Hiding My Ip
HTTP & SOCKS Rotating & Static Proxies
- 72 million IPs for all purposes
- Worldwide locations
- 3 day moneyback guarantee
How to hide your IP address (8 ways, 6 are free) – Comparitech
I’ll show you how I hide my IP address as well as several other ways to change or hide an IP address free of charge. Your IP address can be used to track your device and location over the internet, so start hiding your IP now!
@pabischoff UPDATED: March 31, 2021
An IP address is a string of numbers and decimals that identifies your device and location. If you’re connected to the internet, then you have an IP address.
Your public IP address is unique and visible to everyone on the internet, so it can be used to track you and wall you off from region-locked content.
Because I like privacy and dislike censorship, I prefer to hide my IP address from internet providers, hackers, governments, advertisers and others. In this article, I’ll explain a few free and paid methods you can use to hide your IP address, as well as a few ways to change your IP address.
What’s my IP address?
In order to hide your IP address, you first have to know what it is. This is easy; just go to Google and enter “what’s my IP address? ”
You’ll see something like this:
123. 45. 67. 89
Specifically, that’s an IPv4 address. Some of you might have IPv6 connectivity, although it hasn’t been adopted everywhere yet. If your internet provider offers IPv6 on its network, you can look up your IPv6 address as well.
It’ll look something more like this:
For the most part, these two addresses serve the same purpose. If you want to hide your IPv4 address, then you’ll probably want to hide your IPv6 address as well, if you have one.
You can learn more about the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 here, but I won’t get too deep into that in this article.
Your IP address probably changes once in a while due to how the internet works, but you are the only one with your current IP address on the entire internet. Similar to physical addresses, IP addresses allow computers on the internet to find each other and communicate. IP addresses are an integral part of the IP protocol, the foundation on which the internet is built. Again, I’ll sidestep the nitty gritty details on how the IP protocol works.
8 ways to hide your IP address
#1. Use a VPN to hide your IP address
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is a software service that encrypts all of the data sent to and from the internet and routes it through a VPN server in another location. The VPN server acts as a middleman between your device and the internet, so websites and online apps only see the server’s IP address and not your own.
Most VPNs are subscription services that cost a few dollars per month for access to hundreds or even thousands of servers around the world. You just need to sign up and download the apps for your devices. After that, hiding your IP address just takes a couple of clicks. It’s really easy.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for security and privacy with no restrictions for a month. This allows you to try its obfuscated servers out for yourself before you commit.
There are no hidden terms, either—just let support staff know within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you to claim a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
If NordVPN. isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you might want to try Surfshark or ExpressVPN. These services have plenty to offer, and come with significant discounts for long-term subscriptions.
Here’s how to hide your IP address:
First off, check your current IP address by Googling, “what’s my IP? ”
Sign up for a VPN. We recommend NordVPN.
Download the VPN app onto your device. Windows and Mac users usually get their app from the provider’s website. iOS and Android users get their app from the App Store and Google Play, respectively.
Install the VPN app and run it.
Sign in using the account credentials you created in step two.
Select a server or server location. Your new IP address will be that of this server.
Click the Connect button or double-tap the server to initiate a connection.
Once the connection has been established, you will have a new IP address. To confirm, Google “what’s my IP? ” Your new IP address should be different than in step one.
Here’s a video of how to hide your IP address with a VPN
Most commercial VPN providers, including NordVPN, use shared IP addresses, meaning that all VPN users connected to the same server are hidden behind the same IP address–that of the VPN server.
A VPN that uses shared IP addresses not only hides your real IP address, it makes you indistinguishable from all the other users. Your online activity cannot be traced back to a single user, adding a significant layer of anonymity.
If you’re serious about hiding your IP address, it’s vital to get a VPN with these features:
Private DNS servers – DNS works like a phone book for the internet by translating domain names like “” into IP addresses that your device can use to communicate. By default, you probably use DNS servers operated by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Google, which can see your IP address when you request a website, even when connected to a VPN. For this reason, it’s important to use a VPN that operates its own DNS servers so you never expose your IP address to a third party.
Leak protection – VPNs are meant to protect all the internet data traveling to and from your device, but sometimes they leak. When they leak, they expose your IP address. Get yourself a VPN that has DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak prevention.
