Ever wanted to change your virtual location when browsing the web? Perhaps for security reasons, or just to access some content that is restricted in your location. Your IP address is effectively your virtual location when you’re online, so a UK Ip address will get you access to any online UK content like the BBC but you’ll be blocked from other countries.
Would anyone ever want a Russian IP address though? After all are there a host of Russian only movie sites that blow Hulu out of the water, or perhaps a news channel that gives the BBC a run for it’s money?
Well in truth probably not, but there actually quite a few reasons for switching to a Russian IP address range. One of the important ones is privacy, if you want to keep your data safe from prying eyes then routing it through a Russian proxy server is a serious option. Tracking down someones location and getting access to their server logs can be quite a trivial action in western democracies however accessing them in Russia is usually considerably more difficult.
However that is not to say that it’s a smart idea to piggy back on some free Russian proxy server you find listed on the web. There are a lot of them for sure, however there is a reason why you should avoid them like the plague. Because of it’s general inaccessibility to Western authorities, Russia is also home to a significant number of the internet’s cyber criminals, spammers, hackers and identity thieves. There are a lot of very clever Russian hackers who make huge profits from internet based crimes.
One of the easiest ways to steal from people online is to use their greed against them. Set up a free proxy and let it filter into the proxy lists, then wait for people to start funnelling their connections through these servers. All one needs to do is log all the traffic and filter out email accounts, usernames and passwords to build up an easy hit list waiting to target. Whether it’s theft, spamming or in some cases blackmail, trusting the owner of an free Russian proxy with your internet data is truly a very stupid thing to do.
However using a well run, trusted commercial proxy or VPN server based in Russia is actually a highly secure options. The minimal laws regarding data retention and access, keep data safe and of course pretty inaccessible, if the server’s owner ensures that logs and data are not stored it makes it a highly secure option for surfing under the radar. Lots of people use these, but remember having a Russian IP address can be a bit of a nuisance in some cases, many service providers routinely block Russian IP ranges simply because of the criminal and spam threat that comes from these. My own servers are frequently targeted through Russian ip addresses and I have blocked many ranges myself.