The internet is a very helpful tool which connects the whole world, and sharing of information has never been easier than now. The internet is a place where you can gain knowledge, share information and also use it for the purpose of entertainment. However, for doing all of this, an internet connection is a must. This is where Internet Service Provider (ISP) come into the picture; they are responsible for providing you with the facility of internet, for a nominal fee.
At your end of this bargain, a single IP address is assigned to you which is your unique address in the digital world of internet. The IP address consists of numbers and dots placed in between; you can know your IP address by executing “ipconfig” command in the command prompt on a Windows Computer. This IP address resembles no other in the world and enables you to connect to the internet for access.
When you assign a unique IP address for accessing internet, it is very easy for someone to track you over the web by following your unique IP address. Hence, sometimes it becomes critical for you to change your IP address for protecting your online privacy and security. Changing IP address might also help you in accessing those contents which are block in your country or block by your ISP. So, there are many reasons why would someone want to change their IP address.
Why Change your IP Address?
- To Access Blocked Contents: The first and the foremost reason for changing IP address is to gain access to blocked contents, the contents for which you have been denied access to. Changing IP address also enable you to access geographically restricted websites that the user cannot reach from certain countries in the world. For example, if you wish to access Netflix from China, you will have to get a US IP address, and you will be good to go.
- For Preserving Your Anonymity Online: Changing IP address is the best way to remain anonymous over the internet and for protecting your real identity. Understand it this way; then there is no way for someone to track you down.
- Bypass Online Censorship: Changing IP address is a great way for accessing censored contents. The phenomenon of Internet censorship is widely existent and especially when it comes to authoritarian regimes like the Government of North Korea or China. When you are under constant surveillance and censorship of the Government, then you need to vigilant and think of ways that allow you to be free from such restraint. Changing your IP address is the answer.
- Access Blocked Contents Everywhere: Last but not the least, changing IP address also allows you to access contents which are block at your workplace or school or any other institution for that matter. For example in my college we are not authorize to access social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, again changing IP address is the solution.
Methods for Changing IP Address
Here I will only explain the most efficient ways of them all. Let’s start:
- Tor Browser: Tor is an open source project which advocates that the internet should be from restrictions. If you visit their official website The Tor Project, you should mask your IP address and instructions are also provided as to how you can install their Tor Browser. Tor Browser is a modified form of Firefox browser which enables you to hide your IP address in the easiest possible way. Thanks to Tor Project!
- VPN: Use of VPN is the second most efficient method for online anonymity. However, there are both free and paid VPN services available, but you should only use paid VPN services. Paid VPN service does what they promise to and does not compromise your identity in the hour of need. Here to make your task easy, I will recommend HideMyAss VPN because they have been there in the commercial market for a long time now. Once you have a subscription all you have to do is to install their client and then choose a VPN server through the client and you are all set.
- Smart DNS: Smart DNS works on the similar footings as Tor and VPN, and masks your IP as the other two. However, unlike VPN it does not offer any data encryption which can result in security hazards. One more thing is you have to manually setup a DNS service because it does not come with an easy to setup client.
Here I only explain the most efficient methods to hide your IP address and there are other methods as well, but they are not much effective. In all the above-explained methods VPN is the most efficient and offers you complete anonymity and privacy.