Your IP address is the gateway for a pleasant internet surfing experience. Websites will provide you with content based on your IP address. However, it can as easily turn into a tool that can be manipulated to access and ultimately record your online activities and private information. It may even link third parties to your identity and current location. You need to hide your IP address right now!
In such a world where online privacy and anonymity are constantly threatened, you need a reliable tool that will enable you to gain control of your online activity. A simple way of doing that is by hiding your IP address. Apart from privacy and security, you can gain a lot by hiding your IP address such as bypassing geo-restrictions and unblocking restricted content. However, before proceeding with that, it is best to have a clear understanding of what an IP address is.
What Is An IP Address?
An IP or internet protocol address is a unique string of decimal numbers assigned by ISP that connects you with the internet world. It is a sensitive piece of information that contains information about your browsing activities, country, and location. Generally, there are four main types of IP address that includes:
- Public IP Address: This is the IP address that your ISP assigns you. The ISP can monitor and track you via this IP address.
- Private IP Address: It is the one that’s assigned by the network router. Multiple devices within the same network use the same public but different private IP addresses.
- Dynamic IP Address: A temporary IP address assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
- Static IP Address: It is a permanent IP address and is also given by the DHCP.
Anyone who knows about your IP address can track you and violate your online privacy. Thus, it is crucial to hide your IP address.
How To Hide Your IP Address
Your IP address is like the key to your house door. Anyone who has that key can know everything about your online behavior. Thus, you should make efforts to hide your IP address from all snooping eyes. Here are some of the best ways to hide your IP address so, have a look:
- Use VPN: Its the best way to hide your IP address with data encryption protocol.
- Use Tor Browser: using tor browser can change your IP address and unblock websites but not easy to use.
- Using Proxy: you can use proxy service to bypass geo graphical restictions.
- NAT Firewalls: NAT firewall built-in protection is another helpful method to hide your IP address.
1. Use a VPN
The first and the most reliable method for hiding IP addresses is to use a VPN. It guarantees maximum online protection from the ISPs and all other snooping eyes. When you connect to a VPN, it assigns you a new yet temporary IP address and hides the real one.
Moreover, a VPN also encrypts your data traffic and routes it through a remote server located in some other location. It looks like you’re browsing the web from that location, and thus it becomes impossible for the prying eyes to know what you are doing online.
Besides data encryption and obscuring IP addresses, a VPN also offers several other valuable benefits such as:
- Greater online anonymity.
- Access online games from anywhere.
- Download torrents securely.
- Unblock geo-blocked content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and others.
- Bypass strict censorship and access the web freely.
Undoubtedly, a VPN is a perfect privacy tool, but this is also a fact that not all VPNs give exceptional performance. Hence, while selecting a VPN, be careful.
Make sure that the VPN you choose should provide the utmost level of encryption and online protection. It shouldn’t involve IP or DNS leaks. You can also run an IP leak test to ensure that the VPN isn’t leaking your IP address. Also, look out for some security and privacy-focused features like the kill switch and dedicated IP address that further enhancess your online privacy.
2. Tor Browser
Another effective method to hide your IP address is to use the Tor browser. It was designed to allow users to browse the web anonymously and without any tracebacks. The tor browser routes the IP address via multiple nodes, and thus no one can track your IP address. Like the VPN, Tor browser also has various benefits such as:
- Accessing the dark web
- Bypass Censorship
- Prevents cyberspying
- Enjoy online anonymity
However, some serious security flaws are associated with the Tor browser, making users question its reliability. Firstly, unlike a VPN, the Tor browser provides layered encryption instead of completely encrypting the data. It means that the data goes unencrypted when it leaves the last exit node. The multiple hopping often slows down the internet speed and ruins the browsing experience. Also, the nodes are vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks that put your online security at risk.
Besides this, your ISP knows that you’re using the Tor browser so, they can even deliberately slow down your internet speed. The best way to prevent all these issues is to use Tor over VPN. It means that first connect to a VPN and then to the Tor browser to gain maximum anonymity.
3. Use a Proxy Server
A proxy server, by acting as a middleman between you and the website you accessed hides your IP address. You browse the web with the IP address of the proxy server instead of yours. In this way, your ISP or anyone monitoring your network doesn’t know who you are. However, they’re a bit unreliable to use because it also fails to encrypt the data.
