You probably know that even when you use a VPN service, browsers like Chrome and Safari can still somehow provide your real location to Google Maps etc (if you give it a permission).

My question is: how to hide my real IP from the browsers? Maybe some additional security software can be used to achieve it?

  • 2
    Don't give your permission then?
    – Philipp
    Mar 18 '14 at 9:09
  • 1
    In Chrome, go to the settings and use the search box to find "Location". Then simply choose "Do not allow any site to...". This automatically denies any website from knowing your IP address. For more fun, you can use the Developer Tools (F12) to emulate a different geolocation.
    – Adi
    Mar 18 '14 at 9:27

The geolocation API which allows websites to obtain your location from your web browser is supposed to be opt-in. The standard specification says that it must not be enabled without the users permission. For that reason it can be switched on and off in the settings of most web browsers.

When you don't trust your web browser to respect that preference, then you should use a different one. When you run software you can not trust, you've already lost any security you could have.

That being said, you could build a setup like most corporations do. Set up a LAN where the workstations have only a local IP address and no internet connection. Then set up a proxy server on your LAN which is the only machine with both a LAN IP and a WAN IP. Install the VPN client on the proxy so it uses the WAN IP only to tunnel to the VPN provider. Have the web browsers on the workstations connect to that proxy using the proxys LAN IP address. That way you could do web browsing while your browsing machine isn't aware of the WAN IP (and not of the VPN provider either, for that matter). As a side-effect you have also succesfully firewalled your workstation against any internet communication which isn't supported by the proxy.

  • I understand... but the question actually means, how to technically hide the IP from the running apps? whether it is a browser or a spy program - is there a way to get secured?
    – davee44
    Mar 18 '14 at 9:34
  • @davee44 When you have a spy program on your machine, you have already lost. It can easily reveal information about you which is magnitudes more sensitive than just your IP address. But I nevertheless edited my answer to explain how to set up a LAN with web browsing via a proxy server.
    – Philipp
    Mar 18 '14 at 9:46

"...even when you use a VPN service, browsers... can still somehow provide your real location"

That can be addressed by tunneling all traffic through the VPN connection. If only particular traffic is defined to be tunnel-bound, anything not matching will go about its normal path. Typically this likely to be destined for the Internet - thus exposing your true public IP rather than if all traffic traverses the tunnel thus NATting to the public IP where the VPN service is (if such traffic is allowed).

Supposing you can't tunnel all traffic, then yes you'll need a combination of the correct browser settings and possibly a third-party plug-in. I'm not a user-land browser expert so I can't offer any value in that regards other than to say that I'm sure there's something available for Firefox if even that's your browser of choice.

  • The thing is that modern browsers can obtain the local IP by themselves (using the local OS), not by relying on the server. So a VPN does not make any influence on this.
    – davee44
    Mar 19 '14 at 8:29
  • It will if all traffic is tunneled as I stated in my answer. (You... all traffic gets tunneled) => (your VPN tunnel endpoint) => Internet (the NAT used by to get to Internet will be seen). Mar 25 '14 at 2:13

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