Do you want to browse the web anonymously on Windows? Some people might find this question a bit confusing. How can we browse the web without getting identified? And who would want to do it but a bunch of hacker-perverts? It is common knowledge nowadays that all the computers on the internet are assigned IP addresses from which they are recognized on the internet. So, it is quite unlikely that a person is able to surf the internet without his identity being revealed.
Times have changed and now it is possible to surf the internet without revealing your true identity. Software can now be used to hide your IP address from the sites you visit, making yourself ‘invisible’ or ‘anonymous’ on the internet.
There are two such methods which are extremely efficient and are easily available. The first method is the use of proxies. Proxies are websites that have the capability to mask the IP address of a user, and instead assign him a fake IP address which is in fact the IP address of a server of the proxy site the user is using to browse the internet. What happens is that the proxy site’s server becomes the intermediary in between the user and the website. All the communications between the website and the user take place through it.
This way only the proxy server contacts the accessed site and the identity of the user accessing the proxy server is not revealed. All Windows powered machines can access proxies with ease enabling you to browse the web anonymously on Windows.
The second method is to use a software called a VPN which can provide a user a safe passage through a public internet connection allowing him to access a site without revealing his IP address. The VPNs employ a lot of safety protocols and encryption to create a kind of a safe tunnel for the communications between a user and a website.
This safe tunnel created by the software allows no one to eavesdrop on the communication taking place in between the user and the website he has accessed. This way, just like the proxies, the VPNs also hide the IP address of a user making him invisible for the other computers on the network. Moreover, the PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP VPN software runs very smoothly on Widows. OpenVPN is also avaialble.
Both these methods are very much reliable to use however the VPNs have a slight edge over the proxies when it comes to safety. The superior safety protocols employed by the VPN make it a much safer option to use than the proxies. On the other hand the use of VPNs can partially undermine the internet speeds because of the high security protocols they use. Proxies are faster because they do not have extra security baggage to slow down the internet speeds.
In addition to this, a proxy server can be accessed from any public computer whereas a VPN can only function on a computer where it is properly installed. Because proxies need no installation, there is generally no distinction between what ‘can’ or ‘cannot’ be used for various operating systems. PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN can be used on all Windows operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. SSTP is available for Windows 7 and Vista only. SSTP and OpenVPN have better security features, while PPTP is generally used as a ‘lite’ version – both cheaper and faster.
When anonymity matters, you need to make sure that you can trust your VPN service. Remember that you data is still passing through their servers, and without trust in your VPN service, you might as well be using open proxies. Here are three VPN services that I trust, with a variety of features for every kind of user. Take a look.
This is a good choice for Windows users. Though many people are still stuck on the idea of Windows XP, Windows 7 is coming around, and before you know it, Windows 8 will be out. The reason I mention this is because PureVPN offers SSTP VPN, which is a Microsoft product. You can bet that it’s going to work great with Windows products. Currently it is only compatible with Win 7 and Vista but as Microsoft updates their OS, SSTP will be the VPN protocol of choice. It’s an SSL encrypted VPN, so you can expect the same level of security and anonymity as OpenVPN. For XP and other Windows OS, you can use one of their PPTP or L2TP packages.
Hide My Ass
HMA has over 23,000 IP addresses available from almost 40 different countries, and they continue to grow every year. For less than half the price of other VPN services, you get all PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN in one package (great advantage for OpenVPN users). A 30 day money back guarantee pretty much seals the deal – who can say ‘No’ to an entire month to try it out? There’s not much else to say here except that you get MORE for LESS.
With the best customer service around more supported devices than any other VPN service, 12VPN is a great choice for a large variety of users. There are lots of ways to customize your VPN package if you know what you’re doing, but the instant setup is great for new users who don’t know anything about browsing anonymously. Their site looks simple, but their VPN packs a punch, and 12VPN is still available even in China, Oman, Egypt, and other countries in Asia, Africa, and The Middle East where many other VPN services are now blocked
A web based proxy will provide you with a decent amount of anonymity online, though it’s not quite as secure as using a VPN. The advantage is that you can use it from any computer or phone because it is ‘web based’, and needs no installation. If you’re looking for anonymity at work, school, or public places where you can’t install software, this is your best choice.