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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

What Is My IP Address? (& How To Hide It)

View your public IPv4 and IPv6 address, local IP address, internet service provider, and more.

It looks like you’re connected to a VPN or proxy server. Your original IP address is hidden.

Your data is exposed. Connect to a VPN to hide your public IP address.

Your IP Address

IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is a protocol used for communicating data across networks. It gives each device a unique identification number called an IP address. This comprises up to 12 digits in 4 blocks, each separated by a period. Learn more about IPv4 Addresses.

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IPv6

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is an updated internet communication protocol version that uses longer addresses, allowing for a greater number of devices to connect to the internet. This is double the length of IPv4 addresses, with up to 32 digits in 8 blocks separated by colons. Learn more about IPv6 Addresses.

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Country:
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State/Region:
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City:
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Local IP Address

Your router assigns IP addresses to devices on a local network, enabling communication between devices such as a smartphone or a printer connected to a home or office network. This IP address differs from the one external devices and websites use to communicate with your device. Learn more about local IP addresses.

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ISP
An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company that provides Internet connectivity services. Your ISP assigns your router’s IP address.
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Browser
The web browser that you’re currently using. This information is included alongside your IP address whenever you access anything online.
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Spam list

IP addresses that have been flagged by spam list databases and blocked from sending emails due to suspicious or malicious activities, such as spamming unsolicited emails or distributing malware. Learn more about IP spam lists

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    This tool does not store any personal information, such as your IP address or location. We also do not share any information with third parties.

    The Best VPNs for Hiding Your IP Address in 2024

    A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an application that hides your original IP address and replaces it with a virtual IP address — meaning websites and other parties can’t trace your online activity. The best VPNs allow you to easily hide your original IP and choose from thousands of virtual IP addresses in different locations.

    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose CyberGhost VPN
    • 11690 servers in 100 locations
    • 7 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Advanced security features
    • Optimized streaming servers
    • Customizable VPN settings
    • Dedicated IP addresses
    Visit CyberGhost
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
    • 3000 servers in 105 locations
    • 8 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Advanced security features
    • Fast & reliable connections
    • Audited no-logs policy
    • Full leak protection
    Visit ExpressVPN
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose Private Internet Access
    • 29650 servers in 91 locations
    • Unlimited devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Strong encryption
    • User-friendly apps
    • Malicious site protection
    • Streaming compatibility
    Visit PIA
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose Surfshark
    • 3200 servers in 100 locations
    • Unlimited devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Wide range of servers
    • Works with streaming sites
    • Built-in ad blocker
    • Optional antivirus protection
    Visit Surfshark
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose PrivateVPN
    • 200 servers in 63 locations
    • 10 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Dedicated streaming servers
    • DNS & IPv6 leak protection
    • Easy-to-use apps
    • Verified no-logs policy
    Visit PrivateVPN
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose Hotspot Shield
    • 1800 servers in 80 locations
    • 10 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Robust security features
    • Advanced proprietary protocol
    • Works with streaming sites
    • Fast speeds
    Visit Hotspot Shield
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose Proton VPN
    • 5042 servers in 91 locations
    • 10 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Split tunneling
    • Full leak protection
    • Malicious site blocker
    • Strong encryption
    Visit Proton VPN
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose IPVanish VPN
    • 2400 servers in 90 locations
    • Unlimited devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • Traffic encryption
    • Torrenting on all servers
    • Obfuscation
    • SOCKS5 proxy servers
    Visit IPVanish VPN
    Most Popular VPN
    70% of our readers choose NordVPN
    • 6376 servers in 111 locations
    • 10 devices per license
    • Supports: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers
    • High-level encryption
    • Specialist servers
    • Malware & web protection
    • Automatic kill switch
    Visit NordVPN

    Why Should You Hide Your IP Address?

    Websites and other online services are constantly tracking our online activities. Everything we do online is associated with our IP address, which compromises our online privacy. This leads to issues like targeted advertising and unwanted surveillance.

    You can avoid these problems by hiding your IP address with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This switches your original IP address with one from a remote server with a few clicks.
    This is why I recommend hiding your IP address with a VPN:

    • Protect your online privacy. By hiding your IP address, you can keep your online activities private and prevent third-party entities from tracking your online behavior. It’s a great way to avoid targeted advertising.
    • Prevent ISP tracking. Internet service providers (ISPs) can track your online activity by monitoring your IP address. When you use a VPN, your browsing traffic is encrypted, which prevents your ISP from tracking what you do online.
    • Stop ISP throttling. Some ISPs may throttle or slow down your internet speed based on your online activities. This is pretty common if you torrent or use the Tor browser, even if you’re not doing anything illegal. As a VPN will make it much harder for ISPs to track your online activity, it will be less likely for your ISP to throttle your internet speeds.
    • Bypass internet restrictions. Governments and organizations may restrict certain websites or services, limiting your access. By hiding your IP address, you can bypass these restrictions and access the content you need./li>
    • Stay safe from hackers. A visible IP address could make you vulnerable to hacking, DDoS attacks, and malware. By hiding your IP address, you can protect yourself from such threats.

