Hide your IP from snoops and hackers with Fast Hide IP

Protect your privacy and security with this shareware IP address changer.

Changing your computer's IP address not only hides your location from marketers but also worse threats. Fast Hide IP makes it easy to mask your IP by routing your traffic through a network of secure servers that are impossible to trace. Fast Hide IP is not only easy to use but also lets you choose which country's address to use. To Internet snoops, it'll look like you're in that country instead of your own. You can also access Web content limited by geographical location, such as TV networks. The trial version is fully functional, but it's limited to 3 days and 5 IPs. That's plenty of time (and IPs) to tell if Fast Hide IP works for you. The full version accesses 100 IPs, with more added each day.

When you install Fast Hide IP, you can choose the trial or buy and register the product. We continued with the trial. Fast Hide IP keeps things simple: A dialog-sized interface listed five IPs, each with a free Signal Strength bar and a Connect button. A drop-down menu accesses many more IPs in the full version, letting users keep the main list uncluttered. We could set Fast Hide IP to open with Windows, an option to consider if you have a static IP and always-on connection. Under Settings, we could configure Fast Hide IP for all the popular Web browsers and a few extras such as Picasa and bbc iplayer desktop.exe. BBC's popular iPlayer requires a UK IP address; unfortunately, the free trial doesn't offer one. You can add any browser or program that you need to, though. Redirect Options included encryption and the option to redirect TCP, DNS, and UDP. The online Help feature is mostly FAQs, but the developer provides free technical support, so if you have any questions, you can email them.

Each IP showed a Signal Strength well above 90 percent. We chose one and pressed Connect, and then opened our browser. IP routing inevitably slows down your connection speed, though Fast Hide IP didn't slow us down enough to give up its advantages. Clicking Disconnect immediately ended our session.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Fast Hide IP 2.2. The trial version is limited to 3 days.

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