Short on time? Here’s how to hide your IP address on any device in 2023:
- Step 1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it allows you to change your IP address with servers in 90+ countries, has a kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, and full leak protection, and provides other high-end security features.
- Step 2. Download and install the VPN. It typically only takes a few minutes for the installation process to complete.
- Step 3. Connect to your desired server. The VPN will assign you a new IP address that matches your new location, and your actual IP address will remain hidden from any third party.
The best and most reliable way to hide your IP address is with a VPN. A VPN is an app that has servers located in countries all over the world. When you connect to one of these servers, the VPN assigns you a new IP address that matches the server location — concealing your real IP address on any device you want. So, if you live in the US but connect to a server in the UK, your US IP address will be hidden behind your new UK IP address.
However, many VPNs don’t do a good job of hiding your IP address. They may leak your actual IP address even as you’re connected to a VPN server — and you won’t even be aware, which will leave your IP address vulnerable while you’re online. And even worse, some really bad VPNs don’t even assign you a new IP address.
I tested dozens of VPN services to see which ones are the best for keeping your IP address safely hidden on any device, and my top 3 choices were successful 100% of the time.
What Is an IP Address & Why Is It Good to Hide It?
An IP address is a unique string of numbers that identifies your device with your network while you’re online. Similar to a mailing address, an IP address is how your internet service provider (ISP) and websites are able to identify your location.
It’s good to keep your IP address hidden because it keeps your sensitive information (like the city you live in) secure from your ISP, the government, and malicious actors. Additionally, it is useful to hide your IP address so that your ISP can’t access your browsing history — your ISP will know you’re connected to a VPN but won’t be able to view your online traffic.
Other Key Benefits of Hiding Your IP Address
Besides privacy and security reasons, there are plenty of other benefits to using a VPN to hide your IP address. These include:
- Streaming — All streaming services like Netflix allow you to access their content libraries for the country where your IP address is located. If you travel abroad but want to access your home content library, all you need to do is connect to a VPN server in your home country to get an IP address from your home country.
- Preventing tracking — Websites can use your IP address to monitor your online activities and target you with annoying ads.
- Bypassing government firewalls — If you’re in a country that restricts access to the internet, including China, Iran, and Indonesia, the government can use your IP address to deny you access to certain websites. When you connect to a server in a different country and hide your IP address, it will allow you to visit any website you wish.
- Gaming — With a hidden IP address, threat actors can’t locate your network, making it much more difficult to target you with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack (when a hacker sends a flood of traffic to a network in order to disrupt its operating ability).
How to Change Your IP Address in 2023
How to Change Your IP Address on a Windows PC
- Go to the VPN’s website (I recommend ExpressVPN because it has the best Windows app).
- Download the Windows App to start the installation process.
- Open the installation file on your computer after it’s done downloading.
- After the installation process is complete, click Yes when asked to allow the VPN to make changes to your device.
- Wait for the VPN to install (this process should only take 1-2 minutes).
- Log into the VPN app, scroll through the server menu, and connect to your desired server.
- You’re all set! The VPN will assign you a new IP address that matches your new location while keeping your actual IP address hidden.
How to Change Your IP Address on a Mac
- Go to the VPN’s website (my favorite VPN for Mac is ExpressVPN).
- Download the Mac app onto your device.
- Open the installation file once the download is complete.
- When prompted, click Yes to allow the VPN to make changes to your device (and take the same action where prompted for any other steps).
- Wait for the installation to finish, this process should take just 1-2 minutes.
- Log into the VPN app and scroll down the list of server locations until you find the country you want to connect to.
How to Change Your IP Address on a Linux System
- Go to the website of the VPN that you want to use (I recommend ExpressVPN thanks to its easy-to-install and intuitive Linux app).
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Linux VPN under Products.
- Select your Linux operating system (like Ubuntu) and download the app to start the installation process.
- Use the command line to finish the installation, run the cd command, navigate to where the installation file was saved and install the VPN by running the command specific to your distribution.
- When asked to allow ExpressVPN to make changes to your device, click Yes.
- Run your VPN’s name and activate.
- Run the VPN to connect to the VPN server — your IP address is now successfully hidden!
How to Change Your IP Address on a Chromebook
- Open the Play Store app on your desktop taskbar or shelf and search for the VPN (ExpressVPN has a really good Android app for Chromebooks).
- Install the VPN (the process should only take a few minutes).
- Open the VPN app and connect to a server.
How to Change Your IP Address on an iPhone or iPad
- Go to the Apple store on your iOS device and choose and download a quality VPN (ExpressVPN is the best option for iPhones and iPads).
