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(also anonymous proxy)

Anonymizer definition

Anonymizer is a name given to a proxy server that limits the amount of data its user reveals while browsing the internet. Despite its name, it does not make the user anonymous online. It will simply hide the device’s IP address from the website they’re connecting to and replace it with a different one. This makes it appear as if the user is browsing from a different location.

See also: proxy surfing

Uses of anonymizers

  • Bypassing geographic restrictions. For example, let's say you live in a country where certain websites are blocked or restricted. By using an anonymizer, you could make it appear like you're browsing from a different country where those sites are not blocked.
  • Online privacy. You may be concerned about your internet service provider or websites tracking your browsing habits or collecting data about you. An anonymizer can help prevent them from being able to link that data back to you.
  • Access to blocked resources. For example, if your school or workplace blocks certain websites, using an anonymizer can help you get around those restrictions.

Drawbacks of anonymizers

  • Incomplete anonymity. While these tools can hide your IP address, they can't protect all your online activities from being tracked. Websites can still use cookies and other tracking technologies to build a profile of your online behavior.
  • Security concerns. Not all anonymizers are safe. Some may log your data, sell it to third parties, or even inject malware into your device. It's essential to choose a trustworthy service. Free proxies are particularly risky in this respect.
  • Quality of service. Especially with free services, you may experience frequent disconnections, slow speeds, and unreliable service.
  • Limited compatibility. Some proxies only work with specific protocols or applications. They may not work with all the apps or services that you want to use.