Hiding Your IP Address To Keep Web Browsing Private

Posted: Nov 12 2019, 8:57am CST | by , in Technology News

 

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Hiding Your IP Address to Keep Web Browsing Private

Most people find the Internet very useful, and use it to search for information to log into accounts; to buy things; to access social media sites; to listen to music and to watch videos. Businesses, on the other hand, use the Internet to sell their products and services and they try to capture as much details as possible of anyone that lands on their Internet site, and in particular, try and capture your IP address. Protecting your personal security and details is very important so that you are not subjected to unwanted emails, scams and hacks into your accounts.

An IP address is a number like, “192.168.255.255”, and such an address is allocated to any devices that accesses the Internet, whether desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones or many Internet-connected home devices like cameras, smart speakers, door bells and heating controls.

All your Internet activity, whether it be searches, accessing email, just visiting a website or buying something, will mean that your IP address will be used so that the data being transferred will be correctly delivered to you.

There are four different categories of IP address, and these are public, private, dynamic and static. The address shown above is part of a private IP address range and can be used by any company provided it is within their local network. The company will also have a public IP address and that is the address used on the Internet. Each of your devices will also have an IP address and generally the address will be allocated when logging onto the Internet. This address may vary every time you log on and this address is a dynamic IP address. Some devices, such as an Internet-connected camera, may have a static IP address and this is fixed and never changes.

Many believe that the global companies are the worst at capturing your IP address and then targeting you with adverts. According to TJ McCue, writing for Forbes in his article, “Alexa is Listening All the Time: Here's How to Stop It. “We have some degree of control over our privacy, despite a variety of articles crying foul.” He then went on to say “Indeed, we have expectations that big companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple are not going to betray our trust.” He may be right, but these companies will capture your IP address and target you with adverts and purchase suggestions.

There are a number of ways to hide or mask an IP address and these are using a virtual private network (VPN) tunnel, using a proxy server or using Tor (The Onion Router). VPNs offer the added benefit of data encryption.

Hiding Your IP Address Methods

Setting up a VPN tunnel will allow you to send and receive all forms of data to and from the Internet. This will mean that not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP), websites, search engines, advertisers and hackers will be able to see your IP address.

According to Charles Poladian, in his Mashable article, “Private Internet Access (PIA) review: Just your basic VPN.” “Your ISP could, theoretically, sell your personal data, and it has access to your traffic activity.” He went on to say: “That’s why you can use a VPN, obscure your IP address, and hide your activity from your ISP.” Other advantages of using a VPN is that the data is encrypted and connections can be made to different websites in different countries, and thus overcoming some of the restrictions of accessing (say) TV and films when not in the hosting country. Anyone trying to hack into your data will only see the IP address of the VPN tunnel and not any of your data or IP address details.

There are many VPN tunnel providers that offer all sorts of services, and there are even a few providers that do not charge for the service.

Another method of protecting your IP address and data is to use a proxy server. Using a proxy server means that all your browsing and browsing traffic will be secure. A web proxy sits between the Internet and you meaning that the connection will be a double hop with the IP address that the Internet site sees being that of the proxy server. Most companies have their own proxy servers but for ordinary users it is possible to rent a proxy server from a proxy store.

The last method that can be used is to use Tor. Tor has a multiplicity of servers all over the Internet so that your Internet access will be via many nodes in the network. The IP address at the end will be that of the last server in the chain so your IP address will not be known. Tor is free to use but requires users to download their open-source software. This can be downloaded from torproject.org. Obviously, accessing websites can take slightly longer using this method.

Conclusion

There are good reasons to hide your IP address when accessing the Internet. Using an encrypted VPN tunnel, masks your IP address from all including the ISP. Using a proxy server is another method and this masks your IP address from all, except the ISP. The last method is to use Tor downloadable software and this method means your Internet access is via multiple servers each having their own IP address so that yours is not seen at the end.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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