Hey guys, I am looking for a program that will help to mask my IP address and any other information that can get be access while surfing or left behind. I have read about a bunch of different programs but its hard to choose which one is best for me. I want a program that isn't going to bog my system down but still does a good job. Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated!!
You'd be further ahead using a proxy that you pay for, like this, since most free proxies are very slow and don't last long... you'll be searching for new ones many times a week most of the time.
That doesn't mean, though that you might not experience some slow downs anyway... proxies often do cause some slowdowns.. you'd really need to try it to find out how much but I haven't seen anyone with serious complaints about this one though. It wouldn't be unusual to lose 20% of your d/l speed using a paid for proxy.
The program wouldn't use a lot of resources locally in your own PC so that would not be an issue.
Not a doorway but a relay on the way to a destination on the net. Whenever you want to download (or upload) data the destination has to have your net (IP) address otherwise it would not know where to send back the data or information.
A proxy is a computer that changes your IP address so that whatever site your contacting sees its address not yours. In other words it transfers your data to the site with a different address so that site doesn't know the final destination and then when the proxy gets the data back from that site it relays it again back to you. Only that proxy computer knows your real address and a true anonymous proxy will not keep records longer than it takes to transfer the data. It's then deleted.
Will this help protect against possible intruders as well?
Not really. Most intruders are people who scan entire IP ranges randomly. They'll pick a known block of addresses from some ISP and just set up a port scanner to run through them to find holes in online computers. Others will pick a specific target, usually a large corporate type site and concentrate on it or a number of them.
Surfing through a proxy would, in this sense, only protect you from having visited a site where someone is waiting for visitors to make a note of their IP address in order to try and scan their computer for vulnerabilities and that does not happen often at all. Although the odds would be slightly higher if one were to regularly visit warez or illegal type sites.
It's only worth it if you don't want websites you connect to to know your IP address. But even if they do know your IP address there is very little they can do with it unless they get law enforcement involved to contact your ISP to force them with a subpeona to give up the information.
Otherwise the only info they can find from the IP is your ISP and possibly your general geographic location and that's not much at all.
For surfing safely there are other steps to take that are far more effective and significant than using a proxy.
make sure you have all Microsoft security updates. Use a more secure browser than Internet explorer.. such as Firefox or Opera (Firefox is free and Opera has a freeware version), Use anti spyware progs like spywareblaster, Microsofts antispy program and/or spybot s&d.
Other options would be to use a hosts file for blocking known bad sites and to read through these threads for more ideas and info about securing your computer..
Also consider the source of the download. If it's from Microsoft or Symantec or some well known or trusted company then odds are a lot better that it's almost infinitely safer than downloading something from a site that offers illegal mp3s or warez etc.
I will take into consideration all the information that you have given me. I was wondering what your personal setup is? What do you use?
I was also wondering what you thought of programs like ZoneAlarm and I believe Black Ice? Are any of these better then the firewall that comes built into windows?
Also I am currently running: Spybot Seach/Destry, Adaware, Norton Anti-Virus, and Sercurity Pack 2 for Windows. All are up to date to my knownledge.
thanks for your help thus far, you have been very informative.
My primary setup winxp sp2, has Kaspersky a/v, Kerio firewall, Spywareblaster, spybot s&d and I use Avant browser which, although it uses the Internet explorer engine, is more secure because it allows me to very easily and quickly turn activex, java and java script off globally and re-enable which one I need for a specific website for which I may need it/them.
Generally I leave them all off so websites can't try and take control of my browser by remotely loading any kind of malicious autorunning program while I'm surfing through... you sometimes don't know where a link is going to take you... possibly to a site that you arent' famililar with so it's best to protect yourself all the time.
Zonealarm is a good firewall (and free) but Blackice isn't generally that highly regarded. Kerio, Tiny, Sygate and Norton are all good too.
Another thing that can be used to secure a PC is an ad blocking/malicious site blocking hosts file. You can get Spybot S&D to add some protection there in the advanced/tools/hosts file window or there are some "home made" blocking hosts files that can be downloaded and installed manually.
Windows built-in firewall, although better than nothing, is only half a firewall.. it blocks in one direction only.. inward bound and a good firewall will block in both directions which is actually a strong line of defense since it will alert you immediately if you or someone using your computer has accidentally downloaded a virus or spyware and is missed by your a/v program and when it runs it tries to communicate with a remote destination. Windows firewall would not be aware of that outbound communication.
Another thing I like to do is to run Hijackthis and save a copy of the log on my drive so I have a baseline list of what's running on my computer to compare with in the future to see what changes have been made after I install a new program or encounter any problems.
fink, thats some great info you provided me with. In the process of going through it all. I very much appreciate the help. I appoligize it has taken me so long to respond, I have been busy with work and have not had much time to come online. But I wanted to thank you for your time and suggestions man!!