Can Proxy Servers Hide Your IP Address?

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Can proxy servers hide your IP address? This question has probably come up a few times during your research into proxies, and the answer is not quite as clear as you might think. A proxy server can hide your IP address for most practical purposes, but it does not make you impossible to track. The internet is run by complex technology that requires a lot of information to work properly, and there’s almost no way to erase your footprints completely. Some solutions are better than others, however, and to help you make the best choice, let’s examine what proxies can do.

A proxy server provides an intermediate connection between you and the websites you want to visit. Proxy servers hide your IP address by forwarding your traffic, so that websites see requests coming from the proxy, not from you. However, the proxy server still needs to know your IP address, otherwise it would never be able to return the site’s response back to you. Transparent proxies, which are just one type of proxy server, even include your information in headers for the site to see.

Related: Anonymous Proxy Servers

Extensions and plugins in your browser may also give you away with fingerprinting, and your identity (although not necessarily your IP address) are tracked almost every single time you see an advertisement. A proxy server doesn’t prevent any of these tracking methods, and knowing your IP address is just one of more than a dozen ways you can be tracked online. This isn’t meant to scare you, of course–a proxy server does hide your IP address at a surface level. For basic browsing privacy, hiding your IP address is sufficient, but it’s important to understand that your IP address is not the only way to identify you.

Proxy Server Pro offers the next step up from a proxy server–a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN has the same limitations as a proxy server when it comes to tracking, but it encrypts your connection from end to end, so if a hacker or criminal does try to see what you’re doing, all they’ll see is a scrambled mess.

Whether you’re on your home computer or public WiFi, you can enter passwords and credit card numbers with total confidence. And don’t worry–it hides your IP address the same as a proxy. Security and privacy aren’t things you can set and forget; you’ll always have to take steps to protect yourself. No single tool can do it all, but Proxy Server Pro comes pretty darn close.