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How to Surf the Web Anonymously With Proxies

One of the easiest ways to hide your computer, and thus hide you, while on the web is to use proxies. Proxies act as a computer between you and the rest of the web. When you are surfing the web through a proxy, any web servers you connect to, actually think you are connecting from the proxy computer.

You can, for instance, connect to the web through a proxy in Japan even though you are in the United States. Any web server you connect to will think you are connecting from Japan, and would direct you to a Japanese version of their web page (if a Japanese version were available.)


Setting up a proxy for Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Find a proxy host.
    • Search Google for "Proxy list" to find hundreds of websites that list public proxies. When looking at the list of proxies, find one labeled "anonymous".
  2. Open Internet Explorer, and click on Tools>Internet Options.
  3. Click on the "Connections" tab, and then the "Lan Settings" button.
  4. Locate "Proxy Servers", then click the box for "Use a proxy server for your lan".
  5. Copy the IP address (the string of numbers that looks like 123.45.678.90) from the proxy list you found, and paste it into the "Address:" box.
  6. Copy the port number from the proxy list, and paste that into the "Port:" box.
  7. Click "OK", and then click "OK" again.

Setting up a proxy for Mozilla Firefox

  1. Follow the same instructions as above, in step 1.
  2. Open Firefox, and click on Tools->Options.
  3. Click on the "Connection Settings" button under the "General" menu.
  4. Click on the "Manual Proxy Configuration" radio button.
  5. Follow steps 5 and 6 from above, copying the IP address and Port number.
  6. Click "OK", and then click "OK" again.
  7. Alternatively, this can also be achieved by using the ProxyTex plugin for Firefox which can be found on the Proxytex Homepage

Alternative Techniques

Proxy Services There are services - some for pay, some for free - that allow you to use a proxy only when you want to, so you don't have to change the proxy settings in your browser. Instead, when you want to go to a particular site anonymously, you first go to the service's web page. There you enter the address of the site you're trying to go to. The service routes you through an anonymous proxy and loads the requested page in your browser. If you click on links on that page, most services continue to keep your movements anonymous. Of course, you are relying on the service not only to actually put you through a proxy but also to keep no records. (Some services are located in countries that do not honor requests for records.)

Anonymouse.org exists since 1997 and is one of the oldest privacy-services around. It offers anonymous surfing, emailing and posting for free under http://Anonymouse.org/.

Wikiproxy.com is a free web-based proxy that is becoming increasingly popular. It enables you to surf anonymously a web site by entering its address in http://wikiproxy.com/.

Tor For a superior means of anonymous browsing without the hassle of unreliable proxies and constant, work-intensive list look-ups, use Tor, an anonymous system sponsored by the Electronic Freedom Foundation.


  • Some proxy list are updated every couple of minutes, and will remove proxies that are no longer working.
  • If you need to pick a new proxy, first go back into Tools->Internet Options menu (Tools->Options for Firefox), and undo the proxy settings. Find a new proxy, and try again.
  • You can check to see if your proxy setup worked by going to What is my IP. This will show you your IP address, and what country you are connecting from. Try using a Japanese proxy, and What is my IP will show you connecting from Japan.
  • Also using What is my IP will show your IP address as the proxy IP address. This is how you know you are in fact connecting to the web through the proxy.
  • To determine whether or not your proxy is truly anonymous, you can use What is my Proxy. This site detects proxies that still pass on your original IP address in addition to your new, masked IP.


  • Not all proxies on the proxy list you find will work. If you try to surf the web after configuring a proxy and get a connection error, that means the proxy you picked no longer works, or their server is down. If this happens, pick a different proxy.
  • Your web surfing may slow down just a bit when connecting through proxies. That's because any document or file your browser is trying to download must first go to the proxy server, and then to your computer.
  • It is also a very bad idea to use a proxy for a secure connection as it is possible to have your information captured. All a hacker would need to do is make the proxy a caching proxy then make that cached login page non expiring. The user on the other end would never even know that the page he was seeing was not the real page. On clicking "submit", in some cases it's possible for the faked page to both log the user in to the page and send the information to the hacker on the other end.


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