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In making policy designed with copyright in mind, you end up making decisions about whether other important technologies, such as privacy-enhancing or file-search technologies, should be encouraged or discouraged. A collision is happening between creativity and protecting IP.
Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University
Innovation happens due to a number of people that are trying and doing a lot of things.
The Internet is one of the innovations that like no other thing have influenced our lives a lot.
It has turned into an inevitable part of our humdrum life. With the introduction of the technology the course of human development has acquired an absolutely different vector.
Such elements as our health services, education, budget, household duties, and even social activity have been transferred to the digital environment. We are infinitely indebted to computer engineers and scientists for this newly-designed product that is still being improved.
The same as our physical environment, the internet bears together good and bad consequences for our life experience. Such concerns as multiplicity of useful services, time-saving scientific computing machinery, space systems, online education and communication with people from all over the globe stand against such difficulties as computer fraudulence, hacker attacks, data losses, confidential information exposure and leaks, copyright and censorship.
The situation makes us think about protective measures for network environment. As it has been stated by Edward Felten, while making policy created with copyright it is difficult to decide on privacy enhancing technologies.
Continuing with the theme of copyright, geo-restrictions and filtering systems, it should be stated that they are regularly based on IP addresses. The point is that everything on the internet starting from files sharing to communication is based on different algorithms of action and protocols. To see it as a general picture, you should have at least a slight vision of how it works. So, what an IP is.
IP is an Internet Protocol Address which is used for communicating in IP network. Such addresses are assigned to any connected device whether it is tablet, phone, laptop, PC, etc.
It is used for a device identification and communication with other gadgets on the network. In this regard any device connected to IP network should have a unique address.
As you can see, the word ‘address’ has been adopted to the network as well as addresses of houses in different cities are used for identifying their location on the map. There are different types of addresses. Therefore, you should have a deeper look at their system of naming.
Traditional IP address
A new version of traditional IP address
It is also known as IPv4 and runs a 32-bit number to perform an address. It defines network as well as host address. Note that a host address is an IP’s portion that defines a device, which requires a LAN adapter or NIC.
4 billion unique numbers are roughly provided by a 32-bit number.
The IP address includes four decimal numbers from 0 up to 255 divided by dots.
It is called IPv6 and has been designed to provide you with a limitless number of unique addresses.
The address consists of 128-bit number.
The standard format of IPv6 address looks like this: X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X, where X is a hexadecimal number, consisting of 4 symbols of hexadecimal system.
IP network has also acquired specification. Therefore, there are three main classes of them. Any class of a network can be identified by a computer by using first three bits (A=000; B=100; C=110). Later the system based on classes was changed for Classes Inter-Domain Routing for more efficiency in operation.
Number of hosts
There are also public and private IPs.
But what is the difference between public and private IP addresses?
The measure has been applied for avoiding address conflict. Such addresses as web or mail servers fit into this group. These are devices that need to be publicly identified.
Those devices that don’t need to be publicly identified can come with private addresses for making them identified within one company, for instance. Thus, a company’s printer can be assigned with a private address to prevent the rest of the internet users from running it. Certain address block has been implemented for private usage by NIC. So, private addresses use the following blocks:
Starting IP address
Ending IP address
There is also one more type of addresses known as loopback IP address.
The address is used to access itself. As you know, a ‘loop’ is a set of instructions that is being continually repeated till a certain condition is achieved. It is a so-called virtual IP that is not associated with hardware interface. For Linux lovers it is known as a localhost or loO. It is used for testing network software while avoiding its installation.
If you have ever asked yourself whether someone is able to track you down by knowing your IP address, you are on the right way, as if you haven’t applied some additional protection-enhancing technologies for your system, your address as well as some of your data are exposed to the internet.
Nevertheless, the answer varies depending on a lot of showings. So, what exactly can a user interested in your online activity learn from your address?
⇒ Here is the answer:
- Your region, city or town when you are on the internet
So, provided that you connect to the internet from your apartments, it can show a location several miles away (even 25 miles away).
While connecting to the internet through a public Wi-Fi hotspot, your ‘home’ address won’t be seen, but a general location’s area. Therefore, your physical location can be easily identified.
- Proxy server
In case if you run a proxy server, it can be seen from your IP address by any ISP or prying eyes.
- Type of your device
If needed, a person can find out whether you run a PC, tablet, laptop, netbook, phone or etc. It can be also revealed through your address.
What operation system you run.
What browser you use for surfing while being online at the moment of identification.
- User agent
The client application one uses is revealed for the prying eyes.
- Screen size
The size of the monitor you use to access the Internet is easily identified by means of you IP as well.
