The IP address is what differentiates your device from other on the Internet. But why do you need to hide your IP address? Well, it maintains your online privacy, the thing which many want. And one of the best ways to do so is to get a VPN.
Does a VPN hide my IP address? Well, yes and no. VPN (or Virtual Private Network) servers have an encryption system to encrypt all the data transfer in the network.
And apart from the encryption, the server also gives you a new IP address which masks your public IP address, the one assigned by your ISP. But the VPN provider always has your P address.
We will read more about it later but first, let me answer the question “How can hiding my IP address help?”
One of the best thing VPN allows you, is browsing a website without letting their servers know. Your IP address is hidden, and you are surfing with a fake IP address provided by your VPN service provider.
It also keeps you safe from trackers, the bots who study your internet activity.
Safety while browsing on public Wi-Fi
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi, the network administrator can ‘see’ the data passing through the network, and so can hackers. With a secured VPN running on your device, you can be sure that your work emails are not getting peeked upon by strangers.
Avoiding government surveillance
Your Internet Service Provider (and so is your government) has records of whatever you do online. So, if you wonder how to secure your IP address, VPN is the answer.
As the VPN server encrypts all the data passing to and from your device, all your ISP can see is the connection to VPN. It also helps you in unblocking content.
If you are a market researcher, you know your searches can affect the regional search patterns. And you should have sometimes thought “Can I hide my IP location and the associated activities?”
The answer is yes, you can. Also, with your device connected to the VPN, your competitors can’t know that it was you who searched for their products.
For journalists and those with sensitive data, identity protection is a must.
Streaming videos not available at a location
While you are on vacation abroad and want to watch your favourite shows on Foxtel, you can’t do so. Foxtel is not available outside the boundaries of Australia, but you still can get the services there. You can connect to an Australian VPN server and get streaming of Foxtel there.
In the same way, you also can stream HBO, the American cable TV, while enjoying at your home. You also get the US version of Netflix when you connect to a VPN server in America.
Many such streaming services are geo-blocked outside their country, and VPNs help you get past these geographic restrictions.
Using websites blocked at your location
Similar to the streaming services, there also are country-specific websites. You get access to those with a connection to VPN. Not only that, you can connect to a foreign server and get the sites blocked in Australia or at your workplace.
Yes, there are proxy websites which do the work quickly, but they don’t provide any encryption. Without your connection encrypted, the network administrator and the ISP know which sites you visit.
Internet was once free from any regulation, and you see, you can achieve the same Internet freedom again if you are connected to a VPN. There are many other benefits than the ones mentioned above but if you want to be anonymous VPN isn’t the one for you.
They give you a new IP address, but the real one is still available with the provider. It’s another thing that VPN providers don’t keep logs. Well, let’s see how they work.
How can I mask my IP?
When you connect to a VPN server, all the data coming to or going from your device passes through the VPN server.
And the websites or streaming servers see the IP address of your VPN provider and not yours. If you connect to a VPN server in the UK, BBC will see a UK IP address requesting to watch Sherlock, for example.
Apart from this redirection, paid VPN providers also encrypt any data passing through it, and no one can see what you are browsing or streaming.
VPN companies like ExpressVPN and NordVPN also support excellent transfer speeds which is much needed if you want to watch videos. But, can I hide my IP address free online?
Well, you can. There are many free VPNs, but the downside is non-reliability and slow speeds. And not to mention, outdated encryption systems. So, better to pay and use VPN and enjoy the privacy while you stream your favourite shows online.