How do I Hide My IP Address? – Avast
What is an IP address, anyway?
An IP address is a series of numbers that identifies your device or network on the internet. Activity on the internet is a series of two-way communications between clients — software, such as a web browser, that requests data — and servers, which reply to clients with responses. Every client has an IP address that tells servers who is making the request.
So, it’s easy to understand what an IP address is and also why they’re important. IP addresses let search engines like Google know where to send the results of a search, help websites know who’s visiting their site, and make sure you receive the emails that are addressed to you.
In other words, IP addresses undergird how the internet works in general. Thankfully, it’s very easy to find your IP address if you need this information.
Three ways to hide your IP
Now, let’s take a look at three tools you can use to hide your IP address. Each offers its own blend of privacy, security, and practicality.
1. Use a VPN
A VPN is an intermediary server that encrypts your connection to the internet — and it also hides your IP address. A VPN encrypts all your traffic, not only in your browser but also in other apps, and then passes traffic onward to its destination. They’re a popular privacy solution, and as such, there’s a strong incentive for VPN providers to design tools that are as easy to use as they are secure.
Here’s how to hide your IP address with a VPN: Simply download a VPN such as Avast SecureLine VPN, log in, and turn it on to protect both your IP address and your internet traffic.
How does a VPN hide your IP address?
When you’re using a VPN, your IP address is hidden because your traffic takes a detour through the VPN server. When your traffic — sites visited, online apps used, uploads, downloads, etc. — reaches its destination, it does so under a “virtual” IP address assigned by the VPN.
There’s only one party who’ll be able to see your actual IP address: your VPN provider. That’s why you should choose a trusted VPN provider that isn’t going to keep logs on your activity.
Avast SecureLine VPN is a safe, secure, and convenient way to mask your IP address. It’ll hide your online activity from your internet service provider (ISP), employer, school, and anyone else on your network, including a snooping cybercriminal. And we never keep any logs on sites you visit, apps you use, or content you view.
2. Use Tor
Comprising thousands of volunteer-run server nodes, Tor is a free network that conceals your identity online via multiple layers of encryption. When you access Tor, typically by using the free Tor Browser, your traffic is relayed and encrypted through a series of three relay nodes, each of which decrypts one layer of encryption to learn the identity of the next node. When your traffic leaves the final node, it’s fully decrypted and sent to its destination.
The relay system hides your IP address, but not without cost: because Tor’s encryption system is so thorough, it takes a long time for your traffic to complete its journey. You’ll be sacrificing browsing speed for Tor’s anonymity. This is a worthwhile tradeoff when it really counts, such as for whistleblowers and political dissidents. But if you’re simply seeking to hide your IP address, when comparing Tor and a VPN, you’ll find a VPN to be a far more convenient and faster solution.
How does Tor hide your IP address?
When you use Tor, each relay node along your traffic’s pathway through the Tor network knows only the IP address of the node immediately before and after it. Even if an attacker manages to intercept your traffic while it travels from the final node to your destination server, it’d be very difficult at that point to parse your original IP address.
3. Use a proxy
A proxy server handles your internet traffic on your behalf. A proxy sits in front of a client or network of clients, forwarding requests while also receiving and delivering responses from servers. You may need to manually adjust your device’s proxy settings if you want to use a proxy.
Unlike a VPN, most proxies won’t encrypt your traffic, and they also won’t hide your IP address from anyone who can intercept your traffic on its way from your device to the proxy. Proxy servers, especially free web-based proxies, tend to be less reliable than VPNs. That’s why proxies are best used as a quick, temporary solution as opposed to a long-term privacy plan.
How does a proxy hide your IP address?
Some proxy servers can mask your IP address with a fake one. You’ll appear as though you’re based in the same country as your proxy server. If you’re using a proxy to hide your IP, be aware that not all proxies offer equal protection.
Transparent proxies conceal neither your IP address nor your use of a proxy.
Anonymous proxies hide your IP address but not your use of a proxy.
High anonymity (or elite) proxies hide both your IP address as well as your use of a proxy.
Some sites or content platforms may block traffic from known proxies, so you’ll have to be careful if you’re trying to use a proxy to access media.
