• November 16, 2022

Masking Internet Activity

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How do I Hide My IP Address? – Avast

What is an IP address, anyway?
An IP address is a series of numbers that identifies your device or network on the internet. Activity on the internet is a series of two-way communications between clients — software, such as a web browser, that requests data — and servers, which reply to clients with responses. Every client has an IP address that tells servers who is making the request.
So, it’s easy to understand what an IP address is and also why they’re important. IP addresses let search engines like Google know where to send the results of a search, help websites know who’s visiting their site, and make sure you receive the emails that are addressed to you.
In other words, IP addresses undergird how the internet works in general. Thankfully, it’s very easy to find your IP address if you need this information.
Three ways to hide your IP
Now, let’s take a look at three tools you can use to hide your IP address. Each offers its own blend of privacy, security, and practicality.
1. Use a VPN
A VPN is an intermediary server that encrypts your connection to the internet — and it also hides your IP address. A VPN encrypts all your traffic, not only in your browser but also in other apps, and then passes traffic onward to its destination. They’re a popular privacy solution, and as such, there’s a strong incentive for VPN providers to design tools that are as easy to use as they are secure.
Here’s how to hide your IP address with a VPN: Simply download a VPN such as Avast SecureLine VPN, log in, and turn it on to protect both your IP address and your internet traffic.
How does a VPN hide your IP address?
When you’re using a VPN, your IP address is hidden because your traffic takes a detour through the VPN server. When your traffic — sites visited, online apps used, uploads, downloads, etc. — reaches its destination, it does so under a “virtual” IP address assigned by the VPN.
There’s only one party who’ll be able to see your actual IP address: your VPN provider. That’s why you should choose a trusted VPN provider that isn’t going to keep logs on your activity.
Avast SecureLine VPN is a safe, secure, and convenient way to mask your IP address. It’ll hide your online activity from your internet service provider (ISP), employer, school, and anyone else on your network, including a snooping cybercriminal. And we never keep any logs on sites you visit, apps you use, or content you view.
2. Use Tor
Comprising thousands of volunteer-run server nodes, Tor is a free network that conceals your identity online via multiple layers of encryption. When you access Tor, typically by using the free Tor Browser, your traffic is relayed and encrypted through a series of three relay nodes, each of which decrypts one layer of encryption to learn the identity of the next node. When your traffic leaves the final node, it’s fully decrypted and sent to its destination.
The relay system hides your IP address, but not without cost: because Tor’s encryption system is so thorough, it takes a long time for your traffic to complete its journey. You’ll be sacrificing browsing speed for Tor’s anonymity. This is a worthwhile tradeoff when it really counts, such as for whistleblowers and political dissidents. But if you’re simply seeking to hide your IP address, when comparing Tor and a VPN, you’ll find a VPN to be a far more convenient and faster solution.
How does Tor hide your IP address?
When you use Tor, each relay node along your traffic’s pathway through the Tor network knows only the IP address of the node immediately before and after it. Even if an attacker manages to intercept your traffic while it travels from the final node to your destination server, it’d be very difficult at that point to parse your original IP address.
3. Use a proxy
A proxy server handles your internet traffic on your behalf. A proxy sits in front of a client or network of clients, forwarding requests while also receiving and delivering responses from servers. You may need to manually adjust your device’s proxy settings if you want to use a proxy.
Unlike a VPN, most proxies won’t encrypt your traffic, and they also won’t hide your IP address from anyone who can intercept your traffic on its way from your device to the proxy. Proxy servers, especially free web-based proxies, tend to be less reliable than VPNs. That’s why proxies are best used as a quick, temporary solution as opposed to a long-term privacy plan.
How does a proxy hide your IP address?
Some proxy servers can mask your IP address with a fake one. You’ll appear as though you’re based in the same country as your proxy server. If you’re using a proxy to hide your IP, be aware that not all proxies offer equal protection.
