There is no secret that it is best for your IP to stay safe while surfing the web as thus you will avoid unwanted attacks. Like it or not, your IP can be easily discovered with appropriate tools and from here to finding your identity there is just a small step.
The best way to stay away from trouble on the Internet is using proxy addresses but, the longer the use of the same proxy the greater the chances for your IP to be discovered, so you would have to change it every once in a while. If this does not suit you (finding a good proxy is generally a time consuming, tedious job) give a try to one of the myriad of automatic IP hiders on the Internet.
They come with different prices and features and I haven't yet met one that requires solid networking knowledge to be handled. Hide My IP 2007 could be one solution to your prayers as it offers a good deal for $29.99. The three days of the trial period are more than sufficient to give the application a proper testing and judge it by your standards.
The interface is straightforward and does not beat around the bush, diving directly into the quick settings. Hide My IP 2007 makes available a function that can automatically change the IP after a user-defined period of time has elapsed. Unfortunately this option comes with limitations in the trial version and only allows you the use of a single IP address.
You can also stick to the same IP address once one that suits you has been found, configure the program to start with Windows, or ask for a US based IP. For all these settings all you are required is a click of your mouse.
Regarding its compatibility with web browsers, Hide My IP seems to come fully prepared as it supports Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape and Opera. With a
single click users can enable Hide My IP for either of the aforementioned web browsers.
For Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox the application can be enabled to use proxy field method. This is useful when you want no third party application to give away your IP address and use instead the fake IP. However, you should know that there is the possibility that not all third party applications work with this setting on.
Advanced Settings panel continues with a reiteration of the quick settings in the main application window but adding a new one as well: "Require Secure Server Support For Open Network IPs". The option can be used whenever you want to access a website that requires a secure connection with a fake IP. Hide My IP database includes addresses with support for secure servers. For this to work you also have to check "Use Open-Network IP Addresses" option.
Changing the current IP can also be achieved by right clicking the system tray icon of the application and selecting the appropriate option from there. As you can see Hide My IP provides a lot of functionality, and this is not all. With an active subscription for Premium Service of the application you can achieve a whole lot more.
For instance users have the possibility of hiding the IP for a series of software applications with the least effort. The list is quite generous and includes programs like ICQ, Incredimail, Java, MSN Messenger, Outlook, Outlook Express, PartyPoker, Skype, The Bat!, Yahoo Messenger, etc. This way your IP address will be fully confidential and protected from view. Instead all there will be visible is the fake IP from Hide My IP database.
Premium High-Speed Service comes for a $7 monthly subscription and a bunch of additional functionality. Users will be able to select the desired location of the IP (only UK, Canada and US are available for now) as well as surf faster with Premium IPs.
Unfortunately I cannot say absolutely nothing of the connection speed with Hide My IP turned on as during our testing it failed to connect to their database and provide an IP at all attempts. Actually a few hours have passed and it still cannot hide my IP, no matter what. Following the instructions in the error message displayed at each connection attempt led to absolutely nothing.
We dropped the complaint to Support department and now we are waiting for a response from them. As soon as we get an answer and make the application work we will update the review and change the rating. Until then it'll get 3 stars for each rating criterion which is the default setting for us.The Good
Hide My IP brings lots of features to the table and provides flexibility in setting it up. The interface is extremely easy to use and you can configure it to change the IP every few minutes automatically.
Premium High-Speed Service brings even more options allowing you to choose the location of the fake IP and tunnel the connection of third party apps on your computer through the fake IP.The Bad
During our testing it failed to connect to the IP database and provide an IP. The Truth
The list of features and the price of the basic application (without the subscription to the Premium service) is impressing. However, we could not test the speed of the single IP supplied for testing purposes as Hide My IP could not connect to the database and retrieve one.Here are some snapshots of the application in action: