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How to Hide Your IP Address on Any Device in 2022

Kate Hawkins
Last Updated by Kate Hawkins on July 01, 2022

There are plenty of complicated ways to hide your IP address, but the safest and easiest method is to use a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN gives you a new IP address from its encrypted network of global servers. You can avoid firewalls and network restrictions, plus keep your online activity hidden from anyone who might be watching.

I’ve tested 40+ VPNs and I find ExpressVPN is the best VPN to hide your IP address. It uses military-grade encryption on 3000+ servers worldwide, and never collects or shares your private data. ExpressVPN is even backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out and get a refund later if you’re not 100% satisfied.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: The Easiest Way to Hide Your IP Address in 2022

  1. Get a VPN. ExpressVPN is a highly-secure VPN with military-grade encryption, a proven no-logs policy, leak protection and kill switch.
  2. Connect to a server. This reroutes your internet traffic through the VPN’s own server network.
  3. Your IP address is now hidden! Only your VPN server’s IP address is now visible.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs to Hide Your IP Address (Tested in July 2022)

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Hiding Your IP Address With Powerful Privacy and Security Features

Key Features:

  • Privacy policy has been proven and independently audited by PwC
  • AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and built-in leak protection keeps you safe
  • Supports 5 device connections simultaneously
  • 3000+ secure servers in 94+ countries
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands (outside 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliances)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for internet security with a host of advanced features to protect your online privacy. It has a strict no-logs policy, meaning no data is ever tracked or collected about your online activities that could be linked to your identity. Every server is equipped with a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and built-in leak protection.

Global firm PwC has been invited to examine ExpressVPN’s servers and code in an independent audit, and the browser extension has also been audited by third-party cybersecurity company Cure53. In 2017, ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy was put to the test in Turkey during a government investigation. The authorities seized a physical server to track down a user, but ultimately couldn’t find any identifying logs stored on ExpressVPN’s server.

During my own tests, I found ExpressVPN’s servers successfully bypassed network restrictions and firewalls. It even got around Netflix’s VPN blocks, as well as Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

ExpressVPN’s secure servers accessed Netflix for smooth, buffer-free streaming

I also ran multiple leak tests on random servers in the UK and US, and I was impressed to find no leaks. ExpressVPN operates all of its DNS servers, which means your data isn’t sent to third-party servers. Many VPNs are capable of changing your IP address, but may still leak DNS or WebRTC data — revealing your location, IP address, and browsing history.

As a result of its premium features, ExpressVPN does come at a slightly higher cost than CyberGhost or Private Internet Access. I personally think it’s worth the investment to guarantee my online safety. You don’t have to take my word for it though — every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN’s advanced security and privacy features on your own device.

If you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a full refund. I tested the refund process by asking for my money back over 24/7 live chat. My request was completed in under 3 minutes and the bank returned my money in only 5 days.

ExpressVPN works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Raspberry PI, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, routers, smart TVs, Xbox, PlayStation, and more.

ExpressVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, and more.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

July 2022 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Secure VPN With Advanced NoSpy Servers to Hide Your IP Address

Key Features:

  • Strict no-logs policy ensures no data is tracked, collected or shared
  • Military-grade encryption, kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection to secure your data
  • Connect up to 7 devices at once
  • 7900+ servers in 91+ countries (some independently operated and owned)
  • Headquartered in privacy-friendly Romania
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost’s unique NoSpy servers provide comprehensive protection for your online traffic. All NoSpy servers are completely owned and operated by CyberGhost, so it can closely monitor the network for security breaches.

To access the NoSpy servers on Windows, simply choose the server menu “NoSpy Servers” and connect to any of the options listed there. On Mac, you can find the servers when you search for “Romania” in the search bar. I ran multiple leak tests on the NoSpy servers and I didn’t detect any leaks.

Screenshot of CyberGhost's Windows app showing NoSpy server list.
I used CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers for extra privacy when accessing sensitive information

Aside from NoSpy servers, there are also dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting that ensure fast connections.

The company headquarters are located in Romania, which is privacy-friendly and doesn’t have data retention laws — you can be certain no user data will be recorded. Your private information is further secured by military-grade encryption and a no-logs policy, so you can bank online or even browse the Dark Web safely.

