Spooky, right? The sad part is that most people don’t even know this, and others don’t seem to care. Not you though… you’re different. You’re curious and concerned about your online security, and we respect that. In fact, we’re here to help you!
There are a few different ways you can hide your IP address listed below. They’ve been arranged from the best way to hide your IP address first, to the not-so-best-but-still-kinda-works way last.
1. VPN: Fastest, secure, and much more
A VPN Service (short for Virtual Private Network) is one of the most popular and secure ways to hide your IP Address with virtually no slowdown of your Internet speed. It works by encrypting your information and tunnelling it through a Virtual Private Network before it gets into the public Internet.
In addition to hiding your IP Address, VPN’s will encrypt all of your outgoing data. This protects you from hackers, your own ISP, snooping corporations and advertisers, and even your own government. A VPN lets you pick where you want your new public IP address to be located. You can be ‘from’ another city, or even another country! This lets you bypass blocked websites, and eliminate government and corporate imposed censorship known as geoblocking.
VPN Services range from $5 to $10 a month, and it’s the ideal way of hiding your IP Address. You can read about our top VPN providers, verified by our experts after extensive testing, under these categories based on your needs
Each of these categories speaks to a different need of VPN users, and can lead you on the way to not only hiding your IP address, but also unlocking many more things online. Read our VPN FAQ guide right now to learn more! Don’t want to waste time? Here are out top three overall VPNs for any job you need:
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2. Tor: Most secure, but slow and limited
The next best way, and probably the most secure way of hiding your IP Address and online usage, is by using the Tor (The Onion Router) Network. Tor tunnels your Internet traffic though not one, but multiple worldwide, volunteer networks consisting of over six thousand relays.
The advantage is that it is a lot more secure and confidential since your encrypted data is bouncing around tons of different volunteer networks between you and the Internet. It’s also free to use.
- It’s turn off) is that it is slow.
- Tor itself asks that you do not stream video or torrent over it as that makes it even slower for you, and everybody else.
- New users find it very complex to set up.
3. Proxy: Free, but limited in many ways
The third most popular method of hiding your IP Address is using a proxy. This method is popular because it’s free and easy to use, but it’s not the best – not even close! Proxies work similar to VPN’s except they don’t encrypt your data and they’re strictly browser-based, meaning they won’t hide any of your torrenting activity, VOIP calls, or email clients.
When using a proxy, your browser data is sent to a server which acts as the middle-person between you and the Internet. Here are their biggest drawbacks:
- The Internet traffic which you pass through proxies isn’t always encrypted (unless the website uses HTTPS). As a result, clever tricks can easily reveal your true IP address and location to hackers and websites.
- Think the above is bad? Well, the proxy could even be set up by a hacker! They can sit there all day and read your unencrypted traffic that you’re freely giving them.
- Since most proxies are free, they’re usually very slow as tons of people use them.
We wouldn’t recommend using a proxy to hide your IP unless you have no other option, even a free VPN would be better for you. They’re usually free and a quick Google search will reveal thousands of proxies to choose from, but we recommend checking out our list of those which are trusted.
For more information, read our direct comparison of VPNs and proxies to see the major weaknesses of proxies.
Hide your IP address before you’re profiled
The three most popular ways of hiding (and changing) your IP Address to stay anonymous online and protect your privacy above all do as they should, but they are not all equal. Here’s a quick summary:
- VPNs: Hide your IP address, and encrypt all of your traffic. Most recommend way to hide your IP address. Read our reviews of the top VPNs right now to hide your IP address the best way possible.
- Tor: Most secure, but painfully slow and not suitable for streaming video or torrenting.
- Proxies: Least amount of protection, and vulnerable to hackers.
We hope this guide has helped you, because it’s a crazy Internet out there. Stay safe!