Also known as Internet Protocol address, an IP address is an identifying number for a certain network device. With an IP address, the device will be able to communicate with other devices over the Internet or other IP-based networks. A sample IP address looks like this: 123.321.32.101. In some cases, you may even see addresses such as 4488:6084:6804::0210. You can think of IP addresses as a home or business address that tags an identifiable address to a specific physical location.
Let’s say that you need to send a parcel to a loved one who is currently living in another country. You need to know the exact destination because you can’t just write the recipient’s name on the parcel and expect it to reach him or her. You need to attach a specific address to it, i.e. the IP address.
IP Addresses Can be Tracked
Everything you do online is trackable. However, not many people give much thought to it. Ad networks are designed to track your online activity, e.g. record your searches, so that they can predict what products or services you might be interested in. That’s not all. Websites can choose to cut you off from viewing their content if your IP address is from a restricted geographical location. Hence, you will want to mask it to maintain your privacy online. How? The solution: proxy servers.
What are Proxy Servers?
Proxy servers provide an intermediate connection between the users and the target websites they want to visit. These servers are designed to hide the IP addresses by forwarding their traffic. This way, websites only see requests coming from the proxy, not from the users.
You should keep in mind that the Internet is run by multifaceted technologies. That is why it probably requires yottabytes of data to function properly. This means that there is almost no way to remove your digital footprints completely.
Can Proxy Servers Hide Your IP Address?
It is important to note that proxies still need to know your IP address. If not, they will be unable to return the site’s response back to you. Yes, proxies can hide your IP address for a majority of practical purposes, but it does not cancel out the possibility of being tracked. So again, there is almost no way to erase your footprints completely.
The Problem with Transparent and Free Proxies
A transparent proxy is a type of proxy server that includes your information in headers. The website can see this information! In addition, third-party plugins and extensions in your browser may also give your online identity away via fingerprinting. You are tracked almost every time you see and click on an advertisement. With that, proxy servers cannot prevent any of these tracking methods.
Now, we do not mean to scare you, i.e. saying proxy servers can’t help. The fact is that proxy servers are designed to hide your IP address at a surface level. So, maintaining basic browsing privacy via proxy servers is a sure-thing. Next, it is pertinent that you understand that your IP address is not the only element that can identify you.
Enter the World of Private Proxies
Private proxies? What’s the difference? They offer the same functionality as any other proxies, but they can encrypt your connection. This means that cybercriminals and hackers can only see a scrambled mess if they tried to peek at what you are doing. Whether you are on a public WiFi network or home computer, you can enter credit card information and passwords with peace of mind.