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How to Hide IP Address (9 Ways, Including Free Ones)

Last updated: October 8, 2021

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If privacy is a goal of yours online, one of the best ways to achieve this is to hide your IP address.

Hiding your IP address is a little bit like surfing the web while wearing a costume. With this “disguise,” you will be able to visit different sites on the Internet without being detected, and without being monitored.

So, what are some of the most common reasons to mask your IP address online?

For starters, Internet users who are looking to access geo-blocked services, like Hulu, will need to hide their real IP addresses in order to be allowed access from restricted areas outside of the US.

Another important reason to hide your IP address is to protect your personal activity and to ensure your anonymity on the Internet. By hiding your IP address, you can make sure that you are safe from hackers and cyber-criminals, and that your online browsing habits are not being tracked.

Of all of the different ways to hide your IP addresses, the most reliable, simple way to do this is by using a VPN. In fact, VPNs are so easy and effective to use that I use one to hide my IP address almost every time I go online. There are dozens of VPN companies on the market, but my go-to is ExpressVPN.

Keep on reading for tips on different techniques you can use to hide your real IP address on the Internet, and for more information on why hiding your IP is so important.

How to Hide your IP Address with a VPN

If you are looking to hide your real IP address with a VPN, all you have to do is follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Pick a reliable VPN service. Our go-to VPN is ExpressVPN, which offers over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries around the world.
  2. Download and install the VPN on your computer or device.
  3. Connect to a server in any of the countries you want to access.

After following these three steps, your real IP address will be hidden and replaced with your server IP address, and you will be browsing the web securely and anonymously!

What Is My IP Address?

If you are trying to find out your IP address, all you have to do is ask Google “What is my IP?”

Your IP address — or Internet Protocol address — is a unique set of numbers that identifies you on the web and allows you to communicate with other devices online.

Your IP address — more specifically, your IPv4 address — will look similar to this:


IP addresses are assigned to Internet users and managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Once assigned to you, your IP address is your own unique identifier on the Internet that allows other computers to find you and communicate with you, and vice versa. Although your IP address may change from time to time, it is always an address that is specific to you, and no one else.

To find your IP address online, click here.

Reasons to Hide Your IP Address

If you are not surfing the Internet protected, your IP address is visible on every site you visit online. Because your real IP reveals your actual, real-life location, your privacy online, as well as your safety, is compromised each time someone sees your IP.

If you are torrenting, everyone in your swarm is able to see your IP address, and because people on torrenting sites are often a little less trustworthy, this transparency can put you at risk. On top of this, if your Internet Service Providers (ISP) sees that you are torrenting, it may throttle your Internet speed; and if authorities or copyright holders discover that you are downloading or sharing illegal content, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit, fine, or even jail time if they can identify you by your IP address.

Aside from the dangers of torrenting, accessing any ordinary website while your real IP address is visible allows advertisers and third parties to track you and to profit from you online.

And, as we mentioned above, one of the most popular reasons to hide your IP address — and one of the main reasons I hide my IP address daily — is to gain access to sites and services that are geo-restricted, or to circumvent blocks in the workplace, at school, or on other networks.

For instance, Hulu only allows access to users from within the United States. If you are traveling to or living in any other country and want to watch your shows on Hulu, you will need to connect to a US VPN server, which will hide your IP address and replace it with a US IP address.

9 Ways to Hide Your IP Address

It may be news to you, but there are actually multiple ways to hide your IP address these days. Take a look at our top 9 ways to conceal your IP address, and you can decide which method works best for you when you are trying to maintain your anonymity online.

Use a VPN:

The most effective and efficient way to change your IP address is to use a reliable VPN.

To hide your IP address — as well as your online activity — download a reliable VPN provider, like ExpressVPN, to your computer or mobile device. After your VPN is installed, connect to one of your VPN’s servers, and you will be assigned an IP address that reflects your VPN server location (instead of the IP address assigned by your ISP).

A VPN connection will not only hide your IP address, but will give the option to encrypt your Internet traffic so your information and activity are completely indecipherable by your ISP, hackers, or any people who are trying to invade your privacy.

If you are trying to hide your IP address so that you have the option to access online websites in geo-restricted locations, a reputable VPN service will let you connect to a server in one of the countries that allows streaming of those particular websites, giving you an IP address that will grant you access to the services you are craving.

On top of this, it is important to use a VPN that offers private domain name system (DNS) servers. DNS translates domain names into IPs that your devices can use for communication purposes. If you use private DNS servers, there will never be a reason for your IP addresses to ever be exposed to a third party. ExpressVPN has its own private DNS on every ExpressVPN server.

ExpressVPN — The Best VPN to Hide Your IP

While there are hundreds of VPNs available nowadays, not all VPNs are created equal. There are a few VPNs that have risen to the top of our list, including NordVPN and Surfshark, but our very top pick is ExpressVPN. Whenever I am looking to hide my IP address, this is my go-to VPN, ExpressVPN is the VPN service that offers the fastest connection speeds, the most up-to-date privacy and security features, and the broadest server reach.

This VPN has AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, IP and DNS leak protection, and a Kill Switch to cut your connection in case your VPN cuts out suddenly, ensuring that your unencrypted data is never revealed on the Internet.

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries around the world, which is a huge number of countries! With ExpressVPN’s broad server network, you should never have an issue unblocking any geo-blocked website anywhere in the world.

