How to hide or change your IP address

Hide IP address

Want to surf the web free and anonymous, but don’t know where to start? The first thing to do is to change your IP address. Your IP address contains a lot of information about you. By hiding behind a different IP address, you will be able to use the internet much more securely. A VPN can help you do this. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose a VPN provider, CyberGhost for example, and sign up for a subscription
  2. Download the VPN software and sign in with your account
  3. Select a server (if necessary) and connect to the VPN

When you use a VPN, other internet users can only see your VPN’s IP address, while yours remains hidden.

CyberGhost is a good VPN to start with. It is very easy to set up and offers very inexpensive offers.

You want to know more ? Read our full article below for more information on your IP address, how to hide and change it, and most importantly, why to do it.

Over the past few years, the protection of our privacy and personal data has become an increasingly important topic. You may have already heard that changing or hiding your IP address while using the internet is the best thing to do. Google, social media and even the Secret Service are monitoring your online behaviour on a massive scale

Although today it is no longer a secret, many people still do not hide their IP address and put their privacy at risk. They may think there is no need to hide what they are doing online and will say that they have nothing to hide anyway. 

However, there are plenty of other reasons to change your IP address. Do you want to learn how to hide yours? In this article, we’ll explain how you can easily hide and change your IP address and why you should.

What is an IP address?

Change IP address French

“IP” in “IP address” means “internet protocol”: internet protocol in French. An IP address is a unique series of numbers assigned to any internet connection. These numbers make your device identifiable when it is connected to the internet. An IP address is essential for transmitting and receiving data over the internet. Without it, you simply couldn’t connect to the internet.

However, your IP address can also compromise your anonymity, and your privacy. It reveals your geographic location, and others can use it to track what you do online. In addition, websites and governments may choose not to let you access certain pages or services depending on your location. 

Worse yet, cyber criminals can intercept your IP address and cause all kinds of damage to your device. For these reasons, many Internet users choose to hide or change their IP address. The easiest way to do this is to use a reliable VPN. 

CyberGhost is a recommended VPN service. This provider offers high speeds and places a strong emphasis on security and privacy. What’s more, it’s very economical and easy to use, making it a great VPN to start with. If you want to consult our opinion following our experience with this supplier, you can consult our full CyberGhost review.

Would you rather try a free, but limited, VPN before you get started? Feel free to check out our list of the best free VPNs on the market right now. These are our personal favourites, all reliable and a good choice for those who want to try out a VPN before purchasing a subscription.

How to change your IP address with a VPN: step-by-step guide

To make things as easy as possible, we’ll show you how to change your IP address using a VPN, step by step. For this example, we’ll be using CyberGhost. The process of setting up your VPN is fairly straightforward. To change your IP address with CyberGhost, follow these steps:

  1. Click on this link to go to the CyberGhost website
  2. Click on the button to take advantage of the offer. You will be automatically redirected to the rates page
  3. Select the offer that suits you best (monthly, annual, etc.)
  4. Choose your payment method and enter your e-mail address
  5. Connect to the CyberGhost site and download the VPN client suitable for your operating system
  6. Once the download is complete, open the installer file
  7. Follow the installation process to fully install the VPN on your device
  8. Once the software is installed, open it
  9. Log in with the account you created
  10. Click on “Browse anonymously” and activate the VPN

As soon as the VPN is connected, your own IP address is masked and the IP address of the chosen VPN server is taken into account. As long as this connection is maintained, you will be able to browse the internet safely and anonymously. Leave the VPN software open in the background and your connection will be protected.

If you wish, you can change the location of your “new” IP by choosing another server. Just scroll down the servers menu and select the country in which you want to place your new IP address. By picking your server well, you will be able to bypass the geographic restrictions imposed by certain sites, as we will see in more detail later.

Why should you hide or change your IP address?

Laptop With Lock

Hiding your IP address is a way to protect your privacy and anonymity online. Changing your IP address to another can significantly increase your internet freedom. Usually, hiding and changing your IP address is done all at once, for example when using a VPN. This means you can get both extra protection and less restricted access with one solution. Change your IP address, and you will be able to:

Prevent your ISP and other third parties from monitoring you

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties regularly track users’ online activity by their IP address. In the United States and many other countries, it’s perfectly legal. In addition to recording what you do on the internet, your ISP may share this information with other parties. It can, for example, transmit your personal data to the government, if requested to do so. It can also sell your browsing history to advertisers to make money.

Your ISP isn’t the only one that can log your online activities and browsing habits. Social networks and advertising networks do this too. They usually sell this data to advertising companies so that they can show you ads tailored to your interests. If you hide your IP address, your ISP, the sites you visit, social networks, and other third parties can no longer monitor you.

Use (public) Wi-Fi hotspots while remaining anonymous

When connecting to public Wi-Fi, you must take appropriate precautions to protect your IP address and personal information. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are extremely convenient, but also very dangerous. Anyone connected to the network can see your IP address and spy on your activities. This makes you vulnerable to cybercriminals and malicious people. Hiding your IP address is an important step in protecting your personal information and browsing activities on unsecured public Wi-Fi.

To some extent, this also applies to a home network. Even your family, roommates, and co-workers could easily see what you’re up to online if they’re a bit tech-savvy. Although this is not always a problem, it can quickly become one. 