- You will receive a message saying the VPN would like to add VPN configurations — click Allow.
- Using your credentials, log into the VPN app.
- Scroll down to the server menu and connect to your favorite server.
How to Change Your IP Address on an Android Smartphone or Tablet
- Go to the Google Play store on your Android device and search and download a VPN (ExpressVPN has the best Android app).
- Tap Install to begin the download process, which should take around 1-2 minutes.
- Enter your credentials and log into the VPN app.
- Scroll down to a nearby server and tap Connect to Server.
Best VPNs for Changing Your IP Address in 2023
Quick summary of the best VPNs for hiding your IP address in 2023:
- 🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for hiding your IP address in 2023.
- 🥈2. Private Internet Access — Secure with highly customizable apps.
- 🥉3. Proton VPN — Excellent privacy features with a great free plan.
- 4. NordVPN — Reliable with great security & fast speeds on all servers.
- 5. Surfshark — Good for large families (with cheap plans).
🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Hiding Your IP Address in 2023
ExpressVPN has a robust suite of privacy and security features and a huge server network that all ensure your IP address remains safely hidden. I connected to 10 different servers in the US (my home country), and each time I received a new IP address, and the same held true when I connected to servers in 20 other countries.
Plus, I really like how ExpressvPN has its own DNS servers that route your DNS requests (or website traffic). This way, you won’t use your ISP’s DNS and your ISP won’t see your IP address while browsing the internet.
ExpressVPN also keeps your IP address hidden by providing full leak protection. I ran DNS and WebRTC leak tests on multiple ExpressVPN servers using ExpressVPN’s own leak test tool and was impressed to find 0 leaks — each time, the only IP address I saw was ExpressVPN’s and not my own. ExpressVPN also offers an IP address checker on its website where you can quickly confirm your IP address matches your server location.
Another sign of proof that ExpressVPN hides your IP address is that it works with all of the popular streaming platforms while you’re abroad. Suppose I travel to Mexico but connect to a US server. In that case, ExpressVPN will hide my Mexico IP address and assign me one from the US — allowing me to access the US content libraries for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, and let me log into my Hulu account (which is only available in the US).
ExpressVPN is great for torrenting because none of the files you download will be tied to your actual IP address. Also, it’s able to bypass government firewalls in countries like China, allowing you to surf the internet without any restrictions with an IP address from Hong Kong or Japan.
ExpressVPN comes with a host of features that also protect your IP address. For example, it has a strict no-logs policy that states it doesn’t log your IP address, and this has been confirmed via multiple independent audits. And its kill switch, which is available on Windows, Macs, and iOS (and it works with Android’s similar feature), instantly cuts you off from the internet if your VPN connection drops, preventing your IP address from being exposed.
You also get advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. The former means that no data, including your IP address, is saved to the hard drive and all of the data is erased each time the server is rebooted, while perfect forward secrecy changes your encryption key to prevent hackers from accessing past and future keys, which contain your IP address.
ExpressVPN starts at $6.67 / month, allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, and backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥈2. Private Internet Access — Great for Hiding Your IP Address With Highly Customizable Apps
Private Internet Access (PIA) securely hides your IP address 100% of the time — it has servers located in 80+ countries, offers its own DNS servers, and provides a flexible kill switch for all of the top operating systems, top-notch leak protection, and dedicated IP addresses.
I tested PIA by connecting to many different servers in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America, and I used PIA’s IP address checker to confirm I had a different IP address in every country. PIA also has DNS and IPv6 leak test tools on its website — I used these to make sure my IP address never leaked while connected to all of these servers.
I really like how PIA even offers an email leak test, which lets you know if your emails leak your IP address. While PIA doesn’t provide IPv6 leak protection (unlike ExpressVPN), I really like how it disables it by default so no IPv6 traffic travels through the server.
I’m a big fan of PIA’s kill switch, which has two different settings: VPN Kill Switch and Advanced Kill Switch. The VPN Kill Switch works just like a normal kill switch and is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS, but the Advanced version (available on desktop) only allows you to browse the internet if the VPN is connected — this way, you’ll never accidentally connect to the internet without using PIA.
For a small additional cost, you can get a dedicated IP address from the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Germany. A dedicated IP address is an IP address that is only assigned to you — and you can use this to access the web and to stream and torrent while your real IP address is hidden.
PIA’s no-logs policy makes sure that the VPN never stores your IP address (the policy has been confirmed via an independent audit and in US court documents), and I also like how PIA publishes regular transparency reports that prove the VPN never shares user data. It also comes with RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and open-source apps, which allow anyone to inspect the code for security issues.