Data patch send by web servers and stored on user gadgets is easily determined, making your location known for everyone.
All this data can be checked by you through the internet if you are to look for ‘my ip address’ through your search engine in browser.
What is more, the websites you usually visit can collect plenty of additional data about you. The information is taken from cookies, metadata, trackers and others, which is quite enough for the website’s owners and advertisers to create a detailed profile about your personality. What do they need this information for?
Thus, having collected the data about the sites visited, your interests, your contacts and others, they can show you measured advertising or even sell the data to third-party agencies.
Internet Service Providers are able to collect even more personal information about you. Since you are the customer of your ISP, they know even more about you.
Moreover, in some countries Internet Service Providers are obliged to track their users’ online activity and keep the data for a certain period of time.
Now you understand why you need to conceal your IP from ISPs with VPN?
The chances increase if you do something illegal (according to the laws of the region you live in).
In case if a third party has suspected you of some illegal activity, they can ask for a permission to appeal to your ISP for some details of your actions. In this regard your ISP can be obliged by the law to hand your company’s contract with such data as your name and physical address.
Unfortunately, this can identify a person who pays a monthly bill for the internet service usage, but not a desired person who has achieved access to the network. In this regard, anyone can become a victim of a hacker. Therefore, for 99% of all users, the thing poses risks.
The reasons why people look for additional solutions to hide their addresses differ.
Here are just some of them, which can coincide with your personal needs:
- To hide identity from competitors. While commenting some of your outcomes or your competitor’s ones, you can reveal your identity, which can lead to some undesired consequences.
- To hide your geographical location. As you know, some networks prevent users from accessing their resources by filtering addresses from blocked regions.
- To prevent website tracking. Probably, all of us are fed up with targeted ads. All it takes is to choose sun glasses and you will be sent ads with different kinds of glasses down to optical glass.
As you might have noticed, it’s easier as it may seem to gather some confidential data on you through your address.
There are many spoofing attack methods, however IP address spoofing attack is one of the most popular among cyber adversaries.
So, how this kind of attacks is committed:
IP packets are routed from a fake (or spoofed) resource address to a ‘victim’. By this mean the address makes itself hindered. Therefore, the method is frequently used in DDoS-attacks that make a website or a network overloaded by accessing it through legal at first sight addresses. Actually, there is a couple of efficient ways used by an adversary to overload a targeted object (websites, networks, web-resources).
The first way implies flooding a selected target with packets sent from multiple spoofed addresses. The approach is applicable for intentional sending a heavy traffic that the addressee is not able to handle.
The second option is to make a target’s address spoofed for sending packets from the IP to other recipients and addresses. When receiving such a packet it is automatically rerouted by a machine or a connected device to a sender. Once the packets are sent from the target’s IP, all the responses are to be routed to this address.
Besides, the method of cyberattacks is widely used for avoiding IP address filtering authentication. If there are trust-based relationships between machines on a network or systems, the process can be fulfilled. In this case trust relationships use IP addresses instead of user’s loggings.
Thus, a spoofing attack can be used by malicious parties to access machines with the permissions and avoid the trust-based system security measures applied for its protection.
So, this is just one of the commonest cases when adversaries run IP addresses for turning it to account. However, it doesn’t mean you should get rid of all the connected devices and gadgets you have. But it signalizes you need to pay attention to the measures of protection in use. Probably, they need additional enhancement or substitution.
Along with all the ways of your IP misusage we’ve already mentioned, there is a possibility to make your network compromised, vulnerable or infected by ignoring the ways of protection.
- Firstly, you need to run antivirus software regardless any additional protection you’ve already installed on your connected device.
- Secondly, you need to countercheck reliability of the sources you get letters from. As long as sometimes an adversary doesn’t need to recourse to spoofing usage, as it can send a phishing email and get his/her way.
- Thirdly, you should pay attention to the protocol the websites you visit uses. All up-to-date web-based services and sites have migrated to HTTPS, as it offers more sustainable way of online data transferring.
- Also, when using several networks, emails, website where logging is required, don’t forget to create unique loggings and passwords for each new service. Being afraid of info forgetting, you can run a password manager, which is to keep all the data protected from unauthorized access and private for you.
As soon as it may seem pretty intrusive, if speaking about vulnerability of your IP address, you may need some additional technologies to be applied for your system in aid of self-safeness. If a person can learn your geo-location through the address of your connected device, you need to hinder it from any prying eyes.
Luckily, our addresses are not included in the guide list like old-fashioned phone books. Therefore, there are some opportunities you can use to get your address hidden from strangers.
