Every time you visit the Internet, you receive an IP address. It can be used by different online sites or services to identify you and to keep track of you. That’s means they wouldn’t know your name and other personal data, but they will see where you are.
IP-address is a unique sequence of numbers used to identify devices connected to the network. All of them have their own IP address. So if you use smartphone, tablet, laptop at the same time, they will have different addresses.
We can compare it to…ordinary letters. Wanting to send a letter, you write the unique address of the recipient on the envelope, and this helps postmen to indicate his or her location. You can also write down your own address in case you want to receive the answer.
Your IP address could be called such a “sender address” in an Internet context. When you visit a site, your device sends a request to the site server, referring to the IP address of the site. When the server processes the request, it will send you the necessary data back to your IP address.
The IPv4 standard accepts the use of four 2-digit or 3-digit numbers separated by periods in IP addresses. You may think devices get their IP addresses randomly, but they are not. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IPA) creates them and provides them to five Regional Internet Registrars (RIRs), who’s next step is to distribute received addresses between ISPs, operating in their particular regions.
In other words, you can find out your location using your IP address. And you may not like it.
If we use a comparison with a real address, it’s worth considering: would you share your personal data, your address with stranger people you don’t know? Of course not, it’s obviously not the smartest thing. But why you should give your IP address to different services? They can receive a lot of information about you, a lot of attacks are impossible without IPs.That’s why it is better for you to be cautious. And it is the basic step only. A lot of internet users are privacy-conscious, and if you want to become one of them, you should follow some simple tips. Let us provide you with them. So what can you do to hide your location?
It is the first and maybe the easiest option. How does it work? Usually, when we visit a site, we connect by sending our IP directly. In this case, we can compare a proxy to a middleman. It connects to the site for you and sends not your address but its own.
However, you should be ready that it depends on the proxy you use. Not all of them are able to provide you with security. So you need to find a good one and to install an extension for your browser that can change your IP and encrypt your browsing information. Most often, proxies are used to gain access to content protected by geoblocks. Here’s how these services work:
Imagine you are in the US and want to watch some box game live, available only to residents of Iceland You decide to use a proxy. When you open the site, your browser sends the server a request for video streaming and intercepts this request in a case to send it to the site through the server with the Icelandic IP address. The site gives the access to the proxy server, and the proxy will send it to you, and you can watch live broadcasts just as if you were in Iceland. Profit! There’re a lot of proxies that are available as browser plug-ins. But don’t forget that they’re working for your browser only. Software installed on your computer can connect to the web as well, and each of them can use your IP address. There is one more issue. If you use free proxies, they may add trackers to get acquainted with your browsing habits. And to be honest, this is justified. They provide you with a free service, of course, they want to receive something in return. That’s why this option is not really a safe thing to do. Move on to the next one.
The VPN is considered to be the most reliable way to hide your IP address from strangers. And the easiest as well. Everything is as simple as possible here: it will take a couple of minutes setting up a VPN connection!
Your VPN provides you with a new virtual IP address. The sites you visit will only see the virtual IP, and your original IP address will remain hidden. Reliable VPN services provide access to many servers located in various parts of the world, which means you can get almost any IP address. In general, this option is similar to the previous one. You connect to a middleman and that servers connect to wherever. The essential difference is that this connection is encrypted. You can hide the location and all of your content. Therefore, you can not be afraid of hackers or governments.
One of the main advantages of using a VPN is its high network connection speed. You no longer have to surf the web at an appallingly slow speed.
Besides, VPN provides you with an opportunity to work securely with torrents. In addition to hiding the IP address and protecting user data, some VPN services also offer their users access to servers configured specifically for working with torrents and P2P.
In addition, a VPN is the best way to get around geographic access blocking. Many streaming services (e.g. Netflix) use geoblocks, and every day it becomes more difficult for users to bypass them. Fortunately, the best VPN services allow you to solve this problem easily and naturally. But we still have one more nice option for you.
The Tor network is a perfect option for people who want to work on the web totally anonymously. The Tor browser can be downloaded for free, it provides access to a huge server network, which is supported by the efforts of volunteers.
While using Tor, your traffic is redirected to the destination server through a chain of so-called “nodes” (Tor-servers). By the time your traffic reaches the site server, no one will be able to track your source IP address. Tor provides multi-layer protection, which allows you to protect your data from strangers.
Of course, redirecting traffic across multiple channels takes some time. It usually needs at least 3 nodes to send you. In other words, Tor is a slow network. Even when you’re going to open a site located in your country, your connection begins globetrotting and who knows when it will reach the perfect destination.
One of the best aspects of Tor is the fact that it is completely free! If you’re looking for a way to stay anonymously without hitting your pocket, then the Tor browser is the perfect option for you. And if you do not want to run multiple browsers at once, then download the Tor extension for your browser. Be ready, that in this case, it will secure your online browsing only.
All of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, proxies are not designed to protect all your Internet traffic. Tor browser makes your connection slowly and VPN may store data or data exchange logs. Therefore, you need to make a consciously and carefully chosen. Leverage several options at the same time, give preference to paid services that are able to guarantee your security. Or be ready for globalization as it is.