Is there any good way to hide your IP # while online?
January 7, 2004 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Is there any good way to hide your IP # while online? There are a number of programs out there, but I don't know if I trust their effectiveness or non-malwareness. I'm on an XP box.
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by crunchland at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2004

Hide your IP from who? If you're trying to hide it from the webservers you're hitting with a browser, the only way is through a proxy. Think of it like snailmail: you send someone a letter, and want a reply. Without a middleman (an anonymizing proxy) there's no way they can send you a reply without knowing your actual address.
posted by duckstab at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2004

Does Anonymizer have a product which successfully hide/changes IPs for applications other than web browsers?

I'm looking for something which will fool the new, legal Napster app into thinking that I'm based in the USA (I have a US credit card ready!) even though I'm on a UK IP address.

This page offers a number of different programs but I don't know if any of them will do what I want.
posted by skylar at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2004

Response by poster: Webservers are not an issue, I was wondering if there was some way to mask my IP when I am using P2P apps.
BitStream seems to support socks5 proxies, still don't know how fast/trustworthy they are.
posted by signal at 2:07 PM on January 7, 2004

afaik, you're going to need to go "through" a computer with an american ip address (that, again afaik, doesn't necesarily mean it has to be in the us - i don't know how napster map from ip address to physical location; conversely it doesn't guarantee that napster will consider whatever you computer you use, wherever it is, as being in the usa).

the private surfing product routes you through anonymizer's servers. but it doesn't say where they are and i would guess that it only supports http/https traffic. presumably napster uses a different port.

if you have access to a computer in the usa it would be possible to get something working on any port, with a little programming and some basic knowledge about the napster protocol. it might be possible with no programming knowledge and a vpn program or ssh. but you need access to a machine in the usa first.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:14 PM on January 7, 2004

wow. shows how lout of touch i am. socks5 looks like it does what you want and google turns up a bunch of open proxies. since you (skylar) are not doing anything terribly illegal i'd suggest just giving it a go. if they accept your payment it worked. you might want to worry about security. passing a credit card number through someone else's server doesn't seem that nice. but it looks like socks5 works at a very low level, so whatever encryption goes on is probably on top (making your credit card safe). but don't trust me on that.

i'm not sure i'd trust it for doing illegal stuff - i guess it depends how illegal. certainly logs at the socks5 server would identify you (signal), and it doesn't seemed to be designed to hide information (it's intended to get people through firewalls). against someone looking for a few easy targets for noisy court cases i guess you'd probably be ok, since they'd want to avoid technical details in court. google turned up a page for measuring the speed of proxies, which would answer your worries there (sorry, didn't note the url).

(sorry earlier reply was a bit confused - didn't realise two different people were asking questions)
posted by andrew cooke at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2004

Wow. Thanks so much for that - though unfortunately the FAQ may as well be in Greek as far as I understand it!

With apologies for having somewhat diverted the thread, would someone be able to explain how I would get the SOCKS thing going?

Ideally I'd want to configure some setting or some application, leave it going in the background, then fire up my Napster and have it think I'm connecting from the USA when in fact I'm in the UK. Is SOCKS the way to go for this?
posted by skylar at 3:42 PM on January 7, 2004

using napster with socks

socks proxies (use one in the usa)

be careful - i've only spent 10 mins reading about this stuff. no promises.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:11 PM on January 7, 2004

search for "multi proxy" on google.
posted by carfilhiot at 5:56 PM on January 7, 2004

Note that none of this will "hide" your address. It will only provide a layer of indirection. It's like calling a friend and having them forward your call to someone else -- the endpoint won't have immediate access to your address, but your address isn't "hidden," you are simply having someone else act on your behalf.

That, however, sounds like what you want.

Note also that most (if not all) open SOCKS proxies you find out there are merely incompetently managed hosts -- you will be engaging in illegal activity by taking advantage of them. It's called "theft of services," and it carries stiff penalties in most First World countries.
posted by majick at 7:55 PM on January 7, 2004

stiff penalties

i think you're trying to scare people a little here. i'm aware it's not ok (hence "anything terribly illegal"), but it is neither likely in practice to get you prosecuted nor in principle a terribly bad thing (imho). a little context - in my moral scheme, it ranks significantly lower than speeding (which increases the probability that you kill others) and round about the same as chatting to a friend on the company phone. but apologies for not pointing this out.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:58 AM on January 8, 2004

Is there any good way to hide your IP # while online?

Why do you want to? If you want to stop websites from identifying you directly, then yes, go ahead, use a web-relay, as above.
If you want to mask your direct IP address from malicious persons, the only way is to have a non-transparent proxy/firewall that is not your local machine through which all traffic is routed. Unless you buy a new machine just to act as a firewall, or have an unusual service provider, this isn't possible. It will help if you install a local firewall on your machine and turn off some of the more ridiculous windows services (off the top of my head IIS, Computer browser, FTP, Netmeeting, Remote registry, Telnet, WWW Publishing).

Oh, and use Kazaa-Lite, not Kazaa!
posted by BigCalm at 7:02 AM on January 8, 2004

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