How to Hide My IP Address: All Ways Explained [2020]

How to Hide IP Adress with VPN Banner

In today’s age of privacy concerns, all users should educate themselves on adequate protection methods. Hiding the device’s IP address is one popular way of protecting one’s online anonymity.

Not only that but hiding your internet protocol address has a lot of other benefits, such as accessing geo-restricted content, for example. Below, you’ll learn how to stop websites from tracking your IP. Let’s start.

Can Someone Hide Their IP Address?

Yes, you can easily hide your IP address. In fact, there are many different methods of doing so. In this article, we will cover five different ways of concealing one’s IP address. You will learn:

  1. How to hide your IP address for free using a VPN
  2. How to hide your IP address using proxies
  3. How to hide your IP address using TOR
  4. How to hide your IP address by connecting to public Wi-Fis
  5. How to force an IP change by unplugging your modem

Bear in mind that even though all of these methods work, some might be better than others. So, what is the best way to hide your IP address?

Method 1 ‒ Use a VPN Solution

The safest and most reliable method is to use a VPN to hide IP addresses.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is a solution that acts as an additional layer of security between the user and the internet. It enables users to remain anonymous when browsing the web.

There are many benefits to using a VPN, some of which include:

  • Accessing geo-restricted content
  • Encrypting traffic
  • Providing additional security
  • Hiding the device’s IP address and assigning a new IP address
  • Protecting your identity when downloading pirated content

How Does a VPN work?

how does a vpn work

When a user connects their device to a VPN, all internet traffic is delivered via a secure connection that cannot be traced. That means that all transmitted data comes from the VPN provider’s servers, instead of the actual computer.

The VPN acts as a security layer that conceals the device’s real IP address and protects’ the user’s identity.

Moreover, it completely hides the user’s online activity. Even if the data were somehow intercepted, it would be rendered useless because it is encrypted.

How to Choose a Suitable VPN Provider?

There are many trustworthy VPN providers on the market, some better than others. When choosing a suitable VPN service provider, you should look at ratings, reviews, and features.

Also, it is always recommended to purchase a subscription plan instead of going for the free version. Free versions offer limited server locations, slow internet traffic, and fewer security options.

If you don’t mind that, then using a free version is totally fine.

One of the most popular and highly-rated VPN providers is ExpressVPN.

expressvpn

What makes this particular company great is the fact that it is jam-packed with great features, some of which include:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited server switches
  • Great encryption
  • No-log policy
  • Split tunneling
  • Kill switch
  • Great security protocols – OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP
  • Zero-knowledge DNS

Its overall rating is 4.7/5, which is very high compared to other brands. Here is what a verified user had to say about ExpressVPN and its service:

Rating: 5/5

✔️ “Hey guys, just want to drop this here: if you’re in China, this VPN works excellent! I can watch Netflix and pretty much all the things I do online back home. I think if it works in China, where the net restriction is notorious, it must work in most countries.

❌”I got not a few times disconnected on my Macbook. I had to install a patch and have since experienced no problem.”

1
ExpressVPN
Excellent (5)
2
CyberGhost
Excellent (5)
3
PIA VPN
Good (4,5)
4
NordVPN
Good (4,5)
5
IPVanish
Good (4,5)

Method 2 ‒ Use a Proxy Server

proxy server

Proxy is another type of software that acts as a gateway between the user and the internet. It used to be the most popular way of hiding one’s IP address before VPNs became prevalent.

A proxy server receives requests that are passed between the endpoint and the network and performs specific actions on the requester’s behalf. Because it acts as a gateway between the computer and the web, it doesn’t use the computer’s real IP address.

Instead, it uses its own, different IP address.

Pros and cons of using a proxy server to hide your real IP address:

+ They can mask the IP address of the user’s device Proxy service providers can see the user’s an actual IP address
+ They can be used to filter access to the internetThey only offer necessary privacy protection
+ They allow access to restricted contentThey offer a limited number of servers
+ They can help with loading cached websites fasterThey can make the device’s vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks
 They might be incompatible with the user’s local network

Method 3 ‒ Use TOR Browser

TOR browser

TOR stands for The Onion Router, and it’s a volunteer-run system that helps users with concealing their internet activity and retaining anonymity.

When the user’s device is connected to the TOR network, the outgoing web traffic is rerouted through a random series of relays before it reaches the final destination.

Besides using an arbitrary string of relays, TOR encrypts the network multiple times, but it doesn’t encrypt all data that goes through.

That means that the internet service provider won’t be able to see the contents of the user’s online activity.

Pros and cons of using the TOR network to hide your IP address:

+ It’s a free IP address blockerIt’s very slow and takes a long time to load
+ It’s open-source, which makes it difficult for malicious actors to hide malwareThe traffic that goes through the exit node might be traceable
+ It enables access to the Deep WebThe user interface is outdated
+ It makes the user’s real IP address untraceableIt has some security flaws and vulnerabilities

Method 4 ‒ Use Public Wi-Fi Connections

This is probably the easiest, but also the most dangerous method of hiding your IP address. Whenever a user connects to a new network, their IP address changes as well.

