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Hide My IP Address: 4 Easy Ways [UPDATED]
Borrow a different IP address to go anywhere online and stay hidden.
The reasons why you might want to mask your IP address may include: Hiding your geographical location, preventing Web tracking, avoiding a digital footprint, or bypassing any content filters, bans, or blacklisting.
There are a few ways to hide your IP address…that unique number assigned to the network connection on the computer.
Four ways to hide your IP address:
OPTION 1 – Use a VPN Service – The Best Way
Sign up with these services and when you go online, you’ll be showing the world a different IP address…one that’s on loan from the service you’re using.
There are many more advantages to using a personal VPN service over a proxy such as high-speed bandwidth, usability, a secure connection, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be.
There are hundreds of VPN companies you could choose from…many of them shady or poor quality.
Don’t know which VPN is right for you? Try our new VPN Simplifier!
OPTION 2 – Use the Tor Browser – The Slowest Choice
People from all over the world use Tor to search and buy products and communicate with others with restricted Internet access, such as what exists in some foreign countries.
The Tor Browser (like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) is a free software program that you download onto your computer that conceals your IP address every time you go online anonymously. This free process is layered with heavy-duty encryption, which means your data is layered with security and privacy protection.
OPTION 3 – Use a Proxy Server – The Riskiest Method
A proxy server (sometimes called an “open proxy” or just “proxies”) can be used to re-route your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge) around a company or school content filters.
There are risks involved in using free proxies to mask your IP address: Many will slow down your internet connection, some are run on compromised machines, and may not be legal in some countries.
A safer solution is to use proxies managed by a company such as Smartproxy.
OPTION 4 – Use Public WiFi – The Long Distance Way
An IP address doesn’t travel with you. So if you simply go to a coffee shop, bookstore, or hotel lobby and tap into their Wi-Fi, you will temporarily hide your usual IP address. How so? You’ll be using their network’s IP address for as long as you’re online.
Try it out. First, click show my ip to see your current IP address, and then visit any place with free Wi-Fi, log in to their Internet and check it again.
However, if you don’t use a VPN, your Internet activity is at risk of being spied on or intercepted by a bad guy without your knowing it.
How likely is that?
Who knows! But don’t make online purchases or check your bank account while drinking your Grande Espresso.
Use a VPN service for high-speed bandwidth, usability, a secure connection, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be.
Don’t know which VPN is right for you? Try our VPN Simplifier or compare VPNs.
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How to Hide Your IP Address in 2021 – Security.org
What Is An IP Address
How To Hide
What Is My IP Address
Think of IP addresses like mailing addresses for devices. They tell your Internet Service Provider, would-be hackers, and websites your devices’ approximate locations and could give away more information about your online activity. For these reasons, many people want to hide their IP addresses but aren’t sure where to start. We’ve got just the answers.
ExpressVPN is our #1 Pick to Hide Your IP Address
What Is An IP Address?
First, let’s take it back a notch and define what an IP address really is in the first place. IP stands for internet protocol, and it’s essentially a device’s identifying number that’s associated with a specific computer or network of computers. Using the IP address, computers can receive information. However, IP addresses can also be used to track the user’s approximate location and web activity, so hiding is a must if you want to remain private online.
How To Hide Your IP Address
Just like skinning a cat, there are a few different ways to hide your IP address, a process also known as IP masking.
The easiest way to hide your IP address, in our opinion, is to use a VPN.
What it does: VPNs, which stands for Virtual Private Networks, hide a user’s IP address, replacing it with either a dedicated address, a static address that’s shared with multiple users, or a dynamic address that changes with each connection. Your Internet Service Provider will only be able to see these replaced addresses and not your device’s real IP address.
How to get it: Getting a VPN is easy.
Figure out which one you want (our best VPNs list is a great place to start).
Create an account.
Download the app.
Connect to a server.
VyprVPN Server Info
Want to hide your IP address on a web browser for free? Meet Tor.
What it does: Tor is a web browser that blocks tracking, which is not the case for popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Rather, as soon as you’re off of a website, your cookies will clear, as will your browsing history. The website won’t see your real IP address, but instead the one that Tor has replaced it with. And the best part? Tor encrypts all of your information three times, so you know it’s secure.
How to get it: To download Tor:
Go to Tor Project’s website1.
Install the browser.
Note: Tor is available on the macOS X, Windows, Android or Linux operating systems. It is not currently available for iOS devices.
Many people put proxy servers head to head with VPNs, as we did in our VPN vs. proxy server comparison. And while it’s true that both options will hide and encrypt a user’s IP address, only VPNs also encrypt their web activity. However, proxy servers have the advantage of being free, typically, while most VPNs cost money. In sum, we’d recommend proxy servers if you need coverage on one website or app for a single use.
FYI: The reason proxy servers are free is usually because they sell user data, making VPNs a better choice for privacy. And don’t forget, there are some free VPNs out there, along with VPNs with free trials.
