One utility that has been on the internet for a long time — but of which I have just recently discovered the use — are anonymizers. What’s an anonymizer?
It’s a website where you can go and enter a URL to browse. It’s like a browser within your browser, but instead of broadcasting your IP address to the sites you’re surfing, it gives the anonymizer’s address instead. Anonymizers were first developed for security reasons, so that spurious sites cannot remember your IP address and do malicious things to your server or provider. It also makes you untraceable.
For the uninitiated, your Internet service provider (ISP) gives you an IP address each time you connect to the internet. This IP can be the same each time you log in (static), or it can be different every time you log in (dynamic). But either way, your IP address is a way you can be traced, as it will reveal who your ISP is and its location.
Using an anonymizer takes away that possiblity.
But another use I’ve discovered for the anonymizer is getting on to websites that somehow I cannot access with certain ISP’s. I have had, for the longest time, intermittent problems accessing batjay’s and gelay’s sites if I surf to them direct from my browser. However, if I use an anonymizer, I can see their sites no problem.
Also, I discovered that iCable IP’s have been banned from Haloscan, as well as a few other commenting systems because iCable runs an open proxy. But if I comment on haloscan through an anonymizer, my comment gets published.
The Anonymous Browsing Quickstart Page can be found here. From here you can choose from several anonymous browsers. My personal choices are Anonymouse and Anonymizer because their frames are unobtrusive and the ads negligible.
It’s worth a try, especially if you’re having the “domain expired” problems while accessing some sites, and clearing your browser cache doesn’t work.
This anonymizer is, of course, different from those who write ugly comments on other people’s blogs under the name “Anonymous”. Good thing about WordPress is that it logs commenters’ IP addresses, the same way Haloscan does. I’ve never used Blogger’s commenting system, so I wouldn’t know if Blogger logs IP’s too. If you ever get any spurious comments on your site, find out what the IP address of the commenter is. Chances are you might find out where it came from.
Unless, of course, the commenter used an anonymizer.