How to Hide Your IP Address in Windows 7, Vista, and XP

The first time I researched methods to hide my IP address, I quickly learned that the only hope I had of hiding my IP was to change it. That’s because it’s impossible to surf the Internet without an IP address, as it’s to that location that websites and other online services transmit your requests. Without such routing, you simply won’t be able to view or receive anything on the web. However, most people’s objective of hiding their IP can be achieved by changing it using one of the following three methods:o 1] HIDE YOUR IP ADDRESS BY SWAPPING THE ONE ISSUED BY YOUR ISPSuppose you visited a website recently, and you now want to visit it again without displaying the IP address of your original visit. If you simply prompt your ISP to issue you a new IP address, and release the old one, you have effectively “hidden” your previous IP address. This may be obvious and simplistic, but it will actually accomplish many peoples objectives. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, please refer to the resource links at the end of this article.o 2] HIDE YOUR IP ADDRESS BY USING A RELAY SERVERAnother method of hiding your IP can be accomplished by routing your connection through an intermediate server. The intermediate server relays web requests between your personal computer and the websites you surf. And if the relay is setup properly, the websites will only detect the IP address of the relay server, and not your computer’s.Now, there are a variety of relay server configurations, but the two that seem to be most popular are proxy servers and virtual private networks. To give you an idea of how such systems work, open Internet Explorer (or a new window separate from this page), and go to the dropdown menu for Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections. Then, if you’re using broadband DSL or cable, click “LAN settings”, or for dialup highlight your connection and click “Settings”. Then check the box for “Use proxy server”. For “address”, enter “relay.testproxy.org” (without the quotes), and for “port” enter “8231”. Finally, click OK out of there. Now try surfing to an IP-checking website. As you’ll notice, neither your real IP nor your ISP will display. Pretty cool, huh? To remove the settings, simply perform the same steps, but uncheck the “use proxy server” box.Of course, that is just a test proxy, and you’ll probably want something that allows unrestricted access to the Internet. You can find various websites that list free or “public”, but use them with extreme caution. Such servers may be monitored by hackers, are likely to be incompatible with SSL, and can also be used to transmit viruses. Unless you really know what you’re doing, I would suggest taking the time to setup your own private proxy or VPN, or use a fee-based service. See the resources mentioned below, or do a Google search to find many others.o 3] HIDE YOUR IP ADDRESS BY CHANGING YOUR INTERNET CONNECTIONOkay, there’s one more method of hiding your IP, which is quite obvious but worth mentioning in case you haven’t already thought of it. If you have a laptop computer, packing it up and connecting via WiFi at a public library or free Internet cafe is also a good way to temporarily surf with a different IP address. Along the same lines, having a dialup account can be useful in this regard as well. For example, even though I have broadband Internet, I used to also subscribe to a dialup ISP just for the occasional use of an alternate IP address. For example, in the United States, subscribing to a service like Earthlink would give you unlimited access to hundreds of IP addresses around the country. Of course, be sure to check with any such provider regarding their specific and current policies.