What Is An IP Address, And How Does It Work?

Hide your IP


IP addresses are the method by which your computer is found on the network and how information gets back to you. Each device on a network has a unique identifier, known as an IP address, that allows it to communicate with other devices and services. 


When you go online, your router will typically have one IP address (its "external" or "public" address) that it uses to connect to the rest of the Internet. 


In contrast, each device on your local network will have a different IP address that identifies it locally on your Wi-Fi or ethernet connection.


The latter example is an "internal IP address," while the former is external. Together, these are known as IP pairs.


An external IP address is assigned by an internet service provider (ISP), generally through a DHCP server within the ISP's network, and can be static or dynamic. A static IP address will never change and always point back to the same device. In contrast, a dynamic IP address may change periodically and point towards different hardware over time.


IP Address Overview For Beginners


Have you ever had a friend give you directions to their house, and they tell you something like: "Turn right at The Painted Pony gas station and then go straight for about two miles." Once you pass the big oak tree, we're on the right, in the green house with white shutters. "


If so, what your friend just described was their IP address! Their IP address is a unique sequence of numbers that identifies their location—in this case, their home.


An IP address has two parts: 

  1. The network ID, comprising the first three numbers of the address, 
  2. and a host ID, the fourth number in the address. 

So on your home network — 182.148.2.1, for example — 182.148.2.1 is the network ID, and the final number is the host ID.


Who can use your IP address?


The short answer is, everyone. The long answer is: not everyone can take over your IP address and start using it as their own, but some people do have access to it and, therefore, the ability to collect data related to it. For example, your ISP can always see what websites you have visited on the web. Meanwhile, the websites you visit can track your location and actions to customize their offerings.


How do I protect my IP address?


benefit of VPN


The good news is that it is possible to protect your IP address by hiding it. This is done by using a VPN (virtual private network) service, which routes your internet connection through another IP address, thus hiding your real one. Besides that, VPNs have many other benefits too. You get more online privacy and security. Your internet traffic is encrypted and cannot be read by third parties such as advertisers or government agencies or misused by hackers.


Many people use a VPN service to protect their privacy and security while surfing the web from home. However, there are other uses for it too. A VPN can help you access blocked websites or content, bypass censorship filters at work or school, and stream movies and TV shows from other countries, such as Netflix US or BBC I Player in the UK.


Most VPN services have free trials, so you can test them out before making a decision. When choosing one, make sure to check out these important considerations to find the right one for your needs: speed and performance, server network size and locations, privacy policy, user interface, and app availability, device compatibility, and customer support options.


Conclusion


In conclusion, you have to understand that the purpose of an IP address is to identify an individual computer (or network) so that information can be sent to it. Most importantly, you need to know that they are crucial in preventing hackers from getting into your system.


I hope you guys understand about IP addresses. I mention here the main points, and you can research more on the Internet. And there are many types of IP addresses in the world that are very hard to understand. Good luck.

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