What if you found a great birthday present for your mom, but you don’t want her to know about it? Or, what if the network at your workplace doesn’t give you access to social media, but you want to use Twitter? In all these cases, changing your IP address can help.

Download torrents safely

Most countries have download laws. In general, any time material (music, movies, books) is distributed over the internet without the permission of the owner, it is considered illegal. Some national copyright organizations are actively trying to end this practice. Depending on where you live, downloading illegal material can result in a fine.

Additionally, any download can be dangerous as hackers and malicious torrents could use your IP address to keep track of all your downloads. This information can be used for criminal purposes. Cybercriminals can send you a “bogus fine” claiming to be an official copyright organization to make money off your back. Even if you’ve downloaded something legally, they can still try to squeeze money from you by threatening to reveal things about you to friends, family, or co-workers – which you might want to avoid.

With these cybercriminals and organizations monitoring your online activity, chances are you want to protect your privacy. You can do this by using a VPN to hide your IP address and download anonymously safely.

Bypass geo-restrictions

Map with location

For many Internet users, changing their IP address is also a means of accessing geo-restricted content. This includes websites and streaming services (or specific content on these services) that are only available in certain countries. 

For example, the Hulu and HBO GO streaming services are only available to residents of the United States. However, if a UK-based internet user wishes to access these services, they can circumvent this regional restriction by masking their real IP address and changing it to a US address. 

This is most often done with a VPN that you can set up to transmit your data through a server based in another country. Your IP address will then appear to be from another country.

Bypass government censorship

In some countries, such as China or Iran, government (online) censorship is widespread. These governments typically restrict access to a lot of content and closely monitor the online activities of their citizens. They aim to control the media and information distributors to influence their population. 

You can bypass these restrictions and prevent the government from spying on you by changing your IP address. If you use a VPN to hide your IP address, the government won’t be able to see what you’re doing online.

How do I hide or change my IP address?

There are several ways to hide or change your IP address. Some are much more secure than others. To give you a better overview, we’ll discuss the most common options for hiding your IP address, comparing them to each other.

Invest in a good VPN

VPN shield

As we have already suggested in other sections of this article, the safest way to hide your IP address is to use a high quality VPN service. A VPN is a secure network connection that transmits your data through remote servers. Plus, a VPN encrypts your data, adding an extra layer of security. 

When you connect to a VPN, your real IP address is masked, and you instead use the IP address of one of your VPN provider’s remote servers. Third parties will only see the IP address of the VPN server, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to trace your data traffic.

If you want to start using a VPN, you can simply buy one from a reputable provider, as we described above. In addition to CyberGhost, there are many other good VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Use a proxy server

Proxy servers are another method you can use to hide or change your real IP address. However, it is important to mention that proxies do not offer any of the security features that VPNs offer. A proxy is a type of intermediate server between users and the internet. When you use a proxy, all of your online requests are sent through the proxy server. 

The proxy then forwards your requests to the internet server you are trying to reach. During this process, the proxy modifies some of your data, including your IP address. The proxy server has its own IP address. Since all your data is sent there, that IP address will be sent to the rest of the web, instead of yours.

Proxies are often used to access regionally limited content, especially for streaming services. However, it is best to use a proxy only for low involvement tasks, as it does not encrypt your data and cannot prevent a third party from accessing it. 

When you use a proxy, your ISP and other third parties can still monitor what you are doing online. In short: a proxy can be very useful for bypassing geo-restrictions, but should not be used for downloading torrents or for other sensitive activities.

Download Tor Browser

Tor The Onion Router Logo

Another option to hide your real IP address is to install the Tor Browser. Tor is a free browser that you can use to surf the internet anonymously. It encrypts your data and then routes it to different servers (Tor nodes) around the world. This makes it much more difficult for others to track your activities online. The Tor Browser also hides your IP address so that other parties cannot see it. 

The downside is that it only encrypts internet traffic within the browser, so it doesn’t protect you as much as a VPN. In addition, since your data is routed through many servers, your browsing experience may be significantly slowed down, unlike using a good VPN.

Connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot

One last method to use if you want to hide the IP address of your private Internet connection is to connect to a public Wi-Fi access point. Although this can help you mask your true private IP address, it is a very risky tactic. 

In this situation, you have the IP address of the Wi-Fi network instead of the usual one. However, as mentioned above, most public Wi-Fi hotspots are far from secure, so anyone using the same network could keep an eye on your online activities. If they wanted, they could even intercept your data. 

While it is true that you can hide your real IP address by connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, this makes you incredibly vulnerable to hackers. If you use public Wi-Fi, and therefore, we always advise you to use a VPN to protect yourself.

Conclusion

If you don’t protect your IP address, governments, the sites you visit, your ISP, and even people on the same network could view your data at any time. If you don’t like this idea, the best solution is to hide your IP address. This is also the case if you think you have nothing to hide. What you do online simply doesn’t concern anyone but you.

In addition, changing an IP address has some interesting advantages. You can, for example, use a VPN to access blocked websites or content not available in your area. Likewise, if you change your IP address, it will be much more difficult for your ISP to track or spy on you, while preventing advertisers from accessing your data. When it comes to hiding and changing your IP address, a VPN is by far the most secure and efficient method. 

By investing in a reputable VPN service, you can hide your IP address and enjoy the highest levels of privacy and security whenever you are online.