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Do you like browsing the internet? Who doesn’t? But just how secure is your internet? No, we are not talking about your antivirus and firewall, but about your privacy. Do you know how websites track what you do on the internet?
Let’s say you search for some product on a search engine website, you are likely to see ads related to it on many websites which you visit. That’s okay. But some websites, continue to track your activity long after you have moved on to another webpage. This is notable on some social networking websites, which observe which other webpages you visit after leaving the social website.
So, if you left the page, and went to shop on Amazon or something, his could be tracked too. That’s quite an intrusion of privacy. Why should you be tracked all the time, especially for visiting websites which are perfectly legitimate. While this form of tracking is unethical, there are even more dangerous privacy risks, for example hackers and attackers who can break into your network and spy on your IP address.
You don’t have to worry about any such risks, when you use a VPN service. But these are often slow, and quite confusing for the average user. And some applications don’t play well with VPNs. That’s why we use a different solution to overcome this issue, it’s called Hide My IP.
We think that Hide My IP deserves its top notch reputation, and here is why. Hide My IP is unlike most other VPNs, in that this virtual private network can be used without any additional software. Yes, its astonishing, isn’t it? But let us explain how this is possible.
You see, web browsers allow browsing the internet via Proxy server connections, for greater privacy. And Hide My IP uses such a configuration, to mask your IP address from the world’s eyes. Your IP address, is a unique numerical identity, which is assigned to you by your internet service provider. It helps in determining your location and to communicate via the internet.
Websites which you visit, save a browser cookie, to offer their services and also to display ads. This is how websites track your location and usage. But with Hide My IP at your disposal, your real IP is hidden from websites, so they cannot know your location. Instead they see the IP provided by the proxy server, as your IP address. This completely negates the whole tracking issue. Hackers can’t know your real IP either.
And not just that, but Hide My IP also encrypts your internet traffic, so your browsing data is secure. That means nobody can steal your credentials or look into the content, because of the security protocol used in the program. This applies to Wi-Fi hotspots you connect to as well.
Hide My IP can also prevent email tracking by cloaking your email headers, so the recipient does not know where you are located.
How does Hide My IP work?
It is quite simple. The application installs a fake IP in your web browser. The program uses a Smart DNS Proxy, which enables connecting to the servers without a VPN software constantly connecting and pinging to your network. This service supports DNSCrypt, which as you may know prevents leaks of your IP address, also called as DNS Leak Protection. The supported list of browsers in Hide My IP, includes the likes of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera and more.
Using the Hide My IP application is easy and all you have to do, is to click the “Hide My IP’ button in the program’s GUI. The interface is user friendly and you can see the IP address of your connection on the top portion of the window. When your IP is hidden by the application, it will change to display the name of the city, the flag of the Country, and the IP address of the server you are connected to. You will notice that it has a refresh icon on top of the IP address, which can be used for changing the IP address with a single click of the mouse.
You can enable IP rotation to switch IPs, and also choose to clear the browser cookies when the IP is changed. The Hide My IP application also lets you launch the program when Windows starts. The drop down menu which says “Select Desired Location” lets you select the server, i.e., the IP location you want to connect to. Hide My IP has servers in over 110 cities around the World, and you can choose to connect to any of these servers. There is also an option to lock the program to only connect to a US based IP too, if you want to use that.
The advanced settings in the program allows you to disable or enable the Hide My IP setting for the aforementioned browsers individually. Likewise you can also enable the mask user agent, hide referrer header from the same screen.
You can choose to enable or disable DNS protection (enabled by default), encrypt the connection with SSL, smart IP rotation too. There is a discard IP list, which lets you blacklist IP addresses which you do not want to connect to.
Apart from the security it provides, another use for this software, is to unblock any website that is not available on your network. This basically bypasses firewalls and blocks set up on your network by re-routing the connection via Hide My IP’s proxies. You can even use this to access browser based services which are not available in your Country. Foe example: Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Pandora, to name a few.
Hide My IP is not limited to be used on Windows computers. You can use the Hide My IP app on your Mac machines, The anonymity and encryption which you get with Hide My IP, is literally priceless, wouldn’t you agree?
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