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What does it mean to have a fake IP address?

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Whenever you connect to the Internet, your device is assigned an IP address which distinguishes it from any other device connected at that time. This unique address, known as Internet Protocol, forms part of the rules and requirements of using world wide web. Your IP address provides an identifier of your device and includes information related to your location. It can be up to 12 digits long and is assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

During the majority of your browsing, it probably wouldn’t make any difference to you to have your real IP address showed to websites and routers. However, there are some instances where you’d prefer to use a fake IP address, such as when accessing a real money online casino canada, stream videos through Netflix or access pages that are restricted or not available within your country.

The benefits of a fake IP address

The main benefit provided by using a fake IP address is privacy. At this point it is important to mention that the term fake is a misnomer, since you cannot create an address from nothing. In reality, what you can do is hop onto another IP address. As a result, a better term would be IP masking. Using this technique, you will be able to prevent someone from tracing your Internet activity back to your device.

Connecting to the Internet using someone else’s IP address, with permission, can allow you to access certain websites which would otherwise be unavailable. From news portals to online browser games and slots, there are several websites which are not available in different countries around the world. Since your IP provides, amongst other data, your geographical location, masking your IP using an address in a supported country or region will bypass this restriction.

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How to fake your IP address

There are several different ways to mask your IP address. Using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is amongst the most popular, since it is very simple, even if you are not technically inclined. When using a VPN you are, essentially, connecting your device to someone else’s network. Any browsing activity carried out by yourself would appear to be coming from this external network. The only way for your activity to be traced back to your device would be for the VPN to share your real IP address.

Another common technique to hide your IP address is through a web proxy. This works similar to using a VPN, whereby you pass all your activity through a proxy server located in a different geographical location. However, this option is considered to be less secure than a VPN. In fact, web proxies are normally unencrypted, which means that it is possible for ISPs or agencies to locate you. This shouldn’t be an issue if you only plan to fake your IP address to catch up on your favorite series or play a game of online poker.

Using proxy servers presents another limitation, since it only masks the IP address for browsing. Other apps which are connected to the Internet, such as Zoom, would still use your real address.

As a third option, you can mask your IP address by connecting via public Wifi. Any Internet activity you register will simply be traced back to the IP address of the Wifi provider. However, in many cases public Wifi access is restricted, especially for online slots or video streaming.

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A fake IP address can protect you

Since this is a relatively technical topic, you will unfortunately find numerous incorrect statements or outright lies on it. For example, there is a consistent misconception that only hackers and criminals use VPNs. In reality, masking your IP address can protect you from data thefts, tracking, and surveillance. It also lets you connect to your online casino or bank account when you’re in another country. Moreover, by masking your web activity you can reduce or eliminate targeted advertising which bases itself on tracking cookies.

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