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How to Use a Fake IP Address and Mask Yourself Online
As the notion of privacy gets trampled on with each passing year, online privacy only becomes even more important.
That’s why many people use fake IP addresses. To be clear, “fake IP address” is a bit of a misnomer that implies creating a new one out of thin air. That’s not possible. The best you can do is hide your IP address behind someone else’s already-existing IP address. This is called IP masking. So how do you spoof your IP address?
1. Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, but is much simpler than it sounds. Basically, you can connect your computer or device to someone else’s network, then browse the web through it. Whatever activity you’re doing looks like it’s coming from them, not from you.
When you connect to a VPN, you’re masking your IP address with one of the IP addresses on that network. To trace the traffic back to you, the VPN would have to give you up (or your IP address would have to be revealed via DNS leak).
For best results, use a paid VPN service because free VPNs come with too many risks and downsides. The most important one is that you can never quite trust a free service. Are they selling your data? If asked, would they give up your true IP address? It does happen.
As such, we only recommend using a logless VPN. Such VPNs don’t keep activity logs, so they can’t give up your IP address even if requested. Plus, most logless VPNs encrypt all of your traffic to and from the network, preventing any snooping by ISPs or governments.
VPNs are useful in so many circumstances, but there are too many myths about them that might put you off; you should dispense with misinformation and use a VPN for secure searching.
Which Is the Best VPN For You?
ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are both excellent options. If neither suits you, have a look at our overview of best VPN services. Long story short: whichever service you pick, you just download the app, run it, and use it to connect to the VPN on demand. It’s really that simple.
Use this link for up to 49% off ExpressVPN plans!
2. Use a Web Proxy
A web proxy works in much the same way as a VPN. You connect to the proxy server, then all your web traffic flows through the proxy server. As such, your IP address gets hidden by the proxy server’s IP address.
But there are two major differences between proxy and VPN.
Secondly, some browsers let you route only browser traffic. To use a web proxy, you go into your web browser’s settings and manually input the proxy server’s IP address. This allows applications and devices outside the web browser, like Skype, to still use your actual IP address.
Find a free web proxy using a site like PremProxy or Proxy List. Using a proxy server in your country will keep it fast, but using a proxy server in another country can be useful for bypassing region-blocked content and adding a tiny layer of extra obscurity.
How to Set Up a Web Proxy in Firefox
In the browser, select Preferences from the dropdown menu in the top-left corner.
In the General section, scroll down to Network Settings.
Click on Settings.
Select Manual proxy configuration, then type in the proxy’s address and port in the HTTP Proxy field.
How to Set Up a Web Proxy in Microsoft Edge
On the homepage, click on three dots from the top-left corner.
Search for proxy in search settings, and selectOpen your computer’s proxy settings.
In the Settings window, toggle the Use a proxy server option, and type in the proxy’s address and port in the Address field.
Click on Save to finalize your proxy setup.
How to Set Up a Web Proxy in Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi
In the main menu, select Settings.
Under Network, click Change proxy settings…
In the Connections tab, click LAN settings.
Enable Use a proxy server for your LAN, then type in the proxy’s address and port in the Address field.
Note: Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and other Chromium-based browsers do not have a built-in browser-specific proxy feature. Instead, they only use system-wide proxy settings. However, you can use an extension like Proxy Switcher & Manager to use web proxies that only affect browser traffic.
3. Use Public Wi-Fi
Instead of routing your traffic through another person’s network, you can opt to connect directly to their network—and the easiest way to do this is to hop onto public Wi-Fi.
The funny thing is that this is really the only way to hide your home IP address. When you’re on public Wi-Fi, there’s no way for someone to trace it back to your home. And if it’s a popular hotspot (e. g. Starbucks), your activity will be obscured by dozens of other users at any time.
But remember that public Wi-Fi has its risks.
By default, most public Wi-Fi hotspots are unencrypted. All your activities while connected can be seen by anyone else on the network (if they’re sniffing it out), which includes login details for websites like banks and e-commerce shopping. Public Wi-Fi hotspots can also spread malware infections to your device.
