Finding an IP

There are times you might want to hide your IP (Internet Protocol) address. Your IP address can reveal information about your location and ISP (Internet Service Provider) that could be used by advertisers, corporation or anyone who is curious. Some websites and companies use your IP like a cookie, identifying you when you return to that site or to others. Hiding your IP address is a great way to protect your online privacy and remain anonymous. Hiding you IP can also be used to get around restrictions on video streaming websites that only allow you to watch for 72 minutes before you have to wait for a while. There are many ways of hiding your IP. Some are simple and some are more complicated. It is important to remember no to use these methods for copyright infringement or other illegal activity. Be aware of local laws in your area. These steps cannot guarantee full Internet anonymity. While traffic through the Tor network is encrypted, security experts can see where the traffic enters and exits and ultimately determine end users.

The first way is by using a proxy server. A proxy server is basically a website (or server) that requests to view the webpage for you. You put I a URL and "the proxy" views it. You are viewing it "through" he proxy, therefore the websites only see the proxy's IP, NOT yours. The disadvantage to using a proxy is that they sometimes strip JavaScript or flash objects on the page, meaning videos don't work, and sometimes the page doesn't display properly.

The second and more effective way is by using a Tor client. The Tor client is a great way to make your Internet use anonymous and hide you IP. But, it is impossible to completely hide your IP address (see Warnings below). Visit the Tor website (google tor) and download the version of Tor appropriate to your system. There are Mac, Windows and Linux versions all available. Install Tor and restart your computer. Launch the Vidalia application, which is part of the installation, to start running Tor.

Tor basically re-routes your connection through other computers, and servers around the world. It's like a proxy but sends it through multiple servers so it's very, very hard to trace.

Configure your browser (preferably Firefox) to work with Tor. The installer will automatically install the Tor button to Firefox, which allows you to toggle Tor "on" and "off."

Disable browser plugins such as Java and Flash that might bypass Tor and reveal your IP address without you knowing. View what plugins you have installed by typing "about:plugins" (without quotes) in your address bar. To disable a plugin, open the Add-ons list under "Tools," then disable the plugin of your choice.

Use a web-based proxy service instead of Tor if you're only interested in web-based anonymity. Eatproxy maintains a list of popular and new proxy services to anonymize web browsing.

Computer Secure

Hiding your IP address can be very useful, but be careful.