Anonymizer (company)

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Privately Held
IndustryComputer and Network Security
PredecessorInfonex Internet
FounderLance Cottrell
Key people
Lance Cottrell, founder, president
ProductsAnonymizer Universal

Anonymizer, Inc. is an Internet privacy company, founded in 1995 by Lance Cottrell, author of the Mixmaster anonymous remailer.[1][2][3] Anonymizer was originally named Infonex Internet.[4] The name was changed to Anonymizer in 1997 when the company acquired a web based privacy proxy of the same name developed by Justin Boyan at Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. Boyan licensed the software to C2Net for public beta testing before selling it to Infonex. One of the first web privacy companies founded, Anonymizer creates a VPN link between its servers and its users computer, creating a random IP address, rather than the one actually being used.[5][6][7] This can be used to anonymously report a crime, avoid spam, avoid Internet censorship, keep the users identity safe and track competitors, among other uses.[8][9][10]


The USA PATRIOT Act, which was signed in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks, brought more attention to anonymization tools. Lance Cottrell was quoted saying that Anonymizer keeps no record of activity or users, which protects both the company and its users from FBI subpoenas.[1][11][12]

Anonymizer was featured as one of the "50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites" in the July 2002 issue of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine.[13]

The StealthSurfer II of 2005 came with Anonymizer, using a 128-bit SSL technology to mask IP addresses and create an encrypted channel.[14][15][16] In 2005, Anonymizer maintained a product line including Anonymous Surfing (AS), to keep users IP addresses anonymous; Anti-Spyware, this found and removed spyware from its user's computer; Digital Shredder, which removed cookies, temporary files, and emptied cache; and Total Privacy Suite, which featured all three aforementioned products.[17]

Anonymizer’s "Operation: Anti-Censorship" software, introduced in 2006, addresses internet censorship in the People's Republic of China by allowing Chinese Internet users to access blocked sites.[18][19]


Abraxas Corporation acquired Anonymizer in May 2008.[20][21] In 2010, Cubic purchased Abraxas for $124 million in cash.[21]

Ntrepid acquired Anonymizer in late 2010; it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ntrepid.[22][23]


Anonymizer offers a variety of consumer information security services including VPN for multi-protocol proxy, client software for iPhone and iPad, an anonymizer Proxy server, encrypted e-mail services, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, anti-pharming and enterprise class competitive intelligence tools.[7][24] Although these used to be separate products, Anonymizer has one product, Anonymizer Universal, as of early 2014.


The term "anonymizer" is often used to signify any internet based anonymization tool, even though it is a trademark of Anonymizer Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sean Marciniak. "Web Privacy Services Complicate Work of Federal Investigators". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  2. ^ Linzie Janis. "Fighting for free speech on the Net". International CNN. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ Max Hall. "Location, Location, Location ..." Computer World. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Infonex Internet, Inc". Wysk. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  5. ^ Erez Zukerman. "Anonymizer Universal Shields You From Content-Targeting". PCWorld. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  6. ^ Lisa Guernsey. "Secrecy for All, as Encryption Goes to Market". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b Larry Greenemeier. "Identity-Crisis Prevention". Information Week. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  8. ^ Jeri Clausing. "Want More Online Privacy? Join the Crowd". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  9. ^ Anne Saita. "IP cloaking becoming a business necessity". Search Security. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  10. ^ Peter H. Lewis. "State of the Art; Internet Hide And Seek". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  11. ^ Lee Dembart. "the end user / A voice for the consumer: Private I(dentity)". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  12. ^ Susan Stellin. "Terror's Confounding Online Trail". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  13. ^ "50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites". Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine. Archived from the original on 26 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Surf the Web Safely and Anonymously". Notebook Review. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  15. ^ "StealthSurfer III". Mobile Tech Review. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  16. ^ "StealthSurfer II". JusTech'n. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  17. ^ Lauren Simonds. "Remain Anonymous". Small Business Computing. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  18. ^ "PC World - Anonymizer Takes on China's Net Censors". Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  19. ^ Jennifer Lee. "Punching Holes In Internet Walls". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  20. ^ Violet Blue. "Examining the ties between TrapWire, Abraxas and Anonymizer". ZD Net. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Anonymous Government contractor has weaponized social media". The Tech Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Agreement and Plan of Merger". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  23. ^ "Ntrepid Corporation Issued Patent for Online Identity Protection System". PRWeb. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  24. ^ "Anonymous Surfing: What The Benefits And Issues Of Making Yourself Invisible Online?". Master New Media. Retrieved 25 January 2014.

External links[edit]