"IP spoofing" is the act of modifying or otherwise redirecting a computer's Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address is a sequence of numbers that identifies a unique computer on the Internet. By changing this number, a person can make it seem like their Internet connection is coming from a different computer, even one in another country.
Certain parts of IP addresses correspond to different countries, regions, and even cities around the world. In this light, there are two major reasons why IP spoofing is useful:
Modifying your IP address messes up its geographical locating properties. This makes it difficult for Internet snoopers to know that what you do on the Internet is coming from a computer in your country. In short, spoofing your IP address makes you more difficult to track on the Internet.
Certain websites use the geographical locating properties of IP addresses to deliver Internet content based on where the user is in the world. This can lead to some content being harder to find, or outright blocked or censored. Spoofing your IP address so that it appears to be from a country different from your own can sometimes allow you to view content from other areas.
There are certain situations in which IP spoofing isn't so useful. For example:
To certain websites, spoofed IP addresses may appear suspicious or dangerous. This is especially true if they appear to be coming from certain countries. In order to access some websites while using a spoofed IP address, you may have to complete additional security checks. Some websites may not even let you use them at all.
There are certain websites with international support that, as we mentioned, may show you different information based on what country your IP address appears to be from. If you use a spoofed IP address, this can sometimes cause web pages to display information that's not relevant to you, or even display in a foreign language that you don't understand! There are sometimes settings that allow you to fix this problem, but sometimes it's easier just to avoid the problem by not using a spoofed IP address.
There are several easy IP spoofing tools out on the Internet today that can help you temporarily modify your IP address. Though, please make sure to do your due diligence and research any tool that you want to use to make sure that it's trustworthy (like we have with the services listed here). Some may be fakes set up by troublemakers, and may actually make you easier to track on the Internet. And we wouldn't want that for you.
Probably the simplest way to spoof an IP address, these are websites that allow you to funnel your web browsing through them, so they get tracked instead of you. Examples include BlewPass, Ninja Cloak, and Proxy.org.
These are a step up from proxy websites. They install a program on your computer that allows you to run your Internet connection through a server of your choice from around the world. This means that you don't have to go to a specific website in order to spoof your IP address. Popular choices include CyberGhost, Hotspot Shield, and TunnelBear.
These are web browsers that have VPNs built into them, so you don't have to go to a specific website or install any other program in order to spoof your IP address. Plus, they have other neat privacy-friendly add-ons, such as the ability to trick websites into thinking that you're using a more common browser. This can make you harder to track on the Internet. Some trusted ones include Epic Privacy Browser, The Onion Router (T.O.R.), and Comodo Dragon (if you prefer Chrome) or Ice Dragon (if you prefer Firefox).
To learn more about private web browsers and how they differ from the "private mode" settings in more common web browsers, see our Private Web Browsers article.
Anyway, that's our primer for you on IP spoofing: what it is, how to do it, and why it's useful. Happy spoofing!
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