Whenever you search for your device’s IP address, you may find a numerical label such as 126.96.36.199. This label is not just a string of characters meant to confuse you and make technology seem complex. It represents your IP address, and each part and figure on the label has a meaning.
The Basics of an IP Address
For someone who’s not into tech, you don’t need to know much about IP addresses other than the fact that they give your device an identity on the internet. There are, however, a few basics worth knowing. In fact, by learning these points, you will recognize more ways and possibilities to configure your IP address and increase your privacy and security while surfing the web. Here are six things to know about an IP address.
IP Addresses Are Essential for Internet Communication
Every computer, whether a laptop or phone, needs an IP address to connect and interact with the web. Without this string of numerical characters, the device won’t have an identity on the internet. It won’t be able to communicate with websites and internet servers.
Think of having an IP address as having a home address. When someone wants to send a letter to you, they post it to your home address. Without a block number or street name, the sender will not know where to deliver the letter. Thus, it won’t reach you. IP addresses operate in the same way. Without an IP, websites will not be able to receive requests or send responses to your device since they cannot identify it.
IP Addresses Reveal Information About Your Location
You can know a user’s location by looking at the details of their IP address. This numerical label reveals the country, region, city, and area code from where a user connects. However, IP addresses do not disclose a precise location and street address. They also don’t reveal names, contact information, or other personal details.
Each Computer Has Its Unique IP Address
Two devices cannot have the same IP address if connected to the same network. Whenever this occurs, your computer will give you an IP address conflict or duplicate IP error message and stop running web commands. Two computers using the same IP address is like two email accounts with the same username and domain. They will compete against each other to receive responses from websites.
IP addresses are automatically assigned by the device router, and they get selected from a pool of unused addresses. IP addresses in use should not be in the IP pool. The only time your router may assign you an IP address already in use is if the router is malfunctioning.
IP Addresses Equals to Personal Information
According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), your IP address, whether static or dynamic, is considered personal information. Even though it does not reveal any details about you as an individual, hackers may use it in combination with your other personal information to engage in malicious activities. They can also monitor your geolocation and streams of data. Websites and data administrators should not share, process, or store your IP address unless under specific conditions such as with your consent or under a statutory obligation.
You Can’t Take Your IP Address With You
Even though your IP address is unique to your device, it can change when you move to a different location or shift networks. The IP address you use when surfing with your home Wi-Fi will not be the same as the one you use at the coffee shop, despite using the same device in both instances.
You Can Change or Conceal Your IP Address
You can change your IP address without shifting locations or networks. All you’ll need to use is a VPN or a proxy server such as the ones provided by IPRoyal. By changing your IP address with a proxy server, your actual IP gets masked by another from your location of choice. This means that websites and hackers won’t be able to know your location or identity, allowing you to browse privately and anonymously.
You now know the basics of an IP address. Next time you are at home or the coffee shop, put one of these six facts to the test. And if you want to hide your IP address and surf the net privately, look no further than a proxy server from a reputable vendor.