On top of this, there are several other ways for hackers to steal your identity on public Wi-Fi. So while you might be hiding your IP address, you’re still opening yourself up to a whole host of other privacy and security risks.
4. Use Tor Browser
Tor browser, sometimes also called the Onion router, is a free browser that hides your IP address every time you connect to the internet. It does this by connecting you with the Tor network at the start, which transmits your data through random relay servers hosted by worldwide volunteers.
For most people not living in authoritarian countries like China, Venezuela, etc. (where Tor is banned), it’s a handy tool to have in your arsenal of privacy solutions.
To get started, go to the official Tor website and install the browser from there. When the setup is complete, click on Connect. The Tor browser will then link up to the Tor network. This could take a few minutes, so you’ll have to wait a short time.
When it’s done, you’re free to browse the internet anonymously. If you’re using Tor for the first time, though, make sure that you read up on all the online security tips about using Tor efficiently. They are given on the homepage itself!
And That’s How You Can Hide Your IP Address!
Now you know all the different ways you can mask your IP address. If you’re like us, and just can’t accept that “big brother” is prying on you all the time, these tricks will be enough to get started with securing your online anonymity.
Privacy vs. Anonymity vs. Security: Why They Don’t All Mean the Same ThingWhat’s the difference between security, anonymity, and privacy? And when should you prioritize one over another?
About The Author
(1521 Articles Published)
Joel Lee is the Editor in Chief of MakeUseOf since 2018. He has a B. S. in Computer Science and over nine years of professional writing and editing experience.
From Joel Lee
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How to Get Fake IP & Change Your IP Address to Another …
In this guide, we will show you how to change IP address to another country which means you get a fake IP address, this will allow you to access blocked and restricted websites and apps in any country you want while remaining secure.
The Good News: There’s a way to do all of this easily, and your internet service provider (ISP) won’t be able to block you from accessing restricted content, they won’t even know what you are doing online anymore.
Security Gladiators IP Scanner ToolChecking Your IP Address…What is an IP Address you may ask? Why Change Your IP? Remain Anonymous Online:Appear From a Different Location:Unblock Sites:Access Blocked Content Everywhere:Bypass Online CensorshipAvoid Online Surveillance:Encrypt your Internet Connection Over Public WIFI:How to Change IP Address to Another Country? VPN:ProsConsSmart DNS:ProsConsTor Browser:ProsConsWhich Is The Safest Method to Benefit From? Not all methods are created to change your IP manually to one in the same countryThe Simple Method That Is an Overnight Solution
Security Gladiators IP Scanner Tool
Our custom Security Gladiators IP Scanner Tool below shows you your current IP address that is broadcast all over the internet when you are online. It also shows the information that is easily looked up that related to that address. This could then be further narrowed down to your street address.
Checking Your IP Address…
However, assigned device IP addresses are not written in stone and can be changed/masked/hidden.
We will perform most of our work here.
Before we go into why you may need to change your IP and the different methods of how, the best way is to use a VPN. A VPN is easy to use, cheap, and has tons of benefits we explain in more detail below. The best VPN we found for this purpose is NordVPN, click here to get a 70% discount.
So, you want to change your IP country location to another one and fake your device’s public IP address, but let’s first find out what an IP address is.
What is an IP Address you may ask?
Well, your IP address is a unique number that is assigned to your device connected to the internet or network. This number can be used to identify your particular device, including your physical location.
You can think of it like a fingerprint. No two devices are assigned a single IP Address. When you connect to the internet and surf websites, your device’s IP address is broadcast for all to see it unless you hide your IP address.
Some examples of popular websites and what their IP addresses are:
72. 21. 211. 176
72. 247. 244. 88
74. 125. 65. 91
Every website you surf on the internet, and every network you access will know your devices IP address, and they can use it for many different purposes, some completely fine, and others you should be very worried about indeed. In this digital age, it makes sense to mask or hide your IP.
By using a fake IP address, it can effectively change your location to another country so you will have no trouble accessing websites that are blocked or restricted in your country. You will still be able to use any device, and it will work with most of the internet service providers (ISPs).
