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What does a VPN hide? | NortonLifeLock
A virtual private network (VPN) can hide a user’s internal protocol address (IP address) and block their location and browser history, allowing them to share and receive information on public internet networks more privately.
Whether you’re searching something online or communicating via social media, you’re leaving digital footprints in the form of your browsing history, cookies, and cached data.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the government, and other third parties can track what you search, visit, and download.
Even if you use a private browsing mode, your IP address can still be collected.
When you download and enable a VPN prior to browsing, a VPN can offer online privacy and increased security by helping hide your online identity and encrypting your traffic. Hackers and third parties will only be able to see the IP address of the remote VPN. This prevents them from accessing your location, browser history, or the personal information you may have sent or received during that browsing session.
Here are the seven main things that a VPN hides:
1. Search History
You can clear your cookies and search history from your browser. But chances are your ISP has recorded the websites that you’ve visited. VPNs can hide your search history and other browsing activity, like search terms, links clicked, and websites visited, as well as masking your IP address.
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Can you truly remove your search history?
No. You’re removing the file references from your directories, but your operating system won’t simultaneously erase this data. It only moves the information to a special area on your Mac or PC’s hard drive.
If you use a VPN each time you browse, third parties will only be able to see the IP address of the remote VPN. This disables them from pinpointing your location, ISP and, potentially, other personal information.
2. IP Address
Your IP address identifies your device on the Internet or a local network. It’s the key data that connects you to your location, ISP, and web search history.
IP addresses can share sensitive information about you that includes your physical location such as your city, state, ZIP code, and country. It can trace back to your home ISP, which could reveal your name, home address, phone number, and credit card numbers.
Instead of sending information directly from your IP address, the VPN server’s IP address is associated with your activity.
For example, if your VPN service provider has servers around the world, you could appear to be connecting to the internet from a different country.
3. Medical Diagnosis and Health Conditions
Medical providers often operate through private client portals. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has set standards in the exchange of protected health information (PHI). This is the diagnosis, procedures, and counsel between doctors, clients and medical facilities.
HIPPA requires healthcare facilities to operate on private networks. These secured portals encrypt your medical information from outside parties. VPN networks allow medical professionals and patients to safely access confidential medical information untampered.
4. Travel accommodations
Travel and airline websites associate the information that you’re researching with your IP address. When you visit online travel booking websites multiple times to find better deals, a cookie has likely already locked into a price.
A cookie is data sent from a user’s computer to a website. They can identify your past travel searches, online profiles, all the way to your home address. Any action like clicking on a link can trigger an “event. ” Marketers use analytics tracking tools to track website traffic and user behavior. It only takes a short amount of time for advertisers to bombard you with retargeting ads.
VPNs can block tracking technologies, allowing you to search travel websites anonymously and avoiding advertisers altogether.
We already mentioned that your IP address can identify your geolocation. Browsers and websites use this information to map web traffic from different cities, states, and countries.
For example, when you use Google Maps, you must enable your phone to detect your location. Websites use the same technology.
One side benefit of using a VPN is known as geo-spoofing. This means a VPN “fools” websites and other online services into thinking you’re in one location when you’re really in another.
This could provide access to geo-restricted services or help save money while doing online shopping. But remember to always check your service agreement rules and observe government laws and regulations.
6. Personally identifiable material
A VPN can hide your online identity by masking your IP address. It encrypts your location and the data you send and receive, helping protect your personal identifiable information (PII). This data can come in the form of your bank information, as well as Social Security and driver’s license numbers. If a hacker gains access to your computer, your PII is could be vulnerable via audio files, messages, and passwords.
Even secure websites can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Using a VPN network can increase your protection when you go online, from hackers and cyber thieves.
BitTorrents (torrents) are metadata files and folders that are shared and downloaded between users on a network. This gives users access to movies, music, and other forms of media content.
Though torrenting isn’t illegal, downloading copyrighted material like movies or songs is a violation. Since your ISP can track your activity, so can the government. Using a torrenting service without a VPN can sometimes lead to warning letters or even hefty fines from the government.
Even if performed legally, torrenting can be dangerous. Downloading unknown files can result in you downloading malware. These viruses can infect your computer and corrupt your files. VPNs can prevent online peers from seeing your IP address, which could help prevent hackers from singling you out.
How to choose a VPN
When choosing a VPN, consider your needs for the device. User-friendliness, speed, secure encryption, and price are all important factors to examine. You also want reliable customer service, should anything out of the ordinary occur.
