How to Hide IP Address in 2024 (A Comprehensive Guide)

Ali Raza  - Expert Tech Journalist
Last updated: January 2, 2024
Read time: 21 minutes

Want to become anonymous online or access geo-blocked sites? Good. You are at the right place, this tutorial on hiding IP address is for you.


An IP address is an exclusive number allocated to a specific device on the internet. It serves as an identifier that enables other devices and web servers to detect the particular device for transmitting data. Since these ISP-generated IP addresses are visible to everyone, they can unveil users’ online activities. Therefore, for anonymous and secure internet surfing, it is crucial to mask the real IP via VPNs, proxies, Tor, and other tools. This guide lists effective workarounds to help you hide your IP address.

In today’s digital world, everyone online is hunting for ways to intrude into your personal online space. Therefore, it’s inevitable to block all snoopers by hiding your IP address.

Of course, as an independent and free internet user, you deserve the right to digital privacy. But those web trackers, hackers, and often governments won’t let you do that easily.

So, if you love staying anonymous online or accessing geo-blocked sites, learn how to keep your IP address anonymous through this guide.

But before discussing hiding your IP address, let’s get some basics out of the way.

A quick guide to hiding IP address online

While you can use several means to mask your IP, you might be in a rush to read them all. So, here we quickly explain the most effective way – using a VPN.

  • Subscribe to a robust VPN service provider. Ideally, choose a top-notch premium VPN service to get the best security features. ExpressVPN is our no. 1 recommendation.
  • Download the VPN client for your device. You can also use the VPN’s browser extension for added privacy (if available).
  • Install the app. Usually, it takes only a few clicks to set up the VPN.
  • Connect to a VPN server. You can browse the list of servers available and choose the one from your desired with the best speeds.
  • Start browsing safely. As a precaution, consider clearing your device or browser cache after connecting the VPN so that it can better hide your real IP address.

What’s an IP Address?

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical identifier for a device connected to a network. This includes all devices, including your computers, smartphones, smart home devices, and other IoT appliances.

Through this identifier, the other devices and/or the server on the network identify a specific device to transmit data to. In this way, the IP address serves identification purposes and becomes the location address for the network.

What is my device IP?

Generally, your device holds two types of IP addresses depending on how it communicates online and offline. These include a private IP and a public IP.

A private IP address is unique to a device within the network. This private IP serves as the basis for offline communications and remains private. Despite being unique within a network, it may repeat for another device in another network. However, that won’t be a problem since the two networks seldom communicate.

But if the networks ever communicate, it is almost always via the Internet. So that’s where the second type of IP address plays its role – the public IP address.

Public IP addresses are unique for every device online. These IP addresses let the devices and the web servers communicate with each other over the internet. While they are unique, they may be shared by different devices within the same private network for online communication.

The private IP address for your device is the one that your router has assigned to it. You can log in to your router’s admin panel and find the private IP addresses of all connected devices (including your computers, smartphones, and others). You will notice that this IP address is unique for every device.

In contrast, you can search for “what is my IP” on Google or any other search engine to check your public IP address. Or, you can use this IP checker tool to find your public IP address. This IP address is the one that your ISP has assigned to your network. And so all devices connected to your network (set up by your router) will share the same public IP address.

Since your private IP remains invisible online, you don’t have to worry about securing it. Instead, the IP address you must hide is the public IP, which automatically protects your network.

Different types of IP addresses

An IP address can either be static or dynamic.

Static IP address –  It is an IP address that is virtually unchangeable.

Dynamic IP address – This IP address can change at any time. Usually, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server assigns it.

Providing a specific IP address for each user is costly, making this option less common. However, dynamic addresses with a leasing system are more widespread. So, the lease line breaks, and your IP address reverts to other users when you disconnect your device from the network.

Public IP addresses

Usually, public IP addresses are used for Wide Area Networks (WAN) connections to send and receive data. Basically, this facilitates the exchange of information with others on the internet.

For instance, the WAN address will enable you to download torrents on P2P networks or host online games. Also, other people can connect to you and vice versa through it.

Usually, your ISP will assign your router a single IP address. So, every device you connect to your router will use the same IP address.

Private IP addresses

Every device on your local area network (LAN) is assigned a private IP address and reroutes the connection to the suitable device. As a result, packages don’t get lost even when many users on your home network use the same IP address. This is also known as Network Address Translation (NAT). Remember that these LAN IP addresses don’t connect to the internet but are used for the interconnectivity of devices on your LAN. So, for example, your phone, laptop, gaming console, or smart fridge has different private IP addresses, yet they are on the same LAN. So they can connect directly within LAN but not outside.

