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Why hide your public IP on the Internet and have more privacy

Just as there are web pages that show us the public IP and the location, there are also those that do the same with the software of our equipment such as whoer.net.

For this reason, if you get a lot of information with these simple web pages, we imagine that they will be able to obtain with the more complex tools that companies, ISPs and governments have.

Why should you hide your public IP

Privacy on the Internet has become a very important topic of conversation in recent years. Now we are going to see why it is convenient to hide your IP. When we use the Internet, our IP address is a coveted piece of information that is exchanged with each request from our devices connected to the network of networks. Thus, a public IP address helps to identify the devices connected to the Internet, including our computers, smartphones and other network equipment that we have. Often times you may not need to hide your IP, but simply not receiving as much targeted advertising in your email inbox will surely compensate you.

Web pages track us

Regardless of which web page you request, they all track or collect your IP address in one way or another. Although it should be noted that on many occasions that website does not directly collect your data, but some of the services they use may collect your IP address.

On a modern, feature-rich website, they often have a variety of trackers to help them analyze their visitors. This does not mean that it is a process to collect your data and sell it to third parties. Sometimes it is to help those website administrators improve the user experience on their site by looking at the statistics. Any website that uses the social network plugins, Facebook and the rest of the social networks can track you and create a really complete profile of you, because they will be able to know which websites you are visiting.

In the case of wanting to hide your IP address from a web page, we can take a series of measures. One of them is to opt for some browser extensions focused on privacy. An example of an extension of this type for Chrome would be Disconnect which prevents websites from tracking us and helps websites load faster. On the other hand, we would also have browsers that would help us improve privacy, such as, for example, Tor browser. In this case it is multiplatform and you have it available for Windows, macOS, Linux and Android.

Prevent them from creating a profile of you

An important point to note is that simply by hiding your IP, you are not going to prevent marketing companies from tracking you. To keep an eye on users include email tracking, short links, surveys and advertisements that help digital marketers know what we like and what we don’t like.

That does not mean that hiding your IP is going to be beneficial for you, since it will make it difficult for these companies to create a complete profile about your preferences. In the event that we surf with our real public IP, then they can easily associate all the data associated with that IP and the creation of our profile is made much easier.

On the other hand, the private browsing or incognito mode that many of our browsers bring is often used frequently. In this case, the browser helps you navigate the web without having to worry about later deleting the cookies and the history when you finish using them. However, keep in mind that we are still giving our real IP address, unless we have hidden it. In short, our browsing is not really private since that IP address is linked to us. Therefore, only if you hide your public IP is when you will get more privacy.

Bypass geo-blocking

Some audiovisual content services, for example, impose a geo-blocking so that it can only be used in a certain country or region. They do it because in those countries the same service does not cost the same and it saves them bandwidth resources. This is very common to happen on platforms such as Netflix, Disney + and the like. If a certain movie or series is not in your region, it happens mainly due to copyright issues, in this way, you can bypass these restrictions easily and quickly.

To see before a series that at the moment is not available in your country you can resort to using a VPN. It is also used to access certain web pages that some governments of authoritarian regimes censor to prevent access to their citizens.

When it comes to VPNs, it is generally better to choose a paid one. The reason is that the free ones have to maintain that service in some way and sometimes they end up selling your data to third parties. Some quality VPNs that we could hire are Surfshark, NordVPN, PureVPN, and CyberGhost.

Prevent your operator from tracking you

In the event that you do not take any special measures, our operator could track your web browsing activity. Although today we browse through HTTPS websites, operators have multiple ways to know which websites we are getting into:

  • If we use the DNS servers of the operator, they will be able to see all the DNS requests.
  • They could see the webs even if we have HTTPS due to the SNI parameter.

To prevent operators from knowing about our navigation through DNS servers, we could use other DNS servers such as Google or Cloudflare, among many others. In addition, we must bear in mind that all DNS requests are made in clear text, that is, network traffic is not encrypted. To have the best possible privacy, it is absolutely necessary that you use DNS over HTTPS (DoH) or also DNS over TLS (DoT) in order to protect these communications.

To prevent the operator from seeing the websites you visit through the SNI parameter, it will be necessary for the websites to have Encrypted SNI, or to directly use a TLS Proxy or a VPN to forward all traffic to the server, and that our operator cannot see none of the network traffic, as it will be encrypted in a tunnel.

Hide your data from search engines

If we use traditional search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and many others often collect our IP address to associate search data and activity with it. If we don’t want this to happen, we should look for alternatives from private search engines like DuckDuckGo. By not hiding your IP, they will be able to send personalized ads based on your public IP address, so it would be very interesting to hide the public IP if you are going to use the usual search engines.

DuckDuckGo Growth

To hide the data from the search engines, you will have to do two things: hide the IP through a VPN service or Proxy with TLS, and use the web browser in incognito mode so that it does not use the cookies that have been stored previously.

Track your physical location

A public IP address is usually always located in a certain place, if we connect to the Internet from our home, it is very likely that if we use geolocation tools, it will locate us in the same city where we are. On rare occasions this type of tool does not give correct information, for example, if our operator has bought IP addresses from another country, then the databases will not be updated and will show us that we are geographically in another country.

If we connect to different networks as we move, a complete monitoring of which cities we have been could be traced, in addition, this location information is quite accurate, so if we connect in a town, we could also locate without much trouble in this place. To avoid this, you must make use of VPN in your own country or in another country, or also make use of Proxy TLS services, with the aim that web browsing goes through the servers and not our real connection.

Conclusions.

Even if we are not doing anything illegal, that does not mean that we do not care about our privacy. Sometimes you want to hide your IP because you don’t want to reveal all your personal information. Therefore, hiding an IP address with a VPN or TLS Proxy service can sometimes be a good starting point to limit the data you share and protect your anonymity.

We must bear in mind that nowadays when we browse the Internet there are a large number of cookies that are stored on our equipment, with the aim of strictly monitoring everything we do on the Internet, and it is something that we must mitigate if we want to have greater privacy, so that our data is not in the hands of companies. Although it can be cumbersome to always have to use a VPN or TLS Proxy, it is absolutely necessary if you want to protect yourself from these tracking activities.