Proxies and VPNs – Software to Change IP address
Any kind of research into how to change IP addresses will lead you immediately to proxies and VPNs. The details of each of those can get fairly complicated, but in a nutshell, the two are just ways of re routing your traffic through a computer server somewhere outside the house of your current network. There are millions of forums that analyze the technical information on these two products, but I believe for users who are just getting started, it’s important to really know what they can do, and not how they work.
Consequently, proxies will only mask a browsing activity anonymously. You will discover “open proxies” which are IP addresses and slot numbers you can get into your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE) to reroute your traffic through a proxy server located someone else in the world. What this means is you avoid accessing websites directly – a proxy server will do the work for you – offering you stored data or making requests for you. Its’ a great way to bypass firewalls at the office, school, and open public networks.
There is also “software” that’s available. What this type of software usually does, though it can vary from product to product, is to help you organize these open proxies, and perhaps even give you a browser to use them in. Because these products are a “one-time fee”, they cannot offer you private servers – only a way to find and organize the large numbers of open proxy computers that are located about the world.
There are server proxy services out there – services that actually own their own servers, maintain them, and offer support. This kind of service, however, is going to require a monthly payment or fee for maintenance and support. They’ll probably cost you about 5 dollars or more a month. Most of the time these services will take the form of a web-based proxy server, and will not require installing any software – they are going to choose one of their servers randomly for you.
There are also virtual private networks. These kinds of services work differently than proxies but are the kind of software that allows you to change Internet protocol address when linked to the private network, your data is encrypted and filtered through the network. After this, you run your entire machine (phone/computer) through that network Organization, which means that other programs and programs you run will also use the confidential IP address. This is an improved solution for users who are serious about total anonymity online.