How to hide an IP address and remain anonymous
Hiding your IP address is the best way to ensure complete “digital” freedom and protect your credentials online – and it’s extremely easy.
There are many reasons to mask IP – from getting discounts on tickets to accessing content that is blocked in your area. Disguise will allow you to unlock access to Netflix libraries from different countries and use services such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer, which are blocked in many parts of the world .
It’s also a great way to protect your privacy and prevent personal data from falling into the hands of advertising agencies, hackers, and others.
The best way to hide your IP address is to use a VPN. My favorite network is ExpressVPN , as it is the fastest service with over 3,000 servers in 90 different countries. With such a huge server network, you can choose from more than 300,000 IP addresses. The service also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it in person without the risk of financial costs!
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What is an IP address?
(Internet Protocol) An IP address is a unique set of numbers and decimal places used to identify each device connected to the Internet . Each device connected to a computer network has its own unique IP address. However, if you connect multiple devices to the Internet through a single WiFi router, their IP addresses will be the same.
If you open a website, your device sends a request to the server where the site is hosted using the site’s IP address. This request is returned to your own IP address.
There are currently two types of IP addresses. IPv4 addresses (Internet Protocol version 4) consist of four two- or three-digit numbers separated by periods (for example, 188.8.131.52). IPv6 addresses (Internet Protocol version 6) are much longer and consist of letters and numbers separated by colons.
IPv6 was developed because the number of IPv4 addresses is limited and the number of free addresses is constantly decreasing. In addition, the new version of addresses has more efficient routing , data flow and improved protection over IPv4. However, most of the world still uses IPv4, and the transition to IPv6 is actually quite a complex process.
If you want to use the IPv6 address, it must be supported by your ISP, router and operating system. Unfortunately, most ISPs do not yet support IPv6 .
If you want to verify your IP address right now, use our IP Verification Tool . I used it to verify my IP address before connecting to a VPN, and with a virtual network connected.
Your IP address was provided by accident. The non-profit Internet Assigned Numbers Authority created IP addresses and transferred them to five regional Internet registries (RIRs). ISPs operating within a specific geographic region obtain IP addresses from these registries.
This means that your IP address can be used to establish your location .
Because your computer and other devices need to have an IP address to access information on the Internet, there is currently no way to opt out. The only way to hide your real IP address is to disguise it as another.
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Why do I need to hide my IP address?
Passing your real IP address to every website you visit creates risks to your anonymity and online privacy .
This is because your IP address can be used to determine your location – sometimes with such accuracy that it becomes scary. You can prevent this by hiding your IP address. IP address masking is especially important when you are going to download torrents or do other things that are in the “gray” legal zone.
Even if you’re just browsing sites, determining your location can have some consequences . Websites and advertising agencies may use this information to send you targeted content in order to monetize your online activity.
For example, airlines and travel agencies display prices for their services depending on the region of your IP address. You will be shocked to learn the difference in ticket prices for different countries.
Another reason to hide your IP address is to overcome the restrictions imposed by websites, service providers, government agencies, employers and even schools . One common example is the Netflix service, which uses your IP address to determine which content you can access.
If you do not hide your IP, you will only have access to a library dedicated to your area. However, if you want to bypass geographical restrictions and access content from around the world , IP address masking will help you a lot.
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9 ways to hide your IP address
1. Using VPN is the fastest, easiest, and most secure option
This is the best and most secure way to hide your IP address . All you need to do is choose one of the best VPN services, download the application, and then select the country through which you want to connect. The VPN will give you a virtual IP address that belongs to your chosen country, so your real location will be securely hidden .
One of the biggest benefits of using a VPN is high connection speeds . Unlike other methods, you don’t have to worry about very slow loading of web pages, video streams or files.
This is especially important if you are watching videos on Netflix and other platforms. These services are able to determine that users are trying to circumvent their geographical restrictions, and do not hesitate to block such visitors. However, the best VPNs can easily overcome even the most complex geographic blocks.
Using VPN is also the safest way to download torrents. In addition to masking your IP address and protecting your credentials, some VPN providers offer specialized profiles for downloading torrents and sharing P2P files.
In general, using a VPN is extremely secure. This, of course, applies to high-quality services that use advanced advanced encryption and security profiles , such as ExpressVPN . These services will protect against the leakage of your real IP address.
The most reputable VPN services require a paid subscription, but they are worth it. While there are some pretty good free VPNs on the market, they are quite limited and usually give you slow connections, limited data, and bandwidth. Some free VPNs even expose you to the threat of data theft, malware attacks and other cyber attacks.
In my opinion, investing in premium VPNs like the ones below is essential. Even a hundred hryvnias is an extremely low price when it comes to protecting your privacy. The VPNs I recommend offer a money back guarantee, so you can try their service without risking financial costs.
Best VPNs to mask your IP address
ExpressVPN has thousands of servers around the world and provides incredibly high data rates. During testing ExpressVPN, we found that the service provides high-quality access to platforms that do not support VPN. This means that you can use it to view content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many other sites .
