- 1 IP address definition
- 2 What is an IP?
- 3 How do IP addresses work
- 4 Types of IP addresses
- 5 How to look up IP addresses
- 6 IP address security threats
- 7 How to protect and hide your IP address
- 8 When should you use VPN
- 9 Other ways to protect your privacy
IP address definition
An IP address is a singular address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. IP stands for “ Internet Protocol, ” which is the set of rules governing the format of data sent via the internet or local network .
In effect, IP addresses are the identifier that allows data to be sent between devices on a network : they contain localization information and make devices accessible for communication. The internet needs a means to differentiate between different computers, routers, and websites. IP addresses provide a way of doing thus and form an essential share of how the internet works .
What is an IP?
An IP address is a string of numbers separated by periods. IP addresses are expressed as a determined of four numbers — an example address might be 188.8.131.52. Each numeral in the fixed can range from 0 to 255. so, the broad IP addressing stove goes from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.
IP addresses are not random. They are mathematically produced and allocated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ( IANA ), a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN ). ICANN is a non-profit organization that was established in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the internet and allow it to be useable by all. Each clock anyone registers a world on the internet, they go through a domain appoint registrar, who pays a little fee to ICANN to register the domain .
How do IP addresses work
If you want to understand why a finical device is not connecting in the way you would expect or you want to troubleshoot why your network may not be working, it helps understand how IP addresses study .
Internet Protocol works the lapp way as any other language, by communicating using set guidelines to pass information. All devices find, send, and change information with early connect devices using this protocol. By speaking the lapp language, any computer in any localization can talk to one another .
The use of IP addresses typically happens behind the scenes. The action works like this :
- Your device indirectly connects to the internet by connecting at first to a network connected to the internet, which then grants your device access to the internet.
- When you are at home, that network will probably be your Internet Service Provider (ISP). At work, it will be your company network.
- Your IP address is assigned to your device by your ISP.
- Your internet activity goes through the ISP, and they route it back to you, using your IP address. Since they are giving you access to the internet, it is their role to assign an IP address to your device.
- However, your IP address can change. For example, turning your modem or router on or off can change it. Or you can contact your ISP, and they can change it for you.
- When you are out and about – for example, traveling – and you take your device with you, your home IP address does not come with you. This is because you will be using another network (Wi-Fi at a hotel, airport, or coffee shop, etc.) to access the internet and will be using a different (and temporary) IP address, assigned to you by the ISP of the hotel, airport or coffee shop.
As the work implies, there are unlike types of IP addresses, which we explore below .
Types of IP addresses
There are different categories of IP addresses, and within each category, different types .
Consumer IP addresses
Every individual or business with an internet avail design will have two types of IP addresses : their private IP addresses and their public IP address. The terms populace and private relate to the network location — that is, a secret IP address is used inside a network, while a populace one is used outside a network .
Private IP addresses
Every device that connects to your internet network has a private IP address. This includes computers, smartphones, and tablets but besides any Bluetooth-enabled devices like speakers, printers, or bright TVs. With the growing internet of things, the number of private IP addresses you have at home is probably growing. Your router needs a way to identify these items individually, and many items need a way to recognize each other. therefore, your router generates individual IP addresses that are unique identifiers for each device that differentiate them on the net .
Public IP addresses
A public IP cover is the basal address associated with your whole network. While each connected device has its own IP address, they are besides included within the independent IP address for your network. As described above, your public IP address is provided to your router by your ISP. typically, ISPs have a large pool of IP addresses that they distribute to their customers. Your public IP address is the address that all the devices outside your internet network will use to recognize your network .
Public IP addresses
Public IP addresses come in two forms – active and static .
Dynamic IP addresses
Dynamic IP addresses change automatically and regularly. ISPs buy a large pond of IP addresses and assign them mechanically to their customers. sporadically, they re-assign them and put the older IP addresses back into the pool to be used for early customers. The rationale for this approach is to generate cost savings for the ISP. Automating the regular apparent motion of IP addresses means they don ’ t have to carry out specific actions to re-establish a customer ‘s IP address if they move home, for example. There are security benefits, besides, because a changing IP address makes it harder for criminals to hack into your network interface .
Static IP addresses
In contrast to dynamic IP addresses, electrostatic addresses remain reproducible. Once the net assigns an IP address, it remains the lapp. Most individuals and businesses do not need a electrostatic IP address, but for businesses that plan to host their own server, it is crucial to have one. This is because a electrostatic IP address ensures that websites and electronic mail addresses tied to it will have a consistent IP address — full of life if you want other devices to be able to find them systematically on the network .
This leads to the future steer – which is the two types of web site IP addresses .
