How do I Hide My IP Address? – Avast
What is an IP address, anyway?
An IP address is a series of numbers that identifies your device or network on the internet. Activity on the internet is a series of two-way communications between clients — software, such as a web browser, that requests data — and servers, which reply to clients with responses. Every client has an IP address that tells servers who is making the request.
So, it’s easy to understand what an IP address is and also why they’re important. IP addresses let search engines like Google know where to send the results of a search, help websites know who’s visiting their site, and make sure you receive the emails that are addressed to you.
In other words, IP addresses undergird how the internet works in general. Thankfully, it’s very easy to find your IP address if you need this information.
Three ways to hide your IP
Now, let’s take a look at three tools you can use to hide your IP address. Each offers its own blend of privacy, security, and practicality.
1. Use a VPN
A VPN is an intermediary server that encrypts your connection to the internet — and it also hides your IP address. A VPN encrypts all your traffic, not only in your browser but also in other apps, and then passes traffic onward to its destination. They’re a popular privacy solution, and as such, there’s a strong incentive for VPN providers to design tools that are as easy to use as they are secure.
Here’s how to hide your IP address with a VPN: Simply download a VPN such as Avast SecureLine VPN, log in, and turn it on to protect both your IP address and your internet traffic.
How does a VPN hide your IP address?
When you’re using a VPN, your IP address is hidden because your traffic takes a detour through the VPN server. When your traffic — sites visited, online apps used, uploads, downloads, etc. — reaches its destination, it does so under a “virtual” IP address assigned by the VPN.
There’s only one party who’ll be able to see your actual IP address: your VPN provider. That’s why you should choose a trusted VPN provider that isn’t going to keep logs on your activity.
Avast SecureLine VPN is a safe, secure, and convenient way to mask your IP address. It’ll hide your online activity from your internet service provider (ISP), employer, school, and anyone else on your network, including a snooping cybercriminal. And we never keep any logs on sites you visit, apps you use, or content you view.
2. Use Tor
Comprising thousands of volunteer-run server nodes, Tor is a free network that conceals your identity online via multiple layers of encryption. When you access Tor, typically by using the free Tor Browser, your traffic is relayed and encrypted through a series of three relay nodes, each of which decrypts one layer of encryption to learn the identity of the next node. When your traffic leaves the final node, it’s fully decrypted and sent to its destination.
The relay system hides your IP address, but not without cost: because Tor’s encryption system is so thorough, it takes a long time for your traffic to complete its journey. You’ll be sacrificing browsing speed for Tor’s anonymity. This is a worthwhile tradeoff when it really counts, such as for whistleblowers and political dissidents. But if you’re simply seeking to hide your IP address, when comparing Tor and a VPN, you’ll find a VPN to be a far more convenient and faster solution.
How does Tor hide your IP address?
When you use Tor, each relay node along your traffic’s pathway through the Tor network knows only the IP address of the node immediately before and after it. Even if an attacker manages to intercept your traffic while it travels from the final node to your destination server, it’d be very difficult at that point to parse your original IP address.
3. Use a proxy
A proxy server handles your internet traffic on your behalf. A proxy sits in front of a client or network of clients, forwarding requests while also receiving and delivering responses from servers. You may need to manually adjust your device’s proxy settings if you want to use a proxy.
Unlike a VPN, most proxies won’t encrypt your traffic, and they also won’t hide your IP address from anyone who can intercept your traffic on its way from your device to the proxy. Proxy servers, especially free web-based proxies, tend to be less reliable than VPNs. That’s why proxies are best used as a quick, temporary solution as opposed to a long-term privacy plan.
How does a proxy hide your IP address?
Some proxy servers can mask your IP address with a fake one. You’ll appear as though you’re based in the same country as your proxy server. If you’re using a proxy to hide your IP, be aware that not all proxies offer equal protection.
Transparent proxies conceal neither your IP address nor your use of a proxy.
Anonymous proxies hide your IP address but not your use of a proxy.
High anonymity (or elite) proxies hide both your IP address as well as your use of a proxy.
Some sites or content platforms may block traffic from known proxies, so you’ll have to be careful if you’re trying to use a proxy to access media.
