Online privacy protection has become a rather important concern for many people using internet these days. More and more people are choosing an IP hider or VPN to protect themselves since we know that big companies like Facebook, Google and others keep logs of all the
data regarding our online activities and all these data are open to access by various parties and authorities.
It is not that everyone who are looking to keep their online activities secret want to do so because they have something to hide or because they are engaging in some illegal or unauthorized activities. Many, in fact, site the reason that as free citizens of a democratic society, they have a right to stay anonymous as regards their activities on the net.
However, whatever may be the reason you want to stay anonymous, the important thing to know here is that you typically have two choices when looking to remain anonymous on the internet. The first option is to install an IP Hide software application and the second is to subscribe to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. In both cases, you are provided with a proxy IP, so that when you visit a website, the website owner cannot trace your real ID or your identity. Of course, internet privacy and anonymous browsing mean a lot more than that and no matter what, there are no completely secure and private service or application which will provide you with absolute privacy. But before we go into that, let us look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both these IP hide tools.
- These applications will allow you to bypass internet filters and access blocked websites.
- They are easy to install. Installation takes no more than a few seconds and all in all, it is a hassle-free experience.
- Most applications will allow you to add your proxy manually. This means that you will be given a choice of a number of proxies and you can make your pick from there. Some of the applications also automatically changes your proxy every few minutes (this comes as a default option, but, of course you can change or disable the feature from the Settings if you so want).
- There are also applications which periodically flush out your online tracks which means that they delete your online activity log every few days or so.
- IP hider software doesn’t work with e-mails, chat clients and other similar web applications.
- Unlike VPN services (where you can opt for monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions), most hide IP applications will only offer you yearly licenses.
- When you are working through a proxy server provided you by the app, your internet speed often goes down drastically.
- The financial investment you have to make as well as the maintenance cost is low with VPN as compared to hide IP apps.
- Thanks to their authentication protocols and advanced encryption technology, VPN normally provides a higher level of security than HideIP apps.
- You can browse all web applications (e-mail, browsers, chat clients, etc.) using a proxy server provided by a VPN service.
- Many VPN providers offer different levels of security to the users. For example, the basic packages will hide your real IP from website hosts but the latter will still know that you are using a proxy server, whereas in the case of premium packages, the security provided is such that there is no way for the owners to know if you are using a proxy server or a real one.
- VPN offers more options in packages, both in terms of features and durations (yearly, quarterly, monthly subscriptions, etc.)
- While VPN gives you better speed than IPHide apps, the speed is still slower than if you were directly accessing the network.
- You cannot use certain services (such as PayPal and others) by using a VPN proxy server. It is against their ‘terms of service’ agreements and trying to access your account using a proxy may result in your account getting blocked or suspended.
Complete Anonymity—A Myth?
While those are more or less the basic pros and cons of these two types of hide IP tools, let us repeat again that there is no such thing as complete anonymity or absolute privacy when it comes to internet browsing. First of all, both these tools provide confidentiality only in the route from VPN or app client to their server. This means that you do not enjoy confidentiality from your app/browser to client and then again, from server to your desired destination. Another thing is that many apps and service providers will store your data and hand them over to the authorities if demanded (remember what HMA VPN did with Luzlsec?). They will never risk their business license to protect a client.