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How to hide IP address for beginners


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#1 jnl

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 08:11 AM

I know nothing about the topic, only that I would like to maintain my privacy. I do not want the sites I register for to know my IP address. Is there a way someone with a non-technical background can do this?

Is is necessary to purchase a product to do this? If so, doesn't it defeat the purpose of privacy, if I have to give my full name and credit card to purchase the product?

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#2 Blade

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:46 AM

Hi jnl.

First, I should mention that an IP address is not personally identifiable information. So, by hiding your IP you really aren't doing anything extra to maintain your privacy.

You can take some basic steps to disguise your IP by using a service called a proxy. There are free services called open proxies; however these often have ads at best, and malicious intentions at worst. Additionally, many forms of web content (Flash for example) are not supported by many open proxies. Finally, the proxy website is getting your real IP instead of the website you're visiting/registering for, so again you really aren't increasing your anonymity online.

At the end of the day, if you want to use the internet someone is going to get your IP address. In layman's terms, an IP address can be likened to a postal address. If you want to get mail (web content), then you're going to have to give it out. Whether you give it to the person actually sending the mail (the end website), or a forwarding service (the proxy), is up to you.

To be perfectly honest. . . I'd rather the website I'm registering for have my IP than a proxy service.

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#3 im abcd

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:55 AM

There are many ways of hiding your ip address without paying for them .
1) Proxy

If you do a simple google search for "Free proxies" you will find many proxies where you just have to enter your website address and you enter that site anonymously .
One example is :
http://123data.net/
You can use this to open websites anonymously .

2) Vpn
Vpn are more secure than proxies .There are free vpn's and also paid vpn's
I personally use cyberghost vpn
http://cyberghostvpn.com/
You can also search for other vpn's

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#4 trizicus

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

You cannot "hide" your IP address ever, you can only spoof it.

You can use these tools to do so:

  • Use Tor proxy
  • Use I2P proxy
  • Use web proxy
  • Use anonymous/high anon proxy
  • Change your MAC address
  • VPN tunnels
  • Private VPN tunnels
  • Use an open Wi-Fi hotspot while spoofing your MAC address

Edited by trizicus, 15 August 2011 - 10:52 AM.


#5 jnl

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

Thank you everyone. I should have mentioned this initially: I use an HP PC with Windows 7. I seem to have some conflicting suggestions here so I have some questions.

Blade, Thank you for the warning about possibly unsafe proxy sites. Would you say the two examples that "im abcd" uses may have malicious intentions? Is a Vpn secure?

im abcd, Thanks for the examples. So you've not had an problems with malware since using those services you mentioned?

Trizicus, Thank you for the comprehensive list of options. Which of those tools would you say is the most safe to use? According to Blade's comment it's possible to unwittingly use malicious services.

Also, Blade, I thought an IP address could be used to find your geographic location. Certain sites seem to advertise specifically for my zip code even if I'm not signed in, or even if I've never visited their site previously.

#6 rigel

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:44 PM

If they want to find you...

Slightly off topic - forgive me

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20084939-281/house-panel-approves-broadened-isp-snooping-bill/#ixzz1TYRjBpgQ

Edited by rigel, 16 August 2011 - 07:45 PM.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

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#7 jnl

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:09 PM

Hi rigel, that's not off-topic; that's exactly what I'm talking about. Social networking sites and popular search engines have been mining our data, Facebook has facial recognition software and that bill you just posted looks very similar to this one: http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/snooping_bill/?source=fb I am a skeptic and thus not the type of person who buys into corporate conspiracies but this is blatently in the public for all to see. If everyone's information is made public it will put many innocent and vulnerable people at risk.

#8 Blade

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:51 AM

Also, Blade, I thought an IP address could be used to find your geographic location. Certain sites seem to advertise specifically for my zip code even if I'm not signed in, or even if I've never visited their site previously.


an IP address can, in some cases, be used to find your general geographic location. More specifically, it can be used to find the geographic location of your ISP. How accurate that location is depends on both the method of IP resolution and the ISP you use. For example, my IP resolves to a location that is about a hundred miles away.

