IP addresses are important as they are exchanged every time your device is connected to the internet. Whether you access a website on the web or a streaming service, your IP address will be collected. IP addresses are important pieces of information that must be kept safe and if these IP addresses fall into the hands of hackers, they can be misused and they can use it to steal your personal information and launch other attacks.
In order to prevent your IP address from being misused, you will need to keep it hidden. You can choose not to reveal your original IP address in certain cases. However, you may not have to hide your IP address in all instances. In this article, we have listed a few reasons why you will need to hide your IP address.
1. Prevent Websites From Tracking You
One main reason why you should hide your IP address is to prevent websites you visit from tracking you. Almost all websites track their website visitors and collect their IP addresses indirectly.
Websites use different trackers to analyze their visitors’ behavior. Legitimate websites do not track and gather users’ data to sell them to third parties; they collect data to offer a better user experience to the people visiting their websites.
However, if you wish to stay anonymous and do not wish to be tracked by any website you visit, you can choose to mask your IP address. When you hide your IP address, the websites you visit and the streaming services you access will not be able to gather information about your location, country, and more.
Privacy focussed browsers like Tor will help you browse the web anonymously and the websites you visit will not see your real IP address when you use such browsers. Similarly, VPNs are anonymity tools that will help you browse the web anonymously and also mask your IP address.
2. Stay Away From Government Surveillance
Governments of certain countries track their citizens and they have strict laws that require ISPs to track and store their users’ online activities. This includes their browsing history, downloads, and more. Countries like China monitor internet access and snoop on their citizens. Likewise, they also block certain websites and streaming services.
If you live in one such country that has tough internet censorship laws, you can hide your IP address to stay away from government surveillance. Though such countries have tough censorship laws to prevent criminal activity, they also end up tracking the data of law-abiding citizens.
3. Unblock Geo-restricted Content
Certain websites and streaming services are blocked in certain regions. If your favorite streaming service or a website you wish to visit is unavailable in your country, you can unblock it by masking your IP address and by using a different IP address.
Many websites and streaming services enforce geo-restrictions and block IP addresses from certain countries. In most cases, they do it due to licensing and copyright issues. You can use a VPN to hide your real IP address and access any blocked streaming service or website.
Similarly, ISPs block certain websites, streaming services, and torrent sites to save bandwidth and for other reasons. You can access such blocked sites by hiding your IP address and by using a different IP address to bypass the block.
While you travel abroad, you may not be able to access streaming services available in your country. In such cases, connecting to an IP address from your location will help you access your favorite content.
4. Go Incognito or Private Browsing Mode
When you switch to private browsing mode or go incognito, you can browse the web without worrying about clearing your browsing history, cookies, etc. But the websites or streaming services you visit can still see your IP address. Unless your IP address is masked, you cannot prevent third parties from seeing it and your browsing activity will not be completely private as you expected. You can enhance your privacy when you go incognito or browse privately if your IP address is hidden.
5. Prevent Your ISP From Tracking Your Activities
Internet service providers (ISP) often track their users’ online activities and they keep track of their users’ online activities. If you do not want your ISP to spy on you and do not trust your ISP, you can mask your IP address and hide all your online activities from your ISP. While all ISPs do not track their users’, some track their users’ activities and also throttle their bandwidth.
By using a VPN, you can enhance your privacy and hide your IP address. You can also make sure your ISP is not tracking you and throttling your bandwidth.
6. Prevent Google and Other Search Engines From Tracking You
Many are unaware of the fact that search engines like Google, Bing, etc., track almost everything they do. This includes the websites you visit and the products you are interested in purchasing. In addition, they collect IP addresses and display personalized advertisements. If you do not want to be tracked and do not want to see personalized ads, it is a good idea to hide your IP address from search engines.
7. Increase Security on Public Wi-Fi Networks
When you travel, you may have to connect to public WiFi networks to access your personal or business information. While it is convenient to use a public WiFi network, there are a lot of risks involved. When you connect to one such network, it is important to keep your personal data secure and private. The best way to achieve security and privacy is by hiding your IP address.
With the help of a VPN service, you can mask your IP address and browse the web by connecting to a secure VPN server. This way, your IP address will be hidden and your traffic will be encrypted. Hackers and other third parties will not be able to see your real IP address or see what you do online, as they will only see the IP address the VPN assigned to you.
Ways to Hide Your IP Address
Now that you are aware of the reasons to hide your IP address, we have listed below a few ways to hide your IP address.
- Use a VPN Service
- Use the Tor browser
- Use a Proxy Server
1. Use a VPN Service
We consider using a VPN the best way to hide your IP address. It is a reliable way to mask your IP address and is also a popular method used by many to mask their IP addresses and browse the web using a different IP address. A VPN service will make it appear like you are accessing the internet from a different location and it will hide your real location.
When you connect to a VPN server in a different country, the VPN service will assign you an IP address from that country and mask your real IP address. This way, it will let you hide your IP address and stay anonymous. Apart from that, a VPN will also encrypt your internet traffic and let you access blocked content securely. You can use it for browsing, torrenting, streaming, and playing games unavailable in your region.
2. Use the Tor Browser
You can alternatively use the Tor browser to hide your IP address and your browsing activities. Tor redirects web traffic through a series of nodes, which are nothing but routers. You can use this browser on any operating system and browse the web anonymously. It is widely used by journalists and others who wish to protect their privacy online and hide their IP addresses. You can securely use this browser to access blocked websites and stay away from internet censorship.
3. Use a Proxy Server
Similar to a VPN, a proxy server will let you access geo-restricted streaming services and websites. Though a proxy is similar to a VPN, it does not function exactly like a VPN. When you connect to a proxy server, you will be using the IP address of the proxy to access the blocked website or streaming service. However, encryption is not something that proxies offer. So your data may not be anonymous and secure when you use a proxy.
Top VPN Services to Hide Your IP Address
- NordVPN – Top-rated VPN with solid security features
- ExpressVPN – Fastest and secure VPN with a vast server network
- Surfshark VPN – Best budget-friendly VPN with unique security features
If you do not wish to be tracked online and wish to stay anonymous, you can hide your IP address. By hiding your IP address, you can stay away from ISP throttling, tracking, and more. We highly recommend using a VPN if you prioritize your online privacy and security.
Know more about VPN services by checking out our detailed articles on VPNStore.com.