Reasons to Hide Your IP Address:
There are a lot of reasons to hide your IP address when browsing. It all boils down to the fact that your IP address is like your fingerprint.
Some search providers, ISPs, social media websites, and even your own computer will log this information for future purposes, in some cases.
1. Secure your personal information while browsing
One common crime currently is identity theft. While not exceedingly common with the safeguards in place today, there seems to be one or two major information breeches, if not more, every year. I have had four of my own personal email address passwords stolen and used for spam. I do not know how it happened, as I stay away from shady websites and do not open questionable emails. Unfortunately, my credit card information was taken as well. Luckily, my credit card company, Chase, caught the crime almost immediately and refunded all the money (around $200). This could have been due to a leak in my IP address, and data mining for my personal information. These techniques can be known as packet sniffing…where private parties up to no good monitor your data as it is sent and received (usually on public networks). If you google or look on youtube, people are actually explaining how to do this kind of thing. Needless to say, this is a HUGE reason to hide your ip address, according to hide ip online.
2. Access Restricted Content
Some content is geo-restricted, meaning that only IP addresses, or humans, located in a certain part of the world can gain access to the content. For example, two major companies in the USA (netflix and hulu) only allow streaming of their content within the USA. So you can already see the benefit of being in the USA, or just having an IP address located in the USA. This is only one example, but it is going on all over the globe. Some governments even step ni and filter overall internet content to their citizens. When this happens, it is known as internet censorship.
Some middle eastern countries are well known for this, and thier motive is not made public, though many have speculated as to why they would want to limit the amount of information available to their citizens. Can you imagine not having access to YouTube, Facebook, or google?
3. Delete your data trail!
Advertising companies pay billions every year to learn your clicking and browsing habits. Empires have been built by using this information to specifically market products and content to users based on their known preferences. If you do not want big companies knowing exactly where you are located, what types of websites you look at, what types of things you like to buy, etc…then consider browsing with another IP address. This does not mean you can just use Incognito mode on your browser….that will not help much. You should consider using a different IP address altogether. Guess what? Your emailed are being skimmed….how do you think those ads are so specific. Don’t believe me? Write an email to yourself discussing an upcoming trip you might plan to europe and what type of hotel you might want to stay in….then reopen your browser and see what types of ads are place. Surprise! Somebody is reading your emails.
How Do I hide my IP address then?
If you read all of that and now you are convinced…….see my other posts and/or just start looking for a service to hide your IP (I prefer Hide My Ass)….one of the cheapest and fastest alternatives out there right now, and you have access to almost 100k IP addresses…just click on the banner at the top if you want to sign up now. Again, if you do not hide your IP, you are at risk.
All a proxy does is put itself between your computer and the internet. A proxy can be anonymous. It does this by first routing your IP to the proxy, then swapping the IP address for its own. This results in a sort of “masking” effect on your IP address, and can let you browse anonymously. Important to note, your own security settings still take precedence. The biggest benefit is that a proxy usually doesn’t require any software. There are several free proxy sites such as Kproxy. There are also paid services, but I do not use them. Proxies are generally more flexible and can be pretty fast for bandwidth.
2. Virtual Private Networks
My preference is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). See my post Top 5 VPNs for more information. VPNs require software installation, but afford you more options, and more importantly, more security. VPNs are typically highly secure networks that operate much like proxies, but the security is more robust. This is due to data encryption. Your data is literally changed (encrypted) before being sent over the air. This also makes it appear as if you are using your own legitimate connection, whereas proxy connections are often obviously proxies. VPN connections are typically used for online banking, online gaming, large data transfers, transmitting secure information such as work, SSN, address, driver’s license number, etc. They are also popular for p2p network transfers. If you are interested in a strong VPN network with years of experience, Hide My Ass is my favorite.