Have you ever tried to access the US Netflix library while going on vacation? Or, tried to log into your online banking account while on the move? In most of these cases, it’s extremely difficult to gain access to it from outside your region. These issues arise when laws set by your ISP, the government or services detect your IP address as not from that region. In cases like these, you will need to hide your IP address.
This guide will show you how to hide your IP address so that you experience full digital freedom! There are a couple of ways that you can hide your IP address, but the easiest and safest way is by using the best VPN.
How to hide your IP address (Short guide)
As mentioned above, the best way to hide your IP address is by using a VPN service. Here’s a short guide showing you how to get started:
- Subscribe and sign up with the best VPN.
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Launch the VPN.
- Sign in to your account.
- Connect to any server.
- Your IP address is now hidden!
Of course, there are only a few VPNs that allow you to hide your IP address reliably. We’ll highlight a couple later on this guide that are currently the best. But for now, let’s discuss what an IP address is, and why you’d need to hide it.
What is an IP address?
Every person, place or device needs a unique identifier. For instance, your name is the best way to identify you, or a specific facial feature. Your home address is the identifier of where you live. In this way, an IP address is a website’s address or the device you use. It is a way for all devices over a network or websites to communicate with each other.
IP stands for Internet Protocol that comprises of unique numbers and decimals. Each device on a LAN has a different local IP address, but every device connected to one router network the same IP address.
Through this IP address, you will be able to communicate with websites. It sends out signals or requests to the website you’re trying to access. There are namely two kinds of IP address; IPv4 and IPv6. You can even check your own IP address by using an IP checking tool.
This is the best way to see whether you’ve been assigned with a new IP address when you connect to a reliable VPN. It’s also a way to check if your VPN is working or comes with leaks.
Other than that, you need an IP address to be able to get information online. However, the issue is when you can’t sign in to your apps, or can’t access particular websites or apps, is when you need to change your IP address by hiding the original one.
Why do you need to hide your IP address?
It’s not always safe going through various websites or downloading certain apps. There is a lot that can go wrong when someone tracks your IP address or logs your data through the platforms you visit. That alone is a threat to your online privacy and security. In fact, it’s really alarming to what extent your whereabouts can be traced through your IP address.
Every website you visit is a risk. This is especially true when accessing certain websites. They can track you through your IP address, log all your data and sell it to third parties. There are also situations when you access torrenting platforms that come with their own set of risks – seeing that torrenting is illegal in most countries around the world. 000
As mentioned, most websites aren’t safe, and considering that they can track your location through your IP address, often flood your screen with malicious pop-up ads. These sites can very well monitor every activity you process and generate ads accordingly. For instance, let’s say you Google the best wedding jewelry.
After a while, use your Facebook app and you will see loads of ads showing you pages that sell wedding jewelry. Everything you do online is tracked through your IP address. It is why hiding your IP address is often recommended for online privacy.
Other reasons why hiding your IP address is a good idea is to get better discounts on various things like a cheaper streaming service subscription or cheaper plain tickets. The prices often vary from country to country, and changing your IP address to hide your original one can be the ticket around it.
Have you heard of ISP throttling or regional blocks? Well, you’re going to have a tough time accessing most platforms due to geo-restrictions. When you hide your IP address you will be able to bypass these issues and access regionally or internationally blocked content.
Just in case you don’t want to hide your IP address, you might lose some rights to full internet freedom. But, if you’re trying to get past it, the only way round is by hiding your IP address. Take a look below showing you how to hide your IP address.
How do you know if your IP address is hidden?
Before using any one of the 8 methods below, first go through how to check if your IP address is hidden. Let’s say you use a VPN to hide your IP address, or resort to any one of the other methods, how do you know if the IP is actually hidden?
What you could do is go online and head to any IP checking tool. Alternatively, you can also just type “What is my IP” on Google. If your local IP address is changed then that means your original IP address that you previously had is hidden.
The best ways to hide your IP address
As mentioned above, there are a couple of ways for you to hide your IP address, but the easiest and safest way is by using a reliable VPN service. Let’s get started with that:
1. Use a VPN service to hide your IP address
A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network is one of the best software to hide your IP address. It’s super easy to set up or install. In fact, all you need to do is subscribe to a reliable VPN, create your account, download and install the VPN, connect to any server and that should hide your IP address.
