While an IP address is necessary for your device to communicate on the network, it does not have to be a security liability. Unfortunately, an exposed identity provides hackers with an easy way to track you online, compromising network privacy and sensitive data.
But there is a way you can avoid this unauthorized monitoring, and that is by hiding your IP address on your iPhone or any other mobile device. In this blog, we shall cover all you need to know to hide your network identity and protect your online privacy from vicious intruders!
What is an IP address?
An internet protocol address, called an IP address, is a unique number series assigned to a specific device on the network. You can think of it as your device’s digital address where servers and other systems can direct their data and requests if they wish to communicate.
Why do you need to hide your IP address?
While the IP address can identify a network device, like an iPhone, it can also easily track its activity. Hackers, service providers, and governments can keep tabs on IP addresses to monitor and regulate information. Without encryption, your online identity and associated traffic are exposed to malicious attacks (DDoS or spoofing), threatening your data and network security.
And like any other device, your iPhone can also be breached using its associated address resulting in your sensitive data getting compromised and sold to the highest bidder! And since that is different from what we want, hiding your IP to protect your iPhone and the information within becomes crucial.
Learn to Hide Your IP Address on iPhone – Step-by-step
To hide it, there are both in-built options and even some external methods available. Here we shall discuss five different ways you can protect your network identity:
1. Using Safari App
One of the most common ways to hide it is to use the Safari web browser on your iPhone. Note that if you are using iOS 15 or above, the feature is already enabled, though it never hurts to be sure:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select the Safari app in the settings.
- Scroll down to select Hide my IP address.
- There will be two options available: [Trackers and Websites] and [Trackers Only].
Trackers and Websites: If you enable this option, it will keep both websites and advertising trackers from following your activity around the Internet.
Trackers Only: Whereas, this option will keep only advertising trackers at bay.
- Select whatever option you prefer.
- Your iPhone’s IP address is now hidden!
2. Using iCloud’s Private Relay
The Safari app is one of many ways malicious sources can track your IP address. For better network security across all iOS apps, you can use your iCloud Account to hide your IP address. This can be easily managed by enabling the iCloud’s Private Relay:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select your Apple ID.
- Select iCloud.
- Select Private Relay.
- Toggle the button against Private Relay to turn it on (so that it is green!).
- You can then set a time zone/ location by tapping IP Address Location.
3. Using proxy servers
If, for some reason, you do not wish to use in-built tools, you can even use external proxy servers to hide your iPhone’s IP address. An anonymous proxy service lets you choose a specific region or country and masks your IP location.
Your system typically communicates directly with the Internet, but with a proxy server in between, the service passes your data and communicates with the Internet on your behalf. However, a proxy is not a very reliable way to hide your network identity.
For one, a proxy service does not offer any data encryption feature, unlike a VPN service, which means your information will be exposed. Proxy servers can also be relatively slow as compared to other methods not to mention that they are also notorious for being unsafe.
4. Using a secure VPN
A Virtual private network) or commonly called VPN is the most accessible, secure, and reliable way to hide your iPhone’s IP address. A VPN service encrypts traffic and assigns a connection that is secure between a device and the network. It strengthens your network’s security infrastructure and helps reduce any chances of a malicious interception or breach.
If you want to hide your IP address try PureVPN.
Besides advanced encryption, a VPN can hide your IP address so you can browse around anonymously without fear. Here is how you can use a VPN to mask your iPhone’s IP:
- Get yourself a subscription to a reliable VPN.
- Download the VPN application.
- Log into the VPN app.
- Select a distant server/location to connect with.
- You will get an IP address from any region you want to connect to.
- Your actual IP address is now private/hidden!
5. Using a Tor Browser
The Tor browser, with another name, Onion router, can hide your iPhone’s IP address. It is a web browser that permits you to surf anonymously, and the great thing is that it supports encryption, unlike a proxy server.
You can install the said browser by visiting the Onion browser’s download page on your iTunes App store. After successfully launching the browser, you can browse freely without having your online activity traced back to you.
However, Tor is not 100% secure. Experts have found that the browser can be vulnerable at entry and exit points due to a lack of encryption specifically at these nodes. It can expose your identity to hackers and cybercriminals, who regularly visit the Tor browser to carry out malicious deeds.
And that is pretty much all the primary ways to hide your IP address on an iPhone without much hassle. While using built-in features can help you achieve online privacy, using a reliable VPN service is highly recommended by security experts.
That is because a VPN can not only mask your IP, but it can also help improve your network security by encrypting your channels and with features like DNS leak protection.
Therefore, instead of using a Tor browser or an unsecured proxy server, investing in a reliable VPN service is better.