Consider using a secure VPN network that provides powerful protection and is capable of connecting other devices in your home. Research online reviews, but be careful of sites that promote affiliate websites. You can also talk to your tech-savvy friends and get their insight on recommended products.
Most importantly, when purchasing a VPN, it’s best to buy from a software company that you trust. So, no matter where you are, you can search the internet knowing that your connections are safer.
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Can You Be Tracked if You Use a VPN in 2021 – Surfshark
2021, August 25 · 12 min read
In short: can a VPN be tracked?
It’s really difficult to track a VPN because your IP (Internet Protocol) address is changed and your online activity is encrypted. Some internet service providers (ISPs) or websites may know that you’re using a VPN, but they can’t see your actual online activity.
Why do millions of people around the world use VPNs? Reasons vary, but many agree that it helps them feel at ease on the internet. It’s becoming increasingly challenging to have privacy online, and a VPN does a great job of protecting its users from digital spying, tracking, data collection, invasive advertising, and cybercriminals.
But is a VPN an all-round solution to the invasion of online privacy? It’s natural to raise these questions. That’s why I’m here to answer them.
What do we talk about when we talk about tracking?
It’s important to first understand what tracking is in this context. There are three aspects to it:
Can someone see that you’re using a VPN?
What information is available to them?
Can they see what you’re doing online?
Let’s explore it.
In what ways can you be tracked online?
Malware. Accidentally installing malware on your device can result in severe issues like stolen personal information or even fraud.
IP address. Unless you use a VPN, a proxy, a Tor browser, or any other privacy protection tool, your real IP address is visible to websites you visit.
Cookies. Advertisers can track you across the internet based on cookies, whether you use a VPN or not. However, popular browsers like Google Chrome allow you to block cookies if you’d rather not have your internet habits saved and stored on the internet.
Digital fingerprinting. More intrusive than cookie-based tracking, fingerprinting uses your computer settings, software, web browser preferences, and other similar things to make a digital portrait of you.
DNS leak. DNS leaks can happen when a VPN or a DNS is not set up correctly and when your device gets hacked. These leaks can compromise your privacy by exposing your activity online. To avoid DNS leaks, use a VPN that provides you with their own DNS addresses.
Doxxing. Doxxing is a malicious practice that people use to expose someone’s private information, like their home address or workplace.
As you can see, an IP address isn’t the only identifier on the internet. Thus, a VPN isn’t the only solution to online threats. Apart from anti-virus programs, we should also be cautious about suspicious links and emails.
Phishing is as old as the internet. And no one is really safe from it because modern phishing tactics can be seamless. We can all feel a bit spaced out sometimes and not notice warning signs when they’re there. It goes without saying, though, that not losing common sense on the internet is crucial.
Apart from that, there are also tools that help filter out email scams, like CleanWeb by Surfshark.
Who can (potentially) see that you’re using a VPN?
Not every person online will see that you’re connected to a VPN. But some can. Who has access to this information, and how can they see it?
Let’s answer the who:
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider);
websites or apps (e. g., Netflix);
Let’s answer the how:
Since your ISP provides you internet service, they can see the connections you make through their servers. It doesn’t mean that there are bold letters proclaiming that you’re using a VPN, but based on IP addresses and encrypted traffic, they could theoretically connect the dots.
Some apps and websites don’t give access to their service if you’re using a VPN. They can detect it by blacklisting IP addresses that many different people around the world use to connect. This kind of IP looks suspicious to a service provider; thus, it gets blocked.
Hackers can see that you’re using a VPN if they try to get to your data through an unsecured network (e. g., a public Wi-Fi without a password), or if you connect to a fake open Wi-Fi created by shady persons.
It’s important to note that your ISP or an online service seeing that you use a VPN isn’t bad news. That’s because it doesn’t mean that they can see what you’re sharing. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your IP address appears that of a VPN, so your real IP address cannot be tracked.
Mask your VPN traffic with obfuscated servers
A VPN hides your online traffic, while an obfuscated server hides your VPN usage. It’s like an invisibility cloak — sometimes called a stealth VPN.
Where can you “get” those obfuscated servers? Well, some premium VPN providers (Surfshark included) use them. At Surfshark this functionality is called Camouflage Mode.
Obfuscation is great for bypassing various VPN blocks, like Hulu or Netflix, as well as the Great Firewall of China.
