How to hide your IP-address on Mac

How to hide your IP-address on Mac

We use Internet every day, without even thinking how it works. The data gets to our computers due to the fact that they, like any device for accessing the Internet, are assigned a unique IP address. It is the IP that is responsible for the availability of a particular Internet resource in your region, and providers, the state and hackers can easily track your location and all actions on the network, just know the address.

My name is Nicolas Cuts, I am an employee of Switcherry VPN. Today you will learn what an IP address is, how to hide it on a Mac, and what advantages it gives.

Read our review “How to install and configure VPN on iPhone and iPad“.

What IP is

IP (Internet Protocol Address) is a unique identifier or, more simply, an address assigned to a device to access the network. You watch videos on YouTube and surf Twitter thanks to the fact that the server knows where to send traffic. This is comparable to an exchange of letters or a phone call.

The IP address is provided by a provider that knows your home address and sees everything you do on the Internet. You are assured that this is confidential, but even Facebook leaks the personal information of hundreds of millions of users, so you should not believe in the reliability of the provider’s systems.

Read more about VPN here.

VPN
VPN

Why should anyone hide the IP on Mac

In almost every state with a developed Internet, the government seeks to monitor users in order to prevent crime, terrorism, and sometimes dissent. Few people want to put up with such interference in their personal lives, because often the above reasons only justify surveillance.

In times of total control, one way to remain anonymous is to hide or substitute an IP. This is useful both for privacy and in a number of other cases. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

GEO blockings

Often regional blocks are subject to streaming, especially for services: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, etc. Some of their content is blocked in a number of countries, and sometimes the service is not available at all in a certain region. Changing your IP will help you get access to all your content and even save on your subscription.

Read our review “How to watch HBO via VPN“.

Personal data security

Providers keep logs (activity logs) and store them from several days to several months. This data can be transferred to law enforcement agencies, sold to intruders, or stolen by hackers. To hide the IP means to become invisible to the provider and everyone else.

Another common method of data theft is infection with a virus of public Wi — Fi. VPN services will help protect passwords, documents and bank card numbers from the criminal.

Torrents

It is legal to use torrent download programs, and it is illegal to download copyrighted content. Each country has different legislation in this regard:

  • Japan: a fine of up to $ 100,000 or a prison term of up to 10 years;
  • Germany: a fine of 100-1000€ for 1 piece of content;
  • USA: warning, followed by fines of thousands of dollars;
  • Eastern Europe: In most countries, torrent sites are blocked, but there are no severe penalties for downloading and distributing them.

Although there is a lot of legal content on torrent trackers, providers prefer to block the entire site. By changing the IP address, you will be able to access them and download torrents safely. Remember that for a couple of songs or a movie from a decade ago, you are unlikely to be charged, but if you distribute dozens of pirated movies, TV series, music and software, you risk getting caught. Law enforcement agencies will find a way to get to you, so it is recommended to use torrents exclusively for sharing content that is not protected by copyright.

torrent blocking
Torrent blocking

Bypassing the local network blocking

Iran, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, China, Turkey — these countries have the strictest censorship on the Internet. Some managed to block foreign media, while others went further and blocked a number of popular services: Facebook, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, etc. The leader in blocking has become China, where all Facebook and Google services are not available, and the Internet space is closely monitored.

If you live in one of these countries or are going there on a trip, then changing your IP will help you not lose access to the necessary Internet resources.

Protection against intrusive advertising

Once you ask about cat food, they start advertising it on every website. Some VPN services have built-in ad blockers, but TOR or proxies do not have this feature.

How to hide IP on Mac

There are many ways to hide your IP on a Mac, but we will analyze in detail the 3 most common ones, highlight the pros and cons, and determine which one is the best.

Proxy

How it works

The proxy acts as an intermediary between the Internet and the device: first, the data is sent to the proxy server, and then to your computer. The proxy has its own IP, which helps hide your IP from the provider.

The main problem with proxy serers is the lack of encryption in 9 out of 10 cases. Most of the proxies are free, slow, steal and trade personal data. A truly reliable proxy server is a rarity that costs a lot.

Pros:

  • A lot of free services available;
  • Some paid proxies store data in the cache, which speeds up the download when they are requested again;
  • Opportunity to install request filter.

Cons:

  • 99% of free proxies are slow;
  • No encryption, data can be stolen or sold;
  • Unstable operation;
  • Risk of IP blocking.

How to use it

Find a proxy-server in the Internet. Open “System Preferences” and click on the “Network” section.

System Preferences
System Preferences

Choose Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection and click on the “Advanced” button.

”Network” Section
”Network” Section

Click on the “Proxies” tab and check “Web Proxy (HTTP) and Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS).

”Proxies” Tab
”Proxies” Tab

Enter the address and port number of the proxy server in both of the check boxes.

”Proxies” Tab-1

Check the box next to “Proxy server requires password ” and enter your username and password.

”Proxies” Tab
”Proxies” Tab

Click “Ok” and “Apply”. Done.

TOR

TOR technology has transformed from software for military purposes to a full-fledged browser with the ability to hide IP.

