How to Find & Hide Your IP Address for Better Internet Privacy

ip address graphic

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Finding your IP address is a straightforward process, especially if you’re not taking the time to protect it from other people. Hiding it, on the other hand, takes a few extra steps. Today, we will walk you through how to both find and hide your IP address so you can maintain your privacy while surfing the web. 

What is an IP Address?

Short for internet protocol, your IP address is there to ensure the data that you request makes it back to your device. Each device needs a unique IP address to determine how data is sent over the internet or local network. Essentially, IP addresses help differentiate one device from another. Your IP address is great to know if you’re troubleshooting any network problems with your internet service provider.

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3 Ways to Access Your IP Address

Your Browser

To access your IP address from your browser, all you have to do is type “What is my IP address?” into your search engine of choice. Search engines like Google will display your unique IP address at the top of the search results page. There will also be other sites on the search results page that will tell you your IP address with additional information, such as guessing where you are roughly located when you are searching. 

Your Mac

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen.
  2. Select “System Preferences” 
screenshot of Mac network settings
  1. Scroll to the “View” menu. When you hover your mouse over the View menu, more options will appear—select “Network” from there.
  2. Click on “Network Connection” in the left column. You will then select either Ethernet or WiFi, depending on how you’re connected to the internet.
screenshot of ethernet settings on Mac
screenshot of WiFi settings on Mac
  1. Your IP address will show up immediately for an Ethernet connection. For a WiFi connection, click the “Advanced” button in the lower right corner. Then, click the TCP/IP tab across the top of the window. It will show up from there!

Your PC

  1. Right-click on the “Start” button
  2. Select “Windows PowerShell” on the Power User Menu
  3. Type the command “IPCONFIG” into the Windows PowerShell, press enter, and your IP configuration information will show up.
  4. Your IP address will be the IPv4 address displayed on the screen.
screenshot of IP address settings on PC

How to Hide Your IP Address

As we mentioned earlier, hiding your IP address is simple but takes a few more steps than finding it. The best way to hide it is to download a reliable VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and the purpose of having a VPN is to protect your internet connection and maintain your privacy online. Plus, VPNs encrypt your IP address so you can connect to public networks (or any network, really) with peace of mind. A password-protected WiFi network alone will not protect you from potential hackers or malware. 

With cybercrime on the rise, it is crucial to incorporate an extra layer of security into your web browsing experience. VPNs hide your location by providing an extensive list of servers worldwide you can connect to. These servers are often proprietary to each VPN provider, with the best selections belonging to premium providers.

When you download a VPN, you will have the option to quickly connect to a server near your location, most likely maintaining your internet speed. You also have the opportunity to connect to servers around the world so that you can access content from other counties.

If you connect to a server in the UK, for example, you can access content from Netflix’s British catalog in addition to the content in your home country. Either way, you will be hiding your original IP address. VPNs are compatible with most streaming services and will protect any data that is exchanged across your smart devices. 

Protect Your Privacy

Many top internet providers have excellent home security options that you can bundle right into your internet or cable plan. For example, HughesNet is currently offering six free months of Norton 360 Deluxe on up to 5 devices.

Norton 360 is powerful antivirus software that gives extra layers of security to all of your devices. It even has a VPN you can download to browse the web anonymously. However, any top rated VPN will pair nicely with any home security options your internet service provider offers. Keep in mind that other great cybersecurity tools can also help you stay protected at home.

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Marla Milano
Written By
Marla Milano
Written By
Marla Milano
Marla is a Contributing Writer for HighSpeedOptions, assisting in HighSpeedOptions’ coverage of satellite internet, streaming, and TV content. She comes with five years of experience writing for lifestyle and tech brands across multiple industries and has a BA in Marketing and MA in Digital Communication and Media Arts from DePaul University. Marla is passionate about not only integrating a creative edge into her work but also pulling data-driven insights to enhance her thought process.