There's no secret - everyone likes privacy, especially when we are talking about personal electronic devices. Since you probably know how to deal with the safety of your belongings, have you ever thought about how to hide IP address?
There are dangers in this world that you wouldn't even think about.
Imagine if all your personal information is in someone else's hands. Your pictures, chats, passwords, bank details, everything. Virtually. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?
Let me tell you - there is.
Table of Contents
What is an IP Address?
In less complicated terms, an IP address is a specific number assigned to each device that is connected to the internet.
First of all, "IP" stands for Internet Protocol. As you probably know, the internet is a place where things connect with each other. To establish a connection between millions of different networks, you need someone to be responsible for this task.
This is where an IP comes in. This technology is responsible for transferring information from one device to another. However, for a connection to be fully private, people tend to ask how to hide my IP address and stay safe online?
Since we've talked about privacy, let's focus on connecting. Just like every phone with a valid sim card has a number, every device connected to the internet has a unique IP address. You wouldn't find two matching ones.
IP addresses are a set of four numbers that identify your system. Numbers can vary between 0 and 255. That means there are 4.3 billion different IP addresses in the world!
For example, Google's IP address is 188.8.131.52. Coincidence or not, the number "8" in Chinese traditionally means a lucky number.
Since we're talking about Google, they can possibly have whatever IP address they want and they probably have different answers on how to hide IP address too.
Why Should You Hide Your IP Address?
Now you know that an IP address is just a simple four-number combination. But still, why should you be worried about it? Why should you even care about how to hide your IP address?
It is worth knowing that your IP address is visible to everyone on the internet. Governments, hackers, advertisers - everyone.
Every IP address is assigned to a system, and the location of the system is visible to everyone on the planet. Having only four numbers, the government can track you down easily and see every move you make on the internet, including your browsing history, your downloads, and every anonymous comment you have made online.
With our tool, you can check your IP address too. Go on, check if it's visible!
But don't worry, you can change this. You can quickly learn how to hide IP address and enjoy completely private sessions online. There are ways you could prevent such online tracking from happening.
However, people tend to ask how to hide your IP address not only for security or anonymity reasons. If you have any wishes to access websites that are restricted in your area, the next chapter is for you too.
How to Hide IP address?
I may start by saying that I had found many ways to do it when I tried to hide my IP address. I can summarize that it depends on your budget and time. Some methods are not as safe as others, too. Let's begin with one of the most reliable ones.
One of the most reliable and convenient ways to deal with a public IP address is to get a VPN service.
Every single time you Google "how to hide your IP address?", there is a high possibility that you will always encounter this answer first.
VPN services not only ensure that your IP address is hidden and all your personal information is safe, but it also hides your internet traffic, your downloads, and browsing history.
Although VPN doesn't change your IP address, they hide it by funneling it via virtual IP address. Also, most VPNs may offer some additional benefits, for example, an ability to access geo-restricted movies and torrent networks. By the way, in most cases, your internet speed won't decrease dramatically while using VPN services!
Worth mentioning that installing and setting up a VPN connection takes only a few minutes. Once you're connected, a VPN provides you with a virtual IP address.
But then again, which VPN provider should you choose? Since I've answered how to hide IP address with a VPN, now it's your turn to make the decision.
There are many great options available for only a few dollars. If you want an in-depth review of all the best VPNs out there, you should check our guide.
VPN providers NordVPN ($2,99/mo), ExpressVPN ($8,32/mo) and CyberGhost ($2,75/mo) offer really flexible membership options and various deals. No wonder these three are one of the best in the market currently.
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If I still didn't give you the answer you wanted about how to hide IP address, don't worry. There are plenty of other options that, sadly, have some flaws.
While a proxy doesn't hide your IP address completely, it allows you to go through their servers to access any website in the world you'd want. Well, unless it has a high level of security because sometimes proxies can't access particular pages that are well protected.
It's my duty to tell you the differences between VPN and proxy. While the latter works as a reliable option if you want to access location restricted websites and content, VPN offers you much more security.
While proxy servers can't protect your data or hide your activities from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), a VPN offers all that. Since you probably shouldn't go torrenting by using a proxy server, with a VPN, your hands are free.
It is worth knowing that proxy servers are unpredictable. It's very rare for a proxy server to last long. Websites know how to deal with such tools, and it takes them not too long before they take down a proxy server and detect unwanted visitors.
If your question "how to hide IP address?" goes further beyond watching some Netflix shows that are accessible in particular countries only, you are in the right place.
