Your IP Address is visible / Your location is exposed / etc. | AVG
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Bruce LevitanI have a paid subscription to AVG Internet Security and I keep getting messages about the lack of a VPN, e. g. “Your IP Address is visible:… ” “Your location is exposed:… ” etc. However I use a separate VPN that is not AVG’s own erefore these messages are not only annoying, but also wrong! AVG needs to be able to detect other VPNs and hide such messages in such cases, or have the ability for the user to switch off the4se messages (if this exists I can’t find it). (And before anyone tells me to re-install the product, this was just done a few days ago by AVG Support in order to fix a different problem).
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How to Hide Your IP address (8 easy methods, 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.
My IP Address is Exposed! What Can I Do? – The VPN Guru
Worried about your exposed IP address? Well, don’t. There’s nothing wrong with your connection, your computer isn’t messing up, and you’ve definitely not clicked on something you shouldn’t have in your settings. IP addresses are by definition exposed, but there is a way to hide them. Read on to find out why your IP address is exposed and what you can do to stop it.
How to Check My Exposed IP Address?
There are plenty of online tools you can use to see your real IP address. Even typing “what’s my IP address” into a Google search bar will show you what it is. We, here at, have our own public IP address checker tool.
Your IP Address:
Private Ip Address:
As you can see from the test above, your IP address isn’t the only thing exposed. Third-party trackers can easily get hold of your approximate location, ISP, browser, and even what kind of device you’re using.
Why is My IP Address Exposed?
Relax, your IP address is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Let me explain.
You usually have 2 different kinds of IP addresses: a private address and a public one. The private IP address is what your home network uses to distinguish between different devices. This is a private address, so it’s not easy for anyone to find. It’s also specific to the device you use. Your public IP address, on the other hand, represents your geo-location.
As the name suggests, a public IP address is, in fact, public. It’s supposed to see, it’s your online identity. Now, leaving your public IP address “exposed” isn’t really that great for you. Since the IP literally shows where you’re located and which ISP you’re using, it’s a bit of a security risk. Bad agents can easily use your public IP address to track you or to send some malicious files your way. From a privacy point of view, your public IP address is traceable online, so it can very well be used to monitor what it is you’re doing online.
I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t such a great option for internet users who are worried about their privacy and their security.
How to Hide My IP Address?
Masking your IP address isn’t actually that difficult. The problem is that it’s not something you can do on your own. You need some sort of tool to be able to properly mask your public IP.
VPNs are the safest and easiest tools you can use to properly mask your IP address. The funny thing is that this particular ability isn’t even a VPN’s primary function, it’s just something that sort of…happens.
To explain what I mean, I’m going to explain what a VPN is and how it works.
So, a VPN is primarily a cyber-security tool. It works on two basic functionalities:
Encrypting all of your data.
Re-routing your traffic through its own secure servers.
Now, the second functionality is what really changes your IP address. See when a VPN re-routes your traffic your public IP address automatically changes to match the location of the server you’re connected to.
Simply follow these steps to conceal your exposed IP address:
First, sign up with a VPN service provider.
Download and install your VPN on your PC, Mac, Android, FireStick, iPhone, or iPad.
Next, launch the application and sign in.
Finally, select one of the VPN servers and connect to it.
Check your IP address via a website like twork to make sure a change has been made.
Your public IP address is now hidden. You will appear to be browsing the web using the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to instead.
This isn’t magic, this is exactly how a public IP address is generated. See, without a VPN, you’re using servers provided by your ISP, which are usually located in your country. With a VPN, your traffic is going through a different server, so your public IP matches that server instead.
Best VPN to Hide MY IP Address
We’ve already authored a detailed review of the best VPNs you can use to hide your IP address. In that review, the number one pick went to ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is widely regarded as the best VPN service provider of 2018, so you can expect a fantastic service. You’ll get access to 2000+ servers in over 94 countries (think of the IP addresses you could get! ), a 5-star customer support team accessible via 24/7 live chat, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. While sadly, ExpressVPN doesn’t really offer a free trial, their refund policy makes it easy for you to test out the service for 30 whole days before you make a commitment. The great thing about it? They literally don’t question you. At all.
If for some inexplicable reason I didn’t manage to convert you into an ExpressVPN fan, you can try out these top-tier providers instead:
Best for streaming and privacy
High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
24/7/ live chat support
3 extra months free on annual plan
Free Smart DNS proxy
Unblocks all major streaming services
Limited Time 72% Discount
Extra security features
Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
Unlimited VPN connections
Over 1000 servers
Ad-blocking feature available
Exposed IP Address – Final Thoughts
And there you have it! All it takes for you to change your public IP is to use a VPN and connect to the server of your choice. The VPN will do the rest of the work for you. On top of all of that, it’ll also protect you from data theft, hackers, and even some forms of malware. It will also give you the ability to bypass geo-blocked and banned channels, regardless of where you currently reside. Finally, VPNs make sure that your connection is private and that no one, not your ISP nor government surveillance entities, can monitor what you do online. Be careful of free VPNs, though, as those are actually super dangerous.
About The Author
A reader, writer, and avid internet user. Hiba has spent the better part of her adult life looking for ways to have a safer and more user-friendly online experience, all while praising the uses of VPN connections to anyone who would listen.
Frequently Asked Questions about your location is exposed
What do I do if my location is exposed?
#1. … 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
What does it mean when your IP address is exposed?
As the name suggests, a public IP address is, in fact, public. It’s supposed to see, it’s your online identity. Now, leaving your public IP address “exposed” isn’t really that great for you. Since the IP literally shows where you’re located and which ISP you’re using, it’s a bit of a security risk.Jul 14, 2021
Is it bad if your IP address is exposed?
However, if a hacker knows your IP address, they can use it to seize very valuable information, including your location and online identity. Using this information as a starting point, they could potentially hack your device, steal your identity, and more.Oct 8, 2021