You might have heard the term IP address before, it stands for Internet Protocol address, a network’s way to identify your device (computer or printer for example) so it has an origin and a destination for your network activity. It is your computer's address on the web, and because there is a record of who had what IP address at any given time, a convenient way to associate your name with your Internet activity. In fact it is one of the ways even a low level analyst at the NSA can search for a person's Internet activity using XKeyScore.
Fortunately it is fairly easy to hide your real IP address from prying eyes and become anonymous online by using a VPN, or virtual private network, basically a server (or servers in case of Tor) between you and the rest of the web. It doesn't matter much what service you are using, if hide my ass (hma vpn), PrivateInternetAccess, PureVPN or any other, each VPN will assign you a new IP address.
However, there is one problem. Unless you constantly change your IP address a determined NSA analyst or law enforcement officer can still identify you with reasonable certainty. Let's assume you connect to the Internet via a VPN and your real IP address is hidden. You now log into Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform the NSA has access to, and let's further assume you do that several times per week. A NSA analyst with access to your FB posts and Twitter stream will see your VPN provider's IP address and can now easily correlate it with your name and get insight to your other online activities. So much for being anonymous.
With hidemyass, and several other VPN providers, you can get a random IP address each time you log into HMA VPN, and if you constantly change your IP address it will make it extremely difficult if not impossible for anyone, not just the NSA, to build a meaningful profile on you, no matter how determined they are, at least not without a warrant. After all, isn't that the way it is supposed to be?
Image Credit: Teacher Dude