Your home has its address, but do you know your computer, mobile, and laptop contain specific addresses too? That address is popularly known as the Internet Protocol.
Like fingerprints, your IP address is a unique identifier of your device. However, this unique identification sometimes drags you into vulnerabilities for data theft and cybercrime and obstructs your access to geo-restricted websites. So, it would help if you are concerned about the security of your IP address.
In this blog, we have developed several ways to mask your IP and suggested the most recommended approach to unblock restricted sites and encrypt information altogether.
What is an IP Address?
Internet activity is two-way communication between:
- A client: through web browser request for specific information;
- A server: responds to that request and replies to the client.
The IP address is assigned to the client to help the server recognize who is making the request.
An IP is a string of four groups of numbers, such as 22.214.171.124, which identifies your network and device.
It is created and assigned by a central authority – the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). After an IP creation, IANA assigns each IP address to one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIR). RIR later hands IP to internet service providers in their respective regions.
There are two versions of IP addresses.
- IP version 4 (IPv4)- 32 Bits.
- IPv 6 – 128 Bits.
What is My IP address?
Wondering what your IP address can be. It is as simple as ABC. Just go to Google and type “what is my IP address.”
You will see something like this:
If you have an IPV 6 connectivity, then your IP address would look like this:
What is Meant by IP masking?
IP masking is a technique to conceal your IP address with a fake IP. You can save yourself from cyber theft and third-party surveillance through IP masking. Nobody will sneak in what you have been searching for.
Reasons, why you might want to mask your IP address, include the following:
- Hiding your geographical location;
- Preventing web tracking;
- Avoiding a digital footprint;
- Bypassing any content filters, bans, or blocklisting.
To hide your IP, you should follow specific simple steps:
- Check your IP Address on Google;
- Download and Sign-in for masking services;
- Again check your IP to confirm it has changed.
Why Would I Want to Hide My IP Address?
In a data-driven world, security matters the most. Your IP address is a gateway that allows you to surf the internet. It can act as a fingerprint of your online activity. You usually hide your Ip address for the following reasons.
When you search for a particular site using your Ip address from the country where these services are blocked, the website detects your location and blocks your access to their channels or platforms.
Therefore, you are supposed to hide your Ip address to save yourself from such blockage.
If you are a movie lover and want to stream shows on Disney Plus, Hulu and even Netflix from anywhere in the world, get the best VPN, hide your IP and start streaming.
Data Protection from Surveillance and Malware
When your browser is on the internet, web pages usually store your information to learn more about your interest for marketing purposes. This information can potentially be sold to a third party without your consent.
For instance, recently, US Congress has asked many IT companies, including Facebook & Google, to present their reports on whether they are selling data.
Similarly, cyber hackers take advantage of your personal information. They can snatch your valuable information and records through malware, scareware and phishing spam etc.
Therefore, hiding your IP can save you from advertisers, government agencies and hackers.
There is a term called ISP throttling, which means an ISP may sneak in what you are looking at and put a cap on your data. This cap slows down your internet velocity and obstructs your ways to take full advantage of Netflix, Youtube and similar sites.
What Are Ways to Hide My IP Address?
VPN -The Best Way
VPN is the trusted and most reliable way to hide your IP while performing an online activity. There are many advantages of choosing a VPN over any service because of the following:
- Full encryption;
- High speed;
- Unlimited Bandwidth;
- Secure Connections.
What does it do?
On VPN, you do not directly connect to your internet. You first connect with the servers of VPN providers. This creates a tunnel that hides your IP address and the data you've sent and received while online. If someone tries to pry, they will see the IP of the VPN provider, not yours.
How to get it?
- Look for the best VPN – we recommend using Express VPN.
- Download and create an account.
- Log in for VPN.
- Connect to a server of your preference.
Tor Browser – The Slowest Choice
The Tor Browser (like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) is free software to download to hide your IP address and maintain your anonymity. It comes with heavy encryption and also protects your connection from cyber theft.
People worldwide use TOR to perform various internet activities over websites by concealing their IPs.
What does it do?
Tor is comprised of volunteer-run server nodes. When you access Tor, typically with the Tor browser, your traffic is encrypted through three relay nodes.
