Today you can never be sure that your actions online are not watched by someone. Marketers track your activity to offer you ads and study your behavior. Authorities tend to keep an eye on users to detect when someone is doing something illegal. And don’t forget about hackers who will never miss a chance to steal sensitive data like passwords and credit card details.
Reasons to hide the IP address are not limited to those listed above. Each time you connect to the public Wi-Fi network you expose your device and consequently personal data to the potential threat. The thing is that routers in cafes, airports and other public places are protected rarely. They lack updates, secure firmware, and additional security measurements.
Hiding the IP address you can make sure that malefactors can’t see your actual device data. Therefore, they can’t get into it and harm or steal your sensitive information. Also, they can’t intercept the data during the transfer.
Another critical reason to disguise the IP address is to bypass geo-restrictions and get access to the content you want. To do that you can connect to the virtual location so that it will seem like you’re physically based there.
What Is an IP Address?
IP stands for Internet Protocol that is assigned to the device that is connected to the internet. IP address defines the location of the device and information packets that are sent from it. Also, it structures and delivers the data. Primarily, IP address is a system identifier that makes your device a part of Internet – interconnected networks – and creates the connection between networks.
Each system connected to the Internet has its own IP address. It works quite like usual physical addresses – the address of your home, for instance. Therefore, each your device has a different IP address.
As you might already understand, the IP address contains data; hence, it becomes storage for sensitive information. For example, it tells your current location. That’s why it is important to hide your IP address if you want to remain safe browsing through the Internet.
How to Hide Your IP Address?
There are several ways to do it. Each of them has its pros and cons and is suitable for different situations and needs. So let us take a quick look at each way and understand which one, in particular, is better for you.
Get a VPN Service
It is the best solution for most users. VPN is a Virtual Private Network that allows you to connect to the virtual server and disguise your actual IP address. Such software is quite reliable and highly useful. Most VPN providers offer a lot of additional security tools for their customers so that they can get the most out of the service.
VPNs are secure and have high bandwidth. It means that you will be protected from any possible threat while enjoying a fast and steady connection. Also, you will be able to choose the location you like. The only downside of a VPN is that such service is rarely free. But it is worth it.
Get a Proxy Server
It is a VPN just for your browser. A proxy server is an extension that applies changes only to the traffic that is run through your browser. Therefore, you can access geo-restricted sites and hide your IP address when you want to.
A proxy server doesn’t require many resources and is extremely useful if you want to hide your data now and then. But it is not as reliable as a VPN. Also, the bandwidth might be much lower. So, it is an excellent solution to bypass office or school filters or geo-restrictions.
Use TOR Browser
TOR was extremely popular several years ago when users started worrying about their security online. This browser has built-in security measurements that protect your data and keep your actions anonymous. TOR offers a decent level of protection and allows accessing sites that are not listed in search engines.
Its advantages are that it is free and transparent. But it can be too slow sometimes and not always convenient. Therefore, it can be used for some specific needs and actions. You most likely will not want to use TOR as your primary browser.
Connect to Public Wi-Fi
If you want to stay somewhat anonymous without using any additional software, you can connect to a public Wi-Fi. Once you do it, you will be assigned with an IP address that is associated with the router you’re connected to. It’s a “what’s done in Vegas stays in Vegas” approach.
Connecting to the public Wi-Fi you become vulnerable to the threat since all devices connected to the unprotected router are easy targets – hackers can get inside the device in no time. So, it’s definitely not what would we recommend to hide your IP address.
A good VPN service remains the best way to protect your data from threats, stay anonymous, and access geo-restricted content. That’s why it’s better to spend a few dollars and get a service that will work for you. Of course, a proxy server and TOR browser are not bad as well. The final choice will always depend on your needs. But we strongly advise you not to use public Wi-Fi as a way to hide an IP address.