Finding out how to hide your IP address is something that most people think is tactic used by hackers and other people online with less than noble intentions. This isn’t exactly the case as nearly everyone could use some more privacy, and have their data tracked a little bit less.
How to do this correctly is key. Firewalls will only protect the data on your computer. Anti-virus software will protect you from viruses, but little else. Web proxies will hide your IP address, but not protect you.
Find out how to hide your IP address in this article, and why you’d want to hide your IP address in the first place.
Why you would want to hide your IP address
- To stop advertisers from tracking you
The first reason why you’d want to hide your IP address is to stop people from tracking you online. Have you ever wondered why you can visit a website, then go to one of your social media accounts and see advertisements for that very same website? You’re being tracked, and most likely via your IP address.
This violation of your privacy is an ever escalating battleground as people become tired of feeling like something that is only useful when advertised to.
- Because privacy from your ISP matters
There have been a number of examples of ISPs tracking Internet usage in order to control what you do online. This can include throttling your Internet speed when you’re doing something as harmless as watching Netflix, or enjoying games online with friends!
This blatant disregard for privacy is borderline criminal. How would you feel if your telephone provider tapped into your phone calls to see what you were talking about, and the ended the phone call when they found you were talking about another business they didn’t like?
- To get past geoblocks
Geo-blocks are those notorious blocks put on websites based on geographic location. Web content providers can read your IP address and block you from viewing content based on that data. Try viewing the BBC outside of the UK, or try watching Netflix from outside the USA. Even if you’re a 100% British subject you’ll be blocked.
If you’re living in a country that blocks certain websites, like Skype and Google, changing your IP address may suddenly become a necessity. You have to get work done, and loved ones to talk to!
- To hide your location
Check out our own IP address tool. Do you see how our tool knows exactly where you are if you’re not using a tool to change your IP address? Creepy, isn’t it?
For those who need to hide their location, for whatever reason, having a tool which can change your IP address is an essential in their own safety. Can you imagine the day that a jealous ex-lover tracks you down and stalks you all because they found out your IP address and got your location? This is not outside the realm of the impossible.
- To stick it to search engines
What? But search engines are innocent and never ever do anything wrong! All they do is provide you with the websites you want to see, and maybe show you an ad or two. No harm, right?
The truth is, search engines from Google to Bing are storing data about your searches. They’re taking this information and associating it with your IP address every single time you search for something. Yes, even when you’re searching for things you’d rather not have made public.
The good old, reliable, coffee shop connection. What could possibly go wrong there? Lots! The potential for “sniffers,” and Fake WAP attacks are high. Changing your IP address is a smart way to still use these insecure networks while protecting yourself from rampant data theft.
How to hide your IP address
The easiest way to hide your IP address, with the highest level of security and a great firewall, is with a VPN provider. We talk about VPN providers often on this blog, as you’d guess, but here are the basics of how a VPN works to protect you:
- The VPN connects to a remote server, changing your IP address to a public one
- All information is sent over a secure and encrypted connection both ways
- The best providers have a firewall built into your connection, offering further protection against intrusions
- Your public WiFi use is now secure, your IP address is changed so data collected by search engines has no relevance to you, and your ISP can’t even see what you’re up to
You can also look into web proxy tools, but they do not offer all the other advantages of using a VPN. One good VPN connection can make all the difference between you suffering under the six reason listed above, and you enjoying the Internet with more freedom.
Feature image via alphaspirit / Shutterstock