    How to Hide Your IP Address (Step-By-Step Guide)

    1. Choose a reputable VPN

    Research and select a reliable VPN service provider. Look for a provider that offers military-grade encryption, a verified no-logs policy, and a large number of servers in different locations. If you’re unsure where to start, I recommend ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, or Private Internet Access

    2. Install and set up the app

    Download and install the VPN software on your devices. Follow the setup instructions provided by the VPN provider. I recommend setting your app to automatically launch and connect to a server when you turn your device on to make sure you’re always protected.

    3. Connect to a VPN server

    Once the VPN software is installed and configured, select a server location and click the Connect button. Your traffic will be routed through that server, so your original IP address will be replaced with the server’s IP.

    IPv4, IPv6, and Local IP Addresses Explained

    IP addresses have a common purpose — they enable devices to communicate and share information with each other via the internet.

    Here’s how each IP address differs:

    IPv4

    An IPv4 address is a unique ID assigned to devices connected to a network that uses the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) standard. It's made up of four numbers separated by dots, with each number ranging from 0 to 255. Each IPv4 address is 32 bits, or 4 bytes, long.

    Here’s an example of an IPv4 address: 172.66.43.25

    The idea behind an IPv4 address is to give a specific identification to every device connected to a network, which enables them to interact with other internet-connected devices.

    The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocates IPv4 addresses to regional internet registries, which then distribute the addresses to Internet service providers (ISPs). ISPs are responsible for assigning IPv4 addresses to their customers' devices. This is how our IP checker tool knows which ISP you’re using.

    One limitation of IPv4 addresses is that they're a limited resource, with just over 4.29 billion unique combinations. Because of this, a newer version of Internet Protocol (IPv6) was introduced that provides a much larger address space. However, IPv4 remains the most commonly used protocol.

    IPv6

    Like IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses are assigned to devices on a network that uses the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard. It’s a newer version of IPv4 that was introduced in the 1990s to solve the limitations of the older protocol.

    IPv6 addresses consist of 128 bits expressed in hexadecimal notation, which is divided into 8 sets of 4 hexadecimal digits. Each set is separated by colons.

    Here’s an example of an IPv6 address: 2042:0ef8:85a3:0000:0000:3d11:5ad7:5311. This can also be shortened to 2042:0ef8:85a3::3d11:5ad7:5311.

    An IPv6 address does the same thing as an IPv4 address. However, IPv6 provides significantly more address space than IPv4, with 2^128 (340 undecillion) possible combinations. This allows for a virtually unlimited number of devices to be connected to the internet.

    Similar to IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses are assigned by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to regional Internet registries, which then allocate them to Internet service providers (ISPs). Like IPv4, devices connected to the internet receive an IPv6 address from their ISP.

    That said, it’s not as widely used as IPv4. Many older devices and networks aren’t compatible with IPv6, and transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 can be complex and costly. But, given that we’re all using more internet-connected devices than ever before, new transition and translation methods are being developed all the time.

    Local IP Addresses

    A local IP address, also known as a private IP address, is a numerical label assigned to devices on a local network, such as a home or office network.
    Unlike public IP addresses, which are assigned by Internet service providers and are unique across the entire Internet, local IP addresses are assigned by the network administrator and are unique within the local network.

    Local IP addresses are used to identify and communicate with devices on the local network, allowing them to share resources and access the internet. They’re typically assigned using one of 3 ranges of IP addresses reserved for private networks: 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255, 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255, and 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255.

    When a device on a local network needs to communicate with a device on a different network, it uses the public IPv4 or IPv6 address of the external network's router or gateway. This acts as a middleman between the local network and the internet, meaning that devices on the local network can access the internet without needing a unique public IP address.