CyberGhost even offers static IP addresses for an additional monthly fee. This is a good option if you travel often and want to avoid time-consuming authentication processes for services like online banking.

The only downside is the lack of auditing. In contrast, ExpressVPN has commissioned an external audit of its servers, code, and browser extension. I’d like to see this type of third-party auditing from CyberGhost to solidify its privacy claims.

CyberGhost is the most generous VPN when it comes to its money-back guarantee period, providing 45 days to test the service risk-free. This gives you more than a month to hide your IP address with CyberGhost. If you don’t like it, you can simply contact customer support through its 24/7 chat service and request a refund. I tested it myself and it took 5 business days for the money to return to my account.

CyberGhost works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and routers.

CyberGhost unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, and more.

Hide your IP address with CyberGhost

July 2022 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.29 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 3-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access — Hide Your IP Address on 10 Devices at Once

Key Features:

  • Strict privacy policy ensures no user data is monitored or stored
  • AES 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and kill switch keeps internet traffic private
  • Allows 10 devices connections simultaneously
  • 35000+ servers in 80+ countries
  • Located in the US (inside 5, 9 and 14 Eyes jurisdiction)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers fantastic value for money — it’s the cheapest VPN on this list at 2-year and you can connect 10 devices on a single account. Every device you own can be protected by high-level encryption and leak protection. There’s even an automatic kill switch, which is always turned on and instantly blocks all internet traffic if the VPN server ever drops out.

I conducted multiple IP and DNS leak tests on a range of global servers over 3 days. I was happy to discover that PIA passed every leak test, proving my real IP address was never revealed to third-party websites or apps.

Screenshot of PIA connected to a US server with the results of an IPLeak.net leak test.
Multiple tests over different days showed no leaks with PIA

It’s worth noting that PIA is located in the US, which has mass surveillance laws and is involved in multiple global intelligence networks (including the 5, 9 and 14 Eyes). So I was pleased to see that despite its US headquarters, PIA has a proven history of ensuring the privacy of its users. In 2 separate cases, the US police have asked for user information during criminal investigations — but PIA couldn’t comply as there was no user data stored.

If you want a fixed IP address solely for your use, PIA also has dedicated (or static) IP addresses for an extra monthly fee. This is a good option if you travel often and need to connect to a precise location for work.

You can hide your IP address with PIA risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. I even tested the money-back guarantee to make sure it works. After I finished testing PIA, I requested a refund from its customer support over 24/7 live chat. It was quickly approved and my money was returned within 1 week.

PIA works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Linux, and routers.

PIA unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max.

Hide your IP address with PIA

July 2022 Update! For a limited time only, save 82% with the 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs to Hide Your IP Address

When choosing a VPN, it’s important to ensure it has high-level encryption and security, leak protection, a verified zero-logs policy, and a kill switch to safeguard your data. Make sure that your VPN also has private DNS servers as this will stop others seeing your true IP address — otherwise, you’ll use your ISP’s DNS servers, which can share your real IP address  with the websites you visit.

Strong encryption allows your VPN connections to get around content restrictions, like using local streaming accounts when abroad or accessing sites blocked by your work or school network. Plus, top-tier security makes using a VPN the best way to torrent safely — services like CyberGhost even have dedicated torrenting servers for fast, uninterrupted downloads. For these reasons, it’s essential that your VPN supports fast connection speeds, for lag-free browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming wherever you are.

While I’ve tested and shortlisted a range of safe free VPNs, the best VPN services still require a subscription. It costs money for VPNs to invest in secure technology and stay ahead of the latest cyberattacks, as well as maintain a world-clas server network and fast speeds.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

Other Ways to Hide Your IP Address

The easiest and most secure way to hide your IP address is with a VPN, but there are other alternatives as well.

Connect to a Proxy Server

You can hide your IP address by connecting to a proxy server. A proxy server connection is similar to a VPN, but it lacks all the privacy and security features that a VPN offers. Proxies only change your IP address on your browser — not your entire network. This means other apps and programs on your device can still reveal your true IP address.

Unfortunately, not all proxies have encrypted servers or strict privacy policies either, so there’s a high likelihood that your browsing history is being tracked. As a result, I suggest using a vetted proxy server and only for casual browsing. It’s not ideal for streaming and torrenting — many proxy servers are easily detected by streaming services and often log your data, so you can’t torrent anonymously.

