An IP masker or IP masking is a security measure that helps ensure privacy for both commercial users and consumers who want to remain anonymous. There is a difference on whether you use an IP masker for surfing the web without being tracked and recorded or using it for your company’s website in order to keep it behind a layer of security. Contrary to popular belief, the practice of hiding the IP addresses of your computer or website does not breach any laws and is in fact a widely accepted security measure meant to maintain privacy.
The Anatomy of an IP Masker
IP masking can be achieved by using the services of a proxy machine or being part of virtual private network, VPN for short. When you are using either of these services you are broadcasting your IP only towards their servers and you are assigned a different identity for all your other connections. In the case of a VPN, your anonymity is protected via any and all Internet connections while a proxy only covers the websites you visit via your browser. Proxies serve as an IP masker and can be an installed client application that connects to a server or a simple form on a website that you use to type in the address of the site you want to visit. In both cases the displayed IP address will be that of the remote machine instead of yours. This is beneficial because malicious hacking attempts usually begin by scanning open connections for vulnerabilities and then logging the IP addresses of the machines that are prone to an attack. Even if a security flaw is found, the targeted machine will be the remote one and not your computer.
The commercial form of an IP masker is hiding the IP address of a company’s or organization’s website. Users that visit a protected website don’t see the actual digits which form the IP address but rather the DNS which is the name of the site. This keeps the website open to identifying it via its natural name but hides the IP address of it. There are a variety of reasons for a website to do this ranging from being a more aesthetic choice to a security improvement. Security breach attempts versus a website start by knowing the IP address of the machine where the website is hosted on. Having it hidden adds an extra layer of security and it is an effective IP masker.
A private IP masker for a regular Internet user is just as important in maintaining privacy as a commercial one. Every time you visit a website or use an application that connects to the Internet you reveal the identity of your machine via your IP address. The IP address can give away potential unwanted information such as the country you live in, your general location, the service provider you are using and can keep track of the websites you have visited. An IP masker such as a proxy or a VPN will help you keep your privacy when surfing the web and not leave a footprint everywhere you go.
IP Masking And Privacy
Not every site that tracks your IP address is malicious but they can have their own agenda. Advertisement companies spend a lot of money and effort into tracking the Internet habits of their potential customers and bombard them with ads that are relevant to them. This is not inherently evil but it is a breach of privacy that can make users uncomfortable with the websites they visit. It’s almost like someone is watching over their shoulders to see what they are looking at. An IP masker not only blocks these advertisers from peeking in but it also keeps potential hackers from finding vulnerabilities in your machine. It is estimated that in the following years the demand for privacy will increase as the Internet users familiarize themselves more with how data is transmitted and taken. In the future we might even have complete control over what information we give out even without using a proxy server. Until then, the identity of your machine and the records of the websites you’ve visited can be kept hidden using an IP masker.