With the introduction of the internet, online protection has become a necessity for users from all over the world.
Actually, the internet is pretty anonymous in many ways. That is why more often than not people pose their networks under risks by establishing relationships, business, and privacy online.
You should make it a habit to avoid such cases of giving away your true name and personal data online, particularly, when talking about some unfamiliar companies and individuals.
Most average users do nothing illegal online, but the ‘dark’ side of the internet, in every sense of the word, hides some users that play it close the edge. So, instead of pacing the floor in a brown study, you need to learn about some useful methods for your online protection.
There are different ways of shifting your authentic address from the internet. Here are just some of them.
If you have ever been interested in proxies, you have already seen that there are plenty of free web proxy servers on the internet that you can use to hide your address and to browse the internet anonymously.
Browsing through a proxy implies that you access a website indirectly, but you are routed through an intermediate participant called ‘proxy’. In its turn a proxy sends the information back and further between your connected device and a website you interact with.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t rely on free proxy service, as there are some essential disadvantages of the service. Unfortunately, proxy servers have the cache system that stores all the data you insert when visiting your bank accounts and other websites you are registered on.
In this case a proxy provider has a possibility to intercept the data and use it for his personal needs. Therefore, having decided to run a proxy service, it is advisable to run a paid service or a dedicated one in order to avoid such a situation.
Moreover, usage of SSL or TLS for data encryption is not enough for safe surfing, as there are many data losses, leaks and exposure, which can lead to undesired consequences and make your confidential data used by some third parties such as hackers.
As soon as any blocked website can be accessed with a proxy server for the avoidance of data losses you need a high-rated encryption methods used for traffic ciphering and locking. Unfortunately, when talking about proxies, the level of protection is pretty low.
Advantages of proxy servers
- IP masking
- access to some blocked content
- compatible with the majority of browsers
Disadvantages of proxy servers
- short term of stable work
- user search story is kept on servers
- works with HTTP protocols only
- does not protects against hacking attacks through plug-ins and XSS.
There are several types of proxies that need to be known if you are concerned about your privacy and online security. Each provides a certain level of anonymity, and some are more secure than others.
Proxies are divided into five main types, including:
- Web-based proxies
The most common and user-friendly proxies. They are represented as servers that you connect to via a browser in order to visit a required website anonymously.
- Open proxies
This type is often not secure and usually contains malicious software, therefore being recommended to avoid.
- Anonymity networks
This technology is represented by private networks that are provided by users donating bandwidth. Usually they are incredibly slow and fairly insecure, because of the fact that host bandwidth can’t be hosted.
- Paid proxy software
Such programs are used to mask your actual IP address hiding your internet traffic and real geo-location while browsing the Internet. Proxy software programs make your internet activity untraceable and non-identified by anyone. In such a way you can surf the web wherever you are without worrying about data leakage.
- Proxy chain
Nowadays, the most untraceable VPNs utilize TOR, supposing that all network traffic is required to use TOR. This redirection is realized by configuring built-in system package iptables. But if you operate on the other system and do not want to change it to Windows, just download special software from the net.
Tor, which is also known as the Onion Router, has been designed as a free software program, which hides an actual IP address every time your data is sent or requested from the Internet. The transported process is provided with heavy-duty encryption that means your traffic passes under strong privacy protection.
How does Tor work?
Tor technology is based on the usage of a series of computers located across the world. Its main principle is to hide your IP address and make your internet connection harder to monitor. Instead of a single request from point A to point B, your device transmits layered requests, each one is encrypted individually. Then your traffic is relayed from various Tor nodes in a non-systematic fashion, until finally reaching requested destination.
One of the greatest features is that each node possesses info only about the one last previous jump and its next direction. In such a way, an attacker would have to trace your entire pathway over the Tor net in order to disclose your identity. Beyond all doubts, the Tor theory does not work perfectly providing 100% privacy and anonymity, but it actively works to improve the network.
Tor is one of the best anonymizing tools, also used by netizens concerned about personal security and the others trying to avoid geo-restrictions initiated by the government.
If you look for the simplest version of the onion routing, just download the Tor browser. It has been created as a customized version of Firefox, but just like using a VPN, slows down connection speeds.
Advantages of Tor
- user anonymity
Disadvantages of Tor
- slow data transferring rate
- not hacking attacks-resistant
- only client is anonymous, but not the server
In short: The service known as a VPN suggests a connection to another network. Having connected to it, you receive another address for your device from the provider. All the traffic is routed through the network, so your true address assigned by your ISP becomes invisible even for the internet provider. Though your true network may be geographically restricted, you get access to different networks, which also make you free on the internet.
