There are many different reasons why individuals would want to hide their Internet Protocol (IP) address. One of the most common reasons is privacy. Many of us don’t want our browsing activities tracked, recorded, or monitored by others. Another common reason for hiding your IP address is to get access to geo-blocked sites, get around internet restrictions placed by repressive governments, download and share file safely as well as stay anonymous. There are numerous safe and effective ways to hide your IP address including keeping your connection encrypted and entirely unidentified.

1. Get a VPN software

Choosing a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) service is one of the most effective and convenient ways of hiding your IP. When you use a VPN software, it will provide you with a virtual Internet Protocol address of your choice. Your actual IP will connect to the VPN, then all other traffic will be tunneled through a private network. This private network shows you are connected to the virtual IP address which hides your real online address. The advantages of using a VPN service to hide IP address online is that it offers high-speed bandwidth, a secure connection, safe torrenting, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you seem to be.

2. Mask your IP address with a proxy

A proxy server is a great tool which hides your IP by acting as a bridge in the flow of your internet traffic. It connects your information to the desired destination while changing the appearance as it goes through the proxy server. The advantage of this tool is that you can connect to any proxy server in the world. They are also very effective for low profile browsing like accessing geo-blocked sites or certain banned websites. There are also several shortcomings involved in using proxies to hide IP address when downloading: many will slow down your internet connection, some run on compromised computers, and may be illegal in some countries. Additionally, a proxy does not encrypt your data nor remove any identifiable traces from the information you’re sending or receiving. Therefore, can easily uncover you to your ISP, government or anyone with access to your data.

3. Use TOR

TOR is the abbreviated form of ‘the onion router.’ It is an anonymity tool that uses a series of computers distributed across the world to hide your IP address and make your network trail difficult to trace. Instead of a single request from point A which is your home to point B which is the website’s server and back to you, your computer sends out several requests, each one encrypted individually. It’s then transmitted from one Tor node to another. For example from Tor A to C to R to Z and finally to Tor B before exiting the network and reaching your destination. Therefore your data is layered with heavy-duty encryption, providing a high-level of security and privacy protection. TOR’s major drawback is its extremely slow loading connection. However, people from all over the world use Tor to hide IP when Torrenting, or when searching and buying products online or even when communicating with others in restricted Internet access countries.

4. Connect to public Wi-Fi

IP addresses change when you relocate to somewhere else. You can simply go to a public library, coffee shop or hotel lobby and connect your laptop to their Wi-Fi. It is the easiest way but it only hides your IP address temporarily. Moreover, there are many security risks when using open public networks. It is neither an effective method to hide your Internet Protocol address nor a sustainable way of browsing anonymously.