Why and How to Use Proxy to Hide an IP Address
Gleb Lepeshkin
Gleb Lepeshkin Published: 2021/09/21

From this article, you will learn about the most common use cases that might require you to hide your IP and some of the most practical ways to execute it. We will start by briefly describing what an IP is and its purpose for you and the Internet and expand into the areas of the business when concealing this information may be helpful for your Internet missions. So, if you want to learn how to hide your IP address while browsing, read on.

What’s an IP and why do you need to hide it?

All devices that go online are assigned IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. They allow the servers to identify your device to provide an adequate response. To put it in simple terms, the server needs your IP to send the requested information to your machine in the format that it will be ready to process. 

All the communication between your computer and the servers online is performed using the TCP/IP protocol, which sets the rules of communication between devices. As for the IP addresses, they can be of two types IPv4 and IPv6. For now, think of them as old and new versions of IPs.   

Reasons to hide your IP address

So why hide your IP in the first place? Here we are listing some of the most common reasons why hiding your IP can be justified. We will consider a whole range of such ways and give more details on how to use a proxy server to hide your ip address.

Stay anonymous 

If you go online frequently, your system leaves a lot of traces on the websites you visit, so all of that collected information may be used to identify you and your machine and learn about your physical location. So masking your real IP can be a real solution if you want to stay undetected while browsing.

Conceal your geolocation 

While your IP does not really explicitly reveal your location, a web administrator can retrieve this data from it if necessary. So, if you want to keep it low, hiding your IP becomes a good option.

Overcome network restrictions

Depending on the network you are trying to access, there may be some restricted content. Changing your IP will help in granting access to such networks. 

Avoiding IP bans

If your web missions include scraping, then you should know that you experience the risk of getting banned by the targeting website each time you access it for scraping. Your actions can be flagged as suspicious and you can be blocked from the site entirely. To avoid that from happening you need to change your IP or even rotate it on a regular basis.

Block hacker attacks

By hiding your real IP, you make sure that a hacker will not reveal your real IP and will not be able to trace it back to you. This way they will not be able to cause you any damage. 

Now that we have considered a range of reasons when hiding your IP becomes a priority, let’s talk about some of the most common ways to hide your IP address.   

Ways to hide your IP address

Below we will study some of the most popular ways of hiding your IP. You should remember that the way you want to choose will entirely depend on the goals you are trying to achieve in your Internet mission. You will also learn how to use a proxy to hide an IP address in more detail. 

Below we will consider the most common ways for hiding your IP and describe the proxy-related procedure. 

Hiding your IP using VPN

When you use VPN (or Virtual Private Network) to hide your IP you are engaging in probably the most popular way of doing it out there. VPNs are used to access websites with geo-restrictions, as well as for the protection of your browsing activity while you are online. Some VPNs are also built around proxies. Learn more about proxies for VPNs from this section on our site.

Just like a proxy, VPN serves as an intermediary between your machine and the service or website you are trying to access. Your IP gets encrypted and a special data tunnel is established between your browser and the targeted site to get the information or data you need. 

This allows you to securely hide your real IP from the site and the information you are accessing because it is getting encrypted in the process.

Hiding your IP using anonymous browsers

When we talk about using anonymous browsers for accessing websites most people remember TOR as one of the industry standards. Indeed, TOR is a reliable open-source software tool to provide adequate anonymity for browsing through using a range of intermediary servers before reaching the targeted site.  

The main problem with TOR is that it can drastically slow down the speed of your Internet when you connect due to the number of servers used in between. You should definitely consider this factor before engaging TOR for hiding your IP.

Other free-of-charge ways to hide your IP while using public resources include using search engines like DuckDuckGo. Again, your mission to hide the IP will be accomplished but with a significant reduction in the speed of the connection.

Hiding your IP using mobile networks

If you are looking for a faster way to access the Internet while hiding your IP, you may consider using mobile networks. With mobile devices (on iOS or Android), your IP changes every time you turn on your mobile traffic.

However, here you should be careful about your mobile plan since it can be rather expensive to engage in scraping missions via a mobile. Secondly, the data stream will not be encrypted, so it may raise some red flags on the side of the targeted website. 

Hiding your IP through public wifi

Another way to hide your IP would be using the wifi connections in public places. However, you should be extremely careful when conducting mission-critical web operations using a public WIFI from a security perspective. You have a whole number of unchecked connections active at the same time, so the whole network can be compromised when you try to reach out to certain websites trying to hide your IP while doing that.

