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Hide My IP Address: 4 Easy Ways [UPDATED]
Borrow a different IP address to go anywhere online and stay hidden.
The reasons why you might want to mask your IP address may include: Hiding your geographical location, preventing Web tracking, avoiding a digital footprint, or bypassing any content filters, bans, or blacklisting.
There are a few ways to hide your IP address…that unique number assigned to the network connection on the computer.
Four ways to hide your IP address:
OPTION 1 – Use a VPN Service – The Best Way
Sign up with these services and when you go online, you’ll be showing the world a different IP address…one that’s on loan from the service you’re using.
There are many more advantages to using a personal VPN service over a proxy such as high-speed bandwidth, usability, a secure connection, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be.
There are hundreds of VPN companies you could choose from…many of them shady or poor quality.
Don’t know which VPN is right for you? Try our new VPN Simplifier!
OPTION 2 – Use the Tor Browser – The Slowest Choice
People from all over the world use Tor to search and buy products and communicate with others with restricted Internet access, such as what exists in some foreign countries.
The Tor Browser (like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) is a free software program that you download onto your computer that conceals your IP address every time you go online anonymously. This free process is layered with heavy-duty encryption, which means your data is layered with security and privacy protection.
OPTION 3 – Use a Proxy Server – The Riskiest Method
A proxy server (sometimes called an “open proxy” or just “proxies”) can be used to re-route your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge) around a company or school content filters.
There are risks involved in using free proxies to mask your IP address: Many will slow down your internet connection, some are run on compromised machines, and may not be legal in some countries.
A safer solution is to use proxies managed by a company such as Smartproxy.
OPTION 4 – Use Public WiFi – The Long Distance Way
An IP address doesn’t travel with you. So if you simply go to a coffee shop, bookstore, or hotel lobby and tap into their Wi-Fi, you will temporarily hide your usual IP address. How so? You’ll be using their network’s IP address for as long as you’re online.
Try it out. First, click show my ip to see your current IP address, and then visit any place with free Wi-Fi, log in to their Internet and check it again.
However, if you don’t use a VPN, your Internet activity is at risk of being spied on or intercepted by a bad guy without your knowing it.
How likely is that?
Who knows! But don’t make online purchases or check your bank account while drinking your Grande Espresso.
Use a VPN service for high-speed bandwidth, usability, a secure connection, private access to blocked sites, and the ability to choose the country and city where you appear to be.
Don’t know which VPN is right for you? Try our VPN Simplifier or compare VPNs.
- No logs
- Kill Switch
- 6 devices
- Monthly price: $4.92
How to hide your IP address (8 ways, 6 are free) – Comparitech
I’ll show you how I hide my IP address as well as several other ways to change or hide an IP address free of charge. Your IP address can be used to track your device and location over the internet, so start hiding your IP now!
@pabischoff UPDATED: March 31, 2021
An IP address is a string of numbers and decimals that identifies your device and location. If you’re connected to the internet, then you have an IP address.
Your public IP address is unique and visible to everyone on the internet, so it can be used to track you and wall you off from region-locked content.
Because I like privacy and dislike censorship, I prefer to hide my IP address from internet providers, hackers, governments, advertisers and others. In this article, I’ll explain a few free and paid methods you can use to hide your IP address, as well as a few ways to change your IP address.
What’s my IP address?
In order to hide your IP address, you first have to know what it is. This is easy; just go to Google and enter “what’s my IP address? ”
You’ll see something like this:
123. 45. 67. 89
Specifically, that’s an IPv4 address. Some of you might have IPv6 connectivity, although it hasn’t been adopted everywhere yet. If your internet provider offers IPv6 on its network, you can look up your IPv6 address as well.
It’ll look something more like this:
For the most part, these two addresses serve the same purpose. If you want to hide your IPv4 address, then you’ll probably want to hide your IPv6 address as well, if you have one.
You can learn more about the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 here, but I won’t get too deep into that in this article.
Your IP address probably changes once in a while due to how the internet works, but you are the only one with your current IP address on the entire internet. Similar to physical addresses, IP addresses allow computers on the internet to find each other and communicate. IP addresses are an integral part of the IP protocol, the foundation on which the internet is built. Again, I’ll sidestep the nitty gritty details on how the IP protocol works.
8 ways to hide your IP address
#1. Use a VPN to hide your IP address
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is a software service that encrypts all of the data sent to and from the internet and routes it through a VPN server in another location. The VPN server acts as a middleman between your device and the internet, so websites and online apps only see the server’s IP address and not your own.
