Posts tagged ‘ip address’
Sometimes you don’t care what IP address you have as long as it’s different, a quick IP address changer is all you need. Many people who run websites and online businesses need to check things like rankings online using various tools. Unfortunately these tools usually need to make multiple requests to the search engines in order to work. There are some very professional research tools like Market Samurai, which have their own built in proxy servers which allow the tool to switch between different IP addresses when making these queries.
However these are invariably the exception rather than the rule, and mostly you have to try and switch your addresses yourself. Most people then usually plod down the proxies route either free ones scraped using a simple tool, or a subscription that gives you a few proxies to use privately. The free ones are more trouble than they’re worth. You can scrape a list of a few hundred supposedly working, fast proxies then ten minutes later 20% of them stop working, another 20% slow to a crawl, a few hours later and you’ve got to start all over again. Believe me life is too short to spend it searching for these, using them provides little benefit and it you think they genuinely keep you anonymous then you’re mistaken – read this blog – http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/
The private ones also can be hard work simply because you don’t have enough of them – invariably you need hundreds of proxies to run these programs like SEO checkers for any length of time. But buying hundreds of proxies can get very expensive and you’ll quickly burn these out with some of the SEO tools especially ones designed to be run 24/7.
A Quick IP Address Changer
So What you need is something that can quickly and simply rotate the IP addresses at your disposal. This means that you can still use fast proxies and you don’t need so many IP addresses to allow these programs to function. Here’s the feature in Identity Cloaker that allows you to do this –
This is extremely useful, it means that you can switch between IP address every minute you like which allows all these tools and queries to work perfectly. The change happens in the background and used on a windows server, a VPS or a desktop computer there will be no interruption. But of course the option you choose is dependent on your requirements – this video explains some others ;
The decision is also dependent on locations, which can usually affect the price and availability of any proxies. The US and the UK are probably the cheapest, where as places like South Africa and Australia tend to be more expensive simply because bandwidth costs are very much higher that mainland Europe. So we can see what is the best proxy program is not an easy question to answer, which is very much reliant on what you’re looking for.
When you connect to the internet, using anything from a smart TV to a Laptop – you will be assigned an IP address. This is your unique identifier online, this address in the format – 192.168.1.1 is directly linked to your device.
For most of us at home, this address is assigned by the ISP we connect with and as such there is no way of changing it. This address is recorded by most web sites you visit for a variety of reasons and is in effect your digital ID. Much worst for those concerned with online privacy, at your ISP every single thing you do online is recorded in logs along with this address. Which means that for all of us there is a complete record of every website we visit, every movie we watch, video we download and email we send stored on servers hosted by whomever you pay your internet fee to.
However although it is impossible for most of us to actually change our IP address, at least the public facing one we use online. It is possible to hide our IP address and gain some elements of privacy online by the following methods:
- Hide your real IP address from web sites you visit
- Encrypt Your connection to ensure your online activity is kept private.
These two steps are essential and are detailed in the following video entitled IP Anonymizer which you can watch here or directly on YouTube.
Your real IP address is effectively hidden via the network of proxy servers distributed across the world, all the web sites record this address and not yours which is not visible to them.
The encryption is required to prevent interception of data, and also ensures that although logs will still exist at your ISP – they will not be readable. The encryption will ensure that the only information that will be visible in the logs is the connections made to the proxies – nothing else will be legible.
One of the most annoying instances of where web sites customize your experience is when using the search engines. Most of the time it works quite well – here’s the basic sequence :
- The user loads up a search engine page
- Search engine checks your IP address
- Search engine looks up the physical location of that address
- Search engine customizes your search results based on your location.
So in practical terms it means that when you type in ‘cheap carpets’ in your search engine, you don’t receive a selection of carpet shops from across the world. Google (or other search engine) will assume that you want someone who sells carpets in your location – which is usually quite right. The chances are that most similar searches would be looking for someone local to your current location. You can skew the results of course, by modifying your search string – perhaps change to ‘cheap carpets Paris’ if you want to pick something up on a weekend away in the French capital but it does become some what of a guessing game.
There are times though when you wish you could turn off this personalization, times when it actually comes up with completely the wrong search results. For instance if I was in a Spanish airport travelling home, and I tried to search for a taxi firm to transfer me home when I returned. My ‘taxi’ searches would all focus on Spanish results simply because I was in Spain while searching, none of the search engines are smart enough to go one step further and assess my current situation properly. Which is why we have to append other descriptive terms such as ‘UK’, ‘Manchester’ or ‘England’ to ensure we don’t receive Spanish based results.
This is of course a fairly simple situation to rectify, but it’s not always that straight forward. Take my current situation, I want to take my family to the West Coast of USA next year and I’d been told there are lots of great local tour firms based in the USA that will take you around the sites. However if I type in local tours West USA – all my results are focused on my current location – i.e the United Kingdom.
Here’s what I get in my search, (click to enlarge) – as you can see all the results are UK companies offering tours of the West Coast of the USA. Even though I’m looking for a service physically located in the USA, the search engine will give me results of companies who are based in the UK.
