4 Ways to Hide Your IP Address – Updated for 2019

Hiding your IP address doesn’t have to be complicated.

Whether you are want to bypass geo-restrictions to access your favorite streaming sites, buy the cheapest plane tickets possible, or protect your privacy online, here are four easy ways to hide your IP address.

Quick Guide – How to Hide Your IP Address

  1. VPN
    VPNs are the strongest, safest, and easiest way to hide your IP address. They also offer powerful security features that keep you safe and anonymous.
  2. Proxy
    Proxies are a simple way to make it look like you have a different IP address, but they can really slow down your connection. Proxies don’t encrypt your activity, so they aren’t a good choice for torrenting.
  3. Tor
    Tor is a free way to keep your online activity completely anonymous. Connecting through Tor can significantly slow down your internet connection, but your IP address will be untraceable.
  4. Public Wi-Fi
    Connecting to public wi-fi is an easy way to change your IP address, but it can leave you vulnerable to big security threats. This method won’t help you get around geo-restrictions.

What is an IP Address?

Each device that you use to connect to the internet needs a unique IP address to communicate with other devices online.

It’s kind of like mailing a letter. On your envelope you write the unique address where you want your letter to go, and you also write the return address to show where your letter is coming from.

Think of your IP address like your return address on the internet. When you visit a website, your device sends out a request to the website’s server using the website’s IP address. The request comes back with the information you requested using your IP address.

Your device’s IP address isn’t just assigned randomly. A nonprofit organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority creates IP addresses and gives them in blocks to the world’s five regional internet registries (RIRs), who then give out the IP addresses to internet service providers in their region.

This means that your IP address can be used to identify your location.

Since your computer and other devices need an IP address access information online, there’s no way to avoid IP addresses altogether. The only way to hide your real IP address is to change it to a new one.

Why Hide my IP Address?

Handing out your real IP address to every website you visit can threaten your privacy and anonymity online.

Just like how you can tell where a phone call is coming from based on its area code, your IP address can easily be used to figure out your location, sometimes with pretty scary accuracy. Hiding your IP address protects you from being tracked in this way.

Even if a website doesn’t have malicious intent, there can be some big downsides to giving away your location.

Websites and third-party advertisers love try to personalize your experience based on what they know about you. When you tell them your location through your IP address, they can use this to target you with specific ads and content.

Airlines and travel websites really take advantage of your location. You might be shocked to find how much plane ticket prices change based on where the website thinks you are located.

Another big reason to hide your IP address is to get around geographic restrictions put in place by websites, service providers, and government agencies.

Planning a trip out of the country? Unless you hide your IP address, don’t count on being able to watch your favorite Netflix show. Netflix is one of many websites that uses customers’ IP addresses to restrict content based on their location.

Many workplaces and schools also block access to certain kinds of online content. Changing your IP address allows you to get around these restrictions.

How to Hide Your IP Address:

1. VPN

The easiest and most reliable way to hide your IP address is with a VPN. Getting started is simple. It takes only minutes to set up your VPN, and then you’re done!

Your VPN service will assign you a virtual IP address. The websites that you visit will only be able to see this virtual IP address, and your real IP address will stay hidden.

One of the biggest advantages to hiding your IP address using a VPN is a fast connection speed. Unlike other methods, you don’t have to worry about dealing with a frustratingly slow internet connection after hiding your IP address with a VPN.

Not only are VPNs very effective and hassle-free, but they also are one of the safest methods of hiding your IP address.

A high quality VPN will offer advanced encryption and security protocols, so there is very little risk of leaking your real IP address.

VPNs are also the best way to get around geoblocked content. Many streaming websites with geo-restrictions like Netflix are getting better at detecting when users are trying to hide their IP address to access restricted content. Top VPNs are able to get around these geo-restrictions without a problem.

2. Proxy

Proxy servers are another way to hide your real IP address from the websites you visit. One of the most common uses of proxies is to access geoblocked content. Here’s how proxies work:

Let’s say that you are located in the US and you are trying to watch a live Australian tennis match. You decide to use a proxy because you know that only residents of Australia can access the livestream.

When you visit the website, your computer sends out a request to view the video. Your proxy intercepts your computer’s request and sends the same request to the website using an Australian IP address.

When the website gives the proxy server access to the video, the proxy server sends it back to your computer. Now you can happily stream the live match just like if you were in Australia.

However, proxies come with a few downsides. A big one is connection speed. You might find yourself dealing with frustratingly slow browsing speed when using a proxy.

You also have to be careful about security when choosing a proxy. Unlike VPNs, proxies don’t encrypt your traffic and may leave you vulnerable to security risks.

Proxies are not a good option for torrenting because they will not hide all your activity from your internet service provider.

If you are planning to use a proxy to access geoblocked content on streaming sites, make sure that the proxy you choose works with your streaming site.

A lot of popular websites like Hulu can often tell when you are using a proxy and will block your access.

3. Tor

The Tor network is a good choice if you want your online activity to stay completely anonymous. Tor is a free client that operates using a large network of volunteer servers.

When you go online using Tor, your traffic is directed through a series of different servers before you get to your end destination. By the time your traffic reaches a website’s server, the website has no way to trace you back to your original IP address.

The multiple layers of protection offered by Tor keep your real IP address completely hidden.

However, directing your traffic through multiple servers takes extra time. You might have to deal with long loading times when using Tor.

One of the best parts about Tor is it’s free! If you are looking for a no-cost way to hide your IP address, the Tor browser is probably your best option. If you don’t want to switch browsers, you can also download a Tor Firefox extension.

4. Public Wi-Fi

Your IP address is assigned to you by your internet service provider. This means that when you connect to the internet through a different network, you will be assigned a new IP address.

One of the easiest ways to change your IP address is to head over to your local coffee shop and connect to the public wi-fi.

Obviously this method won’t help you get past any geoblocks, and it’s more of a quick-fix than a long-term solution.

Connecting to public wi-fi can also leave you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and other security threats.

Summary

It’s hard to beat the safety and reliability that you get with a VPN. High-quality VPN services like NordVPN let you easily hide your IP address while also protecting your privacy and anonymity with strong security protocols.

You can also check out user reviews of our top VPNs to help you decide which VPN service is best for your situation.

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