Is a free VPN a viable option for privacy?
In the last few years, VPN popularity skyrocketed. That’s why there are seemingly hundreds of VPN apps promising privacy and security online. Everyone wants a piece of a VPN market pie.
It’s essential to be extra careful when choosing your VPN provider. While a free VPN might seem like an okay choice, you should know that secure VPN technology requires a lot of investment and resources.
How do they make money if users don’t pay for the service? Usually, it means that your data is being sold to advertisers and marketing companies. Sometimes these free apps are so invasive that they get more out of you than just your online habits, purchases, and visited sites. Some can have access to your full name, phone number, or even home address.
If you’re concerned about being tracked with a VPN, I suggest not going for free options.
Can the government track you through a VPN?
Here’s the thing: federal authorities don’t waste their time on casual VPN users. There needs to be a legal foundation for them to take an interest in someone’s VPN activity.
When federal agents suspect someone of a crime, they go to an ISP to ask for connection logs. After detecting VPN connections, they might try approaching a VPN provider. If a VPN keeps no logs of users’ data, they will have nothing to offer even if they wanted to.
However, there aren’t many cases of authorities approaching VPN providers because they have multiple other methods of tracking a potential criminal down. We also have an extensive guide on “Can police track a VPN” that you might want to check out as well.
Can you be tracked if you connect to a VPN server in the same country?
Connecting to a VPN server in the same country is just as secure as connecting to a server in a foreign country. The only downside is that you won’t bypass geographical restrictions since your ISP sees you in the same location.
If a VPN disconnects, can you be tracked passively?
When a VPN disconnects, your data is no longer encrypted, and your real IP address is exposed. Your ISP has access to the activity of your IP address (e. g., the websites you visit), so you’re a much easier target for tracking when you disconnect from a VPN.
A solution to this problem is a so-called Kill Switch feature that some VPN providers offer. I’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Can a VPN be hacked?
While anything can be potentially hacked, a good VPN is safe from hacking due to all the security measures necessary for it to work. The same can’t be said for all VPNs – the free ones are especially shady and can be the actual vector for stealing your data or installing malware on your device.
So can you be tracked if you use a VPN?
The answer is that it’s difficult, but not impossible. If someone really wants to track you online, they will probably find a way to do that, whether you use a VPN or not.
However, a VPN keeps your browsing activity safe. Even those who can see that you use a VPN (i. e., your ISP, websites you visit, or even hackers) can’t access your data, real location, or any sensitive information. Make sure to choose a VPN with transparent privacy and no-logs policies, like Surfshark.
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9 Easy Ways to Hide Your IP Address in 2021 (Some Are Free)
Hiding your IP address is the best way to enjoy total digital freedom and protect your identity online – and it’s also super easy.
There are lots of reasons to hide your IP address, from getting discounts on plane tickets to accessing content that’s not available in your region. It allows you to unlock different countries’ Netflix libraries and use platforms like Hulu and BBC iPlayer, which are blocked in many parts of the world.
It’s also a great way to protect your privacy and keep your personal information from falling into the hands of advertisers, hackers, and other third parties.
The best way to hide your IP address is to use a VPN. My all-time favorite is ExpressVPN, as it’s the fastest service and has over 3, 000 servers in 90 different countries, giving you 25, 000+ IP addresses to choose from. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free!
Hide Your IP With ExpressVPN Now!
What Is an IP Address?
An or IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique string of numbers and decimals used to identify every device that connects to the internet. Each device that’s connected to a computer network has its own, unique IP address. But if you have multiple devices connected through one WiFi router, their IP addresses are the same.
When you visit a website, your device sends out a request to the website’s server using the website’s IP address. The request comes back with the information you requested using your own IP address.
There are two types of IP addresses. IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses consist of four two- or three-digit numbers separated by periods (123. 45. 67. 89, for example). IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) addresses are much longer and include both letters and numbers separated by colons.
IPv6 is being deployed because the number of available IPv4 addresses is running out. It also has more efficient routing and data flow than IPv4, and improved security. But most of the world still uses IPv4, and switching to IPv6 isn’t an easy process.
If you do want to change to IPv6, your ISP, router, and operating system all have to be compatible with it. Unfortunately, most internet service providers don’t support IPv6 yet.