Kill switch – A kill switch or network lock cuts off your entire device from the internet if the VPN connection drops for some reason, preventing anything from being sent from your real IP address without the VPN’s protection.
No-logs policy – The VPN provider should not record or store logs of your internet activity or any connection details that could be used to identify you.
2. Use a proxy to hide your IP address
Like a VPN, a proxy acts as a middleman between your device and the internet. Websites and apps see the IP address of the proxy server and not your real IP address.
In fact, a VPN is technically a type of proxy. But when I say “proxy, ” I’m usually referring to either an SSL, SSH, or SOCKS proxy. These types of proxies typically lack the encryption and other security features offered by VPNs, but they do hide your IP address from websites. They can be configured in existing apps like your browser or, like a VPN, use a third-party app.
Proxies usually don’t usually include DNS traffic, so your website requests still go to a third-party DNS server that can see your real IP address. VPNs with leak protection don’t have this problem. Furthermore, your real IP could be exposed if the proxy connection drops for some reason.
Because proxies lack the authentication of VPNs, they are also more susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, in which an attacker can pose as the proxy server to steal your data.
Some VPNs offer HTTPS (SSL) proxies as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These do a decent job of protecting your browser, but other apps and DNS requests can still expose your IP address.
3. Use Tor to hide your IP address for free
Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a decentralized worldwide anonymity network operated by thousands of volunteers. When you connect to Tor, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a random sequence of these volunteer “nodes, ” which are sort of like proxy servers. Websites can only see the IP address of the last server in the sequence, called the exit node.
Each time you visit a website, the sequence of nodes changes. This makes it practically impossible to trace activity back to the original IP address.
The easiest way to use Tor is to download and install the Tor Browser. It works just like a barebones version of any other browser like Chrome and Firefox, and it’s completely free.
There are drawbacks, however. Tor is slow and not suitable for torrenting or streaming–stick to web browsing. Furthermore, Tor is often associated with criminal activity because it can be used to access the darknet and illicit websites. Some websites block connections from known Tor nodes, and your ISP might frown upon its use.
See also: How to set up a hidden Tor service
4. Connect to a different network to change your IP address
Whenever you change networks, your IP address changes as well. So if you think the IP address you’ve been using has been compromised, blocked, or tracked, then you can change networks to get a new one.
You can connect to a public or private wifi network, or use your smartphone’s mobile data connection. Note that public wifi hotspots and open networks can be hunting grounds for hackers that can take advantage of the lack of encryption and authentication. Opt for networks that require a password, if possible.
5. Ask your ISP to change your IP address
Your ISP is the entity that decides who gets what IP address. So if you want to change your IP address for some reason, try giving them a call. You’ll need your account information on hand, as well as your current IP address.
It shouldn’t be too hard to get a different IP address, but don’t expect it to stay the same forever. Because IP addresses are constantly being recycled in order to preserve the limited number of available IP addresses, your IP address will probably change once in a while. These are called dynamic IP addresses.
You could request a static IP address that never changes, but there might be an application process and an extra fee.
6. Unplug your modem to change your IP address
This isn’t guaranteed to work, but you can often get a new IP address by unplugging your internet modem and plugging it back in again. When you lose the connection to your ISP, your old IP address will get recycled. When you re-establish a connection, you’ll be assigned a new IP address.
The longer you leave the modem unplugged, the more likely this tactic will work. Try leaving it unplugged overnight if you have to.
Your ISP must use dynamic IP addresses for this to work. Most do.
7. Use a NAT Firewall to hide your private IP address
If you use a wireless router to connect to the internet, it’s likely that you’re behind a NAT firewall. In simplest terms, a NAT firewall allows multiple devices on the same network to use the same public IP address but unique private IP addresses. Network Address Translation (NAT) forwards requests and data from the private IP addresses of individual devices to their online destination under the router’s public IP address. This conserves address space (the number of available IP addresses) and prevents unsolicited inbound communication with potentially dangerous computers on the internet.
A NAT firewall doesn’t hide your public IP address, but your private IP address. All devices connected to a NAT-enabled router will share a public IP address. The NAT firewall will prevent any online communication that isn’t in response to a request you sent from a private IP address. All other requests and data packets are discarded because they don’t have a private IP address to which they can be forwarded.
8. Renew your IP address to change your private IP address
As mentioned above, if you’re connected to an internet router by wifi or ethernet cable, then you’ve probably got a private, or local, IP address as well. It’s not as important to keep this IP address a secret while online, but there might be instances in which you need to change it.
