Can you search the Internet anonymously?

Well, no, not without some advance planning. But this article describes how it’s done:

"Tor — an acronym for The Onion Router — is a freely available, open-source program developed by the U.S. Navy about a decade ago. A browser plug-in, it thwarts online traffic analysis and related forms of Internet surveillance by sending your data packets through different routers around the world. As each packet moves from one router to the next, it is encoded with encrypted routing information, and the previous layer of such information is peeled away — hence the ‘onion’ in the name.

"Basically, Tor is a way to surf the Internet anonymously. Someone looking up potentially sensitive information might prefer to use it — like a person who is worried about potential exposure to a sexually transmitted disease and shares a computer with roommates. Abuse survivors might not want anyone else knowing they have visited Web sites for support groups related to rape or incest. Journalists in repressive regimes with state-controlled media use Tor to reach foreign online news sites, chat rooms, blogs, and related venues for information."

Thanks to The Virtual Chase for pointing out the article.