Why should I hide my IP address?
Your IP address identifies you online, and in today’s data-driven world, your online activity is very valuable. It’s important to hide your IP address so that you can regain control over your privacy while you’re online. Among other sensitive info, your IP can reveal your shopping and buying habits as well as your physical location. So why hide your IP? You’ve got plenty to gain, and not much to lose.
Hide your IP to browse anonymously
Advertisers and marketers can track you across the internet and analyze your browsing habits with the goal of marketing to you more effectively. Unfortunately, even hiding your IP address won’t stop them, because tracking cookies also deliver this information — which is why you should regularly take the time to delete cookies from your browser.
To take private internet browsing to the next level, consider a dedicated private browser like Avast Secure Browser. It includes a range of advanced anti-tracking features to let you use the internet without leaving any clues behind that companies and individuals can use to follow your activity.
Hide your IP to shield your location
Hide your IP address behind another IP in a different part of the world and no one will know where you really are. This includes websites and services that host geo-restricted content. For example, if you’re traveling abroad and want to access movies or TV shows that are available only for your home country, you can use a VPN or proxy to unblock that website with a false IP address in the correct location.
Many IP addresses are linked to a real-world address, or at least to a general location. If you’re frequently using false IP addresses to change your online location, no one will be able to figure out where you actually are.
Can my IP address ever truly be hidden?
While it’s not possible to hide your IP address from everyone, you can achieve an effective level of privacy sufficient for everyday needs. With a VPN, the only entity that can link your online activity to your IP address is your VPN provider itself. This is why it’s so important to choose a VPN provider with a reliable reputation for security, and one that doesn’t keep logs of user activity.
Your ISP can see the type, timing, and amount of traffic you’re sending to the VPN server, but they won’t know the specifics. The same goes for Tor. Many proxies don’t encrypt your traffic, and so your ISP will be able to access your activity if it wants to while you’re using a proxy. And, as mentioned earlier, all the websites and services you use while connected to a VPN will see only the VPN’s IP address, not yours.
The primary purpose for hiding your IP address is to protect your online activity and location from third-party observers: websites, advertisers who use ad tracking techniques, and cybercriminals. When your safety and privacy is at risk, it’s important to be proactive.
What is IP masking?
IP masking is the technique of concealing your IP address by adopting a false one. This is how hiding your IP address works — they’re two ways to refer to the same thing. If you’re interested in learning how to mask your IP address, you can apply the same techniques described in this article. After all, the only way to hide your IP address and still use the internet is to mask it behind another one.
Your traffic is always going to need an IP address online, since that’s how websites and services know who’s making the requests and where to send the replies. Clients use IP addresses to reach servers, and servers use IP addresses to send requested data back to the correct client.
That request-and-response system is part of the TCP/IP model, which governs how devices on the internet communicate with one each another. IP addresses are classified in a variety of ways: IPv4 vs. IPv6, public vs. local, and static vs. dynamic IP addresses. Read more about IP addresses here.
Hide your IP the easy way with a VPN
Avast SecureLine VPN lets you hide your IP address by choosing from any one of our blazing-fast servers located in dozens of countries all over the world. With your online activity securely encrypted and our no-logging policy, you’ll be able to easily access blocked content, disrupt tracking techniques, and browse the internet freely, with complete confidence in your online privacy.
Can Someone Find Me? – What Is My IP Address
You probably don’t think too much about your IP address, but maybe it’s time you did.
Most people (and maybe you) know their IP address is a digital address of some sort that helps the Internet deliver content to your computer.
And perhaps you know that 99% of the time, no one else knows or cares to know what your IP address is.
But there’s more you need to know.
See, your IP address is something like a beacon on the Internet.
Your IP address is like a beacon on the Internet
Your IP address gives websites, and people that you have connected with online, more than just a number—more than your IP address.
It also gives them the ability to trace that IP address back towards you if they wanted to.
To be clear, they can trace it back to your geographical location.
Okay. It’s likely that 99% of the time no one (and no websites) are running your IP address through an IP lookup site to see where you’re located.
But you’ll never know if it does happen one percent of time, five percent, or more.
