http://www.globalpov.com/images/invisibleman.jpg

There are lots of reasons folks have for wanting to surf anonymously, ranging from simple paranoia to possibly being murdered by a malevolent foreign government. Whatever the reasons, commercial services that offer anonymity are doing real well. However one of the best services JAP [1], is totally free. In fact JAP is perhaps a little too good. That's why the German Police insisted in 2004 that a backdoor be put into the product to allow interception of child pornographers. This was done but subsequently removed as a result of court action by JAP.

An alternative to JAP is a system called Tor [2]. It not only allows anonymous browsing but anonymous P2P, email, IM, and IRC chat as well. Given the US Navy origin of Tor, the suspicion arises that this system may indeed have a permanent backdoor. However the source code is now publicly available so that suspicion can perhaps be set aside. More worrying was a raid by German police in September 2006 involving the seizing of some Tor servers in that country. Again, pedophiles were the supposed target but who really knows.

Whatever, both JAP and Tor offer a level of secrecy that is better than many commercial systems though not watertight. Do expect your surfing to slow down as you'll be relayed through a chain of servers particularly with Tor which has been ground to a near standstill by BitTorrent users seeking to hide from the RIAA. Note: the latest V5 release of JAP now allows Tor users to use JAP as a software access point.

A recent development is the release of the XeroBank Browser [3], previously called TorPark, a special version of the Firefox browser that has been configured to work with the free Tor anonymizing service and run directly from a USB flash drive. It's a neat idea; just plug in your USB stick to any PC with a USB port and Firefox V2 is automatically launched, set up for secure and private surfing.
http://www.proxyway.com/www/image/site/logs1.gif

[1] JAP
Website: http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/index_en.html
Download Link: http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/download_en.html
Author: JAP is a software development within the Project Anonymity in the Internet sponsored by the German Research Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The Project works closely with the Independent Center for Data Privacy Schleswig-Holstein.
Current version: 00.09.010
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download File size: 15,623,168 Bytes
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista,
Macintosh, Os/2, Linux/Unix
Additional Software Required: Java (downloadable from http://sun.java.com)
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: German
Other relevant information: None
http://www.filebuzz.com/software_screenshot/full/32315-ip2proxy_anonymous_proxy_detection__desktop_application_.jpg
[2] Tor
Website: http://tor.eff.org/
Download Link: http://www.torproject.org/download.html.en
Author: Tor Project
Current version: 0.1.2.19
Version date: -n/a-
License: BSD Freeware (information on website)
Download file size: 6.38 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista,
Mac OS, Linux/Unix
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[3] XeroBank Browser
Website: http://www.xerobank.com/xB_browser.html
Download Link: http://update.xerobank.com/distro/XeroBank/xB-Browser_latest.exe
Author: XeroBank
Current version: 2.0.0.10a
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download file size: 8.8 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows NT and Later
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[4] OperaTor
Website: http://archetwist.com/opera/operator
Download Link: http://operator.pbwiki.com/f/OperaTor-2.4b.zip
Author: Arche Twist
Current version: 2.4b
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download file size: 6.4 MB
Operating Systems Supported: All Windows
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

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Vishnu vardhan Reddy Boda is Tech Blogger and Software Engineer.

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