Geoblocking happens in almost all countries.
For instance, some content providers and their websites (e. g., BBC iPlayer) will only serve content to IP addresses in a particular geographical location (e. g., the United Kingdom), which in turn means that all IP addresses not from that locale will be blocked. This type of censorship is known as Geo-Blocking.
Some news websites serve different news to different areas of the world based on the IP address of the reader. Maybe you’re visiting Turkey and still want to read online news articles specific to your home country, the USA. Similarly, you cannot use the most popular email service provider Gmail in China and other heavily censored countries.
To bypass such restrictions, you need to change your IP address and its broadcast location to a different one, this will then make it look like you are actually in the location you want to appear to be in.
In other words, you need a fake IP address with a fake location/country.
With a fake IP, you can watch all content from streaming websites such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and many more. But a fake IP address isn’t just useful to watch content from sites such as BBC iPlayer. Having a changed and fake IP address can come in handy in many other situations.
There are tons of benefits of changing your IP address and location of the IP.
Why Change Your IP?
Remain Anonymous Online:
One of the major reasons why people want to learn how to change their assigned IP Address, fake it or change IP address to another country is so that they can browse the internet with anonymity in a secure and private way.
To what end, you may ask? By using different assigned IP addresses on your devices (mobile or desktop), you appear to be physically in a different location (city and country), therefore if anyone is monitoring your activity and trying to track you down, then they think you are somewhere else other than where you are.
With the amount of cyber-crime going on these days, this is a major draw for people to change their IP addresses to fake ones.
Important: From 2014 to 2019 cybercrime losses have rocketed up 436% to $3. 5 billion USD!
Hackers can track you down and steal your identity and sensitive data.
Some sites also collect and share data about you with third parties without your knowledge. Selecting an IP based in a country that has strong privacy laws will help you keep a high level of anonymity.
6British Virgin Islands
Table showing the top-ranked countries that value their citizen’s privacy.
Appear From a Different Location:
You’ve probably heard or noticed that when you try booking a flight online from different locations (different IP’s), there’s usually a price difference even though it is the same flight. This price difference is despite the fact that the departure time and location remain the same.
What usually happens is that booking sites will take note of your assigned IP Address, and if it shows you’re from a country with a higher GDP (indicating wealthier populations), you will see more expensive flights than someone with an IP Address from a location with a relatively worse off economy.
It pays to appear to be located in a poorer country here.
Also, these airfare websites can take a peek at your browsing history by looking at cookies stored on your website. If it shows you’ve been looking for flights, you’re likely to be shown more expensive flights than other visitors who are checking the flight price for the first time.
To, get better ticket prices, change your IP location to another country that has low GDP. You can find low GDP countries on this page. Later in the article we will show how to change your IP address country/location using VPNs.
30 USA$11. 50
Table showing the top 10 cheapest countries to book flights from in 2017, and also some of the most expensive. Source
This is also the case when buying goods and services online. You will notice that you can buy online subscriptions to software (e. g. Adobe PhotoShop etc. ) and other things from the USA cheaper than say in Europe or Australia.
There are quite a few geographically restricted websites on the internet that you cannot connect to from certain regions of the world. For instance, if you’re a fan of the wildly successful Netflix sci-fi drama Stranger Things, you can’t watch it online while on holiday in China.
Should you wish to unblock Netflix from China – you would require a US-based IP address. Some Geo-Restricted websites include but not limited to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, NFLSeasonPass, BBC iPlayer, ABC iView, Channel 7 (Aus), and just about every TV Network that also streams their content on the internet. In other cases, blogs and social media accounts of dissidents are usually restricted in regions of the world where freedom of thought and speech is not prevalent.
If you like to follow video guides better than reading then watch the video below to see how easy you can change your IP address.
