Anonymizer or anonymous proxy is a tool that helps users to make their online activity be untraceable. It is a proxy server that acts as intermediaries between the user’s computer and the internet. By acting as a bridge, this proxy server attempts to provide a shield of anonymity by protecting the identification information or device fingerprint of the user’s computer that is using the services or resources.
There are several types of anonymous proxy servers that are available both commercially and for free on the internet. One type is the protocol-specific anonymizer. It is implemented to work only with one particular protocol and can only mediate connections that use a particular protocol. The main advantage of this anonymizer is that it doesn’t need extra software. This anonymous server works when the user communicates with the anonymizer by simply initiating a connection to it and sending commands inside a message. On the other hand, the receiving end of the command will strip out the commands. And then, the anonymizer will connect to the resource specified by the inbound command and relay the message as if it were originating from the anonymizer itself. Some example of a protocol-specific anonymous server is an anonymous remailer for e-mail, web proxies, and bouncers for FTP and IRC.
The second type is the protocol independent anonymizer. It is different from the protocol-dependent anonymizer because it uses additional software or must support the tunneling protocol in order to communicate and send protocol. This effectively tunnels traffic between the internet and the user’s computer. The technology that can be used to create a tunnel to the anonymizer may include OpenVPN, SOCKS4, SOCKS5, PPTP, etc. To be able to communicate with the protocol independent anonymous server, either the desired application must support the tunneling protocol or additional software must be installed to force all connections through the tunnel. For example, SOCKS are often supported by web browsers, FTP, and IRC clients.