Whether you are chatting with your friends on IRC or posting photos on Facebook, sometimes it is nice to know you are doing so anonymously.
Becoming anonymous on the internet is not always easy. It often involves using proxies or virtual private connections; however, there are pieces of software available that can allow you to mask your identity.
Why would you want to mask your identity?
Hackers and spammers pose a threat to you and anyone that exposes their IP. Your IP address allows an attacker to search for backdoors to your PC and ways to steal your real life identity. These kinds of attacks often result in financial loss or hits to your reputation.
Aside from hacking incidents, you also might want to avoid snoopers. And perhaps one of the biggest snoopers in the world (or, at the very least, your world) is your country's government. For this, you'll need a piece of software that provides end-to-end encryption, ensuring that you're as difficult as possible to trace, even by your own ISP.
What software options are available?
TOR is a highly-used piece of software that allows users to "share" their connection with other users on the TOR network. In reality, what this means is you are able to surf the web using someone else’s IP. Of course, the concept behind OR (onion routing) is much more complex, including multiple iterations of encryption stacked on top of each other by multiple endpoints that transmit your data in a comfortable little shell.
One of the best available solutions is AdvOR (Advanced Onion Router)
. This software is quite similar to TOR in terms of usage, except with many more advanced capabilities. AdvOR will allow you to select any application on your PC and "force" it to connect through another identity. This works by "hooking" onto a process and forcing all of the data that the application sends through the IP-layer to go through AdvOR's socket.
Identities in AdvOR can be set to randomly change and will prevent your real identity becoming exposed. You can even set a particular country to bypass national restrictions on certain sites, or if you just want to appear as if though you're connecting to the internet from somewhere else.