Protecting your online privacy is increasingly difficult. One of the main problems is that when you use the Internet your IP address shows websites and companies your location. And possibly even who you are.
Depending on the place in the world you live in, this can be very dangerous. Or simply annoying if you prefer to keep your online activities private.
Fortunately there are ways to obfuscate this information and mask your real IP address with a different one. Below we offer the programs and tools available to protect your privacy while you browse.
1. Hide your IP address using a VPN
Undoubtedly, the easiest way to hide your IP address is using a VPN. These Virtual Private Networks or Virtual Private Networks disguise the origins of your connection by showing a completely different IP address.
The fake address can be located anywhere in the world. (Assuming the service you use has servers around the world). This also means that VPNs are often used to bypass regional restrictions on services like Netflix.
Again, depending on where you live, a VPN may or may not be legal.
VPNs also encrypt data traveling to and from the servers you visit. Thus providing an additional layer of security for everything you do on the network.
The Opera web browser has a built-in VPN (well, a proxy actually). But there are a number of free and paid alternatives that do a good job of maintaining the privacy of your data.
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2. Use a proxy server to hide your IP
A proxy server is similar to a VPN. In the sense that it routes your Internet connection through an online server. So that your original IP address is masked while you are browsing.
As with VPNs, proxies are often used to bypass blocks of geographic content. And they are also popular in parts of the world where the Internet is most regulated.
Although proxy servers are a valid way to hide your IP address, they carry more risk than some of the more reputable VPN services.
In the past there have been cases in which the proxies themselves were the ones that tracked the activities of the people; In addition, since the information in a proxy is not encrypted as it is in a VPN, there is also the possibility that your data will be collected.
3. Use Tor to change IP
A name that is synonymous with online privacy is the Tor browser. For many years, this has been the ideal application for people who do not want their online activities monitored or tracked by governments, corporations or hackers.
Tor is a free, open source, downloadable browser that uses volunteer servers to bounce your connection around the world and make it extremely difficult for anyone to figure out what you’ve been doing.
As you can see, the Tor logo is an onion, which represents the layers of encryption that further protect users’ data, while causing tears in the eyes of intelligence agencies around the world.
There is a disadvantage, however, and it is the fact that using the Tor browser is not exactly the fastest experience you can expect. Applying these layers of encryption and redirecting data around the world takes a toll on performance.
Android users will be pleased to note that there is also a version of Tor available for phones and tablets , under the interesting name of Orbot. Again, it’s free, and it uses the same levels of deception to hide your location.
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