A VPN can be an excellent tool for protecting your data while you work online. You can avoid public Wi-Fi networks, so you can minimize your risk of getting hacked. But what if you want to hide your IP address? You should know how a VPN works and how it can help you when you use it.
Does a VPN hide your IP address? A VPN can hide an IP address, either to access content unavailable in a particular country or to provide more privacy. VPNs use a secure connection, and it treats the computer or device as if it is local. It will ignore and hide the real IP address of the device in question, but it can do a lot more than that.
Whether you want a bit more privacy or need to access content that is not available where you live, you can use a VPN. It will hide your IP address so that you won’t be tracked online. However, you should know the basics of what a VPN does to hide your IP address and protect you online.
How Does a VPN Work?
VPN stands for virtual private network, and it uses servers to provide a virtual, private connection to the internet. You can use a VPN to protect your privacy and maintain anonymity while browsing different websites and streaming shows and movies. Instead of accessing your local Wi-Fi network, a VPN routes your internet connection through one of their servers.
When using a VPN, you can still access most of what you would access when using your personal Wi-Fi network. However, you can choose from a few servers to protect yourself and your information.
VPNs read your data and transmit it as code that the server can’t read. But it knows that your device is connected to that network, and you can use that connection like any other. You can browse the web, watch shows, or stream music.
The most common type of VPN is a Standalone VPN, which is what shifts your connection to their network. You can also use router VPNs, which work as routers to give you a secure connection. However, you can also find browser extensions if you just need a VPN for one browser (check out my review of the best VPN choices here).
How Does a VPN Hide Your IP Address?
One of the best benefits of a VPN is that most of them can hide your IP address. Since VPNs encrypt your data while you use them, your IP address is part of that data. So instead of using your local Wi-Fi network, the VPN will recognize you on their network.
When you use a VPN, it will usually give your device an anonymous IP address, based on the ones available from your VPN. Then, it will make it look like you are in the same place as the server that you choose. If you are trying to access content that is not available in your country, you can use a VPN to use an IP address in another country that lets you view that content.
Specifically, VPNs work as a middleman between you and the internet. When you visit websites or watch media, those websites will recognize the server rather than your IP address.
Your computer will be able to access local websites based on the location of the VPN. If you travel a lot or use public Wi-Fi networks, hiding your IP address can come in handy. However, there are a few other reasons why you might want to hide your IP address.
Why Hide Your IP Address?
Whether you work on a public Wi-Fi network near your home or from the other side of the world, you should consider hiding your IP address. Of course, your IP address is useful for tracking your website history. However, that is not the only reason why you want to keep your online activity hidden.
- One of the biggest reasons to hide your IP address is to protect yourself from online attacks. Hackers and phishing scams are on the rise, so the more ways you can protect your computer, the better.
- Another excellent reason why you might hide your IP address is to remain anonymous. Of course, there are incognito browsers, but hiding your IP address can help you avoid targeted ads based on your browsing history.
- And if you live in or visit a country that censors a lot of online media, you should hide your IP address. You can choose a VPN server in another country to view the websites that you can’t see on local networks.
Hiding your IP address isn’t always necessary but doing so can help protect you from online hackers and ads. Whatever your reason, hiding your IP address is just one of the many things a VPN can do for you.
Other Tricks a VPN Uses
While hiding your IP address might be enough to convince you to use a VPN, there are other benefits. VPNs have a few tricks that they use to protect your information so that you can browse the internet in peace. Whether you want to use the VPN all the time or only on some occasions, they can come in handy.
If you plan to use a VPN a lot, you should consider these tricks. Some VPNs offer more specialized services than others, so think about which ones you want to use. Then, you can choose the right VPN based on how you plan to use it.
Of course, there are tons of VPNs out there, and they are all different. Make sure you think about what each VPN offers and how much you will use it.
1. Use Different Regional Servers
One cool trick that VPNs use that isn’t as specific to security is that it lets you access different regional servers. If you’ have ever wanted to watch a show or movie but it was blocked in your country, a VPN could fix that. As long as your VPN has servers in a country where you can access that content, you can use those servers.
- Some larger VPNs have servers in most countries. You can use the VPN to access the internet available in those regions.
- If you travel a lot, you can also use a VPN to access the internet that you would use at home. That could come in handy if you need to view content or websites not available at your destination.
- Different countries also have different copyright laws, so if something is under copyright in your country, you can use a VPN to make it look like you are somewhere that the files are in the public domain.
- If the country you are in does not have the best internet connection, you might want to use a different regional server on your VPN.
Since VPNs make it look like your computer is on their local server, you can access the internet from almost anywhere. Even if you are on the other side of the world, you can view the content that you would at home. And if you are at home, you can watch content that you hear about from people in other countries.
2. Keep Your Location Private
Even if you don’t want to access the internet as it exists in another country, using a VPN can keep your location private. Of course, you can hide your IP address and use a server in your country. However, that could still give some clue as to where you are.
- You can choose a VPN server in another city or state, so you can still access content in your country. However, you won’t have to provide a specific location.
