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Anonymous Web Browsing

September 24, 2007

Well, you probably have one or two reasons for web surfing anonymously:

  • Live in a country that censors the internet connection.
  • Don’t want some web sites to censor or block the content based on your IP address.
  • Don’t want some web sites to keep track of your viewing history.
  • Don’t want your ISP to block the access to some web sites.

To me, it’s the 2nd one. For instance, many Google services automatically choose the language it thinks you’d use based on your IP address. This wouldn’t be a big deal if Google could remember your choice once you set it in the settings of either Google account or individual service. Also, video streaming is often limited to IP addresses in US. I couldn’t watch US Open from its official site. 😦

For web browsing, you can consider two small programs:



Tor
: (Win/Mac/Linux) a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Also work with instant messaging, IRC, SSH and other applications using TCP protocol.

This program is best to work with Firefox with Torbutton add-on. Read the warning before download the software. This guide, “Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor”, has more detailed instruction (well, the main topic is more than Tor’s how-to).

I haven’t tried this one yet, even though Firefox is my default browser. In the warning it suggests to uninstall some plugins or extensions to make this really work. Or, use separate browsers for different purposes. Before messing up with my Firefox setting, I tried the next one, which does work for me.

UltraSurf: (Win) Work with IE. It’s a green software, no installation needed, and it’s very small, only 106 KB. What I want for anonymous web browsing is to occasionally view some video streaming as mentioned above. Using IE only for that purpose is all right.

When starting UltraSurf, the default setting will call IE , which then opens a site called Wujie in Simplified Chinese. You can change the setting in Option.

Maybe I will try PortableTor with Firefox in a USB drive later, or even xB Browser. Anyway, for the moment, with UltraSurf I can watch US Open and NBC TV shows. 😀

Update: I have tried to install Portable {Tor + Firefox} and failed to mask my IP address. Haven’t had time to figure why (could it be because of the add-ons I installed?). I also tried xB Browser, which was pre-configured tor + firefox in fact. When using it, the speed was way too slow, often interrupted and trying to reconnect. Guess that you just have to pay for using their high-speed network. 🙄

2 Comments leave one →
  1. wildlx permalink
    September 26, 2007 11:16 pm

    I tried UltraSurf to watch rugby videos on ITV and it didn’t work. It recognized that I was not in the UK :(.

  2. September 27, 2007 8:25 am

    I don’t know you like watching rugby 😉

    UltraSurf did work for me in US Open and NBC sites, both using Flash as video format.

    ITV is different since it only supports IE for viewing video (bad sign) and its embedded player uses Windows Media DRM (another bad sign). I guess that’s the culprit. I haven’t done as told to get a unique DRM upgrade for my computer.

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