Why should I hide my IP address?
Your IP address identifies you online, and in today’s data-driven world, your online activity is very valuable. It’s important to hide your IP address so that you can regain control over your privacy while you’re online. Among other sensitive info, your IP can reveal your shopping and buying habits as well as your physical location. So why hide your IP? You’ve got plenty to gain, and not much to lose.
Hide your IP to browse anonymously
Advertisers and marketers can track you across the internet and analyze your browsing habits with the goal of marketing to you more effectively. Unfortunately, even hiding your IP address won’t stop them, because tracking cookies also deliver this information — which is why you should regularly take the time to delete cookies from your browser.
To take private internet browsing to the next level, consider a dedicated private browser like Avast Secure Browser. It includes a range of advanced anti-tracking features to let you use the internet without leaving any clues behind that companies and individuals can use to follow your activity.
Hide your IP to shield your location
Hide your IP address behind another IP in a different part of the world and no one will know where you really are. This includes websites and services that host geo-restricted content. For example, if you’re traveling abroad and want to access movies or TV shows that are available only for your home country, you can use a VPN or proxy to unblock that website with a false IP address in the correct location.
Many IP addresses are linked to a real-world address, or at least to a general location. If you’re frequently using false IP addresses to change your online location, no one will be able to figure out where you actually are.
Can my IP address ever truly be hidden?
While it’s not possible to hide your IP address from everyone, you can achieve an effective level of privacy sufficient for everyday needs. With a VPN, the only entity that can link your online activity to your IP address is your VPN provider itself. This is why it’s so important to choose a VPN provider with a reliable reputation for security, and one that doesn’t keep logs of user activity.
Your ISP can see the type, timing, and amount of traffic you’re sending to the VPN server, but they won’t know the specifics. The same goes for Tor. Many proxies don’t encrypt your traffic, and so your ISP will be able to access your activity if it wants to while you’re using a proxy. And, as mentioned earlier, all the websites and services you use while connected to a VPN will see only the VPN’s IP address, not yours.
The primary purpose for hiding your IP address is to protect your online activity and location from third-party observers: websites, advertisers who use ad tracking techniques, and cybercriminals. When your safety and privacy is at risk, it’s important to be proactive.
What is IP masking?
IP masking is the technique of concealing your IP address by adopting a false one. This is how hiding your IP address works — they’re two ways to refer to the same thing. If you’re interested in learning how to mask your IP address, you can apply the same techniques described in this article. After all, the only way to hide your IP address and still use the internet is to mask it behind another one.
Your traffic is always going to need an IP address online, since that’s how websites and services know who’s making the requests and where to send the replies. Clients use IP addresses to reach servers, and servers use IP addresses to send requested data back to the correct client.
That request-and-response system is part of the TCP/IP model, which governs how devices on the internet communicate with one each another. IP addresses are classified in a variety of ways: IPv4 vs. IPv6, public vs. local, and static vs. dynamic IP addresses. Read more about IP addresses here.
Hide your IP the easy way with a VPN
Avast SecureLine VPN lets you hide your IP address by choosing from any one of our blazing-fast servers located in dozens of countries all over the world. With your online activity securely encrypted and our no-logging policy, you’ll be able to easily access blocked content, disrupt tracking techniques, and browse the internet freely, with complete confidence in your online privacy.
15 Things You’ve Done on the Internet That Are Probably Illegal | Complex
15 Things You’ve Done on the Internet That Are Probably Illegal | Complex
Image via Complex OriginalComplexCon returns to Long Beach Nov. 6 – 7 with hosts J. Balvin and Kristen Noel Crawley, performances by A$AP Rocky and Turnstile, and more shopping and your spot while tickets last! Often dubbed the modern Wild West, the Internet is a mind field of the addicting and the didactic, the legal and the illegal. When traversing the murky depths of the web, it’s important to be careful of these things, and keep in mind that what you’re doing exists in a public sphere, and can often be viewed by very public people. To know exactly what you’re doing that is illegal on the Internet, here’s a guide to what you’ve been doing on the Internet that is illegal (not that we’re asking you to stop), and some fun facts about these illegal activities you find and silly laws you find yourself regularly overstepping online. Sign up for Complex notifications for breaking news and stories.