Is hiding your IP address necessary?

Have you ever wondered how your website figures out what you are interested in? Your IP address is always detected in every website visit or other online service. This enables the service to trail you every time you gain access.

Websites can also detect your location with your IP address, allowing them to enforce geo-restrictions. As a result, you won’t be able to access your local content when you travel abroad or get varying content in different regions. A good example is Netflix.

Lastly, you should hide your IP address when engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) activities like using torrenting sites. Without a VPN, your home IP address can be visible to other users on the P2P network and other nefarious individuals. Thankfully, a VPN hides your IP address from other internet users, minimizing potential attacks through exploiting vulnerabilities or DDoS attacks.

Guide on how to hide your IP address (4 easy methods)

Protecting your IP address isn’t tricky. All it takes is to use some tool that works over your device’s network, providing it with another IP address.

In short, there are several ways to hide the IP address of your device. You can use VPN software (you must pay for this if you fancy a quality experience) or other free methods. Below, we list them all in detail.

1. Masking your IP address through a VPN

It is the most reliable and easiest way to hide your IP address anywhere. However, this method is not free.

Although there are some free VPNs, they aren’t strong enough to protect your online integrity. In contrast, you need a quality VPN provider for reliability and speed.

So, in most cases, you must buy the package for a certain amount of time or pay a subscription fee to the service provider.

which VPN would suit you the best

Virtual Private Network (VPN) will give you a virtual IP address to access sites restricted to your computer’s IP address easily.

The VPN servers work by assigning unique IP addresses from their servers to your computer as an alternate IP address. Your device then uses the VPN IP to connect to the internet securely. That’s how your device’s actual IP address gets hidden online.

Quality VPN providers such as ExpressVPN have servers in different locations globally. Therefore, depending on your package, these services can assign IP addresses from other places to your device.

A significant benefit of hiding your IP address through a tested VPN like ExpressVPN is the fastest level of connection you will get.

Although, you can find many cheap or even free VPN services in the market. But they could slow your connections to frustration levels (everything free comes with a price indirectly).

But you won’t face such issues should you go with genuine VPN connections.

That means you should avoid fake VPN services that may be far slower than what you have bargained for.

That’s why selecting the right VPN IP service provider is essential.

Apart from the excellent connection speed, VPNs are also great for connecting to Torrent sites. Some quality VPN providers like NordVPN even offer dedicated P2P servers for torrenting. That will be an extra feature for you. However, such VPNs that support torrenting are usually more expensive.

If you want to hide your IP address safely alongside grabbing all the added premium features, a good VPN such as ExpressVPN will ensure that.

Besides, it boasts cutting-edge security protocols and advanced encryption to ensure your computer’s original IP address never gets exposed online.

That is why it is regarded as a reliable VPN. But you need to spend some bucks to get such a VPN service.

But if you don’t have enough cash to pay for a VPN service like ExpressVPN, you have other free options to hide your IP address. Below we cover them in detail.

  • Encrypts the traffic between your device and the VPN server. This protects your data and privacy online
  • Don’t retain your personally identifiable information. Thus, they can hand your browsing data to government authorities or third parties
  • It helps you evade geo-restrictions. You can access blocked content in whichever region worldwide
  • Public Wi-Fi protection. A VPN will safeguard your connection when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot
  • It May slow down your speed due to the encryption process

2. Hiding your IP address through Tor Network

You can stay undetected while surfing the internet using a free IP hiding tool — the Tor network.

The Tor network uses a free client-based system involving various volunteer servers.

Hide Your IP Address with TOR 600x300

When you connect via the Tor network, your computer’s traffic passes through several servers before reaching its destination. That’s how it becomes complicated to track where the traffic comes from. So, it leaves your IP untraceable online.

Tor offers multiple layers of protection to ensure your computer’s IP address is entirely off the radar.

However, it has the same problem as a proxy server or free browser extension.

Your connection speed gets slow since your computer’s traffic passes through several servers before reaching the destination.

However, the good thing is this method of hiding IP addresses is completely free.

You are not paying a single cent to surf online securely, download videos, or browse web pages you like. So yes, your IP address will remain hidden for free when you’re doing all that.

