Getting a totally private internet is not so easy in today’s context. At some level or the other, someone is trying to clue in on what’s being transmitted through your computer.
In all likelihood, it’s your internet service provider (ISP) itself.
By using what are known as transparent proxies, ISPs create or setup a server that is meant to take your communications to it and keep a track before allowing it to proceed to the recipients.
The unfortunate part of it is that the average computer user may not be able to know or detect that this is happening between their system and the ISP’s main server.
Here is a complete backgrounder on transparent proxies and the ways to bypass them:
How Transparent Proxies Work
As mentioned, and as the name itself partially suggests, some ISPs insert a proxy server just outside of the network that connects your computer to their main server.
This proxy server can intercept the messages or other activities that emanate from your system and keep a cache or log.
Now what purpose this serves the ISP is not very clear. Do they intend keeping it as evidence if some law enforcement were to ask for it?
One must quickly add here that certain large business organizations do setup transparent proxies within their internal networks. But that is with a positive intent or to protect their networks from possible cyberattacks.
In the normal course as you use your system to access the internet, you may not be able to know if there is indeed a transparent proxy behind.
But people with the knowledge on these subjects can use tools to detect it. If you suspect or wish to be sure, you can take their help and do what is necessary.
How to Bypass Transparent Proxies
Any security expert will be able to promptly advise you to add a virtual private network (or VPN) to your network to prevent your communications from getting intercepted.
Here’s how to do it:
Choose a VPN Service Provider
There are a number of companies out there offering VPN service; some even offer it for free. You can check out their websites, go through their features, check where their servers are located and read through reviews from people who have used the service.
Importantly, check if they confirm that they do not keep any log of the data transmitted through their VPN.
Add the VPN to Your Network
Once you have chosen the VPN and paid the subscription, it is not very difficult to download and install it. The VPN provider’s site will have a download link and after downloading, it will guide you through the steps to a proper installation, just like any other software would.
Activate the VPN
After installing the VPN you will need to start using it by logging in or signing in. This can be done with the support within the app. If it requires you to choose a password to sign in, you can do that.
Choose a Server
The VPN service provider may offer you a choice of servers they have at different locations. You can choose the one you prefer and then you are good to go.
5. Double-Check If Your IP Address Has Changed
This is the confirmation you need that you have gone anonymous. You can check if your IP is the one that matches the VPN server you’re connected to by using free tools such as whatismyIP.com.
A VPN encrypts all data going out from your system. If you sign up with a solid and reliable VPN service, you will have a genuine encryption service and nobody will be able to intercept and/or decrypt your connection or communication before it reaches the destination—whether it is an email recipient or a website you are visiting.
Apart from the encryption service that a VPN provides, there is the change of your IP address, ensuring you go anonymous.
Encryption Extremely Useful
To drive home how end-end encryption is useful, consider you use your system to regularly conduct banking transactions.
You will have your user ID and password details on your system and would be inputting it each time to transfer funds. In the absence of encryption, a hacker can intercept the data and misuse it to cause you loss. Depending on the actual situation, this loss could be enormous.
No doubt there may be some kind of protection like a virtual keyboard or a two-stage authentication with your mobile phone being sent an OTP.
But equally, there may be thousands out there who are not conversant with such risks associated with the use of online resources for financial transactions.
That is where encryption of data will be very useful, and a VPN can do this for you while bypassing a transparent proxy as well.
VPN the Ideal Bypass Tool
As mentioned, the other important feature you get with the VPN is obscuring your IP address.
Your IP address is your virtual address, and if your ISP or any interceptor is able to monitor your traffic, they will know from where you are using your computer and if you browse from different locations, they can plot your route and movements as well.
If you can protect your IP address from being read by any outsider, the VPN does it for you. The way it is done is that the VPN virtually takes over the traffic and even if someone deliberately tried to find out where you were, it will show the address of the server of the VPN service provider.
So, no one, including your ISP, will know your location and be aware of which sites you have visited. You get total privacy.
Indirectly, many users have added a VPN to fool their ISPs to gain access to certain blocked contents like Netflix and others.
If you were to watch your favorite programs on your laptop and assume you are travelling, your ISP will know your location and deny access to such services, saying the facility is not available in the country you are accessing from.
With a VPN, though, you have no such worries. You can continue watching all you want, without any hassles.
Get a VPN to bypass the proxy.