ExpressVPN also supports P2P file sharing on all its servers, so torrents are downloaded instantly. Advanced security features include TrustedServer technology, DNS leak protection, and more. You can personally test ExpressVPN without risk before making a decision . The company provides a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with the service as a result of the study, just request a refund.
Change your IP with ExpressVPN
CyberGhost is an incredibly stable and secure service with a network of over 7,260 servers worldwide. Installation and setup are extremely simple and can be done in seconds. Our speed tests have shown that this service is not as fast as ExpressVPN, but its connection speeds are enough to watch streaming video in HD .
The service is very attractive in terms of price, but lower prices do not mean lower levels of protection. Provider provides secure encryption, no user activity logging, data leakage protection applications, and an optional auto-shutdown feature . One of the main advantages that distinguishes the service from competitors is the 45-day money back guarantee , which is much longer than most competitors.
Since CyberGhost has more than 60 servers in Ukraine, you will be able to hide your real IP address under the guise of another address of Ukrainian origin. This will be very useful if you want or need to visit one of the Ukrainian sites anonymously.
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2. Proxy servers are slow and insecure to download torrents
Proxy servers are widely used to access geographically restricted content. For example, you want to watch a movie that is only available in a specific country. Your computer sends a request to a website to watch a movie, but the proxy server intercepts the request and forwards it using that country’s IP address . When a proxy server gets access, it gives it to you – voila!
However, proxy servers have several significant drawbacks: They are very slow and not very secure because, unlike VPNs, they do not encrypt your traffic. They are also not suitable for downloading torrents , as they do not hide your actions from your ISP. And many popular services, such as Hulu, easily detect the use of a proxy server and block your access.
3. Tor – Hides your IP address for free (not suitable for torrents and video streaming)
If you want to be completely anonymous online and not pay a penny for it, Tor is the right choice. It is based on a large network of servers around the world run by volunteers. If you use Tor, your traffic is routed through multiple servers and encrypted multiple times, making it impossible to track your real IP address.
However, all of this encryption and decryption makes Tor incredibly slow , so it’s not suitable for streaming video and downloading torrents. In addition, the creators of the browser do not recommend using it to work with torrents. If you just want to browse sites, you can safely use the Tor browser or download its Firefox extension. However, to ensure the highest level of privacy, I I recommend using Tor with a VPN .
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4. Public WiFi networks are a risky solution, the last resort
Your IP address is provided to you by your ISP, and when you connect to a network through another ISP, you are given a new address. If you need to quickly change your IP address in a short amount of time , you can use a network in a cafe or any other public WiFi network. Because this is a shared connection, your online activities cannot be tracked.
However, using a public WiFi network makes you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and other cyber threats. I always recommend using a VPN when connecting to public WiFi. In addition, public WiFi networks will not help you overcome geo-blocking – it is a short-term tool rather than a long-term solution.
5. Using the mobile network is a temporary solution
If you do not have easy access to the public WiFi network, or you do not want to expose yourself to all these risks, you can temporarily change your IP address by connecting to the Internet via mobile data instead of WiFi .
The main disadvantage of this method is its high cost, especially if you need to download a lot of content or watch videos. Again, this is not a permanent solution, and I recommend using it only if you think your real IP address is exposed . In such situations, using mobile network data is an easy way to get a new IP address immediately.
6. Restart your modem – reset your IP address
This sounds pretty weird, but sometimes turning off the modem for a while can change your IP address. When you disconnect from your ISP, you lose communication with your current IP address, but this only happens if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses (which is likely).
Turning off the modem for as long as possible increases the chances of your IP address changing automatically. When you turn on your modem, you should get a brand new address. However, this is not the most reliable way , so it should not be considered in the first place.
7. Update your IP address – follow these steps
I mentioned above that your primary IP address is displayed openly, but if you use a WiFi network or cable connection, you also get an internal IP address. This method only applies to the internal address , and cannot be applied to the primary address.
If you want to get a new internal IP address, all you have to do is enter certain commands on your computer .
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
- Enter network settings.
- Select the network you are connected to.
- Select “Advanced пункт”
- Select the TCP / IP tab.
- Click Update DHCP Rental
- Find the command line
- Right-click to open the context menu and select “Run as Administrator”.
- Enter the command “ipconfig / release”.
- Enter the command “ipconfig / renew”.
After following the steps above, your device will receive a new IP address.
8. Use the NAT firewall to hide your internal IP address.
Like the previous one, this method only applies to the internal IP address. Network Address Translation (NAT) allows different devices to hide their internal IP addresses by using a single external (“white”) IP address. In other words, multiple devices connected to the same router can use one external IP address.
The main advantage of NAT is that it protects you from unwanted connections from unknown Internet users who may be using malicious software. However, it does not hide your device’s external IP address , which plays a key role when it comes to online privacy. As I mentioned before, the best way to mask an IP address is to use a VPN.
