How to Hide Your IP Address
Borrow a different IP address to go anywhere online and stay hidden.
The reasons why you might want to mask your IP address may include: Hiding your geographical location, preventing Web tracking, avoiding a digital footprint, or to bypass any content filters, bans or blacklisting.
There are a few ways to hide your IP address...that unique number assigned to the network connection on the computer.
Four ways to hide your IP address:
- Use a VPN Service
- Use Tor
- Use a Proxy Server
- Use Free/Public WiFi
1. Use a VPN Service – The Best Way
Sign up with these services and when you go online, you'll be showing the world a different IP address...one that's on loan from the service you're using.
There are many more advantages to using a personal VPN service over a proxy such as high speed bandwidth, usability, a secure connection, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be.
There are hundreds of VPN companies you could choose from.
2. Use the Tor Browser – The Slowest Choice
People from all over the world use Tor to search and buy products and communicate with others with restricted Internet access, such as what exists in some foreign countries.
The Tor Browser (like Chrome, Firefox or Safari) is a free software program that you download onto your computer that conceals your IP address every time you go online anonymously. This free process is layered with heavy-duty encryption, which means your data is layered with security and privacy protection.
3. Use a Proxy Server – The Riskiest Method
A proxy server (sometimes called an "open proxy" or just "proxies") can be use to re-route your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge) around company or school content filters.
There are risks involved in using masking your IP address with a proxy: Many will slow down your internet connection, some are run on compromised machines, and may not be legal in some countries.
4. Use Free/Public WiFi – The Long Distance Option
An IP address doesn't travel with you. So if you simply go to a coffee shop, bookstore or hotel lobby and tap into their Wi-Fi, you will temporarily hide your usual IP address. How so? You'll be using their network's IP address for as long as you're online.
Try it out. First, check your IP address on WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, and then visit any place with free Wi-Fi, log in to their Internet and check it again.
However, if you don't use a VPN (read below), your Internet activity is at risk of being spied on or intercepted by a bad guy without your knowing it. How likely is that? Who knows! But don't make online purchases or check your bank account while drinking your Grande Espresso.