Most VPNs are subscription services that cost a few dollars per month for access to hundreds or even thousands of servers around the world. You just need to sign up and download the apps for your devices. After that, hiding your IP address just takes a couple of clicks. It’s really easy.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for security and privacy with no restrictions for a month. This allows you to try its obfuscated servers out for yourself before you commit.
There are no hidden terms, either—just let support staff know within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you to claim a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
If NordVPN. isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you might want to try Surfshark or ExpressVPN. These services have plenty to offer, and come with significant discounts for long-term subscriptions.
Here’s how to hide your IP address:
First off, check your current IP address by Googling, “what’s my IP? ”
Sign up for a VPN. We recommend NordVPN.
Download the VPN app onto your device. Windows and Mac users usually get their app from the provider’s website. iOS and Android users get their app from the App Store and Google Play, respectively.
Install the VPN app and run it.
Sign in using the account credentials you created in step two.
Select a server or server location. Your new IP address will be that of this server.
Click the Connect button or double-tap the server to initiate a connection.
Once the connection has been established, you will have a new IP address. To confirm, Google “what’s my IP? ” Your new IP address should be different than in step one.
Here’s a video of how to hide your IP address with a VPN
Most commercial VPN providers, including NordVPN, use shared IP addresses, meaning that all VPN users connected to the same server are hidden behind the same IP address–that of the VPN server.
A VPN that uses shared IP addresses not only hides your real IP address, it makes you indistinguishable from all the other users. Your online activity cannot be traced back to a single user, adding a significant layer of anonymity.
If you’re serious about hiding your IP address, it’s vital to get a VPN with these features:
Private DNS servers – DNS works like a phone book for the internet by translating domain names like “” into IP addresses that your device can use to communicate. By default, you probably use DNS servers operated by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Google, which can see your IP address when you request a website, even when connected to a VPN. For this reason, it’s important to use a VPN that operates its own DNS servers so you never expose your IP address to a third party.
Leak protection – VPNs are meant to protect all the internet data traveling to and from your device, but sometimes they leak. When they leak, they expose your IP address. Get yourself a VPN that has DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak prevention.
Kill switch – A kill switch or network lock cuts off your entire device from the internet if the VPN connection drops for some reason, preventing anything from being sent from your real IP address without the VPN’s protection.
No-logs policy – The VPN provider should not record or store logs of your internet activity or any connection details that could be used to identify you.
2. Use a proxy to hide your IP address
Like a VPN, a proxy acts as a middleman between your device and the internet. Websites and apps see the IP address of the proxy server and not your real IP address.
In fact, a VPN is technically a type of proxy. But when I say “proxy, ” I’m usually referring to either an SSL, SSH, or SOCKS proxy. These types of proxies typically lack the encryption and other security features offered by VPNs, but they do hide your IP address from websites. They can be configured in existing apps like your browser or, like a VPN, use a third-party app.
Proxies usually don’t usually include DNS traffic, so your website requests still go to a third-party DNS server that can see your real IP address. VPNs with leak protection don’t have this problem. Furthermore, your real IP could be exposed if the proxy connection drops for some reason.
Because proxies lack the authentication of VPNs, they are also more susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, in which an attacker can pose as the proxy server to steal your data.
Some VPNs offer HTTPS (SSL) proxies as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These do a decent job of protecting your browser, but other apps and DNS requests can still expose your IP address.
3. Use Tor to hide your IP address for free
Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a decentralized worldwide anonymity network operated by thousands of volunteers. When you connect to Tor, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a random sequence of these volunteer “nodes, ” which are sort of like proxy servers. Websites can only see the IP address of the last server in the sequence, called the exit node.
Each time you visit a website, the sequence of nodes changes. This makes it practically impossible to trace activity back to the original IP address.
The easiest way to use Tor is to download and install the Tor Browser. It works just like a barebones version of any other browser like Chrome and Firefox, and it’s completely free.
There are drawbacks, however. Tor is slow and not suitable for torrenting or streaming–stick to web browsing. Furthermore, Tor is often associated with criminal activity because it can be used to access the darknet and illicit websites. Some websites block connections from known Tor nodes, and your ISP might frown upon its use.
See also: How to set up a hidden Tor service
4. Connect to a different network to change your IP address
Whenever you change networks, your IP address changes as well. So if you think the IP address you’ve been using has been compromised, blocked, or tracked, then you can change networks to get a new one.
You can connect to a public or private wifi network, or use your smartphone’s mobile data connection. Note that public wifi hotspots and open networks can be hunting grounds for hackers that can take advantage of the lack of encryption and authentication. Opt for networks that require a password, if possible.
5. Ask your ISP to change your IP address
Your ISP is the entity that decides who gets what IP address. So if you want to change your IP address for some reason, try giving them a call. You’ll need your account information on hand, as well as your current IP address.
