If you are reading this, you have likely heard of VPNs and the benefits they offer. VPNs typically provide a wide range of features to protect your privacy online. One of the most important benefits for many people is that VPNs can be used to hide or change your IP address on some networks. If you’re looking for more information about VPN services, here’s an article about how you can protect your privacy.
It’s easy to see why you’d want to disguise your IP address from time to time, especially if you use the internet a lot. Three online privacy tools may help you conceal your IP address: virtual private networks (VPNs), Tor, and proxy servers.
Use A VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a type of proxy that encrypts and protects your connection as well as masks your IP address. All of your traffic is encrypted using a VPN, not just in your web browser but in smartphone applications as well. They’re a popular way to protect one’s privacy, therefore there’s a lot of pressure on VPN businesses. VPNs have different roles as well, such as a person can use a reliable VPN service to access geo-restricted content and for streaming services. Some common VPNs used for Netflix and similar streaming services are ExpressVPN, Nord, SurfShark, etc.
How does VPN hide Your IP?
Your IP is hidden when you use a VPN since your traffic goes via the virtual private network’s server. When your activity, such as sites visited, applications used, downloads/uploads, etc., reaches its conclusion, it does so under an IP address provided by the Virtual private network.
The only entity that will be able to view your real IP address is your VPN service. That’s why you must go with a reliable VPN provider company that doesn’t keep records of your activities.
Tor is a free network consisting of hundreds of volunteer-operated server nodes that anonymize your online presence through several levels of encryption.
When you use Tor, the traffic is passed on and encrypted via a series of 3 relay nodes, every of them decrypts 1 layer to recognize the upcoming node. Your data flow exits the final node completely decrypted and delivered to its intended destination.
The relay system masks your IP, but it comes with a cost: because Tor’s encryption technique is so comprehensive, your traffic will take a long time to go through. For the anonymity of Tor, you’ll be compromising browsing speed.
This is a reasonable tradeoff when the stakes are high, such as for political dissidents and whistleblowers. However, if you just want to conceal your IP address, a VPN will prove to be far more useful and faster than Tor.
How does Tor hide your IP address?
Each pass on a node along the path of your data via the Tor network only knows the internet protocol address of the node right after or before it uses Tor. Even if a hacker were to capture your traffic as it redirects from the final node to the destination server, determining your real IP address would be difficult.
A proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary for your internet traffic. A proxy sits in front of a client, relaying inquiries while also receiving and returning responses from servers. If you want to utilize a proxy, you may need to adjust the settings on your device yourself.
Most proxies, unlike VPNs, will not encrypt your traffic or hide/protect your IP address and are able to intercept the communication between your device and the proxy. Proxies, especially web-based free ones, are less stable than VPNs. That is why proxies should be used as a short-term rather than a long-term protection/privacy plan strategy.
Working & Types Of Proxies
Proxy servers may also disguise your IP address with a phony one. You will appear to be from the same country as your proxy server. If you’re using a proxy to obscure your IP, keep in mind that not all proxies provide the same level of protection. Below are the common types of proxies used by businesses and individuals.
- Transparent proxies
- Anonymous proxies
- High anonymity proxies
Content platforms or websites may block traffic from known proxies, so if you’re using a proxy to access media, double-check that it’s still working.
Can My IP Address Truly Be Hidden?
While it is impossible to hide your internet protocol IP address from everyone, you can obtain an effective way of protection and privacy for day-to-day needs. With the help of a Virtual Private Network, it is the only system that makes logs of your activity online against your IP address. This is the main reason it is important to have a reliable VPN for security. But in case of paid subscriptions, famous VPN providers like Nord, Express, etc. never create any logs.
Your Internet service provider can tell what kind, when, and how much traffic you’re transferring to the Virtual Private Network’s server, but they won’t be privy to the particulars. The same is in the case of Tor. Most proxies fail to encrypt your information, allowing your ISP access if it so chooses while you use a proxy. All the services and websites you visit while using a Virtual Private Network will see your VPN’s IP but not your actual one.
The most important reason to obscure your IP address is to safeguard your online location and activity from observers. Websites, ad networks that employ tracking technologies, and cybercriminals. It’s critical to be bold when your privacy and safety are threatened.
Your IP address identifies you online, and in today’s data-driven world, your internet activity is quite valuable. It’s critical to obscure your IP address so that you may regain control of your privacy while surfing the web. Your IP address can reveal a lot of personal information, including your purchasing and consumption habits as well as your physical location.