Anonymity might be an essential factor for your internet activity, but it can also limit you in many ways.

If you are only using the internet through a VPN connection, then you are “anonymous”. This is not because of your VPN service itself though, but because the IP address provided by your ISP does not match up with your physical location. Many users however make little to no use of this anonymity. The article below lists 5 things that should be done while connected through a VPN IP address.

Considerations before you start:

1) Make sure that all services that you need will work correctly when using these techniques (for example torrent clients sometimes require special configs in order to access certain trackers). Some methods may also be a security risk on their own.

2) Always make sure you use a VPN provider that respects your privacy and anonymity, as explained in this article.

3) A VPN connection might require some additional configuration, depending on the provider and type of device that is used to connect (VPN routers are particularly convenient). The Unlimited Free VPN guide shows how to configure your system for OpenVPN. Another free option is PPTP, which requires less effort but also provides lower bandwidth speeds.

4) Keep in mind that when torrenting through a VPN connection, only the tracker IPs will be protected by the VPN service itself. Your ISP will still be able to monitor all other information sent over P2P connections (for example your actual IP address when uploading or downloading).

5) If you have a good, unlimited and secure VPN connection, you should connect to it whenever possible. When using your own ISP’s connection, however, be sure to use the techniques below in order not to risk exposing sensitive information (OpenDNS & Google DNS might also help).

6) Make sure that you are fully aware of which data is sent over your internet connection when using these methods (don’t use antivirus for example if it sends out info about its database every time that program updates are available).

7) Use The Onion Router Instead Of HTTP(S). HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which forms the basis of communication on the web. It is not encrypted, however, meaning that your ISP or any other third party could easily monitor the information sent over this protocol.

When browsing through Tor (The Onion Router), you connect to an intermediate network of computers around the world. This way, no one knows where the data comes from and where it goes next, making it much harder to track who accessed what information. The same principle applies to sending emails.

8) Use Encrypted Communication Between Your Device And The Internet. While HTTP traffic can be monitored by anyone along the route taken by your connection, HTTPS traffic is always encrypted. This guarantees that no one will intercept sensitive information between your browser (such as chrome – and a website server (such as bank details).

Using a VPN service will encrypt all traffic, but you can also use P2P encryption to protect data that does not leave your computer. Tools such as K-Sherlock will encrypt files before sending them over the web and decrypt them on the other end (for example when sharing a file via torrent clients).

9) Browse Anonymously While Being Logged In To Websites. This is something that relatively few people think of, but it can actually be very effective at protecting sensitive information while using OpenDNS. When browsing through an ISP connection or VPN for instance, it might be possible to know which websites you accessed by looking up where all those IP addresses lead to (by running traceroute for instance). Active online might also provide useful clues about your identity.

If you are logged in on Facebook or Twitter, for example, it will be possible to find out which websites you visited even when using a VPN connection by looking at the Cookies stored in your browser. This means that you should log out of any social network before connecting to a VPN service (or use an incognito window).

10) Make Use Of Tor Hidden Services For Anonymous Browsing

Tor is not used only by NSA agents trying to hide their location. Tourists in countries where certain websites are blocked can also benefit from its anonymizing abilities. The Onion Router does not just keep who is accessing what information anonymous, but also hides your computer’s actual IP address by encrypting all traffic between the device and the intermediate nodes.

While this might be a great way to access blocked websites, there are downsides. For instance, Tor is much slower than regular connections and in most cases not an option for streaming videos due to the immense latency issues (not to mention that it can also be used by cybercriminals).


Using a DNS server is one of the least demanding ways of protecting your anonymity when browsing the net. In fact, many people don’t even notice when their ISP changes its DNS settings. What this essentially does though, is redirect traffic from certain websites based on their URL instead of an IP address. This means that if certain records are associated with a website’s IP, your ISP could change the records so that you see a completely different site when opening up a particular domain.

OpenDNS instead takes the traffic to a DNS server closer to its original destination and then directs it accordingly without intercepting anything. This means faster browsing speeds and an improved user experience, but also that no one will be able to know which sites you accessed while using their ISP connection (or VPN service for that matter).