Can you really surf the web anonymously? Not so sure. If you got rid of the web bugs, cookies and other identifiers, you have an advantage over ordinary mortals. But, it does not guarantee perfect anonymity. When you connect to a website, your browser sends various information that you do not necessarily have an idea about. It notes, so your type of operating system (OS), type your e-mail software (if your e-mail address), the resolution of your monitor, java configuration, the address of the last site you visited before we get there, etc.. And, above all, it communicates your IP address, the famous address that identifies you as a user of the Net and can – unfortunately – help you locate and identify you.
The usefulness of online anonymity
In fact, it is really helpful to be totally anonymous on the Net? From the moment the information you provide is kept to a minimum, why protect more? It would be like if you go out from you that wearing a raincoat, with a fake beard, felt hat and dark glasses.
In fact, I do not have an answer on this point. A judge whether each of his desire for anonymity justifies further efforts. Personally, I think yes. But, everyone acts as he wishes…
New fresh proxies and stuff
Proxy (plural “proxies”), what is it? Simply a server (a “computer”) that works like a “cache” external relays your queries and receptions where you are on the Net. Consider an example. When you visit a web page, your browser sends requests (like “Hey, I want to see this page with its images, java elements, etc…”) The server in question, which, in turn, will return the elements of the web page (images, html pages, etc…) When you use a proxy, your browser sends its requests to it, which then redirects to the site you want. When it responds, new fresh proxies that receive the information sent … before you redirect. Those specialists do not want me to be schematic, but, roughly speaking, that’s how it works.
The interest of new fresh proxies
There are at least two advantages to use a proxy…
1) The speed. In principle, proxies store the web pages they charge, so that those who are consulted most often can be more quickly accessed.
2) Safety. Some new fresh proxies are configured to be “non-transparent”, and your IP address is never shared with servers consulted (web, ftp, etc…). You are now virtually “anonymous” on the Network.
In fact, things are not so simple. Because if there are thousands of new fresh proxies in the world, very few are absolutely “non-transparent” and many are terribly slow… especially when they are free. In addition, you should know that the proxies they record all communications relay (or at least the IP addresses involved). For now, the data collected have never – to my knowledge – been used illegally. But who knows? Especially disturbing rumors about the proxies used by U.S. service providers have circulated in recent months.
However, with a little perseverance, it is possible to find proxies that are fast enough and “safe” to be used in good conditions. If you use several at once, and randomly, you can enjoy a level of anonymity quite appreciable.
Note: some sites use mini-applications to determine your real IP address. For now, this technique is mainly used by websites to check online security.