4 ways to hide your IP address

Last updated: October 21, 2020
4 ways to hide your IP address

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There are many reasons you may want to hide your Internet Protocol (IP) address. Among the most important are:

  1. Privacy and anonymity. Avoiding the tracking and monitoring of your online activities.
  2. Accessing geo-blocked websites. What you see on a site may differ depending on where you are – services like Netflix offer different content libraries for each country. Your IP is the primary way to determine your location.
  3. Get around internet restrictions. Countries like China censor the web for their citizens, but spoofing your IP can help you bypass these censorship measures safely.
  4. Download and share files securely. Torrenting is often still the primary way of getting films, TV shows, games, and pretty much any other kind of file. Doing so without hiding your IP can get you in trouble with copyright holders and the law.
  5. Negate an IP ban. Multiple unsuccessful attempts to connect to some website might result in an IP ban.

Here are four safe and effective ways to hide your IP address while also keeping your connection encrypted and unidentified.

1. VPN

VPN
Choosing a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) service is one of the most effective and convenient ways of hiding your IP. Using VPN software you can connect to a remote server and route all traffic through it. If you do this, it will appear that your IP address is that of the VPN server.

 

Flawless privacy practices, advanced security features, and reliable geo-unblocking capabilities make NordVPN the undisputed industry leader. Whatever your needs, this VPN has you covered – all starting from just $3.71/month.
  • Excellent security
  • Great server list
  • Awesome for Netflix
  • Good for torrenting
  • Very easy to use
  • Affordable prices

The advantages of using a VPN service to hide your IP address include:

  • A high-speed connection
  • Anonymity
  • Data encryption
  • Safe torrenting
  • Access to blocked sites
  • Option to choose your virtual location

As with anything in life, VPNs have some disadvantages, too:

  • Good ones usually cost money

There are many VPN services available on the market. Some excel at speed while others concentrate more on the security part. But you can’t miss by choosing from our top VPN solutions list.

2. Proxy

Proxy
Using a proxy server is a great way to hide your IP. It essentially acts the same way as a VPN server – you connect to it and then your traffic is rerouted through the server. This creates the illusion that the proxy server is the origin of the requests and traffic.

The advantages of using a proxy:

  • Good for accessing restricted websites
  • Anonymity
  • Option to choose your virtual location
  • Good for secure torrenting
  • You can connect to any proxy server in the world

There are also several shortcomings involved in using proxies to hide IP address:

  • It only works at the app level, so if you want to protect your browsing and torrenting, you’ll have to set a proxy up on both apps
  • Some proxies encrypt your data, but others do not
  • Good ones usually cost money

3. Tor

TOR
Tor (originally The Onion Router) is a freeware 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. With Tor, traffic leaves your device and takes a random route, adding layers of encryption.

The advantages of using TOR:

  • Good for accessing restricted websites
  • Anonymity
  • Access to .onion web
  • Completely free and trustworthy
  • Can be used in conjunction with VPNs or proxies

Tor’s major drawbacks:

  • Can be very slow
  • Only secures your browsing (rather than torrenting, etc.)

People from all over the world hide their IP address using Tor to bypass censorship and more. It’s the favored choice for many due to the fact that it’s completely free.

4. Public wifi

Public wifi
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 wifi. It is the easiest way, but it’s not a long-term solution. Moreover, there are many security risks when using open public networks.

Bottom line

As you can see, all options have their pros and cons, but the VPN has few downsides. It is the best option if you want the best possible security and privacy while also not sacrificing too much connection speed.

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Great performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

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15 comments
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  1. Okrant

    While some free proxies may mask my ip address they are still limited because they are free and some may encrypt data while others don’t. It’s very rare or impossible to find a proxy that is very good without paying money for it. I would not feel safe using a free proxy especially if I want to use torrents. Instead of trying to learn new ways on how to hide ip address when downloading torrents using free tools like free proxies or free VPNs, I would rather just pay a few bucks monthly and stay safe and relaxed. Why risk it when you can pay as low as $2 or $3 monthly for a VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark? It makes no sense to me to rely on free tools that are unreliable at best.


