To surf the web anonymously, you can use proxies. Proxy servers usually work by sending information through an array of routers designed to hide the destination and source of information. In case you are wondering what anonymous web browsing is, it is the process of surfing the Internet without exposing your sensitive personal information (SPI) or personally identifiable information (PII).
How Anonymity is Achieved
Whenever you access a web page, your IP address and other computer information become visible to the server of the web page. Servers use this information to track you. Proxies send requests to the target web server, on your behalf. This way, your IP address remains hidden from the target server. What’s visible is the proxy server’s information.
You should remember that certain proxies do not guarantee anonymity. For example, transparent proxies are subject to traffic analysis. These proxies may have a central point of knowledge, where data may be collected by authorities.
How do Anonymous Proxy Servers Work?
As mentioned, the proxy server serves up the request on your behalf so that the destination site only sees a request coming from the proxy server. But before that, they have already encrypted the given URL to a string (based on their unique encryption strategy), and have stored this encrypted URL in their server. Now let’s say there are a proxy server, a destination site, and you (your computer). Your IP address is 126.96.36.199 and the proxy server’s IP address is 188.8.131.52. The proxy server then proceeds to make the destination website think you are IP: 184.108.40.206. Voila! You are now anonymous!
Always Exercise Caution Even When You are Surfing Anonymously
Think twice before you enter any credit card number or password when using proxies. This information will be passed through an external server and anyone can access that. In addition, you may want to consider disabling browser add-ons such as Adobe Flash Player and Java virtual machine. These add-ons may reveal your IP address even if you are surfing the web anonymously.
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