What Does A Ip Address Do

What Does A Ip Address Do

What is an IP Address – Definition and Explanation – Kaspersky

HTTP & SOCKS Rotating & Static Proxies

  • 72 million IPs for all purposes
  • Worldwide locations
  • 3 day moneyback guarantee

Visit brightdata.com

IP address definition
An IP address is a unique 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 essence, IP addresses are the identifier that allows information to be sent between devices on a network: they contain location information and make devices accessible for communication. The internet needs a way to differentiate between different computers, routers, and websites. IP addresses provide a way of doing so and form an essential part 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 set of four numbers — an example address might be 192. 158. 1. 38. Each number in the set can range from 0 to 255. So, the full IP addressing range goes from 0. 0. 0 to 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 usable by all. Each time anyone registers a domain on the internet, they go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN to register the domain.
How do IP addresses work
If you want to understand why a particular 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 work.
Internet Protocol works the same way as any other language, by communicating using set guidelines to pass information. All devices find, send, and exchange information with other connected devices using this protocol. By speaking the same language, any computer in any location can talk to one another.
The use of IP addresses typically happens behind the scenes. The process 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 process implies, there are different 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 service plan will have two types of IP addresses: their private IP addresses and their public IP address. The terms public and private relate to the network location — that is, a private IP address is used inside a network, while a public 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 also any Bluetooth-enabled devices like speakers, printers, or smart 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 separately, and many items need a way to recognize each other. Therefore, your router generates private IP addresses that are unique identifiers for each device that differentiate them on the network.
Public IP addresses
A public IP address is the primary address associated with your whole network. While each connected device has its own IP address, they are also included within the main 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 come in two forms – dynamic and static.
Dynamic IP addresses
Dynamic IP addresses change automatically and regularly. ISPs buy a large pool of IP addresses and assign them automatically to their customers. Periodically, they re-assign them and put the older IP addresses back into the pool to be used for other customers. The rationale for this approach is to generate cost savings for the ISP. Automating the regular movement 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, too, 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, static addresses remain consistent. Once the network assigns an IP address, it remains the same. Most individuals and businesses do not need a static IP address, but for businesses that plan to host their own server, it is crucial to have one. This is because a static IP address ensures that websites and email addresses tied to it will have a consistent IP address — vital if you want other devices to be able to find them consistently on the web.
This leads to the next point – which is the two types of website IP addresses.
There are two types of website IP addresses
For website owners who don’t host their own server, and instead rely on a web hosting package – which is the case for most websites – there are two types of website IP addresses. These are shared and dedicated.
Shared IP addresses
Websites that rely on shared hosting 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 dedicated IP address (or addresses). This can make obtaining an SSL certificate easier and allows you to run your own File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. This makes it easier to share and transfer files with multiple people within an organization and allow anonymous FTP sharing options. A dedicated IP address also allows you to access your website using the IP address alone rather than the domain name — useful if you want to build and test it before registering your domain.
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 top of the page.
Other websites will show you the same information: they can see your public IP address because, by visiting the site, your router has made a request and therefore revealed the information. The site IPLocation goes further by showing the name of your ISP and your city.
Generally, you will only receive an approximation of location using this technique — where the provider is, but not the actual device location. If you are doing this, remember to log out of your VPN too. Obtaining the actual physical location address for the public IP address usually requires a search warrant to be submitted to the ISP.
Finding your private IP address varies by platform:
In Windows:
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 brand and the software it uses. Generally, 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 “attached devices, ” which should display a list of all the devices currently or recently attached to the network — including their IP addresses.
IP address security threats
Cybercriminals can use various techniques to obtain your IP address. Two of the most common are social engineering and online stalking.
Attackers can use social engineering to deceive you into revealing your IP address. For example, they can find you through Skype or a similar instant messaging application, which uses IP addresses to communicate. If you chat with strangers using these apps, it is important 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.
Online stalking
Criminals can track down your IP address by merely stalking your online activity. Any number of online 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 website, such as, 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 LinkedIn, 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 likely confirm your identity to the stalker.
If cybercriminals know your IP address, they can launch attacks against you or even impersonate you. It is important to be aware of the risks and how to mitigate them. Risks include:
