Last Updated: July 7, 2023
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to hide your IP address. In an era where cybercrime has risen considerably, many people wish to minimize their online presence and maintain online privacy.
In this article, we will discuss what an IP address is and how to hide your IP address through various methods. By the end, you will be more informed about the topic.
What Is an IP Address?
An IP address or Internet Protocol address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods that helps identify your device. As the internet is a wide place with many computers, routers, and websites that are all connected, each device needs a unique address for identification and effective functioning. An IP address allows information to be sent amongst various devices.
Similar to how you can easily be visited by other people thanks to your unique home address, an IP address allows other devices to communicate with your device and ensures the effective functioning of the internet as a whole.
Before we learn how to mask an IP address, we need to understand how an IP address actually works.
Every internet device that you use is connected to a network that is in turn connected to the internet, usually through your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if you’re home or your company’s provider at work. As you change your location, the provider also changes. For example, it will be the hotel’s ISP if you’re staying at a hotel. Your IP address is assigned to you by your ISP, and all your internet activity goes through the ISP and is routed back to you.
|DID YOU KNOW: There are more than 1 billion IP addresses in the US, which is the highest number of IP addresses in the world.|
How to Hide Your IP Address?
There are a number of reasons why you would want to hide your IP address and protect yourself on the internet. Here are a few ways you can do so.
Using Tor browser is one of the most popular ways of hiding your IP address. It is a free software program that you can install, like Chrome or Firefox. You can stay anonymous whenever you go online from Tor browser. As soon as you close the browser, all your cookies, browsing history, and any other online activity will be cleared. It also encrypts your information so you can be sure that it offers security and safety.
All you need to do to get it is go to the official Tor browser website, sign in and download this software.
VPN as a Great Solution
Hiding your IP with a VPN is yet another popular way, as VPN or a Virtual Private Network allows IP masking. When you use a VPN, your device shows a different IP address that is borrowed from your VPN provider. Many also keep changing the IP address, so each time you log in, you will get a different IP address. A lot of VPNs also offer anti-tracking features that hide your location.
There are several VPN providers available, but many are shady and do not offer good speed. You should choose only the best ones that also offer an encrypted VPN connection for additional security.
While it may sound simple, there are countries that impose strict government restrictions on the use of VPN. For example, it is quite difficult to get a VPN that works in China and many free VPNs do not offer such services.
|If you wish to hide your location online but don’t know how to, hiding your IP address is the way to go.|
|Each device has a unique IP address and hiding it can conceal your location on the internet.|
|Tor browser is one of the most popular browsers used for hiding your IP address. You can simply download it from their official website.|
|Another popular way is using a VPN. There are several VPN providers available and many are free as well.|
Use a Proxy
A proxy server is similar to a VPN and allows IP address encryption. It can be used to re-route your browser through a school or company’s filter. You can access geo-restricted content, as it encrypts your IP address. Most proxy servers are free of cost. However, despite the many advantages, a major drawback of a proxy server is that it does not encrypt your web activity, only the IP address. Moreover, many proxy servers are responsible for tracking cookies, information, and other private details of users. Using a proxy server is also illegal in some countries.
Top 3 Proxy Servers in 2023
Now that we know why and how to use a proxy server let’s see some of the best proxy servers on the market. Here are our top 3 picks for the best proxy servers in 2022:
Smartproxy is a proxy service that offers Datacenter, Residential and Dedicated DC proxies. Its network has over 10 million IPs with over 40,000 subnets. So whether you are using Mac or Windows, the Smartproxy server will do the trick. Smartproxy offers monthly plans starting at $40 for Residential Proxy, $23.1 for the Datacenter proxies, $5.77 for the Dedicated DC, and finally, for the Resellers plan, the monthly subscription starts from $1000.
2. Bright Data
Based in the US, Bright Data is one of the leading proxy providers. It offers Residential, Datacenter, ISP, and Mobile proxies. In addition, it has a Web Unlocker, as well as tools like a Proxy manager and a Proxy Browser extension.
Bright data offers three monthly plans for $500, $1000, and $2000. It also offers a Pay Per Use plan which is good for people who need proxies for a short period of time, and an Enterprise plan that can be tailored according to your company’s needs.
NetNut is a US-based proxy service with over 20 million IPs worldwide, 1 million static residential IPs, as well as One-hop ISP connectivity. It offers Residential, Datacenter, and Statics proxies. For the Residential proxies, there are six plans offering from 20GB to 1TB, with the monthly costs starting from $300 up to $4000, depending on the storage. Datacenter plans start from $20 to $500 per month, while the Static proxy plan’s monthly subscription costs $350 to $5000.
|DID YOU KNOW: Using public Wi Fi can also temporarily change your IP address since you will be connected to another server.|
Many internet users wish to maintain an anonymous IP address, which is possible to achieve using various methods. You can use the Tor browser which is specially designed to hide your location and create a virtual IP address. Other options include using a VPN or a proxy, though VPNs tend to be more secure than proxy servers. No matter what method you choose, you should check your country’s laws to make sure you’re not doing anything illegal by hiding your IP.
Yes, you can really hide your IP address by using a VPN, proxy server, or Tor browser.
You can go to Safari settings and under ‘Privacy and Security’ select ‘Hide IP address’. Then choose ‘Trackers and Websites’ or ‘Trackers only’.
If you don’t know how to hide your IP address for free, you can use the Tor browser or certain VPNs.