3 Best Ways to Hide your IP Address (October 2021)
Every device on the internet has an IP address. Just as the post office knows your street address and where to deliver your package, the internet knows how to send the current data to your computer through your IP address.
Your IP address also tells your exact location so it’s understandable why you would want to conceal it from everyone.
For many years the people have been using the internet, one thing is clear to ‘Never take anonymity for granted’. The IP address alone could reveal much of the information about your computer, origin, state, region, and city.
For this reason alone you may want to hide your IP address. In this guide, we’ll be discussing the three easy ways to hide your IP address i.e. VPN, Proxy, and Tor.
What is My IP Address?
Your IP address is a unique identifier (a series of numbers) that tells websites and services who you are online.
Every communication you make over the internet is two-way, clients, and servers. The client is the software or device such as your computer or mobile, or it can even be a web browser. The server is the one that replies to the client with responses.
Each client has an IP address as I mentioned previously, which tells the server who is making the request. That is how the internet generally works.
The client needs an IP address to communicate with the server, while the server needs an IP address to send the data back to the correct client.
3 Ways to Hide Your IP Address
Have a look at these 3 online privacy tools that you can use to hide your IP address. Each of these tools offers a different level of privacy, online security, and anonymity.
1. Use a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is an online privacy tool that keeps your original IP address hidden and assigns you with a new VPN IP address based on the country server you connected.
It encrypts your internet traffic entirely through an encrypted tunnel so that everything you do over the internet remains private.
It is a popular and complete choice to protect your online identity and privacy. If you’re connected to a UK server, you can access any UK website from anywhere in the world. Not just that, your identity will be hidden so no one knows if you really accessed a particular website.
To use a VPN and hide your IP address, follow these steps:
- You simply subscribe to a VPN (We recommend using ExpressVPN)
- Download a VPN app on your device i.e. Mobile, Desktop, Fire TV, etc
- Enter login details and connect to the desired server i.e. Australia
- Now check your IP through this website. Your location is now changed and is now based in Australia
How Does a VPN Hide Your IP Address?
Once you’re logged into a VPN and connected to its US server or any server, all your internet traffic is routed through that server. The website that you are trying to visit thinks that you’re from the US and grants you access.
No one knows your actual location other than the VPN provider. That is why you must choose your VPN very carefully. If they keep logs (i.e. your browsing history), then these VPNs can’t be trusted.
Therefore, we recommend using ExpressVPN because it doesn’t log your data, has strong encryption that is impossible to decrypt and is quite affordable.
ExpressVPN is a safe and convenient way to mask your IP address. It will also hide your online activity from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your employer, University, School, and even in public areas.
It even hides your internet activity from hackers or cybercriminals. Even a skilled hacker can’t intercept your internet traffic because it’s impossible with 256-bit encryption.
2. Use a Proxy
Proxy or a Proxy server acts as a gateway between you and the internet, and nothing more. If you’re using a proxy server, your internet traffic will flow through the proxy server to the website it requested.
Unlike a VPN, it would not encrypt your traffic through an encrypted tunnel. A proxy server won’t be able to conceal your IP address from anyone who is trying to intercept your internet traffic.
Especially free proxy servers use ad-based revenue models so they obviously know what you are browsing so they gather all the information and send it to these advertisement companies.
They also actually know your original IP address, so trusting your online identity with a proxy isn’t really a good choice.
How Does a Proxy Hide Your IP Address?
Whenever you use a proxy server and then send a request to a website or access a website, your request goes to a proxy server first. Then that proxy server will make a web request on your behalf.
It will collect the response from the webserver and then forwards you the web page so you can visit it.
In all of this sending and receiving of a web request, a proxy server changes your IP address so the website doesn’t actually know your exact location. Similarly, it can also block certain web pages if you want.
3. Use a Tor Browser
The Onion Router or Tor hides your online identity through multiple layers of encryption. You can access Tor by using its free Tor browser where your internet traffic is encrypted in three relay nodes.
Each of these nodes then decrypts one layer of encryption to know the identity of the next node. When your traffic leaves the final node, your information is fully decrypted and sent to its destination.
There’s no doubt that Tor’s encryption thorough and it does hide your original IP address, which is why it takes a longer time to complete the journey. You will need to sacrifice browsing speed with Tor’s security, but if you really want to compare between Tor and VPN, I would really suggest you use a VPN.
How Does Tor Browser Hide Your IP Address?
As said earlier, Tor has multiple layers of encryption. If you send a web request, your information is passed on through multiple relay nodes. Each relay decrypts only enough information to know from which relay the data came from, and to which relay it needs to be sent next.
The information is then re-wrapped into a new package until it is sent to a final destination.
The internet is full of malware and ads that can not only ruin your device but can exploit your internet traffic and compromise your personal data.
For anyone using the internet is advised to hide their IP address but should also go one step further and keep their online privacy protected at all times. That is why the best choice is to use a quality VPN to hide your IP address.
A VPN definitely masks your IP address but more so it keeps your online traffic encrypted through 256-strong encryption. Having said that, nobody from the outside i.e. hackers, ISP, or anyone will be able to see what you’re browsing.
Among the many VPNs, you will find on the internet, ExpressVPN is our recommended choice.
You may be interested in other VPN related articles like: