If you want to browse the Internet and make downloads anonymously, you can use proxies or VPN services. You may want to hide your IP when your IP has been banned by a website, for example. There are options for dealing with this problem for free.
Let’s start by discussing proxy servers on the matter of “how to conceal my IP”.
Get a new, free IP number using proxies
First of all, a proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary between a client application, for example a Web browser, and a real server. It can intercept requests to a real server to check whether it can respond to them itself. If this is not possible, it will forward the request made by the client to the real server.
Regarding using a proxy to conceal one’s IP address, we will focus on anonymous proxy servers. Such a server identifies itself as a proxy server when accessing another server for certain data. It does not provide that server with your IP, but only with its own IP. This means that you, as a user, will remain anonymous, since your IP will be hidden. There are also distorting proxy servers, and these can hide your IP address by making a request for which they identify themselves as proxy servers but make an incorrect original IP address available to the targeted server. High anonymity proxies make requests without identifying themselves as proxies and without making the original IP address available either.
There are several anonymous proxies to be found on the Internet, some website-based and others supported by related software. Such proxies can be accessed for free or at a cost, with differences occurring in the speed a request is fulfilled with. Proxy software can also be available for free or at a cost. One should check the integrity of a proxy server before using it, as there are malicious proxy servers that can record everything that has been sent to them, unencrypted logins and passwords included.
Using VPN’s to Hide IP – Download and browse anonymously
Finally, VPN services are used for transmitting data via encrypted tunnels, which means that the data will be transmitted securely. When traveling to another country, such a server can be useful in accessing sites from your own country while being there. Also, they can be useful in countries were the Internet is censored, to access censored information.
DNS Leaks: A Privacy Risk
If you’re using VPN services for privacy purposes, then you should watch out for DNS leaks. Basically DNS stands for domain name system, it’s the system whereby numerical addresses like 184.108.40.206 are translated into domain names like youtube.com or whatever.
Sometimes even when connected to a VPN, your operating system may use its default name servers when requesting the IP address for a domain name when you’re browsing the web for example. This data is often logged by the name server, and your default name servers are often owned by your internet service provider. So law enforcement or legal courts could potentially request that information from your ISP and get your real IP address.
One way to fix this is to change your DNS servers in your network settings or router to servers operated by Google or OpenDNS for example. However, this may not always work as ISPs have started to use a technology called transparent DNS proxy to intercept all DNS lookup requests, thereby forcing their customers to use their DNS servers.
However, there are ways around that. You can use DNSLeakTest.com to test if your DNS is leaking and they also have some good instructions on how to fix a DNS leak.