How To Surf Anonymously With A VPN
Internet privacy is slowly becoming a thing of the past. ISPs are being given the power to monitor all the activities that any connected users conduct on the internet, and then they may forward this information to the government. ISPs can therefore know the websites you visit, your frequency on sites, and virtually anything you do on the internet. This leaves privacy-conscious internet users with no alternative but to look for the best anonymous VPNs that can serve as IP address changers.
How can I hide my IP? By using an anonymous VPN. These are VPNs that provide users with strong privacy and security measures whenever they are using the internet. They do this by first encrypting your data traffic so that no third parties, not even your ISP, can make sense of it. This data is then tunneled to a secure server, and your real IP address is spoofed and replaced with a new public IP address. As a result, you gain a whole new online identity that nobody can trace, making you totally anonymous. However, this kind of anonymity from a VPN should also go hand in hand with a VPN provider’s promise not to keep any logs so that your activities can’t be traced back to you, even with a court order.
GET THE BEST ANONYMOUS VPN
The VPN market is filled with many options to choose from, and it can be tough to decide on the best anonymous VPNs for you. Remember, all VPNs aren’t made equal, and some of them aren’t good for privacy and anonymity. To save you from the headache of digging through countless options for choosing an anonymous VPN, we’ve done the research for you and listed the top 5 anonymous IP address changer VPNs here.
ExpressVPN is a standout VPN when it comes to performance, reliability, and speeds. The VPN is registered in the British Virgin Islands, where the laws there mean it’s easy to implement a zero log policy. ExpressVPN also takes security seriously, and they use AES-256-bit encryption.
The VPN has a remarkable server network of 2,000+ servers distributed across 148 VPN locations in 94 countries. It is complemented with features such as an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, zero-knowledge DNS, torrent support, stealth technology, and DNS/ IPv6 leak protection.
NordVPN is a top VPN service, known for its excellent security and privacy. The VPN is registered in Panama, a country that has very friendly laws regarding digital privacy. This helps NordVPN in effectively implementing their zero logs policy and promoting anonymity measures.
This VPN has the best security that you can get in the market. This is because of their AES-256-bit encryption, which can be doubled through double-hop technology. This is a feature only found in a few VPNs, and it lets users route their traffic through 2 VPN servers in different locations instead of one.
NordVPN also has one of the largest server networks of any VPN, with 5000+ servers in 62 countries. Other features of the VPN include a process-specific kill switch, special servers (e.g., onion over VPN, anti-DDoS servers, P2P etc.), CyberSec Adblocker and SmartPlay technology.
IPVanish is another top-grade VPN service provider. In fact, it’s usually referred to as a Tier 1 VPN provider, one of only about 3. This is because the VPN completely owns and controls its entire server network. This is a big plus for the VPN as they can offer a higher level of reliability, performance, and privacy that most VPNs.
The IPVanish server network comprises of 1000+ super-fast servers located in 60+ countries. This network shares over 40,000+ IP addresses, something that is quite commendable for a VPN that owns its whole architecture.
IPVanish also promises to keep zero logs and offers military-grade security with AES-256 encryption. The VPN has other features like a killswitch, obfuscation technology, P2P support, IP rotator, SOCKS5 proxy server, IPv6 & DNS leak protection.
CyberGhost is another one of the top anonymous VPNs you can use. The VPN service is based in Romania, a country that has a history of revoking laws that were infringing on their citizens’ online privacy. CyberGhost was therefore registered there to make sure that they can offer users a strict zero logs policy.
The VPNs boasts a remarkable server network of 2950+ servers in 60+ countries. What is even more impressive is that the VPN has been greatly improving especially after being acquired by an Israeli company. The VPN also has dedicated modes for tasks like unblocking websites, streaming, and more.
CyberGhost offers good security with an AES-256 encryption and other features such as P2P servers, split tunneling, ad-blocker, automatic kill switch, and DNS & IP leak protection.
Just like its name, PrivateVPN was developed with the main goal of providing privacy to all internet users. To help you accomplish that, the VPN only collects users’ email addresses during sign up, which is then used for promotional purposes. They also don’t collect your connection and usage logs that can be used against you, which makes it a no logging service.
PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, and although the country isn’t the most friendly in terms of privacy, their data collection laws don’t apply to VPNs. PrivateVPN is also excellent at offering security, and they have OpenVPN 2048-bit with AES-256 encryption.
The VPN has features like kill switch, application guard, P2P, and port forwarding. PrivateVPN also provides remote assistance, a form of customer service that is very rare.
WHAT IS ANONYMOUS BROWSING?
We have already looked at how you can stay anonymous by using one of the anonymous VPNs listed above. But in case you’re still not sure what anonymous browsing means, don’t worry! Simply put, this is when you can conduct your online activities without anyone knowing who you are. As a result, any third-party spying on you will also not be able to tell what you are doing online.
