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Keep It Hidden: Why You Need a Private IP Address
Thanks to your computer’s unique IP address, someone always knows what you’re up to online.
Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is the unique address of your device on the internet. This address is made up of four numbers which show its domain, network, subnetwork and host computer. Every time you use the internet, your IP address is visible to all the websites that you visit.
The internet can be a dangerous place. Even the most careful users can become victims of identity theft, or unwitting recipients of malicious software. Your IP address includes snippets of information about your computer, including its location and the operating system it uses. Experienced hackers and cyber criminals are able to use IP addresses to find out which ports in your system are unprotected, and use this is as a path to hack into your files.
The best way to protect yourself and your computer from hackers is by keeping your IP address private.
Top Three Benefits of Hiding Your IP Address
The main reason for hiding your IP address is to keep your computer safe from bot networks, hackers and phishing attempts. Once your IP is invisible you will no longer be at risk from all these potential threats.
Stay hidden so that websites are unable to track and monitor your online activities. Most tracking systems will not harm your software, but you don’t want information about your online behavior to fall into the wrong hands. Keeping your IP private will also help to reduce pop-up advertising and targeted marketing campaigns.
If your computer is part of a network that has restricted access, or you are browsing the web from a geographical location with blocked access, a hidden IP will allow you to surf the internet freely and fully.
How to Hide
There are a variety of tools and services which you can use to hide your IP address. Some are more reliable than others.
One easy option to hide your IP is to use public Wi-Fi. Your IP address doesn’t travel with you outside your home, so connecting to any public network (for example, in a coffee shop or at a station) gives you the IP address of that network.
That said, while your IP address is different, you now have a different set of risks to worry about.
The public nature of the connection puts your activities at risk from hackers – so avoid handling sensitive data while using public Wi-Fi.
Proxies and VPNs
The safest way to hide your IP address is to use a reputable proxy or VPN server. There are dozens of web-based proxies that are available to use online, which do not require you to install any software on your computer.
If you are only looking to hide your IP address for a short amount of time, this might work just fine for you. However, the downside to using a free service is that they tend to be rather slow, and can feature extra pop-up advertisements.
For the safest, fastest and most reliable service, the best option is to use a VPN.
As long as you choose a reputable provider, your internet speed will not be affected. Even better, using a VPN gives you a considerable level of extra security as all your web traffic becomes encrypted and safe from hackers.
Unsure which VPN provider to choose? Take a look at our guidelines for choosing the best VPN option available to help in making the right choice