Every time you visit a website on the internet, the site and your search engine know your location through your IP address.
They use the IP address to restrict certain sites from your location and send targeted ads your way.
When in the wrong site, attackers can use your IP address to spy on you or even attack your devices. This is why it’s important to hide your IP address whenever you’re online.
Here are some of the easiest ways to do this:
Using a Virtual Private Network
Using a VPN to mask your IP address is the most common and most effective way out there. When you connect to a VPN, the VPN reroutes all your data traffic to its servers in different locations. It also assigns your data to a new IP address based on the server’s address.
Therefore, you can mask your IP address and assume a new address by simply connecting to a different server. This works in almost every country around the world. In fact, getting a free China IP address is easy with a VPN, even though most people think VPNs don’t work in China.
The good thing with VPNs is that they offer a plethora of other benefits. The VPN lets you connect to geo-blocked websites, get cheaper airline tickets, and even stream Netflix and Amazon Prime easily.
How to choose a VPN
All you need is to ensure that the VPN you choose offers up-to-date security features. Its encryption system should be robust with zero DNS leakage and a kill switch. This will ensure that websites do not detect it.
You should also look into the speeds of the VPN. Look for a VPN with high-speeds and consistent connections.
More importantly, it should have numerous servers and unlimited server switches, giving you the freedom to access content from any site worldwide.
Lastly, look for a VPN that doesn’t keep logs of your connections. A no-logging policy ensures that no one can snoop around what you do online. It gives you total anonymity when browsing.
Use a Proxy
Using proxies is another great way to mask your IP address online. Here, the proxy servers act as intermediaries between your computer and the websites you want to visit.
When you connect to a proxy server, the proxy intercepts your connections and controls your data traffic. This way, as your data traffic gets to the server; the proxy sends a request to your target website asking for the content you want. Once the website responds, the proxy sends you a copy of the content to your computer.
In real-time, let’s say you’re in China, but you want to access a UK streaming site. When you connect to a proxy server, the server will send a request to the UK site using a UK IP address.
When the website makes the Livestream videos available, the proxy server sends a copy of that video back to you. Ideally, a proxy server doesn’t give you access to your target website; they send you a copy of the content on the site.
You can therefore use this concept to bypass geo-restrictions and access the blocked content you want.
What’s wrong with proxies?
Unlike VPNs, proxy servers don’t secure your connections using an encryption system of any kind. This makes it a more attractive platform for cyberattacks to intercept your data and send malware to your system.
Moreover, since most proxies are free, they quickly get flooded, resulting in terribly low speeds. You might also find some proxies are already blocked by most streaming sites.
Using Tor Browser
For complete anonymity online, using Tor browser should be your best option to hide your IP address. Tor browser routes your data traffic across numerous servers globally, ensuring that your IP address is untraceable.
The browser is also free and uses volunteer servers to manage your data traffic, making it a cost-friendly option for hiding your IP.
Nonetheless, Tor’s biggest challenge is that its speeds are really slow. You might get to hide your IP address, but downloading content or live streaming events using Tor browser will be a bit harder.
While all these methods are great for masking your IP address, using a VPN is the best and safest way to go about it. VPNs use robust security protocols, their connections are great, and they can unblock geo-restrictions for any site.