>> Find the latest and cheapest VPN’s here << In some countries, social media websites Facebook and Twitter are blocked. Change your IP to the required country, and you can unlock it to view content and websites while also remaining anonymous. Access Blocked Content Everywhere: Your school firewall can be circumvented in seconds. Sometimes, it’s not geo-IP restricted websites that are the issue. Some educational institutions and workplaces install firewalls that restrict the content you can access. Schools, Universities, and workplaces are notorious for this; usually blocking sites that serve no educational purpose and clog up the network (especially video streaming sites like YouTube and Netflix). With a VPN, you can change IP location country and city, circumvent the firewall, access restricted content and visit blocked websites because your internet will be encrypted with a VPN, so they won’t know what you are trying to look at. Bypass Online Censorship Authoritarian regimes are infamous for heavy censorship and online surveillance. In environments such as these, you need to be vigilant and innovative. However, censorship and online surveillance are not just limited to 3rd world dictatorships. For instance, Europe is one of the biggest advocates of Internet freedom, whereas in reality censorship also exists in Europe. Changing your assigned IP address by getting another one that is fake, should get rid of such problems right away! Avoid Online Surveillance: If you value your privacy and don’t think you should have everything you do online saved for eternity and sifted through by countless different entities then you probably want to use a VPN. There is an alliance called the 5 Eyes alliance, another one called the 9 eyes alliance and another called the 14 eyes alliance. These alliances came about after various wars and were originally thought up and created to stop the Russians in the cold war. Warning: How well do you trust these governments? Over the years the power of these alliances has grown exponentially and they have data on everyone. No one even knew about its existence (outside those high up in government) until Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the various legal and illegal tactics they use to collect data and carry out mass surveillance. 5 Eyes9 Eyes14 Eyes USAUSAUSA UKUKUK CanadaCanadaCanada AustraliaAustraliaAustralia New ZealandNew ZealandNew Zealand DenmarkDenmark FranceFrance HollandHolland NorwayNorway Germany Belgium Italy Sweden Spain The 5 eyes countries share everything, the 9 share almost everything and the extra countries in the 14 eyes alliance are though to also share info with the 9 eyes but they do not confirm this. Encrypt your Internet Connection Over Public WIFI: When you connect via a public WIFI, you’re at risk because hackers can compromise the security of your device, access it and steal valuable data. Worse, they can send nasty malware your way or steal your device’s mac address. You can be safe by changing your IP address using good quality VPN software that will encrypt your internet connection. How to Change IP Address to Another Country? To put it another way, how can you gain access to a fake IP address and location? There are multiple different methods you can use to change your IP address to appear like you are in another country or city. The process varies from method to method, and some methods suit certain needs better than others. VPN: Note: VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and is the intermediary between your Internet connection and the sites that you wish to visit. When you sign up with a VPN provider, you connect to their network in a secure, simple and easy way to remote servers that are spread out across the world to tunnel your internet connection through (exactly like in the movies when trying to trace hackers). With the use of their VPN Software, you can change your IP address country and choose a brand new one from a country that suits your needs the most. VPN service providers usually provide client software that supports Windows, MAC OS, iOS, Android and Linux. The setup for VPN client is different on different devices but usually is simple and easy. Even though a VPN will give you multiple servers from the same location, but all of them will not have similar speeds. The difference in quality between different VPN services is huge. In the same way, not all VPN services have the same features. A good place to start to find the exact features you’re looking for would be to check out the VPN comparison table here. Don’t forget to read terms of service because some VPNs don’t allow specific uses. In addition, a VPN safeguards your data with the use of data encryption, safe tunneling and firewalls protect your traffic, so you don’t risk having your data snooped on while surfing the web, especially while using a public WIFI. Your ISP or Government won’t even know what you are doing online. To change IP address, you need to subscribe to a reliable VPN service, preferably that is based in a country with strong privacy laws, download their app and you’ll be all set. Whenever you want to change your IP you just turn on your VPN app and choose a location. The best thing about using a VPN to get a fake IP is that a VPN makes it so easy, just a couple of clicks