How to Hide Your IP Address? Full Guide

Updated on: 20 February 2019
Updated on: 20 February 2019

If you’re reading this article, the chances are you already know a little bit about what an IP address is, and how it can be used online to detect you and your activities.

Keeping your IP address out of the public domain is even more important now than ever before. If like us, you despise geo-blocking, pesky ads popping up wherever you go online, spam, and other unsavory intrusions online; you will benefit from reading through this post.

We are now going to reveal the best way to hide your IP address and secure your anonymity, whenever and wherever you go online.

1. What Exactly is an IP Address?

IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it is essentially a way that is used to identify you digitally. An IP address can also be compared to your home address in the real-world, without that address, your mail would go undelivered, and people wouldn’t be able to contact you. It is the same with an IP address. It enables you to communicate with any other devices that are connected to the internet and is usually given to you by an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Your IP address is a series of numbers only. Similar to how you would not freely pass out your personal information or physical ID, you should guard your personal IP address at all costs too.

There are lots of reasons why a person would intentionally want to prevent their IP address from being visible. In the next section, we cover exactly what these might be.

2. Why Would You Want to Hide your IP Address?

Location-Based Content / Geo-blocking

There are so many services that offered content to their users based on their location. Such services include YouTube, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer to name just a few. Simply put, if you want to access the latest and greatest ranges of content library and get access to the newest shows and movies, you will want the service providers to believe you are located in the US.

In order to do this, you will need to hide your IP address and in doing so, mask your actual physical location. Overcoming these blocks is easy, and once your IP address is hidden using a VPN, you can then quickly unlock the content of your choosing without having to worry about being detected or tracked.

Anonymity and Privacy

This is probably the biggest motivator of all, security. Whether you live in a country or work in a place where all your internet activities can be tracked and reported upon, or perhaps you are extra vigilant when it comes to your privacy online.

Whatever your motivation, staying off the radar and knowing your personal IP address is not public information is made easy when you hide it from the outside world using a VPN.

Remove your Digital Stamp

If you don’t like to be followed around by retargeting campaigns, that are usually set-up by advertisers who use cookies and other little tricks to see what you do and where you go when you’re online, then you’re not alone.

Thankfully, the simple act of hiding your IP address making it virtually impossible to track, collect, and store data about you and your actions.

Below you can read about four easy ways to hide your IP address.

3. Hide your IP address with a VPN (recommended)

If you want a quick and easy way to hide your IP address, then a VPN is the best option to help you do this. The services offered are reliable, comprehensive, safe, and cost-effective too.

Make sure you avoid using free VPNs as tend to always create far more issues than they resolve. There are also many of these providers who offer free software with an assurance of keeping your data safe, when, in fact, this is the very center of their money-making business model.

For one of the top VPNs, you can expect to pay anything from $3-12 per month; discounts are applied for quarterly and annual subscriptions.

Another important note is that a VPN is probably the safest way to stream content and unblock content that may have location-based restrictions in place. Very often, you will also get a number of IP addresses that you can use, is some cases VPN companies have tens of thousands to ensure that you remain completely undetected from the outside world.

4. Use a Proxy Server

A proxy is essentially the same type of service as a VPN in that it provides you with a device-specific gateway, allowing you to connect with content via the third-party server. Your traffic is first routed to their server, then re-routed to your destination of choice.

Like VPNs, they offer great anonymity and are very accessible. However, there are many proxy services which are considered to be risky, the most likely of which is the free proxy services.

For those with concerns over security, while anonymity is a benefit with a proxy, one of the greatest concerns with using a proxy is the potential for their machines or servers to be compromised without your knowledge, and that all of your information, including financial data, passwords, and more will pass through, with the potential to be intercepted.

Another reason people prefer to use a VPN to a proxy is that they are considered to be very slow, and for activities such as streaming or downloading media, they are sluggish at best.

5. Use a Hotspot or Public Wi-Fi

This is probably the easiest way to mask an IP address, we’ll explain why. When you connect to the internet using public Wi-Fi, you actually use their IP address. This is an IP address that is shared by hundreds, if not thousands of users on a daily basis.

While it is the easiest way to hide your IP address, it is not always the most convenient or practical of ways to do what you need to do online.

If you need to stream content, you will typically find the service to be annoyingly slow. If you have security concerns, you will probably know that connected over a public Wi-Fi poses major concerns here too.

It is commonly regarded that hacking into a public Wi-Fi network is quite an easy task to do and considering the data that is sent across this network; it is worryingly easy to become at risk.

6. Use the TOR Browser

TOR is a very effective tool to use, and it works just like Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser for that matter. It enables you to access the web without having to ever worry about someone tracing you back via your IP address.

Similarly to using a proxy, for those of you looking to stream content, you might find this to be a little too slow for this purpose. However, if you just want to cover your tracks and simply want to browse the web, then TOR is a great option and well worthy of a place on this list.

These are the top four ways to hide your IP address online. The quickest, easiest, and most secure way to do this, without having to contend with sluggish connection speeds is to use a VPN. We must stress again that using a free VPN is probably not going give you a great experience and if the stories in the media are anything to go by alone, we know that the majority of free VPN services should be trusted with great caution.

A good VPN costs between $3-$10 per month, and offers you a reliable, secure, and easy way to connect multiple devices and hide their IP address, along with making your presence online virtually undetectable.

Written by: Bogdan Patru

Author, creative writer, and tech-geek. Bogdan has followed his passion for the digital world ever since he got his hands of his first pc. After years of accumulating knowledge and experience, the good Samaritan in him whispered him one day about the virtue of sharing that knowledge with those who needed it. It was 2014 when that idea would grow into a life-defining passion. One that keeps driving him to this day.

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