Hiding your IP address sounds like something that you might want to do if you are engaged in something a little shady. But your IP address is a personal piece of information that can be used to track everything that you do online. There are different methods for hiding your IP depending on what you want to achieve and here are some reasons why you might want to do it.
Ads may seem an unavoidable part of life but the reason that most appear is because they track your information and supply you with ads based on what you do online. So, they may see what you search for on Google and show you ads about related products. Or they might see what brands you follow on Facebook and send ads about products they sell. By masking your IP address, they can’t get this information in the first place. And while it might not stop all ads, it stops targeted ones.
Hides what you do online
Even when you are doing some online shopping or chatting on a dating site, there’s something a little creepy about the idea of your ISP (internet service provider) being able to track and record everything you do. Currently, ISPs protect your data but who knows how that will change in the future? So, by hiding your IP address, then you can stop them tracking all of your online movements.
Protect yourself from government surveillance
There’s the old story about you don’t need to worry if you aren’t doing anything wrong. And while that’s true, it is still a bit unsettling to think that your government could decide to watch what you do and record everything. Or even another government, the way things are going. So while you might not be doing anything wrong, you may value your privacy and a hidden IP address helps with this.
Avoid geographic barriers
Some features and services are location specific – you can only get them in the US or outside the US, sometimes even in certain states. But by masking your IP address, there’s no way for anyone to know where you are, and you can dodge around those geographical barriers. This means if you want to watch something on Netflix that is only available in the UK, you can potentially do this by subscribing through a hidden IP address. You may also want to consider using a VPN provider that is in the country you want to access the service to help make it appear as if you are there.