A few months ago, I wrote a post listing some VPN services you could use absolutely for free on your Android phone. Although they all work great, there’s still a way around it if you choose to get a US IP address without necessarily installing a VPN. There are quick ways to hide your real IP address without necessarily having a Virtual Private Network running, but you should know that nothing free is reliable.
These are not the best ways to go anonymous online, they are only useful if you want to hide your real IP address from websites. If you intend to sign up for services with high-security measures, it’s not advisable to rely on any of these methods. However, if you still decide to go ahead, these are some of the ways to get a US IP address for free without any paid proxy or VPN service.
Google Chrome (mobile) Data Saver
If you use an Android phone, chances are that your favorite browser is Google Chrome. Even if it’s not, perhaps it’s time to switch because it’s one of those browsers that give you a US IP address if you choose. Google Chrome has a feature that helps you save data by compressing web pages. Whatever page you visit goes through Google’s server, and sites you visit detect Google’s IP address, not your ISP’s.
To turn it on:
- Launch Google Chrome.
- Go to Settings > Data Saver.
- Turn it on.
There’s a huge downside to using this method though. Only your HTTP traffic is tunneled through Google’s optimization server, every HTTPS request still displays your real IP address. With a lot of websites now having SSL certificates installed, this is no longer a reliable way to spoof your IP address.
Also, it doesn’t work in incognito mode.
Opera Browser in-built VPN
Even if it’s not your favorite desktop browser, Opera has a feature you probably need. It has an inbuilt VPN that lets you change your IP address with the click of a button. There’s no extra software to install as long as you have Opera browser installed on your computer.
It also has a downside: you can only select a region, not a particular country. At the moment, you can only select Americas, Asia, and Europe. For instance, selecting Americas might assign you a Venezuelan IP address or a Columbian IP address. It’s not totally reliable, but it’s pretty useful if you need to use anything but your real IP address.
With the Android and iOS version of Opera VPN shutting down this month, it’s unclear if/when this inbuilt VPN feature too would receive a hammer on the head.
Google Chrome Hola VPN Extension
There are dozens of this kind of extension available in Chrome Web Store. Just as there are there are free VPN apps in the Play Store, there are dozens of them available for free too as browser extensions.
Hola VPN is one of them, and you have the liberty to choose several countries apart from the US. Does it really work? Yes, it does. It’s a quick, dirty way to get a US IP address without installing a VPN software. All you need to do is to install the extension, click the icon, select the country you intend to surf from and key in your URL.
Not that this is a community-powered free VPN service, users with idle resources contribute to making it work. Your HTTP/HTTPs request isn’t going through the company’s server, it’s most likely being routed through another user’s computer.
Use Tor browser
Using Tor Browser is definitely one of the oldest ways to hide your identity online. Installing Tor Browser doesn’t just lets you use the Tor (The Onion Router) network, it also opens the door to access the dark web (if you want to). Apart from this, using Tor gives you some degree of online security as your traffic is encrypted multiple times and sent over a virtual circuit.
Don’t expect to have a static IP address using Tor. You could in the US right now only to find yourself in Moscow the next minute.
If none of the methods above really cut it for you and you still don’t want to use a VPN, you might want to consider using proxy servers. You only need to grab an IP address with its port and key them into your computer’s Internet settings.
As mentioned, not all these methods are reliable. You should consider installing a free VPN like Ultrasurf which is available for Android and Windows.