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					?An anonymous proxy is a computer program designed to hide your identity when
browsing the Internet. The program runs from a third party server and handles data
exchange between you and the servers you want to access, such as websites, web mail,
and chat rooms. With an anonymous proxy, you never deal directly with the places
you visit; you send and receive data via the proxy. It is "anonymous" because it hides
information about you such as your IP address and geographic location. In addition to
this, an anonymous proxy can protect you from spyware and tracking devices such
cookies, pop-ups and malicious scripts.

Why use an anonymous proxy server? There are a number of benefits to using one,
namely:

- Ability to bypass network restrictions
- Increased privacy
- Faster browsing

Suppose you use a computer in school or work. The local area network has banned a
website that you want to access. Or you may be trying to access a site that forbids
visitors from your country. If you have ever wondered how to bypass network
restrictions, an anonymous proxy is the answer. Because your IP address is either
changed or hidden, the site doesn't recognize you for who/where you really are and
you gain free access. Note however that willfully circumventing network or website
restrictions may be illegal. If you want to use a proxy just to access banned sites, ask
yourself if it's really worth the risk.

Anonymous proxies may also be used to surf anonymously. Do you want to cover
your tracks, hide your surfing interests and/or not be recognized by a web admin? An
anonymous proxy will let you do just that. No one will know your IP address,
returning visits, browser type or country of origin.

Finally, you can accelerate web browsing using a proxy server. Proxies often cache
pages and files that other users have requested before you. If you send a request and
the proxy finds it's already there in the cache, it will display it instantly.
 An anonymous proxy can also be used for malicious reasons. The server owner
could be a hacker or spammer who retrieves e-mail passwords, account numbers and
other sensitive data. It is important to find an anonymizer that enables secure
connections so you can encrypt your data during transit.

Sometimes knowing how to bypass network restrictions and surf unseen can be a bad
thing. Anonymous proxies can be used to harass or stalk people online. If you get
e-mail messages and discover from the headers that the sender is using an anonymous
server, contact the server owner and the authorities to report the incident. Never reply
to the spammer or stalker.
For best and safest results, it is highly advisable that you use only a trusted proxy
server with a clean track record. It may cost you a little unlike free proxies, but then
again is there a price for your privacy and security?Peter Garant has written many
articles about Proxy server software for a recently launched website about Why Use
An Anonymous Proxy Server?.

				
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