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How do I make my IP address private?

Having a private IP address allows you to browse the internet anonymously and keep your online activity hidden from prying eyes. Your IP address can reveal a lot of information about you, like your location and internet service provider. Making your IP address private is important for protecting your privacy and security online.

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a unique number assigned to each device connected to a network. It allows devices to communicate with each other online. There are two types of IP addresses:

  • Public IP address – Assigned by your internet service provider. Used to identify your device on public networks like the internet.
  • Private IP address – Assigned by your router for devices on a private network. Can only communicate within the private network.

When you connect to the internet, your device is assigned a public IP address used by websites to send you information. This allows them to view your location and track your online activities. A private IP address hides this information from the internet.

Why make your IP address private?

There are a few key reasons to make your IP address private:

  • Privacy – Stops websites from tracking your location and gathering data on your online activities and browsing habits.
  • Anonymity – No one can associate your internet usage with your identity or physical address when you have a private IP.
  • Security – Protects you from cyber attacks targeted through exposed IP addresses.
  • Circumvent content blocks – Allow you to bypass filters and access blocked content in certain countries and networks.

Overall, a private IP address keeps you anonymous online and less susceptible to privacy breaches, targeted attacks, and mass surveillance.

How can you make your public IP address private?

There are a few effective ways to hide or mask your public IP address:

1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN allows you to route your internet traffic through an encrypted virtual tunnel. All your online activity will be associated with the VPN server’s IP address, not your actual public IP address. Steps:

  1. Choose a reputable VPN provider that doesn’t keep user logs (e.g. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN).
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Connect to a VPN server, often in a location of your choice.

Your IP will now show as the VPN server rather than your actual public IP. VPN encryption will keep your web traffic private.

2. Use the Tor browser

The Tor browser routes your traffic through the Tor anonymity network, masking your IP address. To use Tor:

  1. Download the Tor browser from the official Tor Project website.
  2. The Tor browser will connect you to the Tor network.
  3. Your traffic is routed through randomly assigned nodes in the network.

The Tor network makes it extremely difficult to trace traffic back to your original IP address.

3. Use a proxy server

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the rest of the internet. All traffic gets routed through the proxy IP address. To use a proxy:

  1. Find public proxy servers online or purchase access from a provider.
  2. Configure your device browser/network settings to connect through the proxy.
  3. Your IP will show as the proxy’s IP rather than your own when browsing.

Free public proxies often lack encryption and can be slower. Paid providers offer faster speeds, better security, and more reliable connections.

Differences between VPNs, Tor, and Proxies

While VPNs, Tor, and proxies all hide your IP address, there are some key differences:

Service Speed Privacy Security
VPN Fast High Strong encryption
Tor Slow Very High Encryption across network
Proxy Variable Low-Medium Variable encryption

VPNs offer the best balance of speed, privacy, and security for most users.

Other tips for keeping your IP address secure

In addition to the above methods, here are some other tips for boosting your IP privacy:

  • Use encrypted DNS providers like Cloudflare or OpenDNS to prevent DNS leaks.
  • Enable the always-on VPN option on your device to keep it always active.
  • Use an anonymous email service and don’t sign into accounts from your IP address.
  • Disable WebRTC in your browser as it can expose your IP.
  • Be cautious when torrenting or downloading files as IPs are visible on P2P networks.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links as they may reveal your IP address if you visit them.


Maintaining a private IP address is crucial for anyone who values their online privacy. VPN services offer the best option for most people, providing fast speeds, robust privacy and anonymity, and reliable security.

Tor and proxies are also effective options, with Tor offering the highest level of anonymity. Additionally, take measures like disabling WebRTC, using encrypted DNS and being cautious with risky online activities.

Take steps to hide your IP address and you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your online activities aren’t being tracked or exposed without your consent. A private IP address gives you control over your privacy.