While there are many ways to hide an IP address for anonymous browsing and security purposes, using proxies is still a popular option. To get the most out of these proxies, you should know how to properly use them. Here is a guide on how to effectively hide your IP using a proxy.
Proxies act as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. It receives your requests and sends them to the sites you want to access. This setup lets you hide your computer’s actual IP since those sites and the Internet see only the proxy’s IP.
There are a lot of places where you can get proxies for IP masking, both for free and as paid services. The only advantage of free proxies is the cost, they are prone to viruses, data monitoring, and malicious code since they come with few guarantees. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Paid proxy services offer greater security than free ones since they are actively managed by providers. Proxy-N-VPN, with their excellent customer support, is one such example.
Paid providers also have features that are not found in free proxies, including:
These features make paid proxies a better option for extended use.
Paid proxies are the right choice. Once you decide on this you can then choose between shared and private proxies. With shared proxies, you use the same access port as several other users. Private proxies give you sole use of the IP address and the port. Both have their benefits to consider when deciding which one to go with.
Weight these benefits when you’re working on your decision.
Different providers offer additional features that you should also consider when selecting proxy services. Supported locations are one of the features you need to take a look at. There should be a good selection of IP locations. Some providers like Proxy Key also offer instant IP/location switching, letting you quickly change your address.
Another feature to look for is the authentication methods used. This is particularly useful if you are using multiple proxies. A few providers support multiple authentication methods, which gives you more flexibility.
Once you have purchased a set of proxies, you can set one of them as the default proxy your computer will use. You can assign the other proxies as back up, or for other purposes.
Before setting up your proxies, take note of your Internet connection’s actual IP address. WhatIsMyIP.com is a site that quickly displays your IP address. Alternately, you can just type “What is my IP?” in Google Search and it will automatically show it for you. Use it before you connect to the proxy, and after you connect, to be certain that you are hiding your IP.
If you are using Windows, the system will automatically detect any proxy that is set up in the network you are connected to. To manually add your own proxies, you need to open the Internet Settings dialog box. Head to the Network and Internet section of the Control Panel and select Internet Options.
Once you have the Internet Settings dialog box, follow these steps:
To check whether the proxy is indeed up, simply view your new IP address using the website or Google as shown above.
By default, Windows will send all the traffic through the proxy, including traffic within your local network. To remain directly connected to your local network, simply check the “Bypass proxy server for local addresses” option.
You can customize your proxy settings further by clicking the Advanced button under the Proxy Server section. One option is setting up different proxy addresses for different protocols. Just uncheck the “Use the same proxy server for all protocols” option and input your desired proxies for each.
This adds a greater degree of anonymity to your browsing activities since you use a different IP for different kinds of sites.
You might also want to remain visible to certain sites, such as those related to your work. To let these sites bypass your proxy, add their URLs in the Exceptions section of the Advanced Settings.
To deactivate the proxy, uncheck the “Use proxy server” option in the above Internet Settings dialog box. Note that when you turn the proxy setting on again, it will use the last proxy you set.
Using a dedicated browser for your proxy also helps in maintaining your online anonymity. By having that browser specifically configured to your proxy, you are sure that your IP is hidden every time you use it. This also saves you on set up time since you don’t have to reconfigure the browser settings each time. Citrio and Epic are two commonly recommended browsers for dedicated anonymous surfing.
Also note that if you plan on using other tools with your proxies, these tools should have the necessary support. Review each tool to see how you can configure them for use with proxies. Take note of any limitations that they might have.
Regularly check if the proxies you have are still good. Providers like Best Proxy And VPN have online status pages where you can see whether the proxy you acquired is still active.
Be sure to read the latest reviews about your proxy provider as well to have an idea of their current quality.
Using proxies to hide your IP when surfing online is fairly easy, but you still need to carefully plan how you will use them:
Follow these simple steps and you can enjoy browsing the net with greater anonymity all thanks to hiding your IP address.