The ad targeting you mention is indeed done by IP resolution. . . but none of that information is personally identifiable to you. For starters. . . the only data collected from those ad showings is aggregated, as in how many hits on that ad occurred in your area. Additionally, everyone in your area gets shown the same targeted ads. Now. . . I could understand your being worried if ads started using your name when you hadn't registered for a site, but that isn't the case here.

Think about how many people live in your area, and how many people use the ISP you use. an IP address on it's own has no way of designating you apart from any of those individuals.

Also, as I said before you're going to have to give your real IP to somebody, and I'd much rather give my IP to someone providing a straightforward service rather than a site trying to provide a false sense of added anonymity.

As for how safe the recommended proxies are. . . I couldn't tell you. I don't use proxies, and I don't recommend them.

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#9 im abcd

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:02 AM

Thank you everyone. I should have mentioned this initially: I use an HP PC with Windows 7. I seem to have some conflicting suggestions here so I have some questions.

Blade, Thank you for the warning about possibly unsafe proxy sites. Would you say the two examples that "im abcd" uses may have malicious intentions? Is a Vpn secure?

im abcd, Thanks for the examples. So you've not had an problems with malware since using those services you mentioned?

Trizicus, Thank you for the comprehensive list of options. Which of those tools would you say is the most safe to use? According to Blade's comment it's possible to unwittingly use malicious services.

Also, Blade, I thought an IP address could be used to find your geographic location. Certain sites seem to advertise specifically for my zip code even if I'm not signed in, or even if I've never visited their site previously.


Yes that proxy site is safe . But i still recommend you to use a vpn because thats lot safer and more trusted .

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#10 jnl

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:26 AM

Thanks for all the different options. I've been trying to learn about them.
I'm definitely not going to use a proxy; that looks too dangerous.
I've decided against TOR; I've been reading that all it takes is one bad relay to get your passwords.
I've heard the free VPNs are also snake oil, so they're out.

At this point I'm considering purchasing VPN software. It seems like the only relatively safe way to do this. I'll have to find out more about which services really are trustworthy since I've seen mixed reviews for some of them. Also, can someone please explain the difference between VPN software and a VPN server? I've read about OpenVPN but it seems I'd have to have a bit of tech knowledge to use that. I've also seen some sites talk about VPN clients, is that something more for professionals?

The other option is to change the MAC address which I'm trying to learn about right now. I watched a video that says if your PC is going through a router, then websites don't record your PC's address, they record the router's address, and if the router goes through a modem, then it records the modem's address. The video said that you can change the IP of your PC or your router but not the modem. Is this correct? I thought going through a modem and router was standard? In that case it seems no one would be able to change their IP address if it goes through the modem.

#11 Blade

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

Okay. . . we're starting to get into some technical stuff. . . but I'll do my best to keep it simple.

First of all. . . a VPN is probably not what you're looking for. A VPN is used for secure data transmission between specific endpoints. . . not for general, sarcastic-quotation-marks "anonymous" browsing. Sure. . . you can route all your web traffic through a VPN to another machine and connect to the Internet from there. . . but then we're just talking about a glorified proxy service. Plus. . . in order to really make it secure you'd need to own/lease the other machine, and it'd need to be on a separate internet connection preferably in a completely separate location. Otherwise you're using the same IP address anyway and you've spent a lot of time and money accomplishing nothing useful.

Additionally. . . you can purchase bandwidth from a VPN server (this is the cyberghost thing mentioned by im abcd above), this is still just a glorified proxy though. You'll still be giving cyberghost all your connection information, and they'll have the opportunity to log all sorts of aspects about your internet activity. FTR. . . perhaps I'm overlooking it but I don't see any evidence of a privacy policy on the cyberghost site. That's a huge red flag for me.