It shouldn’t be too hard to get a different IP address, but don’t expect it to stay the same forever. Because IP addresses are constantly being recycled in order to preserve the limited number of available IP addresses, your IP address will probably change once in a while. These are called dynamic IP addresses.
You could request a static IP address that never changes, but there might be an application process and an extra fee.
6. Unplug your modem to change your IP address
This isn’t guaranteed to work, but you can often get a new IP address by unplugging your internet modem and plugging it back in again. When you lose the connection to your ISP, your old IP address will get recycled. When you re-establish a connection, you’ll be assigned a new IP address.
The longer you leave the modem unplugged, the more likely this tactic will work. Try leaving it unplugged overnight if you have to.
Your ISP must use dynamic IP addresses for this to work. Most do.
7. Use a NAT Firewall to hide your private IP address
If you use a wireless router to connect to the internet, it’s likely that you’re behind a NAT firewall. In simplest terms, a NAT firewall allows multiple devices on the same network to use the same public IP address but unique private IP addresses. Network Address Translation (NAT) forwards requests and data from the private IP addresses of individual devices to their online destination under the router’s public IP address. This conserves address space (the number of available IP addresses) and prevents unsolicited inbound communication with potentially dangerous computers on the internet.
A NAT firewall doesn’t hide your public IP address, but your private IP address. All devices connected to a NAT-enabled router will share a public IP address. The NAT firewall will prevent any online communication that isn’t in response to a request you sent from a private IP address. All other requests and data packets are discarded because they don’t have a private IP address to which they can be forwarded.
8. Renew your IP address to change your private IP address
As mentioned above, if you’re connected to an internet router by wifi or ethernet cable, then you’ve probably got a private, or local, IP address as well. It’s not as important to keep this IP address a secret while online, but there might be instances in which you need to change it.
You can do this by entering a few simple commands into your Windows Command Prompt or Mac Terminal.
How to renew your IP address on Windows:
Search for the Command Prompt and right click it to Run as administrator
Enter ipconfig /release
Enter ipconfig /renew
You should now see a new local IP address.
How to renew your IP on MacOS:
Click the Apple menu and open System Preferences
Highlight the network that you’re connected to in the left pane
Select the TCP/IP tab
Click Renew DHCP Lease
Your Mac will now have a different private IP address.
You can never hide your IP address from your ISP
It’s not possible to hide your IP address from your ISP. It makes sense: my ISP provides me with internet service and therefore an IP address. Without an IP address, I can’t connect to the internet.
VPNs and proxies don’t literally replace your existing IP address. They just mask your IP address with one of their own so that other computers and servers on the internet can’t see yours. But your real IP address is still there, communicating through the proxy or VPN server as an intermediary.
Even though you can never hide your real IP address from your ISP, you can hide the content and destination of your internet activity with a VPN. The encryption prevents your ISP from seeing what information you send and receive, and the ISP can only see that you’re connected to a VPN server—not the websites or apps you use. Conversely, the VPN hides your real IP address from websites and apps, but they still see the contents and destination of your internet communications.
The only parties that can see all three—your real IP address, the websites you visit, and what data is transmitted between the two—are you and your VPN provider. For this reason, I only recommend VPNs that don’t store any logs of your online activity.
Three Ways to Hide Your IP Address – AVG
What is an IP address?
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a string of characters that uniquely identifies your device on the web. Without this identifier, website servers wouldn’t know where to send the data that’s rendered as a website in your internet browser.
Just like your postcode, your IP address was created by a central authority — the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Once created, the IANA assigns each IP address to one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIR), which hands them out in turn to internet service providers in their region.
At the moment, there are two versions of IP addresses called IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6). Why do things need to be so complicated? Well, IPv4 addresses are just 32 bits long, which means there can only ever be around 4. 3 billion IPv4 addresses.
By September 2015, with just about everything connected to the internet, four out of five RIRs had completely run out of IPv4 addresses! At 128 bits, IPv6 addresses are the answer: 340 282 366 920 938 463 463 374 607 431 768 211 456 addresses means we won’t be running out any time soon.
Why hide your IP address?
Just as Amazon needs your address to send you a package, servers around the world need your IP address to send you data. That means your IP address needs to be public — any website you visit must be able to access it.
You can test this out for yourself by searching “what’s my IP” on Google. But who cares if someone knows this random string of characters? Try searching “where am I” instead and you’ll begin to understand the problem.
All around the world there are free and paid subscription geolocation databases that match IP addresses to a specific location. Accuracy can range from country level all the way down to within a few houses. That’s no problem if it’s just a website trying to serve you the right language, but governments and companies with questionable motives also have access to this location data.
