While on the internet, your IP address passes through numerous servers, so they know where to send data back to.
Many more sites are logging IP addresses for their own purposes, and the most basic form amounts to spying.
From your internet address activity, they target ads, and over time they build up personal profiles or digital footprints of your browsing habits.
There are several ways it is possible to hide your IP address. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. So, read on if you want to see how to protect your IP and reclaim online privacy.
Why Would You Hide Your IP address?
You may have reasons for hiding your IP address, but there are a few why people want to protect their public IP address.
- Hide identity from competitors – You might be commenting on competitor's products. Using your IP address reveals your identity.
- Hide your geographical location – Some networks block users in specific areas. Circumvent this problem by hiding IP addresses.
- Stop Website Tracking – Every webpage you visit can be tracked by hosting servers. By hiding your IP address, you can’t be traced.
- Internet Censorship – Countries like China implement Internet Censorship. Hiding your IP address and using a new IP address from another location can bypass this censorship.
- Torrenting and downloading of copyright-protected content and accessing streaming sites
What Location is My IP Address?
IP addresses are to a physical location. Anyone who sees your public IP address can guess where you are located.
This can be convenient (tracking children’s whereabouts) or very dangerous (Government agencies). Most people want the choice of who can see their location.
An Internet service provider will see which users are doing what, and with data retention carried out in most countries, they build profiles of these not so legitimate online activities.
Before hiding your IP, it helps to know what your IP address is.
How do you find your IP address on a computer? Here is the easiest way.
- Click the start menu
- Click the Network & Internet icon
- Click on connection type and select your connection
- Scroll to properties, and here you can see your internal IP address
To find your public address, the one everyone sees.
Navigate to Google and enter “IP Leak Test.” Select one of the listed sites.
These show your public IP address.
If you want the location, head to https://www.iplocation.net/find-ip-address
This will tell you too much information, even though it is s fundamental check.
The Top Ways You Can Hide Your IP Address
Using Public Wi-Fi Zones
Because location can be traced back to your internet connection by an ISP, it takes more drastic measures to hide your IP address completely. For away, you can use public Wi-Fi.
Although public access points are convenient, other users take advantage of this. Hackers can check who is connected to the internet in these places.
These public connections are okay, but they are not secure for online activity that requires banking or account logins. (Find the Best Torrent Sites For New Zealand)
TOR is a free browser client that connects to groups of anonymous servers. This is one way how to hide your IP address and stay anonymous while online.
You may have heard of the Tor Browser as it is associated with the dark web.
Downsides to this browser to hide IP online is, you’ll be tarred the same as cybercriminals. The other downside is it is slow.
I found this during testing, it did a great job hiding my IP, but the connection's speed didn’t do much for my browsing experience.
Using Free Proxy Servers:
These free proxy servers are a great way to mask IP addresses quickly. They act as bridges to route all your traffic to its destination.
This method allows you to connect to any proxy servers around the globe. They can mask your IP address and access geo-blocked content, but they lack security and don't hide your IP address from an internet service provider.
Hide My IP Address Using a VPN
The best way to hide on the internet is to look like you don’t even exist.
The only way to do this effectively is by using a VPN service. (Virtual private network)
When you are connected using VPN apps, all data is encrypted by military-grade encryption. No ISP or agency sees what you are doing.
This gives a private IP address which leads to nowhere.
If you choose a VPN server in another country, you look like you are in another area. You can be in NZ, but it looks as if you are in the USA.
Here’s a quick overview of VPN features:
- Hiding user IP addresses
- Encrypting internet traffic
- Downloading torrents safely
- Accessing geo-blocked content such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, among other geo-blocked content. (Read Watch BBC iPlayer Online)
A virtual private network takes your IP address and assigns a new one to replace the original.
Another function VPN services offer to be used on multiple devices. With this, you can visit a Wi-Fi zone and be safe from hackers.
If you use ExpressVPN as an example, this provider holds no user logs of any kind and is based off-shore, well away from any 5-eyes or 14-eyes jurisdiction.
This top VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you are free to try the service, and you will quickly see, this is the best VPN for hiding location and identity.
Other Ways to Hide Your IP
There are different ways to hide your location and IP address, but these are not secure.
You can contact your ISP to change your IP Address. This can change it, but it won’t be long before it is spread around the internet the same way as your old one.
You can unplug your router for a while as IP addresses are dynamically assigned. Once you reconnect, you have a different public IP address.
To be invisible with no chance of being tracked, there is only a VPN that delivers these levels of privacy.
This is why they were designed, and it is what they are good at. Do this, and no one can find out your real IP address while online.