4. NAT Firewalls
Using a router with NAT firewall built-in protection is another helpful method to hide your IP address. The NAT firewall works by allowing different devices on the same network to use the same public IP address but a different private IP address. It routes all the requests by using the router’s IP address, and thus your actual IP address remains hidden.
But since it doesn’t hide the public IP address, you remain vulnerable to online threats.
You can use any of the methods mentioned above to hide your IP address. It’s recommended to give your priority to VPNs. Their data encryption ability makes them stand out in other ways. So, comparatively, they’re a better option, and you should consider using them.
Why Should I Hide My IP Address?
Your IP address can reveal a lot of information about you to your ISPs, hackers, advertisers, and other prying eyes. They can use the information to compromise your online privacy, and you would have no idea about it. If you’re a privacy-conscious person, then you should protect your IP address from all snooping eyes. Here are some other scenarios where you should hide your IP address:
– Gain Online Anonymity
Your ISP and government agencies are always monitoring your online activities. It’s because of the data retention laws and other regional internet privacy laws that gives these authorities much control over your online activities. By monitoring your network your ISP, government agencies, or hackers, can trace you back via your IP address. They might learn about your browsing activities. This makes you less anonymous over the web and even sometimes gives hackers an opportunity to compromise your privacy.
Your ISP or other authorities can even take action against you if they find you doing something against the law. Moreover, if you reside in a country that is part of the global surveillance alliance then your data would be shared with the intelligence agencies of other countries. Thus, to safeguard your online presence, prevent surveillance, and gain maximum anonymity, you should always hide your IP address.
– Prevent ISP Throttling
ISP assigns you the IP address, so they monitor and know about your online behavior. They know which websites you visited, your downloading history, and more. If they observe that you’re doing anything against their policies, they even throttle your connection. Like, if you’re consuming much of the bandwidth, playing excessive online games, or streaming and torrenting.
The slow internet speed might prevent you from doing a lot of the tasks and result in incredible frustration. Hence, to avoid ISP throttling and surfing the web with blazing fast speed, you should hide your IP address.
– Bypass Censorship
Countries like China, Russia, and UAE have strict internet laws. The government here doesn’t allow people to access the internet freely. For this reason, the internet is heavily censored, and you can’t access certain websites and services. Even if you try so, the ISP filters block your access. Here it is where the need for hiding the IP address arises. You can bypass the censorship filters and surf the web freely and anonymously by changing your IP address.
– Access Geo-Blocked Content
Due to regional restrictions, you can’t access your favorite movies and TV shows from other regions on popular streaming platforms. By changing your IP address, you can easily bypass geographical filters and restrictions and access the blocked content on Netflix and on any other streaming platform and make your streaming experience worth amazing.
– Download Torrents Securely
As we already know, downloading torrents is full of risks. The copyright trolls or the ISP can track your IP address and learn that you’re downloading torrents. Also, your ISP can throttle your connection because you’re consuming too much of the bandwidth. This can even lead to serious consequences and can put your privacy at risk. By hiding your IP address, you can ensure a safe and secure torrent downloading experience.
For all these reasons, you must change your IP address.
How Can I Change My IP Address With a VPN?
A VPN is an excellent privacy software that ensures complete online protection over the web. It offers numerous benefits but among the fundamental advantages of using a VPN is that it changes your IP address and protects you from all prying eyes. To hide your IP address with a VPN, you need to install a VPN on your device.
Here are the step-by-step instructions that you need to follow:
- Select a reliable VPN provider and subscribe to it. You can check out the best secure VPN providers and choose as per your need.
- Sign up for an account by visiting the VPN provider’s official site.
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Enter your login credentials and sign in to your VPN account.
- Choose a VPN server and tap to connect. That’s it by connecting to a remote server you’re assigned with a new IP address.
You can now enjoy surfing the web with the new IP address provided by the VPN provider. With this new IP address, you can access the internet without any restriction or the fear of ISP surveillance.
Can I Hide My IP Address Without Using Any Software?
