I was reading one of the many unsolicited adverts that circulate in Cyber Space and I saw "INVISIBILE BROWSING| FEATURES | Secure, Anonymous Surfing and Online Privacy" and it started me thinking. The result (of my thinking) was this Web Page.

Hopefully you will find it interesting and maybe helpful.

Well now, just for a moment, let us consider something a bit different, it may help you to understand the debate a bit later.

The diagram below is supposed to represent the International Telephone system !! (well, a teeny part of it !!)

For a conversation to take place, there needs to be at least two Telephones involved. They need to be connected to a Telephone Exchange. We have only got two Exchanges shown on this diagram, There are many Hundreds of Thousands of them in reality, so you will need to imagine all of the others.

All Exchanges are connected to one or more other Exchanges. I could have shown Millions of cables criss-crossing all over the world. I chose to show the connections as a cloud !! It is a mysterious cloud which represents the clever connection technology that allows any Exchange in the world to connect to any other Exchange. The subject of Routing Technology is hugh, capable of filling many books and making heads hurt. I propose to just accept that such Routing is possible and not talk about it here.

Why, you maybe wondering have I gone off on this tangent !!

Well it is to do with something called CLI - that stands for Calling Line Identifier. It is something that allows the recipient of a Telephone Call to identify where it has come from.

British Telecom even have a service that allows subsribers to request that no calls where the the caller has witheld their number should be put through to them.

I am usually very wary about accepting calls where the CLI is not available. Also, if the number is one that I do not want to have a conversation with, I do not answer the call.

Presumably all of this makes sense to you. Please remember it for later !!

Another seeming digression here - it is just to help you understand the situation later on in this page.

You may have just one computer at home, we will come to that later - BUT - just for now, imagine that you have a couple of DeskTop Computers, a Laptop and a Printer. Now imagine that you have a desire or need to connect them all together. In other words, you need a NETWORK.

To connect them together, you would need some Network Cabling and a "Black Box". Or maybe you may decide to use "WiFi" and not have cables (if you consider this, you MUST pay very serious attention to Network Security - for example, Encryption).

There are three types of "Black Box" that you could use, a Hub, a Router or a Switch. For the purposes of this discussion, let us pretend that they are all the same. (They are not, but the differences do not matter here)

Each of the things in your own Network may have their own names, indeed you may be able to use those names to communicate with them.
Internally, the computers use something called an "IP Address". You might like to think of it as a telephone number within the Network.

IP Addresses take the form of four numbers seperated by a Dot (or Full Stop) - each number is in the range 0 to 255.

If you open a DOS or Command Window on your PC, and type 'ipconfig', it will tell you your IP Address.

You will see that my IP Address on this occasion was "" If you are connected to a Private Network, the IP Address that you see here will be the address on the Private Network (equivalent to and Internal Telephone Extension Number.

Your IP Address is:

If you are connected to the Internet, the IP Address above, is your public IP Address.