Are you worried that someone could trace you on the internet? Do you want to go beyond the limits imposed by your government or agencies to limit the number of sites you can access? In these cases, you must discover how to hide your IP, i.e., your “identity card,” when connected to the internet. In this guide, I will show you all the free methods to hide your IP address and browse without someone being able to discover your browsing activities to track you or apply restrictions.
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Methods To Hide Your Computer’s IP Address
To hide your IP and not be identified when you browse online, you must consider that there will still be traces of your activity on your computer. First, I advise you to browse “anonymously” using the methods made available by modern Web browsers. To activate the “anonymous” mode:
- Google Chrome offers incognito mode by pressing the following keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+N (Cmd+Shift+N on Mac) once the browser is open.
- Mozilla Firefox: offers private mode by pressing the menu at the top right and clicking on the item Anonymous window.
- Microsoft Edge: offers incognito mode by pressing the menu at the top right and clicking on the New InPrivate window item.
Activate the anonymous/private mode of web browsers. When you close the program (or restart or shut down the computer), there will be no trace of the sites you have visited or any other activity you have performed during this type of “private” browsing.
Use A VPN
The safest method recently proved to be the most valid: is a VPN network. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is based on an advanced technology that allows you to bypass the control of any supervisor (including the telephone operator) thanks to the use of a private tunnel equipped with encryption that goes from your computer to the outgoing VPN server which will mask your original IP. Using a VPN is currently the best way to hide your IP address, but maintaining the service comes at a cost; therefore, the best services of this kind are available for a fee.
There are VPN services that offer free accounts. We advise against using them for an extended period because 1) they use your data for commercial purposes and 2) they keep logs with the IP to hide. Free VPN networks have traffic and bandwidth limitations (which paid VPNs don’t). We have compiled a ranking of the best free VPNs to try, and for completeness, we list other free VPNs to try:
- TunnelBear (500 MB per month data limit)
- Avira Phantom VPN (500MB per month data limit)
- HideMe (2 GB per month data limit)
- Windscribe (10GB per month free, P2P support, low pricing)
- GooseVPN (30 days free with no limits)
- ProtonVPN (unlimited traffic, limited free account speed)
- Betternet (free unlimited traffic, maximum speed, sponsored by ads and pop-up videos)
All the VPN services listed above offer a program or app to download onto the device to be protected (smartphone or tablet) and don’t require complicated configurations. It is sufficient to open the program, choose the country you want to be connected to, and navigate anonymously.
Use A Proxy Server
Another very simple method to hide the IP is to use a proxy server. This service provides a server that hacks into your Internet connection, showing anyone who wants to spy on you an IP address different from yours. Many proxy servers are free, but the speed leaves something to be desired; other proxy servers are paid and offer encryption, untraceable anonymous connection, and much higher speeds.
Configuring a proxy is quite simple because many free services offer a web page where you enter the site you want to visit. They take care of the rest! The best free services you can try to hide IPs via proxy servers are:
- Hidester Proxy (fast, anonymous, with the possibility to choose the country in which to appear)
- Anonymous (useful for visiting sites without multimedia content, may cause problems with HTTPS connections)
- Aniscartujo (anonymous proxy server with ad blocking, encrypted connection, and modification of the cookies to accept)
- Hujiko (fast, anonymous, tracking cookie filtering, script blocking, and information blocking obtainable on the browser and OS used)
- Kproxy (anonymous, hard to block for censoring sites, encrypted connections, browser extensions)
- Megaproxy (anonymous, encrypted, full speed, limited to 60 pages every 5 hours)
Use The Tor Network
One last method I recommend for maintaining anonymity on the internet is using the Tor network. Tor is a free and unlimited access network that can let you “bounce” between multiple servers until you reach the exit node that will show a masqueraded IP to the sites you visit. It is a P2P type protocol that exploits various nodes connected to the network. Tor is used in countries under dictatorship or with heavy internet access restrictions.
Still, it has an extremely slow browsing speed, so I can only recommend it if you don’t need to access pages with multimedia content. Tor is also used to access the “deep web,” that part of the internet dedicated to mostly illegal content. It is useful to know that it is possible to change the country of origin and make it look completely different.
If you want to obtain maximum anonymity, you can easily adopt more solutions among those offered.
- Activate the incognito mode of your web browser.
- Make a connection with a VPN service.
- Enable the Tor network.
The browsing speed will leave something to be desired, but the security will be almost total: very few people in the world can get to your real identity with all these bounces and encrypted connections.
Also Read: Mozilla VPN Review: We Expected More