Anonymity is a nearly unobtainable state in the digital world. Keeping segments of private information invisible to the public eye has never been harder, especially under constant surveillance from tech companies, social media networks, and government agencies. The multifunctionality of modern digital tools and software is like a double-edged sword – the elements that make them convenient and efficient are also a nightmare to user privacy.
To keep every user under close supervision, tech companies and, in the worst cases – cybercriminals have many access points that are privacy and security vulnerabilities. The most obvious one is a public IP address. All devices have a unique identity in a local area network, and each traveling data packet adopts an address supplied by the internet service provider. Through all these gadgets and the software inside, technically proficient onlookers can summarize the information from all sources and obtain a lot of private information about the user. When done continuously, the compilation of such data is the product of efficient online tracking.
While IP addresses are essential for effective online communication that follows strict guidelines imposed by the internet protocol., if all users shared their addresses and used each other’s identities as proxy servers, malicious third parties would lose the way to track our location, activities, and changes in private user data.
This method of protection is called peer-to-peer sharing (P2P), and in this article, we will discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and most effective implementation in the history of the web. In the end, you should be able to decide when to utilize P2P and when to use a proxy server instead. One of the relevant use cases would be connections to geo-blocked websites.
For example, if you cannot connect to a web page that is only available to visitors for France, you could use a France proxy from a legitimate proxy provider. Most popular suppliers have servers all over the world, including French proxies for users that want to connect to a local website, observe local ads, or mislead connection recipients to preserve anonymity. With the help of the best providers and dedicated customer support, you will get a France proxy IP in no time!
How P2P sharing works
Anonymous P2P communication is possible when participants dedicate their devices as data transmission nodes, where resources are shared among the participants. The distaste for soft mass surveillance, sneakily implemented by tech companies and government agencies, has sparked the growth in interest and funding for P2P sharing. By blending network identities together, participants can share files and valuable information without tracking, data collection, or retribution from unsatisfied parties.
Unfortunately, such secretive communication tactics are often used to illegally distribute licensed products and other goods deemed illegal. However, the main motivating factors for maintaining P2P infrastructure come from a desire for safe and anonymous browsing sessions without invasive intervention from third parties. Most users like P2P communication because they prefer stricter privacy while browsing the web or avoiding censorship.
ToR project – The magnum opus of P2P communication
ToR project presents a browser that utilizes onion routing – the secretive method of communication over networks layered with encryption. The vast network of computers around the world provides a high level of secrecy, as the constantly communicating nodes are only aware of the neighboring connections and cannot peek at the encrypted data that is passing through.
While the onion routing was already being tested and implemented in the 90s, the highest levels of transparency and anonymity could only be achieved without one party governing and managing the project. The project went public in 2002, and its browser became a go-to choice for internet privacy enthusiasts and cybercriminals, the most successful implementation of a P2P overlay network.
When should you choose proxy servers?
P2P communication and the usage of the ToR browser have a fair share of downsides that can ruin your browsing experience. While nodes are anonymized, they are not infinite, and without the ability to choose an access point, you may end up with a slow internet connection.
To make matters worse, many internet users choose ToR as a tool to commit crimes on the web. This way, some IP addresses can be blacklisted on the most popular websites, which may restrict your access to these websites while using a P2P connection.
Last but not least, connecting to a website that is restricted to one location or a set of regions is like playing a lottery. Without knowing your access point, it can take a very long time till the randomly chosen node is the correct one.
Datacenter proxy servers are your best bet if you want to eliminate all of the problems mentioned above. Find yourself a legitimate provider with the best servers that are close to your location, or choose an intermediary server in a preferred region, and you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of anonymity without the shortcomings of a P2P connection.