It’s likely that your online behaviour is being logged by social media platforms for the purpose of selling you to advertisers, and governments, educational institutions and companies know precisely where and what you’re browsing.
While the former is annoying – after all, ‘if the product is free, you’re the product’ – the end result is just targeted ads, and, perhaps, overinflated prices.
However, it can be extremely frustrating when your school or office blocks you from accessing certain websites. This is often done in a heavy-handed way, either by using algorithms to blanket ban entire subjects/categories of content or by blacklisting entire sites.
My old workplace (a PR agency) blocked Facebook and Twitter, ostensibly to prevent employees from scrolling and chatting on the clock. In reality, we couldn’t reach out to influencers and media in the way they preferred; a huge part of the job!
A bigger problem – the Chinese government blocks each and every Google domain, including Gmail. We get that there’s not much travelling going on right now, but imagine going to Shanghai on a business trip and being unable to check your email and calendar or access important travel and work documents. Or – living there, and finding it difficult to stay in touch with your international friends.
You may also find that you’re barred from websites or content depending on your location. Netflix, for example, serves up completely different movies and TV shows based on the country you’re in. Being halfway through a totally addictive series and then losing access by crossing a border really blows – but it’s even worse in reverse!
So – how do we get around these restrictions?
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
VPNs provide privacy, anonymity and security for users by creating a private network connection across a public network connection.
Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as a ‘Chrome VPN’, but plenty of VPNs – like Anonymox – have a Chrome extension or Add-on that allows you to control the VPN via your browser.
Anonymox is an anonymisation network made up of X servers in X countries; provided and managed by us to the highest standards of data security and user privacy.
Instead of accessing a website directly, you’ll go through one of our servers, called a proxy. The proxy masks your true online identity – so the website won’t know who’s checking it out, or their location. Access the sites and content you want, wherever and whoever you are.
At the time of publication, Anonymox has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 and 500, 000+ users on the Chrome Web Store.
You can get started with the free version in just a few clicks, or go Premium – it’s up to ten times faster (bye bye, buffering!) and packed with extra features, such as no ads and additional encryption, countries and identities.