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A person in a yellow dress hiding behind a black-and-white location pin.
What is my IP address?

What is my IP address?

Your IP (Internet Protocol) address is your device’s home address — but on the internet! It’s provided to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). All the good stuff you see online? You’re only seeing it because IP addresses allow that data to find its way to your device. Unfortunately, that also means that your IP tells hackers, advertisers, trackers, and geo-blockers just where you are online and your approximate geographic location. This information you probably want to keep secret. 

How does a VPN hide IP addresses?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) hides your IP address by replacing it with the IP of the VPN server you choose. All the data that your device sends or receives then goes via that server. For anyone online, the server’s IP is your IP; the server’s location is your location. 

So, if you live in the crackin’ town of Krakow and connect to a server in Paris, all the websites and services will consider you to be connecting from Paris. Magnifique!

How does a VPN hide IP addresses?

How to hide your IP address in 3 easy steps

Sign in to your account or create a new one.

1. Sign in to your account or create a new one.

Open the Surfshark app on any of your devices & click Connect.

2. Open the Surfshark app on any of your devices & click Connect.

That’s it! Your IP is hidden, and your traffic is encrypted.

3. That’s it! Your IP is hidden, and your traffic is encrypted.

Different IP hiding methods compared

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN

By connecting to a VPN server, you get a different IP address (that of the server) and encrypt your internet connection. The server’s IP address replaces your original address, and the sites and services you visit will not know who you are unless you identify yourself. Also, combining internet traffic encryption and connection to the VPN server means that not even your ISP will know what you’re doing.


Pros Cons
Gives you a different IP Not free
Many IP locations to choose from Have to install an app
Encrypts your data Very slight impact on internet speed


Tor encrypts your data and bounces it via three randomly selected servers. However, Tor doesn’t allow you to choose the servers, so you can’t get an IP from a specific location. It’s also a lot slower than a VPN service. Lastly, it only protects the data going to and from the Tor browser.


Pros Cons
Free Can’t choose IP location
Bounces data via three servers Slow
Encrypts your data The nodes may be compromised
Have to install an app


A proxy – or a proxy server – routes your data. It changes your original IP address to its own IP but doesn’t encrypt your online activity. Usually, you don’t have the option of switching the proxy servers according to your needs as with a VPN service. A proxy is thus much more limited than a VPN.


Pros Cons
Cheap Doesn’t usually provide server choice
Don’t need to install an app Not encrypted (usually)
May only work for browser traffic 


Incognito/Private mode only hides what you do from people who will use your device after you’ve closed the private browsing windows. It doesn’t hide your actual IP address, encrypt your data, or make you any more private online.


Pros Cons
Already on your browser Doesn’t hide your IP
DNS changer

DNS changer

DNS changer doesn’t route or encrypt your data like a VPN does. However, it is a good, cheap way to overcome some basic geo-blocks.


Pros Cons
Easy way to beat some blocks Doesn’t encrypt data
No app install required Doesn’t change your IP

Public Wi-Fi

When you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you get the IP of the Wi-Fi router. So, if you’re connected to a cafe’s Wi-Fi, you’re getting the cafe’s IP address. 


Pros Cons
Don’t have to install anything Have to leave home
Probably free May have to buy coffee
Not encrypted
No server choice
May be unreliable
Public Wi-Fi
Surfshark VPN Tor Proxy Incognito/Private mode DNS changer Public Wi-Fi
Encrypts data YES YES NO NO NO NO
Allows quick
server switching
Bypasses blocks YES Some Some NO Some Some

Why hide your IP with Surfshark VPN

Browse banned websites

Browse banned websites

Using a VPN allows you to do more than just access websites restricted by your country/school/workplace. By hiding your IP with a VPN, you are much less likely to leave a trace when you do!

Avoid DDoS attacks

Avoid DDoS attacks

Streamers, online gamers, and just regular folk can risk getting a DDoS attack launched on them. But if they hide their real IP, it will be much harder to target them.

Get better prices

Get better prices

The prices for flights, hotels, and so on can be different depending on which part of the world you’re connecting from. If you hide your IP by taking an IP from a different country, you can get better prices!

Fool trackers

Fool trackers

Data brokers and advertisers are very much interested in your data. This would allow them to target ads at you better. But none of us like ads, no matter how “targeted” they are — and especially if they follow us around the web. So if your IP is what helps the ads find you, then hiding it might just be the solution.

Disclaimer: Please note that using Surfshark services for any illegal activities is strictly forbidden and violates our Terms of Service. Make sure that any use of Surfshark services for your particular activities conforms to all relevant laws and regulations, including those of any service providers and websites you access using Surfshark.

Why Surfshark is the best VPN to hide your IP

Why Surfshark is the best VPN to hide your IP

Surfshark VPN has 3200+ servers spread across the world. You can use the VPN app to change your IP address to one in nearly any country you want.

Our VPN has passed multiple audits: we have independent verification that Surfshark doesn’t store your data. The company has also taken other steps to increase your privacy: we’re headquartered in the Netherlands, so you’re protected via their robust data protection laws. And even if you weren’t, our servers are RAM-only, meaning that  any information that would usually be on the hard drive is wiped off automatically whenever a server is turned off.

Lastly, Surfshark is supported on nearly any platform you can think of. Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, or Linux — all have easy-to-use VPN apps. In addition to that, Surfshark provides additional functionalities, like virtual servers, MultiHop (connecting via two servers), and so on.

Hide your IP address today
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Is it illegal to hide your IP address?

No, it is not illegal to hide your IP address. 

How do I know if my IP address is hidden?

You can do a little test to see if your IP address is hidden:

  1. Use any of the tools used to hide your IP;
  2. Go to Surfshark’s What is my IP address page; 
  3. If the location mentioned there matches where you are geographically, your IP is not hidden.

How do I hide my IP on Xbox?

To hide your IP on Xbox, you’ll need to use a VPN on Xbox. This is a bit involved, so check out the tips for Xbox VPN here

How to hide my IP address on an iPhone?

Hide your IP address on an iPhone by downloading Surfshark VPN for iOS

How do I hide my IP address on Android?

To hide your IP address on an Android device, download the Surfshark VPN app for Android and connect to any server. 

How do I hide my IP address on a Mac?

The easiest way to hide your IP address on a Mac is to download Surfshark VPN for MacOS and then connect to a server, any server. 

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