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Anonymous proxy – Wikipedia
This article is about computer software. For the company, see Anonymizer (company).
An anonymizer or an anonymous proxy is a tool that attempts to make activity on the Internet untraceable. It is a proxy server computer that acts as an intermediary and privacy shield between a client computer and the rest of the Internet. It accesses the Internet on the user’s behalf, protecting personal information of the user by hiding the client computer’s identifying information. 
There are many reasons for using anonymizers, such as minimizing risk, prevention of identity theft, or protecting search histories from public disclosure.
Some countries apply heavy censorship on the internet.  Anonymizers can help to allow free access to all of the internet content, but they cannot help against persecution for accessing the anonymizer website itself. Furthermore, as information itself about anonymizer websites are banned in those countries, users are wary that they may be falling into a government-set trap. 
Anonymizers are also used by people who wish to receive objective information with the growing target marketing on the internet and targeted information. For example, large news outlets such as CNN target the viewers according to region and give different information to different populations. Websites such as YouTube obtain information about the last videos viewed on a computer, and they propose “recommended” videos accordingly, and most of the online targeted marketing is done by showing advertisements according to that region. Anonymizers are used for avoiding that kind of targeting and getting a more objective view of information. 
For building a reliable anonymous system, anonymous proxy signatures are helpful.  It can be used in anonymous voting or other authentication processes that value anonymity. 
Types of anonymizers
Sometimes anonymizers are implemented to work only with one particular protocol. The advantage is that no extra software is needed. The operation occurs in this manner: a connection is made by the user to the anonymizer. Commands to the anonymizer are included inside a typical message. The anonymizer then makes a connection to the resource specified by the inbound command and relays the message with the command stripped out.
An example of a protocol-specific anonymizer is an anonymous remailer for e-mail. Also of note are web proxies, and bouncers for FTP and IRC. Potentially anonymity integrated with RFID tags could pose as an option. 
Protocol independence can be achieved by creating a tunnel to an anonymizer. There are various technologies to do so. Protocols used by anonymizer services may include SOCKS, PPTP, or OpenVPN.
In this case either the desired application must support the tunneling protocol, or a piece of software must be installed to force all connections through the tunnel. Web browsers, FTP and IRC clients often support SOCKS for example, unlike telnet.
Use of multiple relays
Proxies can be daisy chained. Chaining anonymous proxies can make traffic analysis far more complex and costly by requiring the eavesdropper to be able to monitor different parts of the Internet.  An anonymizing remailer can use this concept by relaying a message to another remailer, and eventually to its destination.
Even stronger anonymity can be gained by using Tor. Tor is not merely a proxy chain, but an onion router, which means that routing information (as well as message content) is encrypted in such a way as to prevent linking the origin and destination. Like all anonymity networks, Tor cannot end-to-end encrypt messages destined for the public internet; it must be arranged between the sender and recipient. Tor’s onion service protocol does, however, provide end-to-end encryption, along with the ability to anonymize servers, making them more censorship-resistant.
Another anonymity network is the Invisible Internet Project (I2P). Unlike Tor, I2P is a fully internal network. The philosophy behind I2P is that each node routes traffic for others and blends its own traffic in, whereas one’s own traffic will be relayed by other peers through so-called tunnels made up of various other peers. As you never know if a given mix logs all connections or not, the only way to be really sure there is no logging is to run your own anonymizing mix node and blend your traffic with those of other users. These other users do not need to trust you, as they blend their traffic with yours and other users’ traffic in their own mix nodes. The network is highly dynamic and fully decentralized. It also takes care of other nodes learning about your node existing, for without peers using your node, there would be no traffic to blend yours with. As all traffic always stays within the I2P network, a routing user’s I2P can remain end-to-end encrypted and will never show on public websites’ logs. 
Examples of anonymizer websites include Anonymouse,, Anonymize, Anonymizer, IDZap, Ultimate Anonymity, The Cloak and GhostSurf Platinium. 
Anonymous web browsing
CGIProxy, web based proxy Perl script often used as anonymizer solution,
I2P – the invisible internet project
Java Anon Proxy – a proxy system designed to allow browsing the Web with revocable pseudonymity. 
^ a b “How Anonymizers Work”. The Living Internet. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
^ RFC 4949
^ Rajagukguk, Serina. “Web Proxy Servers”. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
^ (Reference from Censorship in Singapore#Internet) Mixing welfare and elitism in Singapore”, Alex Au, Asia Times, November 23, 2006.