See for yourself how easy it is. If you have an internet connection there are a number of public sites that can reveal you IP address location like HMA! IP Info or Much worse, your IP address is scattered around the web like a signature. Almost every site you visit will log your IP address, along with the pages you requested and the information you sent and received.
If a tyrannical government, litigious record company or pesky advertiser matches your IP address to your actual identity, which is all too easy, it’s open season on your online activity.
So if you care about internet privacy and anonymity, blocking your IP address is the very first thing you should do.
The best ways to hide your IP
Use a proxy server
A proxy server works by sitting between you and your final destination on the web, passing data back and forth as needed. When you connect through a proxy, you’re effectively rerouting your traffic through another computer before landing at your intended website.
As a result, the proxy will mask your IP address with its own, so those tricky website server logs will never know you’ve been there. And if anyone thinks to check the logged IP address against a geolocation database, all they’ll see is the location of the proxy server, which might be on the other side of the world to your own device.
However, there’s a catch. Most proxies don’t encrypt your data when connecting to a regular HTTP website. It’s more difficult, but powerful actors like governments can still figure out who you are. And when they do, everything you’ve been up to is visible.
For most people though, there’s a bigger issue: proxies are slow. Very slow. You can bypass basic geo-restrictions, but that’s close to useless if you spend more time gazing at a spinning wheel than catching up on your favorite YouTube content.
If that’s no problem, you can use a proxy by visiting a trustworthy web proxy site or by configuring a proxy server in your browser settings.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, works much like a proxy server — it’s the middleman between your device and a final web server. Once again, your IP address is masked by the IP of the VPN server you’re connected to.
But unlike a proxy, any decent VPN will also encrypt your traffic before it even leaves your computer. If someone does work out your real IP address, it won’t help them much — the sites you visited and what you did there will be hidden in a long string of meaningless characters.
Even better, when switched on, VPN services will anonymize all network activity from your device — not just your browser activity. So whether you’re gaming, torrenting, or using an email or photos app, your IP address is hidden and the data exchanged is encrypted. You can also hide your IP adress on mobile devices with a VPN service for Android or iPhone.
Though it is possible to configure some software with a proxy, it is usually a nightmare to setup and one misstep could leave you unprotected. For ease-of-use and top-level security, it’s difficult to beat a VPN.
One final option to block your IP address from prying eyes is Tor. Tor stands for “The Onion Router”, and with good reason. When you connect to the web using Tor, your traffic is wrapped up in an encrypted bundle and routed through several servers on its journey, with layers of encryption added at each stage like the layers of an onion.
Each server can only decrypt enough to know where to send your request next. And no single point on your journey knows where the request came from — even the first stop can’t be sure it is the first stop! It’s like a drunken man stumbling all around town, with no idea where he came from by the end of his journey.
All in all, it’s an incredibly secure system, which is why it’s favored by journalists and activists whose online activity could destroy lives.
Tor may seem safe, but every alphabet soup agency has active nodes hoping to read the exit of your encryption
But even Tor isn’t perfect: by the time your traffic hits the exit node — the last step before landing at your destination server — any encryption added by Tor is removed. If it wasn’t, there’d be no way for the final website server to understand the request. Though your IP address will be hidden by bouncing around the network, any unencrypted material in your request can be read.
As a result, law enforcement agencies like the NSA and FBI, and even more troubling agencies abroad, have been accused of setting up dozens of Tor exit nodes. As a tool so often used to commit cybercrime, you can bet Tor is a major target for intelligence services.
More importantly, though Tor can be unbeatable secure, it’s just not necessary for the average web user. It may even give a false sense of security to those without an understanding of the underlying technology.
If your online activism is putting your life at risk, we recommend using Tor. Otherwise, a VPN is probably all you need to hide your IP.
Frequently Asked Questions about how to mask my ip address for free
How do I hide my IP address for free?
Use a proxy to hide your IP address. … Use Tor to hide your IP address for free. … Connect to a different network to change your IP address. … Ask your ISP to change your IP address. … Unplug your modem to change your IP address. … Use a NAT Firewall to hide your private IP address.More items…•Mar 31, 2021
Can you mask your IP address?
Use a VPN. A virtual private network, or VPN, works much like a proxy server — it’s the middleman between your device and a final web server. Once again, your IP address is masked by the IP of the VPN server you’re connected to. … You can also hide your IP adress on mobile devices with a VPN service for Android or iPhone …Aug 26, 2021
How can I change my IP address free?
How to change your public IP addressConnect to a VPN to change your IP address. … Use a proxy to change your IP address. … Use Tor to change your IP address for free. … Change IP addresses by unplugging your modem. … Ask your ISP to change your IP address. … Change networks to get a different IP address.Mar 30, 2021