How to hide your IP address online to protect your online identity

The IP address enables the ISP (Internet Service Provider), advertising, government, and schools to easily monitor you online. To safeguard your online identity, you must address the root of the issue by concealing your IP address.

The internet is widely considered one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century since it not only revolutionizes how contemporary mankind communicates and lives but also significantly advances science and technology.

As a drop in the online ocean, you may believe that you are neither unique nor significant. However, your identification is critical for several components. Your ISP monitors your online activity to determine whether to throttle your bandwidth or sell your personal information to third-party marketers. The marketer advertiser pre-judges your preferences based on your online activity and produces customized advertisements to increase the likelihood of a sale. The government monitors your online activity to conduct flexible investigations, restrict content, and apprehend locally illegal statements or activities. All of these actions are carried out through your IP address.

An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is the unique identifier given to your device by a router or other smart equipment such as a printer. Only the IP address enables you to join the network and communicate with other members of the same network. Today, since we are primarily concerned with standard internet anonymity, this IP address is usually the IPv4 address, which is composed of four digits ranging from 0 to 255 and separated by periods, such as 875.290.783.339.

Without further explanation of IP addresses, let us get to the point: it is the IP address that exposes your online identity and leads you into the traps of your ISP, advertiser, administrator, and LAN administrator. To enjoy more secure and private online browsing without encountering unpleasant harassment, it is recommended that you conceal your IP address.

There are numerous tools for disguising your IP address

There are many methods to mask your true IP address. With the assistance of each, your real IP address will be completely invisible to others. Now, let’s take a look at three basic methods for hiding and changing your IP address without using public Wi-Fi.

Tool 1 – VPN, the most recommended method of disguising your IP address

VPN is an abbreviation for virtual private network. It is a popular method of establishing a more secure and private internet connection, as well as circumventing geo-restriction. How does a virtual private network (VPN) work? Simply put, it establishes encrypted tunneling using a VPN protocol (e.g., OpenVPN or WireGuard) between you and the target online source, then routes the traffic through an intermediary server, during which your real IP address is disguised and a new IP address assigned by the VPN provider’s server becomes your new identity.

The reason VPN is much more recommended than the following products is that it provides a better degree of privacy, security, and reliability due to data encryption and a mature server network. Without a doubt, the assumption is that you are using a high-quality VPN application.

NordVPN is a reputable, high-quality VPN service that is compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. This VPN’s configuration of thousands of servers in several countries and numerous cities globally allows you to change your IP address to any place outside your city or country at will. NordVPN’s multi-protocol compatibility, ECC encryption, and zero-log policy make it the ideal option for protecting your digital privacy.

Tool 2 – Proxy, a VPN-like method of circumventing content restrictions without encryption

A proxy server works similarly to a VPN in that all traffic is routed via the proxy server, ensuring that the final IP address used to access the web is not yours, but the proxy server. However, since its primary goal is to assist users in remaining anonymous and bypassing firewall or LAN internet access restrictions, it does not encrypt your connection or data the way a VPN does. Additionally, free and low-cost proxies often record your activities to sell them. However, it is more appropriate for individuals who do not have vital or sensitive information to protect.

You may encounter a variety of proxy types depending on the protocol and method of operation, including HTTP (S) proxy, online proxy, SOCKS (4/5) proxy, SSL proxy, proxy extension, public proxy, shared proxy, and dedicated/private proxy, the latter of which is more trustworthy and quicker.

Tor is an open-source program that enables anonymous communication.

The TorBrowser, whose official name is “The Onion Router,” is the elder brother dedicated to keeping anyone’s internet activities hidden from advertisers, ISPs, and others. In this manner, both the IP address and the location will be visible.

Tor was first published in 2002 and was originally used only by the US Navy to secure intelligence communications. It was then made public and has been under ongoing development ever since. Numerous individuals use it to circumvent network restrictions, monitoring, tracking, and analysis of their surfing patterns for either legal or criminal purposes.

How can Tor provide complete online anonymity? It uses proprietary onion routing technology to route and encrypt data via a free, worldwide volunteer-run overlay network. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Tor browser on your Windows, Mac OS X, Android, or Linux-based device, every website you visit will be protected by onion routing. That stated, regardless of how you want to avoid websites, advertisements, businesses, governments, or cyberspies, Tor is intended to act as a guardian.

Free Tor is worth considering if you are on a limited budget and are willing to put up with its comparatively slower connection speed and possible security vulnerabilities. By the way, Tor does not track any internet activity that occurs outside of the Tor browser.

Nonetheless, there are 4 methods to hide your IP and change it to a new one

Apart from using the aforementioned assistance, there are many more simple methods for concealing your true IP address. Whether you’re searching for a method to conceal your prior IP address from Reddit, Quora, Discord, forums, or similar sites, or if you’re registering numerous accounts or your previous account was banned by its server, you may use either of them without difficulty.

Method 1 – Locate a public wireless (WiFi) network

Connecting your device to a public network, such as a café, fast-food restaurant, offline store, or shopping center, will result in the assignment of a new IP address to your device. Any activity occurring over such a shared internet connection can not be directly linked back to you. As such, you may consider it a temporary method of becoming unseeable on the web.

However, for data security, you’d be wise to choose an encrypted WiFi hotspot and conduct web browsing and similar activities without revealing your login credentials, bank card information, or other sensitive information, as public WiFi is regarded as high-risk, potentially endangering your data and property from cyber theft. Additionally, this is a pure way of concealing a widely used home or work IP address and obtaining a new untraceable IP address, but, unlike VPNs, proxies, and Tor, it is difficult to bypass geo-blocks.

Method 2 – Unplug the modem to renew or request an IP reset from your ISP

Your internet service provider is the one that gives you an IP address. You may get rid of your existing IP address and get a new one by contacting its customer service (please provide your account information and the IP address currently in use in advance) or turning off the modem for a few minutes. The technique of disconnecting the modem results in a dynamic IP address.

In this case, if a device is always given a fixed IP address, it is said to have a static IP address. This may create a slew of complications when some websites require you to remember your IP address to continue.

Method 3 – Manually change the IP address on your computer/mobile device

You may get a new IP address by modifying it in the associated settings. Yes, you need to prepare the IP address in advance.

For use with Windows: Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections -> choose the local area connection and then click Properties -> TCP/IP -> Enter the brand-new IP address to render the old one inoperable.

For Android devices: Connections -> Wi-Fi -> Settings Select the Wi-Fi network you’re using, and the gear-shaped icon -> Advanced -> IP Configuration -> Static IP -> Enter your anticipated IP address

Mac OS X: Configure IPv4 -> Manually -> System Preferences -> Network -> Network Connection -> Configure IPv4 -> Enter the pre-created IP address

For iOS devices, go to Settings -> Wi-Fi -> Network -> Configure IP (in the IPv4 address section) -> enter the new IP address.

Method 4 – Using a NAT firewall to hide a private IP address

A firewall configured with NAT (Network Address Translation) is capable of concealing the private IP address. If your wireless router supports NAT, several connected devices will share the same public IP address. This implies that your unique private IP address will remain private.

Final remarks

These are four different methods for concealing your current IP address, some of which mask it temporarily while the IP remains active, while others just terminate the troublesome IP address and replace it with another.

Which is most appropriate for you? It is determined by your current level of satiation and demand. If the existing IP address has created many issues and is banned by numerous websites, why not just terminate it and get a new one? If you want to retain your current IP address and just need to conceal it, sometimes to weaken or erase your online identity, you may use the Tor browser, a proxy, or a VPN service, the latter of which is the best choice due to its greatest degree of anonymity, security, and reliability.

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