You can do this by entering a few simple commands into your Windows Command Prompt or Mac Terminal.
How to renew your IP address on Windows:
Search for the Command Prompt and right click it to Run as administrator
Enter ipconfig /release
Enter ipconfig /renew
You should now see a new local IP address.
How to renew your IP on MacOS:
Click the Apple menu and open System Preferences
Highlight the network that you’re connected to in the left pane
Select the TCP/IP tab
Click Renew DHCP Lease
Your Mac will now have a different private IP address.
You can never hide your IP address from your ISP
It’s not possible to hide your IP address from your ISP. It makes sense: my ISP provides me with internet service and therefore an IP address. Without an IP address, I can’t connect to the internet.
VPNs and proxies don’t literally replace your existing IP address. They just mask your IP address with one of their own so that other computers and servers on the internet can’t see yours. But your real IP address is still there, communicating through the proxy or VPN server as an intermediary.
Even though you can never hide your real IP address from your ISP, you can hide the content and destination of your internet activity with a VPN. The encryption prevents your ISP from seeing what information you send and receive, and the ISP can only see that you’re connected to a VPN server—not the websites or apps you use. Conversely, the VPN hides your real IP address from websites and apps, but they still see the contents and destination of your internet communications.
The only parties that can see all three—your real IP address, the websites you visit, and what data is transmitted between the two—are you and your VPN provider. For this reason, I only recommend VPNs that don’t store any logs of your online activity.
- HTTP & SOCKS
- unlimited bandwidth
- Price starting from $0.08/IP
- Locations: EU, America, Asia
9 Easy Ways to Hide Your IP Address in 2021 (Some Are Free)
Hiding your IP address is the best way to enjoy total digital freedom and protect your identity online – and it’s also super easy.
There are lots of reasons to hide your IP address, from getting discounts on plane tickets to accessing content that’s not available in your region. It allows you to unlock different countries’ Netflix libraries and use platforms like Hulu and BBC iPlayer, which are blocked in many parts of the world.
It’s also a great way to protect your privacy and keep your personal information from falling into the hands of advertisers, hackers, and other third parties.
The best way to hide your IP address is to use a VPN. My all-time favorite is ExpressVPN, as it’s the fastest service and has over 3, 000 servers in 90 different countries, giving you 25, 000+ IP addresses to choose from. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free!
Hide Your IP With ExpressVPN Now!
What Is an IP Address?
An or IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique string of numbers and decimals used to identify every device that connects to the internet. Each device that’s connected to a computer network has its own, unique IP address. But if you have multiple devices connected through one WiFi router, their IP addresses are the same.
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 own IP address.
There are two types of IP addresses. IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses consist of four two- or three-digit numbers separated by periods (123. 45. 67. 89, for example). IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) addresses are much longer and include both letters and numbers separated by colons.
IPv6 is being deployed because the number of available IPv4 addresses is running out. It also has more efficient routing and data flow than IPv4, and improved security. But most of the world still uses IPv4, and switching to IPv6 isn’t an easy process.
If you do want to change to IPv6, your ISP, router, and operating system all have to be compatible with it. Unfortunately, most internet service providers don’t support IPv6 yet.
If you want to see your own IP address right now, you can easily do so with our IP checking tool. I used it to check my IP address with and without a VPN:
Your 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), which then give 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 using an IP address altogether. The only way to hide your real IP address is to mask it with a different one.
Hide Your IP Address With ExpressVPN
Why Hide My IP Address?
Handing out your real IP address to every website you visit can threaten your privacy and anonymity online.
This is because your IP address can easily be used to figure out your location – sometimes with a scary level of accuracy. Hiding your IP address keeps this from happening. It’s especially important if you’re going to torrent or do any other activity that falls in a legal gray area.
But even if you’re just browsing, revealing your location has consequences. Websites and third-party advertisers can use this data to target you with specific content, in order to profit from your online activity.
For example, airlines and travel companies change their prices based on the location of your IP address. You might be shocked by how much plane ticket prices can vary because of this.
Another reason to hide your IP address is to bypass the restrictions of websites, service providers, government agencies, workplaces, and even schools. One common example is Netflix, which uses your IP address to determine the content you’re able to watch.