^ (Reference from Censorship in Saudi Arabia#Internet)
^ (Reference from Censorship in North Korea – where internet access itself is illegal) “List of the 13 Internet enemies”. Reporters Without Borders. Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
^ (Reference from Internet censorship in Iran) OpenNet Initiative. (2006. ) “Internet Filtering in Iran in 2004-2005: A Country Study” Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine. In these countries most anonymizer websites are banned
^ See references above i. e. Iran banned Tor
^ US FBI uses ‘Anonymizer trap’ to catch online pedofiles (Security Focus website)
^ Ungerleider, Neal (20 May 2011). “Web Anonymizers And The Arab Spring”. Fast Company.
^ “anonymous web crawling”. GeoSurf. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
^ a b Wei, Jiannan; Yang, Guomin; Mu, Yi; Liang, Kaitai (2015-09-28). “Anonymous Proxy Signature with Hierarchical Traceability: TABLE 1”. The Computer Journal. 59 (4): 559–569. doi:10. 1093/comjnl/bxv080. ISSN 0010-4620.
^ Mubarak, Mohd Faizal; Manan, Jamalul-lail Ab; Yahya, Saadiah (December 2011). “Trusted anonymizer-based RFID system with integrity verification”. 2011 7th International Conference on Information Assurance and Security (IAS). IEEE: 98–103. 1109/isias. 2011. 6122802. ISBN 9781457721557.
^ “The hack of the year – Security – Technology – “.. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
^ “The Invisible Internet Project”.
^ Rainer, R. Kelly; Turban, Efraim (9 January 2008). Introduction to Information Systems: Supporting and Transforming Business. John Wiley & Sons. p. 379. ISBN 9780470169001. Retrieved 20 December 2017 – via Google Books.
^ Privacy-friendly law enforcement Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine 2009
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Configuring anonymous proxy detection and monitoring
Anonymous proxies are typically used to circumvent security policies, allowing users to access prohibited recreational, adult or other non-business sites by tunneling this traffic over a regular or encrypted HTTP session. Anonymous Proxies also provide anonymity; users accessing websites through an Anonymous Proxy cannot easily be traced back to their original IPInternet protocol.
Exinda Appliances have built-in support for anonymous proxy detection. The Exinda Appliance receives daily updates from containing updated anonymous proxy definitions, much like anti-virus applications receive daily threat updates.
The anonymous proxy application is a special application object that is used to detect anonymous proxy websites and services. However, the anonymous proxy service is disabled by default.
If the anonymous proxy service is enabled, the Exinda appliance fetches a list of anonymous proxy definitions from the Exinda web servers on a daily basis.
An application object called ‘Anonymous Proxy’ is automatically created. The Anonymous Proxy application tracks all traffic sent through one of the anonymous proxies in the list. This application object is displayed in the monitoring reports like any other application object and can also be used in the Optimizer policies.
Anonymous Proxy classification only occurs if the Anonymous Proxy ASAM module is enabled on the Configuration > System > Setup > Monitoring page.
In order to receive daily Anonymous Proxy definition updates, the Exinda appliance must be able to contact the Exinda web servers and the appliance must also have a valid software subscription.
The form to enable the Anonymous Proxy service to keep of list of anonymous proxy sites.
The form to enable/disable the Anonymous Proxy ASAM required for classification.
Where to configure it
To enable the anonymous proxy service, go to Configuration > Objects > Applications > Anonymous Proxy.
To enable the anonymous proxy traffic classification, go to Configuration > System > Setup > Monitoring.
To enable the anonymous proxy traffic classification
Check the Auto Update Service Enable checkbox. The appliance will communicate with the Exinda web servers daily and fetch any new anonymous proxy definitions.
Ensure that the Anonymous Proxy ASAM module is enabled by going to the Configuration > System > Setup > Monitoring page and ensuring the Anonymous Proxy checkbox is checked in the ASAM section. The Anonymous Proxy ASAM is on by default. The appliance will classify traffic by matching the traffic against the anonymous proxy list.
To disable the anonymous proxy traffic classification
Uncheck the Auto Update Service Disable checkbox.
Disable the Anonymous Proxy ASAM by going to the Configuration > System > Setup > Monitoring page, unchecking the Anonymous Proxy checkbox in the ASAM section, and clicking the Apply Changes button. Disabling the ASAM will clear the existing anonymous proxy definitions.
