There are four different ways to change and hide your IP address so that you can’t be tracked anymore.
Some are easier than others, offering varying degrees of privacy.
The method you choose will most likely depend on the reason why you need to mask your true location.
1Use a VPN (Free and Paid)
Using a VPN service is probably the most common method change your IP address, and our favorite.
A VPN is an IP changer that will:
- Spoof your location
- Encrypt all of your web traffic
- Hide your Web browsing activity
- Allow for private torrenting & P2P
- Unblock geo-restricted online content
But a VPN won’t:
- Make you 100% anonymous (unlike Tor – see below)
Some VPNs will also provide unrestricted internet access in high-censorship countries like China and the UAE.
So yes, a VPN really does
When you connect to a VPN server, you’re assigned the (virtual) IP address of that server and, your real IP will be hidden as long as you’re connected to the VPN.
You have to make sure you use a VPN service that doesn’t leak, otherwise your real IP location will be exposed.
If you want to use a VPN to hide your IP address, our best VPNs of 2019 or our best free VPN recommendations are good starting points.
2Use a Proxy (Free)
A proxy is another type of IP hider but it’s less secure than a VPN.
Connecting to a proxy server is an often free way of hiding your IP address.
Proxies mainly come in the form of free browser extensions, so all you have to do is download one from your web browser’s store, add it and make sure you’re proxy extension is on before you start browsing.
These are the main problems with proxies:
- Less secure than VPNs
- Don’t hide all your internet traffic
- Won’t often unblock streaming services
- Generally won’t beat aggressive web censors
If all you want to do is mask your true location, a proxy will probably do the job but if you want a higher level of security, then you need to use a VPN.
Read more about the difference between VPNs and proxies if you want to learn more about this.
3Use the Tor Browser (Free)
Tor, and its Tor Browser, is a much slower, but more private, alternative to a VPN.
It’s an open-source software client that connects you to a worldwide network of servers, known as TOR (The Onion Router).
When you connect to the Tor network, you’re assigned a new IP address and your Web traffic is moved across servers in the network. Because your traffic moves through many servers before reaching a website, it can’t be traced back to you.
If you use Tor, you’re as close as you can get to being anonymous online. At a cost, though.
Tor is incredibly slow and websites can take ten times longer to load than they usually would.
The main problems of using Tor as an IP changer are:
- Very slow speeds
- Not all websites are available
- Not easy to select a specific country
We’ve created a guide to explain the differences between VPN and Tor.
4Use Your Mobile Network (not recommended for privacy)
Sometimes the quickest solution is the most obvious, although it’s not always the best solution.
If you think that your IP address has been compromised, you can route all your Internet traffic through your smartphone’s mobile network.
All you need to do is turn your smartphone into a hotspot and connect your devices to it.
This method is only good if you’re not worried about your mobile carrier seeing what you’re doing online.
A Quick Summary of these Four Methods
|Does it Change IP?
||Yes (Most Private)