Anonymous surfing on the Internet has long been an important concern for many people who value data protection and privacy. This is especially true when they use their PC or notebook to surf the Internet. For example, there are special programs and VPN. But surfing anonymously with a smartphone has not been that easy so far. We’ll explain how you can surf the Internet anonymously and why it is a big advantage for every expat living abroad.
Anyone who travels on the Internet inevitably leaves traces behind. For example, your IP address, a unique address of your own computer in the network. When you visit a website, your IP address is also visible to the site operator. With it you can – theoretically – also find out your actual location. Websites also store small files, so-called cookies, on your computer, with which they can collect information about your surfing behaviour.
Users who attach importance to anonymity when surfing will therefore certainly use some tools when surfing with their PC. Cookies can be blocked or deleted in common browsers such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox. You can use VPN servers to hide your IP address. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a self-contained network. If you connect your own computer to the VPN as a VPN client, your Internet connection is established via the network and the IP address is then only the IP address of the VPN server. So you can disguise your own identity and your location in the network.
For the PC or Mac there have been VPN services with add-ons for the browser available for quite some time, which allow you to anonymously surf websites. In the meantime there are also VPN tools for the smartphone. We would like to introduce you to our selection of VPN providers that also allow smartphone users to surf anonymously on the go.
Anonymous surfing with the smartphone – with VPN apps
VPN services are the simplest and at the same time most secure means of remaining anonymous online with a smartphone. Many of the services that have long been known as desktop applications or browser add-ons are now also available as apps for iPhone and Android smartphones.
One of the known and recommendable services is CyberGhost VPN. After the app has been installed and started on the smartphone, it automatically establishes an anonymous VPN connection, then you can surf safe in a public WIFI. Your own IP address is then replaced by an IP from the CyberGhost network and thus hidden from unauthorized access. In addition, CyberGhost on the smartphone browser automatically forwards to the encrypted HTTPS version of a website and thus prevents tracking by cookies.
With over 3,700 proxy servers in more than 55 countries, CyberGhost promises the user the highest possible encryption of data traffic and thus the highest level of anonymity. A 256-bit encryption technology protects sensitive data from spying attacks even when surfing in public WLAN hotspots. However, CyberGhost is not free of charge. The service is available depending upon Abo monthly starting from 2,45 euro. The app is available for download in the iOS App Store and for Android at Google Play.
- A free alternative in the basic version is the Hotspot Shield VPN app. However, Hotspot Shield is suspected of spying out the surfing behaviour of its users. Therefore, the service is not recommended for people who value data security. You can read a detailed article about VPN Apps here. Using a network of encrypted servers with the Tor Browser
- An alternative to VPN apps is the Tor browser, which has recently become available for Android smartphones. For PC and Mac, the Firefox-based Tor browser has been well known for some time, and is now available for free on the Android App Store.
- Similar to VPN services, Tor uses a network of encrypted servers to hide the user’s IP address. If your browser is connected to the Tor network, which is scattered all over the world, you can visit websites on the Internet anonymously and securely. You can also access regionally blocked content such as YouTube videos on your Android smartphone. Tor also blocks all trackers and automatically deletes all cookies when you close your browser.
The official Tor browser is not yet available for iOS. This is due to Apple’s limitations with third-party browsers. However, you can still use the unofficial Onion browser to go anonymously online with your iPhone and iPad via the Tor network.