are subscription services that you will pay for.
There are many VPN providers in the market but you will want to use on that supports many devices, has many servers spread over many countries, has a good customer care department, affordable and one that does not keep logs. Many experts recommend HideMyAss! Pro VPN going by these qualifications but do we recommend them?
Well, we do and we will tell you why;
As we said before, there are many VPN providers out in the market. Go find one who suits your needs and budget. Remember, staying safe and anonymous online will give you a degree of liberty online.