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Should I Hide My IP Address?

Did you know that any website you visit can identify you? Well, technically the site may not know your name, but they will know your IP address. I often hide my IP because it is a digital representation of who you are.

If you took my advice and purchased the RangeXTD range extender, your extender does not change your IP address. Even the world’s best Wifi booster will use the IP address assigned to you.

Unless you take steps to hide your IP address, it can be used to follow your online activities.

How?

What Website Owners and the Public Can Tell from Your IP Address

If I am a website owner, I can track your IP address through server logs or through my analytics program. Ad networks, such as Google’s or Facebook’s ad network, can track your browsing history using your IP and cookies in your web browser.

IP targeting, or following what you do through an IP, is highly accurate and inaccurate at the same time.

Why?

A person in your household has the same IP address as you. Enterprises may have 100s of people on the same IP address.

But when you have home Internet, your IP address can be used to:

  • Target ads to you
  • Display specific content to you

If someone has your IP, they only see a number. When searching for my IP address, I can tell that the IP is:

  • Listed as an AT&T ISP IPP
  • Located in my city
  • Located in my region

Obviously, I didn’t want to tell every reader my city and region, but it’s listed on an IP tracker. Hypothetically, if I owned a dozen websites, I can always know when you’re visiting by your IP address.

What Law Enforcement Can Learn from Your IP Address

Since your IP address is tied to your ISP, law enforcement can contact your ISP and request information on your IP address. This can be done to pinpoint your home and your account that you use for your Internet.

One of the reasons I to hide an IP address is swatting or other online pranks.

For example, a person can be watching a streamer and call in to the police stating that a robbery or something else is occurring on a stream. The police arrive at the person’s home, and the next thing you know, the SWAT team arrives.

It’s a major problem, and it’s possible because a person doesn’t know how to hide their IP address.

An IP scrambler would work to hide an IP address, but it’s often better to choose a VPN for the job.

Why I Hide My IP Address

There are a lot of reasons why I hide my IP address. I am not doing anything illegal. But I am cautious of how I use my Internet. Some of the many reasons to hide your IP address are:

  • Tracking. I am tired of advertising networks and Amazon tracking every search I make. My aunt searched for baby clothes on my computer one time, and I saw ads for months relating to babies. Baby bottles, clothes, diapers – I don’t even have a child. Hiding my IP keeps me from seeing tons of ads that are irrelevant and annoying. Google, Amazon and Facebook don’t need to know everything about me.
  • Hiding from ISP Tracking. Your Internet service provider can track everything you do online. You may think that you have protection, but they’re very weak protections at the very least. When you use the right precautions, you can hide your activity even from your ISP. The ISP may know that you’re using data, but they will not know the sites you’re visiting or what you’re downloading.
  • Sensitive Data. If you have to transfer sensitive data, such as journalistic content or you’re a whistleblower, your first step is to hide your IP. You’ll then want to strengthen your privacy further with encryption so that no one can intercept and decipher the data you’re sending.
  • Bypass Restrictions. There’s an entire world of censored content that you can’t view. You may be able to see your own country’s information online, but try looking at some Chinese websites, and you’ll find that a lot of the sites won’t work. Geo restrictions are carefully carried out using your IP address. When you take the right measures, you can change your IP to look like you’re from Asia, Europe – anywhere. You can unlock new streaming options, Netflix titles and so much more.
  • Bypass Browsing Restrictions. There are browsing restrictions that you should be concerned about. For example, your work or school may not allow you to browse certain websites. You can bypass a lot of these restrictions with a simple change of your IP address. Of course, if you’re using a shared computer and not a personal one, your browsing can still be monitored.

There are a lot of additional reasons one may want to hide their IP address. You may find that you want to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot – they’re amazing – but did you know that they’re also insecure?

A lot of public Internet connections are a massive security concern because anyone can intercept the data if it’s not encrypted.

You may want to change your IP address to strengthen yourself against these security concerns, but you should take an additional step to increase your security. Using a VPN can help if it encrypted the data that you’re sending. When you do this, you can be confident that your security is as high as possible.

Instead, you’ll want to read my article on how to change your IP Address for tips on how to change your IP address or mask it.

A VPN or proxy will work well.

Should you hide your IP address? If you want to, sure. A lot of people just check their email or check their Facebook and don’t do much else on their computers. If you’re one of these people, it may not make sense to hide your IP address.

If you use the Internet extensively and want to hide your activity, changing your IP address is what I recommend.

September 3, 2020

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