Home VPN How to Hide Your IP Address Safely in 2024 – Free & Paid Methods
Krishi Chowdhary Journalist Author expertise
Disclosure
Disclosure
In our content, we occasionally include affiliate links. Should you click on these links, we may earn a commission, though this incurs no additional cost to you. Your use of this website signifies your acceptance of our terms and conditions as well as our privacy policy.

The Tech Report Why Trust Tech Report Arrow down

Tech Report is one of the oldest hardware, news, and tech review sites on the internet. We write helpful technology guides, unbiased product reviews, and report on the latest tech and crypto news. We maintain editorial independence and consider content quality and factual accuracy to be non-negotiable.

How to hide your IP address?’ is a more and more frequent question for anyone looking to protect their online privacy. As it houses your entire digital footprint, there are numerous valid reasons why you may want to hide your IP address.

This is exactly what we’ll discuss in this article — the why and the how. We’ll show you the best ways to protect your IP address and become anonymous on the Internet.

What is an IP Address?

An IP address is like a digital address – a unique string of numbers that can be used to identify every device connected to the internet.

Whenever you visit any site, the IP address serves as a medium of communication and helps transfer requests from your device to another server and vice versa.

However, this IP address also houses all your internet information – the sites you visit, your device details, your location, and so on.

As such, hackers can use the IP address for planned DDoS attacks, identity theft, sending adware and spam, or tracking your real-time location.

How to Check Your IP Address

You can easily check your IP address on websites like WhatIsMyIP or by visiting Network & Internet settings on your Windows device.

For Mac devices, visit the Apple menu and click System Settings. On the left panel, click Network and choose Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Click ‘Details’ and scroll down to see your IP address.

How to Hide Your IP Address

Now that you know what an IP address is, here are some methods for hiding it and staying safe on the Internet.

Use a VPN — The Safest Method

A VPN is the best way to hide your IP address on the Internet. It replaces your original IP with a different one so that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is tricked into believing the traffic is emanating from a different address.

Whenever you connect to a VPN, your traffic is redirected through servers run by the VPN host. Plus, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, which means that your ISP will never know the details of the websites you’re visiting.

Some VPN providers, like NordVPN, also offer a Double VPN feature, where your traffic is routed through two servers instead of one, encrypting your data twice and making it almost impossible to unearth your original IP address.

VPNs also come with a lot of advanced features that give you more control over your traffic data. For example, you get a kill switch that disconnects you from the internet if the VPN disconnects, preventing any of your data from leaking.

Pros

  • Encrypts all your internet traffic data
  • Protects you from data leaks and cyberattacks
  • Blocks ads and pop-ups
  • Unblocks geo-restricted streaming content
  • Reduced bandwidth throttling
  • Protects you while connecting to public Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Using a VPN can lead to slower speeds
  • VPNs are banned in some countries like Turkmenistan

The Best VPNs to Hide Your IP

Now that you know how crucial VPNs are in protecting you online, here are some of the best VPN providers you can rely on to hide your IP:

Best VPNs Starting Price Double VPN Dedicated IP Money-Back Guarantee Full Reviews
NordVPN $3.99/month 30 days NordVPN Review
Surfshark $2.19/month 30 days Surfshark VPN Review
ExpressVPN $8.32/month 30 days ExpressVPN Review
PureVPN $1.49/month 31 days PureVPN Review
Ivacy VPN $2.14/month 7 days (monthly plan)
31 days (yearly plans)
Ivacy VPN Review

Editor’s Choice

NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers in the industry right now, thanks to its excellent security, speeds, unblocking, and value for money.

The VPN boasts a network of over 5,000 servers in 105 countries, meaning you’ll always find an uncontested, fast server to connect to. NordVPN is also compatible with virtually all devices, and it offers 10 simultaneous connections.

Not to mention, NordVPN’s security is faultless. It employs industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, a rock-solid kill switch, and a strict no-logging policy. These aren’t just claims, either.

In January 2023, NordVPN verified its no-logging claim for the fourth time via an audit by Deloitte. It even offers a Double VPN, routing your internet traffic through two servers and encrypting it twice.

You can also get a dedicated IP address, a spoofed IP address that won’t be shared with other users. This is ideal for avoiding blacklisting on sites (including geo-blocked ones like Netflix and Disney+).