Downloading illegal content using your IP address
Hackers are known to use hacked IP addresses to download illegal content and anything else they do not want to be traced back to them. For example, using the identity of your IP address, criminals could download pirated movies, music, and video – which would breach your ISP’s terms of use – and much more seriously, content related to terrorism or child pornography. This could mean that you – through no fault of your own – could attract the attention of law enforcement.
Tracking down your location
If they know your IP address, hackers can use geolocation technology to identify your region, city, and state. They only need to do a little more digging on social media to identify your home and potentially burgle it when they know you are away.
Directly attacking your network
Criminals can directly target your network and launch a variety of assaults. One of the most popular is a DDoS attack (distributed denial-of-service). This type of cyberattack occurs when hackers use previously infected machines to generate a high volume of requests to flood the targeted system or server. This creates too much traffic for the server to handle, resulting in a disruption of services. Essentially, it shuts down your internet. While this attack is typically launched against businesses and video game services, it can occur against an individual, though this is much less common. Online gamers are at particularly high risk for this, as their screen is visible while streaming (on which an IP address can be discovered).
Hacking into your device
The internet uses ports as well as your IP address to connect. There are thousands of ports for every IP address, and a hacker who knows your IP can try those ports to attempt to force a connection. For example, they could take over your phone 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 online identity. The two primary ways to hide your IP address are:
Using a proxy server
Using a virtual private network (VPN)
A proxy server is an intermediary 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 also 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 Connection 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 separate server, making it much safer for you online. Situations where you might use a VPN include:
When using public Wi-Fi
When using a public 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 easy for them to snoop on your data. The basic security that the average public Wi-Fi network employs does not provide robust protection from other users on the same network.
Using a VPN will add an extra layer of security to your data, ensuring you bypass the public Wi-Fi’s ISP and encrypting all your communication.
When you are traveling
If you are traveling to a foreign country – for example, China, where sites like Facebook are blocked – a VPN can help you access services that may not be available in that country.
The VPN will often allow you to use streaming services that you paid for and have access to in your home country, but they are not available in another because of international rights issues. Using a VPN can enable you to use the service as if you were at home. Travelers may also 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 especially relevant in the post-COVID world, where many people are working remotely. Often employers require the use of a VPN to access company services remotely for security reasons. A VPN that connects to your office’s server can give you access to internal company networks and resources when you are not in the office. It can do the same for your home network while you are out and about.
When you just want some privacy
Even in the comfort of your own home, using the internet for everyday purposes, using a VPN can be a good idea. Whenever you access a website, the server 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 data to advertising companies who use it to tailor ads straight to you. This is why ads on the internet sometimes feel oddly personal: it’s because they are. Your IP address can also be used to track your location, even 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 too, and you probably use them in a wider variety of locations than your home computer, including public Wi-Fi hotspots. It is advisable to use a VPN on your mobile when connecting to a network you may not fully trust.
Other ways to protect your privacy
Change privacy settings on instant messaging applications
Apps installed on your device are a major source of IP address hacking. Instant messaging and other calling apps can be used as a tool by cybercriminals. Using IM apps only allows direct connections from contacts and doesn’t accept calls or messages from people you don’t know. Changing your privacy settings makes it harder to find your IP address because people who don’t know you cannot connect with you.
Create unique passwords
Your device password is the only barrier that can restrict people from accessing your device. Some people prefer to stick to their devices’ default passwords, which makes them vulnerable to attack. Like all your accounts, your device needs to have a unique and strong password that is not easy 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 hacking.
Stay alert to phishing emails and malicious content
A high proportion of malware and device tracking software is installed via phishing emails. When you connect with any site, this provides the site with access to your IP address and device location, making it vulnerable to hacking. Be vigilant when opening emails from unknown senders and avoid clicking on links that could send you to unauthorized sites. Pay close attention to the emails’ content, even if they appear to come from well-known sites and legitimate businesses.
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 protection guards you from viruses on your PC and Android devices, secures and stores your passwords and private documents, and encrypts the data you send and receive online with VPN.
Protecting your IP address is a crucial aspect of protecting your online identity. Securing it through these steps is a way to stay safe against the wide variety of cybercriminals’ attacks.
Related articles:
How safe are smart homes
Internet of Things security threats
What is IP spoofing and how to prevent it
What is Voice Over IP (VOIP)
Tips to protect yourself from cyberstalkers
6 Basics Things to Know About IP Addresses