How to Hide My IP Address – TheBestVPN.com
Hiding an IP address is quite simple if you know which tools to use.
If you’re like me, someone who wants to hide my ip in order to get access to geo-blocked sites, negate IP bans and just stay anonymous, keep reading.
Below, I’ve listed 6 fool-proof ways to hide your IP address including keeping your Internet connection encrypted and fully anonymous.
What is an IP Address?
Let’s first get some basics out of the way.
The internet, being nothing more than a vast group of interconnected networks, requires a system to establish communication between these networks. The Internet Protocol, usually referred to as IP, is the principal technology, responsible for this connection. IP is tasked with defining, structuring and delivering information packets from point A to point B.
IP addresses are nothing more than system identifiers. In version four of the internet protocol (IPv4), IP addresses are defined as a 32-bit number; x. x. x where x is a value between 0 and 255.
Here are some valid IP addresses:
123. 45. 67. 89
8. 8. 8 – an IP address assigned to Google
140. 247. 224. 81 – an IP address assigned to Harvard University
Every system, connected to the internet, has its own address; much like the address of your house or the license plate of your car. Every system has to have a unique IP address, assigned to that machine, and that machine only. This means your phone, your laptop, work computer and your printer, all have different IP addresses.
Every participant of the internet has to have an IP address to connect to it.
The way IP operates, IP addresses are a sensitive piece of information as they pinpoint the location of the systems they are assigned to. This is uncircumventable, as the physical location of the connected machine is precisely the information necessary for the internet protocol to establish the most efficient connection.
This is how I know that any IP, which starts with 140. 247 will be assigned to Harvard University and how I know where you are based in, simply by looking at your IP address.
6 Ways to Hide Your IP Address
Check out these six ways to alter your IP address.
1. Get a VPN Software
Probably the best and most convenient way for changing your IP is to choose a good VPN service.
Here’s what VPN does:
Hide’s your IP address
Encrypts your internet traffic
Allows you safely torrent
Allows you to get access to geo-blocked sites like Netflix and Hulu.
As you can see, the benefits of a Virtual Private Network are precisely the same as the benefits of changing your IP address.
No surprise here; VPNs assign new IP address to systems connected to them. As you connect to a virtual network, you’ll be assigned a second IP address, which spoofs your real one.
Setting up your VPN client takes minutes, and once you’re all set up, connecting to it and thereby changing your IP happens at the click of your button.
“That’s all great, Andrey, but how does a VPN change my IP address? ”
Great question – I’m excited to tell you.
While you’re connected to a VPN, the VPN provider will assign you a virtual IP address. While your real IP address will still be used to connect to said VPN, all other traffic will be tunneled through your private network and as such this external traffic will only connect to your second, virtual IP address.
I’m recommending NordVPN ($3. 49/mo) because it’s by far the most anonymous and reliable VPN software we’ve tested to date. It’s secure and it doesn’t like your IP address. You can choose from their 1500+ servers (different IP’s). You can read our NordVPN review here.
Another good VPN service option (at a cheaper cost) is Surfshark ($1. 99/mo) Read our Surfshark review here.
ExpressVPN is also an option, but it comes at a higher price point. ($6. 67/mo). Read our ExpressVPN review here.
2. Use a Proxy – Slower than VPN
Proxy servers are great little tools which act as a bridge in the flow of your internet traffic. These man-in-the-middle servers connect your information packets to their desired destination while changing their appearance as they go through the Proxy.
In simpler terms, the Proxy server intercepts your traffic and takes control of your connection. From here, everything you do, the proxy server repeats; it mirrors your behavior. The destination servers (websites you’d like to access) think of the proxy is your traffic.
The beauty of this system is that you can connect to any proxy server in the world.
Say you want to access UK’s BBC. You’ll quickly find out that most of their content is blocked and inaccessible for people outside the United Kingdom. In comes the Proxy server. You connect to a UK based Proxy and voila – for all intents and purposes, you’re henceforth as British as fish and chips.
Proxy servers are very efficient at low profile necessities such as bypassing geo-blocked content or IP restrictions.
Being able to mask your real IP address is where the similarities between VPNs and Proxies end.