What’s more, you can get NordPass, one of the best password managers, a data breach scanner, built-in antivirus, and even cyber insurance.

Can I Use a Free VPN to Hide My IP Address?

Free VPNs are a cost-effective solution for hiding IP addresses. However, most free VPNs carry several risks, including:

  • In some instances, these providers don’t use the same robust encryption and security protocols as the paid ones.
  • Free VPNs may house malware, adware, or other forms of security threats.
  • A CSIRO study shows almost 72% of free VPNs use trackers for targeted advertising.
  • Free VPNs slow down your internet speed and limit your usage bandwidth.
  • They aren’t adept at unblocking geo-blocked streaming services, such as Netflix, BBC, iPlayer, or Hulu.

Considering all these limitations, it makes sense to invest in a paid VPN. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be glad to know that there are several highly secure, fast, cheap VPN services where you can expect to pay as little as $1.49 a month.

Use TOR

TOR is a web browser that helps you mask your IP address with its network of relay systems. This redirects your internet traffic with 6,000+ relays, which makes it difficult for your ISP or anyone else to know your IP address.

Whenever you request a web page through the TOR browser, the data can be routed through any of the relays. Plus, your request is encrypted while it moves through the TOR relay network.

TOR Browser to Hide IP

The website server you want to reach will see traffic coming from the TOR network instead of your original IP address.

However, you need to be careful while using TOR, as it is also a gateway to the deep and dark web. Plus, it slows your internet connection speed and doesn’t guarantee protection from malware.

Pros

  • Totally free of cost
  • More secure than regular browsers
  • Gives you complete anonymity
  • Access to onion sites

Cons

  • Slower internet speed
  • Certain scripts are blocked

Use a Proxy

You can use a proxy server (which acts as an intermediary between you and the website you want to visit) to hide your original IP address on the internet.

Instead of visiting a webpage directly, you can use a proxy server to retrieve the data for you. The proxy server hides your IP address and uses its own to visit the website.

Another thing a proxy does is store data in its cache database. For example, if you visit a web page called Z through a proxy, the proxy server will save a copy of this webpage in its database.

The next time anyone requests the same webpage through the proxy, it retrieves it directly from its database instead of reaching out to the webpage again.

As you’d expect, this leads to a faster browsing experience. However, one of the biggest disadvantages of using a proxy is that it doesn’t encrypt your data like a VPN does.

This means that your IP address and internet traffic information can still be intercepted by your ISP or any malicious third party.

While using a proxy is a temporary fix for hiding one’s IP, it isn’t a fully secure method. IPRoyal is one of the best proxy services available, with over a million ‘ethically sourced’ proxies in 195+ countries.

A residential proxy costs just $1.75 per GB, while a data center proxy costs $1.39 per IP. Some other proxies you can rely on include Bright Data, Oxylabs, and Smartproxy.

Pros

  • Blocks your IP address
  • Stores data in cache database
  • Allows access to blocked content

Cons

  • Not entirely safe from SSL extraction attempts
  • Unreliable connections

Public Wi-Fi

When you connect to a public Wi-Fi, you use the Wi-Fi’s IP address instead of your own, which helps you hide your own IP address.

However, public Wi-Fi is a security nightmare56% of them don’t even require a password for connection. Plus public networks are a breeding ground for man-in-the-middle attacks.

The data sent between your device and the server can easily be intercepted by any malicious third party since none of the data transferred is encrypted.

As many as 43% of users have had their security compromised on public Wi-Fi. Therefore, it is very important to use a VPN whenever you’re connected to an unsecured network.

Pros

  • Free of cost in most cases
  • Can be faster than mobile internet

Cons

  • Vulnerable to attacks
  • Data shared is unencrypted

Why Should I Hide My IP Address?

Here are a few reasons you might want to hide your IP address:

PrivacyTorrentingAccessing Geo-Restricted ContentSafety From HackersAvoiding Censorship

Hiding your IP address gives you more privacy on the internet. It becomes difficult to track any activity back to you, especially if you’re using a VPN.

This comes in handy if your work is of a sensitive nature, such as a journalist.

Torrenting is illegal in certain countries since it promotes the illegal sharing of licensed original content. If you visit a torrent site with your original IP address, you may land in trouble sooner or later since your ISP provider has information on every site you visit.

