There are several ways to hide external wan ip address while surfing the internet. Before we begin the various way, you might want to understand what IP address is.
What is IP Address
IP addresses like a unique tracking ID, and it is tagged to you for this time frame while you are connected online. If you have only one internet subscription plan, you will generally have only 1 external WAN IP Address.
Hence, your neighbor home internet will have their own unique IP address. Your office will have their own IP address, easier to understand?
What is internal IP Address
And your router will use NAT to issue internal ip address to the devices connected to the home router (more on this later).
This means that if you have 10 devices connected to the home wifi, they will have their own individual internal IP address issued by the router. However, they will still share the same public IP address as ISP generally issue one public ip address per internet subscription plan.
So if you and your spouse are surfing the internet, or watching netflix independently using the home wifi connection, all outgoing traffic shares the same external wan IP address.
To simplified, generally we will be establishing a direct connection to the website. Hence the website that we are accessing, be it email, netflix, or news website, they will know that we are connecting directing from our home.
We “talk to” request data from the website via the blue arrow. And the website passed the requested data back directly to us via magenta arrow.
Dynamic Public IP Address
For most consumers using home internet, your home network is generally given a public ip address. Which is issued by your internet service provider (ISP). Unless indicated in the subscription plan or addon, most of these public ip address issued by the ISP are dynamic. This means that the internet IP address that you are having now, might not be the same IP address that you are having tomorrow.
Hiding your Internet IP Address
The reason why you land on this page is that you wish to hide your external wan internet IP address. There could have several factors why you wish to do that. However, the general 2 reasons will be as follows.
- Bypass internet filters
- Avoid tracking
How to hide Public IP Address
Due to technology modernisation, it is not difficult hide your public ip address. There are several ways to conceal your ip address, which you can use a
- VPN Service
- Tor Browser https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)
- Free Public Wifi
VPN Service / Tor Browser Connection
All your internet activities are routed through a third party if you use either the VPN Service or the Tor Browser.
For instance, instead of connecting directly to the website or service that you required, it is routed to a “middle man” which handles the traffic. And the middle man request for data on your behalf, Hence to the website, it is the third party that is requesting for the data, instead of you, using your home / office external IP Address. And the website will pass the data to the third party which will be sent back to you.
Simplified network connection diagram as follows.
Free Public Wifi
Remember the point where it is mentioned that all locations will have their own unique IP address? If you use a public wifi, such as one from library or cafe, etc, you are essentially using their external IP address.
However, free wifi hotspot generally will have speed limit to enable a comfortable surfing experience for their users. ** Take note that there are some free hotspot which could be provided by malicious companies/ actors to spy on your network traffic, or to attempt to hack into your computer.
By using either of the 3 ways listed above, you will have managed to hide your own external IP address. Which prevents websites and ads providers to track your usage according to your IP address.
If you are interested to find your your current external ip address, you can refer to this post which guides you how to find your own external ip address.
Hopefully the above quick guide has assist you to understand how to hide your external IP address. If you have specific questions, you can leave in the comments before.