Browse on Tor (The Onion Router)

Tor is a free way to hide your IP address if you’re accessing sensitive information. However, it’s also very slow — it can take more than 10 seconds to load a simple webpage. This is because your traffic is sent through numerous servers with multiple layers of encryption when you enter a search term in the Tor web browser.

There are a few risks involved. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will know when you’re using Tor because it can see you accessing the browser (although it can’t see what you’re actually browsing). In addition, it’s illegal to access Tor in some countries and may alert the authorities.

If you want to be certain of your anonymity on Tor, it’s best to connect to a high-quality VPN beforehand. This is called the “Onion Over VPN” method — your internet traffic is routed through a VPN server before it passes through the Tor network. This way, even your ISP won’t know that you’re using Tor.

Create a Hotspot From Your Smartphone

This is a quick way to get a new IP address from your mobile network (while masking the one assigned from your home router). It’s appropriate for short-term IP masking — for example, if you want to buy something online and don’t want the transaction associated with your usual IP address.

However, your mobile network’s IP address will still reveal your actual location. If you’re trying to access location-restricted content or get around firewalls at school or work, you’re better off using a VPN. It might even save you money as setting up a WiFi hotspot uses your monthly data, which could work out to be quite costly if you need it repeatedly.

With many VPNs offering a monthly subscription for a low price, a VPN is often a more cost-effective solution. Private Internet Access is a low-cost premium VPN at only 2-year, and you’ll be able to choose a new IP address from its huge global network of 35000+ servers.

Use Public WiFi

You can change your IP address by logging on to a WiFi connection in a public space, such as a coffee shop, airport, or mall. It’s a quick and easy way for you to temporarily access a web page that’s blocked on your school or workplace.

However, it can be dangerous. Hackers often monitor public WiFi networks to try and steal data from unsuspecting people. It’s a risk to perform any personal activities, from online banking or even simply checking emails. In addition, many public WiFi connections are slow due to all the people logging on at the same time. Your internet data may also be capped, so you can’t download large files or stream any videos.

Ideally, you should use a VPN to encrypt your data whenever you’re on an unsecured network. CyberGhost has a WiFi protection feature that automatically launches the VPN when you connect to a public WiFi network. This stops your data from being exposed on public WiFi to anyone who might be watching.

3 Worst Ways to Hide Your IP Address (You’d Be Surprised)

A quick web search produces thousands of results telling you how to hide your IP address, but some of the suggestions simply don’t work or aren’t safe.

1. Incognito Mode on Your Web Browser

Contrary to popular opinion, this doesn’t hide your IP address. Nothing is saved in your history — but all of your online activity and location data is still visible to your ISP, the websites you visit, and even your browser itself.

If you want to hide your IP address while using Incognito Mode you can use a VPN. ExpressVPN masks your IP address with one from the VPN server, so you can then use Incognito Mode without your web activity being stored in your browser.

2. Getting a New IP Address From Your ISP

You can give them a call or send a message through customer service to request an IP address change. However, this doesn’t hide your IP address — it only gives you a new one.

It’s much easier to have both a dynamic and static IP address by using a VPN. ExpressVPN has multiple IP addresses associated with each server, so all you have to do is reconnect to refresh your IP address. CyberGhost will even provide a static IP address for an extra fee — this will mask your true IP and location to ensure you’re hidden.

3. Use a NAT Firewall

Every device that connects to the internet has a private IP address. However, you can use a Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall so all devices connected to your home router have the same public IP address. The firewall acts as a middle man by taking data requests from your device’s private IP address and forwarding it through the public IP address to reach its final destination.

The main benefit of using a NAT firewall is blocking unsolicited and potentially malicious online communication from unknown sources — but a NAT firewall doesn’t hide your public IP address (only your private IP address). Your true location and online activity are still readily trackable.

I recommend using a high-quality VPN alongside a NAT firewall to keep both public and private IP addresses hidden. ExpressVPN masks your public IP address so you can access blocked content, torrent securely, and browse anonymously without being traced.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

The Basics: What Is an IP Address?

