If you are conscious about your internet security, then you might have heard the term: Hide IP. If you don’t know what it means, then fear no more because you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll teach you how to hide your IP address and will mention the benefits of doing so.
VPN is the by far the best way to hide your IP address for unblocking Netflix, torrenting, and even privacy reasons.
If you’re looking for a quick solution, then here’s the best one:
You only need a secure VPN to solve almost all of your internet security problems. And there are only a handful of VPN software that went past our cutthroat testing.
Explaining IP address as simply as possible
Before I teach you how to change your IP address, let us proceed with a simple experiment. But before we go any further you can go through our glossary of online privacy thought would come in handy in understanding key terms we are going to use ahead.
Google the following terms and see what pops up:
- My IP address
- My IP address location
So, what do you see?
When you google the first term, you’ll probably see a number in the following form:
Where each number can vary from 0 to 255. This is called an Internet Protocol Address or an IP Address.
Now when you google the second term, you will see the country you are based in, the city you live in, and even your locality. Freaky, right? But how does a combination of numbers carry so much information?
Well, that’s because an IP address is simply a unique code that is given to every device that uses the internet.
That means your smartphone has an IP, your computer has one, and even your smart TV. No two devices have the same IP address. Now think, if you were to own something that no other person has, you would stand out, won’t you?
The same concept applies to the IP address. Because your IP address is unique, everybody who knows it can read your location. This is why we use the word address with IP.
If you visit a website, every request is logged against the IP of your device. In short, IP is essential when it comes to the working of the internet. It is the fundamental protocol by which devices connect to the internet and can collect information.
Why is it important to Hide IP?
Now that you know what an IP is, you can imagine what could happen if someone gets their hands on it. Let’s take this as a test case and see what I can do if I knew your IP address.
If somehow, I manage to get your IP address:
- If I am your Internet Service Provider, I can block you from accessing websites I don’t want you to use
- As the Government, I can monitor each and every move you make on the internet
- Let’s say I am a hacker… in that case, I can launch an attack on your network, potentially stealing your personal information like credit card numbers
- If I own a site like Netflix, I can restrict you from viewing a particular show based on your location
The above scenarios are but a few ways to misuse your IP. There can be a lot of others as well. As a result, questions like:
- How to hide IP address?
- How to block IP addresses?
- How to mask my IP address?
become all the more important.
The benefits of hiding your IP address
As I have explained above, leaving your IP address out in the open can spell doom for your online security. Consequently, hiding your actual IP affords you the following benefits:
- Circumventing Geo-restrictions
- Accessing Blocked Sites
- Protecting Your Information
- Hiding Your Actual Location
1. Circumventing Geo-restrictions
As mentioned above, sites like Netflix treat their customers based on the region they are living in. Someone living in Australia will have access to different shows than someone in North America. This is called the geo-restriction.
Hiding your IP is a pretty solid way to avoid geo-restriction. By hiding your IP, you fool websites into thinking you are accessing their content from somewhere else. You could be sipping an Espresso in Paris while watching a movie exclusive to the US market. Netflix, be fooled!
2. Accessing Blocked Sites
No matter how much we progress, the desire of authorities to control our eyeballs is omnipresent. Governments block websites they deem unfit, Internet Service Providers block information that violates their criteria, and schools instead of improving, are restricting students from opening Facebook.
Amidst all this senselessness, hiding your IP is a way to lift these restrictions. When you hide your IP, your Internet Service Provider can’t identify your location, and so the website you were once unable to access, becomes accessible.
3. Protecting Your Information
When you visit a website, more often than not, the following things happen:
- Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) logs your activity. That means your ISP knows where you go and what you do
- This information is then sold to the highest bidder
- The information sold is then used to show you targeted ads based on your demographics
To make sure that you don’t see targeted ads over and over again, you need to hide your IP address. Doing so will protect your personal information with a fake IP. With this fake IP, you’ll finally be free from viewing those irritating ads over and over again.
4. Hiding Your Actual Location
Remember the little experiment we did at the beginning where you searched your IP address and saw your actual location? This is exactly what hiding your IP protects you against.
When you hide your IP, no one can accurately tell your location. This, in turn, protects you from attackers and anyone who is looking to use this information against you.
The internet is filled with cybercriminals. So, it is essential to not expose your IP. Source
Easy ways to hide your IP address
Now that you know why you want to hide your IP address, it is time for you to learn how to. Fortunately, the process is simple.
Following are the ways that you can use to hide your IP.
- Use a VPN (Recommended)
- Using a proxy server
- Mobile data
- Public Wi-Fi
- Asking your Internet Service Provider to change your IP
1. Use a VPN (Recommended)
Yes, you read that right! Using a VPN is the best way to hide your IP address for a number of reasons. These reasons include:
- Encrypting your data
- Having the choice of more than one VPN server location
- Good VPNs also provide a no-logs policy
- No trackers and ads
- Getting rid of geo-restriction
- Plenty of secure and fast VPN protocols to use
- The almost non-existent speed difference
All of the above are prime reasons why you should adopt a quality and reliable VPN like Surfshark.
2. Using a proxy server
Using a proxy server is another simple way to mask your IP address.
You simply use a proxy server to obtain a new IP, which can be used to access blocked sites. Unfortunately, using a proxy server is only good for unblocking sites. Geo-restrictions from sites like Netflix, can’t be removed by a simple proxy. If you wish to unblock streaming services like Netflix, you better ditch proxy servers for VPNs. Here’s a detailed comparison between Proxy vs VPN.
TOR is an excellent way to hide your IP. Tor hides your IP by encrypting your information and passing it between multiple servers. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to track your online activity.
But there are lots of drawbacks to using TOR. Some of them are:
- Extremely slow internet speeds
- The law enforcement authorities might put you on a watch list since TOR is mostly used by criminals to carry out underground activities
- Most websites ban TOR
All in all, if you just want something simple and practical, you should just use a VPN instead of Tor. For a more detailed explanation, I suggest checking out this comparison between VPN vs Tor.
4. Mobile data
Although highly inefficient, using your mobile data is also a way to change your IP address. The modem in your mobile phone carries a different IP than the one on your home network. So, by using mobile data, you can hide the IP address of your home network.
This isn’t a fool-proof way, but it is a choice nonetheless.
5. Public Wi-Fi
Every internet device has a unique IP. Therefore, public Wi-Fi like the one in your neighbourhood coffee shop has a different IP. So, if you are in need to change your IP, you can just connect to public Wi-Fi.
Just keep in mind that using public Wi-Fi without a VPN carries its fair share of security concerns as well. Therefore we recommend you to encrypt your wireless connection before using a public Wi-Fi.
6. Asking your Internet Service Provider to change your IP
If push comes to shove, you can call your ISP and ask them to assign you a new IP address.
While most ISP will hesitate to give you a new one, in the majority of cases, if you have a good enough excuse, they will assign you a new one.
To sum it all up, hiding your IP address is absolutely crucial in today’s day and age as you never know when you might run into security problems. As I have just detailed, there are several ways to hide IP. Hiding your IP not only makes your online presence a lot safer but also helps you avoid problems such as:
- Personal information theft
So, don’t be a sitting duck and do something about it.