9. Allow your ISP to change your address – ask politely
Since your ISP assigns you an IP address, you can just contact it and ask to change it . You will need to contact the provider in person and provide information about your account. It’s a fairly simple and easy way to change your IP address, but it doesn’t solve any of the geo-blocking or security issues it does .
And remember that if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses, it will change it again after a certain period of time . If you want to use the one you received, you can request a static IP address – but this usually requires additional costs and effort.
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How to verify your IP address
If you’ve started using a VPN or other way to hide your IP address, it’s important to check that it really works. You should check immediately after hiding the address, and then repeat it periodically during the address masking time. This will help you identify any errors or malfunctions that may violate your privacy.
Our IP leak checker is the easiest way to make sure your IP address is completely hidden. It will automatically display your IP address and associated geolocation.
If your IP address is securely hidden, our tool will display the IP address and location of the VPN or proxy server you’re connected to. If not, you’ll see your own IP address and your real location, so something went wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
For what other purposes can you use a VPN?
In addition to hiding and masking your IP address, the best VPNs allow you to access geo-blocking content from around the world . They also allow you to bypass network restrictions imposed by your ISP, government agencies, or other organizations. Finally, it’s the best way to hide your credentials and online activity if you want to maximize your privacy and privacy .
Learn more about VPN capabilities in our Beginner’s VPN Guide.
How can I find out my IP address?
The easiest way to find out your IP address is to use our IP Verification Tool. All you need to do is go follow the link in the last sentence, and at the top of the web page you will see your IP address, browser, country and city.
Can an IP address reveal my credentials?
Technically, the IP address alone cannot give out your credentials. However, combined with other easy-to-access information (username, browsing history, IP-associated physical location), using your IP address, people can identify who you are . That’s why, if you value your privacy, you should use a verified VPN, such as ExpressVPN , to mask your IP address.
Why should I hide my IP address?
There are many reasons for masking and hiding your IP address. But the most important of these are the need to avoid geo-blocking to access certain content on the network (such as streaming video services such as Netflix) and to protect your privacy while online. In addition to the above, if you are traveling to a country where there is severe Internet censorship (such as China), a VPN is essential to stay connected and secure.
? How do I hide my IP address for free?
There are several ways to avoid paying for your IP masking. You can use the Tor network, which is completely free, but has very slow connection speeds. Or you can use a free VPN, but I wouldn’t recommend it for security reasons.
Instead, I recommend downloading premium VPNs such as ExpressVPN . If you are dissatisfied with the service, you have 30 days from the start of use to request a refund.
What is IP masking?
IP masking is just another term for hiding an IP address. In general, this means that you are hiding your real IP address with another from another server located in another country. This is the only way to use the Internet without revealing your IP address.
The best way to disguise your IP address is to use a VPN , which makes it impossible to determine your physical location or identify you based on your online activity.
Can I use a free VPN to mask my IP address?
Yes, there are some free VPNs that will allow you to hide your IP address. However, I do not recommend using these services because of their unreliable security tools, which will make you vulnerable to cyber attacks.
If you do not want to pay, it is better to use the guarantee of a refund from the premium VPN, use the service during the warranty period, and then get your money back in full. CyberGhost provides a 45-day warranty period , which is one of the longest on the market.
Is it legal to hide your IP address?
Yes, hiding your IP address is perfectly legal, as is using a VPN. Even in countries like China, where the use of VPNs is tightly regulated by the state, its use is not technically violated by any law. Although some users believe that masking their IP address is a sign that you are doing something dangerous online, there are many legitimate and legitimate reasons to do so .
Is my IP address permanent?
Most IP addresses are dynamic . Some IP addresses are static, they never change. However, ordering a static IP address requires a lot of effort and money.
It’s important to remember that even if you have a static IP address, it doesn’t move with your device, and if you change your Internet connection, you’ll get a different IP address .
Are there any ways to hide an IP address from an ISP?
No, there is currently no way to hide your IP address from your ISP. Even when you’re using a VPN, your real IP address is used to connect to the VPN server. However, VPN makes it impossible for your ISP to track your online activity because it hides your real address from the sites and apps you use – so no one can see the full picture.
What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 and IPv6 are two different types of IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are more common and less complex , and consist of a set of numbers separated by dots. IPv6 addresses are much longer and consist of letters and numbers separated by colons. IPv6 is currently being implemented to increase the number of free IP addresses and to address specific IPv4 address issues.
Although there are more than enough ways to hide your IP address, none of them can achieve the level of reliability and security provided by VPNs. High-quality VPN services such as ExpressVPN are an easy way to hide your IP address. But they also protect your privacy and anonymity when you work online with robust security protocols.
VPNs provide you with high connection speeds, help you access and view content from anywhere in the world , support torrent downloads, and encrypt your data for the best protection.
For more information, read our article Proxy vs. VPN and Tor vs. VPN.