Here’s the point:
Anyone can find out where you are.
Even though a website, or even a person (maybe some acquaintance you once sent an email too) can’t find your home address from your IP address, they most definitely could get a clear picture of where you are.
• Even if you don’t tell them what city you’re in, they could use your IP address to get an idea of where you’re connecting from.
• Even if you only contacted them once, they can analyze your IP address anytime after that…it doesn’t need to be in real time.
• Even if you didn’t make a transaction of any kind with the site, they could still capture, analyze and trace your IP address back to your network.
It’s perfectly legal, yet most people aren’t even aware of this.
Is this all hype, or fact?
You could be thinking this is just an exaggeration to scare you.
Well, here’s a true story that illustrates firsthand what we’re talking about.
Recently an office manager (we’ll call him John) decided to see what would happen if he analyzed his own IP address on He shared his story with us.
I know all about, but hadn’t explored the geolocation aspect of it—the map that drops a pinpoint on where the Internet says I am. I wanted to see how precise that might be. So, on the map on the homepage, I clicked on ‘Show me more about my IP. ’ And on the next screen, I clicked ‘Update my Location. ’ What I saw—and realized—sent a chill down my spine.
As I zoomed in as close as it would go, the map become a Google Earth image. And I the image I saw on my laptop screen was a satellite view of the kitchen window of my condo! And my street name was visible on the map too. Not my address, but the map was definitely where I lived. I was a little startled, and then it hit me—anyone who knew my home IP address had the ability to see the same map. I could imagine someone knocking at my door who tracked me (or my wife! ) just by knowing my IP address.
Here’s the bottom line…
It radically changed how John looked at his IP address. It also changed the way he used the Internet at home and when traveling.
When privacy hits close to home.
Here’s why the geolocation aspect of your IP address is important.
Most people use the Internet from just a few locations, primarily at home.
You shop mostly from home
You send emails to friends mostly from home
You game or join chatrooms and forums from home
With a simple device (that someone can find on Amazon) a stranger or criminal can peer inside your home through the front door peephole!
That means the majority of your online activity is probably coming from your home IP address—the IP address that could be traced back very close to you. Maybe even your kitchen window.
I can guess what you might be thinking:
“Who wants to know where I am anyway? ”
The true answer is, “who knows? ” That’s not meant to be cute.
There’s just no way of knowing who is running your IP address through any type of IP lookup service. It could be your bank, your real estate agent, or a tech-savvy teenager who’s also a hacker.
However, one thing is clear…
It is possible to be traced by someone—a stalker, an investigator or even a criminal—via your IP address. And that clever stranger might just wind up right at your door.
Also, if a person (hopefully not you! ) were going online and doing something illegal (according to the laws in place wherever you are in the world), a law enforcement or government agency might seek legal permission to contact your Internet Service Provider for information.
With a subpoena in hand, investigators would ask the ISP to provide the online account holder’s name and address.
The ISP would have no choice but to provide it for them.
Thankfully, for just about everyone that’s an extreme case.
But don’t feel too safe quite yet.
You must admit, it’s unsettling news to know that anyone who has captured your IP address in the past can come close to zeroing in on your front door, depending on where you live.
Here’s some good news:
You can stop IP trackers cold, if you know how.
Hide your real IP address. Hide your real location.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow pull the “old switcheroo” and go online with a different IP address—an IP address that, when anybody tried to trace it, would send them off to some other location, miles from where you actually are?
Guess what? You can.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
Use the Internet away from home. Go to the library or the local coffee bar. You’ll have a different IP address. The drawback: It still close to home and public networks aren’t always safe from other eavesdroppers.
Use the Tor network. Tor is an entirely different kind of network that is free and available to all. The drawback: It doesn’t offer great security and there are some very odd characters in some corners of Tor.
Use a proxy. They’re a touch old-fashioned and tricky to use, but a proxy hides your actual IP address. The drawback: Many websites block proxy access.
Here’s the best way to hide your public IP address.
Go online and sign up for a Virtual Private
Network (VPN) account.
