In the age of internet tracking, mass data collection, hacking, and targeted ads, it’s little wonder millions of people are scrambling to learn how to hide their IP addresses. Keeping your IP address under wraps can radically increase your online privacy and security. It can also help you access content that may otherwise be restricted in your region, but we’ll talk more about that later.
If you’re worried you’re going to need a PhD in computer science, you can relax. It’s easy to hide your IP address, and there are many good reasons and several ways to do so. Stay with us for the lowdown.
Quick Guide: It’s easy to hide your IP address with CyberGhost VPN. Just follow these 3 steps:
- Become a Ghostie. It’s fast and easy!
- Install the app on your device
- Change your IP address to a location of your choice, no matter where you are!
What Is an IP Address?
Your IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a numerical identifier assigned to your device when you go online. It shows your approximate location and other identifying information.
Think of it as a virtual address where the internet can send you packets of information. You can’t watch cats getting scared by cucumbers on YouTube or stay up to date on social trends without an IP address. In fact, without an IP address, you won’t even be able to connect to the internet.
But just like your physical address, you may not want the world to know your IP address. If you want to hide it, you need to mask your IP address with a borrowed one.
How to Find Your IP Address
Do you know what your IP address is? It’s simple to find out and can help you better understand what we’re talking about here. All it takes is a quick visit to an IP-checking privacy tool or a site like whatsmyip.com.
This website shows your current IP address, from which it detects the country and region you’re in. It even shows your city, zip code, geographic coordinates, and time zone – that’s a lot of information that could put your privacy at risk.
Your IP address changes depending on the network you’re on. If you’re on your home network, your IP address will differ from when you connect at school, work, or a coffee shop.
Reasons to Hide Your IP Address
1. Increase Your Online Privacy
Your ISP collects browsing data associated with your IP address and may share or sell it to third-party advertisers.
Online retailers use your IP address to track your online activity, profile you, and target you with advertising. That’s why you’ll see an ad for the same pair of boots pop up on every site you visit after pausing on them only once.
Masking your IP address prevents advertisers, websites, and your ISP from tracking your online activity. That way you can browse and shop online privately.
Online tracking isn’t just used for marketing purposes. Governments around the world have ramped up their online surveillance efforts, spending millions of dollars on spy technology to keep an eye on ordinary citizens. Masking your IP address is a significant step to dodge this Orwellian nightmare.
Did you know? CyberGhost VPN does more than just hide your IP address. It also encrypts your traffic so no one can see what you’re up to online. That way you can browse, torrent, and shop without being watched
2. Access Content
Increasingly, websites have taken to restricting or regulating content based on your IP address location. That can keep you from catching the big game, streaming your favorite show, or following the latest news when working or traveling abroad.
Changing your IP address can help you regain access to the websites you need, even when you’re overseas.
Traveling isn’t the only thing that can mess with your access. Network administrators at work or school may block you from social media, gaming, or streaming platforms to keep you focused on your work. They may block useful research tools like ChatGPT, too.
What’s worse, government censorship may keep you from important news or even block you from social media. Fortunately, changing your IP address can help you bypass all such content filtering and access the internet without restrictions.
How to Hide Your IP Address
You may have thought your browser’s incognito mode would hide your IP address, but this isn’t the case. Incognito mode just hides your browsing activity from your browser – that’s all. To change your IP address, you have several options. Some are easier than others. Some are safer, while others present more security risks. It’s best to understand how the methods differ before choosing one. Keep reading for full details or skip to the comparison table.
VPN stands for a virtual private network. It usually comes as an app you can download and install on your device. A premium VPN typically has servers in many different locations around the world.
When you connect to a VPN server, your IP address changes to that location, while your real IP address remains private. Some VPNs can even give you a Dedicated IP address, which never changes, no matter where you go. A VPN also encrypts your traffic to keep your online activity private.
CyberGhost VPN’s strict No Logs policy is backed by RAM-only servers that are unable to store data permanently. That means your session data is automatically wiped with every reboot.
Proxy servers act as a middleman between you and the websites you visit. When you connect to a proxy you mask your IP address with the proxy’s IP address. No one can see your real IP address except, of course, the proxy.
While some proxies are safe to use, some have hidden agendas. A malicious proxy may log and share your session data, violating your privacy. It may even bombard you with advertising or infect your device with malware.
Also, proxy servers don’t encrypt your traffic, so all your online activity will still be visible online.
Just like our VPN, our VPN extension keeps your IP address hidden. It also automatically blocks known malicious content, boosting your online safety. You’ll get access to servers in Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, and the US. but if you’re looking for an IP address from another location, you’ll need to buy CyberGhost VPN.
A Smart DNS server lets you change your device’s DNS address to a different location. This can help you bypass content filters and unblock websites. It doesn’t change your IP address, but it does influence the way websites see your IP address.