However, the reason why we constantly say that only the best VPN is capable of it is because some VPNs leak IP addresses. When you choose a VPN with a smart server selection matched with superior security features, it works effectively to hide your IP address. It’s best that you choose one that operates using AES 256-bit encryption with other features like a Kill Switch, Split-Tunneling, DNS leak protection, ad-blocker and more.
There are many streaming services that most people around the world want access to. However, that’s close to impossible when most of them are subjected to geo-restrictions. You will only be able to access them using a particular IP address.
It does not matter if you already have an account for these platforms and were previously able to access them without a VPN. Once you step outside the region, you will lose access to it instantly. It’s why hiding your IP address is the only way around it.
Apart from websites logging data and accessing regionally blocked services, a VPN offers immunity against ISP and government online surveillance. Everyone has the right to online privacy and it gets pretty annoying when your every move is being tracked.
Simply connect to any VPN server and hide your IP address. If you’re not all that sure about which VPN works the best, here are some that are currently the best to hide your IP.
ExpressVPN doesn’t usually need any introductions and is known as one of the best VPNs in the market. Yes, it might be slightly on the expensive side, but could we truly put a price on privacy? When we tested the app for any DNS leaks, the results came out all clear. It only proves to show that no matter what ExpressVPN server you connect to, you’ll be able to easily hide your IP address.
ExpressVPN has a decent number of servers; around 3000+ in 94 countries. All of them are optimized for streaming and torrenting. Speaking of torrenting, as we all know that torrenting isn’t allowed in most countries around the world, it’s even more crucial that you hide your IP address – mostly because torrenting platforms come with vulnerabilities.
You will be able to test the VPN using the ExpressVPN free trial or its 30-day money-back guarantee. Either way, if you’re not happy with the results, you could always contact the support and ask for a refund.
Surfshark usually tops the list of best VPNs because of its overall performance. When we tested the VPN, we were able to get access to a whole plethora of streaming services, apps, websites and more without any data leakages. This means that you will be able to hide your IP address at ease without having to worry about any data leaking out.
Surfshark offers around 3200+ servers in 65 countries that you can connect to. All are optimized for speedy results. It comes with a free trial and a 30-day refund policy for you to test the app. It allows unlimited device connections which let’s you hide your IP address on any supported device that you connect to.
All-in-all a VPN is by far one of the best and safest ways to hide your IP address for almost all activities that you engage in online. Below we’ve also highlighted other ways for you to hide your IP. However, if you’re trying to hide your IP address for torrenting, make sure you only consider a VPN.
2. Proxy as an alternative but not safer than a VPN
Other than a VPN, a proxy is one other way for you to hide your IP address. It doesn’t work the same compared to a VPN, and does not offer servers that you can connect to. How a proxy works is that it mostly allows you to access regionally or geo-blocked content.
The way a proxy works is that when you want to access a website or an app, your device throws out a request to the internet. The proxy receives that request as a middle man, and re-sends out the request again with a new IP address. This new IP address is masked as one from the country whose content you’re trying to access.
This is one way to hide your IP address. However, it doesn’t come without flaws. We mentioned above that a proxy is not as reliable as a VPN and for good reason. It does not always help you access some platforms like Netflix, and it comes without encryption, which may put a damp on online privacy. Other than that, the speeds slow down a whole lot which is not something you’d like.
All-in-all, a proxy is a good choice for limited activities and if you’re looking for a tool.
3. Ask for ISP to change your IP address
If you’re just looking to switch up your IP address to another local permanent one, you could ask your internet service provider to do it.
You could simply request them to change your IP address, to which they will ask for your account information. This method won’t exactly let you access geo-blocked content considering that there are no servers you can connect to.
If you’re not willing to ask them, you could wait a while and it should change on its own – since ISP’s offer dynamic IPs.
4. Renew your IP address
If you’ve gone through the guide towards the start, I’ve mentioned that you also have a private IP address when connected to a router, ethernet, or Wi-Fi. Compared to your public IP, it’s not as important to hide. However, if you do need to change it, there’s a way to renew it by going through a few simple commands.