A VPN is a service that redirects your Internet requests through a secure “tunnel” that is hacker proof. But more importantly, a VPN service assigns your live connection a different IP address, then reroutes your Internet request to the world.
Here’s why using a Virtual Private Network is a good thing:
No person or website you connect with knows your actual IP address…which your VPN masks for you when you are online.
You can use your VPN at home, at hotels and airports, and especially at free Wi-Fi hot spots with unsecured networks.
Is it hard to find a good VPN?
Nope. We’ll help you out.
Click below and you can sign up with a top VPN provider right now. It’s fast, safe and easy.
And once you do, you can stop worrying about strange people potentially showing up at your front door.
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What is an IP Address?
Think of this as your address on the internet — a location where you receive mail and other data such as webpages, images, and mesages. Your IP address is made up of a string of four groups of numbers, such as 192. 172. 33. 1, which identifies both the network you are on and the device you are using. With these two pieces of information networks and websites can both route data to you and check that you have permission to access it.
Why Would I Want to Hide My IP Address?
Since your IP address is needed to surf around the web, it can act as a fingerprint of your online activities. Webpages may choose to store this information to learn more about you and your interests for marketing purposes. Your data can also be potentially sold to third parties without your consent, or used to spy on you if someone has malicious intent. An example of this would be so-called “spyware, ” which can covertly log the sites you visit.
IP addresses are also used to restrict access to content, such as streaming services that are only available in certain locations. But hiding your IP address for this purpose is not something we advocate.
How Do I Hide My IP Address?
There are two main ways to hide your IP address: by using a virtual private network (VPN), or a proxy server. VPNs are the most common tools used by consumers to mask their IP addresses. This is a piece of software that allows you to create a secure connection to another server over the internet, so your data appears to come from the server you connect to. So, if you are in Los Angeles, for instance, the software can connect you to a server in London, hiding your actual location since your traffic appears to originate in London.
A proxy server is different in that it acts like a middleman between your device and the server you are trying to connect with. It receives a request from your device and then retrieves that information from the target server. The proxy can be either a computer or a piece of software that performs this function. It’s different from a VPN in that it doesn’t encrypt, or scramble, your information, making it less secure. That’s why we suggest that you use a VPN.
When Should I use a VPN?
There are a few scenarios when you may want to hide your IP address. The first is if you’re using public Wi-Fi, because your browsing activity might be accessible to anyone nearby. If you use a VPN, you can make a secure connection to the network and keep your activities private.
You may also choose to hide your IP address if you are concerned about your privacy on the web in general and want to make sure that there are no websites or cybercriminals tracking you.
Finally, users who want to connect with a private business or home network may also choose to use a VPN. Many businesses, for example, only allow their employees to connect to their internal network if their IP address is coming from an approved network. With a VPN, you can connect to the internal network from anywhere and you will be allowed access since it is coming from an approved IP address.
Other Ways to Protect Your Privacy
Check the privacy of all of your accounts to make sure they are on the strictest settings. On social media, make sure that only friends can see your information.
Turn off location services on websites and apps if you don’t need to use them. Unless you are using a service for mapping, or other location-critical functions, there is no reason to share your movements through the world.
Use complicated passwords and passphrases and keep them private. Password managers can help make this easier.
Install comprehensive security software on all of your devices. Try to choose a product that includes a VPN and identity theft protection.
When on a public Wi-Fi network, like in an airport or hotel, always use a VPN if you want to do banking and other sensitive activities securely.
Keep up-to-date on the latest threats, and how to avoid them.
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Frequently Asked Questions about how to protect my ip address from tracking
Can someone track me with my IP address?
There’s just no way of knowing who is running your IP address through any type of IP lookup service. … It is possible to be traced by someone—a stalker, an investigator or even a criminal—via your IP address.
How do I make my IP address secure?
There are two main ways to hide your IP address: by using a virtual private network (VPN), or a proxy server. VPNs are the most common tools used by consumers to mask their IP addresses.Mar 3, 2020
How can I protect my IP address for free?
How do I hide my IP address for free? You can hide your IP address by either using the Tor browser, a proxy server, or a free VPN. You can also join a public Wi-Fi network.Sep 10, 2021