An anonymizer is a kind of proxy server that can limit the amount of observable user data whenever you use the internet. Even though its name loudly announces anonymity, it does not ensure users any real anonymity. It just switches out your IP for a different one.

Uses of anonymizers

  • Circumventing geographic restrictions: An anonymizer is great for getting around any sort of geographical restrictions, since it can make it look like you are in a different location.
  • Online privacy: An anonymizer can reduce the amount of data your ISP and other third parties can collect from you.
  • Access to blocked resources: This tool can also get around blocks in public places such as school libraries or your workplace wifi. 

Drawbacks of anonymizers

  • Incomplete anonymity: Anonymizers can in fact hide your actual IP but they do not keep you safe from getting tracked. Your cookies can still get collected and used to form a profile of your online activities. 
  • Security concerns: Certain anonymizers have been known to actually log your data and sell it to third parties. Some can even infest your system with a virus. If these anonymizers are free, the risk is even greater. 
  • Quality of service: The quality of these free-to-use apps is often pretty low, and you can expect unreliability. 
  • Limited compatibility: These types of proxies are often limited. They can only work with specific protocols and may not work with many applications.