I’ve never met you. I’ve probably never spoken to you or even emailed you.
In fact to me, you are just an anonymous visitor to my website – but are you?
No, you’re not.
In fact I can tell you that you’re currently located in . I can also tell you that you’re close to or in in the region of .
The questions are how & why do I know this information?
I don’t have any right to know this, but I do.
In fact every website you use, every instant messaging client you chat with and every email you send knows exactly where you are.
You’re not obliged to label yourself with your previous location if you walk into a store in your local area or in a foreign country so why should you be on the internet?
How Is This Possible?
Whether you’re at home, work or using public wifi you’re connecting to the internet through what’s known as an internet router.
This internet router is connected to an internet service provider who assigns the internet router an IP (internet protocol) address. It is this IP address that is the culprit for identifying your location.
Every IP address in the world is registered in a massive database which contains the location information.
You want to test it out or prove it?
Here is your IP address: 126.96.36.199 – now go to this page and enter the IP address into the Geo-location Demo field on the left hand side.
What Are The Risks?
There are many risks associated with using the internet like you are now such as:
- Data Theft – Your current internet connection is not encrypted and is therefore insecure and open to theft. Consider how much personal or confidential information you send or receive every day through browsing your online bank, emailing files or simply chatting online.
- Username & Password Theft – How many we sites do you log into every day? Consider that every one of these logins might be visible to others.
- Identity Theft – By piecing together the information you are clearly displaying through all of your internet activity your identity could easily be stolen and used for illegal activities.
What Can I Do??
It’s quite simple really – change your IP address to an anonymous one.
What Are The Benefits Of Changing Your IP?
You can use several different methods to change your IP address. These are discussed further below.
Here are the benefits of doing so –
- Get assigned a random IP address located in another country of your choice.
- Encrypt all of your internet use to ensure everything you do is safe and secure.
- Place yourself in another country so you benefit from services not available in your current location.
- Watch live streaming TV through websites not available in your country such as Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, ABC, Fox, etc (if you’re outside U.S.)
- Access gambling websites not normally available in your current location.
- Access other services that might be unavailable such as Skype.
- Requires no technical experience and connects in seconds.
How To Do It?
There are many ways available to secure your internet activity. The methods listed below are categorized based on level of technical experiences required, speed, cost and reliability.
No Technical Experience Required – You’ll Be Up & Running In Minutes – Small Monthly Fee – Super Fast & Reliable Service
These companies offer quick and easy ways to gain internet privacy at low monthly prices.
- Overplay.net (Tutorial Here) – my personal favorite. This service is simple, reliable and well priced. It takes about 5 minutes to get up and running and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, PS2, Boxee and DD-WRT routers (or any other router with VPN capability).
- HideMyAss – another tried and trusted service. This service offers a more advanced interface and reports on your previously assigned IP addresses but in essence is the same is OverPlay. It has similar pricing and and equally easy interface. Also supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android and a host of routers.
- StrongVPN – Very professional outfit with lots of experience (since 1995) in the VPN arena. They used to be just for businesses but now offer a personal product for people like you and me. Worth a go – starts at $4.60 p/m when paid yearly or $7 per month when paid monthly.
Some Technical Knowledge Required – Takes A Little Longer To Implement – Can Be Unreliable – Mostly Free
- Tor Project using Firefox Plugins & Anonymous Proxy Service – Tor Project is an ongoing project defending our rights to internet anonymity. It is free but can be complex to set up if you don’t know what you’re doing. It relies on a strong community and a large user base who allow their systems to become relays as a part of the Tor network (similar to torrent clients). This system will give you anonymity but will not be as secure as encrypting your traffic through Overplay.net or HideMyAss services.
Advanced Technical Skills Required – Quite Reliable But Not As Secure – Free
- Internet Headers Modification & Port Blocking – LifeHacker have documented good instructions for implementing this one. This will trick the receiving server into believing you are in the US (or whatever country you choose) so that you can use services from that country. This will not encrypt your traffic for safe surfing and so is not as reliable as the above services.