There are two types of website IP addresses
For web site owners who don ’ triiodothyronine host their own server, and rather rely on a web hosting package – which is the encase for most websites – there are two types of web site IP addresses. These are shared and dedicated .
Websites that rely on shared host plans from web hosting providers will typically be one of many websites hosted on the same server. This tends to be the case for individual websites or SME websites, where traffic volumes are manageable, and the sites themselves are limited in terms of the number of pages, etc. Websites hosted in this way will have shared IP addresses .
Dedicated IP addresses
Some web hosting plans have the option to purchase a dedicate IP address ( or addresses ). This can make obtaining an SSL certificate easy and allows you to run your own File Transfer Protocol ( FTP ) waiter. This makes it easier to share and transfer files with multiple people within an organization and allow anonymous FTP sharing options. A give IP address besides allows you to access your web site using the IP address entirely preferably than the world name — utilitarian if you want to build and test it before registering your world .
How to look up IP addresses
The simplest way to check your router ’ s public IP address is to search “ What is my IP address ? ” on Google. Google will show you the answer at the lead of the foliate .
early websites will show you the lapp information : they can see your public IP address because, by visiting the web site, your router has made a request and therefore revealed the information. The site IPLocation goes far by showing the name of your ISP and your city .
generally, you will entirely receive an approximation of placement using this technique — where the provider is, but not the actual device placement. If you are doing this, remember to log out of your VPN besides. Obtaining the actual physical placement address for the populace IP address normally requires a search guarantee to be submitted to the ISP .
Finding your private IP address varies by chopine :
- Use the command prompt.
- Search for “cmd” (without the quotes) using Windows search
- In the resulting pop-up box, type “ipconfig” (no quote marks) to find the information.
On a Mac:
- Go to System Preferences
- Select network – and the information should be visible.
On an iPhone:
- Go to Settings
- Select Wi-Fi and click the “i” in a circle () next to the network you are on – the IP address should be visible under the DHCP tab.
If you need to check the IP addresses of other devices on your network, go into the router. How you access the router depends on the sword and the software it uses. by and large, you should be able to type the router ‘s gateway IP address into a web browser on the same network to access it. From there, you will need to navigate to something like “ attach devices, ” which should display a number of all the devices presently or recently attached to the net — including their information science addresses .
IP address security threats
Cybercriminals can use respective techniques to obtain your IP address. Two of the most coarse are social engineering and on-line stalk .
Attackers can use sociable engineer to deceive you into revealing your IP address. For example, they can find you through Skype or a similar instantaneous message application, which uses IP addresses to communicate. If you chat with strangers using these apps, it is significant to note that they can see your IP address. Attackers can use a Skype Resolver tool, where they can find your IP address from your username.
Read more: How to Change Your IP Address
Criminals can track down your IP address by merely stalking your on-line bodily process. Any number of on-line activities can reveal your IP address, from playing video games to commenting on websites and forums .
once they have your IP address, attackers can go to an IP address tracking web site, such as whatismyipaddress.com, type it in, and then get an idea of your location. They can then cross-reference other open-source data if they want to validate whether the IP address is associated with you specifically. They can then use Flickroom, Facebook, or other social networks that show where you live, and then see if that matches the area given .
If a Facebook stalker uses a phishing attack against people with your name to install spying malware, the IP address associated with your system would probable confirm your identity to the stalker .
If cybercriminals know your IP address, they can launch attacks against you or even impersonate you. It is significant to be aware of the risks and how to mitigate them. Risks include :
Downloading illegal content using your IP address
Tracking down your location
If they know your IP address, hackers can use geolocation technology to identify your area, city, and state. They only need to do a little more digging on sociable media to identify your home plate and potentially burgle it when they know you are away .
Directly attacking your network
Criminals can directly target your net and establish a variety show of assaults. One of the most popular is a DDoS fire ( distributed denial-of-service ). This type of cyberattack occurs when hackers use previously infected machines to generate a high book of requests to flood the target arrangement or waiter. This creates besides much traffic for the server to handle, resulting in a disturbance of services. basically, it shuts polish your internet. While this attack is typically launched against businesses and video game services, it can occur against an individual, though this is a lot less common. on-line gamers are at peculiarly high hazard for this, as their riddle is visible while streaming ( on which an IP address can be discovered ) .
Hacking into your device
The internet uses ports adenine well as your IP address to connect. There are thousands of ports for every IP cover, and a hacker who knows your information science can try those ports to attempt to force a connection. For case, they could take over your earphone and steal your information. If a criminal does obtain access to your device, they could install malware on it .