    1. Marty

      Yeah, I see your point. In the past I tried to hide my ip address for free because who doesn’t like free things, right? But after doing a bit of research I understood that I wasn’t actually protected all that well, no matter if I was browsing the web or downloading torrents. Paid options should and for the most part, are foolproof. They protect you privacy when online. I now use NordVPN to hide my ip and I’m very happy with what it does.


      1. Neil F.

        I went with Surfshark because I didn’t want to go for a 3 year plan with NordVPN which had the best deal price wise. With Surfshark I got a 2-year plan for just $2 a month which is very good. Now I can do anything and Surfshark will hide my ip address and I don’t have to worry about it.


  2. harry.vest

    I’m quite new to all of this online security topic and I didn’t know what IP address or a VPN actually is. I started digging around and I found this blog where they explain what IP address is and how to mask it (https://surfshark.com/learn/what-is-ip-masking), which pushed me to get a VPN. Funny enough, I decided to go with Surfshark since they were easy to use and quite cheap, quite happy about my choice, hadn’t had any issues with it.


  3. Clyde

    It seems to me that the best and easiest way to hide my ip address when downloading anything or just when being online is to get a VPN. NordVPN seems like a great choice if you’re willing to go for a 3-year plan which is surprisingly inexpensive. Has anyone tried Nord or any other VPN?


    1. Julie Cole Author

      Hi Clyde –

      Actually, we think NordVPN is one of the best VPNs you can get right now. Its 3-year plan comes out to just $2.99/month, which is a pretty great offering. It’s one of the most secure, private, and has top speeds, optimal for torrenting, unblocking Netflix, and much more. You can get a lot more info in our full NordVPN review.

      Thanks for reading!

      Julie


    2. Oscar M.

      You can’t go wrong with NordVPN. I can hide my ip address when downloading torrents, watching movies online, while using Netflix (and can unlock any country), or when browsing. Nord works for anything and everything. It doesn’t really matter why you want to hide your IP address because Nord will have your back. I’ve tested them for a lot of things and they never disappoint plus their support is very good if you have uncertainties or questions. The others ways presented here work but they aren’t as safe as a VPN. Nord is great because it’s cheap, they have a lot of servers in a lot of countries plus they’re located in Panama. Don’t waste your time trying to find ways to hide ip address for free because that doesn’t work. For just a few bucks monthly you can stay safe online no matter what you’re doing. Just my 2 cents.


      1. NoManLand

        Does hiding your ip address on android work with NordVPN? I want to be able to hide my ip address when watching xxx movies on my device. Thanks.


        1. EvictedMinion

          Yeah, I have a similar question to NoManLand. I was looking for how to hide ip address on iphone and was wondering if Nord helps with that? I am willing to pay a few dollars a month to make sure I’m not spied on by who knows what entities and people. I want to hide my ip address because I use my iPhone a LOT so it’s worth the investment now. I know that I need to spend some money to stay safe. Any replies are appreciated.


          1. Julie Cole Author

            Hi there,

            Yes, NordVPN can definitely help you to hide your IP address on the iPhone, Android, desktop – whatever. Not just that, it also helps to encrypt your data using military-grade measures, so you’ll be pretty safe with NordVPN. You can read more about it in our full NordVPN review.

            Stay safe,

            Julie


        2. Julie Cole Author

          Hi there –

          Yep, NordVPN is pretty great for hiding your IP address for whatever purposes you have. Also, it won’t drop your speeds as some VPNs do. Read more in our NordVPN Review.

          -Julie


  4. Regan Bennett

    I enjoy privacy so much on my activities on the internet. At first, I considered getting a proxy server would offer the solution but it had some internet speed issues until I went for a VPN software.


  5. 8909Sergio.Delaney

    Since I read this post, I have learnt to keep my identity and activities more private. I feel great about it because I do not want someone elsewhere to track or monitor my activities online


  6. DanteF

    Using a VPN sounds like the best idea, ExpressVPN or NordVPN offer great security and privacy. Tor is interesting as well but its speed isn’t great. Thanks for the article.


  7. nicky147

    Options 1 and 3 are definitely more secure and effective. I personally use the TOR software and it has proven to work just fine all these while. Never jeopardize your security by using the public Wi-Fi

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