Technically speaking, the acronym “IP” stands short for Internet Protocol address. But to protect your internet privacy, what you really need to understand is what is an IP address, why it is so important in the digital era and, most important, why you should hide it right now.
What Is An IP Address
Well, imagine wanting to communicate with someone far away in the world.
The only way of knowing where this person lives is to ask for an address. This is the only information you need, so as to ensure that you will contact the right person. With the use of this address, you can send out mail to the individual and make sure that they get everything you send without a doubt.
So what is an IP address? It is the digital form of each address. Every person using the Internet has got one, and it represents his place online.
If you want to communicate via the Internet, it goes without even saying that you do it via your IP address. Your IP address, just like everyone else’s, includes a series of digits. These digits form a unique number, and they reflect your unique place in the world of the Internet.
What Is the Deal with Dynamic and Static IP Addresses?
Besides “what is an IP address?” there is another question popping out: should you use a dynamic or a static IP address?
Well, they both come with pros and cons. Let’s see each of them in details.
Dynamic IP is a temporary IP address handed over to you by your ISP (your Internet Service Provider, which you pay every month for having the Internet available at home, at the office, etc.). Each dynamic IP is already available at the ISP, and you get another one every time you connect to the web. As you can understand, there are multiple IPs in a list and each of them is handed out by chance.
#Static IP Address
Static IP is available at an extra charge and makes you easily accessible and recognizable online. Unlike the Dynamic IP, a static IP address always remains the same each time you go online. This means that you will make your presence known right away. Such IPs are preferable if you are an online gamer, use VoIP or for businesses. The cost can be much higher, though.
So which of these two IP types is the best? Nobody can tell for sure.
As I mentioned above, there are both advantages and disadvantages in either one of these types. Dynamic IPs are cheap, easy to use and they allow you to renew your identity online every time. Static IPs are typically expensive, but they enable you to establish your presence. It is up to you to decide which way to go!
Why Do You Need to Hide IP Online Right Now
Many people are wondering why it is necessary to hide IP online – especially after having read the above section with static IPs and their use.
Well, the truth is that there is an imperative reason for doing that.
The Internet is a dangerous place. If you don’t hide IP address your online security is at risk.
Unless You hide IP address your online security is at risk
There are a lot of bad people out there looking for their lure. When they spot an Internet connection, they want to penetrate it and find out as much as they can about it. In order to do so, the first step is to identify the specific IP address.
When you use a visible IP address, you are an easy target to them. Hackers and snoopers can find you and work their magic.
What Are The Dangers Of A Visible IP Address
To identify your Ip address is the first critical step to gain access to your computer and find out all the skeletons in your closet. They may find out the passwords you use, the websites you visit and everything else. They may even access your bank accounts online or use your credit card to their own liking.
To identify your Ip address is the first critical step to gain access to your computer and find out all the skeletons in your closet
To hide your IP is especially crucial when you connect to Wi-Fi hotspot. These places are packed with hackers and snoopers. So you need to make sure that none of your personal information is revealed through your IP.
Also, when you use a traceable IP address, everyone knows which sites you visit. You can never be anonymous as you browse through websites or communicate through forums unless you hide your IP address. Surveillance will set its eye on you and closely examine everything you say or do.
In countries where the government is pretty much invasive and there is an authoritative regimen, this can be disastrous. Imagine expressing a complaint about the government online, with the hope that it remains untraced. There is no such thing when you have revealed your IP!
Last but not least, when you use an IP address, you automatically shut off access to all GEO-IP websites. These are the websites that are only available to specific countries of the world. US Netflix, for example, is only available to people in the US.
When your IP address reveals that you are connecting from overseas, US Netflix will not allow you to access its abundant content (even though you’ve paid the subscription!) You will have the same issue if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from outside the UK or any other geo-protected website.
For all these reasons, it is best to hide your IP address, and you should do it without delay!
How to Hide IP
Now that I have explained why we all need to remain anonymous online, let’s see how to hide IP addresses. There are various ways for you to do so, but only one is standing out as the most efficient and reliable one.
- First of all, you can hide IP when you use a proxy server. In this case, your connection will be spread through tunnels and your data will use a different IP address. As soon as you connect to the proxy server, it does all the hard work for you.
It is often a free option, and it offers instant masking of your IP. But it comes with serious security issues. Not all the traffic that goes through a proxy server is encrypted. That means that your connection is not protected and ill-intended people or government agencies may still snoop into your data.
HideMyAss offer a free web proxy server besides their VPN connection. In any case you need to be aware of its limitation in term of security.
- Another method for hiding an IP address is by changing DNS. This stands short for Domain Name System and allows you to use a remote network.
When you change DNS, you connect to the Internet without using your ISP server. Instead, you will be assigned an IP from the new DNS. It is simple enough and a pivotal step to protect your data online either if you use a VPN connection or not. In any case, changing DNS doesn’t encrypt your data so your traffic may still be snatched.
- Finally, the VPN (or else Virtual Private Network) is the best method for everyone to hide their IP address in a jiffy. A VPN is a network of remote servers offering you the opportunity to connect to any one of them and get a new IP address right away.
This is the most recommended way to hide your IP address for several reasons.
First of all, not only you hide your IP address, but you can even decide where you want your new IP to be located. Let’s say you are in Asia, and you want to gain access to the US Netflix catalog. Using the VPN, you connect to a server based in the US, and your IP will say that you are connecting from there. In a few seconds, you’ve geo-spoofed Netflix and the US library is now available even though you are on the other side of the world.
Apart from that, it is brilliant that you can encrypt all your data when connecting to the VPN. All your traffic is completely protected and secure. So it is a win-win deal: you change your IP address and improve your online security even further, through the use of encryption.
To understand all the benefits of a VPN connection, you may read our article on what is VPN for.
Here are some of the best VPN on the market to hide your IP address. A VPN subscription is usually pretty cheap, and it ensures excellent Internet privacy and security.
One of the best VPN on the market. Hiding your IP address with ExpressVPN is extremely easy. The price is a bit higher than its competitors but the connection is very fast and it comes with a Smart DNS service included in each plan.
Hide My Ass
HideMyAss is probably the VPN provider with the easiest software to use. It has an amazing amount of servers all around the globe which makes hiding your IP and unlock geo-protected websites very easy.
IP Vanish is another absolute leader in the VPN world. It provides an excellent service with high-speed connection to efficiently hide your IP address.
Conclusion On What Is An IP Address And How To Change IT
So there you have it! An analysis of what is an IP address and how you can hide your IP address promptly and efficiently! If you care about your online security, hide immediately your IP address preferably trough a reliable VPN provider.
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