Your IP (Internet Protocol) address is necessary for you to surf the web (find out your IP address here). At the same time, it acts as a cyber fingerprint of your online activities. This leads to websites storing your information for marketing purposes or even selling it to third-party websites. We don’t want that now, do we?
Luckily, there are a few ways you can hide your IP address online.
Choose your IP hiding method
All in all, there are different methods to hide your IP address. The table below shows a round-up of what each method does. As you can see, each has its pros and cons, but my best recommendation is always to use a VPN.
Allows quick server switching
The three methods below, will help you hide IP addresses and reclaim your privacy once and for all!
1. Use a VPN
VPNs mask your IP address, so it isn’t easy to link it to your online activity via IP detection. It works by making a secure tunnel between you and the websites you access. These websites will see the location of the VPN server rather than your real location.
Your information is then encrypted and sent through this VPN tunnel to the website or service you connect to. If someone were to see your information, it’d be a load of gibberish.
Therefore, the easiest and most reliable way is to hide your IP with a VPN. Click here to learn how to set up a VPN on any device.
2. Use a Proxy
Another common way to hide your IP is by using proxy servers. They work as middlemen between your device and a website or service on the internet. You do this by changing your IP to another server’s IP address. So, once you connect to a proxy server, all incoming and outgoing data passes through it.
Although this process may sound similar to how a VPN works, there are a couple disadvantages of proxy servers:
- A proxy does not encrypt data
- A proxy does not work on the operating system level
When you use a proxy server, the encryption is not hacker-proof, and the sites you visit will still be visible. You’ll just be able to access blocked content.
The quality of proxies can also vary. Some have decent security, while others are downright dangerous. They keep logs, offer outdated or no encryption, and collect your personal information.
Thus, proxies lack the extra features that come naturally with VPNs.
3. Use Tor (The Onion Router)
Using software like Tor for anonymous communication is another way to mask your IP address. Connecting to the Tor browser sends your encrypted web traffic through several routing processes. These keep your identity safe using three layers of encryption. Hence, it’s compared to an onion.
Because it has to pass through multiple servers, it isn’t a good option for streaming videos or downloading large files. Though it is more anonymous than Google, it’s much slower and is best suited for regular browsing.
What about Incognito Mode?
Unfortunately, Incognito Mode doesn’t change your IP at all. It only works as a method of not keeping any record of your information. This includes browsing history, cookies, passwords, credit cards, and auto-filled blanks.
After you close the Incognito window, all your information disappears from your computer. Incognito works inside (your device), not outside (with your router, your ISP, and the pages you visit).
Your ISP can still log your activity and access your information when you use Incognito Mode. Only your browsing history won’t be visible to them. At best, you’re only keeping your browsing hidden from other people who use your computer.
Ready to take your pick?
It’s nothing new that eyes are snooping around looking at what you do online. It’s simple to take the first step to online privacy by learning how to hide your IP address. Though there are several methods, a VPN is the most dependable.
It’s time to put a stop to peeping ISPs, governments, and third-party websites. Transfer your information privately over a VPN and keep your info safe in the long run.
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