The general way to hide your IP address on a computer connected to the Internet is to have that computer connect via a proxy server. A proxy server works as a middleman providing your computer with a different identity that cannot be traced back to you. It does this by making the required connection for you and then sending or receiving information to and from your computer.
Hide Your IP Address Using Proxies
There are many different websites and software programs that act like a proxy. Website based servers use a form to request the location of the website you want to visit. It then locates and accesses that website for you without providing them with your IP information or letting them know it’s a proxy server. Web based proxy servers are usually limited to connections made through your browser. Any other software that connects to the Internet will not hide your IP address. In order to hide your information when using other programs you would have to use an installed software proxy server. These types of proxies are usually faster and more reliable than their web based counterparts. They might also require you to pay a monthly fee for their use.
Web Based Proxies
Website based proxy servers are the most rudimentary form to hide your IP address. While these proxies are good enough for simple tasks such as viewing a website or checking an email, they are usually slow and lacking in features. Most web based proxies do not display a site’s advertisements, java, flash movies and other scripts because they put a massive toll on their bandwidth. As a free service, this bandwidth is usually under a lot of strain providing the users with a relatively slow and sluggish experience. Web proxy servers that charge a monthly fee to hide your IP address are faster, more reliable and provide their users with an overall better quality and viewing experience. Browser configured proxies work very similarly to the ones that are web based. The difference is that you won’t have to access their website every time you want to hide your IP address while surfing. You can configure your browser to re-route all your traffic through their proxy so that every time you try to load up a page it will be done through their machine.
Software Proxy Servers
Software based proxy servers allow you to hide your IP address using a one-time cost or an annual subscription to a product. There are also free software proxies but their bandwidth is generally under a lot of strain which makes them slow and unstable. A software proxy works by installing a client on your computer which is then connected to a proxy server. Unless they are free to use, these clients may require you to provide them with a username and password before connecting to the server. The server will then be intercepting all your computer’s attempts to access the Internet and reroute the traffic through their machine, which serves to effectively hide your IP address.