Over the years I have written a number of articles on anonymous surfing and the applications, generally free, that make that possible. I’ve noted, over that time, that the majority of readers seem to come from countries that have restrictive human rights policies which I found intriguing, but not particularly surprising.
The recent, and continuing turmoil in Iran, has led to a major increase in readership on this site from Iran on my anonymous surfing articles, and application download links. Small wonder, when one considers the human rights violations committed by this regime – which includes such abhorrent practices as hanging teenage girls and homosexuals.
For our friends in Iran the following is a repost of a recent article “OperaTor and XeroBank – Anonymous Surfing Tools”.
Additional good reasons for anonymous surfing include, surfing in internet cafes, at public terminals in libraries, or hotel business centers.
In fact, you may want to surf anonymously on any PC where you don’t want to leave traces of your private surfing activities.
Interestingly, previous reviews of anonymous surfing applications on this site, have been read disproportionately by readers from Middle Eastern countries. Perhaps, there are more reasons to surf anonymously in these countries, than in others.
Most typical PC users are amazed at the amount of information their browser provides to web sites they visit. For example, the information below is available to every web site I visit. I have X’d out certain parameters for privacy purposes only.
Your computer is connecting to the internet at xxxxxxx, xxxx, in the xxxx, with an IP address of 24.xxx.xxx.142
Your User Agent is being reported as: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: 18.104.22.168) Gecko/20080201 Firefox/22.214.171.124
Your Referrer is being reported as:
Your IP Address is 24.xxx.xxx.142
Your Host Name is d235- xxx.xxx.home1.cable.net
A trace to your phone comes back with an area code of: 0
The objective of anonymous surfing then, is to conceal this information from web sites and other computers, and typically you would use an anonymous proxy server between you and the web site to accomplish this.
When surfing anonymously, your web browser talks to the proxy server; the proxy server talks to the web site. Effectively this means, the web site does not know you; it knows only the anonymous proxy server.
You have a number of choices when it comes to anonymous surfing. You can use a free proxy server service; not my personal first choice – but that’s fodder for another article!
More reliable and safer, in my view, is to download and install a client application which manages the details of anonymous surfing for you.
One such application is OperaTor, a free utility that includes the Opera browser, the Privoxy Web proxy , and The Onion Router, which is a method used for anonymous Internet communication. All components launch simultaneously.
OperaTor, and the component pieces, does not require an installer and the utility can be installed and launched from a USB flash drive. This makes it ideal for surfing at public computers.
Download at: Download.com
A second free utility, XeroBank Browser, is a special version of FireFox that runs in conjunction with the free Tor anonymizer service and that can also run directly from a USB flash drive. Just plug in your USB stick to any PC with a USB port and FireFox V2 is automatically launched and set up for secure and private surfing.
TorPark creates a secure encrypted connection between the PC you are using and the first Tor server. This allows you to safely transmit information without fear of local interception. This makes it ideal for surfing on open Wi-Fi networks.
Download at: Download.com (30-day trial)
One caveat you should take note of however; since all transmissions are encrypted and transmitted across many nodes, anonymous surfing can be very slow.