If you don’t hide your IP address, you’ll only be able to see the Netflix library for your actual location. But if you want to get around regional restrictions and access content from all over the world, hiding your IP address will do the trick.
Get a New IP Address Now
9 Ways to Hide Your IP Address
1. Use a VPN – The Fastest, Easiest, and Safest Option
This is the best and most reliable way to hide your IP address. All you have to do is pick one of the top VPN services, download it, and then choose which country you want to connect through. The VPN will assign you a virtual IP address associated with that country, effectively hiding your real location.
One of the biggest advantages of using a VPN is fast connection speed. Unlike with other methods, you won’t have to worry about super slow browsing, streaming, or downloading.
This is particularly important if you want to stream content on Netflix or other platforms. These sites are very good at detecting when users are trying to bypass their restrictions, and won’t hesitate to block you. But the best VPNs can easily get around even the strictest geoblocks.
VPNs are also the safest way to torrent. In addition to hiding your IP address and protecting your identity, some VPN providers offer dedicated torrenting and P2P profiles.
VPNs are incredibly safe in general, as long as you choose a reputable service that uses advanced encryption and security profiles, such as ExpressVPN. This keeps your real IP address from being leaked.
The best VPNs on the market require you to pay a subscription fee, but they’re absolutely worth it. Although there are some decent free VPNs available, they are very limited and will usually give you a slow connection and only a small amount of bandwidth and data transfer. Some free VPNs can even put you at risk of data theft, malware attacks, and other security threats.
In my opinion, investing in a premium VPN like the ones listed below is essential; a few extra bucks per month is a small price to pay when it comes to protecting your privacy. My recommended VPNs offer money-back guarantees, so you can test out their service risk-free.
The Best VPNs to Hide Your IP Address
ExpressVPN has thousands of servers around the world and boasts incredible speeds. When we tested ExpressVPN, we found that it’s especially good at accessing platforms that don’t support VPNs, which means you can use it to watch content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN also supports P2P connections on all servers, making torrenting a breeze. Its advanced security features include TrustedServer technology, DNS leak protection, and more. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free before you decide. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can ask for a refund if you’re not happy with it.
Change Your IP With ExpressVPN
CyberGhost is an incredibly stable and secure service, with over 7, 260 servers around the world. It’s super easy to set up, allowing you to connect in a matter of seconds. Our speed tests show that it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, but its speeds are sufficient to stream in HD.
It’s also very affordable, but lower prices don’t mean less security; it has advanced encryption, zero logging, leak-proof apps, and an extra kill switch. One thing that sets CyberGhost apart is its 45-day money-back guarantee, which is much longer than most competitors’ offers.
Change Your IP With CyberGhost
2. Proxy – Slow and Not Safe for Torrenting
Proxies are commonly used to access geoblocked content. Let’s say you want to view something that’s only available in a certain country. Your computer sends a request to the website to view it, but the proxy intercepts the request and resends it using an IP address from that country. When the proxy server gains access, it sends it back to you — et voilà.
There are several downsides to proxies: they’re super slow and not very secure, as they don’t encrypt your traffic like VPNs do. They also don’t work well for torrenting, since they won’t hide all your activity from your ISP. And many popular sites, like Hulu, can easily tell when you’re using a proxy and block your access.
3. Tor – Mask Your IP for Free (Not for Streaming or Torrenting)
If you want to stay completely anonymous online without paying a cent, Tor is a solid solution. It consists of a large network of volunteer-operated servers around the world. When you use Tor, your traffic is routed through several of these servers and encrypted various times, making it nearly impossible for anyone to trace it back to your IP address.
However, all of that encryption and decryption makes Tor incredibly slow, so it’s not useful for streaming or downloading – and its developers advise against using it to torrent. If you just want to browse, you can use Tor Browser or download the Firefox extension. However, for the highest possible level of privacy, I recommend using Tor in combination with a VPN.
Hide Your IP With ExpressVPN
4. Public WiFi – A Risky Last Resort
Your IP address is assigned to you by your internet service provider, so if you connect to the internet through a different network, you’ll be assigned a new one. If you need to quickly and temporarily change your IP address, you can go to a café or other spot with public WiFi. Since it’s a shared connection, your activity can’t be traced back to you.
