How to Hide Your IP Address on Android
Our Android devices hold a lot of information that is personal and confidential. This information ranges from our physical location to the activities we carry out on the internet. Seeing as this information is private, there is a need to ensure that third-party snooping eyes can’t get access to it.
IP addresses, in particular, can be manipulated to reveal this information. Apart from that, there are many other reasons why you may need to change your IP address. These include:
- To access blocked content
- To circumvent geo-restrictions e.g. on Netflix
- Access your bank account while outside the country
- To avoid being tracked and to stay anonymous.
- If you wish to achieve any of the above, here’s how to change your IP address.
The best option – VPN application
VPNs – Virtual Private Networks – offer an effective and quick solution to hiding your IP address. All you have to decide is to decide on a VPN provider, download the VPN and then install it. You can find the VPN app on the provider’s website or the Google Play Store.
Once installed, you can launch the app on your Android device. You may be prompted to sign up depending on the provider. You will also need to select a server location from the provided server list.
Some of the factors to consider when choosing a server location are the country the server is in, the ping, and the load (number of connected users) of that particular server.
Once installed on your Android device, the app will encrypt the traffic from your device. The traffic goes through a server located in the server location of your choice where it is decrypted before being passed to the intended destination. This traffic is then assigned to the server’s IP address rather than that of your device.
Your actual IP address remains masked behind the server’s IP for all your online activity. Using this approach, you can enjoy a great many benefits besides privacy, such as safe torrenting.
The next best alternative – Proxy Server
You can also hide your IP using a proxy server. Proxies, as the name suggests, act as ‘go-betweens’ between your Android device and the internet. All the data requests go through the proxy before being sent out to their original addresses on the web. The websites, therefore, only see the IP of the proxy server.
Proxies have the edge over VPNs because they keep a local cache of the pages you request. When you request a page you already requested, the server retrieves that page from the cache instead of forwarding that request. This makes proxies faster.
On the downside, most proxies are ineffective and insecure, especially the free ones. Overcrowding of the proxy servers also makes them very slow.
Last resort- Tor
You can also use Tor to hide your IP and enjoy the anonymous online experience. However, it is unreliable when it comes to hiding your IP completely. A while back, Tor was reported to have exposed users’ actual IP addresses. Sure, this was fixed, but who is to say it won’t happen again?
However, the main problem with Tor is that it’s quite slow. It passes your traffic through three different nodes located across the world, something that hugely affects speed.
The other method that you can opt for is simply changing your network, for example by connecting to a Wi-Fi network is you are using mobile data and v.v. However, this won’t be very helpful as there are not many added advantages.