There are lots of reasons to want to become anonymous on the web – a lot of them involve “bad guys” who backdoor themselves into personal and organizational systems to steal information.
Why Would You Want to Hide Your IP Address?
You may have very different reasons for hiding your IP address. You want to protect yourself from hackers; you also do not want your browsing history tracked so that you are inundated with advertisements from sites you have visited and from unrelated sites because your information has been sold to them. It’s irritating and truly is an invasion of your privacy. And, in some countries, where censorship is strictly in place, hiding an IP address can allow individuals to bypass those regulations and access forbidden sites.
How to Hide Your IP Address
There are a number of ways to hide your IP address. Here are the most common that you can easily put into place.
- Use a VPN
A virtual private network allows you to connect to another network. So, when you are connected, your device will be given a new IP address from your VPN provider. All of your online activity will be routed through that VPN network rather than via your true IP address assigned by your internet service provider. There are several popular ones, and you will pay a monthly fee if you want the best protection. There are free versions of lots of VPN’s but they do not give you top protection. Typically, VPN subscriptions run between $4 – $12 per month. Here are a few of the most popular ones, primarily because you can install them and have a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Vypr VPN
- Hide My Ass\Ivacy VPN
- Express VPN
- Pure VPN
- Nord VPN
You need to understand that using a personal VPN may slow down your network traffic, but it is a matter of which is more important to you.
You should do some research and compare the VPN networks that are available. Choose the one that will best meet your needs and what you actually want to do by hiding your IP address. You will be able to choose an IP address from any country where your VPN has a server; you can work around censorship; you can prevent tracking and risk to your personal and financial information, and you can access the dark web without detection if this is what you choose to do.
- Use Proxies
Using proxies will let you surf the web anonymously. Basically, you are accessing a website indirectly, not through your own IP address, but through an intermediary that will relay your browsing back and forth
There are thousands of free web proxy servers that you can use to hide your IP address and surf anonymously. Browsing through a proxy means that you are not accessing a website directly, but going through an intermediate “proxy” which relays the information back and forth between you and the destination website. You can also bypass blocked websites through a proxy. There is a risk that data can be leaked, so you need to be careful about which proxy server you use. Again, do your research before you select a proxy.
- Use Tor
Tor is an internet browser that is free and open-source. It uses a distributed network to relay browsing through a series of IP addresses, disguising yours. You will need to install a version of the Tor browser, which is compatible with your operating system. What you will discover, though, is that because there is a system of relays, the Tor browser will be slower than your native browser. But you will be able to circumvent any internet censorship that may otherwise be in place.
- Use Someone Else’s Network
There is obviously a number of public Wi-Fi networks you can use at libraries, coffee shops, and hotels. Your own IP address won’t travel with you when you use such networks, but your IP address is really not hidden. You are just borrowing someone else’s, and your information is out there totally vulnerable. Using a public Wi-Fi network is really risky, and you need to be very careful about the sites you visit. Obviously, you will not be making online purchases with your credit card, and you will not be accessing your financial institutions with your username and passwords. And understand this: sophisticated hackers, once into your browsing, have the wherewithal to dig deep into your personal information.
In the End
Remember this: There is a purpose for an IP address. It is a unique identifier of everyone using the Internet, and it does provide assistance to law enforcement in their efforts to identify and locate criminals, for one. But, with these few benefits comes so much more that you may not want – it provides your geographic location; it tracks your internet browsing; it inundates you with ads, popups, and banners that you don’t want. And companies you access will happily sell your information to third parties.
There are other reasons you may want privacy too. When an IP address identifies you, you are vulnerable to all sorts of sophisticated hackers. And if you think it won’t happen to you, just as Target and Experian – their security systems are far stronger than yours. To have your IP address publicly accessible is a scary business indeed.
When you are able to hide your IP address, you can browse anywhere knowing you are not being tracked and that you are basically anonymous. And of course, you can circumvent restrictions on your access.
And it’s not that you are using privacy for dastardly purposes. You may be a student looking to order online writing services for papers or essays you need written. Anonymity is important to you – you want the services to provide privacy for you, and the professional ones, like Wow Grade or Supreme Dissertations, do. But suppose you access a fraudulent one – one that captures your IP address. Or suppose your information gets sold to third parties, and you are inundated with ads everywhere you go.
Hiding your IP address is easier than you think. Consider it seriously and sleep better at night.