A VPN acts as an IP changer and helps you to hide IP addresses, which would otherwise be trackable. Whenever you connect to a VPN server, all your traffic is encrypted and then securely send to that VPN server. The VPN server then plays the IP changer role by masking your IP address and giving you a new IP. Once it gets masked, you are anonymous. You can check your new IP address by typing “my IP” on Google to confirm that you successfully managed to hide your IP with VPN.
A VPN also encrypts your traffic so that it’s not meaningful to any other party, and hence, makes your browsing activities totally anonymous. Simply put, this is possible because your traffic is sent on a route which goes through various locations, making it hard for any cyber spies or curious eyes to get to your information.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR AN ANONYMOUS VPN?
The following are some considerations that make a VPN provider trustworthy when it comes to your online anonymity.
Shared IPs provide an extra level of anonymity in that you share the same online identity with hundreds of other users. This means that it’s much harder to profile you or track you down because nobody knows who did what using that IP.
No logs mean that no usage or connection logs are kept. Usage logs include the websites you visited while you are connected to a VPN as well as the amount of time stayed on a particular site. When a VPN says it keeps no logs, it means that none of your user/ usage information is stored for further reference.
Anonymous Email Addresses
For maintaining the utmost privacy, it’s suggested to sign up for a VPN with an email address that doesn’t have your name in it. Remember: Not all VPNs promise no log policies. Using a “fake” email address ensures there is never a connection between your name and a VPN, and no one can trace is your personal information or trace you in social media. Some VPNs allow you to sign up with temporary email addresses, and that is important, as they can’t be used against you.
Payment is one of the most critical areas concerning privacy and anonymity. Paying for a VPN with a method such as credit card or even PayPal exposes you and your payment details. Thankfully, there are VPNs that allow you to pay anonymously. The best and most common anonymous payment method is Bitcoin. With Bitcoin, your payment can’t be traced back to you.
There are also other anonymous payment methods such as cash by post or store cards purchased anonymously to pay for a VPN subscription. If a VPN offers anonymous payments, it’s an added anonymity bonus that we urge you to consider.
VPNs can’t promise you 100% anonymity because the VPN servers know your IP address. Rather, they offer you pseudo-anonymity, and that is why you need Tor.This anonymous system works in a way that prevents your IP address or the website visited from being seen. Your connection gets routed through a series of servers re-encrypting your data in that series. However, that process may lead to your internet speed slowing down a bit.
When you combine a VPN with Tor, you can achieve almost perfect anonymity. Remember, it’s a VPN through Tor, not the other way round. VPN over Tor works in a way to give you full anonymity whenever you connect to a VPN server via Tor; the VPN provider won’t see your IP address rather one of Tors’ exit nodes.
HOW TO USE A VPN FOR BROWSING ANONYMOUSLY
Signing up to a VPN, downloading the app, installing it, and connecting to a VPN server will take you less than 5 minutes. Here’s the entire process:
- Click the links above on your VPN of choice to sign up.
- Create an account, giving minimal personal details. Preferably, use an anonymous payment method.
- Download the VPN app for your specific device(s).
- Install the VPN app and launch it.
- Sign in with your account details.
- Connect to a VPN server of your choice.
After you are connected, your IP location should be the location of the server you’ve chosen, not your actual location. Just like that, you get to hide your IP with VPN!
ANONYMOUS VPNS FAQS
Q. Does a VPN make me completely anonymous?
A VPN alone will not make you completely anonymous, but it comes close. For complete anonymity, you will need to incorporate with another security feature (such as Tor).
Q. How can I keep my browsing history even more protected?
All you need to do is use Tor alongside your VPN, avoid visiting sites whose security you’re unsure about, and use a private search engine such as DuckDuckGo.com.
Q. What is an example of a use cases when anonymity is important?
Generally, anonymity is important when you are sending and receiving sensitive emails, browsing for some personal stuff online, operating your bank stuff through the internet and many other times.
Q. Should I use a free VPN for anonymity?
It goes without a say that you always get what you pay for. If you are looking for privacy, avoid using free VPNs by all means. Most of them log your data and can even sell it to third-parties for income. Even if that is not the case with a certain free VPN, a paid VPN will have extra options and greater reliability than a free VPN.
Q. Do all VPNs work with Tor?
Basically, they do work, but there is a catch. If your VPN provider keeps any logs, it’s going to be useless to use the Tor with it. In that case, your VPN provider is going to save metadata of your data (including the data about you using Tor). So VPNs work with Tor, but you must check that your VPN does not keep any log if you want to use Tor at its best.
When you ask, “How can I hide my IP?”, the answer is obvious at this point. The benefits offered by an anonymous VPN are priceless. If you like streaming online, handle sensitive data, use public hotspots, or just don’t want people snooping on you, you need a VPN. It will be the first and most important step towards gaining your online privacy and anonymity back. However, we highly recommend against using free VPNs, as they do not promise anonymity.
The premium VPNs we have listed above are proven performers, and you won’t go wrong with any of them. A top VPN like ExpressVPN may cost you a few bucks, but the service will be worth every coin. Just choose one that fits your needs as well as budget, and stay anonymous!