How to Mask IP – Guide to Hide your IP Address to Stay Anonymous
Masking an IP address is one of the simple activity using the right tools and techniques. Being a frequent online user, it is necessary to have the knowledge of how to mask your IP address. In order to not only gain access to Geo-restricted content. But also to encrypt your data for maximum protection and safety. It also enables you to eliminate the chances of IP bans everywhere.
This article sheds light on some of the most prominent steps to use that can mask your IP address and gain full anonymity and encryption online.
What exactly is an IP address?
Primarily, the basic clarity should be made regarding the question as to what exactly is an IP address.?
Internet, as its name suggests, is a collection of interconnected networks and that requires a system that establishes, controls and maintains the communication between them. An Internet Protocol or IP for short is that principal control mechanism that is responsible for this management. The main function of an IP is to define the structure and deliver the information in the form of packets from one point to another.
An IP address acts as a system identifier that in this version of the internet version (IpV4) consists of a 32-bit number system based on the format of x.x.x.x. Here, x is any value between 0 to 255. Examples of IP addresses can be:
(Note that not all these addresses are genuine and have been proposed for example purpose only)
Every system on the internet has its own IP address that acts much like a home address or a license plate of a car. The purpose is to create a unique mark of identification that enables that identifies the system in its own way. This means that each phone, laptop or a desktop has a unique IP number of its own.
The operations of an IP address consists of the pieces of information that points towards the location of the system assigned. This is effective in a way that the establishment of a connection depends upon the precise system information and an IP address provides just that.
In this way, a unique identification mark
Why Hide your IP address?
- Keeping your location hidden
- Bypassing certain IP restrictions
- Eliminate IP bans
- Safety from potential attacks
- Remaining anonymous on the internet
Steps to Mask your IP address
An IP address, although is unique to every system is easily exploited by anyone with the right tools and knowledge. The systems are every time under potential threats and thus as a user, you need to know how to be safe and secured during an online session. Below mentioned steps will as a guide about how to mask your IP address to remain completely hidden:
Use a Best VPN Software
The most prominent and perhaps the easiest way to gain anonymity is the use of a Best VPN service. Here are some features that a VPN provides:
- It masks your IP address
- Commences data encryption
- Allows safe browsing and torrent sessions
- Allows you to gain access to restricted content
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is programmed specifically for the purpose of privacy and safety features. Services like ExpressVPN or NordVPN provide a considerable advantage for the purpose of anonymity and IP masking.
A VPN operates by assigning you a new IP address from the list of servers connected to them. When you connect to a server, it assigns you another IP address and hides your current one.
Setting up a VPN is very easy, as it requires the VPN client to be accessed by the user, connecting to it and changing the IP address.
During the connection, the VPN assigns you a new IP address while the real one is used to still be connected to the server. All the traffic that is accessed passes through the VPN server towards the online destination.
Next on the line is NordVPN that is cheaper but is still an impressive service to use.
Use of Proxies
Another way that can be used to mask your IP address is the use of a proxy. These proxy servers are great tools that act as a bridge between the traffic on the internet. These proxies act as an intermediary for the packets of information that reach their desired online destination and at the same time disguise their appearance along the way.
In simple words, these proxies take control of the connection and from there; the proxy mirrors every activity and behavior. The destination server implies the proxy traffic as the real traffic.
These proxy servers are great and a very efficient way to bypass Geo-blocked content and IP band with a cheaper and low profile value.
The difference between a proxy and a VPN in terms of answering how to mask your IP address is that a proxy does not have the number of layers that a VPN provides. In addition, a VPN encrypts the data while a proxy only intercepts the traffic.
Use of Mobile networks
Another way to mask your IP address in case if there is a chance of possible data compromise is the use of cellular network’s data. Being a different system, it will definitely have a different IP address.
This is not an alternative on the level of what the other services for a laptop or a PC provide but used on certain conditions where no other suitable option available. Other than a case in which there is a potential breach present, use of this option is not that much effective nor recommended.
Use of Public Wi-Fi
Another instance of masking an IP address is the use of certain public Wi-Fi networks. As the IP address is not portable, hence the newer connection means a newer address each time. However, like the use of cellular networks, this is also not very effective or a very sustainable method to be used. There are unfortunately many other risks involved in the use of such public networks and hence is not recommended.
Use of TOR
TOR or generally termed as The Onion Router, refers to a free client that enables you to connect to a network of voluntarily operated servers. This gets you a new IP address and works on the more or less same basis of a VPN service.
This router network also called the dark web and gives an extra benefit of accessing content otherwise inaccessible through normal browsers. These inaccessible websites have a random domain name.
Being a widely accessible network, TOR has become a hub of most criminal activity. Illegal activities like drug smuggling and weapons dealing use these networks for their transactions.
Another weakness of this network is the slow loading time that proves to be inefficient and takes a longer time to reach the target destination efficiently. TOR has its own share of vulnerabilities easily exploited by the people or agencies.
Forced IP change
When everything else fails in answering how to mask your IP address. Then there is a forced attempt that can change your IP. That is to unplug your modem and reconnect it after a short while. If you are working on dynamic servers, then such activity will let you have a newer IP assigned after re-connection. Sometimes, a user needs to take longer period of time for a new IP address.
Browsing in Incognito Mode
Browsing in Incognito mode is the simplest method for privacy. Whenever you browse the internet, there are cookies left behind. These cookies hold some informative data based on the websites visited. Another website may use this information to redirect certain experience specific to you. Cookies in this way make a digital indication towards you.
Private browsing is available in almost every newer browser but recommended when there is no other option available.
Masking your IP address is a great way to make yourself safe and secure during an online session. Also to encrypt your data from potential monitors. While we recommend the use of a best VPN. To guide yourself in how to mask your IP address, there are other ways to do it. Make extensive researches in this regard make your choices according to your preferred level of security.
While a VPN is the safest and efficient way to go. There are also pros and cons present for every service and hence you can check out the VPN reviews. Masking an IP address is necessary as it not only gives you the best privacy and encryption. It also gives you total control over what you browse. These services provide access to Geo-blocked content and we recommend you to take advantage of these to the fullest.