How to Hide IP Address and stay anonymous online – Protect your Privacy
If you are annoyed by the ad-tracking and looking for a way to hide IP address, this article is for you.
Maybe you desire to hide your IP address for just a single reason, or maybe you are not thinking about it at all, but let me tell you that hiding an IP address has many advantages. It not only maintains your digital privacy but also provides you with complete freedom to surf on the Internet.
Your IP address exposes a lot of information about you to websites and authorities. The problem is that you can't deny them access to your information and it makes you miserable by not having any further choice except hiding your IP address.
Therefore in today's article, we will see about how to hide IP address and the benefits of hiding your IP address and how we can do it. But first of all, let's understand what an IP address is.
What Is An IP Address?
On the Internet, everyone either tries to access the information or share it. But one should have some address so that the website can figure out where exactly they need to send data, and at the same time, the website should also have some address so that your computer can know from where it needs to receive data.
An IP address solves both of these problems at once. It gives a unique address to every device connected to the Internet, which consequently helps in sharing the information across the Internet. So, the IP address is essential for surfing on the Internet. IPv4(IP version 4) is denoted as x.x.x.x where x is any number between 0 and 255.
An IP address connects devices on the Internet, but it also exposes the geo-location and searches history of a device. For example:- if you are reading this article on my website without using any IP address hiding technique, I can quickly get to know your location, cookies, and search history. Now that you know about what an IP address is, Let's understand this in detail in the next column.
Why Do We Need To Hide IP Address?
Your IP address is generally exposed to three parties:- ISP, Websites, and government. Let's understand one by one how they exploit your IP address without asking for your permission.
ISPs (Internet Service Providers) assign you an IP address. Therefore they can collect your personal information from your data traffic, and they also possess the right to sell it to third parties without your authorization. And companies buy your data so that they can target ads to you.
Websites store your cookies every time you visit them, and it helps them to understand your behavior so that they can customize the website according to that. But your data can also be sold to third party advertisers who will use this to show more ads to you.
Google-ads work in the same way, your search for some product, and then you see ads about that everywhere which annoys you and make you feel like someone is spying on you. Your IP address also reveals your location, and many websites put geo-restrictions so that only a particular group of people can access them. Many media platforms put geo-restrictions on their content and deny you access to your favorite content.
But luckily, you can bypass these restrictions by merely changing your IP address. With changing your IP address, you will change your virtual location, too, and consequently, you will become free to access any content without any restrictions. This will also allow you to visit websites that are blocked by your government. Nowadays, governments ban many websites for their users too.
For example, they do this for a variety of reasons. Torrent sites are banned in many countries for discouraging plagiarism. You can overcome all of these hurdles if you adopt a simple practice to hide IP address while surfing on the Internet.
7 Ways To Hide IP Address
If you were looking answer for the question how to hide IP address, then read further to know how to do it. Below you will find 6 ways to hide IP address.
1. Use a VPN Software
A VPN is the best way to change your IP address. It not only hides your IP address, but it also offers a variety of features that will secure your device from most of the internet threats all at once.
Popular VPNs like ExpressVPN use a shared IP address, which gives the same IP address to all people who are connected to a server. It adds an extra layer of anonymity because if authorities manage to crack your IP address somehow, they can never know what you were doing on the internet.
A VPN hides your IP address, but it does end-to-end (from your device to website) encryption of data traffic so that no hacker can ever sniff in the network to steal your personal information.
In addition, if you are using a good VPN, it offers plenty of other features as it will never store your data. It will provide features like DNS leak protection, split tunneling, kill switch, customer support, etc.
However, a VPN encrypts your data in real-time, and it can decrease your internet speed manifolds, and maybe it will annoy you more than sharing your search history with third-parties. But if you will use a premium VPN, then the decrease in speed will not be significant, and you will fall in love with using VPN.
I will recommend you to go for ExpressVPN, as it offers all the professional features of a VPN and its incredible internet speed will blow your mind. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee deal. That's why you can give it a try without any risk.
If you are going to hide IP address through a VPN, you will need to follow these steps to get the job done.
If you have any doubts regarding VPNs or steps about setting up a VPN, you can pin them down in the comment section.
2. Use a Proxy
The proxy can be said as a lite version of a VPN. A proxy is a device that acts as an intermediate between you and your desired website.
Proxy repeats your every single action and pretends like you in front of the website, but with a different IP address, and consequently, it keeps your IP address hidden from the site.
But the proxy has many disadvantages, first of all, it doesn't encrypt your data traffic which means that you are still prone to hacker attacks and your data is still vulnerable.
Second, sometimes hackers themselves act as a proxy and steal all of your personal information without letting you know.
Third, proxies are slower than VPN, and last, they don't include DNS traffic, which means that your real IP address will still be visible to the third-party DNS servers. With a proxy, you can stay neither anonymous nor secure, and if they were your ultimate goal, you should skip this column.