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of numbers that identifies your device’s location when you connect to the internet. It’s the online equivalent of a mailing address given to you by your ISP.

Any time you connect to the internet and send data to a website or service, your IP address travels to your online destination. All data returned from those websites and services is sent back to your IP address. This means that whenever you’re online, everyone on the internet can see where and who you are.

How to Find Your IP Address: IPv4 and IPv6

Top Tip: If you want to find out what your IP address is, you can use this free IP address finder tool. It’s also a great way to check whether your VPN or proxy is actually hiding your IP address.

IPv4 and IPv6 are the 2 types of IP addresses. IPv4 came first, consisting of 4 sets of numbers separated by periods and ranging between 0 and 255, like 192.168.1.1. This combination allows for around 4 billion unique IP addresses, but as the global internet demand has increased this simply isn’t enough numbers to keep up. As such, IPv6 was developed allowing for many more unique combinations with both numbers and letters. An IPv6 address looks something like this: 2001:db8:3g33:4ae4:55i5:666x:t777:8888.

Most ISPs still use IPv4 while IPv6 is being rolled out, so you’re more likely to see the shorter number when you search for your IP address. While IPv6 is more efficient and secure, it takes time to complete a worldwide switch. Your ISP, router, and your operating system all have to be compatible with it and it’s expensive to create the necessary infrastructure.

Regardless of which type you have, knowing how to mask your IP address properly is vital for your online privacy. There’s no way to avoid using an IP address if you want to use the internet — but you can effectively hide it with a VPN.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

Do You Really Need to Hide Your IP Address?

IP addresses allow the internet to work — leaving yours unprotected is like letting someone look through your bedroom window at all times. People can use your IP address to see your real location and browsing history (like websites you visit or what you torrent). Worse still, your ISP may already have sensitive data like your name, credit card details, and address. This means it can link what you do online to your identity.

You can hide your real IP address from everyone except your ISP. However, you can also stop your online history from being associated with it. By masking it, you can:

  • Hide your personal information and online history from third parties. This stops others from passing your data on to advertisers, corporations, and other third parties.
  • Torrent anonymously without fellow peers or your ISP finding out.
  • Access your local accounts when abroad for streaming sites, banking platforms, news sites, and more.
  • Block targeted ads by preventing marketers from tracking your location and browsing.
  • Stop hackers from using your IP address to conduct illegal activities, take control of your device, steal your identity, and more.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

Remember: You Can’t Hide Your IP Address From Your ISP

Your ISP provides the IP address you use to connect to the internet, making it impossible to hide your IP address from them. Even when you use a VPN or proxy, your ISP can still see your original IP address — the VPN masks your IP with one of its own so that it can’t be seen by other devices and websites, rather than replacing it.

However, your ISP can’t see your online activity when you’re connected to a VPN. It can see that you’re connected to a VPN, but not the websites you visit, apps you use, or data you download. This can help stop your ISP from throttling your bandwidth or speed if you engage in a lot of data-intensive activity, like torrenting. On the other hand, using a VPN means the sites and services you visit can see your activity and the origin of your data (the VPN server) but not your true IP address.

Only you and your VPN provider can see your true IP address, your online activity, and the data sent and received by your device. This is why it’s so important to choose a VPN service with a strict zero-logs policy to guarantee your data is private when connected. ExpressVPN uses RAM-based servers that cannot physically store data so you can rest assured your online activity is completely anonymous.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

FAQs: Hiding Your IP Address

How to change my IP address?

You can change your IP address in several ways, but the easiest option is to use a VPN. When you use a VPN, it redirects your online traffic through its own server network instead and assigns you a new IP address. This online traffic is also encrypted, making it unreadable to anyone who might intercept it.

Can I hide my IP address for free?

Yes, there are multiple ways to hide your IP address for free (like connecting to the Tor network or a proxy server). However, the safest way to hide your IP address is by using a quality VPN. You don’t necessarily have to spend money either. For example, CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs on the market and it has a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee. You can take advantage of the money-back guarantee period and use CyberGhost for free as long as you ask for a refund within 45 days.

I tested CyberGhost’s money-back guarantee myself and I easily got a refund

How do I hide my IP address when streaming on Netflix?