  • An effective way to hide your IP address. This will help you to bypass geo-restrictions and access websites outside your region
  • An excellent option for low-risk tasks like bypassing content filters
  • Due to their ability to cache data, they can produce data faster
  • Due to a lack of encryption, the data can be exposed
  • The servers do not also delete digital footprints, so others see your online activities
  • Most free servers display lots of ads, which can be annoying

3. Browsing through proxy servers

Like the VPN and Tor, a proxy server lets you hide your IP address to access geographically blocked content.

It’s a handy means, especially when you want to access a website that does not accept your actual location. Also, it’s simple to use and often free.

Hide Your IP Address with a Proxy 600x300

Wondering how a proxy works?

Let’s say you want to watch a live-streaming match only available to US residents. But unfortunately, you’re in London.

When you use a proxy connection, your computer sends a streaming request to the server in the US to view the video. The US proxy server will intercept the request from your computer and send the information using a US IP address. When the proxy server accesses the video, it returns the data to your computer.

Simply put, the proxy server works as an interceptor between your computer and the other server.

Despite all its usefulness, it has an underlying problem: slow connectivity. That’s because of numerous interceptions between your computer, the server, and the host computer.

Without a proxy, your connection is a two-way thing. But with a proxy, it becomes a three-way thing. That’s why connections are slower when using free proxy sites.

Another problem is a security lapse. If you’re anxious about vulnerable information, you should remain wary of proxy servers.

Unlike VPNs, proxies do not offer encrypted protection for your personal information. Instead, they forward precisely what information their servers receive without any form of encrypted security.

Also, using a proxy may be a bad idea for torrenting. That is because it won’t hide your torrent activities from the ISPs.

These reasons outweigh the benefits of hiding IP addresses with a free proxy, making it a bad alternative.

  • It is free and easy to configure and use
  • Works well with all major operating systems
  • Efficiently hides IP address making it impossible to trace
  • Provides access to .onion sites (dark web)
  • It is open-source, so anyone can inspect the code, which reduces the chances of malicious backdoors
  • It can slow the internet speed due to the rerouting of your traffic
  • As much as Tor can help in effectively hiding IP addresses, it can still lead you to trouble with the government as it provides access to the dark web. However, you will still be fine as long as you don’t do anything illegal
  • Tor does not provide end-to-end encryptions. So, anyone with access can read any message sent in plain text, like passwords and usernames
  • It may restrict your access to sites that require your location, like Facebook, Linkedin, Gmail, etc.
  • Many websites don’t work well on Tor because it disables JavaScript and other technologies for running these sites smoothly

4. Using public WiFi

We hope you would have chosen your best option by now. But if you haven’t, here’s the last workaround to hide your actual IP address: using a public WiFi network.

While it’s viable and often free, we don’t advise you for that.

Public servers are not meant to protect the IP address. Instead, they are offered where it isn’t easy to get internet service in a particular location.

Hide Your IP Address with a Public Wifi 600x300

Generally, your Internet Service provider (ISP) assigns an IP address to your system. However, when using another ISP, the IP address automatically reflects one from the new ISP.

It is an excellent option to hide your activities from other internet servers and users. But the problem with this method is the high level of security risk involved.

If you’re using Public WiFi, your computer would be vulnerable to malware, hackers, and other internet security threats.

Also, this method will not prevent geographical blocks since you’re connecting from the exact location.

It’s only valid if you want to use a different IP address other than yours to access a website’s content.

Notably, faking your IP through public WiFi is not a permanent solution. Instead, it’s more of a quick fix.

Which method of hiding my IP address should I pick?

The answer to this question depends on your browsing requirements and budget limitations.

A VPN is the best option for getting a fake IP address and online location. Besides anonymity, it also provides you with complete online privacy and security.

However, if you can’t risk your money to get a dedicated VPN server and can bear slow connection speeds, Tor might be the best option to hide your IP address.

In contrast, a proxy will slow your connections, even when you pay. (Yes, there are paid proxies, too).

Proxy is not recommended for everyday use; you can use it in extreme need. But make sure you don’t waste money on paid proxies; go only with free ones, as paying, in this case, won’t make much difference.

So, using a reputable VPN is the most effective and surest way to hide your IP address without compromising speeds. But if you cannot afford the cost, you can always use a free service like the Tor network.

How to check your IP Address online

So now you know how to hide your IP address. But how would you determine if it is working?

Technically, you must verify that you have successfully hidden your public IP address before proceeding with your intended activity. You must check your IP address first to ensure you don’t make mistakes that would blow your cover.

The simplest way to verify the successful masking of your IP is to use this IP checker tool. It should show a location and an IP address different from yours. Ideally, it will be the one that your VPN or proxy has provided you with.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps to ensure you have hidden your online IP location.