and you’re done. Important: A VPN that is compatible with all of your devices is perhaps the most reliable and easy method to obtain a fake IP address. Security Gladiators highly recommends NordVPN for a solid VPN choice, is based in Panama; a country that has strong privacy laws and outside of the US legal jurisdiction. They have awesome speeds, great support, 30-day money-back guarantee, simple and easy to use and we hooked up a special 70% discount for our readers making it one of the cheapest VPN’s on the market. > Click here to check out NordVPN and get the 75% discount << ProsFast Downloads & Uploads Military Grade Encryption Large Selection of IP's Ease Of Use Can Choose Location If your main priority for a VPN is to remain private and anonymous then you definitely want to run a test on your VPN for leaks to make sure it is safe and secure. There are many different times you will want to do this: Before doing anything super sensitive. Just after purchasing a VPN while you still have a money-back guarantee period. Then every few months is a good idea. Test your VPN with our custom-built Security Gladiators VPN Leak Test Tool here. Smart DNS: This is an alternative software similar to a VPN; it helps mask your device IP address. Unlike a VPN, though, it does support data encryption, and this can lead to security hazards on the internet. This lack of encryption means traffic going in and out of your device is not protected at all. To use a Smart DNS, find a reliable Smart DNS provider and activate it to conceal your true identity (the IP address) on the internet. After manual configuration and selecting another country’s server, the Smart DNS is going to offer the desired outcome for you. You will need to login to the SmartDNS dashboard and set your actual current IP address every time you try to use it from a different location. A SmartDNS is the best choice if your only purpose to change your IP address is to stream video (from a service that hasn’t blocked the SmartDNS) at home and nowhere else. This will provide the quickest speeds as there is no encryption. Note: If you want to use it on multiple devices in different locations (eg school, home, work, etc. ) then the VPN is a much better option. Warning: Unfortunately, a lot of the best streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have figured out how to detect SmartDNS services, they have blocked them making them useless for this purpose, the best VPN’s still work for this purpose. You don’t need us telling you that if you are looking for a fake IP then a Smart DNS service will get you one. But smart DNS services aren’t as effective as VPN services when it comes to fetching a fake IP address and changing the location of your IP address. ProsSuper Fast Downloads & UploadsConsPaid Solution Won't Work on Netflix etc. Complicated to Set Up Limited Selection of IP's Tor Browser: Tor is useful not only for people like Snowden but also for much the average joes like Wikipedia editors. Tor is an open-source, free and easy to use web browser, based on Mozilla Firefox, that enables you to hide your true IP address regardless of your location. Originally TOR technology, the software behind TOR Browser, was developed by the US military for secure communications with its spies and whistleblowers. If you visit the official website of The Onion Router (TOR), you will learn how to get a new IP address and thus shield your anonymity online. You will have to download the Tor browser and proceed with other instructions as advised to get a brand-new IP address. The default settings are pretty good for security and anonymity. While this will change your IP address and encrypt your internet connection (i. e., traffic) it does have some downfalls. For starters, it is extremely slow. Don’t even bother trying to stream video or music with Tor, it is even very slow for browsing. Secondly, this is the browser that is used to access the Dark Web, so ISP’s and the Feds are monitoring who is using the Tor browser. Download and upload speed of the ISP. Download and upload speed using a good VPN Download and upload speed using Tor Browser Even though TOR browser is masking your IP, governments still have ways to figure out your real IP address location. Some people also use a combination of TOR and a VPN to ensure anonymity and security. ProsFree Onion EncryptionConsVery Slow Speeds Won't Work on Netflix etc. (speed) Can't Choose Location Only Works On Browser Which Is The Safest Method to Benefit From? To answer the question “how to change my country IP safely? ” we’ve highlighted all the effective methods and hope you’ll find them helpful. Not all methods are created of the solutions we’ve offered come free (but there are some security issues and hassles involved on your end), whereas some others require a cheap software subscription. Some of them only provide a change of IP addresses, while others offer additional bonuses such as encryption, speed and large selections of locations. Being an avid user of VPN services myself, I recommend NordVPN. Not only do they provide a diverse range of servers, but they also protect your online privacy through deep data encryption, making them one of the safest and best options. Feel free to change your country’s IP address according to your needs and explore the