    How to Find Your Device’s IP Address

    Finding your public or local (private) IP address is easy. There are several methods depending on the device you want to check. Here are some quick guides for the most popular devices and operating systems:

    How to find your router’s public IP address:
    1. On any device, go to a website that displays your IP address, such as https://www.vpnmentor.com/tools/ipinfo/.
    2. Your IP address will be displayed on the webpage. Depending on your ISP, you may either see an IPv4 or IPv6 address.
    How to find your Windows PC’s local IP address:
    1. Click Start and type "cmd" in the search bar.
    2. Press Enter.
    3. In the Command Prompt window, type "ipconfig" and press Enter.
    4. Look for the IP address listed under "Ethernet adapter" or "Wireless LAN adapter" depending on your internet connection setup.
    How to find your Mac’s local IP Address:
    1. Open Terminal (press Command + Space and type “Terminal”).
    2. In Terminal, type “ipconfig getifaddr en0” (don’t include the quotation marks).
    3. Press enter.
    4. Your local IP address will appear below.
    How to find your iOS device’s local IP address:
    1. Go to the Settings app.
    2. Select Wi-Fi.
    3. Tap the "i" icon next to the name of your network.
    4. Both your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses will be listed under "IPV4 ADDRESS” and “IPV6 ADDRESS”.
    How to find your Android device’s local IP address:
    1. Go to Settings.
    2. Select Wi-Fi.
    3. Tap and hold on the name of your network.
    4. Select Manage network settings.
    5. Your IP address will be listed under "IP address".
    How to find your Linux PC’s local IP address:
    1. Open the Terminal application.
    2. Type "ifconfig" and press Enter.
    3. Your local IP address will be listed next to "inet".

    What Your IP Address Can Reveal About You

    Your IP address won’t immediately reveal your home address, full name, or any other sensitive information. However, your IP address can provide a general idea of your geographic location. With IP lookup tools, someone can find your country, city, ZIP code, coordinates, and time zone.

    Websites, streaming platforms, and other online services can also track your activity with your IP address. This includes the pages you visit, the duration of your visit, and the search queries you make. They then use this information to customize their content, update their algorithms, and target advertising toward you on other websites.

    Your IP address also reveals your internet service provider (ISP). This can be used for legitimate purposes — you can use this information to report an IP address if it’s associated with someone launching cyber attacks or harassing you online. However, someone else could use this to send false reports against you, which could lead to your IP being blocklisted. They could also use this information in combination with other data to commit fraud.

    That said, the only way someone could identify you solely by your IP address is if law enforcement requests your details from your ISP. Depending on the jurisdiction, ISPs will have to cooperate in accordance with the law and provide any information they have about an individual or organization using a specific IP address. This information isn’t publicly available, though, so you don’t have to worry about someone finding it from a free IP lookup tool.

    It's important to be aware of what your IP address can reveal about you and take steps to protect your privacy online. I recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your IP address and encrypt your online activity.

    What Is a Spam-Listed IP Address?

    Email spam list services block suspicious IP addresses to prevent further harm or nuisance. For instance, if an IP address appears to be the source of spam emails or other malicious activities, it’ll be flagged and listed on a spam database.

    Once an IP address is added to one of these databases, email servers block emails originating from that IP address. So, if your IP address is added to a spam list, you’ll find you can’t email like usual — your emails will likely be stopped from sending or end up in the recipient’s junk folder.

    To prevent your IP address from being listed as spam, make sure you follow best practices for email marketing and avoid sending unsolicited emails. I also recommend running regular antivirus scans to protect against malware that could hijack your system to send spam or malware-infected emails.

    You can remove your IP address from a spam list. First, you need to determine which of these databases contains your IP address. Our tool will help you find which services have logged your IP address. From here, you’ll need to contact spam database service to appeal the listing.

    In most cases, the process involves submitting a request or a form through the service’s website or by contacting its support team via email. You may be required to provide some information, such as your IP address, contact details, and a brief explanation of why you think they logged your IP address. You should also provide evidence that you’ve resolved the problem, such as showing you’ve removed a virus from your system or that you’re not actively sending spam emails.

    NOTE: If you’re using a VPN, the server’s IP address may appear on a spam list. Sometimes, VPN IP addresses get reported as they can be used for malicious purposes, including launching mass spam email campaigns. Don’t worry — if you come across a blocked server that affects your ability to send email from your native email client, just switch to another one to get a new IP address.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is an IP address?

    An IP address is a unique identifier assigned by your ISP to each device connected to your network. Think of it as a home address but for your digital devices. IP addresses enable devices to communicate with each other and transmit data over the internet.

    IP addresses come in two main versions: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 addresses are composed of four sets of numbers, separated by periods, with each group ranging from 0 to 255 (e.g., 192.168.0.1). IPv6 addresses, on the other hand, are longer and use hexadecimal numbers, allowing for a much larger number of unique addresses.

    What is the definition of IP (Internet Protocol)?

    Internet Protocol (IP) is a fundamental protocol used to enable communication between different devices connected to the Internet. It provides a set of rules that govern the transmission of data between devices, including computers, smartphones, servers, and routers.

