This tutorial has 2 parts: how to block ip address (your own) and how to block certain ip addresses (others). So, let’s start with the first part.
1. How to Block Your Own IP Address
One way of browsing the web in relative anonymity is by hiding your IP address. There are a few ways to do this, some of which you could explain to your grandmother, others requiring a hacker-level of understanding to perform.
The following is a guide which takes you though some of the most common:
First of all, what is a proxy? You should firstly be able to understand how and IP address works and what a proxy is.
Every time you connect to the internet, your computer is assigned a string of digits called an IP (Internet protocol) address. This number is sent to any servers that you visit and is remembered by those servers, which means there’s a virtual trail of every place you’ve been online.
A proxy server prevents this by allowing to you go outside of your network. In other words, when you connect to a proxy and route traffic through it, your IP is masked, since it appears to be coming from the proxy server.
There are a number of different kinds of proxies, each offering a certain degree or anonymity and security. Let’s take a closer look at some of them:
– Web-based proxies: The most common and easiest to use proxies, they are servers which you connect to through a browser in order to visit a website anonymously.
– Open proxies: Proxy servers which are either accidentally left open or hacked. They are not secure and often contain malicious software – which is why it is strongly recommended you avoid them.
– Anonymity Networks: Private networks which are run by users donating bandwidth. They are really slow and also not secure, since basically anyone can host bandwidth.
– Paid proxy software programs (like ID Hide Ever): Normally, such a program hides your internet traffic and real location from the world, which allows you to browse the web anonymously. If you trust the company that makes the software, of course.
– A VPN (Virtual Private Network): These are private networks where you connect directly to a proxy server run by a proxy company or organization.
– Proxy Chain: At this time, the most secure, untraceable VPNs use TOR, meaning all the network traffic is redirected to use TOR. This redirection can be done simply with the Linux built-in system package iptables. If you don’t want to set up the proxy chain yourself you can use one of the best windows apps like iProxyEver can do the job for you.
How to use a web-based proxy
First of all, you’ll have to find a list of proxies. A web-based proxy is useful being all the work is done through the browser, so it works no matter what operating system your computer runs on. Your IP address stays hidden, because the web page only knows the proxy server’s IP address.
There are several websites which list proxies that you can use, but proxy.org is a great place to start.
They’re also constantly updating their list and have lots of information of the subject, making it a useful resource to check out. It’s also important to keep in mind that proxy listing sites will be blocked by a school or work network, so you should do your research at home and only then try the proxy sites on the blocked computer.
Proxies which are overused get noticed and then blocked, so rotate between a few if you plan to use them daily. Also, remember that using a proxy will make browsing a lot slower.
That’s because the traffic has to go through the proxy server, reinterpreted, and then sent back to your location. Be prepared to wait longer for websites to load if you want to browse anonymously in this way!
If the proxy site you were planning on using is blocked, simply choose a different one. Try to go for sites which are geographically closer to your location – this will help minimize the loss of traffic speed.
One thing to look out for: after you enter the address of the website you wish to visit, there’s a chance it won’t load correctly, because proxy sites reinterpret the data of website you are trying to access.
This could mean a video you are trying to load simply won’t work. to get around this, simply try a different proxy site. Remember, while you are browsing through the proxy, your IP address will never be visible to the websites you visit.
A quicker way to do this all of this is by configuring your browser to automatically hide your IP address through a proxy server. This will require you to download and install a plug-in for your web browser, like the Switchproxy extension for Mozilla Firefox.
This tool takes all of its users` IP addresses and randomly assigns them to different users, thus making their online behavior really hard to track.
How to use VPN software
In order to download and install VPN (Virtual Private Network) software, you need administrator access to your computer.
Also, most VPN software requires a subscription, so be prepared to shell out a few bucks for the peace of mind which comes from anonymous browsing. Some advantages of VPNs are:
– they offer significantly higher levels of encryption than web-based proxies
– they work with all the internet traffic on your computer, as opposed to web-based proxies (including messaging and file transfers), which only work through the browser
If you don’t want to download the software and would simply prefer to manually enter the connection details for your VPN, you can set up the connection through the Windows Control Panel. You will still need to obtain an IP to connect to.
– Select Internet Options.
– In the Connections tab, click Add VPN. This will open the VPN window. Now the IP you are connecting to.
– If your VPN requires a username and password, you will be asked to enter it.
Follow these steps to set up a VPN connection in Windows 8:
– Display the Charms bar, click Search, and then click Settings.
– Type VPN into the Search box
– Click the Set Up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connection button in the Search results panel
– After the VPN Connection wizard appears, enter the VPN server address and the Destination Name
(this is just the name of your connection)
– Finally, click Create
The VPN connection has now been created and Windows 8 will display it under the Network heading in the Charms bar. Simply click on it to connect.
2. How to Block a certain IP address
If you want to block access to a certain IP address on a computer, one thing you can do is to use a special program made for this purpose.
There is, however, another thing you can do, and that’s to simply edit the Windows host file. What this host file does is it maps the host names to IP addresses.
If you change the IP address in the host file, it blocks outgoing connections to that particular site, something which gives a greater degree of control over the traffic, browsing activity, and also enhances network security.
Here are the steps to do this:
First of all, click the Start button and type “cmd” (without the quotation marks) in the Search box. After you’ve done that, hit Enter to open Command Prompt.
Now type “nslookup” (again, no quotation marks) followed by the IP address you want to block. If, for instance you want to prevent access to the IP address 12.345.678.90, you have to type the following:
Next hit Enter. If you want to know the IP for a website, simply type “ping” (without the quotation marks, you probably got that by now) followed by the URL of that website. (For example, “ping facebook.com”.
Write down the website name displayed above the IP address, which is the name associated with that particular address.
Use Windows Explorer to go to the Windows installation folder, which should be on the primary (C:) drive in the Windows folder. Now open “System 32”, “drivers”, and finally the “etc” folder. This will display the hosts file.
Right-click the file called “hosts” and select “Copy”. Next, right-click anywhere else inside the folder and hit “Paste”. This creates a file named “hosts – copy”, which you should use as a backup in case something goes wrong and you need to restore the hosts file.
Click Start, then go to All Programs, then to Accessories. Now right-click Notepad and select “Run as Administrator”.
Click File and select “Open” from the menu. Now select “All files” from the drop-down menu which will appear before you, next to the “File name” – this displays all file types. Select “hosts” from the lot and then click “Open” to open the hosts file as an administrator, which is necessary of you want to save it.
Scroll to the bottom of the file and, on a new line, type “127.0.0.1” (no quotation marks). After leaving a space, type the name of the website associated with the IP address you wish to block. If, for instance, you want to prevent access to “www.justasite.com”, you should enter:
Finally, save and close the hosts file and restart your computer, after which the changes can take effect. The IP address you’ve just blocked will not be accessible from this particular computer.
Make sure you haven’t blocked the IP address of a website required by installed software in order to verify license activation after the trial period is over. This way of avoiding the software’s copy protection is illegal.