7 ways to hide your IP while browsing

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Everything you do on the Internet can be detected if you don’t hide IP address. IP(Internet Protocol) address represents the identification number of your internet connection and it is automatically linked to your location. Each device connected to the Internet has its own address. The main reason for hiding the IP address is mainly the desire for more privacy. People do not want to share their personal information, and the IP address is, so to speak, like an ID card in the online world.

When you search the Internet without a hidden address, your activities can be easily tracked. If you’ve ever wondered how it’s possible that pretty personalized ads on the Internet appear to you constantly, the answer is precise – thanks to the IP address. Through this address, it is possible to follow what exactly you usually click on, what “paths” are you using on the Internet. Then, those data are collected and often sold to companies in order to target you more easily as a member of their target group. Also, by recognizing the geographic origin of an IP address, some content may be blocked for your country. However, when you hide it, the access to that content will be unblocked due to the inability to identify the location.

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There are other problems such as hacking, which represent a major drawback when it comes to data protection on the Internet. Whatever the reason for hiding your address is, there are certain ways how you can achieve that. In this blog post, we will present seven different ways to help you hide your IP address and protect your privacy. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages with which you will soon be acquainted, and that will surely be one of the benefits when making a choice.

How to hide your IP?

hide your IP while browsing

1. Use a Proxy Server

A great way to “cover-up” your IP address is to use proxy servers. Proxy servers are presented as mediators between you and the Internet content. They work by intercepting the content before it reaches you and they are controlling your connection.

The biggest advantage of using proxy servers is that you can connect to any proxy server that exists in the world. For example, if you want to access content that originates from the United States and which is banned from the region where you live, you only need to connect to a proxy server located in the USA and your access will be enabled.

With the help from the proxy servers you can:

  • Control the use of the Internet

Proxy servers have that power to limit visits to certain websites if that is something that you want. This is a great option if, for example, you want to prevent your children from visiting websites that are not adequate for their age.

  • Access geo-blocked content

By changing the IP address with help from a proxy server, you can make the request look like it actually originates from another location, one that is not banned from accessing specific content.

  • Save some time

Proxy servers remember the requirements that you have already made through them so they can quickly fulfil them the next time and spare you loading time.

The difference between proxy servers and VPN services is reflected through the fact that VPN provides more security.

Nevertheless, proxy servers are a great option for low-stakes tasks.

You can try LimeProxies or ShadowSocks.

hide your IP while browsing_proxy servers

Source: Dribbble

With Limeproxies you can select proxies number, choose a location and change your proxy IP anytime.

There are different packages and prices starting from $9.99 per month.

2. Get a VPN to Hide IP Address

A good VPN service is the safest and most secure way to hide IP address. Virtual Private Network hides your current address by replacing it with a new IP address.

The address that is “visible” is exactly the virtual address assigned to you by VPN, while your real IP address remains hidden. Hiding the address also includes hiding the location, so it’s impossible for anyone to find out where you are. Consequently, you have access to geo-blocked content.

VPN service allows you to:

  • Hide your real IP address
  • Get access to the content that is blocked
  • Encrypt your traffic
  • Have a safe torrent

When you connect any device that you surf the Internet with to a VPN, all of your Internet traffic is sent via a secure connection to the same VPN.

There are various ways how you can get one.

You can set up your own VPN, but this may prove to be a complicated process. Another option is to set up your own home VPN, but it will not work properly if you’re really at home at that moment. The best solution is to get a service from a verified VPN provider.

Using a VPN service is a very simple and fast process. It only takes a few minutes to set up a VPN client. Once you’ve done that, you need to connect to it and the IP address will be changed.

Some of the best VPN services are Limevpn, ExpressVPN or Tunnelbear.

hide your IP while browsing_vpn servers

Source: Dribbble

Even if you happen to be targeted by hackers who want to reach your information, a VPN service will prevent this.

Paid plans start at $1 a month for the basic plan and pro plan costs $11 a month.

3. Use the Tor Browser

Tor is the acronym for “The Onion Router”.

This browser was invented by the US Navy so that researchers can store confidential information. After that, it became available to everyone.

Today, using Tor is one of the best free ways to hide IP addresses.

It is a software that allows anonymous Internet surfing, shopping, and communication with people with restricted Internet access. When a Tor browser is downloaded to your computer, it hides your IP address and adds a new one, like a VPN client.

It works on the principle of other browsers like Chrome, Firefox and similar.

When you make a request, it passes through the maze of Tor network servers. Therefore, this request can never be traced back to you.

This network consists of three layers and there are more than seven thousand proxy servers in them.

The request moves between proxies in all three layers before it comes to the website that represents the ultimate destination.