Private Internet Access starts at $2.19 / month, allows 10 simultaneous connections, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. Proton VPN — High-End Privacy Features (+ Best Free Plan)
Proton VPN hides your IP address with 1,700+ servers in 60+ countries and comes with excellent security and privacy features — it includes cool extras like Secure Core servers, has its own DNS servers, and comes with a kill switch for all operating systems.
I always was assigned an IP address that matched the country I was connected to in my tests, but Proton VPN doesn’t have its own IP address checker or IP leak tests like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access. This isn’t a big deal, but I had to use a third-party website to conduct my tests (and I’m happy to report that Proton VPN had a perfect score on them).
If you want extra layers of protection to hide your IP address, you’ll really like Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers. They pass your data through 2 servers instead of 1 (including one server located in a privacy-friendly country) before leaving the Proton VPN network. This way, third parties will only be able to trace your connection back to the Secure Core server instead of your device — and I love how Proton VPN has exit servers in all 60+ countries.
Proton VPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited and verified, and it publishes quarterly transparency reports. It also comes with perfect forward secrecy and full disk encryption, which makes all of the data on the disk completely unreadable.
For those on a tight budget, Proton VPN is my top choice for a free VPN. The free plan has unlimited data (rare for a free VPN plan), allows you to access servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan, and allows 1 connection. But note that it doesn’t support streaming or torrenting, and doesn’t include Secure Core servers.
Upgrading to one of Proton VPN’s paid plans (which you can purchase for as low as $3.99 / month) gets you access to all servers, all of its features, and up to 10 connections. Proton VPN backs each of its plans with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. NordVPN — Reliable With Great Security Features & Fast Speeds
NordVPN provides access to multiple security features that keep your data safe online — like Threat Protection, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers on the market and which also gets rid of malicious ads, blocks connections to shady sites, and protects your device from malware-infected downloads. Even better, Threat Protection remains active even if you’re not connected to a VPN server, which is really convenient.
In addition, there’s Dark Web Monitor, which scans the dark web and alerts you if the login associated with your NordVPN account has been leaked. I’m happy to see this, as this is one of the only VPNs on the market that comes with a dark web monitoring feature.
On top of that, NordVPN also comes with other great security features — it has double VPN servers, which add an extra layer of encryption, and it also comes with obfuscation. Plus, the VPN has its own protocol called NordLynx, which is designed to provide strong security and really fast speeds.
NordVPN also has advanced security features, including full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy. Its strict no-logs policy has been independently audited, and it’s also been proven true when one of the data centers that housed one of its servers suffered a data breach and no user data was compromised.
The provider is also great for streaming and torrenting — it works with multiple popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and has a whopping 4,500+ P2P servers. It also provides really good speeds for streaming, torrenting, and other online activities on all of its servers.
I also think NordVPN is a good gaming VPN thanks to its Meshnet feature, which lets you link up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections — this helps you host virtual LAN parties securely.
What’s more, this VPN has tons of other perks — it has 5,000+ servers in 55+ countries, comes with split-tunneling, and has really intuitive apps for all major platforms.
NordVPN has budget-friendly plans that start at $2.99 / month. All purchases are backed by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. Surfshark — Great VPN for Large Families & Very Affordable
Surfshark allows unlimited connections, which means you can use it on as many devices as you want — so it’s a great option if everyone in your family needs a good VPN. I’m also happy to see this because very few VPNs support unlimited connections.
It comes with really good security features, including CleanWeb, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers out there. In addition, it provides obfuscation, double VPN connections for added security, and IP Rotator, which regularly changes your IP address to make it harder for someone to track your location. The provider also has advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy — however, it’s missing full leak protection (but I never experienced any leaks in my tests).
You also get pretty good streaming support, as the VPN can access top sites like Netflix, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer — though it can’t access Disney+. It also supports P2P downloads across all of its servers.
There are 3,200+ servers in 90+ countries, which makes it simple to use nearby servers for fast speeds. Speaking of speeds, the provider has fast connections on most servers, but I did experience significant slowdowns on very distant servers.