Transparent proxies conceal neither your IP address nor your use of a proxy.
Anonymous proxies hide your IP address but not your use of a proxy.
High anonymity (or elite) proxies hide both your IP address as well as your use of a proxy.
Some sites or content platforms may block traffic from known proxies, so you’ll have to be careful if you’re trying to use a proxy to access media.
Why should I hide my IP address?
Your IP address identifies you online, and in today’s data-driven world, your online activity is very valuable. It’s important to hide your IP address so that you can regain control over your privacy while you’re online. Among other sensitive info, your IP can reveal your shopping and buying habits as well as your physical location. So why hide your IP? You’ve got plenty to gain, and not much to lose.
Hide your IP to browse anonymously
Advertisers and marketers can track you across the internet and analyze your browsing habits with the goal of marketing to you more effectively. Unfortunately, even hiding your IP address won’t stop them, because tracking cookies also deliver this information — which is why you should regularly take the time to delete cookies from your browser.
To take private internet browsing to the next level, consider a dedicated private browser like Avast Secure Browser. It includes a range of advanced anti-tracking features to let you use the internet without leaving any clues behind that companies and individuals can use to follow your activity.
Hide your IP to shield your location
Hide your IP address behind another IP in a different part of the world and no one will know where you really are. This includes websites and services that host geo-restricted content. For example, if you’re traveling abroad and want to access movies or TV shows that are available only for your home country, you can use a VPN or proxy to unblock that website with a false IP address in the correct location.
Many IP addresses are linked to a real-world address, or at least to a general location. If you’re frequently using false IP addresses to change your online location, no one will be able to figure out where you actually are.
Can my IP address ever truly be hidden?
While it’s not possible to hide your IP address from everyone, you can achieve an effective level of privacy sufficient for everyday needs. With a VPN, the only entity that can link your online activity to your IP address is your VPN provider itself. This is why it’s so important to choose a VPN provider with a reliable reputation for security, and one that doesn’t keep logs of user activity.
Your ISP can see the type, timing, and amount of traffic you’re sending to the VPN server, but they won’t know the specifics. The same goes for Tor. Many proxies don’t encrypt your traffic, and so your ISP will be able to access your activity if it wants to while you’re using a proxy. And, as mentioned earlier, all the websites and services you use while connected to a VPN will see only the VPN’s IP address, not yours.
The primary purpose for hiding your IP address is to protect your online activity and location from third-party observers: websites, advertisers who use ad tracking techniques, and cybercriminals. When your safety and privacy is at risk, it’s important to be proactive.
What is IP masking?
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. If you’re interested in learning how to mask your IP address, you can apply the same techniques described in this article. After all, the only way to hide your IP address and still use the internet is to mask it behind another one.
Your traffic is always going to need an IP address online, since that’s how websites and services know who’s making the requests and where to send the replies. Clients use IP addresses to reach servers, and servers use IP addresses to send requested data back to the correct client.
That request-and-response system is part of the TCP/IP model, which governs how devices on the internet communicate with one each another. IP addresses are classified in a variety of ways: IPv4 vs. IPv6, public vs. local, and static vs. dynamic IP addresses. Read more about IP addresses here.
Hide your IP the easy way with a VPN
Avast SecureLine VPN lets you hide your IP address by choosing from any one of our blazing-fast servers located in dozens of countries all over the world. With your online activity securely encrypted and our no-logging policy, you’ll be able to easily access blocked content, disrupt tracking techniques, and browse the internet freely, with complete confidence in your online privacy.
Six Tips On How To Hide Internet Activity - Surfshark

