If you connect to the internet, then you need something to identify your computer. And that identification must be unique to your computer among the billion others in the world. For this very reason, the concept of IP address was introduced, which includes a string of numbers and decimals to identify the location of the device and the device itself.
Once you have an IP address or a fixed set of numbers locked onto your system, you can easily be traced. But that is not the problem, as the real issues lie in the violation of your privacy by Ecommerce giants, who then manipulate all your searches displaying results that are beneficial to them. In this article, we can learn a few tricks to hide and change the IP address to improve our search results and maintain our privacy.
Ways on How to Hide My IP Address for Free and Maintain Anonymity
Method 1. Virtual Private Network. (The best VPNs are paid)
A Virtual Private Network is an application that prevents any direct connection between your computer and the World Wide Web. The VPN receives your request, diverts the request to its own server, encrypts it, and then sends the request to the respective website on the internet. As a result, the website does not capture your personal details and does not know who sent the request. Instead, it receives a shared IP address, which covers up a lot of users, and this prevents your personal online activity from being traced back to a single user.
If you have wondered how to hide my IP address and want to choose a VPN service for yourself, then make sure it has the certain features like Private DNS Servers, Leak protection, Kill Switch and No Logs Policy. Leak protection includes features like IPv6 and WebRTC leak prevention while a Kill Switch isolated your device from the internet if the VPN server crashes or does not respond even for a few seconds. This ensures that under no circumstances, your personal data, including IP address is revealed to everyone.
If you want to use free VPNs with certain limitations, then you can opt for SurfEasy, Hide.me, ProtonVPN and Speedify.
Method 2. Can Proxy Server Hide my IP Address for Free?
Yes, you can hide your IP Address for free by using a proxy server. It functions similarly to a VPN and masks your IP address, displaying the server’s IP address to all those websites and Apps that collect information. There are various types of a proxy such as SSL, SSH, SOCKS etc. and can be configured in your browser and other apps.
However, there are some limitations of using a Proxy Server to hide your IP Address as these proxies do not provide strong encryption and can expose the real IP if the connection to the proxy server drops.
Method 3. How to hide my IP address for free online using Tor Browser?
Once the facts of personal data being collected by certain browsers were established, the birth of an anonymous browser was evident. And, when it was finally developed, it was named as The Onion Router or Tor for short. Tor browser also follows the pattern of a VPN but instead a few centralized servers, it has a decentralized worldwide anonymity network that is operated by thousands of volunteers.
The Tor Browser is available for free and can be downloaded and installed on all major operating systems like Windows, macOS and Linux. When you use the Tor browser, all the data sent from your computer to the internet is encrypted, and a redirection process starts, which routes your request via random volunteer nodes. The nodes change every time, and it becomes impossible to identify any of the IP addresses involved and for sure, hides your IP Address.
Method 4. How to hide my IP address for free online by changing networks?
Changing networks ensure that your IP addresses are also changed. In cases when you are certain that your IP address has been compromised, you can change your network and obtain a new IP address. There are three types of Networks you can connect to – Public, Private and Smartphone’s internet data. However, Public networks are prone to being compromised, and so you must opt for public networks that are password protected and send a temporary password to your phone.
Method 5. How to hide my IP address for free by changing IP address?
The internet service provides is the big boss who decided which IP address should be assigned to which user. You can always call them and set up a request for an immediate change of your IP address. However, the IP address provided by the ISP is dynamic and might change without notification. For an extra fee, your ISP can also provide you with a secured static IP Address.
Method 6. How to hide my IP address for free by unplugging the modem?
This method works with most ISPs, which follow a random generator system and allot an IP address to the requesting modem. The unused IP address is then reassigned to another customer next in line. So, you can try to unplug your modem and plug it back after a couple of minutes, and you will get a different IP Address.
Method 7. Can the NAT firewall Hide my IP Address for Free?
The Network Address Translation or NAT hides your private IP address by preventing any unrelated response coming towards your computer. It maintains a connection between your computer and the internet and allows only those responses that have been requested by your IP Address. All irrelevant data packets are regarded as junk and discarded.
NAT firewall becomes automatically available when you use a wireless router. Your request and data are forwarded under the mask of Public IP addresses which avoids communications between computers that reply with potential harmful requests and malicious content.
Also Read: Ping: An Easy Way to Test IP Connection
Method 8. How to change my IP Address on my computer for free?
It is easy to change your IP address with a few commands by following these steps:
Step 1. Open Command Prompt in Admin Mode.
Step 2. Enter the following commands:
Enter ipconfig /release
Enter ipconfig /renew
Step 3. Your IP address will have been changed.
Note: You will lose your internet connectivity when you enter the first command, and it will reconnect after the second command is executed.
Your thoughts on How to Hide My IP Address for Free and Maintain Anonymity
It is impossible to hide your IP address from your ISP as the primary address is provided by your ISP, and hence all the requests made from your computer are noted by your ISP. If you don’t use an IP address, then you cannot connect with the internet. All the methods described above can either hide or mask your IP address from the other computers and servers on the internet but cannot replace it with any other IP address. Similarly changing your IP Address creates confusion among the potential hackers and other websites that want to send malicious content on your computer.
It is important to hide or change your IP address from E-commerce websites, hackers and other websites that study your browsing and collect it. And these methods can help you achieve the same. But, if you are trying to hide something completely, that is not possible. Remember, when you are on the internet, every click makes a digital footprint, and you can always be traced by government agencies.