Your IP address is an important piece of information used to communicate with all the interactions of devices connected to the network. Similar to your current home address, an IP address helps identify devices connected to the internet, including computers, phones, and servers.
Starting with the website you visit or the streaming service you use, everything collects your IP address to keep the system running. So should you disclose your IP address? Why hide it? Let’s dig deeper to find out.
Here’s Why You Should Hide Your IP Address
Note that not everyone needs to hide their IP address, but if you think some of the reasons mentioned below are the case for you then you should hide your IP.
1. Prevent websites from tracking you
No matter what website you surf, everyone can track or collect your IP address in one way or another.
In many cases, websites do not collect your data directly, but some of the services they use may collect your IP address.
For a modern website with lots of functionality, there are many trackers implemented to help them analyze visitors. Of course, this is not necessarily a process of collecting your data and selling them to third parties; it can help them improve the user experience on their website by referencing statistics.
However, if you don’t want to reveal your IP address to another website, then you should hide it.
Technically, you’ll need some privacy-focused browser extensions, privacy browsers, and other tools to reduce tracking. Also, hiding your IP address is one of the simplest techniques to enhance your privacy.
2. Access to Prohibited Websites
Many websites allow only certain countries to access which saves their resources and bandwidth.
However, if you still want to access restricted content, you can hide your IP address and use a fake IP to bypass.
In either case, it comes in handy if you’re traveling abroad but still want access to geo-blocked content – like different Netflix movies.
3. Blocking Digital Marketing Ads
It should be noted that hiding your IP address will not prevent marketers from tracking you. Several methods including email tracking, shortened links, surveys and promotions help digital marketers know what you like/dislike.
However, hiding your IP address makes it difficult to create a complete profile based on your preferences.
If you don’t use a fake IP address, they can easily collect all the data associated with your IP address and improve their profile of you.
4. Go to full incognito mode
Private browsing mode or incognito mode in the browser helps you surf the web without worrying about clearing cookies, history and basic tracking.
However, you still provide your IP address if you don’t hide it. In other words, your browsing activity is not really private and the IP address is still shared for browsing activities in incognito mode.
5. Addressing Country Restrictions
If a service or website is banned/restricted in your country, you can easily unblock it by hiding your IP address.
It is similar to geo-blocking bypass but limited to one country. You can always use a VPN to hide your real IP address and access restricted websites.
6. Bypass the firewall
If you are browsing the web at your work, library or school, there may be some network restrictions based on IP address.
However, you can bypass the firewall by using a fake IP address with VPN, proxy, socks…. Note that there can be many complex types of firewalls, and bypassing every firewall may not be straightforward.
7. Prevent Internet Service Providers from Tracking You
If you don’t take any special measures, your internet service provider (ISP) will track your browsing activity. Of course, not all providers will track you. But if you don’t trust your ISP, you should hide your browsing activity from them.
While you can get the help of DNS-over-HTTPS to enhance your privacy, many IP masking techniques (like VPN) will also help.
8. Prevent Search Engine Tracking
Unless you use some alternative to private search engines, Google, Bing and many others generally collect your IP address to associate search data.
They can also push personalized ads based on your IP address.
So, if you want a private search experience and don’t want to see personalized results or ads, hiding your IP address is a good solution.
9. Prevent others from tracking your location
Whether you restrict apps from using your location or have it disabled in your operating system, your IP address will provide your approximate location.
The location may not be entirely accurate, but it’s pretty close in some cases.
So, if you don’t want to reveal your geographical location, then hiding your IP address is advisable.
10. Hide your IP Address for extra security
You don’t have to engage in any illegal activity to ensure your IP address is hidden. Taking control of your privacy is necessary as we become more and more dependent on online services.
We should not make all important information public. So hiding the IP address can be a good starting point to limit shared data. Unless you want a service that offers a personalized experience, you should hide your IP address.
In addition, you can also read this article to know what hackers can do when they know your IP address.