In a world where Donald Trump is the leader of the free world (as they call it), there is little doubt that privileges such as freedom of speech and inclusivity (along with diversity) are under threat.
If you happen to believe in climate change then rest assured Donald Trump will have someone watch over you.
You don’t want that or do you?
The internet has become a very dangerous place especially since terrorist organizations have started to leverage its immense power and recruit fighters. Sometimes cyber criminals coerce you into doing something you don’t want to.
Other times, hackers along with other cyber criminals only infect your personal computer machine with a little something by the name of ransomware.
Ransomware blocks all your interactions with your computer machine and unless you pay up, usually in the form of Bitcoins so that hackers along with cyber criminals can’t be tracked easily, you can’t access your computer ever again.
In other words, maintaining your online anonymity should be on the top of your list right now.
We haven’t even mentioned the usual suspects here such as advertisement companies and government spying agencies who keep a close eye on what’s happening on the internet.
With Russia meddling with the US election this year (or so says New York Times), it is all but assured that the United States of America along with all other governments around the world will ramp up their spying gear and will keep an even closer watch on their citizens as they go about their daily routines.
An ad-driven internet along with a paranoid government essentially shouts out loud that you need to protect your identity and guard your sensitive information.
The whole ecosystem of the internet is now under heavy surveillance thanks to law enforcement agencies and marketing companies.
You need to reverse their efforts in order to safeguard your sanity. It isn’t exactly healthy when you know in the back of your mind that you’re being constantly monitored by someone or something.
It doesn’t matter if the surveillance is because of a serious issue like national security or if it is financially motivated as in the case of companies that desperately want you to buy a great TV set or a smartphone.
Governments along with advertising companies aren’t happy with knowing most things about you. They want to know everything about everyone at all times.
Hence, it stands to common sense that evading all their traps will prove to be a difficult task.
To tell you the truth. It is.
But just as you can thwart all attempts from fast food companies who try to goad you into eating their junk food by taking simple steps such as eating home cooked food and eating less, similarly you can evade all the advanced surveillance systems of governments and advertising companies with the help of some simple, but not easy, steps.
Make no mistake, being anonymous can bring a tremendous amount of benefits and satisfaction. You didn’t really think that you could criticize leaders of countries such as China or Russia or even the United States of America (especially now) and get away with it without having any sort of production.
A simple name change or an account change won’t matter because these big spying agencies and advertising companies have advanced tools which can track you down using every bit of information that you leak into the vast world of the internet.
And take our word for it, you leak a lot of information when you visit your favorite websites every day non-stop.
In short, you need to be unidentifiable and undiscoverable in order to fully enjoy the internet, which was supposed to be a free for all place where people from all cultures could say and do whatever they wanted without any repercussions as in the real world.
Do keep in mind that by following this guide, you will have to let go some of your bad habits. That would also mean that you won’t be able to utilize some features of the modern web which look attractive on the outside, but track everything about you (and then sell that information to advertising companies) when you use them.
Today, we’re going to show you how you can protect your identity along with other private data with the help of a really worthwhile tool by the name of VPN and a DNS.
But we’re not talking about just any kind of VPN service. We’re talking about a VPN service provider that not only protects your identity and data from everyone else but also protects it from itself. That is, a VPN service should not keep any data about its subscribers.
You might be surprised to know that most VPN services keep log files on their users. Let’s think and then talk about that a bit more for a moment.
How To Have Total Anonymity Through The Use Of A Logless VPN
Simply put, a VPN, or a virtual private network protects your data and your identity by encrypting all of your device’s internet traffic.
After it has done that through means you don’t really want to know or need to know, it re-routes your now encrypted internet traffic through a tunnel in the form of a remote server.
That server is located wherever the user wants it to be located. Of course, the location of the VPN server also depends on if your VPN service provider offers a server in your desired location.
In any case, the end result of all that is you get to have a device whose IP address is hidden from everyone else.
That also means that entities such as your government and internet service provider can’t really track your movements and then know what you’re doing on the internet.
The vast majority of VPN service providers make sure of, what we call, shared IP addresses for their VPN servers.
To put it in even more simpler words, a good VPN service provider assigns a single IP address to hundreds and sometimes thousands of subscribers.
And since thousands of subscribers have the same IP address, it becomes a very difficult task for anyone or any organization to track the online activity of any particular user (because everything is mixed up).
