How to Hide Your IP Address

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You get a great variety of countries, most of all with high speed stability so I highly recommend it. When you were born, you were given a name and a social security number. While using a VPN on a mobile device can be a little annoying, it's good to at least use one when connecting to a network you don't completely trust. Premium 7 VPN Servers. Unlike the address assigned by your ISP or acquired by your VPN connection, this is a permanent address, but usually restricted to certain countries.

What's an IP Address?


When you were born, you were given a name and a social security number. When you got a car, you earned a driver's license number. And when you get online, you receive an IP address. Most of us try to keep these numbers private to protect our privacy, but your IP address is distressingly public, by default.

There are many ways to hide or change this number, such as using a VPN , and it's much easier to do than you might think. Simply put, an IP address is the identifier that allows information to be sent between devices on a network. Like your home address, it contains location information and makes devices accessible for communication. These are the same people responsible for sorting out domain names and other factors critical to internet communication.

The allocation of these addresses isn't random either. Instead, they allocate blocks of numbers to different regions. For example, the United States has a reported 1,,, addresses allocated to it, which is about 36 percent of all the IP addresses available at least, under IPv4 , as opposed to IPv6, but that's a story for another time.

Meanwhile, the Vatican has a mere 17, addresses. This is probably more than you will ever need to know about IP addresses, but you can now impress your friends with these handy factoids about Papal networks. Because there's a finite number of IP addresses 4,,,, under IPv4 and only so many available by location, mere mortals like you and me generally don't have to worry about our IP addresses.

Our ISPs assign them to us and sometimes revoke and recycle them , our routers use them, and we continue happily along—until we need to change something. Although very few of us are actually in charge of our own IP addresses, there are some ways to force a change.

Search the internet and you find all sorts of arcane command-line magic words that will, allegedly, get you a new address. There are even some websites that can do the same. You can also disconnect your modem for a period of time, and see if your ISP assigns you a new address when you come back online.

Or you can call your ISP directly and ask for a new address, but that might lead to some tedious questions. When you point your browser to a website, a request leaves your computer, heads off to the server where the website lives, and returns with the information you've requested. Along the way, location and identifying information is exchanged and, sometimes, intercepted by attackers, snoopers, advertisers, and nosey government agencies.

With a virtual private network, or VPN , another layer is added to the equation. Instead of contacting a website's servers directly, the VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN service's server, which in turn connects to the public internet and retrieves the information you requested as normal. This passes back through the tunnel to your computer, ensuring that no one can intercept your web traffic, and that an observer will see the IP address of the VPN and not yours.

The best VPN services go even further, providing bonuses like ad blocking, malware protection, and extra protection for other devices. Unlike the address assigned by your ISP or acquired by your VPN connection, this is a permanent address, but usually restricted to certain countries. Using VPNs does add an extra step to your web surfing and that generally means a slower experience. But my extensive hands-on testing has shown that the top-tier VPN providers will slow you only marginally.

If you have good enough connection, you might not even notice the difference. Indeed, the fastest VPN I've tested actually improved upload and download speeds. And let's not forget your mobile devices! They have IP addresses, too.

And you're probably using them in a wider variety of locations than your home computer, including on shifty public Wi-Fi hotspots.

While using a VPN on a mobile device can be a little annoying, it's good to at least use one when connecting to a network you don't completely trust.

In general, VPN apps are identical regardless of the platform. There are a few differences with iPhone VPN apps , however. Thankfully, developers are meeting that challenge and providing the best and most secure options for everyone. While most of the VPN services I've reviewed have a subscription fee, some do not. There are many free VPNs available, although many operate with restrictions on data and other features. A proxy server sometimes called an "open proxy" or just "proxies" can be use to re-route your browser Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge around company or school content filters.

There are risks involved in using masking your IP address with a proxy: Many will slow down your internet connection, some are run on compromised machines, and may not be legal in some countries. An IP address doesn't travel with you. So if you simply go to a coffee shop, bookstore or hotel lobby and tap into their Wi-Fi, you will temporarily hide your usual IP address. You'll be using their network's IP address for as long as you're online.

First, click show my ip to see your current IP address, and then visit any place with free Wi-Fi, log in to their Internet and check it again. However, if you don't use a VPN , your Internet activity is at risk of being spied on or intercepted by a bad guy without your knowing it.

But don't make online purchases or check your bank account while drinking your Grande Espresso. Help your friends stay safe from online stalkers and hackers.

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

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