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There’s no doubt that the internet is changing in many ways and not always for the best. Twenty years ago the idea that you would need an IP address listed in a specific country would be ridiculous.
It really didn’t matter whether you had an US IP address like this or one from Asia, Africa or Europe. The IP address was simply a technological necessity, a requirement of the network to communicate – but now it is also yet another way to classify individuals.
However it really does matter now, and your online experience can be completely different depending on where your IP address is registered. Want to relax listening to tunes on the world’s greatest online jukebox – Pandora, well unless you have a US registered IP address forget it.
Fortunately there is a way around these petty restrictions – you can hide your real address behind a proxy or VPN server – here’s an example.
As you can see redirecting your connection through an intermediate server allows you to select the IP address that is displayed. So if you need to use a American IP address then you pick a served based in the US, a French IP address needs a server in France and so on.
It’s unfortunate but unless you want to get blocked and filtered everywhere you go, then it’s becoming something of a necessity. These servers are called proxies or VPN servers and sit between you and the websites you visit, which means they cannot harvest your details or crucially detect your location. Over the years though these servers have also been targeted and now many are less than effective – read this article about how people are using proxies and VPNs.
If you’re considering using these tools, these should be your primary concerns – security, speed and flexibility. Fortunately now basic proxies are of little use in all these areas, which means many of the smaller proxy services have closed down. You need to use something like a VPN or encrypted proxy service like Identity Cloaker which most sites can’t detect and also can keep your communications secure. A well configured service should cover all the below situations:
- Encrypt connection when needed (essential if you need to check a secure site through an insecure access point).
- Allow access to servers in a selection of countries
- Responsive Support
- Fast Connection
It’s all very well paying for a service to watch the BBC New Live online like this, but it needs to be fast to be usable.