Imagine having to leave your address at every shop you visit. Even if you walk in the door and leave without buying, listing your address in a visitors book to be logged for years. Sounds, crazy? Well that’s effectively happens every time you visit any website.
The address is of course a digital one, consisting primarily of your IP address yet it’s still traceable to your physical location in most instances. It is also recorded, logged and subsequently analysed sometimes in great detail. Also the next time you visit, this could be used to adjust your return visit. Whatever you do, your IP address will be used to monitor and classify your behaviour.
This is pretty disconcerting even if you’re just casually browsing, after all who wants every step you take online to be analysed and logged for perpetuity!
There’s little chance of privacy when your IP address is used to tag and track you across the internet.
Of course, you can use mitigate this slightly in various ways. One of the simplest is to only use the internet from ‘anonymous’ locations such as cafes, libraries, airports and places like this. The IP address would only lead back to the location as long as you logged off and moved on quickly. It’s obviously not that convenient having to slink around access points just to try and maintain a level of privacy.
What’s more you significantly increase other risks by using multiple unknown Wifi access points. Many identity thieves target access points like this to steal usernames, passwords and other credentials.
For anyone who uses the internet for other purposes such as research and making money then being controlled in this way causes even more problems. For example anyone researching markets or data mining will not want their address to be controlled like this, it means data could be skewed or access manipulated or even blocked. Even Google will block repeated search requests if they come too quickly from a single IP address.
Options to Change or Rotate IP Address
For most people the IP address you use to access the internet is pretty much fixed, it’s determined by your location and the device which is facilitating your access. If you’re at home, it’s probably assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and most remote locations like cafes and public locations will also receive addresses in this way too. You can’t change yours without either moving location or being assigned a new IP address from your internet provider.
What’s more even if you can change your IP address, the new one is instantly being monitored and logged too. So your privacy doesn’t really last long even if you do make the effort to switch your IP address in some way. Fortunately you don’t actually have to physically change the actual IP address you use to connect to the internet, you can simply hide it.
Using proxies and VPNs are the simplest and most effective way of ‘changing your IP address’ . You don’t change your actual IP address, but simply use the remote address instead. Then all the tracking is based on the proxy or VPN address not your real one. What’s more it’s much easier to change this one, indeed it’s a fairly trivial task as long as the infrastructure is in place.
The following video will demonstrate the simplest and cheapest method to effectively rotate IP address using a VPN service. What’s more it all can be done automatically –
This software access a network of VPN servers which it can be configured to switch between automatically. Your IP address will therefore change every time to, making it virtually impossible to track especially if the software is allowed to redirect through servers across the world.
Is This Suitable for Marketers and Researchers ?
If you’ve ever researched methods to access large quantities of IP addresses you might be surprised at this method. Effectively you can change your IP address to a new one every couple of minutes for around 80 Euros a year. This is significantly cheaper than investing in private dedicated proxies which can cost many times this per month ! However although this is perfect for privacy and anonymity there’s a reason why it’s not always suitable for people who work online.
The problem is actually not related to the software itself but more the classification and distribution of the proxies and IP addresses. Firstly you need to remember that these servers and addresses are not private, they are shared by all the users of the service. Although this is not a problem with speed and bandwidth, the fact that your IP address is shared with many others could be.
Controlling Your Own Destiny
This means if you’re searching through something like Google, there’s a fair chance others will be doing this at the same point using the same address. This will rarely cause an issue with normal usage, yet anyone using tools or making repeated quick, searches for market research could potentially get blocked temporarily. You are effectively sharing that IP address with all the concurrent users connected using the service.
One of the main reason for the higher cost of private proxies is simply because the IP address are reserved for your use only at that point. This means that you can be sure no-one is using that IP address for Google, Instagram or any other site. Now most of the time this is not a problem but for marketers or business people dedicated, private IP addresses are pretty much essential.
Imagine a marketer who has fifty Instagram accounts to manage. Instagram insist that any user can only have five accounts so in order to have more, you would need to use multiple IP addresses. However if you use an IP address shared by lots of others, there’s a chance that many of you will be administering on the same platform – which means ‘red flags’ all around. However careful you are, you have no idea what anyone else is doing with that Ip address.
Specialist Proxies for Different Roles
For basic research and privacy/security issues then using a VPN like Identity Cloaker is the best solution. If you’re aim is to stay anonymous, it doesn’t matter that a hundred other people are using the same address, indeed it actually helps. However for any marketing task which involves administering or promoting from separate accounts, you should not consider using a shared VPN service.
Most of the larger proxy providers actually provide a range of servers and IP addresses for the specific tasks. Some social networking sites for example are much stricter than others. For example Instagram is getting very strict nowadays and you’re going to need private dedicated proxies which are not filtered by the site. So instead of looking for generic proxies you can actually find those configured for private access to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. If you just want IP addresses for the photo sharing site, then buying Instagram proxies is the safest option.
Buying specialized services like this can actually work out cheaper than just paying for a private, residential proxy which can be extremely expensive. The reality is that it is normally the IP address that is the crucial aspect of a proxy service. The classification and location of the address is one of the most important factors especially when promoting or researching online. One thing for sure is that you won’t get far with that cheap range of Nigerian IP addresses!!