There really is no way to surf "anonymously". The closest concept is that you can use a proxy server on the Internet to "hide" your IP from the target system. The target system will record the traffic coming from the proxy server, rather than your system.
Keep in mind that if the proxy server logs the traffic, then they have your IP. They may not be sharing this information, but they can surely collect it.
For packets to be able to go between source and destination, there must be valid, routable IP addresses in the packet. There is no way around this. When you send a packet to a proxy server for accessing a web page, the proxy server has your IP. The proxy server, then creates a seperate connection to retrieve the web page and then returns the results to your IP.
IMHO, there are plenty of $5 per month VPN services out there. You can use the VPN service to encrypt your traffic between your computer to the vpn server so no one can read it (i.e. the isp). The vpn server will relay your web request so that it looks like the vpn server is the one making the request. The info is returned to you over the vpn tunnel.
Make sure you pick a VPN vendor that does not keep logs.
If you read their documentation, even their main web page, you'll notice that indicate that you are surfing through their proxy servers. They have your real IP. So you are trusting them with this information. That is the point I was trying to make.
Since you are hitting a proxy server, it is their proxy server that actually fetches the web page so the target web server does not collect your IP information.
However, once again, the servers that run this Free Hide IP infrastructure do see your IP address.
If its slow...well...what can you expect for free. Look for a similar paid service or pay them for the paid version.
First whipe out that Windows. Install any Linux SO, for example Ubuntu. Then you can just use the GUI to install tor and easily use it or just type in the console "apt-get install tor" and is done, is going to be automatically downloaded, installed and ready to use just typing that command.
On the other hand, if you want to use proxies, you should find a good webiste with an US proxy list SNIP with IP addresses of open proxy servers and then copy and paste it to use in your program or globally at your SO.
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VPNs are ALWAYS slower than your normal connection. Instead of sending traffic directly to a web server, your traffic must be encrypted/encapsulated (this causes packet data overhead), sent to the VPN server, the server must decrypt, them make the actual request to the host, then get the return traffic, encrypt it again, send it back to you, then your machine must decrypt it. That is a lot of extra travel time for a data packet, plus add in the time for encryption/decryption, plus the server you use is not dedicated so its resources are shared amoungst many others doing the same thing, then also figure in the VPN provide has a set amount of bandwidth as well.
VPN is a tool, not an end all solution.
Tor is another tool that provides a different type of anonymity. Slightly different than a traditional VPN.
Some VPN services are quite efficient, using hardware engines that have specialized chips to decode/encode the data on their end. The only encoding/decoding in software is going to be on your desktop end of the tunnel. I use VPN connections for work daily and the speed is pretty decent. It helps when the network pipes are big... :-) Anyway, I have a 5-6mbps dsl line at home, and I get a good fraction of that in throughput.
TOR is really quite incredible, but most of the gateway nodes are managed by volunteers and likely few of them have hardware acceleration for the encryption work.
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