You can fake your IP address using a variety of means, the most popular of which are virtual private networks and proxies. While there are significant differences between proxies and VPNs, none really apply when it comes to spoofing your IP address. As both allow you to essentially remote into another machine and use it to communicate with the World Wide Web. This, by extension, means you’re using their IP addresses in place of your own.
Alternatively, The Onion Router (TOR) would also do the trick, and employing it in combination with a VPN would technically fake your IP address two times over. Keep in mind that this particular combo is still a bad idea for other reasons. If paranoid security is what you’re after, a double VPN would be a safer bet.
Faking IPv4 vs. IPv6 IP addresses
Before you attempt faking your IP address, you should figure out what your real one is. If only so that you can determine whether your spoofing method is actually working. Your IP address can be of either the IPv4 or IPv6 variety. The former is a 32-bit number that will look like something in the vein of 165.123.55.01. IPv6 addresses, on the other hand, are 128-bit numbers such as 2020:0ac4:75a3:0000:0000:4b8a:0930:3453.
The world has been transitioning to IPv6 for a while now as we already ran out of IPv4 addresses in 2019. Eventually, every device on the World Wide Web will be using an IPv6 address. You can find out yours with a simple “what’s my IP address” search. Repeat the same query after implementing your spoofing means of choice and note whether the stated IP address has changed.
The actual spoofing method won’t be any different regardless of whether your real IP address is of the IPv4 or IPv6 variety.
Can you fake your IP address without a proxy connection?
Note that there are also more rudimentary methods of impersonating another computer. For example, there is nothing stopping you from signing your data packets using a different sender’s IP address yourself, without remoting into another machine. Well, save for the fact that doing so is pretty much pointless if actual communication is still your end goal.
Any such data packets would only prompt replies to the IP address of the machine you’re impersonating. So you’d still need access to that computer in order to read them the moment they arrive. This is why for all intents and purposes, it’s usually way simpler to just remote into the machine whose IP address you’re using as a decoy.
Don’t confuse a changed IP address with a fake one
This may seem obvious, but changing your IP address is not to be confused with faking it. Simply switching networks, NAT firewall settings, or asking your ISP for a different address will obviously do nothing to hide your real identity on the Internet. The same goes for restarting your modem, running “ipconfig /release” and “ipconfig /renew” commands in the Windows Command Prompt, or activating the “Renew DHCP Lease” function on macOS; even though all of those things will leave you with a different IP address.