Online security is a big deal in today's digital world. Did you know there are ways to browse the Internet anonymously? By hiding your IP address, you can keep people from identifying your geographical location or keep advertisers from tracking your online activity. That means no more annoying advertisements and pop-ups, and you can surf the internet free of distractions (and tracking).
Here’s how to hide your IP address on iPhone or Macbook (although these methods will also work on any other device or PC you have).
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Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) is a service that routes your Internet activity through their servers first. They encrypt your data and assign it a new IP address to mask yours. You can even get an IP address assigned to you from another country. That makes it so you can access websites that aren’t available in your country. A VPN will even mask your IP address when accessing applications on your iPhone.
Some of the best VPNs for Macbook come at a price, but there are other VPNs for iPhone that are available as a free app download. That said, you’ll typically get better service (and importantly, speeds) by paying a monthly fee. VPNs are a great option for hiding your IP address and protecting yourself from hackers, and they do it all without slowing your Internet speeds.
As of 2023, the best-paid VPN available on the App Store is NordVPN, followed closely by ExpressVPN and PureVPN. One of the best things about these VPNs is how easy to use they are. Setup and day-to-day use feel entirely natural, thanks to an intuitive interface that offers plenty of options, but doesn't confuse.
Our first pick is NordVPN for several reasons, including their new Threat Protection feature that acts as an additional, active layer of defense against malware, trackers, ads and other dangers online on top of being a VPN masking your privacy.
Use a Proxy Server
A proxy server is a lot like a VPN. It serves as an intermediate point between you and other websites so that you can use their IP address when accessing the web. Instead of contacting a website directly, your information runs first through the proxy and then to the site you’re accessing. A proxy repackages your data to hide your personal IP address and assigns a new one from the proxy server.
That said, they are not as convenient as a VPN. You have to remember to use the proxy before accessing different sites, and it can slow your web activity. It also won’t encrypt your web data as VPNs do, so it’s only good for IP masking, and it only works in a web browser and not with mobile apps.
The benefit of proxy servers is that they’re free, but unfortunately, they’re also limited. Proxies are available all across the Internet and can be found through a simple Google search. It’s a fine solution if you only need it for one-time use, such as to access a website that’s not available in your country, but a VPN is a better option if you want to continuously browse the Internet anonymously.
If you're looking for a seemly Proxy Server, we suggest HideMyAss. The creators have made it reasonably simple to use. It installs to your browser as an extension from where you can access it any time you feel like going anonymous.
Tor is another way to hide your IP address online. Tor is a free software program that allows you to browse the Internet anonymously. "Tor" comes from the name of the original software which was called "The Onion Router".
How it works is that your data is sent through multiple volunteer networks worldwide. It’s extremely secure because it encrypts your data, and because your data is going through multiple relays, it’s difficult to trace the activity back to the original user. However, it’s very slow, so it’s not good for doing any streaming.
Hide IP Address
Apple implemented "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" in 2017 as part of its ongoing efforts towards better privacy-focused security. This feature allows users to browse the internet freely without worrying about sites tracking their profiles. One of the key ways that Intelligent Tracking Prevention protects is via its "Hide IP Address" option.
While this option does not stop ads, it does help stop sites from being able to track your browsing patterns without your consent. In addition to blocking trackers, iOS 15 also allows users to hide their IP addresses from the trackers and websites.
There are several reasons why someone might want to hide their IP. Generally, people use VPNs to hide their original IP address or in order to use online services limited by regional restrictions (for example, Netflix).
Thanks to this feature, users won’t need a VPN service to hide their IP address, but there's a catch. It is only applicable if you’re using Apple's default browser - Safari.
iPhone or iPad
Here’s how you can hide your IP address from trackers and websites.
- Go to the Settings app on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad).
- Scroll down and go to Safari.
- Scroll down until you see "Privacy and Security" and tap on the Hide IP Address.
- Select either "Trackers Only" or "Trackers and Websites".
That’s it. You’ve successfully hidden your IP address from trackers and websites.
If you do not see the Trackers and Websites option, you do not have iCloud+. You need a paid iCloud account to hide your IP address from both the trackers and the websites. You can still hide your IP address from trackers if you do not have the iCloud+ account, but you won’t be able to do the same with websites. You must enable a feature called iCloud Private Relay. Here’s how you can do that once you’ve upgraded your iCloud account to the paid version.
- Go to Settings app on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad).
- Tap on Apple ID.
- Tap on iCloud.
- Tap on "Private Relay" and enable it by flipping the toggle button.
- After enabling, navigate back to Hide IP Address, and you should be able to see both Trackers Only and Trackers and Websites options.
Since all Apple products are connected, you can also use the feature on your Mac or Macbook. The trackers and websites still require you to have a paid iCloud account. Here’s how you can do it.
- Open the Safari browser.
- Select the Safari tab located in the top left corner of the screen and open the Preferences panel.
- Go to the Privacy tab, and check the Hide IP Address box.
- There will be a drop-down menu next to the checkbox showing all the available options. It will either show only Trackers or both Trackers and Websites, depending on the version your iCloud account.
If you do not see a drop-down menu, ensure you’ve enabled the private relay after purchasing the iCloud+ subscription.
Whether you want to hide your IP address to keep your browsing activity private or to access sites that aren’t available in your country, there are several options if you’re using a Macbook or iPhone. Which one of these options will you use?