Each node decrypts one layer of information to learn the identity of the next node. When the traffic leaves the final node, it's fully interpreted and sent to its destination.
The relay system hides your IP but comes at the cost of time. The whole process eats a lot of time to encrypt information.
How to get it?
- Download Tor Project.
- Install the browser.
Proxy Servers – The Riskiest Method
Proxy servers are commonly used to reroute your internet traffic and unblock websites you want to explore.
There are many types of proxies. Some are:
- Transparent proxies;
- Anonymous proxies;
- High anonymity (or elite) proxies.
What does it do?
Proxy act as a middleman between the client and the central server. It forwards requests while receiving and delivering responses from the server. By doing this, a proxy masks your IP address with a fake IP.
However, it does not encrypt your traffic and slows down your internet momentum.
How to get it?
- Click settings.
- Click Network and Internet-related settings.
- Click Proxy.
- Look for Manual Settings.
- Switch on the Proxy server.
Public WiFI – The Long Distance Way
The IP address is attached to your device, not you. So you can hide your IP through public Wi-Fi whenever you are traveling in a coffee shop or bookstore.
Log into their internet. However, even with that option, it is essential to use VPN. Otherwise, you may face the risks of cyberattacks.
When VPN is used
You are more prone to cyber-attacks whenever you are connected to public Wi-Fi. A hacker can record your data through packet sniffing and creating artificial networks.
VPN is the best choice if using public Wifi to encrypt all your network traffic.
With the increasing pace of internet usage, cybersecurity has become a headache for internet users. Many of them cannot protect internet activities owing to unencrypted data leakage.
As per rough estimates, Data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020.
Most enterprises are using VPNs to protect their internal digital usage. They allow their employees to connect their internal network and use VPN to safeguard and secure their internal network from cyberattacks, malware and scams. Also, to keep an eye on employees' online activities.
Top 3 VPNs to Hide IP Address
Among many top three VPNs are:
1. Express VPN – The Best IP Address Hider
The VPN is easy to use. The website contains all the information regarding the VPN. Plus, it keeps on posting different blogs related to ExpressVPN only.
The protocols are lightweight and can be changed per a client's demands and preferences. Express also has trusted servers that are regularly updated for a better experience.
- No Log policy.
- Kill Switch.
- AES 256-bit encryption.
- Trusted servers.
- 3000+ servers.
- 96 countries.
- 5 devices connections.
ExpressVPN is famous for unblocking geo-restricted websites. It performs all functions from hiding your IP to unblocking even stubborn sites like Netflix, Disney and Hulu tv.
It is generally attached to VPN; a misconception may be that the speed compromises if we use VPN. However, if you use a reliable VPN, you won't face such issues.
Express has a remarkable pace. It encrypts your data from the internet service provider and saves you from ISP throttling.
It costs USD 6.67/month for the first 15 months with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 3-month free trial.
2. Nord VPN
Nord is easily accessible. You can also access and look for its vast features through the website, which updates daily.
Nord is considered a top-notch VPN regarding data protection and security. Some of its features are:
- No Log policy;
- Kill switch;
- Dedicated IP;
- AES 256-bit encryption;
- Obfuscated servers;
- Protect Onion routing;
- PG Keys;
- Ad Blocking.
- 5234 servers.
- 60 countries.
- 6 devices connections.
Nord also protects against ISP throttling. The protocol of NordLynx is usually used to maintain the speed of your network.
Nord can be purchased for only 3.67 dollars per month for two years with a 30-day money-back guarantee with a 3-month free trial.
3. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark is easy to use. The website contains information from all domains and comparisons of Surkshark with other VPNS for better understanding.
- Camouflage mode to remove VPN traces.
- Double VPN with MultiHop.
- Clean Web.
- Strict No Log Policy.
- Kill Switch.
- 3200 servers.
- 66 countries.
- Unlimited device connections.
Surfshark is available for just 2.49 dollars per month for 24 months with a 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days.
Maybe you cannot hide your IP absolutely from an ISP, but a reliable VPN can help to some extent. VPN is your last resort to protect yourself from any mishap in an era of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
We hope the blog helped you to understand the topic easily. We try our best to answer all your questions in the simplest version for your better understanding. Even if you have queries, you may ask in the comment section.