In details: Having realized that you are ill-equipped, you have a chance to subscribe for an iron-fisted technology called a VPN. Public networks as well as you home one can cause great troubles to your system and vulnerable data. Moreover, there are plenty of people that have to access their company’s private servers remotely. While doing it through an unprotected network you pose a risk for your company’s business secrets.
What happens to your data with a VPN?
A VPN makes sharing data through a public hotspot protected from multiple threats while allowing its users to establish internet connections through private network. As well as a firewall protects your device from uncontrolled penetrations, a VPN protects you on a public network.
A VPN is technically WAN; however, the first end remains secure and private for your operation. A simplified formula of VPN’s work resembles the following:
Your connected device D
VPN server D
‘sees’ your IP:220.127.116.11
On this account, VPNs are so popular with business entities, as a way of connecting to remote centers and affiliated companies safely. Additionally, the networks have become common among individual customers.
The reason is simple as that: average users want to achieve p2p sharing with the use of the service.
A VPN is a so-called symbiosis of dedicated address and strong encryption. So, even if an adversary decides to sniff some data from your transferred traffic, it will be impossible, as everything has undergone strong encryption.
Advantages of VPN
- real anonymity for subscribers
- user-friendly interface
- traffic encryption
- geographical restrictions bypassing
Disadvantages of VPN
- more expensive as compared to other services
A VPN is a common technology for many individuals, however, there are few people that know how it works. So, any VPN service maintains some basic functions:
When connecting to the internet through a VPN your actual IP address assigned by your ISP is substituted by a VPN’s one. Moreover, you are free to choose any virtual location from the list of servers offered by a provider. Therefore, a VPN user can easily bypass any content filters, as soon as they are based on addresses filtering. So, while living in Canada you can run the US network and etc.
Having established a VPN connection, there is a safe tunneling created between your connected device and a VPN server. The tunneling is enhanced with the usage of up-to-date protocols. Therefore, as it has been already mentioned, provided that an adversary manages to sniff some of your data from transferred traffic, it will be impossible to take it to pieces, as it is thoroughly encrypted. There is pretty a wide choice of protocols:
- IPSec is generally used for securing internet communications. It has two different modes, which are ‘transport’ and ‘tunneling’. The first one is applied when packet message’s data is needed. The second one is used for encrypting the entire data packet. It is also used in combination with some other protocols to enhance the level of online defense.
- L2TP is another strong protocol. It is stated that these two protocols in combination make your internet connection safeguarded. It can seem unimaginable, but L2TP doesn’t stand for encryption, however it creates a tunneling while some other protocols, such as IPSec encrypt all the traffic. It also checks whether all of sent or received protocols have arrived, which excludes the channel compromising.
- SSL and TLS. Usually online service providers use these two common protocols. In this case there are digital certificates or the means with the help of which two systems exchange encryption keys, authenticate the session, and create a safe connection. You might have already noticed that most of the websites have passed to new HTTPS protocol, which makes their online services more fool-proof for customers.
- PPTP is a protocol that has been used since mid 90s. It is compatible with numerous platforms, but as well as L2TP it doesn’t provide encryption. Instead it tunnels and encapsulates data packets. Although it has been stated to be lack of security, the protocol stays one of the most usable and safest.
- SSH is the protocol which creates a tunneling and maintains encryption, which is used for its protection. The usage of the protocol allows customers to route insecure traffic through an encrypted channel. However, the data itself is not encrypted, but the channel it is routed through is. It is used for forwarding traffic from a local port to a remote one. The entire generated traffic passing between these two participants is routed through the channel. In this regard, so long as remote servers allow outgoing connections, restriction bypass will work. It also offers to bypass firewalls enabled to block WAN in some countries like China.
Otherwise, you go nap on getting into trouble. A good reliable service offers its output along with such conditions as a money-back guarantee or/and a free trial version. You should make sure the service accepts the most convenient payment methods for you.
Besides, you should remember that crypto-currency is still considered as one of the most anonymous payment method. Also, you need to make sure the client-account procedure doesn’t ask for too much of your personal data.
An ordinary set of needed data is your true email address and a password. Provided that all the conditions are met, you will get a desired level of online anonymity.
Besides the basic functions, different services have to offer some additional technologies being developed by their company for the service improvement. There are such common add-ons as kill switch, warrant canary, server speed enhancers and etc.
Nowadays lots of tools for IP hiding exist, but a VPN service is believed to be one of the most sustainable and easy to use tools.
How does VPN hide your IP address?
VPN providers have their own servers located in different countries of the world. When users are connected to Virtual Private Network, their real geo-locations “are changed’’, it doesn’t mean they reallly move to another place, it is changed virtually.