That said, public WiFi makes you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and all kinds of other security threats. I always suggest using a VPN when connected to public WiFi anyway. Plus, public WiFi won’t help you bypass geoblocks – so it’s more of a quick fix than a long-term solution.
5. Use Your Mobile Network – A Temporary Solution
If you don’t have easy access to a public WiFi connection – or prefer not to subject yourself to all of the risks it involves – you can also temporarily change your IP address by using data on your mobile device instead of WiFi.
The main downside of this method is that it can get expensive, especially if you want to stream or download a lot of content. Again, it’s far from a permanent solution, and I only recommend it if you think your regular IP address has been compromised. If that’s the case, using your mobile network is an easy way to immediately get a new IP address.
6. Unplug Your Modem – Reset Your IP Address
This may sound silly, but sometimes unplugging your modem for a while can actually change your IP address. When you disconnect from your ISP, the link with your current IP address is deleted – but only if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses (which is likely).
Leave the modem unplugged for as long as you can stand, as this increases the chance that your IP address will be changed. When you plug it back in, you should receive a brand new one. However, this isn’t the most reliable method, so it shouldn’t be your first choice.
7. Renew Your IP address – Follow These Steps
I mentioned above that your main IP address is publicly visible, but if you’re using WiFi or an ethernet cable, you also have a private IP address. This method only works for replacing the private one, not the public one.
If you want to get a new private IP address, all you have to do is enter some commands on your computer.
From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.
Open Network settings.
Click on the network you’re using.
Choose the TCP/IP tab.
Click “Renew DHCP Lease. ”
Search for Command Prompt.
Right click on it, then select “Run as administrator. ”
Type in ipconfig /release.
Type in ipconfig /renew.
After following these steps, your device should have a new private IP address.
8. Use a NAT Firewall – Hide Your Private IP Address
Like the previous method, this option only applies to your private IP address. A NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall lets different devices keep their private IP addresses hidden by using the same public IP address. In other words, multiple devices that are connected to the same router can share a public IP address.
The main benefit of NAT is that it protects you from receiving unrequested communications from unknown internet users, which may be malicious. But it doesn’t hide your device’s public IP address, which is what matters most when it comes to online privacy. As I said before, the best way to do that is with a VPN.
9. Get Your ISP to Change It for You – Ask Nicely
Since your internet service provider assigns your IP address, you can simply ask them to change it. You’ll need to contact them directly and provide your account information. This is a fairly straightforward way to change your IP address, but it won’t solve any problems related to geoblocks or security, like a VPN would.
Don’t forget that if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses, it will change again at some point in the future. If you want it to stay the same, you can ask for a static IP address – but this usually costs extra and requires additional effort.
How to Check Your IP Address
Once you’ve used a VPN or another method to hide your IP address, it’s important to check that it’s working. You should do this right after hiding it, and then periodically for as long as you need it to stay hidden. This will help you detect any errors that could compromise your privacy.
Our IP checking tool is the simplest way to ensure that your IP address is completely hidden. It will automatically display your IP address and the geolocation associated with it.
If your IP address has been hidden correctly, our tool will display the IP address and location of the VPN or proxy server you’re connected to. If not, it will display your own IP address and physical location – letting you know that something has gone wrong.
What else can a VPN do?
In addition to hiding your IP address, the best VPNs allow you to access geoblocked content from all over the world. It can also get you past online restrictions put in place by service providers, government agencies, or other entities. Finally, it’s the best way to hide your identity and internet activity if you want to maximize your privacy and keep your data safe.
To learn more about what a VPN can do, read our beginner’s guide to VPNs.
How can I see my IP address?
The easiest way to see your IP address is by using our IP checking tool. All you have to do is click the link in the previous sentence, and you’ll see your IP address, browser, country, and city at the top of the page.
Can my IP address reveal my identity?
Technically, your IP address alone cannot reveal your identity. However, when combined with other easily accessible information like usernames, browsing activity, and the physical location associated with it, people can use your IP address to figure out who you are. This is why if you value your privacy, you should use a trustworthy VPN, like ExpressVPN, to hide your IP address.
Why would I need to hide my IP address?
There are lots of reasons why you might need to hide your IP address, but the most common ones are to bypass geoblocks to access online content (such as streaming sites like Netflix) and to protect your privacy online. Beyond that, if you’re traveling to a country with strict internet censorship (like China), a VPN is vital in order to stay connected and safe.