This should be thought of as your last option when you try to avoid hacker attacks on your IP. 

How to hide IP address using proxy 

Probably the best way to hide your IP address is through the use of proxy servers. For this purpose, you can use datacenter proxies or rotating residential proxies. So, answering your question: ”Does a proxy server hide your IP?” The clear answer is yes. And this is why.

The main advantages of using proxies for hiding your IPs are:

  • Complete anonymity 
  • Geo-location flexibility
  • Convenient interval timing of IP rotations (in case of rotating residential proxies)  

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the targeted resource. Once you send your request to the Internet using a proxy, the latter changes the IP, and the response comes from the targeted resource to the proxy, which collects the response and passes it back to the users. This is why many individuals and companies use proxy servers to hide IP addresses. This setup ensures complete anonymity of your IP and prevents your device from exposure. 

So, if you are still asking about how to hide my IP address with a proxy, here are a few examples. When you need to access geo-sensitive websites, you might want to consider residential proxies. This type of proxies ensures that your targeted site will see your request as coming from an IP in your selected location since such IPs are allotted from the network pool of IPs of ISPs providing such proxies. Here you can choose from a variety of locations, so say you need to access a site in Canada, you can get Canadian residential proxies for your mission. (Check out our residential proxies from various countries in this section of our website).

To secure your presence on a search engine that is sensitive to crawling or scraping from a single IP, you can pick a rotating proxy, so your IP will change at a certain interval preventing you from getting blocked from the site. Thus, using a proxy to hide an IP is truly a good choice. 

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Consider PrivateProxy Your Trusted Partner

We at PrivateProxy.me have over a decade of successful record of supplying proxies for various purposes and use cases for our customers. Be it large-scale scraping or buying sneakers at drops, or supplying residential proxies for specific countries, we have it covered. The most important factor that we take into account is round-the-clock tech support. We make sure that all your questions are getting answered as soon as they appear to alleviate all possible concerns with our proxies. 

Final Thoughts

So, now you should have a better picture of the reasons to hide your IP and how to perform it using various methods out there. You learned how you can do it by using a proxy to hide an ip address. It is one of the safest ways to do it alongside VPNs. Now, although, the method you choose entirely depends on your situation, you should also consider the safety concerns raised in this article.

As for geo-sensitive websites, residential proxies will be your best option since here you will be able to choose the country of your IPs directly.

As for businesses hiding their IPs, you can use backconnect proxies that will rotate the IPs hiding your presence during parsing or scraping missions.

If you still have further questions you want us to address on the subject, please do not hesitate to contact our account manager who will be willing to assist you in bringing the best solution to suit your case.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.

  • What is the best way to hide your IP address?

    Like you should have learned from the article above, the best way to hide your IP would be through the use of either (paid) private proxies or VPNs. All other methods of concealing your IP, while being affordable, are really easy to detect by the websites with security protection out there.

  • How to use a proxy to hide your IP?

    To do that, first, you need to buy a set of proxies meeting your use case scenario. If you are not sure what to buy, our Account Managers will always be there to guide you through the process of picking the proxies just for you. Once you have access to your proxies, you will be able to use them in your browser or script (bot or application). After that your real IP will be hidden from the websites you are visiting.

  • Is using anonymous browsers like TOR a safe thing?

    Although using TOR can be a bit tricky from the speed perspective (TOR slows down your connection because it uses a range of servers between you and the target website), you can certainly rely on this service for safe browsing. You might also consider other alternatives like DuckDuckGo or Undetectable to provide you with the same functionality and quality of connections.

  • Does a proxy server hide your IP?

    Absolutely. In fact, this is the main function of a proxy server: to hide your IP to make sure that that site you are targeting does not detect your real IP. Your address is substituted by the one of a proxy and is rotated (in case of rotating proxies) if it is required for certain missions, like parsing data from search engines through multiple sequential search requests.

  • Is using public wifi safe for hiding your IP?

    What you need to know about public WIFI connection is that it is public, therefore shared by many people, and can be vulnerable for your device since your IP will be disclosed to the wifi network. On the other hand, this way you hide your corporate IP and can avoid attacks on your corporate servers. So, if this setup is something that meets your current requirements, you can engage it for simple and fast missions.