This is the way you hide your IP with VPN:
⇒ You connect to VPN.
⇒ Your real IP is hidden and not visible for your ISP and other users.
⇒ VPN’s IP address is visible on the network.
But that’s not all… Want to know the best part?
♦ Your traffic is encrypted and protected against hackers.
♦ You can switch VPN servers and change your IP address several times during one internet connection.
Want to read about 5 things you never knew you can do with VPN? One click to know them!
So, having decided to hide your IP address with a first-class service, you will have to tinker with the issue or place confidence on our ready-made specified ratings.
As soon as a VPN is a great solution for your IP hindering, we should view all sides of the question. As well as paid services there are numerous free outputs on the internet too.
Surely, you might be happy to subscribe for a free service, as in this case you save your money. However, you should be ready for some unexpected consequences.
- A VPN service permits making any Internet activity safer. You shouldn’t forget that an approximate product must be supplied with customer service and constant updating. That is why if you want to receive good user’s supporting and be sure that in any case you will be given expert’s help, undoubtedly, choose a paid version.
- What is more, many VPN companies allow their customers testing their VPN version before the paid content purchasing. Eventually, each client is guided by his or her financial possibilities.
- Another important moment is that free VPN services can’t protect your privacy at the same level as paid VPN services do. You can easily download a free VPN and if you are a newbie you will definitely mention that it is quite difficult to work in it without any support. Having examined all the monetizing factors, even the best free VPNs won’t match all your needs if you don’t agree to come across these endless advertisements or you do not want to have any sort of restrictions using the free version.
- Any customer should also remember that even super free VPN can’t be absolutely trustworthy, secure, safe, and reliable. In addition it can be noticed that hardly any free VPN service provides download fast performance. If you want to find fast secure VPN for free you should ask yourself one more time whether free VPN can be so secure, particularly speaking about those VPNs, which use your storing data and even logging to sell it to a third party that may be interested in such kind of information.
- Today, paid VPNs have prices that stretch across a wide spectrum — from $1 per month to $20 per month. Although, the premium VPNs with exciting offerings within the $5 to $10 per month range.
$1-$20 USD/month subscription
$0.00 USD/month subscription
ads/speed, location, bandwidth and other restrictions
Sometimes we have to use a free VPN service according to the circumstances, but when you are able to afford a paid one think twice before coming to a decision.
And here are some more reasons why:
- unsafe or no encryption protocols;
- IPv6 DNS and/or WebRTC leaks;
- inconvenient queuing during a server accessing;
- access to a very limited number of hosting servers;
- bans on Torrenting and P2P sharing;
- limited Linux platform support as well as limited devices support.
So, if you are really concerned about your IP address hiding, you should reconsider your attitude towards unintended investment.
What is Incognito Mode in browser?
Incognito Mode has been developed for protecting your privacy when using it on a shared computer or a public place computer. It is known to save your confidentiality while surfing the internet from there. When running this built-in tool, you are stated to leave no traces in your computer history.
Here is a case on which you can consider the possibility:
Provided that you are a keen visitor of www.bestvpnrating.com, when starting filling in some alphabets of the websites name into the bar such as ‘bes’ you will get instant suggestions of the websites you have already visited under such a name.
All of the websites suggestions coincide with the websites that are stored on your browsers history. In that case if you open an incognito window to browse the website, you won’t be suggested the links as there is no data stored on your browser history. So, in this case you have a possibility to browse everything with your search engine or type the URLs directly in the address bar.
In this regard no one is able to look through your online activity from your browser history or look through your downloaded files, because the downloaded data is stored in hard disk (by default), but is not saved on the download history.
When running the mode for surfing the internet any cookies are deleted automatically as soon as the session is over or the window is closed. It makes it great for public computers usage.
Multiple sessions: in this mode cookies are not shared to other windows. So, in this case you are able to login in different accounts of the same service simultaneously. For instance, you may login into your personal account on LinkedIn and make the same with your work account through a normal window.
- A record of the files you download in this mode won’t be saved by your web browser;
- Any downloaded data will be saved on your computer’s download folder. Therefore, any other user of your computer can see the files from the folder;
- Websites that you visit and files that you download are not saved in your browser’s history;
- All new cookies are deleted as soon as you close your incognito windows.
You may be surprised!
But you shouldn’t forget that the method has little in common with IP hindering. For instance, having entered your Google account and searched for something through the engine, all the data is stored in google web history.
This browsing mode won’t even save you from your ISP tracking, as every website you visit will be seen for it from your active IP address.