That happens because the router assigns IP addresses once the network is accessed. So, using a public Wi-Fi connection will effectively conceal the IP address.

However, public Wi-Fi is prone to malware, man-in-the-middle attacks, and data interception.

Pros and cons of using public Wi-Fi to hide your IP address:

+ It’s freeIt’s insecure and prone to cybersecurity attacks
+ You can find public Wi-Fi hotspots almost anywhereThe connection is often awful due to many connected devices at the same time
+ It hides the original IP address 

Method 5 ‒ Forced IP Change ‒ Unplug Your Modem

If you’re not a fan of using IP ghosting software, then you can force an IP change by unplugging your modem. When you disconnect from your internet service provider, you will likely get a completely new IP address.

However, this only works if your devices operate on dynamic IPs.

Just make sure to unplug your modem and keep it offline for a while ‒ at least a couple of hours.

Here are some additional steps you can take before forcing an IP change.

How to Hide Your IP Address on Windows 10 System That’s Connected Via Cable

Step 1: Run Command Prompt as an Administrator.

hide ip via cable 1

hide command via cable 2

Step 2: Enter the following text ‒ ipconfig/release and press Enter.

ipconfig:renew

Step 3: Enter the following text ‒ ipconfig/renew and press Enter.

Step 4: Turn off your computer.

Step 5: Turn off ethernet switches and hubs.

Step 6: Disconnect your DSL modem or unplug your cable.

Step 7: Leave everything off for as long as possible.

Step 8: Turn the systems back on.

How to Hide Your IP Address on Windows Systems That Are Connected Via Router

Step 1: Log onto the router’s admin page.

Step 2: Release your device’s IP address. Google steps for your particular router because the method may vary depending on the device that you’re using.

Step 3: Turn off your computer.

Step 4: Turn off ethernet switches and hubs.

Step 5: Disconnect your DSL modem or unplug your cable.

Step 6: Leave everything off for as long as possible.

Step 7: Turn the systems back on.

Pros and cons of forcing an IP change:

+ It’s effective It’s time-consuming
+ It’s free It doesn’t work on devices that don’t operate on dynamic IPs

Why Should I Hide My IP Address?

There are many reasons why someone would like to conceal their device’s IP address. In general, the main reasons include:

Protecting Your Anonymity

In today’s age of privacy concerns, data breaches, cyberattacks, and lack of anonymity, users are facing a lot of risk of being exploited.

Data farming has become extremely popular because it’s lucrative, and it enables companies to know more about their customers.

This type of information is used for targeted advertising, spam, tracking shopping habits, creating user profiles, etc.

Safe Torrenting

Downloading content from torrent websites is a popular way of obtaining access to paid content such as premium software solutions, movies, TV shows, video games, etc. However, torrenting is illegal in many countries.

The authorities locate individuals who download pirated content by tracking their IP addresses.

That is precisely why some users want to hide their IP addresses with VPNs for torrenting.

Moreover, besides being illegal, torrenting can also be unsafe.

Cybercriminals use pirated downloads to track users or implant malware onto their computers.

Hiding your IP address by using some of the methods above will mitigate this issue.

Accessing Geo-Restricted Content

A lot of services, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer different video content depending on the user’s location.

Moreover, a lot of national channels, for example, are geo-restricted, and only users from that particular country can access it.

Companies enforce these geo-restrictions by tracking the user’s IP address.

So, if you’d like to access restricted content, you need to hide your IP address. Services such as VPNs and proxies offer server locations in various countries.

And if you’d like to access content from a specific country, you should connect to that country’s local server.

Bypassing Other Restrictions

Streaming services aren’t the only ones who enforce restrictions on their content. Some governments censor various websites so they would be able to control what their citizens can see online.

Moreover, schools and workplaces often enforce restrictions to increase productivity and prevent students and employees from being distracted.

However, all these VPN restrictions can be easily bypassed by hiding your device’s IP address.

How Do I Hide My IP Address on Google Chrome?

If you’d like to hide your IP address on Google Chrome, you can easily do that by setting up proxy servers.

Google Chrome offers different options that help users with setting up proxies directly from the browser.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Find a suitable proxy server.

You can find a lot of free proxy options online by performing a quick Google search. Once you’ve completed your subscription, write down the details needed to set up a connection.

Step 2: Open Google Chrome, then open Settings.

Step 3: Open Advanced Settings and locate the System section. There, you will see the Open Your Computer’s Proxy Settings option.

Step 4: Your computer’s Network & Internet Settings will pop up. Locate the Proxy tab.

Step 5: You will see a proxy configuration page. Enter the details you’ve previously written and press Save.

If all of the steps have been completed successfully, then your proxy settings will be enabled in Chrome.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you want to conceal your internet activities, protect yourself from cybercriminals, or access geo-restricted content, understanding how to hide your IP address is valuable knowledge that will keep you safe online.

Your IP address reveals a lot more about you than you might think. Luckily, fixing that issue is very easy.

By following any of the methods listed above, you will be able to enjoy safe and stress-free browsing.

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