It also doesn’t encrypt your traffic. While this can mean a faster connection for streaming or gaming, it also means anybody can see your online activity.
The important thing is you can set up Smart DNS with just about any device, even if it does require a little technical know-how. Look for one with good support in case you need help.
CyberGhost VPN, for instance, has a Smart DNS feature and 24/7 Customer Support. You can reach out to a VPN expert via live chat any time you like.
Also known as The Onion Router, Tor is a free web browser designed for privacy. When you connect to the internet through Tor, your traffic is routed through multiple servers in random countries, changing your IP address several times. Tor also wraps your traffic in three layers of encryption.
Tor can hide your IP address, but to get an IP address from a specific country requires some configuration. While Tor can unblock websites, it can be too slow for activities like streaming.
In general, Tor is used more for privacy than unblocking content. It also helps you explore the dark web — the part of the internet that search engines haven’t indexed.
To change your IP address, just join your nearest public Wi-Fi. When you hop between Wi-Fi hotspots your IP address changes accordingly.
The downside is your traffic is unencrypted. This is risky as Wi-Fi hotspots can be hotbeds for cybercrime. Bad actors on the same open unsecured network may intercept your connection to steal your passwords and more.
Public Wi-Fi is best ventured with a VPN. In one tap, you can encrypt your traffic and keep prying eyes at bay. CyberGhost VPN even has an automatic Wi-Fi protection feature that activates military-grade VPN encryption the second you connect to an unknown network.
If you connect your device to another device’s mobile hotspot, your IP address will change. You’d need to tether to a burner phone if you don’t want your friend’s phone detected, though. Using device tethering also doesn’t allow you to choose your location or encrypt your traffic.
iCloud Private Relay
Apple’s iCloud Private Relay feature hides your IP address. It even encrypts your data. On the downside, you can’t choose your new IP address location. You’ll also need to be an iOS or Mac user and be signed up for iCloud+ to use it, and it only works in Safari.
The truth is, if you have the time and the know-how, you can spoof your location manually in any browser. This won’t encrypt your connection or hide your IP address, though.
Here’s a recap:
|A wide choice
|Free and paid
|A wide choice, but requires configuration
|Free and paid
|Free and paid
|A wide choice, but requires configuration
|Browser traffic only
|iCloud Private Relay
|Nearby locations only
|Safari traffic only
|Included in iCloud+ subscription
The Best Way to Hide Your IP Address
When all is said and done, a VPN remains the best way to change your IP address. It’s safe, reliable, and can change your IP address to the location of your choice in seconds. The best part is that it also encrypts your connection, boosting your online privacy and security.
You can change your IP address to almost anywhere in the world using CyberGhost VPN’s easy-to-use apps for Mac, PC, Linux, Android, and iOS. As well as giving you access to IP addresses in more than 100 countries, you’ll be able to rely on 256-bit AES encryption to secure your traffic and browse, torrent, shop, and stream without being watched. Our 45-day money-back guarantee means you can try it risk-free.
You can hide your IP address for free using CyberGhost VPN’s browser extension for Chrome or Firefox. Once installed, it takes a single click to mask your IP address. CyberGhost’s free browser extension lets you change your IP address to one from Romania, Netherlands, Germany, or the US.
If you need more server locations, you’ll need to buy CyberGhost VPN. This gives you access to servers in over 100 countries. It also encrypts all your device’s traffic, not just from your browser.
Yes. If you use Tor, a VPN, or a proxy, your IP address will change based on the final server your traffic is routed through. No one will be able to see your real IP address, except the VPN or proxy provider. This is why you should choose a provider you can trust.
The simplest way to hide your IP address on public Wi-Fi is with a VPN. When you connect to a VPN server you’ll get a new IP address and your real IP address will stay private. A VPN will also encrypt your traffic so network administrators, cybercriminals, and snoops can’t see what you’re up to.
Configure a VPN on your router to hide your home IP address on all connected devices. A VPN will also encrypt all your traffic, keeping it safe from snoops and hackers. Configuring a VPN on your router can be a bit finicky, so be sure to choose a VPN that offers support. CyberGhost VPN has a 24/7 Customer Support team. You can reach out for some guidance at any time.
Yes, you can use a proxy server to hide your IP address, but it won’t encrypt your traffic like a VPN. You can also connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot to change your IP address, but it may open you up to cyberattacks. If you’re subscribed to iCloud+, you can use Private Relay to change your IP address when browsing in Safari.
Every time you connect to a different network or router, your IP address will change. When you connect to public Wi-Fi at work, school, or a hotel, your IP address changes. You can also use a VPN or a proxy to change your IP address to almost anywhere in the world.
CyberGhost VPN has servers in over 100 countries. Our app makes it super easy to connect to any of them in just a few clicks. When you do, your real IP will change to the country of your choice. Try it for yourself with our 45-day money-back guarantee.