Anonymous IP Address – What You Need To Know
I've been traveling in the Philippines for the past couple days, and have talked to a few people about Mr. VPN and virtual private networks in general. The first thing that most people say comment on is the fact that it's possible to use an anonymous IP address for crime.
This is true, but it's not the whole truth.
First, the easiest thing to understand is that anything can be used for crime. You can buy a hammer to build a house, or a knife to make dinner, but it doesn't mean that the tool was made for crime. I can buy a laptop and use it to play solitaire, work from home, or download illegal music. I think it's obvious where I'm going with these analogies.
And the same thing applies to virtual private networks and anonymous IP addresses. Sure, some people use them to hide their odd taste in porn. Others use it to waste time at work. Still some use it to hack or purchase drugs and weapons. But those are the minority (OK, except the porn one).
Actually, most people use VPNs for businesses. Though it's boring, and you probably aren't on this website for this reason, the fact is that most VPN use still happens in businesses for security and educational institutions for research, among other things.
For personal VPN use, though I don't have the stats, I would say you could break anonymous IP use into three categories.
- Bypass Local Network Blocks (ie your boss or government has blocked a site)
- Unblock Geo-Restriction (ie Hulu, Netflix, iPlayer blocked you because of location)
- Security on Unsecured Networks (ie using Wifi in the airport, hotel, or internet cafe)
A very small portion of users have the skill and/or desire to hack into the Pentagon or other things of that nature.
Remember that a VPN not only hides your real IP and replaces it with an anonymous one from a country of your choice, but it also encrypts your data so that other individual users or organizations (even your ISP) can't see your online activity. Most VPN services don't even keep logs of what you do while signed into a VPN server, meaning that they don't have records of your activity. This is why VPN services are sometimes called a private VPN, and sometimes called a secure VPN. They do both privacy and security!
So here are some examples.
You could be in Europe, but want to watch American TV on Hulu. In that case, you'd need an American IP address.
You might be in Japan, but want to watch the BBC News in English, so you'd need a UK IP address.
You might be in Spain, and want some extra security while at your local internet cafe (but want to keep your Spanish IP), so you'd need a VPN service with VPN servers in Spain.
So if you want to get an anonymous IP from a VPN, regardless of the reason, you can check out Mr. VPN's Top 5 VPN services world wide, and read some reviews.
Or, you can check out some of these recommended VPN Services