Here’s how you can renew your IP address on Windows and macOS:
- Search for Command Prompt on Windows.
- Now, right click on it, selecting “Run as administrator.”
- Enter “ipconfig /release.”
- Type in “ipconfig /renew.”
- That’s all!
- Go to the Apple menu, and open “System Preferences.”
- Now, open the “Network settings.”
- Choose the network you’re connected to.
- Click on “Advanced…”and then on “TCP/IP.”
- Lastly click on “Renew DHCP Lease.”
5. Reset your IP address by unplugging your modem
This is one of the simplest ways to hide your previous IP address, but is not a method we’d recommend if you’re trying to access a geo-blocked service or surf the internet for something more private. The thing is, your internet service provider offers dynamic IP addresses that often changes when you’re disconnected from the connection.
If for some reason you’re trying to hide your previous IP address, all you need to do is switch the modem off. Wait a long while before you switch it back on. When you do turn the modem on, you’ll be assigned a new IP address.
6. TOR makes a great free option to hide your IP address
Have you heard of TOR browser? It’s considered a great free option to hide your IP especially if you’re going into the dark web. It reroutes all your traffic through layers of encrypted servers.
However, the downside is that the speeds are extremely slow, and it’s not a safe option for certain websites and torrenting.
7. Connect to your mobile data
Your IP address changes every time you connect to a different network. If you’re trying to access a website that you don’t want your internet service provider spying on, you could connect to the internet using your mobile data.
You’ll be assigned a different IP address, replacing the old one. This is still a better option than using a proxy or a public Wi-Fi.
8. Use a NAT Firewall to hide your private IP address
This method only applies when you want to hide your private IP address. What it does is let all your device’s private IP addresses be hidden over the same network using the public IP address. However, don’t get this method confused. It won’t actually hide your public IP, but instead shield your private one for safety reasons.
It won’t allow you to hide your public IP from being detected over the internet, which is something way more major than then afore. For this reason, we recommend using a Virtual Private Network to help hide your public IP and secure your connection.
9. Only use public Wi-Fi as your last option
Coming to the last method of how you can hide an IP address, is by changing your network. I’ve mentioned above that your internet service provider is the one that offers you an IP address. you can change it by connecting to another network. Of course, we wouldn’t expect everyone to have another option or the password to a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, so the next option would be public Wi-Fi.
How to check if my IP address is hidden?
When you’re trying to hide your IP address using a VPN or any other method, you can use any IP checking tool online or type “What is my IP” to see if it is changed.
Why do you need to hide your IP address?
In short, there are many reasons for you to hide your IP address. Firstly, it is recommended for online privacy and to prevent data logging, bandwidth throttling, hacking, malicious advertisements, and other kinds of threats. Secondly, there are many regionally blocked contents that you need to get access to when traveling abroad. Hiding your original IP address is the only way around it.
What’s the best way to hide your IP address?
A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network is the best way to hide your IP address. It offers servers that you can connect to and hide your physical IP address and replace it with a new virtual one from any country server that you connect to. Other than that, it comes with other features that heighten your overall experience online.
Can I hide my IP address for free?
The methods above are mostly all cost-free. However, if you need the safest way on how to hide your IP address for free it can be through a VPN. Choose a VPN that is premium and that offers a free trial and a refund period. That should give you plenty of time to safely hide your IP for free.
Is it illegal to hide your IP address?
No, it is not illegal to hide your IP address. Even if you are using a VPN to hide your IP, it is still not considered as illegal. Yes, there are countries around the world that don’t allow access to certain content or torrenting platforms, but there is no such law that restricts changing your IP address. This is especially the case since you can change your IP on your own by just switching networks.
How do you hide your IP address?
There are several ways to hide your IP address. The best way is to change your IP using a VPN. Other than that, you can use a proxy, use TOR, connect to another network, use your mobile data, switch your modem off, contact your service provider and ask them to change it.
So, now that you’re at the end of this guide and now know how to hide your IP address, it is best you enforce this knowledge safely. Don’t hide your IP address for illegal activities as that’s something we would never recommend.
If you do happen to settle for a VPN, there are some cheap VPN services that might need our attention.