While being more than adept at handling Netflix geo-restricted content, Proxies can’t compete with a VPN’s many layers of security. Outside spoofing your IP address, Proxy servers neither encrypt your data nor remove any identifiable markers from it. Proxies will do nothing to shield you from the prying eyes of your ISP, government or anyone with access to your data.
The final big difference between Proxies and VPNs is the former’s lack of encompassing spoofing. While a VPN will encrypt any and all data coming into and out of your system, a Proxy will intercept traffic on a per-application basis.
Say you connect your web browser to a proxy server. Great! You can watch all the Netflix you want, don’t go torrenting files, however. Your torrenting traffic won’t be intercepted by your Proxy and your ISP can easily see what you’re up to.
Further reading: Difference between VPN and Proxy
3. Use TOR – FREE
TOR, named after the original project “The Onion Router” is a free client which anonymously connects you to volunteer-operated network of servers. This enables you to be assigned a new IP address, on the same basis as a VPN client.
Also known as the “dark/deep” web, Tor has the added benefit of enabling you to access websites, otherwise inaccessible with normal browsers. Such “onion” websites have very different domain names as they are mostly randomly generated.
Check out the domain name of the anonymity search engine DuckDuckGo:
TOR being a widely accessible, free and anonymous network, it has become a hub for criminal activity. Also one of the reasons why you may be put on a “list” if you access TOR, a big chunk of the network’s users connect to it to carry out illegal transactions. From false identities to heavy drugs and even weaponry.
Another big drawback of TOR is the extremely slow loading times. These long loading times are predicated on the inefficient and long-winded routes that your data packets are sent on, relayed from server to server, until they finally hit their destination. This, of course, is all done in the name of safety.
Make no mistake, TOR isn’t entirely foolproof. Certain software vulnerabilities and website admin errors can and are exploited by Government agency.
Further reading: Tor vs. VPN (What is the difference)
4. Use Mobile Network – Slow and not encrypted
A quick way to change your IP address, if you fear yours has been compromised, is to use your cell phone’s data. As it’s a different system, it will have a different IP address.
This, of course, is no substitute to a laptop/PC workstation. It may aid you in rare emergency situations, when your IP is obviously being attacked, but outside of that, relying on Mobile Data is both ineffective and short-sighted.
5. Connect to Public Wi-Fi – Not Secure
As IP addresses don’t travel with you, using your laptop to connect to a coffee shop’s open Wi-Fi network is an easy way to change your IP address. Same as with Mobile Data, this is neither an effective IP change method, nor a sustainable way of surfing anonymously & securely.
Unfortunately, there are many risks when using such open hotspots networks.
6. Call Your Internet Service Provider
The bitter truth is that we have zero influence on what IP address our systems get assigned to. We can only ask or force our Internet Service Providers to change our IPs for us.
There are two types of IP addresses that your ISP will assign to you. Static and Dynamic. A static IP is difficult to change as you’ll have to go through a lengthy process with your ISP. Most internet providers will, fortunately, assign dynamic IPs.
Asking nicely, so Mom thought me, is always step one. Calling up your ISP and simply asking for an IP change will often do the trick, though you may have to face some unexpected and forward questions as to your motivation behind such a request. Telling them you’re teaching son or younger brother the basics of networking, seems to do the trick.
Force an IP change by unplugging your modem
If being nice fails, an easy way to attempt to force an IP change by your ISP, is to unhook your modem and reconnect it after a little while. By severing your connection to your ISP, you’re very likely to be assigned a new IP range. This only works if you operate on dynamic IPs, however. You also have to remain disconnected from the internet for many hours to prompt a change in IP address.
Here are some additional steps you can take on Windows before unhooking your Modem:
Windows system connected via cable
Open Command Prompt as Administrator
Type “ipconfig /release“, without the quotes and hit Enter
Type “ipconfig /renew“, without the quotes and hit Enter
Shut down your system.
Turn off all ethernet hubs/switches.
Unplug cable/DSL modem.
Leave off as long as you can bare (overnight)
Turn everything back on.
Windows system connected via router
Log into the router’s admin console.