Hiding your IP address is the perfect way to enjoy greater digital privacy over the internet. It allows you to browse the web in the way you want. There’s no one to monitor or restrict your activities. The methods discussed above are some of the best ways to hide your IP address. But surprisingly, you can also hide your IP address without using any software. The following mentioned below are some additional methods that you can adopt to hide your IP address:
1. Mobile data
By using your mobile data, you can hide your IP address. It is one of the easiest methods in which you have to turn off your wifi network on your mobile phone and turn on the mobile data. As soon as you switch on the mobile data, you can browse the web with a new IP address. However, it is not a secure or permanent solution to go with. Firstly, the mobile network provider would know about your IP address, and because of continuous monitoring, they can restrict your activities which they don’t find appropriate. Moreover, using mobile data for a long time would consume more mobile batteries, and your internet package might end soon.
2. Public Wifi
By shifting your connection to a public wifi network, you can hide your IP address. When you use public wifi, your network is changed, and hence your IP address too. But accessing the internet via public wifi is way too risky. It makes you vulnerable and threatens your online privacy. The threat actors constantly monitor these free networks to find potential targets, and no one knows whom these hackers can target. Thus, if you value your digital privacy, it’s better to avoid this method.
3. Unplug Modem
Another common method used for hiding IP addresses is to reset the modem. In this method, you unplug the modem for about a minute and then plug it back in. By doing so, the connection between your IP address and ISP gets broken, and when you reconnect, your ISP assigns you a new IP address. But this would be more effective if your ISP gives you a dynamic IP address; otherwise, this isn’t a reliable method to opt for.
4. Request from ISP
Your ISP is the one who allocates you the IP address so, you can ask them to give you a new IP address. Request your ISP via call or email and ask for a new IP address. They’ll ask for your account details and other relevant information and then allocate you a new IP address. Usually, the ISP assigns a public or dynamic IP address, but if you’re willing to pay an extra month each month, they even give a static IP address. It is a permanent IP address and doesn’t get changed frequently.
You can even hide your IP address by following any of the above-discussed methods. But since each method has some serious drawbacks that can’t be neglected, it’s better to use any reliable software to hide the IP address.
Why Should I Change My IP Address?
Your IP address can reveal much information about you and your browsing activities. Anyone who knows your IP address can easily track you and invade your privacy. This includes your ISP, government agencies, and threat actors; they can learn about online behavior by tracking your IP address. Moreover, while accessing the geo-blocked content and bypassing the ISP filters, you require greater anonymity, so hiding your IP address is crucial. Thus, if you’re a security-conscious person and values your internet privacy, then you should hide your actual IP address over the web.
How to Find IP Address on Windows 10, iOS, macOS, and Android?
When you decide to hide your IP address, first, you need to know your actual IP address. Every device is assigned a different IP address. You have to navigate through different options to get to know your IP address. Below are the steps for finding your IP address on major platforms and operating systems:
- Android: Go to Settings > Click on About > Tap on Status > Choose IP address
- iOS: Navigate to Settings > Click on wifi> Now click on the information icon present on the right side of your Network name > Click on DHCP where you can find your IP address.
- macOS: Go to System Preferences > Click on Network > Hit on wifi Network > Tap on Advanced > Choose TCP/IP > Under the IPv4 address, you can find your IP address
- Windows 10: Head to Taskbar > Click on WiFi network > Choose Network > Click on Properties > Hit on IPv4 address.
After you learn about your device’s IP address, decide the method you want to use to hide your IP address. Most probably, if you use a VPN, it will take less than five minutes to change your actual IP address and gain anonymity over the web.
Does Incognito Mode Hide Your IP Address?
Incognito mode provides device-level privacy while you browse the web. It permanently deletes your browsing activities and prevents cookies from getting saved on your browser. This way protects you from getting tracked on the web, but the incognito mode doesn’t offer much security for providing online anonymity.
While you browse in this mode, your IP address is still visible to your ISP or other prying eyes. By tracking your IP address, they can quickly learn about the websites you visit along with your entire browsing activities. Hence, you should first connect to a reliable VPN provider and then browse the web via incognito mode to maintain your online privacy.
The Bottom Line
Hiding the IP address has become the need of the hour. It offers several perks that boost your online privacy and security level. This guide discussed different methods for hiding the IP address. But among all, using a VPN is the most reliable method. Hence, you should use it and enjoy surfing the web with complete freedom.