Staying anonymous online in a world of mass surveillance isn’t hard, if you have the right tools. A proxy server site ensures your identity is hidden without much effort. Specifically, it filters all Internet requests through a web form first, to mask your identity, while granting you access to sites with restrictions in your country. This way, you also get access to region-locked content, with an added layer of protection if you choose to use public Wi-Fi networks.
As you evaluate which free proxy server site to use, check its reputation, service quality, support for your browser, OS, nation of origin, and performance speeds.
Here are seven of the best free proxy server sites to hide your identity.
KProxy isn’t just free, it’s also fast and offers a portable browser you can use for browsing on the move. What makes it unique is that you get to hide the menu from the screen while using the proxy server site. Most other such sites don’t give this option, thus making it hard to browse effectively.
You can use it from wherever you are, whether at work, school, or university, as it offers a browser-based service, Firefox extension (with portable Firefox version) and Chrome extension. KProxy also allows you to switch between ten different proxy servers on the fly if your IP address is blocked while using any of them to gain instant access again.
There are a few limitations, though. KProxy only lets you browse free for up to three hours or until your 300MB data cap is exhausted. After this you may be prompted to pay for a Pro upgrade, though it’s not mandatory, or wait for thirty minutes to reconnect.
The proxy server site also logs your activity but doesn’t tell you how long it keeps your browsing records.
Hide.me is great for anonymous browsing. Just enter the URL you’d like to visit, select the proxy location from any of the three options – Germany, Netherlands, and U.S. – and you’re all set.
You can enable or disable encryption, cookies, objects and scripts on this site. It also offers a free VPN service that’s ad-free, though limited to 2GB of data transfer. However, the site doesn’t give access to Netflix content.
3. Hide My Ass!
This proxy site offers 100 percent free service as long as you’re connected with a lower speed option and are browsing the web – not streaming videos or playing games.
If you’re pressed for time or not able to download extra browser extensions or software, Hide My Ass is a great option. Your IP address and identity will be masked, with connection via servers in Netherlands, UK, or U.S. There are more country options, but you’d have to upgrade to the premium edition to access them.
The free version doesn’t offer speeds as fast as the premium one, nor does it have active malware protection or more secure encryption. It’s ideal for quick browsing, though. Another limitation is the large banner at the top of each web page, though this is an ad spot for the site’s own products. They won’t forward your data to third-party advertisers.
The service also collects log files including URLs visited, IP address, and the files or pages you viewed and when. But this is stored for only thirty days and is for statistical purposes.
Hidester boasts a reputation as the most reliable free proxy server site.
It protects you from malicious methods and scripts that can harm your computer by providing SSL proxy support.
Before you start browsing, you can select either a Europe or U.S. server and choose to allow/disallow cookies, encrypt the URL, and strip objects away from loading.
As you use the site, you can change the browser referrer so that the website “thinks” you’re using a different browser or operating system. It also allows you to clear cookies stored by any website while using the proxy.
VPNBook is less cluttered and cleaner than most other proxy server sites.
It uses a 256-bit encryption to hide traffic, supports HTTPS, and lets you select a server in the UK, U.S., or Canada. You can change the website you want to browse by typing it in at the top of the VPNBook webpage, but you have no control over blocking scripts or allowing/disallowing cookies.
It also comes with ads, but if that won’t be an issue, you can try it out.
While other sites come with ads, ProxySite lets you block ads, and you can use it with any website including YouTube.
Simply enter the URL you want to use with ProxySite.com, and pick between servers in Europe and the U.S.
The site also offers various social media buttons so you can jump quickly into these sites when you want. You also get to control whether to allow/disallow cookies, objects, and scripts. And if you are banned from the site you’re using, just switch servers at any time as you use the proxy.
This site allows you to manually pick between proxy servers in seven locations or have Whoer.net choose one for you.
It offers a variety of locations including Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Stockholm, London, and Los Angeles. The choice is up to you.
The main limitation with this site is the huge obtrusive ad at the top that you can’t remove. It also nudges you to buy the VPN service, so it tends to block your view of websites while browsing.
These seven proxy server sites may be free, but they ensure your browsing is safe and secure. Did your favorite proxy server site make the list? Tell us in the comments below.
Image Credit: Whoer.net