Introduction: How to Change Your Computers IP Address and Be Anonymous Online
This tutorial is going to show you how you can change your computers IP address in a manner where your computer is hidden online and you get to browser the web in complete privacy, security and anonymity.
Before you are taught HOW to Change Your IP Address you need to know:
- What an IP Address is.
- The different ways of changing your IP address.
- Which methods of changing your IP address are best suited for hiding your computer online and which are not.
What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a unique number assigned to every single computer that is connected to the internet. It is the way computers online are given an address. When you visit websites and chat online there is data that is constantly entering and leaving your computer. The data leaving your computer is mostly in the form of requests for information and the data entering your computer is the internet response to your requests.
For example, if you click a link in a web page you are sending out a request for that web page as well as the files that make up that web page such as images, text, videos,etc.
Every request your computer sends out is tagged with your computer IP Address. That way, when the data your computer requests is sent out the internet knows WHICH COMPUTER online to send the request files and data to.
IP Addresses and the Postal Service Analogy
Imagine the internet is the postal service. In order for the postal service to deliver mail (data) to you it has to know your homes address. Imagine if every day the post office received thousands of letters to go out and none of them had an address!! With the address (ip address) written on the letter the postman can successfully deliver the letter to your house (computer).
Why should I Hide or Change my IP Address
Your IP address reveals a lot of information about you and your computer such as:
- Where you live.
- Who your internet service provider is.
- What operating system your computer has.
- What web browser you are surfing the internet with.
If you are NOT hiding your IP address then EVERY SINGLE WEBSITE you visit can see all this information. If/when this information reaches the wrong hands (hackers) your online security could seriously be compromised and fast.
If I Change my IP Address Will Data Still Get to my Computer
Yes because when you change your IP address the internet is notified of this change. (just like when you give the post office a change of address your mail is forwarded to your new address). CHANGING your IP address is sort of a misnomer though. Actually changing your IP address does nothing to protect your privacy and make you anonymous and invisible online. In reality we are HIDING our IP address and making the internet THINK our IP address is something other than what it really is. This is generally accomplished via a proxy server.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is a special type of computer whose job is to act as an internet middleman for people who want to hide their IP address and be hidden online. Yes, there are actually thousands of computers out there whose sole jobe is help up hide our online identity.
The way a proxy server works is that all of your computers requests for data and web pages gets sent to the proxy server. It is the proxy server that goes out and gets the files/web pages you want and then forwards them to you. The net result is the proxy server is revealing his IP address and information instead of you.
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Step 1: Hide Your IP Address With Web Proxies
A web proxy is a website that allows you to visit other websites through it. The way it works is the web proxy website has a textbox. In the textbox you enter the url of the website you wish to visit. The web proxy displays that website within a frame that fills most of the entire page. Any links you click within the website you are visiting will also be displayed within the web proxies frame. This way the websites you visit think it is the web proxy website that is doing the visiting and not you.
Advantages of Web Proxy
- Simple and easy to use.
Disadvantages or Web Proxy
- Most web proxies display advertising at the top part of the web pages. Some web proxies are very obnoxious about this. The trick is to find a good web proxy such as hide my ass.
Step 2: Change Your IP Address
There are many different ways to do this but the net result is initiating a release/renew of your IP. No matter which method you choose to do this, the bottom line is this method requests a new IP address from your ISP. This is completely useless for online privacy because your new IP address is still associated with you and your computer.
If you are looking for online privacy and anonymity this method is not recommended. This method is ok if you attempting to circumvent a website block based upon your exact IP address. If you are being blocked based upon your IP or country this method will not work.
Step 3: Hide Your IP Address Via Manual Change of Web Browser Internet Settings
This method involves accessing your web browser settings and instructing it to route all internet communication through a proxy server IP:port.
Advantages of this Method
- All internet communications are routed through the proxy server IP address completely hiding and protecting your IP address and computer.
Disadvantages of this Method
- Fairly tedious. Involves navigating through and interacting with multiple dialog boxes.
- Many of the publicly posted IP:Port combinations don't work or are very slow. You may have to try many different IP:Port combinations to you find one that works reliably.
To find these proxy server IP:Port combinations do a Google search for proxy server IP:PORT.
Step 4: Hide Your IP Address Via Software
This method involves using a piece of software that automates the process of connecting you through a proxy server IP:port without having to mess with internet settings dialog boxes.
Advantages of this Method
- Simple and automated. Depending on the software IP address can be changed very quickly and easily an unlimited number of times.
Disadvantages of this Method
- May cost some money. Most of these software programs are not free but they usually are reasonably priced at $20 - $30.
Examples of this Type of Software
Step 5: Hide Your IP Address Conclusion
As you can see there are many and varied ways to change your IP address and be anonymous online, each of them with their advantages and disadvantages. If nothing else, you should have learned that if you DON'T hide your IP address in some way, your privacy is out the window.