Dr. Edmond Locard’s exchange principle states that “with contact between two items, there will be an exchange.” Therefore, on a crime scene the perpetrator of that crime would have brought something to the scene and also leave with with something from the scene. Locard essentially observed that every contact leaves a trace. Though Dr. Edmond Locard died in 1966, his principle lives on in both the physical and digital worlds. While your computer never touches another physically, it does leave digital traces in the form of requests, logs, cookies, etc. Most users are oblivious to this, but for those who want to spy on you, send you spam, and perform other malicious activities, these digital traces are invaluable to them and a bane to your computer.
In its early days, the Internet was seen as an egalitarian mechanism for the world. But history has shown that corrupt corporations and governments often want to subvert those freedoms. The underlying problem is that the core Internet architecture is an easy means for nefarious entities to covertly monitor an individual’s Internet usage.
Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing Platinum comes close to making all of your Internet traces invisible.This privacy software uses the Anonymizer anonymous proxy network, which uses anonymous proxy servers to hide your computer’s online identity. This makes your IP address invisible to everyone else. For example, if your ISP gives you a public IP address, Anonymizer Anonymous hides that from the rest of the world, and all they will see is an IP address from Anonymizer, Inc.
For those who are serious about security, and for those who don’t want to be bothered by spammers, phishers, and a myriad of other scams and threats, the Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing system is a superb product.
Price to Value (5 out of 5)
The price for Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing Platinum, currently $79.99 for a one-year subscription is very little to spend in order to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of spammers, phishers, Nigerian fraudsters, and hundreds of other scams. Compared to other options, this is a nice deal.
Installation & Setup (5 out of 5)
The Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing system is pretty easy to configure. You can safely accept the defaults. The downside is that an inexperienced user can compromise some of the security it affords if things are mis-configured. This is not a knock against Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing, rather an issue with any security procedure where an oblivious end-user can modify system settings.
Product Features (5 out of 5)
The Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing feature set is extensive. It gives you just about all of the protection you need to go on the Internet without the constant hassle of being scammed or spammed.
The secure web use is facilitated via the Anonymizer.com secure tunnel. This tunnel creates an encrypted link between your PC and the Anonymizer.com servers. This secure connection ensures that your web surfing, emails, messages, etc., is done completely anonymously.
This secures you since it is the Anonymizer proxy server that performs the request to the specific web site, not your PC. You communicate with the proxy, not the remote web site. This window of protection ensures your privacy and security.
The Platinum product suite offers protection in these 5 areas:
An additional product feature is the Digital Shredder. The Digital Shredder deletes unused files, including cache and browser files. If someone has physical access to your computer, there is a huge amount of residual information that they can obtain. By deleting items such as recently opened files, erasure of Auto-Complete, deletion of system temporary files and folders, cookie deletion, and deletion of the browser cache and history much of the forensic information that an attacker could obtain is obviated.
Digital Shredder can delete these for Windows, IE & Firefox.
Performance (4 out of 5)
Much of the security afforded by Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing is premised upon its proxy. This proxy adds a layer of protection but that layer of protection adds an additional hop. I did notice a sight performance hit when using Anonymizer Anonymous, which is an expected consequence. This performance hit was manifest with web pages loading a bit slower. There is an option to turn the proxy protection and/or Malicious Web site filtering off. This will speed up performance, but at the cost of security.
Security & Privacy (5 out of 5)
Security and privacy are what Anonymizer Anonymous is all about. The program enables safe Internet surfing, and it protects your identity in the process. Its use of an SSL encrypted tunnel shields your PC from attacks and Internet spies.
Help & Support (3 out of 5)
The Anonymizer Control Panel has an icon that takes you to the Support site.
For those who forgot their password, there is a password recovery web page. You have to enter your registered user name and your email address twice. I have never seen it where you have to enter your email address twice to recover a password. That seemed odd. I tested the recovery utility and did receive my password via email within seconds.
Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing Platinum is about as close to complete Internet anonymity as practically possible. The irony is that the people that could use it the most probably don’t even know about it. Those who use good security practices are likely to have this valuable product in their toolbox.