How to Hide a Computer ID
By Brandy Burgess
Hiding a computer's ID, commonly referred to as an IP address, is primarily done to conceal your identify and location. While some methods rely on completely hiding all or part of the IP address, others simply change the IP address to a new one via a free or fee-based proxy server. Be aware that some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit the number of times a new IP address can be issued. Use the following steps to hide a computer's ID in several different operating systems.
Unplug your modem and router (if you have one) from the electrical outlet. Remove all cables that exist between the computer, modem and router. Plug back in the modem, router and all the cables to their proper places.
Navigate to the What Is My IP website to determine your current IP address. Write down this number to compare it with your new IP address later.
Click the "Start" button on your desktop, then select "Run." In the "Run" box, enter the letters "cmd" and select the "OK" button. When the command box appears, enter "ipconfig /release" and press the "Enter" key. Note that there is a space before the slash.
Click the "Start" button on your desktop, then "Connect To" and finally "Show All Connections." Right-click "Local Area Connection" and select "Properties" from the drop-down menu. Under the "General" tab, highlight "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click properties.
In the "IP address" box, enter the numbers "111 . 111 . 111 . 111." In the "Subnet mask" box, enter the numbers "255 . 0 . 0 . 0." Click the "OK" button and close all boxes. Wait 30 seconds to 45 seconds before moving on to Step 6.
Repeat Step 4 to return to the "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" box. Under the "General" tab, select the option titled "Obtain an IP address automatically" as well as the option titled "Obtain DNS server address automatically." Click "OK" and close all boxes. Wait at least 60 seconds before moving on to Step 7.
Navigate to the What Is My IP website to confirm that your IP address has been changed. Delete all cookies and temporary files to prevent online marketers from following you while online.
Windows 7 and Vista
Turn both the modem and router off and disconnect all cables that link the computer with the modem and router. Return all cables to their proper places and restart the computer, modem and router. Confirm that your Internet connection is back by surfing to several websites.
Navigate to the What Is My IP website and write down your current IP address to compare with your new one later. Click "Start" and enter "cmd" into the white search box, then hit the "Enter" key. When the command prompt appears, enter "ipconfig /release" and hit the "Enter" key. There is a space before the slash.
Turn off the modem and wait 45 seconds before turning it back on. Allow all the lights to return to normal before moving to the next step. Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Network and Internet," then "Network and Sharing Center." Under the "Tasks" section on the left side, select the link titled "Manage network connections."
Right-click on the "Local Area Connection" option and select "Disable" from the drop-down menu. Wait 15 seconds, then right-click the "Local Area Connection" again and select "Enable." Wait 60 seconds before moving on to Step 5.
Navigate to the What Is My IP website to compare your old IP address with your new one. Delete all cookies and temporary files before attempting to surf online.
Mac OS X
Open the Firefox browser on your desktop. Click "Firefox" from the menu bar and select "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. Under the "Advanced" tab, select the "Network" tab. To the right of the text that says "Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet," click on the "Settings..." button.
Select the option titled "Manual proxy configuration." Under this section, enter "localhost, 127 . 0 . 0 . 1" in the white space next to "No Proxy for:"; click "OK" to close this box.
Confirm the changes by navigating to the What Is My IP website. Remember to delete all cookies and temporary files before surfing the Internet.
Based in northern New York, Brandy Burgess has been writing on pets, technical documentation and health resources since 2007. She also writes on personal development for YourFreelanceWritingCareer.com. Burgess' work also has appeared on various online publications, including eHow.com. Burgess holds a Bachelor of Arts in computer information systems from DeVry University and her certified nurses aid certification.