What is an IP address?
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are used to identify your computer or device. They are a 32-bit or 128- bit binary number, depending on whether it is through the IPv4 or IPv6 protocol.
Initially, IP addresses were released in 32-bit, however there was concern that the number of available IP addresses would run out with the increasing usage of the Internet. IPv6 addresses were introduced to provide more possible addresses.
The IP address is assigned to your computer or device. It’s used to allow communication with other IP addresses, which you usually see as URLs, the letter representation of websites you browse. Your IP can be used to see where you are in the world, because it is unique to you.
What is an anonymous IP address
There are many reasons however for desiring an anonymous IP address. An anonymous IP address is one that cannot be linked back to your computer or to your location.
Using one of these allows you to browse the web securely, without concern of any of your data being tracked. Advertisers, government organizations, and individuals have been known to use packet sniffing or deep packet searching, tracking cookies, and other spying tools to collect, monitor, or steal information.
In addition to these advantages, anonymous IP addresses allow you to access websites that are region restricted (such as some video streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and BBC iPlayer).
This also relates to bypassing restrictions of your network or country. What sites you can access or can’t access is often related to network settings, whether those settings are managed by your ISP or local network administrator.
When you use an anonymous IP address, you’ll be able to open any site that blocks users based on IP location. You’ll also be able to unblock websites at work and school, where firewall are responsible for restrictions.
How to Get an Anonymous IP Address
There are two main methods of obtaining an anonymous IP address. This is through using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or using an anonymous proxy.
Anonymous IPs through Virtual Private Networks
A VPN is a secure network, commonly used in institutions and businesses, which assigns an IP address to your computer that masks your real IP. Any web traffic you coming from or going to your computer (or smartphone) uses this assigned IP address rather than your own, as long as the program is running.
To use a VPN you need to install software, and this can be obtained by signing up for a VPN service provider. There are many sites online offering VPN server access. These vary in their available features, and cost.
The most secure VPNs protocols offer Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) and OpenVPN protocol. These protocols increase the security of the VPN, reducing the likelihood that the data you send can be viewed by others.
However many users prefer PPTP or L2TP because of the ease of installation and speed. In some cases you may not have a choice, as most smart phones can only use PPTP or L2TP(IKEv2 for Nokia and Symbian devices), and some areas of the world may only allow OpenVPN or SSTP access. VPNs will also encrypt and tunnel any software or apps running on your phone/computer
The anonymous IP address that the VPN assigns to your computer can be changed, and many VPN providers offering free unlimited switching of IP addresses. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose from a range of locations in various countries around the world. Some VPN providers change the IP address assigned to your computer each time you connect to the VPN, so if you want to change your IP it is a simple matter of disconnecting and reconnecting to the VPN.
Frequently changing your IP is another tactic to anonymize your online activity, because each time you use the internet, you will be using a different identity. Some secure sites like Paypal don’t like the because frequently changing IPs set of fraud indicators, and they think your account is being illegally accessed. However, if you stick to IPs from the same country, in most cases, this won’t be a problem.
For more information on anonymous proxies, go here
To see my Top 10 VPN list, click here
These are two VPN services I recommend for anonymous IP addresses (so you don’t have to review all 10 of the Top 10 list)
Hide My Ass
Hide My Ass has thousands of available IP’s across 32 different countries in the world. For a few dollars a month you get access to all of their VPN servers on your phone or computer. No bandwidth limitations! You simply won’t find a better price for the packages offered at Hide My Ass. All packages come with a 30 day money back guarantee. PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN available.
PureVPN has SSTP options for Vista and Win 7 users. They also have static IP addresses available, which is great for someone who doesn’t want to switch IP’s every time they sign into the VPN server (gamers, money traders, etc). Fast servers and free switching along with live support make PureVPN a great choice.
Anonymous IPs though Proxy Servers
Proxy has a lot of meanings on the Internet, so it may be a bit confusing. It may refer to the proxy server itself, which you can find a list of free or “OPEN” proxies at http://hidemyass.com. These can be used to alter settings of your browser and filter your information through the proxy server instead of communicating directly with website servers you want to browse. It’s a kind of “detour”. This are great because they’re free, but are not 100% secure.
Proxy may also refer to web based proxies, which are specific sites that allow you to use one, or several specific proxy servers. These require no installation, and are also considered “open” proxies. However, its common that you can’t choose your anonymous IP address, and just get what comes default. Again, these are not 100% secure, but you can find a reliable, secure, and FREE web based proxy at http://hidemyass.com.
Proxy can also refer to a paid service which provides anonymous IP addresses much like the free service listed above. With a paid service however, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth limitation, limits on P2P file sharing or spam, and you’ll have support. You can expect faster speeds, more reliable connections, and be able to use a “mini browser” to surf the Internet securely.
SecuriTales provides one of the best known and fastest proxy services. The anonymous IP address provided by SecuriTales proxy servers are located in The US and The UK. They provide you with a FREE TRIAL and a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, so it’s worth trying at least! This is a great service for unblocking sites at work and school, or other places with firewall restrictions. It even works in China.