Technically speaking, the acronym “IP” stands short for Internet Protocol address. But to protect your internet privacy, what you need to understand is what is an IP address, why it is so critical in the digital era and, most important, why you should hide it right now.
What Is the 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 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 basically a digital address. Every device connected to the Internet has got one, and it represents his place online. The IP address is a series of numbers separated by full stops, and each device that connects to the internet is assigned a unique one to identify that very device.
You can see an example of IP address in the following image.
If you are curious to know what is the IP address of the device you are using right now, you can discover it in a few seconds using our free “What is my IP” tool.
If you want to communicate via the Internet, it goes without even saying that you do it via your IP address. The IP address reflects your unique place in the world of the Internet.
Difference Between Dynamic and Static IP
Besides “what is an IP address?” there is another question popping out: what is the difference between dynamic and static IP address? Which one should you use?
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 a different one every time you connect to the web. As you can understand, the ISP has multiple IPs at his disposal, and one of them is handed out to you 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. Static IPs are preferable for specific uses like if you are an online gamer, use VoIP or for businesses. The cost can be much higher, though.
Which One is Better Between Static IP and Dynamic IP?
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 You Need to Hide Your IP Address Now
Many people are wondering why it is necessary to hide the IP address. The question makes sense especially after having read the above section with static IPs and their use.
Well, the truth is that there is a compelling 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 your IP address your online security is at risk
There are a lot of wrong 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. To get the information they want, the first step is to identify the specific IP address.
When you use a visible IP address, you are an easy target for them. Hackers and snoopers can find you and work their magic just knowing your IP address.
What Are the Dangers of a Visible IP Address
To identify your IP is the first critical step to gain access to your computer and find out all the skeletons in your closet. Once they got your IP, 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. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are packed with hackers and snoopers. Therefore, you must 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. Unless you hide your IP address, you can never be anonymous as you browse through websites or communicate through forums. Surveillance will set its eye on you and carefully 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 your IP visible!
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. For instance, US Netflix 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. Therefore, concealing your IP address is necessary to bypass geo-restrictions.
For all these reasons, it is best and strongly recommended to hide your IP address. You should do it without delay!
How to Hide Your IP Address
Now that I have explained why we all need to remain anonymous online let’s see how to hide the IP address. 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. For instance, we offer a free web proxy server on our website, and it masks your IP instantly. But as in the case of every web proxy, 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.
Therefore, if you decide to use a web proxy, you need to be aware of its important limitations 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 server.
Changing DNS is simple enough and a pivotal step to protect your data online either if you use a VPN connection or not. In any case, even changing DNS doesn’t encrypt your data so your traffic may still be snatched.
For more information, you may read our detailed guide on how to change DNS.
- Finally, the VPN (or else Virtual Private Network) is the best method for everyone to hide your 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 can 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. Even if hackers or prying eyes can intercept your data, the information they get is utterly useless since they cannot read it.
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.
VPN to Hide your Real IP Address
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.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN on the market. Hiding your IP address with ExpressVPN is extremely easy. The software is straightforward to use and all you need to do is to choose a server from any location around the world and activate the VPN.
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. If you subscribe to the 12+3 months plan, you will save 49% on the regular price.
You can refer to our dedicated article if you want to know how to use ExpressVPN.
30-day Money Back Guarantee
TunnelBear is a service with a fun look but these guys mean business. The service is reliable and thanks to large VPN server network you can change your IP address to any location you like.
TunnelBear offers even a free plan. Even though the free plan has limitations, it is very handy to test the service and assess its quality. However, you can find more details about it in our TunnelBear review.
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.
The software may not be as easy to use as some of its competitors but the performances will not let you disappointed. We invite you to read our review to understand what you can do with IPVanish.
Visit IP Vanish
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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.
The company is a veteran in the VPN industry and you can rely on an excellent service. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service risk-free.
We reviewed HMA and you can read here how to use HideMyAss.
30-day Money Back Guarantee
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 through a reliable VPN provider.