So, having decided to rely on Incognito Mode for shifting your IP address from prying eyes, you should find something more effective than an Incognito Mode.
However, if you need a tool for leaving no traces after an internet session for your relatives to see, you can use the built-in technology without any doubts. In such a way, the service is out of use for shielding your IP address.
In compliance with many anti-piracy outfits, BitTorrent and other torrent engines and websites have put their business on hold. However, numerous non contented users have strained after finding new ways of protecting their privacy and bypassing the newly-applied restrictions.
Nevertheless, it’s pretty difficult to achieve a complete anonymity while torrenting online.
Before passing to IP hindering you should understand how the system works. It is a well-known fact that a few years ago BitTorrent consumed 48% of the world traffic. Therefore, a new Copyright Alert System targeted BitTorrent traffic. Probably, the service is of a high use for piracy, but it is so just for those who are involved in piracy.
If speaking about the issue connected with BitTorrent protocol and its meaning, you might have already known that it is an effective decentralized p2p (peer-to-peer) protocol with fundamental advantages over other protocols used for online data transferring.
Having downloaded a page from a website, your connected device sends a request to a server the website is based on and receives the page you see. And any computer in the scheme downloads the same page from the same server at the same time. This is a simplified way of how traffic on the internet works or transfers.
What is BitTorrent?
There might be almost no users who haven’t ever had a try to torrent. Once BitTorrent protocol was developed, it made many internet shares much easier and faster. Don’t know what BitTorrent is?
BitTorrent is a p2p protocol, which is used in a so-called ‘swarm’. A ‘swarm’ is a group of connected devices that download or upload the same torrent.
In this regard, the protocol helps to transfer the needed traffic between the devices without a necessity to connect to a central (website’s) server. If you want to enter a ‘swarm’, you need to download a .torrent file into your client.
After that the client contacts with a ‘tracker’. A ‘tracker’ is a specified server that tracks all the connected devices inside of a ‘swarm’. The server shares all the participant addresses in a ‘swarm’ with each other to perform data sharing.
What about ‘swarm’ connection?
Having connected to a ‘swarm’, your client partly downloads bits of the needed file. As soon as you have received some part of the data, your client can share it with other participants of the ‘swarm’.
In this regard, having downloaded a bit-part of a file you upload it to the swarm. This makes everyone’s download speed pretty enhanced. If compare it with a simple data server or website server, it will be overloaded as soon as at least 10.000 of users are downloading the same file.
In case with torrents, each downloader commits upload bandwidth to other downloaders, so that the rate of the speed is not decreased. It is also highly useful to learn that your client never actually downloads files from the tracker itself. The tracker participates in a process for monitoring all the IPs of swarm participants.
⇒However there are two kinds of torrents: torrent trackers and trackless torrents.
Up-to-date technologies, such as decentralized torrents, which don’t require a central tracker-server, are used for connected devices to communicate with each other without a need for any central controlling element.
As soon as you have got a common idea of torrent service, you can clearly understand that shifting or replacement of your authentic address is a great idea for your online protection. Having connected to a swarm, your address is automatically transferred to a tracker (in case there is such) and to other participants of the process.
Therefore, torrenting keen users have decided to rely on private trackers and some other useful tools. In this case such factors as organization of their libraries, the quality of the shared files, and the dedication of their community play a great role in bulk.
Also, such services as this one have some of the best forums on the web. Unfortunately, the private sites do not make you more anonymous, as soon as your authentication address is visible for your peers and ISPs.
Moreover, resulting from the fact that you are just a smaller part of a website doesn’t mean that you are not a target of some government agencies that deal with online piracy. Besides, according to the latest data all torrenting activity is forbidden by law in the best part of countries.
Fortunately, it is still legal in Russia, Spain, Switzerland and some others. Therefore, having decided to connect to some torrenting websites you need to protect your IP address and traffic from uncontrolled interference.
When torrent files are spread on trackers with the help of torrent client apps, other seeders and leechers can view your IP address. Thus, torrenting without VPN leaves you ‘’naked’’: everyone will see the IP of your ISP.
If you share torrents in a confidential way under VPN’s defence, your real IP address won’t be visible.
Why to conceal an IP when you share torrents?
No matter what torrent material you would share: copyrighted or not, you’d better use a dead sustainable VPN to mask your IP from third-party organizations. If you ignore that, you would risk to reveal your authentic IP address and being tracked by ISPs.
As you see from the infographic above, your ISP is not the only organization spying on you. Copyright trolls may act on their own or hired by copyright owners to track netizens who are suspected of abusing copyright laws. These spying results in internet throttling, blocking access to torrent sites and even warning notes sent by third-party agencies.
