Your internet protocol (IP) address is a unique digital address that allows you to connect to and stay on the internet. No device can access the web without this unique address that can be likened to your physical address.
But most times, it is more profitable to hide this unique identification than leave it exposed when you log into the web, as we will see shortly.
Luckily, it is possible to conceal your digital footprint without losing your full privilege to be on the internet. You can easily use tools such as proxies and virtual private networks (VPNs) to mask your identity while still carrying out normal functions on the internet.
But before we consider how to do this and the various available options, let us first see what an IP address is, the dangers of exposing it, and the benefits of concealing it.
What Is An IP Address?
An internet protocol or IP address is a unique set of digits that help to identify each device on the internet. Each user has theirs, just like a home address, and it helps to tell users apart on the internet.
An IP address is important not just for identifying each user but in helping the internet send out results and responses correctly. So that without IPs, it would be impossible to know who is searching what and where to send what answer.
Dangers of Exposing Your IP Address
While an IP may be the very thing allowing access and keeping you on the internet, it can also easily become the bull’s eye that many vile people target when trying to launch an attack. Leaving it exposed can pose several dangers, including the following:
- Getting Tracked
Like we said above, an IP represents where you stay digitally, and while it is only applied online, your IP can be used to almost correctly pinpoint your exact physical location.
And when it is combined with other metrics that can be found online, it becomes much easier for anyone to track you.
- Data Breach
Whether it is an individual or a business, nobody wants their sensitive data in the hands of cybercriminals.
Exposing your IP can always make it easy for people to track you and, after collecting other information about you, they can launch an attack that breaches your most private data.
- Targeted Advertisement
Maybe the people spying on your IP are not out to attack you; maybe they want to collect this data, analyze it, and sell it to the highest bidder.
Either way, this is just as terrible. When your IP and other information are sold to ad companies, these companies will bombard you with so many personalized ads that being online will altogether become frustrating.
Another danger of leaving your IP address uncovered is that you could easily run into restrictions based on geo-locations.
These restrictions work by reading IP and restricting those that are coming from a particular region.
This means the only way they can tell where you are coming from is to read your IP, which, when left unmasked, makes the job easier for them.
What Are The Benefits of Concealing Your IP Address?
Following the dangers described above, it is now more than obvious that several benefits to concealing your IP address. Here are a few of those benefits:
Staying anonymous while online is a blessing; it keeps websites and search engines from connecting any activities to, keeps your sensitive data out of prying eyes, and keeps your information away from the hands of both hackers and advertising agencies.
That is, the best way to protect yourself and your data online is to stay anonymous, and the best way to do this is to mask your IP at all times.
To be private online means that no one will know when you are online and when you are not. No one will know anything about you, not even your internet service provider.
And this level of protection is only attained by you hiding your IP address.
- Bypassing Geo-Restriction
One of the problems people face with their IP is that they can get blocked by a server partially or completely because of their location.
The IP address tells the internet where you are browsing from, and the internet can move to block you if you fall into a blocked location.
When you conceal your IP, all these changes as the websites can no longer read it to tell where you are.
This means you can bypass any form of geo-restriction by simply concealing your IP address.
Main Solutions for Concealing Your IP Address
There are two major solutions for concealing your IP address, including using proxies or virtual private networks (VPNs).
Proxies are one of the safest and more secure ways to conceal your IP address. They are easy to use and fast to deploy.
Sending a request via a proxy works because proxies bring their IPs and locations and use theirs instead of yours. So that you still have the right ingredients to be online even though yours are masked.
Proxies also work in several countries and can help you keep you safe in your location while allowing you to bypass geo-blocking in your target location.
For instance, by using a Germany proxy, you are not only guaranteed protection while online, but you can also bypass any restrictions in German cyberspace. Visit Oxylabs to learn more on the Germany proxy solutions and beyond.
VPNs are a great alternative to proxies, and they work just like proxies. But instead of using their IPs and locations to forward your connections, they reroute it via their private tunnel. These private tunnels can also easily bypass blockings and bans.
These tools also provide encryption for your data, thereby securing it from any prying eyes.
Virtually everything you do online can be traced and linked to your IP, which can then be linked to your device and, finally, to you.
This is what makes hiding your IP a smart aspect of being online. It doesn’t just keep you safe but allows you to easily bypass what restrictions come your way.
There are many ways to conceal your IP, but the chief amongst them is by using proxies or VPNs.