Tor is an anonymity network. Once you decide to open a website through this browser, your request goes through volunteer-operated servers. Then you get a new IP address that belongs to the last server on your way to a website.
It's almost impossible to track your activity on this browser.
That's why it's illegal to use Tor in countries with authoritarian regimes. If a government wants to prevent people from publishing comments anonymously or reading websites that are blocked in a specific country, there's no way they would let people access Tor there.
Feels like you're in a movie?
Well, I'll bring you back to reality straight away. I have used Tor myself, and it has flaws. It did hide my IP address, but the speed of the browser was awful. For example, with most of the VPN providers, your download speed won't decrease dramatically!
While your data goes from server to server, sometimes it could take you five or ten minutes to even access Google on Tor.
Tor creators themselves also don't recommend torrenting while using Tor. There's no capacity on Tor to download big files as they can take their slow network to a standstill.
Also worth to mention that Tor is usually associated with criminal activities. While it allows you to access any website you'd like, some Tor users download the browser to conduct illegal transactions and buy drugs or weapons.
I think we've all tried this method even without thinking about how to hide IP address. If you've ever connected to a free WiFi in a cafe, a shopping mall, or an airport, you already know how to mask IP address.
However, if you establish such a connection in a public place, most of the time, it's not the right way to surf the internet anonymously.
Public WiFi doesn't offer you any data protection or security browsing online. Yes, you connect to a different IP address while using public WiFi, and you can surf the internet through a public router, but I can't guarantee you safety with this method.
Moreover, your data could be easily tracked on public WiFi, so don't even think about accessing online banking services while you're connected to an open hotspot. Compared to a VPN, this method doesn't stand a chance.
If you have a cell phone, then you probably have another answer on how to hide IP address.
Most cell phones nowadays have the possibility to set up themselves as a mobile hotspot. While it is a quick way to change your IP address, it's also not a very reliable one.
After connecting to your mobile hotspot, you will be using your cell phone's data. Of course, it will be a different IP address, but it doesn't offer you any protection or anonymity.
The speed is shocking, too. In most cases, it takes a lot more time to load a website with a cellular data connection than it does on your computer with WiFi or a cable. So if you're planning to connect a computer to your mobile hotspot, be prepared to wait.
You're probably not going to use this method again while looking at how to hide IP address.
Call Your ISP Provider
You should know that it's your Internet service provider (ISP) that decides your IP address at first. Logically, if you want another IP address just in case you've been blocked on an online forum after swearing or anything similar, you should contact your ISP.
Try and give them a call. You probably shouldn't ask them "how to hide my IP address?", but hopefully, they can provide you with a new one.
However, be prepared for some open questions about your decision to change the address. They can get curious.
Finally… Unplug Your Router
When you Googled "How to hide my IP address?", you probably didn't think it could be that easy.
Just unplug the router. Wait for a few minutes. Plug it back in. That's it.
The longer you wait, the higher chances there are for your IP to change.
Disclaimer: it may not work if you are assigned to a static IP address and not a dynamic one, which tends to change its address from time to time.
I have to warn you, though. Playing this router game, I won't be able to give you an answer on how to hide IP address. This is only for the purposes of you wanting to establish a new IP address.
The Bitter Truth
Once you've learned how to hide IP address, I have to tell you the bitter truth. You will never be able to hide your IP address from your ISP. The methods we've reviewed here only help you to hide your IP address from other networks and users online.
However, your current IP address will always be there for your ISP. You are still using it to communicate with VPNs or proxy servers.
Now, this is where a VPN wins. With it, you get a lifetime answer on how to hide my IP address from other networks (such as your government), but it also protects your internet activities from your ISP. The content you send and receive is always private with a VPN because of data encryption.
So now we have come to a conclusion. I hope I gave you all the answers on how to hide IP address, but it's your time to make a decision.
Protecting your personal belongings is always important. Protecting your personal information is important, too. Also, it doesn't cost you a fortune to protect it the correct way.
As you have probably noticed, all the methods we've discussed are free except for one.
If you want data encryption, security, and complete anonymity, a VPN is the best answer for only a few dollars. Since there are many great options with a variety of prices (as you can see in our latest guide), you can definitely find one that fits your needs.
Choose the best method for you!
In case you decide that you need more in-depth knowledge about cybersecurity, you can check some of the best cybersecurity courses online that you'll find both beneficial and enjoyable.