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The World Wide Web allows you anonymity, but are you truly invisible?

Your keystrokes and mouse clicks are open to access by agencies seeking to protect you, marketers wanting your dollars, and snoopers whom may harm you.

Many online users seek an invisibility cloak for their web surfing. There can be more than one reason to hide your web activity.

  • You live in a country where certain sites are out-of-bounds due to government or legal issues.
  • Your ISP is denied access by certain websites and blog networks as a preventive measure against spam attack.
  • You are browsing  the web from public places and unsecured Wi-Fi
  • You want to hide your web activities from your bosses or colleagues.
  • You don’t want your spouse or family member to peek into your online activities.

With incognito browsing enabled on most browsers, you may wonder what the fuss is all about. The private mode available on browsers only helps to erase your surfing , download history, and cookies. However, your visit records remain on the sites even if you’re using the incognito mode.

There are many online services which aid in anonymous surfing. These services use three types of connections to do so. They may be peer-to-peer networks, proxy servers, or virtual private networks. You can also install an anonymity program on your USB device.

You can try five of these free anonymous online surfing services

HideMyAss

hide-my-ass

HideMyAss works as a proxy server that helps hide your ISP or server information from the websites or links that you visit.

For first timers – simply enter the website address or URL in the search box and you are done. This service protects you by hiding your IP address and internet history. It lets you bypass website or online restriction and secures your connection.

You can choose to surf normally or opt for SSL enabled surfing.  There are other options – proxy server locations of your choice, and disabling Flash and JavaScript. The service can be downloaded and used as a browser plugin.

VTunnel

 vtunnel

This service is more than a proxy server. Their SSL version allows you access to your Gmail, FaceBook, and Yahoo accounts. You can do this from the browser itself. VTunnel doesn’t just help you surf anonymously but enables you to watch Youtube videos. Unlike other free services, the browsing speed is pretty good. Anonymous chat and messaging is possible with this free service.

The homepage is clean and easy to use with inbuilt options in the search box. This lets you disallow scripts, remove cookies and hide referrers.

Proxify

proxy

Since Proxify offers other services including download options, you will not find the search bar on the home page. A quick scroll down reveals a link to the anonymous browsing page.

The search bar has advanced options. It has options to remove cookies and scripts, hide referrers information, allow access to sites in text format, SSL surfing, remove page titles, remove ads and minimize caching. It even gives you the option to specify the Proxy satellites for different locations.

Anonymouse

anonymouse

This is an old site that has been around for over a decade. The homepage isn’t really attractive, but it’s easy to use. Anonymouse allows you to send anonymous emails, as part of the free service. In order to maximize your privacy, the emails aren’t sent immediately, and are sometimes delayed up to 12 hours. The toolbar can be downloaded and used on Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Heeky

heeky

This is another free online service that allows you to surf without revealing your IP address. It belongs to a group of anonymous web services which includes AnonSafe, VisibleNot, and TryCatchMe.

As with most free proxy servers on the web, the homepage is a simple one with a search bar. It allows access to sites that are normally restricted at the work place or school. The service works best with a Firefox browser.

While these services can be very useful, you may experience slow browsing speeds while using them. Always remember that you aren’t completely anonymous online, as some of these services maintain logs of your activity.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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