If you want to see your own IP address right now, you can easily do so with our IP checking tool. I used it to check my IP address with and without a VPN:
Your IP address isn’t randomly assigned. A nonprofit organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority creates IP addresses and gives them to the world’s five regional internet registries (RIRs), which then give IP addresses to internet service providers in their region.
This means that your IP address can be used to identify your location.
Since your computer and other devices need an IP address to access information online, there’s no way to avoid using an IP address altogether. The only way to hide your real IP address is to mask it with a different one.
Hide Your IP Address With ExpressVPN
Why Hide My IP Address?
Handing out your real IP address to every website you visit can threaten your privacy and anonymity online.
This is because your IP address can easily be used to figure out your location – sometimes with a scary level of accuracy. Hiding your IP address keeps this from happening. It’s especially important if you’re going to torrent or do any other activity that falls in a legal gray area.
But even if you’re just browsing, revealing your location has consequences. Websites and third-party advertisers can use this data to target you with specific content, in order to profit from your online activity.
For example, airlines and travel companies change their prices based on the location of your IP address. You might be shocked by how much plane ticket prices can vary because of this.
Another reason to hide your IP address is to bypass the restrictions of websites, service providers, government agencies, workplaces, and even schools. One common example is Netflix, which uses your IP address to determine the content you’re able to watch.
If you don’t hide your IP address, you’ll only be able to see the Netflix library for your actual location. But if you want to get around regional restrictions and access content from all over the world, hiding your IP address will do the trick.
Get a New IP Address Now
9 Ways to Hide Your IP Address
1. Use a VPN – The Fastest, Easiest, and Safest Option
This is the best and most reliable way to hide your IP address. All you have to do is pick one of the top VPN services, download it, and then choose which country you want to connect through. The VPN will assign you a virtual IP address associated with that country, effectively hiding your real location.
One of the biggest advantages of using a VPN is fast connection speed. Unlike with other methods, you won’t have to worry about super slow browsing, streaming, or downloading.
This is particularly important if you want to stream content on Netflix or other platforms. These sites are very good at detecting when users are trying to bypass their restrictions, and won’t hesitate to block you. But the best VPNs can easily get around even the strictest geoblocks.
VPNs are also the safest way to torrent. In addition to hiding your IP address and protecting your identity, some VPN providers offer dedicated torrenting and P2P profiles.
VPNs are incredibly safe in general, as long as you choose a reputable service that uses advanced encryption and security profiles, such as ExpressVPN. This keeps your real IP address from being leaked.
The best VPNs on the market require you to pay a subscription fee, but they’re absolutely worth it. Although there are some decent free VPNs available, they are very limited and will usually give you a slow connection and only a small amount of bandwidth and data transfer. Some free VPNs can even put you at risk of data theft, malware attacks, and other security threats.
In my opinion, investing in a premium VPN like the ones listed below is essential; a few extra bucks per month is a small price to pay when it comes to protecting your privacy. My recommended VPNs offer money-back guarantees, so you can test out their service risk-free.
The Best VPNs to Hide Your IP Address
ExpressVPN has thousands of servers around the world and boasts incredible speeds. When we tested ExpressVPN, we found that it’s especially good at accessing platforms that don’t support VPNs, which means you can use it to watch content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN also supports P2P connections on all servers, making torrenting a breeze. Its advanced security features include TrustedServer technology, DNS leak protection, and more. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free before you decide. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can ask for a refund if you’re not happy with it.
Change Your IP With ExpressVPN
CyberGhost is an incredibly stable and secure service, with over 7, 260 servers around the world. It’s super easy to set up, allowing you to connect in a matter of seconds. Our speed tests show that it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, but its speeds are sufficient to stream in HD.
It’s also very affordable, but lower prices don’t mean less security; it has advanced encryption, zero logging, leak-proof apps, and an extra kill switch. One thing that sets CyberGhost apart is its 45-day money-back guarantee, which is much longer than most competitors’ offers.
Change Your IP With CyberGhost
2. Proxy – Slow and Not Safe for Torrenting
Proxies are commonly used to access geoblocked content. Let’s say you want to view something that’s only available in a certain country. Your computer sends a request to the website to view it, but the proxy intercepts the request and resends it using an IP address from that country. When the proxy server gains access, it sends it back to you — et voilà.
There are several downsides to proxies: they’re super slow and not very secure, as they don’t encrypt your traffic like VPNs do. They also don’t work well for torrenting, since they won’t hide all your activity from your ISP. And many popular sites, like Hulu, can easily tell when you’re using a proxy and block your access.
