Whenever any device connects to the internet, it receives its own unique IP address.
The IP address basically allows other devices on the internet to identify the device that sent a request for information so that they know specifically who to respond to.
But then, the same IP that identifies your device on the internet is the same one that exposes not just your physical location to the rest of the world, but it also exposes your online activities.
For example, while browsing the internet, third parties can easily track, monitor, record, and even block any online activities you engage in.
In other words, as long as your IP address is visible on the internet, your privacy is pretty much nonexistent.
The solution? Hide your IP address.
In addition to protecting your online privacy, there are so many reasons why you should consider hiding your IP address. These reasons include;
Hiding your geographical location
If someone can see your IP address on the internet, there is a good chance they’ll find out your exact location. For example, when you visit this website https://ipinfo.io/, you will see your country, region, as well as the city listed on the screen.
This is exactly what we are talking about your IP address making you visible on the internet. In fact, this explains why you see ads for your local merchants and services whenever you visit certain websites.
To Bypass Content Bans, Filters, or Blacklisting
One of the main reasons why you might want to hide your IP address is due to geographical restrictions and censorship.
In countries like the Middle East and China, there are content restrictions and bans imposed by the governments.
To access such restricted content or websites, a person would need to hide their IP address so it looks like they are accessing them from another region that doesn’t have any restrictions.
There are also certain websites and private companies that geo-lock their content, thus making it unavailable in some countries. The only way to by-pass such is to hide your IP.
To Protect your Online Privacy
As long as your IP address is visible, anyone- from the government, your ISP to hackers can track and sniff on your online activities.
In fact, there are instances where internet service providers sell consumers’ browsing habits to third parties without their permission for advertisement and other purposes.
To protect your online privacy, become anonymous, and even enhance your online security, hiding your IP whenever you’re accessing the internet is a good idea.
How to Hide Your IP Address (Proven Ways to Increase your Online Privacy)
Here are some of the best ways to hide your IP address;
1. Use a VPN Service
One of the best and most reliable ways of hiding your IP address is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
A VPN basically routers your internet connection through a tunnel of encryption, thus preventing any data sniffers from reading and tracking any information your device sends and receives.
A VPN also hides your actual IP address and instead assigns you a new IP address so it appears you’re connected to the internet from a different region.
A VPN service does more than just hiding your IP address. It also;
- Encrypts all your internet traffic to prevent nosy third parties from tracking your activities
- Allows access to blocked content, blacklisted websites, content filters, and more
- Unblocks geographical-blocked content
- Hides your actual physical location
- Allows you to safely engage in Bittorrent activity
If you would like to hide your IP address using a VPN service, there are literally hundreds of VPN service providers to choose from. Some of the best ones include;
- Express VPN
- CYBER GHOST
- Private Internet Access
2. Use a Proxy Server
Proxy Servers can be used to make it look like you have a different IP address. In other words, proxies are a good way of keeping the identity and the original IP address of a user anonymous.
Usually, proxy servers are less expensive compared to VPN services.
However, they fail to provide an encrypted connection the way a VPN service does, thus making your online activities visible to prying eyes.
Although there are some free proxy servers you can use to hide your IP address, these services often slow down your connection.
Some have even been found to monitor private information that passes through their servers, not to mention routing their users to annoying ads and even installing malware into their devices.
So if you must use a proxy server to mask your IP, make sure it’s from a trusted and reliable provider like HideMyAss and other well-known providers.
3. Use the Tor Browser
A lot of people use the Tor Browser as their default web browser as it helps keep your identity and online activities private while browsing the web.
The Tor Browser is free and open-source software that enables anonymous communication between users and devices on the internet.
What the browser does is hiding your IP address and browser history while concealing your online identity and online activities from traffic analysis and surveillance by separating identification and routing.
Though using the Tor browsers is one of the best ways to browse the web anonymously, it’s important to note that your connections may become a little bit slower due to the extra leaps the browser takes around the web to ensure your connections are private.
4. Use a Free/Public WiFi
Using a public wifi hotspot is one way to hide your actual IP address. For example, you can connect to the free wifi network of your local library, coffee shop, or even hotel.
The good thing about connecting to public wifi is that as soon as you tap into the wifi, you will be using the IP address of that specific place.
This will only be temporary though because as soon as you’re disconnected, your original IP will be visible again.
However, connecting to free public wifi exposes you to numerous security vulnerabilities.
You might want to avoid accessing sensitive information while using public wifi as hackers are known to lurk in such hotspots.
How to Hide your IP Address- Bottom Line
The internet is full of vulnerabilities and online privacy is lacking. You just never know who is looking so it’s important to play safe whenever you’re browsing.
The above options are some of the best and most reliable ways to hide your identity online and mask your online activities. Stay safe!