You Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns an IP address when you connect to the Internet. This IP address assignment is carried out through the network router and recorded in log files spread throughout the Internet. Your Internet activity is basically recorded through these log files. In case you do not want to make your Internet activity apparent, your public IP address must be hidden.
Hiding your Public IP Using the Anonymous Proxy Service
An anonymous proxy server exists between your home network and the wider Internet. Information requests do not contain your IP address. Rather, they are associated with the IP address of the anonymous proxy to ensure that your IP address is hidden and untraceable.
It is easy to use an anonymous proxy since it only requires a simple browser configuration or the setting up of the necessary Internet client. The identification of a proxy server is usually a combination of the URL and the TCP port number. Anonymous proxies are available on the Internet and differ with respect to bandwidth offered, reliability, and speed. While individual anonymous proxies are available for free and open to everyone, others charge a specific fee.
Hiding your Public IP through a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is another option available for using the Internet without disclosing your public IP address. A Public IP address is issued by a VPN service provider to help you connect to the Internet. VPN assigned IP address might belong to a different country and lasts for the duration of the VPN session. VPN service providers agree to keep their customer browsing footprint private and confidential, and hence VPNs are a widely accepted option for hiding your public IP address.
Additional Tools for the Privacy of your Public IP Address
Free as well as paid software tools are available for use as anonymous proxies. One such Firefox extension is the switchproxy. The switchproxy tool hides your public IP address by defining a pool of proxy servers. Switchproxy then switches between those proxy servers at specific time intervals. Switchproxy and other similar tools help you find as well as configure proxies easily.
Other common mechanisms related to Internet privacy include the use of browser cookies, encryption of personal information and implementation of a firewall to guarantee your safety and security.