How to hide your IP address

Your IP address is like your public Internet ID. Every time you do anything on the Internet, the IP address lets the servers know where to send the information you have requested.

Many websites crawl these addresses, spying on you, usually to offer you more personalized ads and make you spend more money. For some people, this is an important issue and there are ways to hide your IP address.

Why should you hide your IP address?

One of the big reasons that someone tries to hide their IP address is that they can download illegal material without being detected. Of course there are many other reasons you may want to hide it.

One reason is geographical restrictions and censorship. Some content is blocked by the government in some areas, such as China and the Middle East.

If you can hide your real IP address and make it appear to come from another area, you can bypass these restrictions and view blocked sites. Private companies often also geographize their content, making access unavailable in some countries. For example, this happens a lot on YouTube, where some countries like  Germany , block copyrighted content instead of using the YouTube monetization model.

The other reason for hiding your IP address is to further protect your privacy and to prevent the misuse of your personal information.

Each time you access a site, the server you connect to records your IP address and attaches it to all the other data the site can learn about you: your browsing habits, what you click on, how long you spend looking. a specific page.

They then sell this data to ad companies that use it to customize the ads to do specifically for you. This is why Internet advertising sometimes seems strangely personal. Your IP address can also be used to track your location, even when your location services are turned off.

Spying on and selling user data is not limited to websites. Under US law, your ISP (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) has the right to collect information about you without your permission. Although everyone claims that they do not sell their customer data, this information is definitely worth a lot of money for advertising companies.

How can I hide my IP address?

The two main ways to hide an IP address are to use a proxy server or to use a virtual private network (VPN). (There is also Tor, which is great for anonymizing, but too slow for most.)

The proxy server is an intermediate server through which your traffic is routed. The web servers you visit see only the IP address of this proxy server and not your IP address. When these servers send information to you, they go to the proxy server, which then routes them to you.

The problem with proxies is that many of the services out there are not transparent enough to spy on or insert ads into your browser.

VPN is a much better solution but it costs. When you connect your computer (or other device, such as a smartphone or tablet) to a VPN, the computer acts as if it were on the same LAN as the VPN.

All your network traffic is sent via a secure VPN connection. Because your computer behaves as if it were on a network, this allows you to securely access local network resources even when you are on the other side of the world. You will also be able to use the Internet as if you were on a VPN site, which has some advantages if you use public Wi-Fi or want to access geo-blocked sites.

When you browse the web while connected to a VPN, your computer comes into contact with the site via an encrypted VPN connection. The VPN forwards your request and forwards the response from the site through the secure connection. If you use a VPN located in the US to access Netflix, Netflix will see that your connection is from the US.

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How do I get a VPN?

Now that you have decided that you need a VPN, it's time to learn how to get one. There are many options, but we will not provide information on paid services.

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