Hide / Change IP address in the UK (Surf / Browse Anonymously)
About Internet Censorship in The UK
You might be surprised to find out that the Internet is censored in The UK. Or you might not be, because you've been searching for ways to hide your IP address and browse or download anonymously.
To be fair, most countries in the world engage in one form of Internet censorship or another. Even the USA – all caught up in their ideals for freedom and with the most people who have Internet access in the world censors the Internet to some degree. So though, Internet censorship in The UK is often compared to that of China even though policies are nowhere near as strict. I live in China, so I know.
Internet censorship laws in The UK are mostly regarding infringement on copyrighted material. So stuff like downloading torrents, streaming copyrighted material off of pirate websites, or file sharing over P2P has can be penalized. New laws state that IP addresses any household in the UK with an IP address alleged to have engaged in copyright infringement can be disconnected from the Internet. Even then, the sites aren't actually censored, they're monitored. Most censored sites are about terrorism, child pornography, violence, and hate.
I won't get into the politics of it – both sides have a point. The entertainment industry is losing billions of dollars from hacker-wannabes stealing and sharing their movies, music, and software. I think you'd feel the same if it was your CD that was shared online for free. But the public has a valid point too – the police can't just walk into our home and see what's going on, so why can they monitor our Internet activities. In this case, the invasion of privacy in an infringement of our basic human rights.
And monitoring our online activity just opens doors to all other kinds of issues.
Will the police be able to tap our phone calls?
Should we allow cameras to watch what we do in our homes?
This is why there are huge numbers of people in The UK who are searching for ways to browse and download anonymously in The UK. Some terms you may have heard would be “change your IP address“, “hide your IP address“, “mask your IP“, and “anonymous IP“. These are all phrases that describe the use of an IP address other than your own IP to browse the Internet.
There are a number of products and methods of doing this, including open proxies, web based proxies, and different kinds of software, but the one that sticks out, especially for those that are downloading music, movies, and TV shows is a virtual private network.
A VPN is a private network of servers. Your online traffic is first encrypted with 128 bit (or stronger) encryption, and then sent through a secure “tunnel” to the VPN server. Not only does the tunnel provide safe passage from your phone or computer to the private network, but the added encryption means that even a full frontal hack is useless. VPNs protect against malicious hacks.
Then your device is assigned a private IP address. This IP changes over time, so each time you sign in, its different, and it will probably change periodically if you browse for a long time. The IP address reflects the location of the VPN server. That means if you sign into a server in The USA, you get an American IP address.
So your IP is private. You location is perceived as being outside The UK (or inside if you choose). Your traffic is encrypted. There is no more private, more secure, or more reliable way to surf and download anonymously in The UK.
Hide My Ass
This is the name of a VPN service. One of the most popular VPN services in the world, it offers a massive package of over 20,000 IP addresses in over
33 59 countries – more than any other services available. On top of this, they charge only $6.55 USD per month, when others are charging double that price or more. The also offer all other kind of FREE anonymous surfing and downloading tools, so check them out.