When so many hide IP tools are available on the market, it is difficult to choose the one that suits your needs. This guide presents several alternatives and makes your choice easier. Learn how to choose your hide IP tool.
This post will answer the questions that I received from you, the readers of this blog. Thank you for being part of this community that helps people overcome the censorship and blockage on the Internet.
This first post answers the most common question asked: “Should I choose a free solution or a paid one?“
Free or paid hide IP tool? – How to choose a hide IP tool
The answer to this question may seem obvious: FREE is always a better choice. But, you should know this is not always true. Let’s see first, what free hide IP tools do best and also what are their disadvantages.
Free tools to hide your IP
Firstly, I would divide the tools you can use to freely hide your IP address into (1) web proxies and (2) hide IP software.
(1) Web proxies are websites that allow you to connect to the internet without logging your IP address. It acts as an intermediate between you and the site you want to visit. The sites you are connecting to will not see any requests or log entries from your IP address, but from the proxy server instead. Thus, you are able to surf in secrecy and change your IP address.
Advantages of using web proxies
- You don’t have to install anything.
- Easy to use: just type in the desired URL and press Go/Submit.
- There are plenty of proxies to choose from.
- You can use secure proxies (https) to increase your privacy.
- Best way to unblock sites (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch) from school, work or internet cafes.
Disadvantages of using web proxies
- The IP addresses of web proxies are most of the time well-known and often blacklisted.
- Streaming applications (like online radio or TV stations) are not supported. So you are not really able to watch YouTube videos.
- Your personal information can be intercepted by the proxy owner (except for the https proxies).
- You are not able to choose the country or the location of the IP to be used.
- Many proxies are full of ads, some of them being quite annoying (pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, etc).
(2) There are several free hide IP tools that have great success and that is used by a lot of people that try to overcome the censorship in their country (China, Iran, etc). Here are the most well known:
HotSpot Shield – This software creates a VPN – virtual private network between your computer and an Internet gateway.
Advantages of free hide IP tools
- They are FREE, so you don’t have to pay anything (no hidden costs).
- They hide your IP address most of the time.
- Simple and easy to use interface, suitable for beginners.
- The connection speed is acceptable.
Disadvantages of free hide IP tools
- You rarely get support. Most of the time you have to search for answers to your questions on forums, blogs, etc.
- The IP addresses provided are well known and get blocked by sites like Netflix or Hulu.
Paid tools to hide your IP
Providers of paid solutions have to sell their products so it is expected that they are more concerned about performance, speed, etc. This is not always true, but there are several hide IP tools that are better than the free alternatives. Let’s consider first the (1) private proxies and then talk about (2) several paid hide IP applications and (3) VPN services.
(1) Private proxies are proxies that have the access restricted only to paying subscribers.
Advantages of private proxies
- They hide your IP address.
- The speed is good.
- The IPs provided are usually clean (not banned by sites or forums).
- You get support and assistance from the service provider.
Disadvantages of private proxies
- You get a limited number of IPs (most of them from the US).
- They are usually more expensive than other hide IP tools.
- You have to manually configure your browsers.
(2) There are probably tens of paid hide IP tools but most of them come, stay a little while and then go/die. Further, I will show what you have to look for when you decide to purchase such a tool. The hide IP apps that I recommend are: IdentityCloaker and Hide My IP.
(3) VPN services are probably the most reliable way to change your IP. They provide strong security, many server locations, and good speed. The VPN services that I recommend are HideMyAss, ibVPN, PureVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, ExpressVPN, NordVPN.
Advantages of paid hide IP tools
- They hide your IP address.
- The speed is great.
- You get support and assistance from the service provider.
- The IPs provided are usually clean (not banned by sites or forums) and they are refreshed all the time.
Disadvantages of paid hide IP tools
- They are not FREE 🙂
For the question “free or paid,” the conclusion is clear: you should try first the free solutions. If they suit your needs, you are lucky, and you got your problem solved. If not, you should consider buying a product or subscribing to a paid service. A third option is also available: get free accounts from premium providers.
Try before buy – How to choose a hide IP tool
If you start considering purchasing a hide IP tool you should: “Try before buy” (if possible)!
It’s all about marketing
Don’t be fooled by the marketing texts you find on the product presentation pages. The producer will always say his product works smoothly, gets the job done, and the support is excellent. It may be accurate, but you should check first.
Also, you should not consider the testimonials listed on the producer site as 100% true. Some of them are fake!
Money back guarantee
Many software producers offer a money back guarantee. This does not mean you should buy the product before trying it. Of course, you can ask anytime a refund, write emails to the support/sales and wait for days/weeks to get your case approved by the producer. Or you could save yourself a lot of trouble and try before you buy.
What if the tool has no trial period?
Some of the hide IP tools have trial periods (from 1 hour to 3-5 days). If the product has no trial, you should write the producer an email and ask for one, or you may purchase the subscription for the smallest period available (for example, one month).
To conclude, in order to stay on the safe side you should look for the services that offer a free trial and try them before subscribing.
See what others recommend – How to choose your hide IP tool
Another advice for you: when you are evaluating hide IP tools take a look at what others recommend and what others say about different hide IP tools.
Do not fully consider testimonials
Testimonials from the site of the producer are not 100% trustworthy. Some of them may be fake, written by sales and marketing teams.
Where to look?
Other good sources of information are forums. There you can read, first hand, what other users have experienced while using different hide IP tools. In order to easily find information on forums, I recommend using Omgili. It’s a search engine the returns results exclusively from forums.
The third place to look are blogs, such as this one. We are reviewing many of the hide IP tools available on the market. The best hide IP tools on the market are usually reviewed on many tech blogs. Read 2-3 of such reviews and you will find enough info about any tool.
Subscription or Lifetime license – How to choose a hide IP tool
Now … if the free tools do not work for you or you are not happy with their performance, you may consider paying for a hide IP service. Should you opt-in for a subscription-based service or a lifetime license when choosing your hide IP tool?
What does “permanent or lifetime license” mean?
Lifetime/permanent license means that you pay once and you can use the product as long as you want. Usually, the producer offers 6 months or 1-year support. After that, there is no guaranty. You are on your own. Also, there are no updates after the support period ends.
- You pay once.
- Most of the time you pay less than for a subscription-based service.
- Limited support and updates (in some cases).
- Variable product quality (the producers is not directly interested in improving the service for you as you’re already a client).
What is a subscription-based service?
Subscription means that you purchase a service for 1,3,6,12 months. During that period you benefit from support and updates. Also, the producer is interested to maintain the quality of the service in order to make you renew the subscription.
- Higher service quality.
- Support and updates during the subscription.
- Overall you’ll pay more.
- After the subscription is over you’ll not be able to use the service unless you subscribe again.
Hide IP solutions usually need a lot of maintenance in order to keep the services alive (due to proxies, VPNs, etc). Many such services go offline every day, leaving paying customers behind with no support and service updates. Taking these into account, I recommend choosing a subscription-based service when you choose to hide your IP address. You can go first for a 1 or 3-month subscription and afterward, if you are happy with the service, go for a longer subscription.
To sum up, the object of this post is to answer some common questions on how to choose a hide IP tool. You may start by testing free options, go for a free trial and then subscribe to a premium service. The best advice I can give you is to take your time and do your homework: see what others recommend. And the other one: go for subscription-based services. They may be more expensive but they are safer in the long run.
How do you choose your hide IP tool? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.