Would you like to secure your data while browsing and keep your online activity and physical location private? Let’s discover how to REALLY hide your IP address.
Your IP address acts like your public ID on the Web, enabling servers to know the destination of the data you have requested.
However, your IP address also reveals information about your location and identity that you are not comfortable sharing with everyone.
A bit troublesome, isn’t it? Well, here is the positive news. There are foolproof ways to hide your IP address and thwart all snooping, marketing, or nefarious attempts to log in your online activities.
If you want to know how to stay safe and fully anonymous while browsing, read on. What follows is a quick guide to three essential tools for your web security and privacy arsenal, each with advantages and disadvantages.
What are IP Addresses?
First, let’s touch upon the basics. Each IP address is a unique number assigned to your router. It allows identification of your device and effective communication between networked devices.
Your IP address is analogous to your home or office address. It provides the exact destination to send and receive data.
Most routers have a public and private IP address to connect a device respectively with others in the private network and the Internet. To know how to find them, check out 192..168 ip.
It provides detailed information explained in layman’s terms. Hence, this site is an ideal place to learn all about IP addresses, how-to guides, and troubleshooting tips no matter what your level of IT knowledge is.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The strongest, fastest, easiest, safest way to mask your real IP address and borrow one that may be miles from where you are!
VPN may be illegal in your country. Don’t forget to check before signing up.
VPN disguises your IP address with a virtual one that is on loan from the provider.
You are still using your real IP address to connect to VPN though. It is the rest of your traffic that will be directed through your private network along an encrypted VPN tunnel.
Therefore, whatever data your system is receiving or sending would be coded and identified with your virtual IP address. This tactic prevents unauthorized access. What outside entities see is the VPN tunnel, not your data stored within.
Consequently, ISP, advertisers, hackers, websites, web search engines, governments, and intelligence agencies cannot track your IP address nor online activities.
VPN also enables connection to servers around the world. Choose the country or city, and you can circumvent geo-restrictions, e.g., certain YouTube videos, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer.
Lastly, a VPN software allows you to download torrent files safely and subsequently, the shared documents, movies, or ebooks.
- Fast Internet connection
- Secure Internet connection in multiple devices
- Bypass Internet Censorship and Geoblocks
- Private access to blocked websites, dark web
- Safe torrenting
- Advanced data encryption, security protocol (High-quality VPN)
- There are hundreds of VPN providers with varying quality to choose from.
- Reliable services require a subscription (even the best free VPNs come with malware and data leakage risks).
- Data encryption sometimes slows Internet traffic.
- The VPN provider needs to have a server in the region of your interest.
Top choices: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, Hotspot Shield, Surfshark.
For a detailed analysis and tips to picking the right service, check out The Best VPN Service 2019.
The simplest yet riskiest way to trick people into thinking that your IP address is different! And especially unsafe for torrenting!
Proxies offer an intercept between your router and ultimate destination, via which your requests for information is sent and received.
Image: Internet traffic is routed through a Proxy server, assuming a new identity.
A Proxy server replaces your actual IP address with its identity. Hence, making it look like the requests originated from the Proxy, not your device. Basically, the appearance of your data packets is modified.
Website server logs cannot detect your IP address, what their geolocation databases show will be the Proxy’s location, possibly across the globe.
There is a catch though. Unlike VPN with several layers of security, Proxies do not encrypt your network traffic. Nor substitute your local ISP routing of data into or out of your router.
A Proxy is simple, quick, and convenient; however, it solely protects your browser traffic and spoofs your IP address. Your data will get no immunity against the prying acts of ISP, governments, or hackers.
Overall, it is the least secure IP hiding technology.
Say, you have re-routed your browser to a trustworthy Proxy server. We recommend that you stream Netflix or access any other geo-blocked content, but do not torrent.
- Use a public Proxy server to mask your IP address
- Access blocked sites
- Bypass basic geo-restrictions and content filters
- Only web traffic is anonymous.
- Proxy servers may leak your data.
- Free Proxy servers display ads.
- Your browsing and searching history is traceable.
- Proxies are very slow.
- Streaming sites like Hulu and some countries block access through a Proxy.
The Onion Router (TOR)
The slowest choice but it is free and 100% anonymous!
Do you want to keep your online activity completely untraceable and anonymous? Consider TOR Browser Bundle (PC), Orbot (Android version), Onion Browser or VPN + TOR (iOS alternatives).
This tool bounces your web traffic across various volunteer-operated servers to avoid anyone tracking your Internet requests. While doing so, TOR resembles VPN in that it assigns a new IP address to your device.
TOR is a free client and easy to set up. Once found the version compatible with your operating system, download and install it just like other browsers.
When using TOR, it is best to avoid torrents and third-party plugins – they would compromise your online privacy.
Besides, the multiple encryption layers and redirection of your data through a global network leads to a slowdown in Internet connection. But again, TOR is a no-cost tool with seemingly higher levels of competence to hide IP addresses than VPN and Proxy.
Image: Snoopers will see relay nodes in the TOR network, not your device.
- Multiple layers of security
- Impossible to trace back to your real IP address
- Get past Internet Censorship and geographical blocks
- Access to .onion dark/deep websites
- Only web traffic is anonymous.
- It lacks data encryption and takes a long time to relay data.
- Governments and intelligence agencies can monitor your online activities.
That is all about VPN, Proxy, and TOR – three optimal ways to surf safely and anonymously.
So have you found the right tool for securing your personal data and keeping your online activities private?
If none is suitable, you may want to use your Cellular Network or the Public Wi-Fi Hotspots. But beware of their slow, non-encrypted, and generally insecure Internet connection!
The alternative for hiding your IP address is changing it, but it is more time-consuming and its results are not guaranteed.
Hence, hiding your IP address is the simplest way out. Let’s take action now and protect yourself and your data from cyberhackers and no-gooders.