Most of modern people know pretty well how to use the Internet and what are the basic technical principles of connecting to the world wide web. The term IP address is often referred to. It means “Internet Protocol address”, or a set of digits which helps our laptops, mobile phones, computers, and other digital devices connect to the Internet. Thus, every digital communication device has its IP address and by using it, the devices can communicate with each other via the Internet. In addition, an IP address is a tool which allows to identify and differentiate the connected devices from one another.
The idea is similar to the one we all are familiar with: namely, our mailing addresses. In order to find each other, or send some information to each other, people can use their traditional mailing addresses. It works the same for IP addresses, which can be used by remote computers to pinpoint and exchange information with our computers or mobile phones. Every time we go online, our devices receive an IP address and they start working to help us in doing online shopping, booking tickets, sending emails, or doing other online operations.
An IP address is given to our electronic devices by the Internet service provider that we are using at the moment. It can be our home Internet provider, or a provider of Internet services for offices or public places. There are a few formats of typical IP addresses. An IPv4 address is a set of four numbers, with every each of those represented by one, two, or three digits, with the range from 0 to 255. Each set of numbers in such IP address is separated by a dot. The examples of such IP address format are the following: 188.8.131.52 or 184.108.40.206
The other format is called IPv6, which stands for Internet Protocol Version 6. This type includes eight groups of four digits (0-9) and/or letters (from a to f), separated from each other with a colon (:). The examples of IPv6 formats are:
At that, the sections of such an IP address which contain four zeroes can be replaced by another colon. This format was introduced in the late 1990s and successfully launched in the early 2000s as a substitution for IPv4. IPv6 addresses have the 128-bit length. Comparing to IPv4, IPv6 format is considered to be more advanced as to the issues of security and authentication.
An IP address can be dynamic (or changing) and static (constant). Static IP addresses are better for those who play online games or for VOIP users, since such type of IP addresses helps to easily locate the device online. A dynamic IP address is a temporary set of digits which is usually taken from so called “IP address pool” and is assigned by the provider to the device while connecting the Internet. It is believed that static IP addresses are less secure than the dynamic ones because it can be easier to track the device with a static IP address. Nevertheless, it is hardly possible to harvest any kind of specific and sensitive information about a person by using only the IP address.
Even if someone knows your IP address, too much of personal information will not be revealed. By knowing the IP address one can know or guess your country or area code, the approximate latitude and longitude of your location, the name of your Internet service provider, and possibly the name of your organization. However, it is impossible to get such personal information as your first and second name, your home address, your phone number, your email address, or your banking card information by knowing your IP address.
Thus, there is no need in doing everything possible to hide your IP address. Remember that if you go to another city or when you start to search for some information online in your mobile device by using a public Wi Fi, your IP address changes. Even when you are at home and reset your router or modem, your IP address also changes. In order to avoid all possible problems and keep your digital device safe, regardless of what your IP address is, always remember to use secure Internet practices and be very careful when sharing your personal information with other people.