Easy! You can use a Netflix VPN. Just keep in mind that Netflix is notorious for flagging and blocking VPN users from streaming, so make sure the VPN you get actually works. Only premium VPNs have the resources to constantly stay ahead of Netflix’s blocks and still provide an HD streaming experience. You won’t have much luck with free VPNs, proxy servers, or even Tor — these options are either slow or easily detected by Netflix.

How can I hide my IP address on all my devices?

You can hide your IP address by using a VPN — for example, ExpressVPN has a dedicated app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV. It even works on devices that don’t normally support VPNs, like PlayStation, Xbox, and smart TVs. You have to manually configure some settings, but ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support over live chat and email so it’s easy to get personalized instructions for your device.

Another option is to install a VPN onto your router. This ensures you can hide the IP address of every device connected to that router.

Do I need to hide my IP address when torrenting?

I strongly recommend hiding your IP address when torrenting, using a reliable method like a VPN. When you download torrents, information like your IP address is shared with other users who are also downloading or uploading the file. This makes it possible for malicious actors to obtain your IP address and trace it back to you, compromising your data security — putting you at risk of malware or identity theft.

However, masking your IP address alone isn’t enough to guarantee your privacy while torrenting — you also need to encrypt your data. This makes your internet traffic unreadable if your ISP ever tries to spy on you. Your ISP can throttle your speed if it isn’t torrenting-friendly or report you to authorities if it discovers you accidentally downloaded copyrighted material.

For maximum security, you should use a VPN to hide your IP address when torrenting. ExpressVPN provides high-level encryption and leak protection to guarantee your data is secure. Plus, it supports P2P file-sharing on every server for fast downloads in every location.

Is hiding my IP address legal?

It’s perfectly legal to hide your IP address to protect your online privacy from hackers, advertisers, and other web trackers. However,  you can’t hide your IP address to perform illegal activities. For instance, you can’t hide your IP address in order to cyberstalk, hack, or download and share copyrighted materials.

It also depends on whether you’re in a country with strict internet censorship and surveillance. Make sure you’re aware of the regulations surrounding IP address masking in your location so you’re not breaking any laws.

Is my IP address permanent?

In most cases, your IP address will regularly change. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use dynamic IP addresses that often change, rather than static IP addresses that are fixed. Static IP addresses usually have to be requested on an individual basis and require an additional fee.

When you switch to a different internet connection, your IP address will change. For example, going from your home network to public WiFi will give your connection a different IP address. This is because the IP address is specific to the network itself.

If you want high-level privacy with a permanent IP address, some VPNs offer static IPs for an additional fee. CyberGhost provides dedicated IPs that only you can use, giving you the same IP address no matter which network you’re connected to. This is useful if you travel often and want to get around additional authentication for activities like online banking and shopping.

Can my IP address reveal my identity?

Not exactly. Your IP address isn’t directly linked to your identity — but it can make you vulnerable to IP address hacking or combined with other information to identity you (this is especially the case when law enforcement is involved).

Aside from avoiding any illegal activity, the best way to protect your online privacy and hide your IP address is to use a quality VPN. For instance, ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption and leak protection to keep your private data secure. This includes your IP address, browsing history, and usernames and passwords.

Hide your IP address with ExpressVPN

Mask Your IP Address and Stay Anonymous With a VPN

It’s important to be careful when trying different IP-masking techniques. Some leave your private information vulnerable to hackers, while others slow your connection speed so much that you can’t stream or torrent. A VPN is the easiest and safest way to hide your IP address, secure your data with encryption, and maintain fast speeds.

Out of all the VPNs on the market, ExpressVPN offers world-class privacy and security features. Its no-logs policy has even been proven in a real-life government case, so you can rest assured that no one can track down your real IP address.

You can try ExpressVPN to hide your IP address without any risk as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with its performance, contact the customer service department to request a refund — I got my money back in only 5 days.


Summary — Best VPNs to Hide Your IP Address in 2022

Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 48%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.29 / month Save 82%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
HMA VPN
$2.99 / month Save 75%
IPVanish VPN
$3.99 / month Save 64%
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Kate Hawkins
Kate Hawkins is a tech-focused writer and web expert with a keen interest in online security and privacy. She enjoys getting stuck into new technology and researching the latest cybersecurity trends to keep readers informed and safe online.