How do spying organizations and online surveillance services track users who surf the internet from their PCs or smartphones? Thanks to the IP address, which works in a similar way to an identification plate for each internet connection.
This address is assigned to every device connected to the Internet in the world and can be shared between different devices if they come out of the same router or connected behind the same modem: on some connections, it changes every time a new internet connection is created, in others it is static and uniquely identifies the origin of the connection (consequently it is theoretically possible to know the user’s identity).
Hiding your identity goes through two basic steps: hiding the geographical location of your connection (also great for bypassing local restrictions on some websites blocked in your country); prevent online monitoring and avoid leaving fingerprints when browsing certain types of sites, to ensure complete privacy.
To protect our privacy and prevent our identity from being discovered, in this guide we will show you how to hide the IP address on PC, Android and iPhone , so you can browse without worries and without leaving traces of our passage on the Web, as well as be able to access services with very specific geographical restrictions (such as the Netflix catalog in the United States).
One of the most effective methods to hide the IP address on PC, Android and iPhone involves using the Tor network.
Through this free service our encrypted connection will be “bounced” on several different computers and servers; eventually we will go out on the Internet with a new public IP address and a new geographical location, without the possibility that the server contacted (or anyone trying to monitor the connection) will ever find out where we are really connected.
To use Tor on a PC, just download the Tor Browser program, or lanc Remastered available for Windows, Mac and GNU / Linux; it is a modified version of Firefox to quickly access the Tor network and protect all browsing data.
If Tor is too slow for our needs and we still want to adequately protect our IP and our connection, it is worthwhile to focus on a VPN service , which uses encrypted and secure IP masking servers around the world.
With this type of service, our connection will always be encrypted and addressed in a specific tunnel (impossible for the operator and the secret services to intercept), so that we can “go out” on one of the servers set up as a proxy for the service, thus providing us a new IP address and a new geographic location.
The most famous VPN services do not store any browsing logs, offer numerous servers to choose from, allow you to check the level of encryption and security and their offices reside in countries without the obligation to communicate computer data (essential to avoid investigations). VPN servers are run by companies and maintaining these services costs: that’s why most offer a limited free trial version (a certain amount of MB or hours available), with very few services that are totally free.
The best totally free VPN service is ProtonVPN, available for free with no time or connection limits but with a limited number of servers to choose from (we can unlock all servers and the maximum connection speed only by signing up for a subscription). ProtonVPN is also available for free for Android and iOS / iPadOS.
As an alternative to VPNs, we can use simple Proxy Servers , which interpose themselves between our connection and the destination server by changing our IP and our geographical position (without the use of tunneling, as seen on VPNs).
Free proxy servers often offer poor connection security (no encryption and low connection speed), while paid proxy servers actually offer the same benefits as a VPN (dedicated program, advanced encryption, no logs and IP change quick), with the possibility of being able to configure the connection without a program(since all modern operating systems and web browsers include the addition of a manual proxy server).
Proxy VPN extensions for Google Chrome
If we want to hide the IP address on a PC in a simple way without having to install programs or configure clients to access private networks, we can consider the extensions for the Google Chrome browser , able to hide our IP and location as a proxy server or a VPN.
The best extensions we can try on Chrome are SaferVPN Proxy , 1clickVPN, and ZenMate VPN. To use them, we choose the extension we like best, open the Google Chrome browser and install it, so that we can surf in a totally anonymous way with a click of the mouse.
Hiding the IP address can be done in many ways, using private software or online services. We choose the method and service that we deem best suited to us, so as to protect our online activity and be untraceable when we browse foreign websites or dubious sites.
If we often access foreign sites with content blocked for Italy, using proxies or targeted extensions will allow us to overcome all limits and view content without problems, as also seen in our guide on how to open any blocked or obscured site .
If, on the other hand, we want to extend the protection of a VPN to all devices connected to our home network (without configuring them one by one), we can set the VPN parameters on a suitable router, as seen in our in-depth study on how to configure VPN on Router .