If you know what an IP is, your biggest concern would probably be if someone can track your location or log your online activities. Nowadays, with a sharp increase in cybercrime in the form of malware, viruses, and scams, most users wonder if they’re safe while browsing online or if their activities are being monitored. In truth, it is extremely easy for a professional (or even a semi-professional) hacker to gain access to your device and hence your data.
And yes, it’s true that your IP address reveals your location and could be used by ISPs or hackers to monitor your online activities. However, there are ways to mask your online activities which we will discuss later in the article.
A Little bit About How IP Works
Without an IP address, it’ll be impossible for you to send or receive any data online. When you go online, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns you an IP address through to make sure any internet traffic you send or receive reaches its correct destination. Moreover, when you visit a website, it needs your IP address to send you images, pages, files, etc.
Here’s some basic information about what an IP is and how it works:
- An IP address is devised of 4 numbers, each of which contains 1 to 3 digits, with a single dot (.) set of digits.
- Each of the 4 numbers can be in the range of 0-255.
- An IP address might look something like this: 126.96.36.199 (learn how to find your IP address manually)
- IP is universal. This means that the IP processes remain the same on any device or operating system.
Can You Hide Your IP Address?
Absolutely! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and it’s the same when it comes to hiding your IP – which in turn masks your online activities. Now, there are several ways to hide your IP address such as proxy sites, but most experts agree that the best way is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN builds an encrypted safe passage through which you send or receive data online. This passage acts as a firewall, blocking anyone from monitoring your online activities. What a VPN basically does is connect you to a server located in a country of your choosing, and through that, you get a different IP address.
In other words, a reputable VPN provider has servers located around the world, so you can connect to a server in Germany when you’re actually sitting in Canada. And when you connect to that German server, you’re assigned a German IP address, which in turn hides your actual location.
However, as good as a VPN sounds, it does have some disadvantages. A mediocre VPN often leaks its user’s IP address through DNS leaks. But, a fully-pledged VPN service – like PureVPN for example – comes packed with advanced features to ensure your real IP address is never revealed while you’re connected.