How to increase anonymity using tunneling VPN / RDP and socks5 proxies
In various forums dedicated to computer-related topics, you can often see messages stating that in order to establish anonymous access it is sufficient to use proxy servers that hide your real IP-address. These statements not only do not correspond to reality, but directly contradict it. Using a proxy server alone (whether HTTP or SOCKS) does not guarantee a sufficient level of anonymity, since not only the browsers and applications that you manually set up through a proxy server, but also the operating system itself (when updating, sending reports, looking for drivers), and other installed applications go online.
Applications expose your IP
It turns out that your operating system and applications installed in it, which are not configured to work via SOCKS or HTTP proxy, are exchanging data on the Internet using a standard access channel, i.e. “show” your real IP address, which can be used by intruders.
In particular, such applications can include:
1) Windows operating system. It is updated via an open channel and can be the source of an attack by an intruder. In addition, many applications that come with Windows can also access various web resources directly, bypassing settings. For example, Windows Media Player directly exchanges music file data with various servers, thus revealing your IP address. Other examples are sending a Windows dump when it “crashes” and updating your time zone data.
2) Any third-party applications that automatically update paid or free license keys. As a rule, these applications have no proxy settings, or these settings may be ignored. Examples include some torrent clients, anti-viruses, etc.
Even if you disable operating system updates completely and prohibit ancillary applications from accessing the network, for example, by using firewalls, there is still the so-called human factor when a user, sooner or later, accidentally starts a wrong browser or application that will “expose” his/her real data to intruders.
How to avoid exposing IP by using Socks
The easiest way to avoid disclosing your personal data is to use an intermediate link to access the network – a remote server, which will be configured via a SOCKS proxy, and through which all of the user’s traffic will be completely redirected.
Thus, to solve the problem of accidental leakage of identity and personal data, the user just rents a remote server, configure it to work through the SOCKS-proxy, organize a secure connection to the server via VPN (virtual private network) and access the network through it using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Schematically, this secure communication channel can be shown as follows:
Such communication channel allows you not only to hide your real IP-address to anonymize your presence in the network and bypass regional blocking of access to web resources, but also to protect the transmitted data from the provider and/or intruders.
Practical implementation of such communication channel is quite simple and does not require any special skills and knowledge.
It’s worth noting that this way of implementing anonymous access does not allow you to completely hide your presence in the network, and is aimed solely to protect the user from viewing the traffic by malefactors or ISP, and hiding the real IP address to prevent various attacks. Even a secure channel will not save you from de-anonymization, if you use your real accounts in social networks, and allow your browser to use Flash, Java and Cookies. Be vigilant and don’t let cybercriminals lure you into their traps.