How can I hide my IP address for free?
There are a few ways to avoid paying to hide your IP address. You could use the Tor network, which is totally free – but also infamous for slow connection speeds. Or you could use a free VPN, but I don’t recommend this for security reasons.
Instead, I suggest downloading a premium VPN like ExpressVPN. If you’re not happy with it, you have 30 days to ask for your money back.
What is IP masking?
IP masking is just another term for hiding your IP address. Essentially, it means that you’re covering up your actual IP address with a different one from another server somewhere else in the world. This is the only way to use the internet without revealing your IP address.
The best way to mask your IP address is with a VPN, which makes it impossible for anyone to identify your location or identity based on your online activity.
Can I use a free VPN to hide my IP address?
Yes, there are some free VPNs that will allow you to hide your IP address. However, I don’t recommend using these services, as their lack of advanced security can make you incredibly vulnerable online.
If you really don’t want to pay, use a premium VPN’s money-back guarantee to try the service for a month, then cancel for a full refund. CyberGhost’s 45-day guarantee period is one of the longest on the market.
Is it illegal to hide my IP address?
No, it’s not illegal to hide your IP address – or to use a VPN to do so. Even in countries like China, where VPNs are strictly regulated, it’s not technically against the law to use one. Although some people may think that hiding your IP address is a sign that you’re doing something shady online, there are plenty of legitimate and totally legal reasons for it.
Is an IP address permanent?
Most IP addresses are dynamic, which means they’re not permanent. Some IP addresses are static, meaning they never change, but it takes extra effort and money to request a static IP address.
It’s important to remember that even if you have a static IP address, it does not move with you; if you switch to a different internet connection, you’ll have a different IP address.
Is there a way to hide my IP address from my ISP?
No, there is no way to hide your IP address from your internet service provider. Even when you use a VPN, your IP address is still being used to communicate with the VPN server. However, a VPN keeps your ISP from seeing what you’re doing online, while hiding your IP address from the apps and websites you’re using – so no one can see the whole picture.
What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 and IPv6 are two different types of IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are more common and less complex, consisting of a string of numbers and periods. IPv6 addresses are much longer, and include both letters and numbers separated by colons. IPv6 is currently being deployed to provide more IP addresses and to resolve some issues associated with IPv4.
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 ExpressVPN 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.
If you want to learn more, read our guides about proxies vs. VPNs and Tor vs VPNs.
To summarize, the best VPNs to hide your IP address are…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we’ve tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it’s currently offering 49% off.
Three Ways to Hide Your IP Address – AVG
What is an IP address?
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a string of characters that uniquely identifies your device on the web. Without this identifier, website servers wouldn’t know where to send the data that’s rendered as a website in your internet browser.
Just like your postcode, your IP address was created by a central authority — the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Once created, the IANA assigns each IP address to one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIR), which hands them out in turn to internet service providers in their region.
At the moment, there are two versions of IP addresses called IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6). Why do things need to be so complicated? Well, IPv4 addresses are just 32 bits long, which means there can only ever be around 4. 3 billion IPv4 addresses.
By September 2015, with just about everything connected to the internet, four out of five RIRs had completely run out of IPv4 addresses! At 128 bits, IPv6 addresses are the answer: 340 282 366 920 938 463 463 374 607 431 768 211 456 addresses means we won’t be running out any time soon.
Why hide your IP address?
Just as Amazon needs your address to send you a package, servers around the world need your IP address to send you data. That means your IP address needs to be public — any website you visit must be able to access it.
You can test this out for yourself by searching “what’s my IP” on Google. But who cares if someone knows this random string of characters? Try searching “where am I” instead and you’ll begin to understand the problem.
All around the world there are free and paid subscription geolocation databases that match IP addresses to a specific location. Accuracy can range from country level all the way down to within a few houses. That’s no problem if it’s just a website trying to serve you the right language, but governments and companies with questionable motives also have access to this location data.
See for yourself how easy it is. If you have an internet connection there are a number of public sites that can reveal you IP address location like HMA! IP Info or Much worse, your IP address is scattered around the web like a signature. Almost every site you visit will log your IP address, along with the pages you requested and the information you sent and received.
If a tyrannical government, litigious record company or pesky advertiser matches your IP address to your actual identity, which is all too easy, it’s open season on your online activity.