Before we move forward, you need to understand two things very clearly. The words privacy and anonymity are sometimes understood to be synonyms.
In some cases, they might be, but most of the times, they are not.
VPN service providers ensure your privacy. They don’t really do much as far as total anonymity is concerned.
So if you think that any VPN service can protect all your privacy and anonymity needs then you need to think again.
If you want to genuinely remain hidden then you need to take certain extra steps and precautions.
As mentioned before, privacy and anonymity are two terms that, most of the time, confuse people.
Anonymity means the characteristic of being unknown while privacy basically means the state of not being watched or observed by someone else.
Whenever you sign up for a VPN service provider, you have to show some kind of trust in the service. Otherwise, why would you even think about signing up right?
VPN service providers need to take advantage of some third party services that enable them to offer their users low-cost foolproof security.
Some of these third-party services include companies that provide hosting services to the VPN’s servers.
Most VPN service providers don’t have their own VPN server facilities.
But don’t worry, your internet traffic is usually encrypted on your own local device and then it remains in an encrypted state until its destination arrives, which is the VPN server.
When your encrypted internet traffic reaches the VPN server it is decrypted before being routed to its final destination.
In other words, for a short period of time, your internet traffic is exposed to a certain someone. That certain someone is your VPN provider.
Hence, you can’t just sign up for any VPN service. You must sign up for such a VPN service that keeps no logs on its users. In other words, a logless VPN service.
VPN service providers have a lot of names for such a feature. Sometimes they call it no-log policy. Others call this feature as zero-log policy.
No matter what they call it, all the terms mean the same thing, that is, the VPN service provider has a duty to not keep any information about its users’ internet traffic.
Now there is no way to make sure that they keep their word. You’ll have to rely on what other people have experienced and various review sites (such as the one you’re reading right now).
But is it really that simple? Surely it can’t be that all you need to do is find a VPN service provider that says it doesn’t keep logs on its customers.
The reality is that while there are many VPN service providers who claim they have a zero-log policy, most of them do indeed store some form of metadata on their subscribers.
It all depends on the user. If you want to be totally anonymous, a non-zero-log policy is a big problem. Otherwise, it isn’t.
Now, do keep in mind that metadata does not consist of any piece of information that might reveal the contents of you online encrypted traffic. But, it can store some form of information that you may not want your VPN service provider to see or store. Information such as,
- When was the last time you used the VPN service
- For how long you used the VPN service
- How much data did you transfer during your session
- Your real IP address
To guard against that, you have to do what they don’t expect you to do: read their policy for dirty little details that might compromise your privacy or anonymity.
With that said, it is also true that there are very few genuine zero-log VPN service providers out there in the market. Most premium VPN service providers require subscribers to show a bit of trust. Just like you trust your spouse hasn’t done something funny with your dinner, you’ll have to have faith that your VPN service provider will remain true to its word. Also, never sign up for a VPN service without, first, reading reviews about it.
But even if you don’t show any trust, it doesn’t matter much because there is no way to actually “know” if the VPN service provider is honest about its zero-log policy for all its users.
VPN service providers have to protect their business and their brand and hence have to, sometimes, act responsibly when governments come calling for some user data. This usually takes place in the form of a government subpoena.
What Should You Do Then?
Well, all you need to do really is to combine your VPN service with Tor. That way you would have taken the strongest measures that are possible to remain totally anonymous.
Also, try not to sign up for VPN service providers that are based in the US or in the UK. Add Europe to that list as well.
The problem with these regions is that governments along with law enforcement agencies have very strict data retention laws there.
Governments along with their intelligence agencies can ask your VPN service provider for your information and by law, your VPN service would have to provide that information. Otherwise, they risk getting shut down.
Not to mention that intelligence agencies in these regions have some really smart blokes who can hack anything and anyone. It’s best to stay away from them.
So, in order to make it doubly hard for anyone to track your movements and protect your anonymity, you must make sure that whenever you connect to the internet, you connect through the Tor Browser and then turn on the VPN service.
Some VPN service providers have advanced features that enable users to configure their VPN clients to work with live operating systems such as Tails OS and others. They have to be configured manually though.
As for the VPN services, IPVanish is the one that we recommend. You can read IPVanish full review here.
Otherwise, you can read a bit more about the best VPN service providers by reading our detailed guide here.