That’s why it’s always recommended to hide your IP address if you plan on doing so. This makes it impossible for authorities to trace your original location.

Related:

Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and others often block certain content in certain countries, depending on local laws. However, you can hide your IP address or change it to a location with no restrictions to unblock such geo-restricted content.

Related:

Your IP address can reveal a lot of personal information, such as the location and nature of the websites you visit.

This can be used by hackers to plant malware, adware, or spyware through malicious links. Hiding or changing your IP address helps you stay safe from such cyber attack attempts.

Certain governments block websites that don’t fit their agendas or censor a lot of online content. Hiding your IP address helps you bypass this censorship.

Final Thoughts

Your IP address is a middleman that helps your system communicate with other systems on the Internet. However, an IP address also carries a lot of sensitive information, which can be misused by malicious third parties.

Hiding your IP address provides you with complete anonymity on the Internet—your activity cannot be tracked, you can visit restricted websites, and you can protect yourself from hackers, malicious ads, and pop-ups.

There are several ways you can hide your IP address:

  1. A TOR browser
  2. Public Wi-Fi
  3. A VPN
  4. A proxy

All security experts will agree that a VPN is the safest way. A VPN hides your IP and encrypts your data, making it impossible for someone to trace you.

NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers around, offering 5,000+ servers in 105 countries, double encryption, and a dedicated IP address. Thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try it risk-free.

FAQs

Can you truly hide your IP address?

How do I make my IP address not visible?

Is it safe to hide my IP address?

Is my IP address visible?

The Tech Report - Editorial ProcessOur Editorial Process

The Tech Report editorial policy is centered on providing helpful, accurate content that offers real value to our readers. We only work with experienced writers who have specific knowledge in the topics they cover, including latest developments in technology, online privacy, cryptocurrencies, software, and more. Our editorial policy ensures that each topic is researched and curated by our in-house editors. We maintain rigorous journalistic standards, and every article is 100% written by real authors.

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi is an eager Tech Journalist and content writer for both B2B and B2C, with a focus on making the process of purchasing software easier for businesses and enhancing their online presence and SEO.

Krishi has a special skill set in writing about technology news, creating educational content on customer relationship management (CRM) software, and recommending project management tools that can help small businesses increase their revenue.

Alongside his writing and blogging work, Krishi's other hobbies include studying the financial markets and cricket.

Latest News

Tornado Cash Records $1.9B in Deposit for H1 2024 Amid Sanctions
Crypto News

Tornado Cash Records $1.9B in Deposit for H1 2024 Amid Sanctions

BlackRock's Spot Bitcoin ETF Investors Still Accumulating Despite Subdued Outlook
Crypto News

BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Investors Still Accumulating Despite Subdued Outlook

Despite a bearish sentiment for Bitcoin, BlackRock Spot Bitcoin ETF IBIT has recorded massive inflows since last week Monday. Bitcoin ETF Flow (US$ million) – 2024-07-18 TOTAL NET FLOW: 84.8(Provisional...

Solana Traders Identify Bullish Pennant Pattern as SOL Gains 17%
Crypto News

Solana Traders Identify Bullish Pennant Pattern as SOL Gains 17%

Crypto traders have identified a bullish pattern on the Solana price chart, triggering anticipation for more rallies as Solana’s price gained 17% in the past week. According to CryptoBusy analysts, SOL has formed...

Bitzlato CEO Avoids More Jail Time Despite $700 Million Dark Web Operation
Crypto News

Bitzlato CEO Avoids More Jail Time Despite $700 Million Dark Web Operation

Bitcoin Retail Investor Demand Hits a Three-Year Low; Is the Bull Run Over?
Crypto News

Bitcoin Retail Investor Demand Hits a Three-Year Low; Is the Bull Run Over?

Apple’s New Safari Ad Takes a Dig at Rivals, Especially Google Chrome
News

Apple’s New Safari Ad Takes a Dig at Rivals, Especially Google Chrome

446.40% $SHIB Burnt After WazirX Security Breach – Shiba Shootout Nears $700K Milestone
Crypto News

446.40% $SHIB Burnt After WazirX Security Breach – Shiba Shootout Nears $700K Milestone