Do you come from a country where some of the best content online is blocked? If you do, chances are you have serious FOMO about not being able to access great content that people all around the world are talking about.
So, what do you do in such a situation?
No, you don’t need to move to another country. Stay right there because there is a solution which is hiding your IP address.
Scratching your head? Don’t worry and read on to find out how to hide your IP address and how this will not only help you in getting access to all streaming services but also protect your identity and data from being tracked online.
Let’s begin right away.
What is an IP address?
Have you ever been asked for your identification, maybe at an airport or while getting vaccinated? That identification provides certain information about you in this world like your name, age, home address, etc.
Similarly, your IP address gives information about your online presence. It is your unique public ID on the internet. When you go online and search for some information, your IP address is the identity that the servers send your requested information to.
This way, the servers know which device they are sending their data to. IP address lets the server know who is searching on the browser, which sites you are visiting, which emails are addressed to you, and your entire digital footprint.
An IP address doesn’t reveal your personal information like your name, age, home address but the country you reside in will be known. Without an IP address, you are like a lost tourist who doesn’t have a passport. You won’t be able to survive for too long.
Why do you need to hide your IP address?
In today’s digital world, you need to know how to hide your IP address.
Most of the time, an IP address is used for your benefit online like sending you to the correct site, making sure you receive the right emails, and getting your requested information.
However, the IP address can be a hassle sometimes.
When you visit a site, your IP address gets logged on that site which identifies you as a visitor. Your IP address is used to track your activity online. It’s like an FBI agent following you on the street.
This information about you is used for advertising according to your interests. Your information might even be sold to government and advertising agencies. So, knowing how to hide your IP address can be beneficial to protect your identity, prevent web tracking, and leave a digital footprint.
Knowing how to hide your IP address will also save you from coming under the radar of hackers, spammers, and cyber attackers.
Another focal reason why you would want to know how to hide your IP address is to access content blocked in your region. Some countries can’t access online videos, series, streaming platforms, and more. So, by hiding your IP address you will be able to bypass content filters and stream content from all services.
There could be other reasons too. But whatever the reason, we have got the best ways to accomplish what you want to — hiding your IP address.
How to hide your IP address? — the best methods
1. How to hide your IP address — method 1
What is a VPN?
This is one of the safest, most reliable, and fastest ways to secure your IP address.
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a software service that hides your IP address by encrypting internet traffic to your network and routing through a different server located in another place. Think of it as a middleman in between your device and the internet. So, when you use a VPN, all websites will only see the server’s IP address and not your own.
So, how do you hide your IP address by using a VPN? All you need to do is to choose a reliable VPN service, download it, and then choose the location through which you want to connect. The VPN will hide your real location and give you a virtual IP address of your chosen country.
The biggest advantage of using a VPN to hide your IP address is that it won’t slow down your browsing, downloading, or streaming speed. Speed is especially important if you want to access content from streaming services. VPN services are also safe for torrenting.
If you choose a premium and trustworthy VPN service, you will have a secure and safe way around the internet.
However, there are some free VPN services as well but most of those are not as fast and can even lead to cyber-attacks. The best way is to invest some money in purchasing a VPN service. For a safe experience, you must choose your service provider carefully.
How to hide your IP address using a VPN?
- Check your IP address by searching “What is my IP address?” in Google.
- Choose and sign up for a reliable VPN service.
- Download the VPN application onto the device of your choice. Both Mac and Windows can be used for this.
- Install the app and run it on your device.
- Sign in using your account details.
- Select a server or server location. Your new IP address will belong to that location.
- Select the Connect button to start a connection.
- As the connection is built, you will be assigned a new IP address.
If you want to confirm your new IP, you can check again by searching on Google.
Features to look for: Before signing up for a VPN service, you must look for certain features in the service provider. Here’s what you should check for:
- Private DNS servers
- Leak Protection
- Kill Switch
2. How to hide your IP address — method 2
What is a proxy server?
In a somewhat similar way, a proxy server functions like a VPN to act as a middleman between the Internet and your IP address. Instead of seeing your IP address, the websites will see the IP address of the proxy server.
Proxies are single-user servers that you can connect to for hiding your IP address.
