How to Hide Your IP Address

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How to Hide Your IP Address

Say you want to access a blocked site at work because it’s important for research, or you’re just plain bored.  You’ll have a hard time justifying this to network administrators, who have worked very hard to ensure that the network structure used in your company is secure.  If you really need to access a particular website, you have to hide your IP address to help prevent your online activities from being tracked.

What is an IP Address?

The Internet protocol address is the unique identification number assigned to a device connected to a computer network.  Once a computer is connected to an active network, it receives a set of numbers that identifies it as a unique identity in the network.  There are two ways of getting an IP address:

  • Static IP. In a static IP configuration, the network administrator assigns a specific IP address to a specific computer on the network.  Static IP is almost always used for offices and companies.
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used for LAN networks and establishments with public Internet access.  DHCP designates a random IP address to a computer, which does away with the task of assigning a static IP address for customers and users.

Proxy Servers

The most convenient way to conceal your IP address from network administrators who track browsing habits is to use an anonymous proxy server.  A proxy server works by acting as a “tunnel” where a user can access Internet resources blocked by the central server by logging on to a remote server that acts as a gateway to the Internet.  A proxy server is convenient if you want to access sites that are blocked by your central server, or if you want to access Internet resources that are not available in your country.

You have to log on a proxy through the central network server.  Proxy servers are rather ineffective, because network administrators can still track down the proxy you’re using and block it for future use.  There is also no guarantee that you can browse the Internet completely anonymously.  Some proxy servers may gather IP addresses.  Accessing sites from a proxy server is also slower than using the central network, because of the differences in speed between the host server and the client.

Anonymizing Software

Anonymizing software are small applications developed to conceal IP addresses, and allow you to browse the Internet anonymously.  Anonymizing software first need to be installed on the computer before being used, which is a bit difficult (if not impossible) when you’re in the office.  Like proxy servers, anonymizing software can still be tracked down by a competent network administrator.

Warnings

  • Remember that anonymous browsing only attempts to conceal your IP address.  All Internet behavior can be tracked down by a competent team of network administrators, even if you have a supposedly “guaranteed” proxy server or anonymizing program.
  • Proxy servers are often used for suspicious and unlawful activities, like viewing illegal pornography or stealing data from other users.  Use a proxy server very wisely to avoid any run-ins with the law.
  • Your company may impose penalties on you if you use a proxy server indiscriminately.  Check your company’s computer usage policies before using a proxy server.

When used properly, proxy servers can hide your IP address long enough to access a wealth of information on the World Wide Web.  As long as you use IP concealers and anonymizers in the right way, you can freely access all the data you need from the Internet with just a few clicks.

 

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