But you might receive a warning letter by accident…
How do tools for checking torrent IP work?
To check torrent IP is not the same as to check your IP when doing something else (let me remind you that it is possible to conduct an IP test on our website).
How check torrent IP tools work?
First and foremost, there are free of charge tools that can be used to check your torrent IP, such as IPMagnet or checkmytorrentip.upcoil.com.
You need to know two things first:
- To have a torrent IP check you need to perform it in the torrent client you use for torrenting.
- Besides, you should analyze the IPs in your browser and torrent client.
Do the following to check torrent IP on any of the mentioned above tools:
- Create a tracking link by clicking ‘’Download Magnet Link’’ so that it is opened in the torrent client app usually used by you.
- Then you have to analyze the IPs in the web browser and client. Be sure they are not those given by your ISP!
- Finally, when it is launched (client is meant here), you can check torrent IP. After clicking the tracking torrent, you need to go to Trackers tab in order to have a look at the connection data.
How to analyze the information you get after torrent IP check?
- If you see the IP assigned by your VPN provider, don’t worry you are protected.
- In case you have different results, try another test. Is your real IP still identified in the client? Unluckily, you aren’t under protection.
Take use only of reliable trusted VPN services reviewed by our experts.
DNS, or Domain Name System, is used by web-browsers and apps to define the route to the servers where the sites you usually visit are kept and to the server services that support the apps work.
If you surf the network without VPN, a gadget will use DNS-servers offered by your ISP. Hackers can intercept your traffic and see the full list of sites visited and appliances used.
Want to know in details what DNS is? Watch the video and learn more about it:
What’s DNS leak and why it may happen?
Visiting websites under VPN’s protection, you intend to make your data private and hidden from other prying eyes on the net. The traffic, including DNS requests, is passed via Virtual Private Network’s tunnel to your VPN provider’s DNS servers, not your ISP’s ones. But something may go wrong…
DNS leak takes place when your requests go to DNS servers of ISPs. They will be able to see what you visit on the network. What are possible reasons for it?
- You configured a VPN in a manual way;
- You VPN fails to protect you against DNS leakage and redirects DNS request out of the tunnel.
- It simply has no its own DNS servers.
Does DNS leak affect you?
The answer is definitely ‘’Yes’’. But in what way can it affect you?
If your traffic goes through the wrong route, which is not codified, certain third parties (ISPs or hackers) may intercept the information about you:
- what sites you visit;
- what files you download;
- what services you use.
How can you check for DNS leaks?
- Visit our ‘’What’s my IP’’ page.
- Check your IP.
- Do you see your authentic IP address and location on the page?
Unfortunately, it is DNS leak.
- Do you see the information about your VPN provider (IP and geo-location) on the page?
Nothing to worry about!
Important: you’d better avoid unreliable VPN services (especially free ones) as they aren’t able to ensure you with high-level protecting. It’s not rare when low-quality service leak DNS requests to the virtual space.
We’d recommend you to subscribe for one of the VPN services reviewed by our experts.
You might have heard a lot about notorious terabit leakage, but are the most scandal of them for the recent 10 years. In our today’s blog we’ll tell you about 10 scandal information leaks that took place for the period of 10 years.
Did you know about all of them? Keep on reading and find out it!
‘’Heartland Payment Systems’’
Spyware installed by cybercriminals in the network transmitted all the information on the cards as soon as it came from the bank branches. As the company processed payments from 250,000 retailers, the cyber attack was incredible.
At that time WikiLeaks published more than 250 thousand documents from the diplomatic correspondence of the US, a large part of them - with the stamp "secret."
Information on 60 million customers, banks, retail chains, hotels was abducted by cybercriminals. Among the victims were such well-known firms as: Best Buy, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One Bank and Verizon.
On April 25, 2011, WikiLeaks, the New York Times and The Guardian published 779 secret documents which revealed the following information.
‘’Cyber attack on Sony’’
In April 2011, hackers attacked the services of Sony: PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment, stole about 102 million customer records.
In December 2013, the gigantic chain of stores "Target" confirmed the information that hackers infected the devices for reading credit cards. As a result, attackers seized access to 40 million accounts across the United States.
‘’Exposing Edward Snowden’’
In 2013, Snowden handed over to journalists thousands of documents that tell how the intelligence services monitor almost everything. Security experts consider this incident to be the largest in the recent history of mankind.
In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment, a division of the company engaged in the production of animated and video films, was attacked by a team of hackers who took full control of the internal network.