    In simple terms, IP acts as the address system of the internet. It assigns a unique numerical label to each device connected to a network, which is called an IP address. It’s like a ZIP code — it tells everything on the Internet where it needs to send data if it wants to talk to you.

    What is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses?

    The main difference between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses is their size and format. IPv4 addresses are smaller, with 4 numbers separated by periods, while IPv6 addresses are longer and use numbers and letters. IPv6 has more unique addresses so it can handle more devices. IPv4 can only handle about 4 billion while IPv6 can handle 340 trillion trillion trillion.

    There are also some differences in how IPv4 and IPv6 handle network traffic, such as packet size, header format, and address autoconfiguration. However, these differences are pretty minute if you’re an end user. You don’t need to know the specifics unless you’re a network administrator or developer.

    What are the differences between a static and dynamic IP address?

    The main difference between a static and dynamic IP address is that a static IP address remains the same, while a dynamic IP address changes each time a device connects to the internet.

    Static IP addresses are often used by servers, businesses, and other devices that require a permanent IP address. Dynamic IP addresses are more commonly used for home internet connections, as they are assigned automatically by the internet service provider.

    How can I find my IP address?

    There are several ways to discover your IP address, depending on your device and operating system.

    One of the easiest ways is to use an IP address detection tool like the one on this page.

    Another way is to open the command prompt on a Windows computer or terminal on a Mac and type "ipconfig" or "ifconfig," respectively. On a smartphone, you can find your IP address in the network settings.

    What information can be gathered from my IP address?

    Your IP address can reveal a few pieces of information about you, including your general location, your internet service provider, and potentially other information about your device.

    Whenever you do anything online, your activity and behavior are logged against your IP address. But, unless someone requests your information directly from your ISP, your IP address isn’t enough to personally identify you.

    Can I change my IP address?

    Yes, there are several ways to change your IP address, but using a virtual private network (VPN) is the easiest method.

    A VPN works by routing your internet traffic through a private server located in a different geographic location, which masks your IP address and replaces it with the IP address of the VPN server. This means you can appear as if you’re in a different country or region, which is good for bypassing internet restrictions.

    You’ll also get a ton of other benefits from a VPN. It encrypts your data with military-grade algorithms, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to snoop on your data, making them ideal for unsecured public WiFi networks. Plus, any reputable VPN will have a verified no-logs policy, so your sensitive information and online activity are private.

    How can I hide my IP address?

    There are several methods for hiding your IP address, including using a virtual private network (VPN), the Tor browser, or a proxy server.

    Of these, my top recommendation is a VPN. A VPN routes your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, which hides your IP address from the websites you visit.

    While the Tor network replaces your IP address with a new one from a proxy server (or “node”), it doesn’t encrypt your traffic. Anyone can see what you do, and entry and exit nodes can see your identity. On top of that, your ISP can see you’re going to the dark web, and will likely throttle your speeds in response.

    Proxy servers also won’t encrypt your data. While they’re a popular VPN alternative, particularly for streaming services, they’re not all that useful. Our expert researchers have found that most of their IP addresses are blocked by services that use VPN and proxy detection tools.

    How do VPNs hide my IP address?

    VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and route it through a remote server, which makes it appear as if your internet connection is coming from that server instead of your device. This masks your IP address and makes it more difficult for prying eyes to track your online activity.

    In addition, reputable VPNs will use leak prevention technology to stop websites and other services from discovering your IP address. Some Internet protocols have security flaws that leak your IP address, but a good VPN will have built-in (and automatic) methods to stop this from happening.

    Are there any risks to hiding my IP address?

    That depends. In most countries, there’s no risk involved in hiding your IP address and using a VPN as long as you’re not doing so to cover up illegal activities such as online harassment, cybercrime, and copyright infringement.

    It’s worth noting that your ISP may throttle your speeds if it discovers you’re using the Tor network. Any use of the dark web is widely viewed with suspicion, even when you’re not doing anything illegal.

    On another note, some tools promising to hide your IP address can often contain malware. We’ve seen this a lot with some free VPNs in the past. Every one of our top VPNs is thoroughly vetted by our experts to make sure it’s safe to use. Before you download anything, thoroughly check expert and user reviews.

    What are the legal implications of hiding my IP address?

    It’s legal to hide your IP address and use a VPN in most countries, and many people do it to protect their privacy and security. That said, using a VPN or other methods to hide your IP address doesn’t give you a license to engage in illegal activities online.

    VPNs and other IP obfuscation methods aren’t legal in every country, though. They’re illegal in countries like China and the UAE. Other countries, like Russia, heavily regulate the use of VPNs. Before you download a VPN or connect to a proxy server or the dark web, check local regulations to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.