There are many reasons why you might wish to hide your IP address. You might want to hide it to remain anonymous when browsing the internet or to provide protection from hackers. Alternatively, you might want to be able to gain access to websites that are blocked by geo-restrictions.
There are a few ways of hiding it and here we are going to look at four of them, with one being the recommed way to do so.
The methods to hide an IP address are:
- With a VPN provider
- Use a Proxy
- Use Tor web browser
- Use public Wi-Fi
So let us look at the steps needed to mask your devices IP using our recommended method, a VPN.
1. Hide your IP address with a VPN
One of the easiest ways to hide your IP address, and one we recommend, is to take out a subscription with a VPN aka Virtual Network Provider.
There are many providers out there including ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN and Vypr VPN. All offer you the ability to mask your IP address and take on one from a server offered by the provider located almost anywhere in the world.
Hiding your IP with a VPN is easy and you can follow the steps below.
- Sign up with your chosen VPN provider
- Choose a plan, paid monthly or yearly
- Download and install an app from the providers website for the device you want to hide the IP address on
- Launch the app on your device and sign in with the user name and password you created when signing up
- Choose any server from those offered and connect to that server.
Once a connection has been made to the server, your own IP is hidden from view and you take on one from the countries server to which you connected.
For instance, you could be located in the United Kingdom and connect to a server in the United States. In this case, it looks as though you are located in the USA.
Not only is your IP address masked, but also any information sent through the VPN is encrypted, which makes it impossible for hackers to read it. The information is decrypted once it reaches its destination.
Infographics credits : https://the-bestvpn.com/change-hide-ip-address/
2. Use a Proxy
Another way of masking your true IP address is by using a proxy. There are free and paid proxy websites available.
When you use a proxy, you do not go directly to the website you wish to visit. Instead, you go through the “proxy”, sending your information backwards and forwards from you and the website you want to visit with the proxy in-between.
This is not as secure as using a VPN as traffic travels through the proxy server as opposed to a network, which means your data can be leaked. Another downside is that free proxy servers can log your online activity. Again, this is something that most VPNs do not do.
3. Tor Web browser
The Tor web browser, aka The Onion Router, can be used in order to hide your IP address, but again not as effectively as a VPN.
When using the Tor browser your information travels through the “onion network” and this may degrade performance. Another downside to using this method is that your information is not encrypted, so it can be compromised.
4. Public Wi-Fi
If you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you will change your IP address. However, this is not something we recommend you do. Connecting to public Wi-Fi can leave you wide open to security threats and hackers. This is because your data is not encrypted.
You will not be able to browse the internet anonymously. Nor will you be able to overcome geo-restrictions and access geo-restricted content.
As you can see, there are different ways to hide your IP and take on an alternate one but the easiest and most secure way is via a VPN.