3. Tor – Mask Your IP for Free (Not for Streaming or Torrenting)
If you want to stay completely anonymous online without paying a cent, Tor is a solid solution. It consists of a large network of volunteer-operated servers around the world. When you use Tor, your traffic is routed through several of these servers and encrypted various times, making it nearly impossible for anyone to trace it back to your IP address.
However, all of that encryption and decryption makes Tor incredibly slow, so it’s not useful for streaming or downloading – and its developers advise against using it to torrent. If you just want to browse, you can use Tor Browser or download the Firefox extension. However, for the highest possible level of privacy, I recommend using Tor in combination with a VPN.
Hide Your IP With ExpressVPN
4. Public WiFi – A Risky Last Resort
Your IP address is assigned to you by your internet service provider, so if you connect to the internet through a different network, you’ll be assigned a new one. If you need to quickly and temporarily change your IP address, you can go to a café or other spot with public WiFi. Since it’s a shared connection, your activity can’t be traced back to you.
That said, public WiFi makes you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and all kinds of other security threats. I always suggest using a VPN when connected to public WiFi anyway. Plus, public WiFi won’t help you bypass geoblocks – so it’s more of a quick fix than a long-term solution.
5. Use Your Mobile Network – A Temporary Solution
If you don’t have easy access to a public WiFi connection – or prefer not to subject yourself to all of the risks it involves – you can also temporarily change your IP address by using data on your mobile device instead of WiFi.
The main downside of this method is that it can get expensive, especially if you want to stream or download a lot of content. Again, it’s far from a permanent solution, and I only recommend it if you think your regular IP address has been compromised. If that’s the case, using your mobile network is an easy way to immediately get a new IP address.
6. Unplug Your Modem – Reset Your IP Address
This may sound silly, but sometimes unplugging your modem for a while can actually change your IP address. When you disconnect from your ISP, the link with your current IP address is deleted – but only if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses (which is likely).
Leave the modem unplugged for as long as you can stand, as this increases the chance that your IP address will be changed. When you plug it back in, you should receive a brand new one. However, this isn’t the most reliable method, so it shouldn’t be your first choice.
7. Renew Your IP address – Follow These Steps
I mentioned above that your main IP address is publicly visible, but if you’re using WiFi or an ethernet cable, you also have a private IP address. This method only works for replacing the private one, not the public one.
If you want to get a new private IP address, all you have to do is enter some commands on your computer.
From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.
Open Network settings.
Click on the network you’re using.
Choose the TCP/IP tab.
Click “Renew DHCP Lease. ”
Search for Command Prompt.
Right click on it, then select “Run as administrator. ”
Type in ipconfig /release.
Type in ipconfig /renew.
After following these steps, your device should have a new private IP address.
8. Use a NAT Firewall – Hide Your Private IP Address
Like the previous method, this option only applies to your private IP address. A NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall lets different devices keep their private IP addresses hidden by using the same public IP address. In other words, multiple devices that are connected to the same router can share a public IP address.
The main benefit of NAT is that it protects you from receiving unrequested communications from unknown internet users, which may be malicious. But it doesn’t hide your device’s public IP address, which is what matters most when it comes to online privacy. As I said before, the best way to do that is with a VPN.
9. Get Your ISP to Change It for You – Ask Nicely
Since your internet service provider assigns your IP address, you can simply ask them to change it. You’ll need to contact them directly and provide your account information. This is a fairly straightforward way to change your IP address, but it won’t solve any problems related to geoblocks or security, like a VPN would.
Don’t forget that if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses, it will change again at some point in the future. If you want it to stay the same, you can ask for a static IP address – but this usually costs extra and requires additional effort.
How to Check Your IP Address
Once you’ve used a VPN or another method to hide your IP address, it’s important to check that it’s working. You should do this right after hiding it, and then periodically for as long as you need it to stay hidden. This will help you detect any errors that could compromise your privacy.
Our IP checking tool is the simplest way to ensure that your IP address is completely hidden. It will automatically display your IP address and the geolocation associated with it.
If your IP address has been hidden correctly, our tool will display the IP address and location of the VPN or proxy server you’re connected to. If not, it will display your own IP address and physical location – letting you know that something has gone wrong.
What else can a VPN do?
