One of the basic methods of achieving anonymity on the Internet is to hide the real IP address. As a rule, the IP address of the end user, in this case, is replaced by the address of the proxy server through which the communication channel is organized. At first glance, it seems complicated enough to implement, but this task can be handled by almost any user, even if he has no basic knowledge of data networks. Hiding IP address is not a panacea and will not let you completely disappear from the sight of regulatory authorities, but this kind of anonymity is quite enough not to worry about the targeted attacks of intruders on your computer and bypass the administration blocking on various forums, or access restriction by your provider to various web resources and services.
The easiest and most accessible methods of hiding IP-addresses is the use of proxy-servers working via the HTTP protocol or SOCKS 4/5. The second option, despite the need for additional configuration manipulation, is preferable to the first one, as it is more secure and allows you to organize the work through a proxy server not only for web browsers, but also for virtually any application, even if they do not have the appropriate settings. In addition, SOCKS servers, unlike HTTP servers, do not modify the HTTP packets, so the endpoint to which the user is accessing thinks that the user is accessing it directly from his computer, without using a proxy server. Thus, using a SOCKS proxy allows the user to visit even those sites that have protection against the use of proxy servers.
2 stages of anonymous access
Organization of anonymous access using SOCKS is divided into 2 simple steps, which can be performed by almost any user, who has a computer with one of the versions of Microsoft Windows or Linux, or a mobile device with Android or iOS. In any case, the first step is to find a working SOCKS proxy and gain access to it. The easiest and most reliable option is to buy an updated list of SOCKS-proxies from an appropriate provider.
The second step you need to configure applications that must go on the Internet through the SOCKS-proxy with the appropriate substitution of the IP-address. Most of modern browsers allow you to configure their work through a proxy-server, that is, their setting is made by just entering in the appropriate fields of the proxy-server parameters obtained on the first step. Instructions on how to configure the most popular browsers are given here.
If you are going to use a proxy-server not only for browsing the web-pages in your browser, or if your browser does not support the setting of SOCKS-proxy, it is recommended to use additional programs, which allow to soxify practically any application, going on the Internet. Such programs include, for example, ProxyCap, Proxifier and others.
Setting up any of these programs is typical – as a rule, you need to enter the IP address and port of the SOCKS-proxy obtained in the first step and add links to the application files to be socified. After that, the applications are launched via the added links from the main desktop of the soxifier and require no additional configuration manipulations. In this way you can make not only browsers but mail programs, games, any office and professional applications, various network clients, etc. work through a proxy server. You can find examples of the soxifiers and detailed instructions on how to configure them in the FAQ section of our site.
However, I would like to mention once again that hiding IP address in this case will require from the user periodic manipulations with the proxy server data entry, because their lifetime is limited by 24 hours, which means that every 24 hours the user will have to enter the parameters of another SOCKS proxy manually in any case. You can get rid of this routine with Proxy Helper, which requires only a one-time initial configuration of the applications to work smoothly.
As a result of the above-mentioned manipulations the running applications will work through the SOCKS-proxy, and for the end-nodes your IP-address will correspond to the IP-address of your chosen SOCKS-proxy, that is you will hide your presence in the network and will not “light up” your real IP-address. Moreover, the socsification, as it has already been mentioned, will allow you to get an access to the resources or forums blocked by your provider, where you have been banned by your IP-address before.