There are many reasons why you might need to hide your IP address. Top of the list is making sure you do not leave obvious marks on websites you visit.
By default, IP addresses are public. They are the identifiers that state your location and enhance internet communication. An Internet Protocol (IP) is a unique number (like 192.168.1.1) that connects your devices to the internet.
To put it in simpler terms, an IP address is like your mailing address. It tells the mailing office your exact location and where they should drop your mail. With an IP address, you can be sure that your requests are sent and received in the right place.
As we continue learning about IP addresses, it’s important to note that the addresses are not allocated randomly. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) mathematically creates the addresses. The IP addresses are then assigned in blocks, mostly based on regions.
Based on this explanation, it’s clear to see that you cannot avoid IP addresses. The only way you can mask your online presence is by hiding behind another address. To create different IP addresses, you need to use protocols designed for the job.
In this article, we will discuss the three ways you can use to hide your IP address.
How to hide your IP address?
1. Use a proxy server
A proxy server acts as an intermediary for your internet traffic. It serves as the go-between for the requests you send to target websites. A proxy server is an excellent way of hiding your IP address and making sure you don’t get noticed on the websites you visit.
There are different types of proxies. All proxies work in various capacities. While some are preferred for the security they guarantee, others are selected for their convenience. An example is the SSL proxy.
SSL proxies have changed the narrative of how most proxies work. While most proxies do not encrypt data, the SSL will decrypt and encrypt information. With an SSL proxy, you can be sure that your requests are transmitted safely.
But like most online tools, you need to choose between the paid and free versions. If you are looking for the best security and good performance, the paid versions are better. Free versions can still hide your identity, but there’s a limit to the protection they offer.
2. Use a VPN
VPNs are the most secure way you can hide your identity. A VPN is reliable and offers stable connections. A VPN guarantees better security for your data.
What makes VPNs more popular is the ability to choose your location. Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers have different locations worldwide, meaning you can decide where you want to appear to be located.
When sending requests through a VPN, all your data is encrypted. Information is sent through the server, and the response returned to you in record time. VPNs are fast and offer better connectivity than other protocols.
A high-quality VPN will also mask your identity on different devices. This is because quality VPNs offer advanced security and encryption features. They also offer fewer risks of your information getting to third-parties.
Remember that your provider plays a significant role in the protocol’s quality. That’s why research is necessary for determining the best providers. Check for feedback and recommendations before making a purchasing decision.
3. Use the Tor browser
There are a ton of reasons why most people prefer paid protocols. But there are also good reasons why you may need the free versions. A good reason is avoiding government and political censorship. Another reason would be how effective they are in offering high-level anonymity for personal browsers.
When you use The Onion Router (TOR), your request is sent through multiple nodes. Each node decrypts the information it receives then encrypts the response before forwarding to the next level. This happens until the request reaches the end destinations and the results return to you.
For hackers, bypassing Tor security is a painstaking process. With a Tor browser, your IP address is hidden throughout the process, and it isn’t easy to know where to begin searching for your data.
The extra layers of protection are great, but they have their fair share of challenges. Tor browsers are slow. It takes a little extra time for your results to get to the target website and transmit back to you.
If you are conscious of your browsing speeds, then the VPN is ideal. A VPN is more convenient and offers faster loadings than Tor browsers.
Why you need to hide your IP address?
Hiding your IP address ensures that you remain anonymous on the websites you visit. It avoids instances of your IP address getting blocked due to suspicious activity. If you are in business, anonymity allows you to check a competitor’s website. By spying on a competitors’ website, you can get information about their analytics. The analytics are beneficial for developing your marketing campaigns.
2. Access to restricted websites
Hiding your IP address can help you view content that’s restricted in your area.
If, for example, you are into gaming, and you want to access a game only available in a particular country or region, you can use a security protocol to bypass the geo-restrictions. You can use unique IP addresses to easily access geo-restricted websites as though you live in the unrestricted areas.
3. Better security
Cyber attacks are a major concern for most internet users.
With all the personal information we save on our devices, it’s no wonder we are conscious of our online activities. Thanks to online security tools, it’s now possible to surf the internet without revealing your identity.
Hiding your IP address enables you to mask your online tracks. It ensures cybercriminals cannot tell the exact IP address sending the requests.
4. Web scraping
Hiding your IP address can help you extract meaningful and valuable information from a competitor’s website. You can automatically extract all the information about clicks, comments, reviews, pricing, or promotions.
Web scraping helps direct your online campaigns while keeping you anonymous. It also prevents the blocking of your IP address due to suspicious activities.
Can I completely hide my IP address?
You cannot completely hide your IP address.
But these security protocols can give you a certain security level. In most cases, your data is usually accessible by your service provider. That’s why the proper choice of a service provider is essential for online security.
Your information is also available to your ISP provider; be it local or some big brand.
This is especially common for proxy servers that do not encrypt your data. But if you use VPNs and the Tor browser, the only information your ISP can access is the timing, type, and level of traffic on your websites.
Depending on the security level you need, it’s essential to choose the right protocol for your devices. Consider the privacy, speed, and performance you want to achieve with your protocol.
There’s always a reason why you need to hide your IP address.
Whether it’s for security or spying on a competitor’s website, you can never run out of tools for the job. Every tool has its unique features.
But they all serve the purpose of hiding your online tracks. Whatever your reasons, make sure you pick the right tools for your devices.