So if you care about internet privacy and anonymity, blocking your IP address is the very first thing you should do.
The best ways to hide your IP
Use a proxy server
A proxy server works by sitting between you and your final destination on the web, passing data back and forth as needed. When you connect through a proxy, you’re effectively rerouting your traffic through another computer before landing at your intended website.
As a result, the proxy will mask your IP address with its own, so those tricky website server logs will never know you’ve been there. And if anyone thinks to check the logged IP address against a geolocation database, all they’ll see is the location of the proxy server, which might be on the other side of the world to your own device.
However, there’s a catch. Most proxies don’t encrypt your data when connecting to a regular HTTP website. It’s more difficult, but powerful actors like governments can still figure out who you are. And when they do, everything you’ve been up to is visible.
For most people though, there’s a bigger issue: proxies are slow. Very slow. You can bypass basic geo-restrictions, but that’s close to useless if you spend more time gazing at a spinning wheel than catching up on your favorite YouTube content.
If that’s no problem, you can use a proxy by visiting a trustworthy web proxy site or by configuring a proxy server in your browser settings.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, works much like a proxy server — it’s the middleman between your device and a final web server. Once again, your IP address is masked by the IP of the VPN server you’re connected to.
But unlike a proxy, any decent VPN will also encrypt your traffic before it even leaves your computer. If someone does work out your real IP address, it won’t help them much — the sites you visited and what you did there will be hidden in a long string of meaningless characters.
Even better, when switched on, VPN services will anonymize all network activity from your device — not just your browser activity. So whether you’re gaming, torrenting, or using an email or photos app, your IP address is hidden and the data exchanged is encrypted. You can also hide your IP adress on mobile devices with a VPN service for Android or iPhone.
Though it is possible to configure some software with a proxy, it is usually a nightmare to setup and one misstep could leave you unprotected. For ease-of-use and top-level security, it’s difficult to beat a VPN.
One final option to block your IP address from prying eyes is Tor. Tor stands for “The Onion Router”, and with good reason. When you connect to the web using Tor, your traffic is wrapped up in an encrypted bundle and routed through several servers on its journey, with layers of encryption added at each stage like the layers of an onion.
Each server can only decrypt enough to know where to send your request next. And no single point on your journey knows where the request came from — even the first stop can’t be sure it is the first stop! It’s like a drunken man stumbling all around town, with no idea where he came from by the end of his journey.
All in all, it’s an incredibly secure system, which is why it’s favored by journalists and activists whose online activity could destroy lives.
Tor may seem safe, but every alphabet soup agency has active nodes hoping to read the exit of your encryption
But even Tor isn’t perfect: by the time your traffic hits the exit node — the last step before landing at your destination server — any encryption added by Tor is removed. If it wasn’t, there’d be no way for the final website server to understand the request. Though your IP address will be hidden by bouncing around the network, any unencrypted material in your request can be read.
As a result, law enforcement agencies like the NSA and FBI, and even more troubling agencies abroad, have been accused of setting up dozens of Tor exit nodes. As a tool so often used to commit cybercrime, you can bet Tor is a major target for intelligence services.
More importantly, though Tor can be unbeatable secure, it’s just not necessary for the average web user. It may even give a false sense of security to those without an understanding of the underlying technology.
If your online activism is putting your life at risk, we recommend using Tor. Otherwise, a VPN is probably all you need to hide your IP.
Frequently Asked Questions about hiding my ip
Is hiding your IP illegal?
Is it illegal to hide my IP address? No, it’s not illegal to hide your IP address – or to use a VPN to do so. … Although some people may think that hiding your IP address is a sign that you’re doing something shady online, there are plenty of legitimate and totally legal reasons for it.Sep 21, 2021
Can you hide your IP address?
Use a VPN. A virtual private network, or VPN, works much like a proxy server — it’s the middleman between your device and a final web server. Once again, your IP address is masked by the IP of the VPN server you’re connected to. … You can also hide your IP adress on mobile devices with a VPN service for Android or iPhone …Aug 26, 2021
How can I hide my IP for free?
Three ways to hide your IPUse a VPN. A VPN is an intermediary server that encrypts your connection to the internet — and it also hides your IP address. … Use Tor. Comprising thousands of volunteer-run server nodes, Tor is a free network that conceals your identity online via multiple layers of encryption. … Use a proxy.Apr 8, 2020