How to Hide the Geographic Location of Your IP Address

By Avery Martin

Your IP address acts like a numbering system that provides the approximate physical location of your computer and is provided to you by your Internet Service Provider. An ISP is the only entity that can identify the physical address of an IP assigned to a customer. However, this requires law enforcement to acquire a subpoena for that information. Websites that use IP-tracking and Geolocation can identify the general location of your IP address, but it is always just an approximation and often provides false-positives. To hide your real IP address on the Internet, you can use a Proxy, VPN or a combination of both.

VPN Software

Step 1

Navigate to a VPN provider such as TunnelBear, NetShade or HotSpot Shield (see links in Resources). Register for an account and download the VPN client to your computer. HotSpot Shield provides free ad-based access and TunnelBear provides 500MB of free access per month.

Step 2

Launch the VPN client on your computer. TunnelBear and NetShade require you to provide a username and password provided during registration. The free ad-based version of HotSpot Shield does not require registration.

Select a location and set your preferences when the VPN client launches. Click the "Preferences" tab if using HotSpot Shield and select the option to launch automatically when connected to the Internet. TunnelBear and NetShade provide an option to choose from various VPN servers. NetShade also provides the option of configuring a Proxy for use with the VPN.

Proxy Options

Step 1

Navigate to an online proxy server such as Ninja Proxy or Proxify. Enter a website address you wish to visit into the web address bar on the website and click "Submit" or a similar button. Choose advanced options such as "Remove All Scripts" to hide computer operating system information from sites that use Java. Some proxies also allow you to remove ads and return text results only for better security and faster browsing.

Step 2

Download and install a Proxy service application such as Freegate or Proxify (see links in Resources). Launch the application after registering and purchasing a subscription, if required. Set your options, using the Options menu to Encode URLs, Disallow Cookies, Disable JavaScript and other advanced options. Select your desired proxy server from a list of options, and click "Connect" or similar button to connect to the Internet.

Click the "Start" button and type "Internet Explorer" then select "Internet Explorer" from the list of results in Windows 7. Click the "Tools" button, "Internet Options" and "Connections" tab. Select "LAN Settings" and check the option to "Use a Proxy Server for Your LAN." Enter the proxy provider's address in the Address box, type in the "Port" number and set any advanced options required of your proxy provider. Click "OK."