How to Hide My IP Address?
In case you didn't know, there is a unique number associated with your device that follows you anywhere you go online. Acting as a unique digital identifier, this is how websites know your location and how your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can see if you're within the limits of your subscription. And this number is called - IP address.
In this article, we're going to teach you what is an IP address, what it means for regular Web users, and why you might want to hide it. So, let's begin.
What is an IP Address, in the First Place?
Every device that is connected to the Web has an IP address, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and pretty much anything else you can imagine (even smart home devices). An IP address is actually a string of numbers that identifies your device online - and this is how your device sends and receives data. You should also know that IPs are often associated with particular regions, and Internet Service Providers are in charge of assigning them. This is how websites can see where you
come from, and they can either serve a localized version of block access if you come from the unsupported region.
Should You Hide Your IP Address?
Now, you might be wondering why you should hide your IP. After all, is it really that dangerous to have your IP address visible by anyone? Well, the short answer is - yes! You probably know all about the numerous dangers of the Web, primarily affecting your online anonymity and sensitive data. If someone knows your IP, they can easily track what you do online, what kinds of websites you visit, the files you download, and more. And most importantly, IP tracking can be done by anyone, not just highly skilled hackers.
The Best Ways to Hide Your IP Address
Finally, let's talk about what you want to know. There are different ways to hide your IP
address and to even have it replaced by a virtual one. So, here's what you must know.
Utilize a Reliable VPN Software
Without any doubt, VPNs are the most effective way of hiding your IP address. These applications are designed to anonymize your Web data and make you genuinely invisible online. And according to this Avast Secureline VPN review, they can use state-of-the-art technologies that are typically used in major financial institutions and military organizations where privacy is of the utmost importance.
VPNs work by offering a list of secure servers. Using a straightforward interface, you can connect to one of those servers. From there on, all your traffic becomes fully encrypted and secured by various VPN protocols. And most importantly - you get a new virtual IP address, based on the location of the chosen server. Let's say that you're located in Europe and you connect to a VPN server in the USA.
Once connected, you get an American IP address, which is what third-parties see from there on. This is how you can unblock websites not available in Europe, like Netflix US or Hulu, for example.
Go for a Proxy Solution
When talking about VPNs, we mustn't fail to mention proxies as well. After all, somewhat similar technologies power these two solutions. And as you can imagine by now, both of these can hide your IP address and replace it with a virtual one.
Proxies usually come free of charge, where their flagship feature is often related to website unblocking. In other words, they advertise their ability to unblock websites not available in your region or country. And in most cases, they work without any problems.
Regarding changing your IP, you should know that proxies are not the best solution. They can change your IP, and they can unblock websites. However, they don't have the same level of security as VPNs do, and they can often leak your data. This is why it's often said that proxies don't truly hide your IP; They mask it instead - which can still be a good option for specific use cases.
Tap Into Secure TOR Networks
Next up, we have TOR networks that are often used by individuals seeking complete online anonymity. These networks consist of many nodes spread across the world, each anonymizing your Web traffic along the way. To use TOR networks, you need to download and install an application called Tor Browser - available free of charge. Before you get to use it, Tor Browser will alter your Web connection and grant you a new IP address during the session. Once you end the session, you return to your regular Web connection settings.
Even though TOR networks sound like a perfect solution to hiding your IP, they do come with certain drawbacks. No matter how fast your Web connection is, be prepared to experience a significant loss of speed. Since your Web data travels a greater distance, and since TOR networks rely on currently active participants, slow loading is something you'll encounter often.
Other Ways to Hide Your IP
When you connect to the Web from your computer, you're granted a unique IP address. While certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) rotate IPs often, others don't. As you can see, the trick is to force your ISP to change your IP address or go out looking for another Web network.
In theory, restarting your router might force your ISP to give you a new IP address. However, this isn't always the case, which makes this method less than desirable. Besides, you can get a new IP by connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, which is just a temporary solution.
Even though there are numerous ways to hide your IP address, there's only one 100% reliable solution. By using a VPN, you can not only hide your IP but also completely protect your online identity. No one will be able to track what you do online, you can connect to different kinds of Wi-Fi networks (even public hotspots), and today's VPNs are incredibly easy to use. With this said, this is where we conclude our short, but (hopefully) informative guide. If you have any questions or ideas, make sure to send them over to us as we'd love to hear from you!
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