In addition to hiding your IP address, the best VPNs allow you to access geoblocked content from all over the world. It can also get you past online restrictions put in place by service providers, government agencies, or other entities. Finally, it’s the best way to hide your identity and internet activity if you want to maximize your privacy and keep your data safe.
To learn more about what a VPN can do, read our beginner’s guide to VPNs.
How can I see my IP address?
The easiest way to see your IP address is by using our IP checking tool. All you have to do is click the link in the previous sentence, and you’ll see your IP address, browser, country, and city at the top of the page.
Can my IP address reveal my identity?
Technically, your IP address alone cannot reveal your identity. However, when combined with other easily accessible information like usernames, browsing activity, and the physical location associated with it, people can use your IP address to figure out who you are. This is why if you value your privacy, you should use a trustworthy VPN, like ExpressVPN, to hide your IP address.
Why would I need to hide my IP address?
There are lots of reasons why you might need to hide your IP address, but the most common ones are to bypass geoblocks to access online content (such as streaming sites like Netflix) and to protect your privacy online. Beyond that, if you’re traveling to a country with strict internet censorship (like China), a VPN is vital in order to stay connected and safe.
How can I hide my IP address for free?
There are a few ways to avoid paying to hide your IP address. You could use the Tor network, which is totally free – but also infamous for slow connection speeds. Or you could use a free VPN, but I don’t recommend this for security reasons.
Instead, I suggest downloading a premium VPN like ExpressVPN. If you’re not happy with it, you have 30 days to ask for your money back.
What is IP masking?
IP masking is just another term for hiding your IP address. Essentially, it means that you’re covering up your actual IP address with a different one from another server somewhere else in the world. This is the only way to use the internet without revealing your IP address.
The best way to mask your IP address is with a VPN, which makes it impossible for anyone to identify your location or identity based on your online activity.
Can I use a free VPN to hide my IP address?
Yes, there are some free VPNs that will allow you to hide your IP address. However, I don’t recommend using these services, as their lack of advanced security can make you incredibly vulnerable online.
If you really don’t want to pay, use a premium VPN’s money-back guarantee to try the service for a month, then cancel for a full refund. CyberGhost’s 45-day guarantee period is one of the longest on the market.
Is it illegal to hide my IP address?
No, it’s not illegal to hide your IP address – or to use a VPN to do so. Even in countries like China, where VPNs are strictly regulated, it’s not technically against the law to use one. Although some people may think that hiding your IP address is a sign that you’re doing something shady online, there are plenty of legitimate and totally legal reasons for it.
Is an IP address permanent?
Most IP addresses are dynamic, which means they’re not permanent. Some IP addresses are static, meaning they never change, but it takes extra effort and money to request a static IP address.
It’s important to remember that even if you have a static IP address, it does not move with you; if you switch to a different internet connection, you’ll have a different IP address.
Is there a way to hide my IP address from my ISP?
No, there is no way to hide your IP address from your internet service provider. Even when you use a VPN, your IP address is still being used to communicate with the VPN server. However, a VPN keeps your ISP from seeing what you’re doing online, while hiding your IP address from the apps and websites you’re using – so no one can see the whole picture.
What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 and IPv6 are two different types of IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are more common and less complex, consisting of a string of numbers and periods. IPv6 addresses are much longer, and include both letters and numbers separated by colons. IPv6 is currently being deployed to provide more IP addresses and to resolve some issues associated with IPv4.
While there are a few ways to mask your IP address, it’s hard to beat the safety and reliability of a VPN. High-quality VPN services like ExpressVPN are an easy way to hide your IP address, and they also protect your privacy and anonymity with strong security protocols.
VPNs also give you the fastest connection speeds, help you access and stream content from anywhere, support torrenting, and encrypt your data for maximum security.
If you want to learn more, read our guides about proxies vs. VPNs and Tor vs VPNs.
To summarize, the best VPNs to hide your IP address are…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we’ve tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it’s currently offering 49% off.
Frequently Asked Questions about use vpn to hide ip address
Can my IP address be traced if I use a VPN?
When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your IP address appears that of a VPN, so your real IP address cannot be tracked.Aug 25, 2020
Which VPN is best for hiding IP?
To summarize, the best VPNs to hide your IP address are…RankProviderOur Score1ExpressVPN9.8/102CyberGhost VPN9.8/102 more rows•Sep 21, 2021
Is hiding IP address illegal?
While masking your IP address is perfectly legal, changing it and falsely advertising what your IP is online is 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