What it does: Proxy servers are single-use servers that users can connect to to encrypt and hide their IP address.
How to get it: How to get a proxy server to hide your IP address differs based on what operating system you’re using.
In the Safari app, click on Preferences.
Click on Advanced.
Click on Change Settings.
Update your settings with the information that the Network Administrator provided. And you’ll get a new, protected window!
In administrative templates, hit Windows Components.
Click on Data Collection And Preview Builds.
Configure Authenticated Proxy Usage.
Set it to Enable.
Click on Apply.
In Settings, click Wi-Fi.
Click Network info.
Click on HTTP proxy section.
Choose the Manual option.
Click on Edit Proxy Settings.
Turn on Authentication.
Save by going back to the Wi-Fi Selection page.
Under Settings, click Wi-Fi.
Clock Network Name.
Choose Modify Network.
Click on Manual.
Enter in your Hostname and Proxy Port.
Don’t forget to click Save! 2
This method is by far the least effective, but you can technically hide your IP address by joining a public Wi-Fi network.
What it does: Your device’s private IP address will be changed to that of the network you’re connected to.
How to get it:
Simply go into your phone or computer’s settings.
Enter the Wi-Fi area.
Join the public network.
Why Should I Hide My IP Address?
Our research on VPN usage shows that for nearly half of VPN-users, general security and privacy were the greatest reasons for using the VPN. While VPNs aren’t the only way to hide your IP address, we’re guessing that if you want to hide it, it’s for similar reasons. Here are some other reasons why someone would want to hide their IP address:
Anti-tracking: Haunted by targeted ads that follow you around the internet? Or maybe you just don’t want to be added to a million different listservs everytime you go to a new website. By hiding your IP address, you’ll confuse websites and apps, warding off tracking.
Secure networks: With the rise of remote work, many people are turning to their home offices rather than their work cubicles. But for those of us handling sensitive information, hiding your IP address can be a great way to keep your web activity to yourself.
Bypass government restrictions: People in places with high levels of internet censorship might want to hide their IP address in order to access banned websites or apps.
More privacy: Journalists, activists, and anyone doing sensitive work online will appreciate the anonymity of hidden, private IP addresses.
Stream: Finally, hidden and replaced IP addresses allow users to stream content in other countries’ libraries, be it on Netflix, Hulu, or any streaming service. If you want to hide your IP address with a VPN so you can stream more freely, check out our lists of the best VPNs for Netflix, the best VPNs for Hulu, the best VPNs for Prime Video and the best VPNs for Disney+.
Can IP Addresses Really Be Hidden?
While VPNs, the Tor browser, proxy servers and public Wi-Fi networks can hide and replace your devices’ private IP addresses, ultimately, your Internet Service Provider will still be able to see the replacement, as will every website you visit. So while you can hide your device’s private IP address, the replacement will be visible. 3 We like to think of these replacement IP addresses like a Halloween costume; while a scary mask can hide your face, people will still be able to see the mask itself.
What Is My IP Address?
Each device comes with a unique IP address, but where in the world can you find it?
In the taskbar, select Wi-Fi network.
Click on Network.
Click on Properties.
Choose the IPv4 address.
Under Settings, click on Wi-Fi.
Look at the Network that you’re connected to.
Look at the right of the name of the Network, for a circular button with a lowercase “i” in it.
Click on that button to reach a new page specifically for that Network.
Scroll down to where it says IP address.
Under System Preferences, hit Network.
Select your Wi-Fi network.
Check under where it says IPv4 address to find your IP.
Last but not least, on your Android phone:
Choose IP address.
Changing You IP – On Android, Scroll to IP address to see your IP address.
While you can’t truly hide your IP address from absolutely everyone, you can hide your device’s private IP address and mask your location. Even in the age of ever-present technology, privacy is still something to strive for, so hopefully this article helped you move towards that goal.
Of course, if you’re still left with some questions, we’re happy to answer them as well.
How do I hide my IP address for free?
You can hide your IP address by either using the Tor browser, a proxy server, or a free VPN. You can also join a public Wi-Fi network.
Is hiding your IP address illegal?
In the U. S, hiding your IP address is not illegal.
How do I hide my IP address on Google Chrome?
How to hide your IP address on Google Chrome depends on what device you’re using it on. However, with the majority of devices you can hide your address on Chrome through a VPN, a proxy server or the Tor browser.
What does an IP address reveal?
An IP address reveals your Internet Service Provider and, in some cases, your approximate location.
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 mask your ip address free
Can you mask IP address?
You can hide your IP address by either using the Tor browser, a proxy server, or a free VPN. You can also join a public Wi-Fi network. … However, with the majority of devices you can hide your address on Chrome through a VPN, a proxy server or the Tor browser.Sep 10, 2021
How do you disguise your IP address?
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.Aug 26, 2021
What does it mean to mask an IP address?
IP masking is the technique of concealing your IP address by adopting a false one. This is how hiding your IP address works — they’re two ways to refer to the same thing.Apr 8, 2020