September 23, 2022
6 min.

How to Hide IP Address

The most popular method for detecting web scrapers is their Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP tracking and analysis are frequently used in web scraping to detect and block web scrapers or other unwanted visitors.

Let's look at solutions on how to hide your IP address.

What exactly is an IP Address?

Any device connected to the internet is identified by an IP address, which is a series of numbers separated by periods. This number, assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to identify your device, is unique.

Every time your device connects to a network, a string of numbers is generated that can have any value between 0 and 255. In that regard, your device's IP address differs depending on whether it is at home or at work.

IP is available as a 128-bit number, which corresponds to the new IPV6 IP addresses (example: 2001:db8:3333:4444:5555:6666:7777:8888), or a 32-bit number, as with IPv4 IP addresses (example: 192.168.0.0). 

Imagine an IP address as an ID card for each internet-connected device. It acts somewhat similarly to how our real addresses do, indicating where the mail, packages, and other things should be delivered.

You can check your IP address on this site: https://www.showmyip.com/ 

Why Hide Your IP Address When Scraping the Web?

Your IP address exchanges different details with servers that are important to web scraping,  related to an IP address origin and its geolocation:

  • The ISP (Internet Service Provider); 
  • Geolocation (Country, region/state, city, latitude and longitude, and area code); 
  • The IPs hostname.

So, it basically informs the server of the request's origin.

A web scraper, in contrast to regular users, is built to send more requests in a shorter amount of time, which might overwhelm the target servers and seriously harm the websites you scrape. When a server detects a scraper, it often permanently bans the scraper's IP address and prevents it from accessing the server's content. That is why it's important to use methods to hide and alter your IP address to be able to scrape the data you want and reduce the danger of having your IP blocked from some websites.

There are several techniques for hiding your internet activity, varying in effectiveness.

Ways to hide your IP address

  • Proxies

A proxy or proxy server operates as an intermediary between you and the website and has its own IP address. Internet users who use proxies first send their requests through the proxy server before connecting to any websites. 

When a proxy server receives the answer from the web servers, it sends it back to the user, assuring increased degrees of anonymity because the user's true IP address is not revealed.

Check out our article on them.

  • TOR (The Onion Router)

Open-source software called TOR supports anonymous communication. To completely hide your IP address, you need to use TOR. Simply said, before reaching the desired website, your traffic is routed via a number of different servers. However, this solution will noticeably slow down your internet connection. 

The biggest issue with Tor, still, is that some sites won't allow traffic from the Tor network to get through, making it an unreliable choice for crucial projects. You need to decide if this solution suits your needs.

  • VPN (Virtual Private Network)

The most common tool for hiding your IP address is a VPN. VPN can help you unblock geographically restricted websites, secure your surfing, and more. 

VPN serves as an intermediary when you connect to the internet by concealing your IP address and establishing a secure tunnel through which your data is encrypted. Websites only see the IP address of the VPN server, not your own. Additionally, because your real browsing data is encrypted, these websites cannot access it.

In contrast to Tor, you will have a choice of servers to connect to, therefore the server you pick will determine your IP address.

But to a different extent than Tor, VPNs also experience scalability and speed problems. A VPN will always transmit all of your requests through the same server, unlike Tor, which links requests through a random selection of servers. In a nutshell, with VPN you'll use the same IP address for all of your requests.

  • Off-The-Shelf Proxy Management Solutions

These are third-party created and maintained solutions that put all of their effort into giving you and your team the greatest and most reliable solution they can. Some services offer and support proxies that you can use to create your own scrapers, while others offer complete off-the-shelf scraping solutions that simply require you to enter URLs and specify the requested data.

You can probably guess that you have less control the more you lean toward the designed-for-you solution side. It’s important to note that not all scraping services and APIs are designed identical. Some won't function nearly as well for other projects because they were designed with a specific purpose in mind.

Hide your IP with Scrape.Fun 

Using Scrape.Fun's data centers, mobile, rotating and residential proxies, allows you to scrape the data from websites with strict limitations.With our service you can easily set the desired Proxy location or choose the "auto" option. Check our guide to get started.

Now you are aware of what your IP address can reveal, so you can use various techniques to prevent websites from tracking your IP address. The most secure and widely used techniques are proxies or a VPN. 

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