As soon as you are connected to the internet, you are assigned a 32 bits unique no, It is called IP address. This means your laptop, PC, mobile and all other devices connected to the internet have an IP address. An IP address allows devices to communicate wi
IP masking is the process of changing the given IP address into a fake IP address to be anonymous and hide your location.
Using a fake IP address, You can successfully change your location to another location so you can experience and enjoy the benefits of the sites that are blocked or limited in your country such as Netflix and Hulu.
For example, ISP(Internet Service Provider) has given us an IP address as 220.127.116.11 and our location is xyz. By using a fake IP address we can change our location to zyx.
Internet Service Provider( ISP) often offers IPv4 address such as 18.104.22.168. if users have IPv6 connectivity they might have address like 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0373:7338
There are numerous approaches to hide your IP address. These approaches can be paid or free depends upon the features they are utilizing.
5 Methods to Mask Yourself Online
1.) By Using a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a private network over a public network and allows users to access data using their devices connected to the network. It is virtual in light of the fact that it creates a safe, secure, and encrypted connection to the user as they are using a local network while working from remote locations. VPN is the most convenient method for changing IP addresses.
A wide variety of VPNs is available in which NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, PureVPN, SurfShark, and Private Internet Access are widely used. You can choose any one of them.
Steps to make a Secure Connection With NordVPN
The below steps would be the same in case of any VPN service out there. I have used a lot of VPN services in the past and found NordVPN to be working the best for me. If you ask me, I will always recommend NordVPN, but it’s totally your call and you can go with the one that suits you the most.
- Go to https://nordvpn.com/ and set up an account.
- Select your Plan and preferred Payment method.
- Download NordVPN client to your system. For Android and iOS users, just download the app from your respected stores. Others can refer to this link and download it according to their system.
- Once you download it, Launch the client and log in.
- Establish a secure VPN connection by selecting any NordVPN server.
- Once the setup is completed, go to any of the torrent sites mentioned and securely download your favorite torrents.
Also Read: Is NordVPN good? A Comprehensive guide on NordVPN features
VPN is the most accepted method for IP masking. Using free VPN you are vulnerable to tracking and selling of data, no regulation, unsolicited advertisement, etc. Free VPN is also risky as most of them keep your activity log.
You can check this table of 78 VPN Services compared by thebestvpn.com on the basis of speed, torrenting, logging policy, jurisdiction, etc. This will help you in getting a deeper knowledge of VPN Services.
2) Using a Web Proxy
A Web Proxy is another tool of staying anonymous and changing your appearance using a fake IP address. It acts as an intermediary between end-users and transfers the data packets to the desired destination. Web proxy permits you to utilize the IP address given by it instead of the real IP address.
In web proxy, We input manually the web proxy IP address in the web browser settings.
Web proxy technology is very similar to VPN, but web proxy is typically unencrypted and other users on the internet can see your real IP address even if you have masked it. In web proxy we manually input IP, this allows other users to know and use your real IP address.
A web proxy is used to control the speed and usage of the internet, provide privacy benefits, and improved security, and allow access to blocked resources. A proxy server is very efficient at low cost to access geo-blocked contents and websites.
There are many risks involved in using a web proxy. Some web proxy doesn’t provide encryption, use browsing history log, save data, and may slow down your internet connection. We need to be more careful while choosing the web proxy.
Also Read: 5 Best Proxy Servers to Surf Web Anonymously.
3) Using a Public Wifi
Public Wifi is a network that can be found in public places like airports, railway stations, malls, and hotels. It uses “hotspots” to provide free internet access to users. Users can be connected to the public wifi network through wifi enabled devices such as mobile phones and enjoy free internet.
Public wifi networks and hotspots lack authentication and encryption. They don’t provide safety and security to users. We must avoid using any site which contains personal data and use antivirus in the device to protect information.
Public wifi is almost everywhere and common, but they are full of risks. We must be cautious while using public wifi.
A TOR is a free software that conceals the user’s identity, their online activities, and traffic analysis by separating identification and routing on the internet. It is also known as the onion router. It is an implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and routed the internet traffic through a random sequence of these volunteer “nodes” around the world.
The easiest way of using TOR is downloading and installing from TOR Website. Almost all OS like Mac, Linux, Windows supports TOR and can be used in mobile as well.
Unfortunately, the TOR network is not fully foolproof. Another major drawback of TOR is a Slow speed and hence not appropriate for torrenting and streaming –stick to web browsing. It has become a safe place for criminal activities. Some web services are blocked for TOR users. TOR is legal to use but in many countries, it is either illegal or blocked by concerned authorities.
5) Using ISP
ISP (Internet Service Provider) is an organization that provides services to access the internet. It is responsible for allocating the IP address to all connected devices on the internet. IP addresses are classified into two categories, static and dynamic.
Static IP addresses are difficult to change, require a lengthy process, and configured manually.
Most ISP provides a dynamic IP address. To preserve these limited numbers of available IP addresses, your IP address will be allocated to the new device as soon as you are disconnected at the network. These IP addresses are recycled in such a way that every time you may get a new IP address whenever you are connected to the internet.
If we want to be anonymous on the internet, we can ask the ISP to change the IP address with a valid reason, motive behind it, and maybe with an extra fee.
These are the most widely recognized methods to mask yourself online using a fake IP address. We can also use a NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall to hide private IP addresses, unplug the modem to change the IP address (if working continuously for a long time).
In reality, almost all methods mask the actual IP address with the new IP because they can’t replace it. A real IP address is always used to communicate with the server you are using.
There are many ways to provide safety and security, but changing the IP address is one of the many security steps to safeguard your data against the cyber-criminal laws. By masking the vulnerable IP address we can avert and block a cyber attack on the internet. Users should use their desire, prudence, and budget to find out a suitable method to keep IP address safe but I recommend you use a VPN.