HTTP Rotating & Static

  • 40 million IPs for all purposes
  • 195+ locations
  • 3 day moneyback guarantee

Visit smartproxy.com

6 Basics Things to Know About IP Addresses

The “IP” part of IP address stands for “Internet Protocol. ” The “address” part refers to a unique number that gets linked to all online activity you do…somewhat like a return address on a letter you’d send out. (All this happens in milliseconds. )
That’s the end of today’s lesson. At least it should be.
Because from this point on, it gets complicated fast. And confusing. Information technology (IT) is crazy stuff and it’s best left to those who have to deal with computers and networks.
Still, we’re all on the Internet these days, and it seems we’re always connected through our personal computers, laptops or mobile devices. And every time you go on the Internet, an IP address is right there, working for you.
And with so much obscure information (and misinformation) out there about the IP address, it’s helpful to know the basics.
You’ve got connections.
Your computer is hooked up to the Internet, one way or the other. When you go online for email, to shop or chat, your request has to be sent out to the right destination, and the responses and information you want need to come back directly to you.
An IP address plays a significant role in that.
You and your computer actually connect to the Internet indirectly: You first connect to a network that is 1) connected to the Internet itself and 2) grants or gives you access to the Internet.
That network might be your Internet service provider (ISP) at home, or a company network at work, or a wireless network at a hotel or coffee shop when you’re on the road. But with millions of computers on the Internet, how can your single computer jump right in and get you your work or personal emails and more without any problems?
Protocols are Protocols
To make sure you can do your thing on the Internet, your computer’s networking software is hardwired to follow a list of built-in networking standards and rules (yes, protocols) to connect to Internet, and to swap information and data back and forth.
One of those networking protocols on your computer, the Internet Protocol, is responsible for addressing, delivering and routing your online requests precisely. It attaches an “electronic return address” to all your online requests and activity for you. The address it uses is the IP address for your connection.
So long, IP address. It was nice while it lasted.
When you’re at home, an IP address is assigned to your computer by your Internet service provider (think Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, or AT&T). Since they are the ones giving you access to the Internet, it’s their role to assign an IP address to your computer. Your Internet activity goes through them, and they route it back to you, using your IP address.
But don’t get attached to it. Don’t tattoo your IP address to your arm, because it’s not really yours. Even at home it can change if you do something as simple as turn your modem or router on and off. Or you can contact your Internet service provider and they can change it for you.
You can’t take it with you.
Plus, if you go on vacation and take along your laptop, your home IP address doesn’t go with you. It can’t, because on vacation you’ll be using another network to connect to the Internet.
So, when you’re at a coffee shop in another city or state (or just down the road) and you’re using their WiFi to get your email, you’re using a different (and temporary) IP address, one assigned to your laptop on the fly by the ISP for that coffee shop’s Internet provider.
Same thing happens when you travel. As you move from the airport to your hotel to the local coffee house, your IP address will change each and every time.
But you don’t have to think about it at all, or open the hood of your computer and flip switches. It all happens thanks to the intelligent design behind the Internet, wireless networks and all those Internet Protocols your computer uses.
“One latte and an IP address to go, please. ”
You can see all this for yourself. Next time you’re using your laptop at a library, work or the corner store, just click on and check out the IP address you’re using.
And to learn a little more about IP addresses, read the other articles right here on this website.
Get hidden now. »» I want to hide my IP
Related Articles
What is an IP address (technical)
See information about an IP address?
How do I hide my IP address?
How do I change my IP address?
What does an IP address tell you and how it can put you at risk