BTW, in simplest terms a VPN server is a server running VPN software.

***************************************************

The other option is to change the MAC address which I'm trying to learn about right now.

You can't change a MAC address. . . it's an EUI(Extended Unique Identifier) encoded in the firmware of your network interface card. MAC addresses are set by the manufacturer. Now, you can spoof a MAC address with some software. . . but said software again costs money and spoofing MAC addresses is not something that's productive for ordinary (read: non-techie) users. In fact it's usually not productive for techie users either.

***************************************************

I thought going through a modem and router was standard?

All internet connections go through a modem. That much is true. In today's world the majority of home network setups also include a router, but this is not a requirement like the modem is.

***************************************************

I watched a video that says if your PC is going through a router, then websites don't record your PC's address, they record the router's address, and if the router goes through a modem, then it records the modem's address. The video said that you can change the IP of your PC or your router but not the modem. Is this correct?


This is the part that really starts to get technical. I'm not going to get into internal and external IP addresses, but you're talking about external IP addresses. I'll make this as simple and straightforward as I can.

Your IP address is, in most (if not all) cases, assigned to you by your ISP. Depending on whether or not your ISP offers dynamic IP addressing, that assigned IP address can change from time to time.

To go back to my analogy in an earlier post, if you want to get mail then someone has to have your postal address. Same goes for web content and IP addresses.

It's not a matter of "Can I hide my IP address?". . . it's a question of "Who am I going to give my IP address to?"

~Blade

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#12 im abcd

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 01:20 PM

I trust cyberghost vpn and it has never let me down .It gets different servers every few weeks .
You can read the reviews of cyberghost vpn here .
http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/cyberghostvpn.com

And yea like blade said vpn is what you are looking for not vps .
Vpn stands for virtual private network
While vps stands for virtual private server .

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#13 n01paranoid

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

I trust cyberghost vpn and it has never let me down .It gets different servers every few weeks .


Cyberghost is good as far as it goes but when I last looked the free version is restricted to 1gb a month. I don't know of any free VPN that has a decent allowance but if others here do any info would be appreciated.

#14 Pajajn

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

Blade i just wanna ask you something. You said, i quote your text below

"in order to really make it secure you'd need to own/lease the other machine, and it'd need to be on a separate internet connection preferably in a completely separate location. Otherwise you're using the same IP address anyway and you've spent a lot of time and money accomplishing nothing useful. "

I sometimes using VPN tunnel from anonine. A swedish vpn service giving you swedish ip adress but anyone who tracks it will come to their adress up in the country. Could access every site even those who trying to detect proxy usage and game sites youve been banned on etc. But you said that it is a money waste, what do you mean by that when its functional.

How couldn't this be secure if their policy says "no IP logs are saved in any form of database, complete anonymity". Or is it any trick in the background that government or other could use to find you still using this service.

Thanks :busy: page is here btw anonine VPN

#15 quietman7

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:35 PM

This is an older topic that has been resurrected.

With that said, you can enhance your privacy with various privacy tools:

Hide your IP address and protect your online identity with SafeIP by hiding your IP from websites, email, games, and more.

SafeIP
SafeIP Home Page

Hide My IP is a useful application which allows users to surf the Web anonymously to prevent hackers from acquiring your IP, and more.

Hide My IP

Protect your privacy. See who's tracking your web browsing and block them with Ghostery.

Ghostery
Ghostery Features

DNT+ promises to block more than 600 trackers around the Web.

Do Not Track Plus

CyberGhost VPN replaces the externally visible IP address, which users have received from their provider when they dial up to connect to the Internet, with a CyberGhost VPN IP address. The CyberGhost user shares this IP address with a number of other users...

CyberGhost VPN

10 Privacy Tools To Browse The Web Anonymously

These search pages will also help with privacy:
Ixquick
Startpage
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