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What is an IP address?
What is an IP address?

What is an IP address?

Internet Protocol Address or IP Address refers to a string of numbers that determines a device or a computer on an IP/TCP network. It’s basically a number that’s assigned to all devices connected to a particular computer network. An IP Address is inscribed as 4 numbers separated by periods. These numbers range from 0 to 255. For instance, 3.175.34.255 could be an IP address.

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Kinds of IP addresses:

  • Private – This is an IP address assigned by your router for your network devices. This type of IP address can’t be routed over the internet and can only be maximized internally.

  • Public – This is the IP address assigned by your Internet Service Provider to you. There are two kinds of Public IP Address: the Dynamic and Static.

  • Dynamic IP Address– This IP address is the most commonly used among households. This is also assigned by your ISP. This type of IP address, however, changes each time the user reboots his device, adds a new device to the network, or the network itself changes the configuration. These changes don’t usually have an effect on your connection to the internet services.

  • Static IP Address– A static IP is permanently assigned by your ISP. It stays unaffected by reboots performed on the system. This type of IP Address is usually assigned to servers that provide emails and FTP services and host websites. It could also be assigned to public organizations that may require the same address each time.

    People may use this for some sorts of gaming or VOIP connections which need very stable connections. Static IP address, however, is pricey and is infrequently for household needs. Your ISP could charge higher if you opt a static IP. Static IPs also need further security measures since hackers may attempt to intrude such systems with their strong cyber-attacks.

Functions of an IP address

There are two main functions an IP Address has:

First, it delivers the request or message to the necessary destination.

Second, it enables the receiver to figure out the origin of the request or the message.

What data can be gained from an IP Address?

IP addresses contain a great deal of information which is used for online service providers. This can help them trace the origin and destination of the online requests. Below are some of the examples of information an IP Address contains:

IP address ownership: An IP address has information about the owner of a particular IP address. Your ISP is actually the owner of your IP address. The public information with regard to your IP address only reveals the name of your ISP.

Location info: Yep, your IP address could also be used to geo-locate your rough location. The exact location may not be marked but is definitely spotted to the nearest distribution equipment of your ISP.

Can your web activity also be traced and assigned to your IP?

If your ISP is forced to cross-reference your public IP address with the logged ISP client records and web data, an online footprint may be matched to your personal information.

This could be troublesome. Certain governmental bodies and private companies ask ISPs to disclose data about certain people to determine the data sent or received by the suspected IP address owners.

There was a scenario in America wherein a movie producer for Dallas Buyers Club managed to identify more than 4,500 IP addresses which they believed have torrented their movie. They’ve asked ISPs across America to disclose the personal contact information of the identified online users.

The ISPs then declined to disclose the details asked which led to a long court encounter. The case has been dropped after a year of the scuffle. It showed that all user’s activities online are traceable if ISPs cooperate. This could be a concern for internet users as this could limit their freedom to surf privately and anonymously.

How to Hide your IP address

If you don’t like the thought of making your personal information an open book, you can continue enjoying a secure and anonymous web browsing experience by using VPN or Virtual Private Network. VPN enables you to keep your IP address hidden and avoid security risks. However, you need to choose a reliable VPN provider to maximize the best results. Once you’ve found the perfect VPN partner for you, you can work your way towards surfing all day with peace of mind.

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