What is Identity Cloaker?
Identity Cloaker could be defined as "Internet Privacy Protection Service". It protects your privacy by encrypting the data sent over the Internet in the most vulnerable part of the data transmission path and by hiding your IP address.
How does it all work?
You download a small PC software application (no installation necessary), run it and choose the proxy server which you would like to be connected through - or simply click the "Connect" button if you want to have one selected automatically. When you click the "Connect" button, a secure encrypted data tunnel is created to the chosen server via SSH. This mechanism is commonly called "SSH tunneling". If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, there is nothing more you have to do as MSIE will be automatically set to use the new secure tunnel for all web browsing.
If you use Mozilla Firefox, you can click on the "Install Firefox Extension" icon found in the application. Then when you restart Firefox, the secured connection will be chosen automatically whenever you are connected to one of the Identity Cloaker servers. Note: this behavior can be turned off if you prefer to set the connection by hand. Identity Cloaker will work with any Internet browser. However, the automatic activation of secure browsing is available for MSIE and Firefox only (it's quite simple to activate the secure browsing for other browsers though).
Scenario 1 - Browsing the web without Identity Cloaker:
You visit a website - let's call it something.com from your computer, your computer sends a request tosomething.comand retrieves the data sent from it. This is actually an simplification but generally, it's how it works. The data on the whole path of the communication between you andsomething.com is normally unencrypted (unless https/ssl is used) and something.com can read your real IP address. The part of the communication between you and your Internet Service Provider is vulnerable to "data eavesdropping".
Scenario 2 - Browsing the web with Identity Cloaker:
You visit a website - again, let's call it something.com. The request is sent through the established encrypted secure tunnel to the chosen Identity Cloaker proxy server. This is done "on the background" - you do not even have to know about it. The proxy server then sends the request tosomething.com on your behalf, receives the answer and forwards it back to you - again through the encrypted secure tunnel. At all time, something.com was communicating with the proxy server and does not even know about you! The proxy server works as the middleman.
Please also take a look at our illustrations on the How it works page.
Why should I use Identity Cloaker?
Internet is a dangerous place. It's full of black-hat hackers, identity thieves and other crooks. Without Identity Cloaker, you make their job much easier! Very often when you send sensitive data such as your passwords over the Internet, they are sent unencrypted and they can be stolen by anyone who has the know-how. And whenever you browse the Internet, you disclose your IP address which the bad guys can use to find your physical location. Identity Cloaker replaces your IP address with one from the Identity Cloaker proxy server network - which can be even (and very often will be), in a different country.
So what are the main advantages of using Identity Cloaker?
- 1) Encrypting the data transmitted over the otherwise insecure Internet when browsing the web with your web browser using military-class Rjindael AES-256 cipher - the same cipher used by the US Department of Defense for all documents classified as "Top Secret". This cipher is considered to be virtually unbreakable!
- 2) It hides your own IP address. Your IP address is normally stored in the server logs of all web servers you visit and can be used to find, or help to find, your physical location. This could have dire consequences as you can imagine.
- 3) It allows you to pretend that you are browsing the web from a different country than you actually are. Some webs refuse visitors from some countries or display different content based on the visitor's country. For example if you browse the web through one of our US-based proxy servers, you will see what you would see as if you were browsing the web from the States even if you sit in the middle of Europe.
- Are you in the US and want to visit that online casino you love so much but the casino web tells you "Sorry, but we do not accept customers from the US"? Just connect through one of our European proxy servers and they will greet you!
- 4) It allows you to circumvent any firewall restrictions set by your employer / school / ISP / government etc. The secure tunnel to our servers is created using a commonly available port. Once the secure tunnel is established, you can visit any web accessible to our proxy servers - without any of the above mentioned party knowing this little secret...
- NOTE: Just because Identity Cloaker can circumvent almost any restrictions set by any party doesn't mean it's always a good idea. If you breach any rules set for example by your employer or university network admin, and browse for example some legal adult websites, it is just between you and them. We will not interfere as long as you do nothing illegal. But we will have to interfere if you want to use Identity Cloaker for anything considered illegal in the Czech Republic and the European Union.
- 5) It allows you to visit websites you have been banned from before. Have you said something bad in some forum and the forum admin banned your IP address? Use Identity Cloaker to "unban" yourself.
- There are more advantages, these are just the most important ones.
Isn't Identity Cloaker one of those services using free proxy servers?
Absolutely NO! IdentityCloaker.com operates its own growing network of private servers. We do not rely on some low quality free proxy servers that are almost always oversaturated, overloaded, and may be even infected by malevolent software threatening - not helping, your privacy. Another important difference is that the data transmitted between you and our proxy servers is encrypted using military class cipher! This is an extremely important feature, usually not offered even by premium services offering access to private proxy servers.
I don't have a PC. Can I use Identity Cloaker on my Mac / Linux computer?
Unfortunately, for the time being the Identity Cloaker client application works on Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 only. It may be possible to run the client application through emulating mechanisms but we can not guarantee it will work. However, we are considering offering standard Virtual Private Network technology - PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN in the near future, as an extra add-on to our service in the near future. VPN clients for at least PPTP & L2TP/IPSec should be available on Mac OS X and Linux beside of MS Windows. No promises yet though...
I don't use MS Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Will Identity Cloaker work?
Yes, it will! Identity Cloaker will work with any internet browser that allows you to enable browsing through a HTTP proxy server. However, the Identity Cloaker client application can automatically enable / disable browsing through the secure tunnel connected proxy server only for MSIE and Mozilla Firefox. With all other browsers you will have to do the settings by hand, although this should be fairly easy. You will see more info on this topic in your member-only area.