How to protect and hide your IP address
Hiding your IP address is a way to protect your personal information and on-line identity. The two primary coil ways to hide your IP savoir-faire are :
- Using a proxy server
- Using a virtual private network (VPN)
A proxy server is an mediator server through which your traffic is routed :
- The internet servers you visit see only the IP address of that proxy server and not your IP address.
- When those servers send information back to you, it goes to the proxy server, which then routes it to you.
A drawback of proxy servers is that some of the services can spy on you — so you need to trust it. Depending on which one you use, they can besides insert ads into your browser .
VPN offers a better solution :
- When you connect your computer – or smartphone or tablet – to a VPN, the device acts as if it is on the same local network as the VPN.
- All your network traffic is sent over a secure connection to the VPN.
- Because your computer behaves as if it is on the network, you can securely access local network resources even when you are in another country.
- You can also use the internet as if you were present at the VPN’s location, which has benefits if you are using public Wi-Fi or want to access geo-blocked websites.
Kaspersky Secure Flickroomn is a VPN that protects you on public Wi-Fi, keeps your communications private, and ensures that you are not exposed to phishing, malware, viruses, and other cyber threats .
When should you use VPN
Using a VPN hides your IP address and redirects your traffic through a offprint server, making it much safer for you online. Situations where you might use a VPN include :
When using public Wi-Fi
When using a populace Wi-Fi network, even one that is password-protected, a VPN is advisable. If a hacker is on the same Wi-Fi network, it is easily for them to snoop on your data. The basic security that the average populace Wi-Fi network employs does not provide robust protective covering from other users on the lapp net .
Using a VPN will add an extra layer of security to your data, ensuring you bypass the public Wi-Fi ’ mho ISP and encrypting all your communication .
When you are traveling
If you are traveling to a extraneous country – for exemplar, China, where sites like Facebook are blocked – a VPN can help you access services that may not be available in that nation .
The VPN will frequently allow you to use streaming services that you paid for and have access to in your home area, but they are not available in another because of external rights issues. Using a VPN can enable you to use the service as if you were at home. Travelers may besides be able to find cheaper airfare when using a VPN, as prices can vary from region to region .
When you are working remotely
This is particularly relevant in the post-COVID world, where many people are working remotely. much employers require the use of a VPN to entree company services remotely for security reasons. A VPN that connects to your function ‘s waiter can give you access to internal caller networks and resources when you are not in the office. It can do the same for your home network while you are out and approximately .
When you just want some privacy
even in the quilt of your own base, using the internet for everyday purposes, using a VPN can be a good theme. Whenever you access a web site, the waiter you connect to logs your IP address and attaches it to all the other data the site can learn about you : your browsing habits, what you click on, how long you spend looking at a particular page. They can sell this datum to advertise companies who use it to tailor ads directly to you. This is why ads on the internet sometimes feel queerly personal : it ’ s because they are. Your IP address can besides be used to track your placement, evening when your location services are turned off. Using a VPN prevents you from leaving footprints on the web .
Don ’ t forget your mobile devices, either. They have IP addresses besides, and you probably use them in a wide assortment of locations than your home plate computer, including populace Wi-Fi hotspots. It is advisable to use a VPN on your mobile when connecting to a net you may not in full trust .
Other ways to protect your privacy
Apps installed on your device are a major informant of IP savoir-faire hack. instant message and other calling apps can be used as a instrument by cybercriminals. Using IM apps entirely allows direct connections from contacts and does n’t accept calls or messages from people you don ’ thymine know. Changing your privacy settings makes it harder to find your IP address because people who don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know you can not connect with you .
Create unique passwords
Your device password is the entirely barrier that can restrict people from accessing your device. Some people prefer to stick to their devices ‘ default option passwords, which makes them vulnerable to attack. Like all your accounts, your device needs to have a unique and firm password that is not easily to decode. A strong password contains a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numerals, and characters. This will help to safeguard your device against IP address chop .
Stay alert to phishing emails and malicious content
A gamey symmetry of malware and device trailing software is installed via phishing emails. When you connect with any locate, this provides the web site with access to your IP address and device placement, making it vulnerable to hacking. Be argus-eyed when opening emails from strange senders and avoid clicking on links that could send you to unauthorized sites. Pay close attention to the emails ‘ contented, even if they appear to come from well-known sites and legitimate businesses.
Read more: Google drive
Use a good antivirus solution and keep it up to date
Install comprehensive antivirus software and keep it up to date. For example, Kaspersky ’ s Anti-Virus protective covering guards you from viruses on your personal computer and Android devices, secures and stores your passwords and secret documents, and encrypts the data you send and receive on-line with VPN .
Protecting your IP address is a all-important view of protecting your on-line identity. Securing it through these steps is a means to stay dependable against the wide-eyed diverseness of cybercriminals ‘ attacks .