Last update: 06.25.2019

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.

 

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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

And to make sure you’re using a safe proxy, pick one from our top 16 list for 2019.

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.