Many people are familiar with a term IP address. Some know what it looks like, what it stands for, where to look it up in the settings or with an IP checker. However, the majority doesn’t understand what its purpose is and what information is hidden behind it, but most people don`t even know how to find the device IP address. We prepared you a quick summary which will help you to sort out information.
What is an IP?
So what’s the official IP address definition? This abbreviation stands for “Internet Protocol.” It is a unique number assigned for all devices when they connect to the Internet — desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. It is a system of rules that define a format of data distributed via the Internet; it is a way your data travels through the world wide web.
It is an obligatory parameter for any web connection. Every computer receives a specific numeric combination, which is technically its home address. IPs are distributed between providers by national centers. Then, each distributes them between their own clients — web users just like you. You are able to view yours easily with an IP checker (you’ll find more details below).
If you are not sure about the authenticity of a certain website, or have an intent to make a website from scratch, you should check its origin. If you want to know where the website server is located, there is a quick way to do this. Just enter the domain name in our IP detector and wait for the results to find out who hosts this.
What is its purpose?
IPs are divided into several classes, each with slightly different opportunities and purposes.
For example, static ones are the most common. This kind:
- connects a user to a network and organizes a protected channel;
- allows creating FTP server;
- allows using servers from an external network;
- is perfect for peer systems.
There are also dedicated IPs, which enable users with some more opportunities. This kind is more interesting for website owners. For instance, if a person uses hosting services, all websites related to a certain server will have the same address. In case one of them violates the rules, all the other resources will be blocked as well. Dedicated IP helps to prevent that. It also provides protection against DDoS attacks, allows counting a number of visits and creating a functional email service. You can read about our article “What Is a CDN and Do You Need It” to find out the benefits of using a dedicated server.
Information you share
IP information contains quite many details about you. A person who knows your IP knows your location, including country, region/state/province, city, and zip code. Almost every online finder features this data. Marketing specialists use these findings together with information received from metadata, cookie test files, trackers, etc. to create your detailed profile. Thus, they know the resources you visit, things you are interested in, people you communicate with, and your location up to the neighborhood. This is how you later see all the targeted advertising. If you want to see what data you share, use any IP checker.
Internet providers have access to even more information. Clients need to indicate and verify their names, phone numbers, sometimes even credit card details. For example, in Australia and the UK, providers are obliged to register all online actions and share this data with numerous governmental organizations. It means providers are able to track sites and pages without HTTPS protocol you visit, as well as domain visits to HTTPS (though not separate pages).
Types of IPs
IPv4 and IPv6 protocols
IPv4 is a four-digit Internet protocol, each digit located in a range from 0 to 255 and divided from another by a dot. It is a good option for small corporate networks. Interestingly, several different computers or websites can have the same IPs, but they will be unique for each in the internal network. Over 4 million of these protocols are currently used, and an IP checker is going to show you this four-digit combination. Taking into consideration the number of devices in the world wide web, this is not enough.
With time, people realized that the IPv4 protocol is going to interfere with network development. Besides, their number is limited by their 32-bit structure. The last IPv4 were distributed in 2011. It led to introducing a new solution — IPv6. There are over 20,000 current users of IPv6 protocol, including Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
IPv6 has a 128-bit structure and consists of 16 digits divided into eight blocks. Unlike IPv4, they use colons instead of dots. Although IPv6 format IPs are longer, they are simpler since they don’t contain any unnecessary information.
Static and dynamic address
Dynamic IP is the one assigned automatically. It changes every time a device connects to the web: you get the one which is free at the moment, while another user gets the one you used yesterday. If you try to view it with IP checker, you’ll see different numbers every time.
Static IP, also called constant or real, is assigned to a particular device on a regular basis. It is set-up by a provider or on your own when you sign to the services.
How to check IP address
The question “What is my IP address?” can catch you anytime and for different reasons. It may be required for some additional settings, for upgrading safety features, or if you need to get access to some specific resources.
You can always check this data in settings. However, it’ll be easier to use an online IP checker. Just Google, “IP checker tool” or “What’s my IP,” and you’ll get a long list of websites that will display everything they know about you. Enter your or someone else’s parameters, and you’ll find out the location, up to the city, neighborhood, device type and OS, and much more. This checker will help to stay aware of your privacy and upgrade your security.
How to find the IP Address of your computer?
Windows. It refers to the internal IP address that is used on the local network. You may need it if you want to access your computer from another device on your home network – laptop, smartphone or tablet. So that is what you need to do:
- Right-click on the Taskbar.
- Select Task Manager:
- If the Dispatcher opens in a simplified view, click Details:
- Click the Performance tab.
- Highlight the Ethernet item and on the right, you will see the current IP address of your PC.
Mac IOs. For those who use IOS, we’ll tell you another way to find out your IP via the control panel:
- Go to the “System Settings” and click “Network”
- Click on “Advanced” in the lower right corner.
- Click on the TCP / IP tab and you will see your IP address right next to the word “Router”