Anonymous Proxies Explained: The Beginner’s Guide – Technology Org
It is almost impossible to discuss online security without mentioning the use of a proxy or a virtual private network (VPN). These two tools provide you with anonymity as you go about your regular internet activities. Both tools share similarities in the way that they make you anonymous online. Proxies and VPNs work by rerouting your internet traffic via their servers thereby masking your internet protocol (IP) from the web host and your target website. As you explore the website, the web host only sees the IP address of proxy or VPN server while yours remain hidden.
Image credit: Luis Gomes via Pexels (free Pexels licence)
Although proxy and VPN anonymity tools may share a common concept, they do have major differences. This article will take a closer look at anonymous proxies to help you decide whether it is the right anonymity tool for you.
Anonymous Proxies Explained
Whenever you type an address on your browser, your device will send a request to the web host of your destination website. Once the web host receives the request, it will send the web page of your target website back to your device.
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The web host can only send the page back to you if it knows your internet protocol or IP address. As you may have already guessed, you also send out your IP address along with your request to browse a website. This means that your target website knows the general location from where you are browsing. It is also likely that the web host may be able to access your ISP account name through your IP address.
How Anonymous Proxies Hide Your Identity
Anonymous proxies, or simply proxies, are computer servers in various locations around the world. These proxy servers act as relay stations for the internet traffic of users. Any request that comes from the device of a user goes to the proxy server instead of the web host of the target website.
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Once the anonymous proxy server receives the request, it will send it to the web host of the target website. The web host of the target website will then respond to the request and sends back the web page to the proxy server. The proxy server then relays the web page back to the user. This process effectively hides your identity from the web host as it only sees the IP address of the proxy server and not yours.
The Advantages of Using a Proxy Server
Hiding your IP address whenever you surf the internet has numerous advantages. The most obvious plus to using proxy servers is that it gives you some semblance of privacy. Since a proxy server essentially substitutes its own IP address in place of yours, it allows you to bypass geo-blocking.
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For example, a video streaming website may allow access to viewers from certain countries and block requests from other countries. You can bypass this restriction by connecting to a proxy server that is located in any of the countries where users can access the video streaming website.
Public Wi-Fi at some universities may prevent you from browsing certain websites. Using a proxy server will help you get around this restriction. Some internet service providers (ISPs) may also censor website content or the website itself. Connecting to a proxy server helps you circumvent this kind of browsing restriction.
Keep in mind, however, that using an anonymous proxy server for this purpose carries a very high risk. It is a risk that underscores the major disadvantage of using a proxy server, which is its lack of encryption.
The Disadvantages of Using a Proxy Server
The transfer of data between your device and the proxy server, unlike VPNs, does not have any encryption. This means that your ISP, the government, law enforcement agencies and hackers can view, intercept and log the data that is passing through the connection. In other words, you may be able to hide your IP using a proxy, but not your internet activities.
Image credit: geralt via Pixabay (free Pixabay licence)
An anonymous proxy is a poor tool choice if you want to hide your internet activities from prying eyes. For this purpose, you are better off using a VPN. This anonymity tool encrypts your internet traffic from your device to the VPN server making it considerably more difficult for anyone to spy on your activities.
When to Use a Proxy Server
An anonymous proxy is enough if your purpose is to hide your identity from your target websites. Proxy servers are also helpful in allowing you to bypass geo-blocking and online censorship.
Image credit: via Pexels (free Pexels licence)
Proxies are also helpful in preventing search engines from logging your queries. Search engines use information from your search history to inundate your future query results with “relevant” advertisements.
If you think that you need more privacy and security than what anonymous proxies can give you, then you’ll be better off using a VPN or a Tor browser. While these tools offer better online privacy and security, read up on them to help you pick which tool works best for your online privacy and security requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions about anymous proxy
What is anonymous proxy detected?
Anonymous proxies are typically used to circumvent security policies, allowing users to access prohibited recreational, adult or other non-business sites by tunneling this traffic over a regular or encrypted HTTP session.
Are anonymous proxies bad?
An anonymous proxy is a poor tool choice if you want to hide your internet activities from prying eyes. For this purpose, you are better off using a VPN. This anonymity tool encrypts your internet traffic from your device to the VPN server making it considerably more difficult for anyone to spy on your activities.Jul 19, 2019
Is a VPN an anonymous proxy?
Just like proxy servers, VPNs can’t guarantee anonymity while browsing. Neither of these services will always encrypt your traffic all the way to the web server. A VPN only guarantees an end-to-end encrypted connection if you use the HTTPS protocol when you go to a new web address.Sep 28, 2020