Hence the onion logo.

As your request goes through three layers that encrypt and decrypt it, high data security is ensured.

hide your IP while browsing_tor

The structure of the Tor network. Tor clients randomly select three relays that forward network traffic between the client and a server – for example, Facebook. While Tor internally encrypts network traffic (see the solid green line), it is important to understand that Tor can no longer encrypt network traffic once it leaves the Tor network (see the dotted red line).

Source: The Conversation

Although the Tor allows hiding IP address and having strong data security, there is a shortcoming due to the fact that government censorship and some ISPs do not approve it.

The solution to this problem lies in the use of bridges. These are Tor relays that do not exist on the official Tor relays list. With the help of them, you can overcome IP blocking restrictions.

Considering that its use is widespread, it is no rarity that it is used for engaging in criminal activities. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of this browser.

Also, keep in mind that loading takes a really long time. The reason for that lies in the fact that the request goes through the layers, but all this is for the purpose of gaining security when it comes to your privacy.

4. Ask your Internet Service Provider for Help

In order to change your IP address, you can contact your Internet service provider.

There are two types of IP addresses that they can assign to you:

  • Static
  • Dynamic

The problem with static IP is that it’s hard to change. To make a change, you need to go through a long process with your Internet service provider.

However, usually dynamic IPs are shared.

Therefore, when you contact your ISP, ask for a dynamic IP address because they are easier to replace.

You will get a couple of IP addresses that you can use, but they only cover partially the same geographic location. Regardless, you will definitely remain anonymous.

Dynamic IP is great for hiding your real IP address, but the biggest problem is that it’s pretty hard to get one. It is possible that you will need a lot of patience when it comes to communicating with your internet service provider.

Be ready to answer their accompanying questions regarding the reasons why you want to change your address.

It is a good idea to come up with some good ones, starting with why you have this request at all, in order to make it easier for them to meet your needs.

5. Use a Public Wi-Fi

Every time you connect to public Wi-Fi your IP address changes. When you connect to open Wi-Fi, you get the IP address of the place to which this Wi-Fi belongs.

This option is similar to using the mobile network. It is not safe enough and it is suitable for short sessions only.

You’ve probably used Wi-Fi at a cafe or restaurant many times while not having any intentions, whatsoever, of hiding your IP address.

However, there are certain risks that you need to be aware of when using public Wi-Fi. They do not provide much security so they can be easily targeted by a man-in-the-middle (MitM). It’s a metaphorical name for an attacker who gets in transmissions between a computer or some other device and website or who can put malware into your computer.

To stay safe while using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN while surfing on the internet. Log out of your accounts when you finish. Don’t allow file sharing and visit websites with HTTPS only.

6. Use Mobile Network

Hiding an IP address by using a mobile network is not the best solution, nor can it be a long-term one. However, it can be useful in certain situations.

Certain mobile networks have the ability to get you a new IP address every time you turn on your mobile data. In order to change your IP address, you need to:

  1. Turn on your mobile data
  2. Turn on the hotspot option
  3. Connect to your computer

Of course, it is assumed that your phone belongs to the mobile network that is assigning a new IP address.

This way of hiding your IP address can help you when you want to run your Internet activity anonymously or if you think your IP address has been compromised. Keep in mind that this option does not provide nearly as many benefits as VPN service or proxy servers.

You should also read: How to use private proxies and a VPN simultaneously?

7. Switch off Modem

By turning off the modem for more than five minutes, you can also change your IP address. While doing this, you do not need to turn off the computer itself.

In order to check if your IP address has been changed, you can click on What is my IP address.

If nothing happens after you switch the modem on, turn off the modem overnight and restart it in the morning. It may take more time for the address to change.

This method of hiding IP addresses is only possible if you have a dynamic IP address, which we have mentioned previously. When it comes to a static IP address, you will probably not be able to change it in the same way.

The bottom line

There are people who don’t want to share their activities on the internet and there are those who don’t care about that, so there are many controversies about IP addresses and whether they should be hidden or not. Hiding the IP address is a matter of your principle and desire, so this decision is entirely up to you.

Considering that there is an increasing number of Internet users and that the information they leave behind can be used for different purposes, it is quite understandable why more and more people are trying to preserve their privacy.

As you can see, hiding IP address is quite easy. You do not need much effort to maintain your privacy, but this will certainly depend on the option you choose.
Definitely, proxy servers and VPN services provide the highest level of protection and they have more advantages than disadvantages. Anyhow, you should choose the option that suits your needs and requirements the best.

Have you already used some of these ways to hide IP address? Let us know and live your responses in the comment section.

About the author

Rachael Chapman

A Complete gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and love in writing blogs on IOT, software, technology etc

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