If your home address shows you where you are from in the world, your IP (Internet Protocol) address is similar because it tells your real-world location on the internet. It is used to identify computers on the internet.
Whenever your computer sends a request (for example, performing a Google search for the weather), Google will tag your request to your IP address so it knows where to send the response and give you local results.
Your IP address looks like a series of numbers. If you are curious to know what your IP address is, you can check it here.
There can be plenty of reasons why internet users choose to mask their IP address online, and it is not just because it is related to anything ‘illegal’.
Here are the top reasons why users want to hide their IP address.
You would not walk around with your home address plastered to your back, so understandably many users feel just as uncomfortable when their IP addresses are open for the internet to see.
IP addresses can be exploited to determine your physical location, which can sometimes be done with creepy accuracy.
Since your IP address can be like a personal identifier, users prefer to mask their IP address using encryption to have more peace of mind surfing anonymously so they can disguise their true location.
A website can monitor your online behaviour through your online visits and viewing. Which is why advertisers use tracking ads to log your visits, most often with tracking cookies. When the tracking system recognises frequent visits to the sites you are browsing, more ads will start popping up on all the websites you are surfing.
By hiding your IP address, you are making it harder for your web visits to be tracked, which may help you score better online deals on stuff like flight tickets and travel journeys when websites cannot monitor your frequent visits.
One of the most common reason to hide IP addresses is to access any content you want on the internet.
Streaming shows: Spoofing your IP address using a VPN service helps you access region-locked content. With a VPN that has different regions, like BolehVPN, you can select to route your traffic to a different country’s servers and “borrow” an IP address from that country instead of the one given by your Internet Service Provider.
School/workplace bans: Some universities or offices place restrictions on websites such as Facebook or YouTube. Users may need to bypass these network restrictions to access information they need.
Internet censorship: Watchful or oppressive governments often have national internet censorship. Journalists find it useful to hide their IP addresses to stay anonymous and guard their privacy especially when reporting sensitive issues.
Of course, one could contend that an IP address is not tied to your computer but rather to the router, so the issue could be solved by simply connecting to a free Wifi in a coffee shop or any public location.
However, this in itself also presents other problems.
Your next question might be, “So how do I hide my IP address?”.
A common way to conceal your IP address is by using a VPN. A Virtual Private Network can help you to stay anonymous and hide your true IP address.
Reclaim your security privacy and anonymity with our BolehVPN network that protects and hides your real network identity by giving websites our servers’ identity instead of yours.