How it works

The traffic passes to you through several intermediaries (routers), thanks to which it is possible to hide your real IP address. This is the main problem of TOR: more routers — more anonymity, but less speed, and the functionality is very limited compared to conventional browsers.

Pros:

  • Free;
  • Helps bypassing regional locks;
  • Confidential.

Cons:

  • Works slowly;
  • When working with sites that do not support the HTTPS protocol, there is a high risk of leakage.
  • To work effectively, you need to install the TAILS operating system, on Mac OS, only browser traffic will be protected — not individual applications;
  • Does not support working with torrents.

How to use it

TOR can be downloaded here https://www.torproject.org/download/.

After installation, select the security level:

  • High;
  • Middle;
  • Low.

The higher the level, the more limited the functionality, which is caused by the vulnerability of some functions. The content of the pages may not be displayed correctly, and some pages will not open at all. For better performance, you will have to adhere to a number of rules: do not open downloaded files while working with the browser, do not download or distribute torrents, do not use plugins.

Too complicated, confusing, and inconvenient, don’t you agree? Therefore, I suggest considering the 3rd option – VPN.

TOR
Tor is a software that allows users to browse the Web anonymously

VPN

Virtual Private Network — a secure tunnel between the device and the network, where all data is encrypted.

How it works

When connecting to the Internet, a connection is created between the device and the network, within which the traffic is encrypted with a 256-bit key. Your IP is changed to the IP of one of the countries available in the client. The provider will not see your location and what you were doing. Unlike TOR and Proxy, it provides a high level of privacy without losing speed and functionality, and works for all applications on the Mac.

Pros:

  • Military-grade encryption;
  • High level of security and anonymity;
  • Protect your device when connecting to public Wi-Fi;
  • Minimum speed loss;
  • Secure torrent download.

Cons:

  • Sometimes fine tuning is needed to prevent security vulnerabilities;
  • Some services do not provide a sufficient level of protection, which is why DNS and IP address leaks are not uncommon.

How to use it

Almost all applications of VPN services are simple enough to download, run and select the desired country, and the rest will be done for you.

To sum up, we can say for sure that TOR and proxies are a compromise between the quality of work and security. Right now, only a VPN can hide or change IP, encrypt traffic, and provide privacy without losing speed.

How you definitely shouldn’t hide your IP

If the previous 3 methods have their pros and cons, then it is better not to use the ones presented below at all or do it in emergency situations.

  • Public Wi-Fi. The IP address will change, but without a good antivirus and VPN, using such networks is a sure way to give personal data to hackers.
  • Mobile Internet. The device will be assigned a new IP, but the location and activities on the network can still be tracked.
  • Restarting the modem. It only works with dynamic IP and you need to wait at least 10 minutes. Useful for a one-time login to a blocked site, but useless in terms of privacy.

Is it worth buying paid services

Really reliable proxy servers are paid, but even they do not give a 100% guarantee of privacy and security.

With a VPN, everything is not clear: paid services really work well, but some free ones are not inferior to them. The question arises: why pay $100-200 a year if there are excellent free services? One of them is Switcherry. How to use it and what are its advantages? – Let’s figure it out.

Ow to hide your IP on Mac with the helo of Switcherry VPN

Open the download page https://switcherry-vpn.com/vpn-for-mac and download the client for Mac, by clicking on “Get started”.

Switcherry download page
Switcherry download page

When the installation is over, open Switcherry. Clicking on “Fastest Mode” opens the country selection menu.

Country selection menu
Country selection menu

«Fastest Mode» connects you with the nearest server. «Freedome Mode» connects you with the nearest uncensored server. Choose the one you need and click “Connect”; Done!

Switcherry Client Home Page
Switcherry Client Home Page

Why Switcehrry

In addition to military-grade encryption, ad blocking, and a wide selection of countries, Switcherry stands head and shoulders above its paid and free counterparts in terms of connection speed. With 5900 + servers around the world, traffic is redirected through the nearest ones: routing improves, internet speed remains stable. The effectiveness is proven by the Ookla speed test.

Download speed statistics for different VPNs
Download speed statistics for different VPNs

FAQ

1. If I want not to hide, but to substitute the IP on the Mac, what are the solutions?

1. If I want not to hide, but to substitute the IP on the Mac, what are the solutions?

The best solution is a VPN service. More than 120 states and 5900 servers with unique IP addresses are available in Switcherry.

2. Is it legal to hide your IP on Mac?

2. Is it legal to hide your IP on Mac?

Yes, it is legal to use a VPN, but you should be careful if you are located in one of these countries:

  • Oman
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Turkmenistan
  • Belarus
  • Russia

In these states, the use of a VPN is prohibited or is in a gray area. We recommend that you carefully read the legislation or consult a lawyer.

It is not so difficult to remain anonymous and have access to all Internet resources, as you have seen for yourself. Thank you for your attention, as always, Nicolas Cuts was with you today.

Author: Nicolas Cuts

Product Managers at SwitcherryVPN. Have 5 years background in management and marketing. I never stop learning!

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