Can I use Identity Cloaker for securing other Internet traffic - not only web?
Yes, but with some limitations. This depends on the specific application. While most recent applications should be able to transmit data over HTTP proxy servers and they very often claim they are, the situation is a bit different. We found that some applications which allow you to set HTTP proxies simply ignore their own settings and transmit the data directly. Please understand that this is not a fault of Identity Cloaker but of the third party applications.
There are some possible solutions to this problem. One of them is to use an application calledFreeCap. It is however not bug free and for example JAVA and Flash applets designed for streaming of video content do not work correctly when executed from FreeCap and crash. Please refer to the FreeCap website for more info about the FreeCap application.
Another, and from the technology perspective, much better solution would be to use a full-blown Virtual Private Network technology such as L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN or with some reluctance PPTP. We have already successfully tested all these VPN systems, but at this point we can't promise when we will begin offering them.
UPDATE: Starting September 3 2008, we now offer OpenVPN access to all of our (proxy) servers beside of our standard offer! The OpenVPN access is currently being offered as a part of the standard subscription service, with no additional fee. Please keep in mind that although we always try to make things as simple as possible, this feature is intended mostly for power-users. The maximum transfer speed when connecting through OpenVPN is 2Mbit, and the transferred amount of data counts towards your standard monthly data transfer allowance (currently 30GB).
I have to use a proxy server provided by my employer / university / ISP to connect to the Internet. Can Identity Cloaker work without direct access to the Internet?
Yes, it can! Identity Cloaker is one of very few commercially available privacy protection services that does not need direct access to the Internet and will still work. Identity Cloaker first establishes an encrypted secure tunnel over your existing Internet connection no matter if through an internal company proxy server or through direct connection, and once the tunnel is established, all the web browsing is done through it. Please see our schemas on the How it works page.
That should help you understand the whole thing better. Naturally, you still have to be able to connect to the Internet and be able to surf the web through web browser.
How will Identity Cloaker affect the speed of web browsing? I am afraid it will be too slow.
This is a good question. The speed of your web browsing when using Identity Cloaker will depend on several factors such as how far from you is the Identity Cloaker proxy server you are connecting through, server load etc. The "middleman" factor will naturally cause some delay in connection *BUT* if you are not too far from the proxy server you are using, you will very likely notice only a truly minimal delay. On the other hand, Identity Cloaker will, in some scenarios, actually improve your web browsing speed!
How is that possible you ask? The secure tunnel through which all the data is being transmitted is not only encrypted to prevent data eavesdropping, it also sends the data in compressed format. If for example you visit something.com which is a content rich blog (for example) with around 100KB of text and the webmaster is not using any "on-the-fly" compression mechanism (very common), that 100KB of text would normally mean your computer has to download those 100KB (plus something for headers).
If you use Identity Cloaker, the data is compressed on the proxy server side and your computer receives them in compressed format. So instead of 100KB your computer would download only, say, 20KB of data because text is highly compressible.
So to sum it up: Identity Cloaker can both cause a minor decrease as well as a moderate increase in web browsing speed depending on the specific situation.
Is there any limit of the amount of data I can transfer every month?
Yes, there is...but a very reasonable one. The limit is currently set to 30GB (thirty gigabytes) per month per user. We believe this is more than enough for 99.99%+ of our users. We didn't want to go the "unlimited way" as we believe offering unlimited bandwidth without sacrificing data transfer speed is a pure lie. The limit we set is really a very soft one, you will probably use just a small fraction of it.
Is there a free version of Identity Cloaker?
No there is not. Offering a free version of our service would undermine the quality of our service for the paying customers and would lead to massive abuse. Please also keep in mind that Identity Cloaker is not just a proxy server service which does nothing more than hiding your IP address which is way too far from a "privacy protection service". The main difference between pure proxy server services and Identity Cloaker is that the communication between you and the proxy server is encrypted with a 256-bit military class cipher.
The encryption and decryption of the data is done in real-time. While on any modern PC you will not even be able to notice this, the server will. The server is the part of the link than needs to do most of the CPU intensive encryption job. Our system has been designed to cope with this load, however, if we were offering a free version of our service, the server(s) load would go to unacceptable levels. And we didn't even mentioned the bandwidth consumption.
Identity Cloaker is very affordable so that almost anyone can afford it.
What if Identity Cloaker doesn't work for me? Is there some money-back guarantee?
Yes, there is! We offer a 14-day "no question asked" money-back guarantee. If Identity Cloaker doesn't work for you, just contact our support and your order will be refunded. Please understand that in order to prevent abuse and due to the nature of the service, we can not offer a longer money back guarantee. However, Identity Cloaker is so simple to use that you should be able to test everything and see if it's the right thing for you in no more than a few days.
Can I use Identity Cloaker to surf illegal websites or do something illegal?
The short answer: no, you can not! When using Identity Cloaker, you have to agree not to breach any law valid in the country of the party running Identity Cloaker (Czech Republic) and the country where the proxy server is located. If visiting some particular websites is considered illegal by your country government but legal by both Czech Republic and the proxy server country, we will not interfere. This is between you and your government.
You live in China and your government makes visiting certain websites such as cnn.com illegal and if they find out you visited cnn.com, you could have some serious troubles. They normally block access to cnn.com but with the help of Identity Cloaker, it's a matter of clicking one button to "punch a hole in the firewall". You choose to be connected through a proxy server located in the Netherlands.
So will you have a problem with us in this case? Absolutely not. Visiting cnn.com is 100% legal in both Czech Republic (company seat) and the Netherlands (proxy server location).
Note: we don't really know whether visiting cnn.com is considered illegal in China, this was meant only as an example for illustrative purposes.