‘’Ashley Madison's personal data’’
In 2015, the hacking group The Impact Team said that if the site for dates is not closed, hackers will publish personal data of its users. It is not known for sure how many pairs have disintegrated as a result of this leak, but at least one person in August 2015 committed suicide.
‘’Equifax website hack’’
143 million citizens of the US became vulnerable, and if the total population of the US is taken into account (more than 300 million people), the degrees of the cyber attack are really impressive.
On our ‘’What’s my ip’’ page we thoroughly explained what IP address is. Haven’t read it yet? Then click here to know more.
Routers are those devices that help you to access the global network. It often happens that you need to know your router IP for some purposes.
How can you find an IP address of your router?
To find a router IP on various platforms, you need to perform a certain set of commands that differ depending on the operating system.
Remember the commands to find router IP on:
Use Wi-FI Analyzer (Available on Google Play).
Why to use VPN for routers?
Routers can be attacked in many ways so it is better to secure your internet connections with a VPN app that work for routers.
These are the examples of attacks on routers that can take place:
Changing of DNS settings
This happens because of a virtual attack that redirects your DNS request to the wrong infected website. You might not even suspect that the website you visit is malicious.
Infection through ads
If you visit the website and see strange advertisements, but you haven’t seen there any ads before, your router has been infected through advertisements.
This can be implemented on webpage and changes via an internet router’s administration page.
Learn more about VPN for routers in our dedicated article.
WebRTC Leak Check
Every day more than a half of the world population surf the Internet. Smartphones and tablets are used even more than just a few years ago. All these facts influence the quality of online communications. WebRTC is the technology aimed at improving real-time communication online.
WebRTC is an open multimedia real-time communication standard integrated in browsers. As it is a platform with an open standard, there is no need to download other software solutions or extensions.
Want to know more about WebRTC? Watch the video below:
In order to perform real-time communications directly through WebRTC platform, devices have to know IP addresses of each other.
It is believed that third parties might misuse this technology to intercept your IP which identifies you.
You should know that there are public and local IPs that are served to identify different information. When one is linked to the network via VPN, the public IP of the VPN’s server is identified. So it is safe for you, even if hackers intend to misuse it.
As far as local IPs are concerned, they do not reveal anyone who you are. They are assigned to millions of routers and have nothing in common with your virtual identity.
Important: If WebRTC leak test shows your true public IP, not VPN’s. You are not protected then. Such a VPN does not defend against WebRTC leaks!
What users are susceptible to WebRTC leaks?
Most of you surf the Internet via widely-spread browsers mentioned above (Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera). WebRTC technology is applied in them by default, their mobile browser versions do not support it now, but in the very near future it seems they will use WebRTC as well.
How to identify WebRTC leak with VPN?
Important: if you surf the Internet without a VPN, you potentially not protected and your IP may be misused by third-party agencies.
First and foremost, check your IP address on ‘’What’s my IP’’ page and have a look at the results. If you see the IP address of your VPN provider, then everything is ok.
Want to know more how VPN hides your IP? Click hide my ip to read in details!
In case your real IP address is identified by our tool, follow the steps below:
✈ Turn the VPN off.
✈ Open the page again and take notes of the public IPs.
✈ Turn the VPN on and repeat a check test.
What do you see now? VPN provider’s IP? Or your public IP?
If the public IP is still identified, it is WebRTC leak!
Internet Protocol Address which is used for communicating in IP network is assigned to any connected device whether it is tablet, phone, laptop, PC, etc. within a network.
What’s the purpose of IPs?
It has been developed for providing users communication through identification of their devices on the internet. There are different types of addresses, which have been introduced for various reasons.
Want to know the worst part?
Unfortunately, not all the data that can be identified through your address is a good thing for your privacy. Thus, according to this information, an adversary can learn about your geographical location (up to a street in a city), characteristics of your device, cookies and etc. Through the enumerated data an adversary can make up a full vision of a person identity, provided that a computer is not a public one.
VPN is a great way-out!
Having compared proxy servers, VPNs, built-in incognito modes and other up-to-date tools, you can see that the most effective way to prevent your identity from internet exposure is to subscribe for the best VPN.
As soon as the tool is the most effective due to its multi functionality, it can be useful not only for IP address hindering, but also for protecting all your confidential information.
Despite proxy servers, it encrypts all your generated traffic, which makes it impossible for adversaries to interfere into your personal business. For what it’s worth, you need to protect your identity from prying eyes while surfing the internet, therefore, you should consider some ways how to hide your IP address.
We strongly believe this Hide IP guide will help you to surf the Internet anonymously and protect your gadgets against hacking attacks. Also, we will be glad to see you in the comments!