Surfshark is also one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, with plans starting at only $2.30 / month — so it’s also a good pick if you’re on a tight budget. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best VPNs for Hiding Your IP Address in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||Leak Protection||Verified No-Logs Policy||Operating Systems With a Kill Switch||Number of Connections||Number of Countries That Have a Server|
|🥇1. ExpressVPN||$6.67 / month||DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6||✅||iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Chrome, and Linux||5||90+|
|🥈2. Private Internet Access||$2.19 / month||DNS and WebRTC||✅||iOS, macOS, Windows Chrome, and Linux||10||80+|
|🥉3. Proton VPN||$3.99 / month||DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6||✅||macOS, Windows, Chrome, iOS, and Linux||10||60+|
|4. NordVPN||$2.99 / month||DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6||✅||iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux||6||55+|
|5. Surfshark||$2.30 / month||DNS||❌||iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux||Unlimited||90+|
How to Choose the Best VPN for Hiding Your IP Address
- Strong privacy and security. All of the VPNs on this list include industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch (disconnects you from the internet if your VPN connection fails to prevent your IP address from leaking onto the internet), a strict no-log policy (prevents the VPN from logging your IP address and online traffic), their own DNS servers, and strong IP leak protection.
- Excellent streaming capabilities. Top VPNs hide your IP so that you can access popular streaming sites from anywhere. The VPNs that I recommend work with most of the top streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more. My top pick, ExpressVPN, claims to access 65+ streaming services.
- Server network. Good VPNs have large server networks with servers located in countries all around the world, allowing users to get an IP address from practically anywhere. All of the VPNs on this list have servers in at least 60+ countries (my top pick, ExpressVPN, has servers in 90+ countries).
- Fast speeds. All of the VPNs I recommend maintain fast speeds across all servers while hiding your IP address. In my tests, ExpressVPN was the fastest VPN.
- Good value. All of the VPNs here allow multiple simultaneous connections so you can hide your IP address on many different devices (ExpressVPN allows 5 connections and both Private Internet Access and Proton VPN allow 10 connections), have affordable plans, and back each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Other Ways to Hide Your IP Address
A VPN is the best method to hide your IP address, but there are other alternative options.
You can hide your IP address by connecting to a proxy server, which changes your IP address to align with your new location — but it doesn’t have encryption.
The Tor browser routes your online traffic through 3 different servers (called nodes), which adds extra encryption layers and changes your IP address. However, it’s very slow due to all of the heavy layers of encryption and your ISP can see when you’re accessing the browser.
You can also log into a Wi-Fi network in a public area, like an airport, hospital, or coffee shop in order to hide your IP address. However, Wi-Fi networks aren’t very secure and could be vulnerable to cyberattacks.
How to Prevent IP Address Leaks
A good way to prevent IP address leaks is by purchasing and downloading a top VPN that has full leak protection (DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6). In order to verify if the VPN you’re using has full leak protection, it’s a good idea to conduct DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak tests while connected to different servers on your device.
You also can prevent your IP address from getting leaked by downloading a VPN that has a kill switch. With this feature, you will automatically be disconnected from the internet if you lose connection to the VPN, keeping your IP address protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an IP address reveal my identity?
No, your IP address only reveals your location (but just your city and not your actual street address). That being said, if you still want to hide your IP address and prevent third parties from identifying your location, I recommend purchasing a VPN — when you connect to a VPN server, it assigns you an IP address (while masking your real one) that matches your new location.
My favorite VPN for hiding your IP address is ExpressVPN because it has servers in 90+ countries, comes with robust security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and full IP leak protection, routes your DNS requests through its own DNS servers, and has a strict (and independently audited) no-logs policy that doesn’t log your IP address.
Can I hide my IP address without a VPN?
Yes, using proxy servers, the Tor network, and public Wi-Fi will work, but these methods come with many downsides.
For example, proxy servers will change your IP address but they don’t have encryption, and the Tor browser sends your traffic through multiple servers called “nodes” to hide your IP address, but it really slows down your connection speeds. And using public Wi-FI also isn’t secure and is often targeted for cyberattacks.
I instead recommend buying an premium VPN like the ones on this list, which hide your IP address 100% of the time, provide excellent security features, and come with a money-back guarantee so you can test the service risk-free.
Can I hide my IP address to access Netflix?
Yes. If you are in traveling to another country, you can use a VPN to connect to a server in your home country. This will give you an IP address in your home country and allow you to access the content library in your home country.
My favorite VPN for hiding my IP address to access Netflix is ExpressVPN — it maintains the fastest streaming speeds in the industry, has servers in 90+ countries, and works with 65+ other streaming apps.
Is it legal to hide my IP address with a VPN?
Yes, but there are some countries that ban the use of VPNs. I strongly suggest that you check your country’s local laws regarding the use of VPNs to make sure you’re not violating any laws. Also, it’s still against the law in all countries to hide your IP address and use your new one to engage in illegal activities.
The best VPN for hiding your IP address to bypass government restrictions in countries like China is ExpressVPN, which has fast and secure obfuscated servers that allow you to access a free and open internet from anywhere.