4 Super Easy & Fast Ways To (REALLY) Hide Your IP in 2019
Hiding your IP address isn’t just easy. It’s also the best way to enjoy total digital freedom and protect your identity online.
Whether you want to access your favorite streaming sites, buy cheap plane tickets, or protect your privacy, hiding your IP address is always a good idea. These four methods will help you stay safe and anonymous.
Quick Guide – How to Hide Your IP Address
- VPN – VPNs are the strongest, safest, and easiest way to mask your IP address. They also offer powerful security features that keep you safe and anonymous.
- Proxy – Proxies are a simple way to make it look like you have a different IP address. However, they can really slow down your connection, they don’t encrypt your activity, and they aren’t a good choice for torrenting.
- 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.
- 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?
An Internet Protocol – or IP – address is a unique string of numbers used to identify every device which connects to the internet. All your devices have different, unique IP addresses.
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.
Your IP address is 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.
Under IPv4, IP addresses look like four two- or three-digit numbers separated by periods.
Your device’s IP address isn’t randomly assigned. A nonprofit organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority creates IP addresses and gives them to the world’s five regional internet registries (RIRs). They then give out 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 to access information online, there’s no way to avoid IP addresses altogether. The only way to hide your real IP address is to mask it with a different 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 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 scary accuracy. Hiding your IP address protects your anonymity and stops you from being tracked.
This is especially important if you’re operating in a “gray” area. Hiding your IP address will keep you safe while you torrent.
Even if a website doesn’t have malicious intent, there are downsides to giving away your location.
Websites and third-party advertisers try to personalize what you see based on information they collect about you. This isn’t for your enjoyment: it means they make a profit off you because you’re more likely to buy what they’re selling. Your IP address reveals your location, and 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.
Another big reason to hide your IP address is to bypass restrictions put in place by websites, service providers, and government agencies. Many workplaces and schools also block access to certain kinds of online content. Changing your IP address allows you to get around these restrictions.
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. Like many service providers, Netflix uses customers’ IP addresses to restrict content based on their location.
How to Hide Your IP Address
1. VPN – Most Secure Way to Hide Your IP Address
The easiest and most reliable way to hide your IP address is with a VPN. Getting started is simple. It takes 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. Reputable VPN providers have multiple global server locations, meaning your virtual IP address could come from anywhere in the world.
One of the biggest advantages to hiding your IP address with a VPN is fast connection speed. Unlike other methods, you won’t have to worry about dealing with a frustratingly slow connection.
VPNs are also the safest way to torrent. As well as hiding your IP address and protecting your identity, some VPN providers offer dedicated torrenting and P2P profiles.
Not only are VPNs effective and hassle-free, 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 no risk of your real IP address being leaked.
Unlike the other methods listed here, premium VPNs cost money. However, if you don’t want to pay for your service, there are some decent free VPNs available. But beware: free VPNs come with their own risks, including malware and stolen data. To stay safe, invest in a premium service like CyberGhost or ExpressVPN .
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 – Slow and Not Safe for Torrenting
Proxy servers are another way to hide your real IP address. 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 want to watch a live Australian tennis match that’s only available in Australia. You decide to use a proxy. 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 stream the live match as if you were in Australia.
However, proxies come with a few downsides. A big one is connection speed. You’ll probably encounter very slow browsing speeds 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. Popular websites like Hulu can often tell when you are using a proxy and will block your access.
3. Tor – Mask Your IP for Free
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 use Tor, your traffic is directed through a series of different servers before reaching 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. This means Tor is slow.
One of the best parts about Tor is that 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 – Puts Your Computer at Risk
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 to your local coffee shop and connect to public wi-fi. Public wi-fi means shared access, so your activity cannot be traced back to you.
Public wi-fi can leave you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and other security threats. We strongly recommend using a VPN for protection if you use a public connection.
Obviously this method won’t help you bypass geoblocks, and it’s more of a quick-fix than a long-term solution.
While there are a few ways to mask your IP address, it’s hard to beat the safety and reliability of a VPN. High-quality VPN services like NordVPN are an easy way to hide your IP address, and they also protect your privacy and anonymity with strong security protocols.
VPNs also give you the fastest connection speeds, help you access and stream content from anywhere, support torrenting, and encrypt your data for maximum security.