Do you want to hide your IP address but aren’t sure which option is best — VPN, Web Proxy, or TOR? If so, keep reading.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about these three options so that you can make an informed decision.
Let’s get rolling, then.
VPN stands for the virtual private network. In this arrangement, you get a new IP address every time you go online.
VPN services have servers in different countries across the globe. By using a VPN you can select the country you want your IP to be located in before accessing the internet.
That way you can keep your location anonymous, and websites you visit won’t know your IP address. The same goes for someone monitoring your online activity. Pretty cool, right?
- Hides your IP address
- Encrypts your data end-to-end
- Easy to use
- Perfect for accessing geo-restricted content
- A premium VPN service will cost a few dollars a month. Free options at best offer limited features while at worst they make money by selling your data
If you want to surf the web anonymously, enjoy the freedom to view geo-restricted content, and don’t mind paying a few bucks per month, a VPN service is perfect for you.
A proxy server is an intermediary server through which your data passes before reaching your destination.
Let’s say you are in Canada but you want to watch American Netflix.
You can pull the wool over Netflix’s eyes by using a US proxy. Since your request will get a US IP midway—Netflix will think the request has come from someone within the United States.
- Hides your IP from sites you visit
- It’s free (While there are paid proxy services, for most individual users a free service is more than enough.)
- Easy to use
- It doesn’t encrypt your traffic. Anyone snooping on you can still find out what you are up to
- Most free services display intrusive ads
Want to view geo-restricted content? A free proxy service is a great option. However, don’t use it for high-risks tasks, as others can still track your IP.
TOR and its pros and cons
TOR stands for The Onion Router. This system uses multiple-level encryption and passes your data through not one, but several, servers.
To use it, you’ll have to download the TOR browser.
Besides ensuring privacy and anonymity, it also gives you access to .onion sites, which don’t appear in normal web browsers and search engines, like Google.
TOR is hugely popular, with over 2 million users daily.
- Lets you surf the web anonymously
- Makes it almost impossible for someone to track your online activities
- It gives you access to .onion sites. This feature allows whistleblowers and journalists to publish content without worrying about getting into trouble with the authorities. People living in countries with limited free speech can use TOR to access .onion sites (like the .onion version of Facebook) to speak freely and connect with like-minded people
- Works with all major operating systems
- Slows down your browsing speed considerably
It’s important to value your online privacy. If you think anonymity should be free, consider using a TOR. But, if you want to access .onion websites, TOR is the way to go.
Want to know more about TOR? Take a look at the infographic below!
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