You may not be able to use the internet without an IP address, but there are ways you can hide your online identity through changing, cycling or hiding your IP address. Here are just a few: paid options with different features. Do your research, and you can start with our VPN comparison found here. VPN Service - These services have exploded in popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. They assign you a new IP address in a different global location, allowing you access to online material unavailable in your current location, and preventing tracking and malicious monitoring by users and institutions as well. It is critical to choose the right VPN, as many of these services are disreputable or simply don’t work. Some are free, some charge a nominal monthly fee, and some have free and Proxy Servers - Considerably more controversial than VPNs, proxy servers provide users the ability to use an open proxy server to hide their IP address while using the internet. Based on the architecture of closed proxy servers, a server that allows users within a network to exchange information while limiting bandwidth, open proxy servers expand this concept to the internet at large. While they are successful in hiding your IP address, they pose a danger in that they are vulnerable to being manipulated by malevolent users through trojans and malware. This can happen with the misconfiguration or botched installation of an open proxy, making them somewhat of a risky proposition for beginners.
TOR - Ah, the infamous “dark web” has arrived. Despite some unsavory connotations, TOR is a legitimate service that provides anonomonity to users worldwide. TOR is a network, often used as a web browser, that uses heavy encryption and tunneling to protect your anonymity online. While it is extremely effective in maintaining anonymity and protecting its users from monitoring, its heavy layers of encryption mean that it is significantly slower than a standard browser.
Whether a VPN, proxy server, or TOR is right for you, make sure you do your research and know exactly what information you’re potentially providing to these services. If you’re using a VPN, make sure they don’t collect your data to sell to advertisers or worse. If you’re setting up a proxy server, make sure you are doing it correctly and safely.