But proxies also have an advantage. They are simple to use, and there is no doubt that they hide your IP address from websites and unblock restricted content. If you are not worried about security, then proxies will be best for you to access geo-blocked content without any problem.
Configuring a proxy for your browser is easy, and once you do it, then your IP address will be hidden from all websites. But proxy will only route the data traffic of your browser, and your other apps will continue to expose your real IP address to third-parties. So, use a proxy only when your motive is to access some blocked content; otherwise, consider other options.
3. Using a Tor
Tor (The Onion Router) is a decentralized browser built with the sole purpose of privacy, secrecy, and anonymity of people.
Tor encrypts your data traffic and routes it from a random sequence of nodes, making it impossible to track you. Tor changes the sequence of nodes frequently, and it tries its best to keep you anonymous.
Moreover, it is a free tool, and you can access it without paying a single penny to anyone. But Tor's technology to keep people anonymous is often misused by many people for committing crimes.
This is the reason that Tor is now a hub of criminal activities like drug selling, contract killings, child pornography, etc. These activities bring Tor in the spotlight, and therefore, many government agencies continuously keep an eye on Tor websites to track criminals.
Tor also has many vulnerabilities used by hackers and government officials to sneak into other people's devices. Hence, Tor is not as secure as you think, and it might not be a good idea for a person like you to use Tor. Tor also creeps with very slow internet speed. It happens because TOR routes your data through two-three nodes, which takes a lot of time and eventually slows your connection.
So, you can't use TOR for watching your favorite show or for downloading a huge file from torrent. After that, there are no significant reasons left to use TOR unless you want to commit some crime or want some data which will not be accessible on any other browser.
But for most of you, this option is not worth considering.
4. Connect To Mobile Hotspot
If you think that the IP address you are using is under attack or tracked for some reason and you want to change your IP address as quickly as possible, this option will be best for you.
It says to change your internet source by getting connected to the mobile hotspot rather than staying connected to the wifi, which you were using earlier. With changing the internet source, the IP address of your device will also change, and it will ultimately solve your issue.
If you use the mobile internet, you will have to face a slow internet speed, and you will not enjoy any feature like encryption, and you will still be restricted to access geo-blocked content. Therefore, this method is only useful when you are in an emergency, and it is insignificant for regular usage.
5. Connect To Public Wi-Fi
This method is useful in the same conditions we saw in the previous scenario. However, it is more insecure than the previous one as public wifi are prone to hacking attacks, and it is unsafe to connect to open wifi without running a VPN in your device.
So, try to stay away from this method unless you are in an emergency, and there is no other option other than this.
6. Ask Your ISP To Change Your IP
Your ISP(Internet Service Provider) is responsible for your current IP address, and if you want to change this address, then you can simply do this by calling your ISP and asking them to change it.
They will ask for your account information and your current IP address to execute your demand. Maybe they can ask why you want to change your IP address, so be prepared for such questions.
But even after having a new IP address, your IP address will be dynamic and it will change after some time. ISPs do it to cater to the needs of all clients through a limited number of IP addresses. You can even ask for a static IP address if your ISP offers one. But you will have to pay more for it, and it will not give you any extra benefits. So, you should not consider having a static IP unless you need it.
7. Unplug your modem
If your ISP gives you a dynamic IP address, you can change your IP address by unplugging your modem and then plugging it again. It would help if you restarted your modem so that your ISP recycles the previous IP address and gives you a new one. This is not a 100% guarantee method, but you can let your modem switch-off stay longer if it doesn't work.
You can also do this on your mobile phone by turning on "Flight Mode" and then turning it off after a few seconds.
Benefits Of Hiding IP Address
This article is mainly about answering the question how to hide IP address. So Let's discuss some benefits of hiding your real IP address from the third parties.
Your Location Stays Private
Your IP address reveals your location to the third parties, and hiding your IP address from them will avoid it.
Access To Geo-restricted Content
Websites put geo-restrictions on the basis of your IP address, and by changing it you can easily access the content which was blocked for you earlier.
Block Targeted Ads
If you hide your IP address, then no advertiser will track you, and you will not see ads based on your recent searches.
Many cyber attacks are committed based on IP addresses, and if you hide your IP address, then you will not have to face this sort of problem.
Hiding your IP address will keep your searches private from third parties, and eventually, you will stay anonymous on the internet.
Hiding IP address gives you many advantages, but you should follow the best method for doing so; otherwise you will lose more than what you gain. If you use an insecure proxy, tor or free VPN, you can become a victim of a hacking attack and cost you real money. I will recommend you to follow the method one and buy a premium VPN for this service.
This was all about how to hide IP address. If you liked the article, share it with your friends. If you have any doubts regarding any topic we discussed in this article, then you can comment it down and try to solve your problem.
We are a group of Technical experts who are very much concerned about Online Privacy. Every review that we write is the result of multiple testing on various devices. We verify the locations and the server that provides the IP and check whether it is safe to work with or not.