depths of online freedom at your own pace! How to change your IP manually to one in the same country Some of you may only want to change your IP address but don’t care if it is in another country or private, you just want a different IP for some reason. Warning: We will show you how to do it but be warned that it can cause problems in some cases where you will not be able to access the internet anymore. To start with, we’ll list methods that can change your IP manually without any tools. If you are using Windows 10, you can follow the steps outlined below (Windows 8 and below is similar): Firstly, you need to find out if your ISP has given you a Static IP address or dynamic. If you have a static IP, then the only way to change your IP address is to contact your ISP and request that they change it. You might be able to do this once or twice, but you will eventually end up hitting a brick wall with this method. Luckily this is not often the case when following our guide. The Simple Method That Is an Overnight Solution The first method is quite simple, but you have to wait, and it doesn’t always work, and it will still show you are at the same location (but a different IP). Go to IP finder tool (click here) near the top of this page and note down your IP Address, take a screenshot if it is easier. Then you will need to switch off your Modem and Router and personal computer (PC) for around 8 hours. In a lot of cases, simply doing this will change your IP address. After 8 hours, turn it all back on and then go and check your IP address again to see if it has changed. If it has not changed or you can’t wait, then follow the below set of instructions. Open your windows menu by clicking the bottom left Windows icon or the Start Menu Find the “Command Prompt” app by searching for it Right-Click it and “Run as Administrator” When you get a “pop-up” message asking you if it can make changes to your system, you click “Yes” Your Command Prompt window will now open Type “ipconfig /release” and press Enter Go to Control Panel by “right-clicking” on the windows icon in the bottom left. Click on Network and Internet Click on “Network and Sharing Centre” Click on”Change adapter settings” in the left column Right-Click on the Internet connection of yours (in this case my Ethernet connection) and click the properties Select “Use the following IP address. Type a new IP address eg 123. 123. 123 (Default option is “Obtain an IP address automatically”) Change your IPv4 Preferred DNS Server to 8. 8. 8 (Googles DNS Server or 1. 1. 1, which is Cloudflare DNS server. Tests show it’s faster than Google) Click OK and then do step 11 again Select “Obtain an IP address automatically” Click “Ok” Click “Ok” again. This step saves your settings. Restart your PC and you are done! Head to near the top of this current page and see if your IP address has changed. If it did not, then you probably have a static IP. For Mac OS X, things are rather simpler, BUT you are using a proxy instead: Note: Using proxies will change your IP address, BUT unlike a good VPN service the proxy server you use can see EVERYTHING you do and can intercept all of your data and do what they want with it. This is like asking a stranger on the street to collect your mail every day, open it, read it, change it if they like, and then give it to you, then take your reply and change that to whatever they like and forward it on if they want. This is why we don’t recommend using proxies for anything other than browsing. NEVER submit anything sensitive or login to any accounts using a proxy server. Also, ensure web browsers from well-known sources. E. g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave (based on Google Chrome) and Opera. Well known proxy websites are usually blocked by places that don’t want you to use a proxy service and bypass their blocks. Warning: There are also malicious proxy services out there. Proxies can be found in proxy lists. Again, you will not be sure who is running the proxy list and if the proxies in the list are safe to use. Don’t bother trying to stream any video or music with a proxy either as the connections are very flakey (drop out a lot) at best and very slow. A fast VPN service does not have this problem. Open Safari and choose Preferences Go to Advanced Choose the Proxies and change Settings Check HTTP (Web Proxy) Get a new IP address by using a proxy service. (We urge everyone to not use free proxy service) Copy and Paste the IP address and the port number OK and Apply The default/real IP address can be changed in Linux OS using a similar method with some differences. We will cover Android-based phones and iPhone in a later article. We hope we answered everything you wanted to know about how to change your IP Address to another country. If you have any further questions, then please write them in the comments section below, and we will try and help you out in solving your problem and please share this so others can also find out about it. If you need to change your IP address to another country, then the simplest and best method is to use a VPN, if you want the cheapest way then it is using Tor, and if you don’t care about the location of the IP address and it to be more of a permanent change then do it manually.
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.