Step 1: If you are using a VPN, proxy server, or connected to the Tor Network, disconnect it and go over to a search engine, such as Google.

Step 2: Type the words “My IP” and press enter.

Hide Your IP Address

If you have not successfully hidden your IP address, Google will bring out your computer’s IP address like this:

Hide Your IP Address 1

Step 3: You now know your actual public IP address. Return to the VPN, Tor, or proxy network, clear your device or browser cache, and repeat step 2.

Now, you won’t see your actual IP address location but the assigned proxy IP passed by your computer. If you can verify a change, you can start browsing with privacy.

What are the benefits of hiding my IP address?

Most people love hiding their IP addresses to get easy access to download illegal (or forbidden) materials.

But that’s not right. Nor did we set up this guide to facilitate such wrongdoers.

Nonetheless, there are several other benefits of hiding your IP address – the legal ones.

1. Bypass content restrictions

Sometimes you might be genuinely looking for important information, and the website will come up with the usually annoying reply,

Oops, sorry this information is restricted from your IP address.

That means the site blocks IP addresses from specific geographical locations.

Sometimes, private firms restrict access to their content from specific IP addresses to curb copyright infringements.

Likewise, governments in different countries might also block specific sites from showing content to internet users in the region. Often, it’s due to political reasons, like in the Middle East and China.

But if you hide your IP address, you can access that information like your actual IP address becomes anonymous, and the device shows a fake one to the portal you visit.

2. Protect your personal data online

Another reason to hide your IP is to avoid misusing your personal information as you browse privately online.

Yes, everybody loves the freedom of browsing without any server spying on them for personal information.

Most servers do this to get precise information to send personalized ads to your IP address. Some even sell your data to advertisers. The servers can also track your location, even when you turn off location services.

But if you hide your IP address, you may surf the net without worries.

Methods that never work to hide your IP address (and so, you should avoid)

Surprisingly, the following techniques are popular among users for maintaining privacy. However, you should be clear that these methods never hide your IP address, nor do they anonymize you online. So, if you intend to hide your real IP, avoid using or relying on them.

1. Private browsing via a web browser (Incognito)

The look and feel of incognito mode in most browsers give the impression that they make you anonymous online. However, that’s not true.

Private or incognito browsing mode never hides your IP address. Nor does it protect your data from your ISP. Instead, it only prevents your browser from storing your browsing history on your device.

2. Using NAT Firewall

A NAT Firewall is typically meant to provide unique private IP addresses to the devices connected to a single router. That’s how it helps multiple devices operate uniquely with the same public IP address. However, it doesn’t hide, modify, or mask your public IP.

3. Asking your ISP for a new IP address

As evident, getting a new IP address from your ISP assigns a new IP to your device altogether. This new IP is now visible online, similar to your previous one. While you can use this technique to evade IP bans, you can’t use it to hide your IP online.

Can my IP address be hidden 100%?

As a rule of thumb, no technology is ever 100% foolproof. The same applies to the methods to hide your IP address online.

But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon this idea altogether.

Basically, proxies, VPNs, and other strategies aimed at providing you – the user – online privacy and greater anonymity. These tools strive to protect you from cybercriminals and surveillance and web-tracking entities.

However, many other features on your devices also somehow leak your IP address. These include potential exposures via DNS, WebRTC, and more. But if you use robust tools like a premium VPN, you can effectively prevent such IP leaks.

Indeed, you don’t need to become entirely anonymous like a criminal. What you need (and deserve) is protection against potential intruders.

You can effectively achieve this goal by using a VPN. It will typically mask your IP address, DNS, and almost all other ways intrusive web trackers may reach your device.

However, the onus of this online privacy comes to you, the user. That’s because the ultimate choice of the tool to protect your IP address is yours.

With web proxies, you might not expect better anonymity. That’s because most proxies often fail at adequately encrypting your data. Thus, they keep you vulnerable to interception by ISPs and other entities. Likewise, you might face problems accessing restricted content (such as streaming services), as the corresponding platforms could still detect you.

So, you should always use a reliable VPN to hide your IP and keep all snoopers at bay. Even if not 100%, you can still attain a far greater level of online privacy and anonymity this way.

Does using a VPN hide my IP address from my ISP?

Your ISP is the one that provides you with an IP address. Hence, you never hide your IP from the provider itself. Nor is a VPN meant for that.

A VPN, however, protects your internet traffic from your ISP by applying encryption. This way, your ISP can see you connected online but can’t trace your activities.