- If you ever travel to a remote location or somewhere where you should not get on the internet, you can hide your location with a VPN.
- Even if you are sitting at home and don’t have any concerns about your location, hiding your IP address can be helpful. For example, it could keep you from getting a bunch of location-specific ads.
- Or perhaps you just want to stay anonymous while using the internet. A VPN is an excellent tool, and it can hide your information much more than a regular incognito browser.
The more you use the internet, the more that companies and websites can learn about you. If you use public Wi-Fi networks a lot, hackers will have a better chance of hacking into your computer. Staying anonymous online can be essential for a lot of people as the risk of hacking and phishing scams increases.
3. Protection in Public Spaces
Consider how often you use the internet in a private space, like your home or office. Then think about how often you use the internet in public places, like coffee shops. Now, consider the ratio of how you spend your time online.
- The more time you spend on public Wi-Fi networks, the more vulnerable you are to hackers and scammers.
- Even if you only use a public network occasionally, if you time it wrong, a hacker could get into your computer after one visit to the coffee shop.
- Whether you use public networks in your city, or you travel a lot and use different networks, you want to protect yourself when using the internet in public.
- Because VPNs hide your IP address and encrypt your data, they can make it much more difficult for hackers to find your computer.
If you ever use a public Wi-Fi network, be extra careful. Using a VPN and hiding your IP address is one of the best ways to minimize your risk of getting hacked, and it can make you feel much safer online. Plus, you can avoid the lack of security that comes with a lot of free public networks.
4. Access Other Networks
If you travel a lot, you should know that VPNs let you access other networks and even your Remote Desktop. Accessing a Remote Desktop can be especially useful if you cannot travel with your main computer. And accessing it through a VPN can protect it from the vulnerabilities that you face without a VPN.
- You can use a VPN to connect to your Remote Desktop while you are away from home or work.
- The VPN will act like it is running on the network that you use at home or work so that you can access all your files on your typical computer.
- You will also be able to access other services that you might have on your network, which can come in handy if you are accessing your work computer.
- Whether you travel a lot or need to finish up a work project from home, you can protect your current computer and your Remote Desktop with a VPN.
Accessing a Remote Desktop can be important for someone who does a lot of work travel or needs to work from home. If you can’t use your primary computer, you should still protect it. Luckily, the security of a VPN makes that easy to do.
5. Download Files
Another trick that you can do with a VPN is download files with BitTorrent. Downloading files can come with risks, especially if you do not know who the sender is. In some cases, you might not be able to download some files from the internet for a variety of reasons. If you ever need to bypass that sort of restriction, a VPN is for you.
- If your IP address or network is what is keeping you from downloading a file, you can get around that issue by using a VPN. Of course, it will hide your IP address so that you can view the files as if you are on a different network.
- You can use a VPN to download files anonymously. While ideally, you would follow the laws in your country, there may come a time when you want to watch a movie that isn’t available.
- In that case, you can use a VPN server in that other country, and you can download the file. If you want to do this, maintaining your anonymity is essential if you’re going to stay out of trouble.
- Downloading files on a VPN can also be safer since you are accessing them through your VPN rather than directly from the internet. If your VPN can block malware and phishing, you won’t have to worry about downloading harmful files.
Almost everyone will need to download a file from the internet at some point. Using a VPN can protect you from downloading harmful files, and it can keep you anonymous if you want to download something illegally. However, you should always be safe, even when using a VPN.
6. Stream Movies and More
Probably the best hack that VPNs have up their sleeves is the ability to stream movies, shows, and music. If you do not have access to a ton of media to stream, you can use your VPN to access that content. Because of this, you won’t be limited to the media available in your country.
- Like many of the other tricks, a VPN can mask your location so that you can access servers in other regions.
- If you want to avoid buffering while streaming, you should choose a VPN with high-speed access and a lot of bandwidth.
- You will also need a VPN that can get around anti-VPN technology that some streaming services use.
- Whether you want to watch movies or listen to music from other countries, a VPN can help you do that. Of course, it uses the same basic tricks, but it’s one more thing you can do with a VPN.
Streaming movies and music can be a great way to wind down. Whether you find yourself on an international trip with time to kill, or you are home and want to see that foreign film, you can use a VPN for that. Just make sure you have a subscription to the service that you want to use since you can’t get around that.
7. Get a Better Deal
Another great way to use a VPN is to shop around for deals on streaming services and at other online stores. Some products and services cost more based on your location, so you can choose a VPN server accordingly. Then, you can get the same service or product for less than where you live.
You can also use this to get a better streaming plan for the same amount that you would pay for a standard option. If you want to get a good deal, you should consider using a VPN to comparison shop. In some cases, the cost of the VPN might be less than what you save on the service.
If you use a VPN to save on multiple services, it will be worth it. Even if you do not use your VPN for anything else, it can help you save money when shopping online.
A VPN is an excellent tool for accessing media around the world. You can use it to hide your IP address, which means that you can access websites in other regions. Whether you want to stream the latest movies or work on your Remote Desktop, a VPN’s ability to hide your IP address is arguably the best thing about it.