This is a topic with huge scope so we will break it up into several articles. In this article we will focus on your IP address – the single-most piece of information that ties your internet browsing to your personal identity.
Why hide your IP address?
Regardless of your intent or lack thereof, every step you take on the Internet, whether it’s browsing your favorite sites, or buying from an online store, or commenting in a forum – each step leaves traces in the logs of Internet servers.
Once you launch your browser and start browsing online, your browser voluntarily informs all servers who request it, of your IP address, as well as the type of operating system that you are running, and a host of other information about your computer .
Maybe for you this information is useless, but for a person with IT skills and malicious intent, it is the door to your computer, they just need to pick the right “keys” (and this is just a matter of technique).
Aside from hackers gaining access to your computer there are other reasons why you would want to hide or mask your IP address.
For example, you may want to hide your geographical location to access content that may not be available in your location. You may want to prevent tracking of your activities on the web. Or you may want to get around various restrictions interfering with your ability to access content that you’re interested in.
Hiding your IP allows you to accomplish this.
How You Can Hide Your IP Address
There is a number of options available to you; most requiring very little technical expertise.
Listed below are four ways you can hide your IP address and maintain a higher level of anonymity when browsing the Web.
- Use a VPN Service
- Use the Tor Browser
- Use a Proxy Server
- Use Free/Public WiFi
Covering each of the listed options is outside the scope of this article, but the information presented above should be enough to get you thinking about your privacy online, the reasons why you may want to hide your IP and the different ways that you can do so.