Anonymizers are a useful tool to ensure that identifying information is not transferred during online interactions in which no personal information need be revealed. Anonymizers are web-based services or downloadable programs that keep your Internet browsing anonymous. Anonymizers are Internet tools developed by the private sector to strip out personal information in order to protect user privacy.
In computer networks, a proxy
server is a server (a computer system or an application
program) which services the requests of its clients by
forwarding requests to other servers.
Using a proxy anonymizer is the most common method of anonymous surfing.
A number of free proxy anonymizers use proxy servers from free, open, proxy lists. Many of these lists do indicate whether a proxy is anonymous or not, but sometimes they are not accurate or up-to-date. You will need to be aware that everything you do via these free proxies can be logged and used by the proxy administrators for their own interests and uses. Another problem is that malicious hackers (crackers) and spammers set up proxies in the free proxy lists and can use this source to integrate your computer or collect your personnel information to later send unsolicited emails to you.
To anonymize ALL your connections, you will need to use an https proxy anonymizer -- commercial or free proxy anonymizers that use SSH or SSL encryption between the proxy server, website and your computer. Inevitably, by using commercial or free proxy anonymizers, you will have to expect a certain slowdown in your connection speeds. When using an http proxy anonymizer-- http is a standard, unsecured connection -- your IP will not be visible.
A VPN anonymizer is a technology that establishes a private or secure network connection within a public network, such as the Internet.
VPN or what are commonly known as VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnels, are frequently used by corporations and government bodies, to allow remote workers to make secure internet connections to the office network. VPN is currently the most advanced form of anonymity and data security for use on the Internet. VPN users often have dynamic IP addresses and can have a different IP address with every connection that they make. The main difference between an SSL or SSH encrypted tunnel proxy and VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnelling, is that VPN doesn't use a proxy and anonymizes and encrypts all activities. Both SSL and SSH encryption can be used with VPN as well as proxy servers.
Most web-proxy services or anonymizers are not free, but many do offer partial service for free or a free trial period, which might work for you depending on what type of firewall your school or office uses.
One of the most common uses for anonymizers is to unblock myspace, or unblock sites which are deemed unsuitable for viewer ship by local ISP (Internet Service Providers).
After carrying out several tests on free proxy anonymizers versus paid VPN providers, I would recommend staying clear of the free proxy providers due to the dangers of using them and the generally poor data transfer speed and opt to pay for a strong VPN provider that will ensure quick and reliable performance.
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