Release the IP address (Every router is different, Google yours)
Are you chuckling yet? I sure am
I’m not saying the above doesn’t work – it works just fine. I’m saying I’m not about to dial my phone and sit on hold for half an hour or disconnect myself from the internet every time I want to change my IP address.
With ISP’s selling my browsing history to the highest bidder, I sure wouldn’t trust them to help me out either.
Effective? Yes! Practical? Heck No!
Unfortunately for you and me, this about sums up the ways we can change our IP address. Sure, there are others, more technical ones. If you’re an expert in networking you can modify your router and force a dynamic IP change that way – but that’s neither simple, nor quick, nor guaranteed.
Changing IP addresses simply isn’t the way to go, hiding them, however, is another story entirely
Why Hide IP?
It is very much in our interest to make sure no wrong-doers ever get their hands on such an important identifier as our IP Address. Let’s take a look at the main reasons why you would want to hide your IP address.
1. Hide Your Location
As mentioned above, your IP address functions much like the street address of your home; it tells the Internet Protocol where to send your requested information packets. This is predicated on the IP’s ability to pinpoint your exact location, enabling it to connect you to your nearest network and from there to the world.
Here is a list of geo-location information that your IP address harbors:
Longitude and latitude
Pretty scary to think that a criminal could have access to your GPS coordinates by simply finding out your IP, isn’t it?
2. Circumvent IP restrictions
Being a very precise location identifier, your IP address is often used to block you from accessing certain information which someone has deemed inaccessible for you.
When governments like those in China, Russia and, Yes, the United States restrict access to certain websites and services by blocking their nation’s IP addresses, “spoofing, the act of masking your IP address, comes in handy.
From journalists to activists and your everyday person, nobody should be oppressed and restricted to share their views in the information era.
Colleges and universities also love to meddle with their student’s internet access. Many schools have banned online video game servers from being accessed. This means no League of Legends, World of Warcraft, CS:GO and so on.
I guess these students are mature enough to rack up $200K in debt for a four-year degree, but giving them access to online games? That’s too much.
Circumventing such IP restrictions is important to make sure you, and only you, get to decide which content you’d like to access.
3. Negate IP Bans
Banning your IP address is an easy way for websites and services to immediately block your access to them. This quickly becomes a problem as you try to connect to your paid-for Netflix account, a service which blocks any and all IPs outside the USA from accessing their US library of moves and TV shows, when you’re sitting in your hotel room overseas.
Spoofing or changing your IP address is a quick and easy way of loopholing your way back into services you’ve been mistakenly or unjustly banned from.
4. Block Targeted Attacks
Hiding your IP address quickly becomes a must-do security step once you’ve been targeted by a cyber-criminal, who is after your personal records.
By changing your vulnerable IP address you can throw off and block this specific type of cyber attack on your system.
5. Remain Anonymous on Internet
Anonymity is to be expected, not asked for. Well, not anymore.
When our Congress passes bills, allowing Internet Service Providers to sell your private web surfing data & browsing history to the highest bidder, retaining anonymity in an ever-shrinking world seems all the more precious and important.
Changing your IP address is one of many security steps as you embark on the journey of securing yourself and your data. While there are more comprehensive ways of protection, such as using a VPN, I commend you on your desire and prudence to seek out ways to shield your IP address from hackers and no-gooders.
I sincerely hope this article has helped you find your preferred method of keeping your IP address safe on the inter-webs. Please share it with your friends and colleagues and let me know about your experiences with IP addresses.
Time to drop the mic, you made it!
Andrey from team
Frequently Asked Questions about how to scramble your ip address
Is IP scrambling illegal?
Just like creating fake Facebook profiles, changing your IP Address constitutes fraud online, so even though many of us do it to hide our identity,it can result in jail time if caught.Sep 20, 2013
How do I confuse my IP address?
6 Ways to Hide Your IP AddressGet a VPN Software. Probably the best and most convenient way for changing your IP is to choose a good VPN service. … Use a Proxy – Slower than VPN. … Use TOR – FREE. … Use Mobile Network – Slow and not encrypted. … Connect to Public Wi-Fi – Not Secure. … Call Your Internet Service Provider.Mar 15, 2019
How can I hide my IP address without VPN?
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