Your IP address reveals much more information than you realize. Not only does it show your approximate location, but is also a clear record of your browsing history. Hackers often use them as gateways to attack vulnerable computers. Nowadays, there are more reasons than ever you might want to hide your IP address. Concealing it helps prevents hacks, bypasses geo-restrictions, and increases your privacy online. It’s simple to do as well. Here are some of the easiest ways to hide your IP address:
What is an IP Address?
It’s important to know what exactly an IP address is so that you can understand the value of keeping it private. It is a unique combination of numbers that identifies each computer on the internet. It’s the main way computers, servers, and all kinds of devices communicate with each other. This same connectivity is what makes them susceptible to cyberattacks.
How can you hide your IP?
1) Download a VPN
A VPN or virtual private network is one of the best tools for internet security. With a VPN, you connect to a secure third-party server, which then connects you to any website you wish to visit. In the process, the VPN then anonymizes your real IP address while encrypting your network connection (https://nordvpn.com/features/hide-ip/). You can even choose server locations so you can browse from a wide variety of countries. Some top tier providers can even provide the user with a dedicated IP if needed.
2) Use a Dedicated IP
Most people need to decide whether they will use a shared or dedicated IP address. Essentially, there is a limited amount of IP addresses in the world, so ISPs will often bundle many users together under one shared IP address. This is less expensive but has many security flaws. For example, if one user under an IP address suffers a hack, all the other users may become vulnerable as well.
High-quality VPN services thus offer a dedicated IP option. For a little bit extra per month, you get you all the benefits of a VPN on your own private IP address. This is the perfect choice for accessing websites with cross-border restrictions like Prime Video and Netflix while ensuring the highest levels of privacy and security. It’s also essential if you plan on safely accepting incoming connections such as hosting a private server.
3) Use a Proxy
Proxies are a quick and easy way of hiding your IP address. Proxies are very convenient to use when you just have a few moments and want a small additional layer of security. However, users need to know it doesn’t take much digging for people to find your real IP address. Likewise, most streaming and other services that use geo-blocking easily detect proxies and will prevent access if you’re using one.
4) Enable a Hotspot on Your Phone
Personal hotspots don’t conceal your IP address in the same way the other tools do, but they do offer several IP advantages. They are the ideal alternative for public WiFi. As tempting as free WiFi is, it’s often full of security flaws. These unsecured networks are prone to malware, hackers, keyloggers, and other problems.
This means that any device connected to it might become a target. It’s particularly dangerous when performing sensitive transactions that hackers might want to intercept. Likewise, you’ll be able to get around any network restrictions that may be on public WiFi.
5) Use TOR
TOR is free, open source software that enables you to anonymize your IP address. The name derives from “The Onion Router” which was an early version of the project and similar to how the current process works. Your computer connects to a variety of relays, which eventually leads to your target online destination.
The process is highly secure, but also very slow. TOR is also used for a wide array of illegal transactions, including selling false identities, drugs, and weaponry. By using it, you may be put on a list of TOR users, which some governments try to monitor for suspicious activities. As such, it’s not great for daily use, but if you need a truly private connection and can’t use the other options, it’s a good short-term fix.
There are many different ways to hide your IP address. Each has its own combination of security, convenience, and affordability. For many users, the best option is using a VPN, which combines speed, practicality, and security. However, for those looking for an additional layer of safety such as small and medium businesses, financial brokers, and e-commerce agents, then moving towards a dedicated IP address is the best option. Combined with a VPN, it provides the all-around security and convenience to ensure your data is always safe.