You’ve certainly heard of IP addresses before, but you might not realize that they can reveal personal information. Websites, advertisers, and marketers can get a detailed picture of you based on your IP address and other information scraped from cookies, browser fingerprinting, and trackers. Read more
Follow along to learn more about IP addresses and why you should care:
Explaining IP Addresses
When a device (a smartphone, laptop, router, printer, etc.) connects to the Internet, it is given a number known as an Internet Protocol address, or simply an IP address. Both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) are in use today and perform the same basic functions: Learn More
Determine the identity of the host.
IPv4 is a 32-bit protocol that supports just over 4 billion unique identifiers. On the other hand, IPv6 was created as a solution to the impending problem of IPv4 address exhaustion. It has a 128-bit addressing system, which lets it have 340 undecillion different addresses, which is more than its predecessor.
Separating Public and Private IP Addresses
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will designate a unique number known as an IP address whenever you connect to the Internet. This is visible to the public and is used by websites and gadgets to communicate with your network; without one, you cannot access the Internet.
Your router uses the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to give any device that isn’t directly connected to the Internet its own private IP (internal or local) address. All the devices on your LAN can talk to each other without anybody else being able to see or hear them.
What Private Details Does An IP Address Reveal?
Having learned what an IP address is and how it operates, we can move on to discussing the two most important pieces of data an IP address can reveal:
In what part of the world do you currently reside?
Your Internet provider, city, state/region, and even nation can all be deduced from your IP address. Your Internet service provider, postal code, hostname, and the type of connection you use are also shown.
While an IP address won’t reveal your home address, a nosy onlooker can use your location data and web history to piece together a digital profile of the person behind it.
Logs of What You Looked At
Since your Internet service provider (ISP) is in charge of giving and managing your network’s IP address (whether it’s a static or dynamic address), they can see everything you do online.
Depending on the country, an Internet service provider may be required to keep track of its customers’ online activities and correspondence for a certain amount of time. If the police serve a subpoena on your Internet service provider (ISP), all of your personal information will be given to the government.
Methods for Disguising Your Online Identity
You can prevent this invasion of privacy by using a virtual private network to mask your IP address (VPN). It not only replaces your IP address with a fake one but also reroutes your Internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, making it extremely difficult for anyone to track your location or see what you’re doing online.
While it’s tempting to use a free VPN because it costs nothing, know that many of them log your activities and sell your data to advertisers. Because they need to make money, however, they often do so at the expense of your online privacy. A premium VPN is preferable because it provides additional layers of protection and privacy and since it does not record any of your activity.
When it comes to virtual private networks (VPNs), PureVPN is a name that’s trusted by many. It’s headquartered in Hong Kong and gives users unrestricted use of its 300,000+ anonymous IPs and network of more than 2,000 VPN servers spread across 141+ countries. Some of the features that help protect your privacy and security are the Internet Kill Switch, WebRTC leak protection, Port Forwarding, and so on.
The Closing Statement
Okay, I think that’s everything. If you’re concerned about how your online activity and whereabouts are being tracked, hiding your IP address is your best choice.