Fri Feb 15, 2008
It doesn’t matter how many firewalls, P2P filters, script blockers, or spyware removers you use, the one giveaway to your identity on the Internet is your IP address. Those numbers will trumpet your location to whoever’s interested, which is why you’ll often see annoying ads like “Find friends in (insert your city here) now!” This lack of privacy is a huge problem for political dissidents in China, or for anyone in that country who wants to surf an uncensored version of the net.
Fortunately, there are anonymous proxies that you can use to redirect your traffic through servers in ‘safe’ countries. One piece of software that does this extremely well is Ultrasurf 8 by Ultrareach Internet Corp. Ultrasurf was designed specifically to provide surfing freedom and anonymity to the Chinese. The beauty of this software is that is searches for the fastest US proxies in the background while encrypting Internet Explorer so that you will never be hounded by the Chinese Internet police. Plugins like Firefox’s ProxySwitch, or ad-supported software like Hotspot Shield are not nearly as good.
The benefits for Canadians of using this software is that you can get around copyright restrictions on streaming your favourite US TV shows from network sites, or streaming music on pandora. I do not endorse engaging in these sorts of activities, of course, but thought you should be aware of the possibilities.