A VPN too can be categorized as a type of proxy. In a proxy server, the connection isn’t encrypted by default like in a VPN. But it does have some form of protection like a firewall or a web filter. These protection measures depend on the configuration. This means that although your IP address is hidden from websites, you can’t hide your browsing activity or internet connection.
The main advantage of using a proxy server is that it is completely free. Consider this as the cheapest option of hiding your IP address. Proxies don’t have DNS traffic so a third-party is involved that receives your website requests which mean that a third-party DNS server can still see your IP address.
Lack of security is the main downside of using a proxy server. There is also the hassle of dealing with pop-up ads that usually come with proxy sites. Pop-up ads can slow down your online activity and connection. These ads are how the proxy sites make money since they are a free service. But the ads are not necessarily unsafe always.
If you want to go the way of a proxy server, you must never sign in with a private account or research for a proxy site that is highly reliable. So, proxies are mostly used as a temporary placement and not as a long-term solution.
Be aware of the types of proxies as not all provide the same level of protection or anonymity. Transparent proxies hide nothing at all, neither your IP address nor the fact that you are using a proxy. Anonymous proxies hide your IP address but not your use of a proxy. High anonymity or elite proxies hide both you are using a proxy server and your IP address.
How to hide your IP address using a proxy server?
You can easily enable a proxy in your browser. There exist several free proxy add-ons. Make sure to pick a reliable one. To know how to hide your IP address using a proxy server, follow the steps ahead.
- Open the browser you use like Firefox or Chrome.
- Head to add-ons if you are using Mozilla Firefox. You can find them on the menu. If you are using chrome, you can find the extensions option on the bar below the title bar.
- Search for the proxy in the browser.
- Add and enable the extension in the open browser.
-Now you will be surfing the internet and website through the proxy server.
3. How to hide your IP address — method 3
What is Tor?
Although Tor is not a solution for streaming or torrenting, it is a method of hiding your IP address if you want to stay completely anonymous online without paying a dime. Tor is a free option for anonymous browsing. It stands for The Onion Router. Tor is a free browser that conceals your identity through multiple layers of encryption — three layers of protection to be precise.
Unlike Chrome or Firefox, as soon you are off a website you accessed on the Tor browser, all the cookies, and your browsing history will clear off. The website will see the IP address that Tor replaced your real IP address with.
How to hide your IP address using Tor?
- Go to the website of the Tor browser.
- Download and install the browser on your device.
- After opening the browser, Tor will ask if you need additional configuration. If not, just go ahead without it.
- Start browsing and Tor will take care of the rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to hide your IP address on your iPhone?
To hide your IP address on your iPhone. Launch the Settings app on your phone, scroll down and click on the Safari option. Then go down to find the “Privacy and Security” section and click on Hide IP address. Select one option from Trackers and Websites or Trackers Only.
2. How to hide your IP address in windows 10?
There are more than a few ways to hide your IP address in windows 10. Some we have mentioned above like using a VPN service, using a proxy server, or browsing through the Tor application. Other than that, you can connect to a different network like using public Wi-Fi or using a mobile’s data connection. You can ask your ISP to change your IP address occasionally which might require some additional fee.
Use a NAT firewall to hide your IP address or you can also renew your IP address by entering certain commands in the Command Prompt. For this, search the command prompt on your device and click it to Run as Administrator. Type ipconfig/release and then ipconfig/renew. You will now have a new IP address on your Windows 10.
3. How to hide your IP address on macOS?
To hide your IP address on a Mac device, click on the Apple menu and open System Preferences. Click on Network. Highlight the network connection on your device in the left side pane and then click on Advanced. Select the TCP/IP tab. Now click on Renew DHCP Lease and your Mac will have a new local IP address.
4. How to hide your IP address while downloading?
To hide your IP address while downloading, use a secure and reliable VPN connection. This is the safest way to hide your IP address when downloading from a torrent or some other place. Proxy servers and Tor browser do not support downloading. So, if you use those methods, your browsing will be hidden but for downloading especially from torrents, you need to use a VPN.
Some of the best VPN services you can use are Nord VPN, SurfShark, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and PrivateVPN. These are just some of the names in reliable VPN servers, but you can more as well. It is best to use a premium service for downloading as free services might not be as secure.