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Six Tips On How To Hide Internet Activity – Surfshark

2021, July 14 · 8 min read
Internet service providers (ISPs), government agencies, and ad companies all want your data. As the owner of your data, you don’t want to give that up to just anyone. It’s none of their business. With this in mind, you might wonder how to hide internet activity.
You can hide internet history by using a Tor browser, staying on HTTPS websites, and using encrypted email services. However, the most effective method for hiding internet activity is a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Six ways you can hide your internet activity
The first question people have is how to be anonymous on the internet. While it’s possible to hide your browsing from ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and other agencies, you can’t be anonymous. You can still hide your internet activity with these tips:
#1: Use Tor to increase your privacy
Tor browser
A Tor browser is a free tool for privacy nuts who want to hide their browser-based connection history. Tor uses a worldwide network of volunteer-run computers to hide user data. It’s also free, which makes Tor one less thing to spend your money on.
Trying to track someone who is using a Tor browser is messy, but it is doable. Websites that don’t support HTTPS still have “node vulnerability, ” meaning your data is still visible where your IP reads out.
Tor browsing also is incredibly slow. The security gained by bouncing your connection off multiple network locations is excellent for being almost anonymous; not so great for convenience.
#2: Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A Virtual Private Network, better known as a VPN, is a privacy tool that hides your browsing history and connection data. It is a private network routing your data via a company-run server rather than volunteers. As a result, VPNs have greater speed and connection stability.
VPNs offer blanket protection beyond your preferred browser. That means it goes beyond hiding search engine data from your internet service provider: any app you use on the device is protected. VPNs also lack the same node vulnerability, as your real IP address is masked under multiple layers of encryption.
You may feel tempted to start with some free VPNs, but those providers don’t have the same infrastructure. Free VPNs often demonstrate a worrying lack of security.
For ultimate security, stick with a “no logs” VPN provider, ” meaning those providers do not keep any connection data or browsing history.
#3: Only use HTTPS on browsers
How to check if a website is HTTPS secured
HTTPS services are must-haves for almost all websites in 2021. For the user, HTTPS is a combination of two distinct things:
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) – It’s the language that allows your computer to connect to the internet.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) / TLS (Transport Layer Security) – The “S” in HTTPS is a security protocol part of modern web servers that can encrypt your connection.
In the upper-left-hand area of your browser, you’ll notice a padlock icon reflecting the SSL certificate. So if you are wondering how to hide browsing from ISPs, this is a great start.
Note that if you’re using Google (an HTTPS secured website), it still collects your data, regardless of the existence of an SSL certificate. HTTPS might hide your web search history from your ISP, but it’s not safe from websites like Google or Facebook if you’re using their services.
#4: Use encrypted email services
Protecting your internet traffic is one part of your online security efforts. However, you’re still likely to share a lot of information through emails, many of them unsecured. To address this gap, you need an encrypted email provider.
Email encryption providers ensure that any emails you send utilize end-to-end encryption. This means if a thief were to use a packet grabber to intercept it, they couldn’t analyze the data.
Email encryption services are adept at preventing email snooping. However, they won’t help you hide browsing history data. It is a good extra step to prevent prying eyes from accessing personal communication.
#5: Change your DNS settings to run over HTTPS or TLS
Where to find secure DNS on your browser
Domain Name Systems (DNS) can be used to identify you on the internet. Think of it like “the phone book of the World Wide Web. ” Only instead of sifting through yellow pages to try and find someone, it’s like asking the operator to connect you to someone – and the operator will tell the call recipient who’s calling.
The problem is that most DNS requests travel unprotected. ISPs and other data-hungry snoops can see these requests. They tell them about what sites you visit, and often that’s enough to determine what you like.
Luckily, you can change your DNS settings to run over secure modes. All you need to do is go to the network security settings of your browser to take care of this. Search for “secure DNS settings” or “DNS over HTTPS. ”
Note: changing DNS settings will only affect your browser traffic. It will not carry over to other methods of sending and receiving data, such as apps and software.
VPNs like Surfshark, however, establish such DNS settings automatically.
#6: Don’t rely on Incognito Mode
Incognito mode
Many browsers have the option to use a private mode known as “incognito. ” A majority of people overestimate Incognito mode’s ability to hide your data.
This private browsing mode is great if you want to delete cookies, history, and other data on your computer. However, it doesn’t prevent workplaces, search engines, and other web pages from collecting data.
Server-side data will still contain the IP addresses and other data of anyone who accesses their information. So, incognito mode is great at avoiding annoying targeted advertising, not so great if you want to hide your internet traffic and browsing activity.
Want the best online privacy tip?
When it comes to protecting your online activity from your internet provider, government agency, or anyone in between, it’s best to combine all the tools. You are the owner of your personal information, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But if you want the best online privacy tip on how to hide your internet activity, look below:
Get a VPN.
A VPN combines the security of DNS protection and the flexibility of Tor browsing into a single practice. It encrypts your data with a dedicated and worldwide list of servers you can use to protect yourself from third parties.
Surfshark can help you ensure you are protected in your internet activities to secure your digital life.
Surfshark does not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of other service providers.
Hide your internet activity with Surfshark VPN
It’s risk-free to try
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Written by
Pijus Jauniškis
A privacy worrier with a knack for translating tech stuff into human language
5 Different Ways To Hide Your IP While Browsing And Keep ...

5 Different Ways To Hide Your IP While Browsing And Keep …

With the increase of cyber security attacks and online threats in this day and age, it is becoming more and more important for the average internet users to keep their online activity secure and private. One of the best ways to do it is by hiding your IP address while browsing. By using various types of services, you can do it quite easily. Once your IP address is masked or hidden, you can browse the web anonymously, and your browsing activity will be secure and protected.
Revealing your real IP address will pose certain risks to your online privacy and security. By revealing your real IP address, your government will be able to track your browsing activity. It’s the same with your ISP and the websites that you visit. Hackers can map your location easily if you don’t hide your IP address while browsing the internet. So, hiding your IP address is important to remove any trace of your browsing activity.
Remember that browsing in Incognito or Private Mode on your browser doesn’t hide your IP address. Here are 5 different ways to hide your IP while browsing and keep anonymous internet activity:
1. Applying A Proxy Server For Your Browser
In every browser, there is always an option for you to connect to the internet through proxy servers. The way to do this is that you need to find the open proxy servers that you can use for your browser, and simply put the server IP address to your browser. Then, you can set the browser to connect to the proxy servers that you have assigned to it. When you do that, you will be able to mask your IP address using the IP address of the proxy servers. So, whenever you visit a website, the IP address that will be recorded is the proxy server address, not your real IP address.
Security Level: LOW
2. Using A Private Browser
A private browser like Tor browser can help keep your internet secure and private. When you use this browser, you don’t need to set up additional settings for the browser. You simply install the browser, and you can start browsing anonymously right away. However, since the private connection is only available via this browser, you can only hide your IP address when you browse the web with this browser. When you switch to regular browsers, your real IP address will be displayed. Also, a private browser like Tor is known to have very slow connection speed, and there are also many malicious websites that use the same private network as Tor. So, be aware of this risk.
Security Level: MEDIUM
3. Using A Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connection
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best tools to hide your IP address, because it offers you a complete system to keep your browsing private. It will not only hide your IP address, but it will also protect your browsing activity from hackers and other online threats. Some VPN connections also offer malware protection to keep you away from malicious websites. Also, a VPN connection can help keep your banking and other important data secure from the reach of hackers. You can also hide your IP address system-wide, not just for a specific browser, and you can use it in other devices as well.
Security Level: HIGH
4. Using A Web-based Proxy Server
Another simple way to mask your IP address is by using a web-based proxy server. You simply visit a website that offers this kind of service, and browse any site that you want to access by using this website. So, you will browse the sites with frames, showing the IP address of the website as your IP address while browsing. This is the least secure way to hide your IP, and it should only be used for light browsing, since this type of service comes with its own limitations, such as bandwidth limit, connection speed, and so on.
5. Using A Public Internet (WiFi) Network
Your IP address is the address of your device that is given by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). So, if you change your network, your IP address will change as well. This is why it is a good idea to use a public internet (WiFi) network to hide your IP address, since the IP address shown for your device will be tied to the WiFi network that you use. However, if you are not careful, hackers can observe your internet activity if you use a public WiFi network, especially if the public network is not secure.
Those are the 5 different ways to hide your IP while browsing and keep anonymous internet activity. Remember that it is always better to protect your connection fully by using a good VPN connection, since it’s not just hiding your IP address. All in all, be vigilant when you are online, and always take the necessary measures to keep your internet connection secure all the time.

Frequently Asked Questions about masking internet activity

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