If you're looking for a quick and easy way to browse anonymously, check out the Anonymous Browsing Quick-Start Page. (Dead link . . . sorry!)
There are many methods for browsing anonymously, but the old-school method involves pulling up a list of proxy servers (such as the ever-updating list at Proxy 4 Free) and changing your browser settings to utilize that proxy. The Anonymous Browsing Quick Start Page allows you to avoid configuration changes.
Don't be surprised if you get error messages on some of your attemps. This is common because you're using a service that is relying on other servers to pass your information through, so patience is key. You'll also notice that anonymity comes at the cost of speed.
Why would you want to browse anonymously? Great question.
- Your IP address (basically your identity number on the web) is visible to any website that you visit.
- If someone knows your IP address, your online activities and surfing habits could be monitored. For instance, a search engine could save your search words in a database under your IP. They could then sell the information to other companies regarding your search terms and interests. You probably wouldn't want your search for "genital herpes cure" linked to your IP and saved in a database.
- Malicious crackers can attack your IP directly if they know it.
- You're one of those crazy, paranoid privacy freaks.
- You might want to try the page just for the novelty of it.
Granted, these "threats" aren't as bad as they sound. In fact, I'd say that cookies are generally more intrusive if you're paranoid about privacy. As for direct attacks on your IP, this is a more serious concern, but generally a nice router coupled with a decent firewall and anti-virus software should do the trick. (Anyone with a dedicated internet connection should have or purchase these items anyway.)
If you don't like this webpage, another alternative is to use one of various Firefox extensions that allow you to easily switch between various proxies. You are using Firefox, aren't you???
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