Do you see the problem ? I can’t find those local companies specializing in US tours easily, all I get is big UK companies who probably buy in those trips and resell to people in the United Kingdom (presumably with a significant mark up in price too!). I’ll have to play around with search terms and delve into the later pages of my search results to have any hope of finding a local US company who doesn’t have offices and websites in the United Kingdom
Simply speaking Google in this situation doesn’t deliver what I want, it delivers a simplified, commercial based set of results. The only way I can modify this is by hiding my real location by using an online IP changer and then redoing the search. Here’s a quick video on how you can get an American IP address –
Using this program I am able to give myself an American IP address instead of a UK one. So lets repeat exactly the same search and see what results I get –
Here you can see that I get a completely different set of results to my previous search, all US based companies offering pretty much the same tours but often at much lower prices.
None of these web sites are US only, they are all happy to attract customers from all over the world – it’s just that mostly people can’t find them because of the way that the search engines personalise your search results. Unfortunately, to bypass these blocks you need to take control of your IP address, here’s another video called best VPN USA which demonstrates using a Virtual Private Network connection routed through the US to achieve the same results.
So why would anyone want such a thing, why would anyone need a German proxy server? The reason is that if you have access to such a server then you are able to change your computer to have a different IP address. This basically ensures that any website you visit will consider your location to be in Germany, and for many sites this makes a huge difference in what you can see.
Here’s a simple demonstration of how your IP address will affect what you see online. When I’m in the United Kingdom and using a British IP address, this is the version of Google that I see when I fire up a web browser.
Now I am going to use a program called Overplay to change my IP address to a German one, like this – simply by selecting one of the German based proxies from their list.
From this point I now appear to be somewhere in Germany, simply because of the IP address I have been assigned. You can see now if I start up my browser and go to Google it will redirect me to the German version of the search engine. This is because while I am connected to the German proxy server then all my traffic is routed through this server – Google doesn’t speak directly to my PC any more. The relative speeds to different countries will vary greatly depending on your location – you should use the fastest proxy available in the country you require.
It’s really that straight forward and in my opinion, having the ability to switch and mask your IP address is becoming more and more important. We’ve mentioned Overplay here, but there’s another extremely sophisticated program called Identity Cloaker which has a vast array of features including the ability to encrypt individual applications and even specific browsers. Here is a video uploaded to Youtube demonstrating how to use German Proxy Server
So Why Would I Want a German Proxy Address?
Which is great, but why would I specifically want the ability to switch to an address in a different country like this? Well the main reason is that many German based sites are only accessible to those people based in Germany itself. Many TV stations, big media channels like Zattoo, Das Erste, Arte or even Sky TV can only be viewed by people with a German IP address. It’s kind of like requiring you have a Berlin postal code, before allowing you access, it would never bother someone actually living in Germany.
However imagine you are a businessman from Berlin travelling abroad or perhaps a student studying in a different country – all your familiar home channels would be blocked to you by default. Perhaps you are an Expat living away from Germany and wanted to access the German DSF channel. There are loads of reasons and by using a proxy server like this then you can gain access from anywhere.
If you do need to get yourself a German IP address, I can definitely recommend the company Overplay, they have a huge range of different servers across the world all included in the same subscription – useful for watching different sites in the USA and UK for example. The software is very easy to use and the cost is much cheaper than most other proxy/VPN servers.
Updated – 19/11/2013
Well if it is banned then it could be time for a change. The simple truth is that your IP address is increasingly being used to control what you are allowed to access to on the web. Every time you visit a web site, a forum or social networking site your IP is registered, recorded and sometimes even blocked.
Have you ever clicked on a video on YouTube and been told – “I’m sorry that video is not available in your area” – it will be due to your location, or more specifically the location of your IP address. It might be that a video that is accessible in one country and blocked in others – the decision is made automatically , you may have a banned IP address for that video.
There are many other circumstances where your IP address may stop you accessing or viewing a web site. I have a friend who has an obsession with several computer games (mainly WOW and COD), when not playing the game he spends lots of times on various forums related to the games.
Unfortunately he has rather a big mouth, and also a tendency to logon to these forums late at night when he’s had a couple of drinks. This combination has led him to being banned from multiple forums due to a particular outburst and he gets quite upset about this.
Anyway after trying to create a few new accounts and failing, he realised that the ban was based on his IP address and asked me to help him change it. He knew I was very interested in security and online privacy and thought I could help him.
You may be able to change it simply by resetting your modem, some ISPs will assign you a new address each time you logon. Just check your IP address on your modem or router before resetting your connection, leave it off for a few minutes then reconnect. You might find you’ve been assigned a brand new address, it should be enough to get you passed a forum IP ban. However it won’t help with country address blocks like YouTube, Hulu or the BBC iPlayer I’m afraid, for those you’ll need an address in the specific country i.e. a British IP address for BBC, and American one for Hulu etc. The other option which may help is to use a method like this just using DNS – http://dnsproxy.co.uk/
If you need to reliably switch between different Ip addresses at will, the reality is that it’s very easy to do. In my friends case I merely pointed him at the security product I use called – Identity Cloaker. All he had to do was select a server to use and he connected through a private proxy/vpn server – the forum was unable to detect his real IP address and he was able to register a brand new account. Here’s an example screenshot – there are about hundreds of IP addresses to choose from spread across about a dozen countries.
Of course there are other methods of achieving this. You could ask your ISP for a new IP address, or perhaps swap ISPs altogether. If you’re getting lots of problems it might be worth doing this as sometimes IP addresses just get a bad name and get blocked in lots of situations.
It’s a pretty basic method but millions of people now use security products – the best proxy program I’ve used is Identity Cloaker to have complete control over their privacy and to enable them to switch IP addresses when they need to.