On the other hand, VPNs mask your real IP with a virtual one for the internet world. So, while your activities remain known to the corresponding online parties you communicate with (such as the websites you visit), they can’t know your real IP address. That’s how they can never chase you online.


As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why it is essential to hide your IP address when going online from your mobile or computer.

This guide explained those reasons and elaborated on various ways of hiding IP addresses. Hence, you should now be able to choose a method that best meets your browsing habits.

You should prefer a robust VPN like ExpressVPN that warrants inclusive online security with a fast internet connection.

Occasionally, you can opt for Tor when surfing the net and browsing web pages anonymously. Thankfully, it is free.

You can also use proxy servers for intermittent private browsing, but public WiFi is a no-no. You can always use the Tor network to hide your IP address for free.

Your choice depends on what you want, the protection you need, and your financial strength to get a dedicated VPN server.


Generally, it is legal in almost all countries to hide your IP location using proxies and VPNs. However, some countries, such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam, have strict laws. A few regions even deem using VPNs illegal. But you can easily use proxies or VPNs if you are not in a repressive country.

Yes. Most web proxies and even some VPNs are available for free. So, you can use these tools to hide your IP address. But we won’t advise you on that since free tools seldom offer good security. But if you want to mask your IP temporarily without much concern for privacy, you can use these tools. Alternatively, you can connect to a public WiFi network. At the same time, a securer workaround is to use Tor but be ready to face slow browsing speeds.

In some cases, yes, it does. Usually, your IP address directly reveals your location, that is, your city and country. Also, tracing an IP address can link to your real-time geographical coordinates. Besides, tracking your IP address also gives information about your ISP, device details, and more.

Not really. Your IP address cannot directly share confidential information like email, contacts, and address. However, malicious actors can access sensitive data using the IP address. They then piece together the information to hack your device or impersonate you. So, it is essential to conceal your IP address with a VPN.

You can easily mask your IP address with a VPN on your iOS phone. Typically, you must subscribe to a VPN service that provides an app for iOS. Then, download and install the iOS app on your phone. Once the app is installed, connect to any server location to get a new IP address and mask your real one.

Not exactly. Your internet service provider (ISP) can allocate you a static IP address, which typically does not change. Also, it can also assign a dynamic IP address, which changes with time. So, if your ISP gives you a static IP address and you need more privacy, you can change your IP address with a VPN.

You can select the city for your new IP address with some VPNs. Alternatively, not all VPNs have servers in different cities in the same country due to the high cost of hardware building and maintenance. This is why most free VPNs don’t allow you to choose a server location. After all, the main goal of these VPN providers is to provide users with more in-demand locations than city-specific IP addresses.

There are various ways to prevent advertising networks from accessing your IP address. The first is using a VPN to encrypt your data traffic and reroute it to a server in a different location. This will hide your real IP address. Another easy way is by using ad blockers, which will obstruct advertising networks. With ad blockers, ad networks cannot track your browsing activities. However, the ad blockers are not guaranteed to be compatible with all websites.

Government-imposed restrictions on various services are seemingly annoying. However, fortunately, you can bypass these restrictions in two ways. One, you can use a VPN to hide your true IP address. You can also use Tor, free software that allows you to visit websites over the internet anonymously.

You can mask your IP address with Tor or Proxy servers. However, compared to a VPN, there are various challenges that you can face. For instance, using Tor to browse can be slow due to the many nodes your data is passed through. Also, the proxy servers are unsafe since they do not encrypt traffic data.

You can conceal your IP address on Google Chrome in various ways, like other web browsers. For example, you can use a VPN, Tor, or a proxy web extension. Of all the methods, the most recommended is using a VPN since it can cipher traffic outside your browser, thus keeping your information safe.

Yes. You can conceal your IP address on all your devices as long as they are all connected to the public network. The ISP provides the public with a single IP address used by all the devices connected to it. So, using a VPN and Tor is the easiest way to hide your IP address.

Torrenting activities require peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol. Therefore, your IP address is recorded to the torrent swarm when you download or upload a file. The problem is that anybody on the swarm can see your IP address, ISP, and copyright trolls. That is why you need to mask your IP address when torrenting.

Images via Pixabay and Wikipedia.

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About the Author

Ali Raza

Ali Raza

Expert Tech Journalist
6 Posts

Experienced in web journalism and marketing, Ali Raza holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. He is very passionate about the internet privacy. Ali's work has been published in several valuable publications.

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