ExpressVPN has a 5-device maximum, so people can connect up to 5 computers or other device options at once to a single VPN subscription, all of which will be protected by its VPN.

And, the good news is that you can actually try ExpressVPN on your computer or device with no strings attached, since this VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee; So, you can check for yourself if your real IP address is successfully hidden before committing to a long-term VPN plan.

Change to Your Mobile Data Network:

If you are using your computer or device on your WiFi network at your home address, your IP address will correspond to this location. If you want a pretty simple way to change your IP addresses, all you have to do is to change networks.

The easiest way to change to a different network is to disconnect from your WiFi and connect to your device’s data network instead — or connect to a different person’s WiFi network entirely.

Use a Public WiFi Network:

Anywhere you go — whether it’s the mall, the library, the gym, or anywhere else — chances are that you will find public WiFi available. While connecting to these public networks will change your IP addresses, public WiFi networks can be dangerous places. So, while your IP addresses in these locations may change, your privacy is often compromised, as your information (without a VPN) is often exposed to people who are looking to pounce on your unencrypted, exposed data and traffic.

Reset your Modem:

Sometimes, all it takes to get a new IP address is to reset your modem. To do this, unplug your modem, wait a minute, and then plug it back in. Once your connection to your ISP is cut off temporarily, your old IP address will sometimes go back into circulation, assigned to a different user, and you will be assigned a new IP address when your Internet connection is reestablished.

Get your ISP to give you a new IP address:

When you choose an ISP, it assigns you an IP address. If you are able to provide your ISP with the information it needs in order to grant your request, it will sometimes allow you to switch IP addresses.

Whether or not your IP will remain the same or be switched intermittently is based on whether you have a static IP address or a dynamic IP address. If you want a static IP address, you will probably have to pay an extra cost to your ISP.

Using a Proxy:

A proxy is another way to unblock geo-restricted websites and content. Similar to a VPN, a proxy server will help you unblock regionally blocked sites and services from all around the world. The way a proxy does this is by intercepting requests being sent to websites and sending them instead using IP addresses corresponding to the country whose websites you are trying to reach.

The problem with using a proxy server is that your traffic and information is not encrypted like it is when using a VPN connection. On top of this, while reputable VPN services (like ExpressVPN or NordVPN) give you a fast connection, a proxy tends to be very slow, and IP addresses coming from proxies are often blocked by the popular websites you’ll want to access.

Renew your Internet Protocol (IP):

You can change your local or private IP address by following these few steps:

On macOS:

  1. Open System Preferences in your Apple menu.
  2. Choose Network and select the network you are using.
  3. Click on Advanced and choose TCP/IP.
  4. Choose Renew DHCP Lease.

Now, you should see a new IP address for your Mac.

On Windows:

  1. Go to Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. Type “ipconfig/release
  3. Then, type “ipconfig/renew

Your IP address should now be renewed, and you should see a new local IP.

Using Tor Browser:

Using the Onion router (Tor) is another way to hide your IP address from your ISP, and anyone else. Connecting to Tor encrypts your Internet activity multiple times. The websites you are trying to reach will only see the last IP address of the last server in that sequence, called an exit node.

The problem is, because of its multi-layered (like an onion) encryption, Tor is very slow, which does not bode well for if you want to stream or download from any website. If you are just looking to do some online browsing, however, Tor is an OK option, and you can download the Tor Browser for free.

Another reason why we don’t recommend using a Tor browser as our top choice for privacy is because Tor is often used for access to risque or even illegal sites. Because of this reputation, many sites block any connections that they see coming from Tor nodes. For the best combo, try using Tor with one of the reputable VPNs, like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

NAT Firewall protection:

A Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall lets the slew of devices on any given network use a shared public IP, but also have individually assigned private IPs.

When you are using a public network, your private IP addresses are hidden by your NAT firewall, but your public IP address is visible. Data packets and requests that have not been requested by your private IP address are blocked by your NAT firewall since they have no access to your private IP.

Using one of the reliable VPNs along with this NAT Firewall is the best bet for if you are looking to make sure your data and IP are hidden online.

How to Check That Your IP Is Hidden

After you have installed a VPN or used one of the other methods for hiding your IP address, you can check for yourself to make sure your IP address is actually hidden.

To do this, follow the directions from the beginning of this article and google “What is my IP address?” You will then be able to see your new IP address and the IP location. If you have connected to a VPN server or proxy server in a different country, your IP address will now reflect that country location — not your actual location.

If you see that your location has not changed to reflect your proxy server or VPN server location, this is a red flag that something is not right.


Hiding your IP address is something that many Internet users do these days for all sorts of reasons.

While there are many techniques to mask your IP address, our recommendation is to use a reputable, vetted VPN. Using a VPN, your real IP address is hidden from your ISP, authorities, and prying eyes; But, more importantly, your traffic on any website is encrypted, ensuring that your information and private browsing is completely indecipherable if it ever falls into the wrong hands.

Our all-time favorite VPN for the fastest and safest online access — as well as military-grade data encryption — is ExpressVPN. While there are hundreds of benefits to using this premium VPN, we will spare you the long-winded list and just give you our assurance that this is the very top VPN on the market today.

You can try ExpressVPN for 30 days with no strings attached with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Thank you for reading this review! We hope this information was helpful in teaching you how to protect your virtual identity and online data on any website you visit.

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