Hiding your IP address increases your privacy while you are browsing the Internet. You can also protect yourself from hackers. Another great reason to hide your IP address is for you to visit restricted sites. For example, you are now staying in the Middle East. We all know that Gulf countries have a very strict Internet policy. But if you have the ability to stay anonymous effectively, Internet police cannot detect you. There are many ways to do this. But so far, VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the best option.
But first, what is an IP address (Internet Protocol Address)? In simple terms, it is a unique address that any computers use as identification once it has an Internet connection. This is being sent to the network once the computer user visits a website. In the real world, it can be compared as a home address or telephone number. Therefore, you are exposing yourself every time you are online. Any third party can intercept your online activities, which can lead to invasion of privacy and identity theft.
To hide your IP address, you can connect via a proxy server, which connects you to the other server. Some of these proxy servers don’t pass along your IP address, but some do. One major advantage of web proxies is that you don’t need additional software. However, a lot of them identify themselves as proxy servers and are eventually blocked after a short period of time. This is very common in offices, schools and in Middle East countries, and therefore are not 100% reliable especially the free ones.
By principle, VPN also hides your IP address by providing you a new one. So, when you are visiting a website, you are not only hiding your identity but also your geo-location. Just like proxy servers, you can browse the Internet anonymously. But here’s the best part, your VPN traffic is highly encrypted. Just like proxy servers, there are also different kinds of VPNs. The most common ones are Open VPN and PPTP VPN. Each of the VPN types has their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs.
VPNs are either free or paid. But obviously, premium VPNS are better than the free ones. With a reliable paid VPN, your Internet connection is faster and has less latency. This latency is not really related to speed, but rather to the delay of travel time of information. This is very important not only for online gamers and watching videos, but also for VOIP services such as Skype and Viber. If you plan to use a free VPN, expect to be bombarded with advertisements and to receive poor customer service.
And in case you’re not aware, a lot of companies and business use VPN to protect their sensitive data. This is to hide the IP address of their employees when they are working online at home. VPNs are also available on smartphones, which means your privacy is well protected even if you are in a public Wi-Fi zone. But still, you should make sure that your VPN service provider has an excellent reputation.