What does an IP address tell you and how it can put you at risk

April 23, 2021
Cars have VINs. Humans have Social Security numbers. And our internet-connected devices have unique identifiers, too — Internet Protocol addresses, commonly known as IP addresses.
Similar to those other identifiers in our lives, an IP address does reveal a little bit about you, namely your geolocation.
Here, we’ll dig further into the meaning, purpose, and inner workings of an IP address to explain just what does an IP address tell you — and others.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a string of numbers assigned to an internet-connected device, much like an address on a house. Your computer network uses the IP address to communicate with other computers, websites, and all parts of cyberspace.
Essentially, IP addresses are how computers on the internet recognize one another. Your internet service provider (ISP) assigns IP addresses to your internet-connected devices, and every IP address is unique. Considering every single internet-connected device has an IP address, billions of IP addresses exist.
You can think of an IP address like a membership card to enter the World Wide Web. Every device that can connect to the internet is a member of the World Wide Web — computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, routers, etc. — and all have an IP address. Websites and computer networks require that form of identification for you to interact with them.
Understanding an IP address and how it works aside, it’s also important to understand the purpose of IP addresses in the first place.
What is the purpose of an IP address?
An IP address can be considered a digital address for your internet-connected devices, as it reveals your geolocation to help the internet deliver content that’s relevant to you.
For example, it’s due in part to your IP address that you see local restaurants pop up when you search “sushi restaurants. ”
How to find your IP address
To find your IP address, simply Google “what is my IP address. ” It’s as simple as that: The internet provides your IP address back to you. The internet knows your IP address because it’s assigned to your device and it is required to browse the internet.
Worth mentioning is that your IP address changes every time you connect to a different Wi-Fi network or router. Online users won’t even know the difference and, generally, they don’t need to — much like how they don’t necessarily need to know how to read an IP address.
Rather, online users should be aware of what information their IP address reveals.
What information does my IP address reveal?
IP addresses do reveal your geolocation, but not your precise location like a home address and never your name, phone number, or other precise personal information. Instead, IP addresses might reveal your city, ZIP code, or area code of where you are connecting to the internet at that moment — this is why IP addresses change every time you connect from a new location or using a new router.
And it’s generally your router’s IP address that is revealed, not the IP address of your internet-connected devices such as a computer, tablet, or mobile phone that communicate with a router to connect to the internet. Sure, these internet-connected devices share their IP address with your router, but your router uses its own IP address to grant your device access to the World Wide Web.
It’s for this reason that your IP address almost always reveals the geolocation of your ISP’s nearest servers — not your physical location at all — and your IP address also reveals the name of your ISP.
Finally, to put your mind at ease, we have answers to a few common IP address FAQs regarding what information an IP address reveals about you:
What does an IP address tell you? For the most part, an IP address tells you the city, ZIP code, or area code of your ISP, as well as your ISP’s name.
What can an IP address tell you? To some degree, your physical location and also the name of your ISP.
Can IP addresses reveal your identity? No, not outrightly. However, others can piece together bits of your identity, using your IP address and by following your online activity.
How others can find your IP address — and why they want to
For others to find your IP address, it is not as easy as searching “What is [insert name]’s IP address. ” It takes a bit more legwork. But it’s also not as difficult as some might think, considering we leave our digital footprints and, in turn, IP addresses behind online with every click.
Remember, IP addresses are like your membership card to the internet and are required to enter any website and webpage on it. So, every time you click something online it’s like signing a guestbook and your IP address is the signature you leave behind. This includes social media sites, internet forums, chatrooms, and blogs you comment on. All of these platforms can view your IP address.
Also, cybercriminals can find your IP address by hacking into your home network or placing a bug in email HTML.
For a more straightforward approach to find your IP address, others might simply borrow your device and Google “what is my IP address” or inspect the header of an email address. There are also IP lookup services, whereby users can simply copy and paste an IP address into a search bar and discover a person’s geolocation.
Authorities, including, law enforcement or fraud investigators, can also use subpoenas to contact your ISP and get your IP address.
But, why would other people want to know your IP address and what would they do with it?
Is it dangerous for people to know your IP address?
Since an IP address doesn’t outrightly reveal your personal information or confidential data, it’s generally not dangerous for people to know your IP address — but it all depends on who’s trying to access it.
Consider the following parties who might be interested in your IP address and why:
Authorities to piece together illegal activities
Employers to understand where you’re spending time online at work
Advertisers to target you with relevant products and services
Blacklist databases to block access from spammers
Retailers to cross-check your geolocation with your payment method’s mailing address
Chatrooms to block inappropriate users
Subscription services to block users from accessing content unavailable in their area or region
Hackers to install malware on your devices
Cybercriminals to put you at risk of Denial of Service attacks
Criminals who, if they already know your personal information, might call your ISP and commit a vishing attack
You might even want to use an IP address to confirm whether an online friend or virtual love interest resides where they say they do
As with most things in life, people’s intentions vary.
When it comes to others trying to find your IP address, some might have malicious intentions, such as to track you. Others, however, might be watching out for you, such as a well-intentioned bank confirming a transfer request is being submitted by you.
Finally, just because someone knows your IP address does not necessarily mean they will wind up on your doorstep. Still, you might want to take measures to protect your IP address.
How to protect your IP address
The simplest and most straightforward way to protect your IP address is to use a virtual private network (VPN) because this anonymizes your online activity using encryption. It also changes your IP address completely, placing your geolocation hundreds or maybe thousands of miles from where you actually are accessing the internet.
Talk about throwing someone off your digital tail.
The bottom line: IP addresses reveal geolocations and you can prevent this
No, IP addresses are not as sacred as our Social Security numbers, but it’s still worth understanding what an IP address reveals and also how to hide your IP address if you want to.
After all, being informed is a best practice when it comes to protecting our online privacy.
Cyber threats have evolved, and so have we.
Norton 360™ with LifeLock™, all-in-one, comprehensive protection against viruses, malware, identity theft, online tracking and much, much more.
Try Norton 360 with Lifelock.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Copyright © 2021 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U. S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3. 0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Frequently Asked Questions about what does a ip address do

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.