Google is apparently working on a new Chrome browser feature called IP Protection, set for release in early 2024. This feature routes users’ internet traffic through a proxy server to hide their IP addresses
Google is developing a new feature for its Chrome browser called IP Protection, which will mask users’ IP addresses to protect their privacy. This feature is currently in development and is expected to be released to the public in early 2024.
IP Protection works by routing users’ traffic through a proxy server, which hides their real IP address from the websites and online services they visit. This can help prevent websites and online services from tracking users’ online activity and creating detailed profiles of them.
As seen here, the plan to conduct experiments was officially revealed on October 19th, along with an initial set of domains designated for proxying. Initially, requests to Google-owned domains will exclusively be directed through Google-owned proxies.
The feature can also help prevent users from being blocked from accessing websites or online services that are not available in their region.
It is worth noting that, IP Protection is an opt-in feature, therefore users will have the choice of whether or not to use it. It is also important to note that IP Protection is not a VPN. A reliable VPN encrypts all of a user’s traffic, while IP Protection only masks their IP address.
Benefits of Using IP Protection
There are several potential benefits to using IP Protection, including:
- Increased privacy: IP Protection can help to protect users’ privacy from websites and online services that track users’ IP addresses. This can make it more difficult for these websites and services to create detailed profiles of users’ online activity.
- Improved security: IP Protection can help to improve users’ security by preventing them from being tracked by malicious websites and online services. It can also help to prevent users from being blocked from accessing websites or online services that are not available in their region.
- Better performance: In some cases, IP Protection can improve users’ internet performance by reducing the distance that their traffic has to travel.
Potential Drawbacks of Using IP Protection
There are also some potential drawbacks to using IP Protection, including:
- Reduced functionality: Some websites and online services may not work properly when users are using IP Protection. This is because these websites and services may rely on users’ IP addresses to provide certain features or functionality.
- Increased bandwidth usage: IP Protection can increase users’ bandwidth usage because their traffic is being routed through a proxy server.
- Decreased privacy: While IP Protection can help to protect users’ privacy from websites and online services, it is important to note that the proxy servers used by IP Protection are operated by Google. This means that Google will be able to see users’ traffic, even if it is masked.
Overall, IP Protection is a promising new feature that can help to improve users’ privacy and security online. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before using it.
IP Protection as a Step Towards a More Privacy-Respecting Web
IP Protection is just one of many steps that Google and other tech companies are taking to make the web more privacy-respecting. Other initiatives include phasing out third-party cookies and limiting fingerprinting, a feature that was introduced in the Mozilla Firefox browser back in 2019.
These initiatives are important because the web has become increasingly invasive in recent years. Websites and online services often collect vast amounts of data about users, including their IP addresses, browsing history, and purchase history. This data is then used to track users across the web and target them with advertising.
IP Protection and other privacy-enhancing features can help to give users more control over their privacy online. By masking users’ IP addresses and limiting fingerprinting, these features can make it more difficult for websites and online services to track users and create detailed profiles of them.
As more and more users adopt privacy-enhancing features, the web will become a more private place for everyone. This is a positive development for users and for the internet as a whole.