The internet is an amazing thing, isn’t it? It lets you search, explore, and distribute information along with communicating across the world. But have you ever thought “the web is so vast yet I am always in the right lane, receiving and sending information without any errors”?
There hasn’t been any instance when the internet mistook you for some other user, right?
This is because every device connected to the internet has a “unique IP address” which differentiates one device from another.
Let us explain the basics of the IP address, making it easier for you to understand it and take preventive measures to secure your online presence. Also, this discussion will answer your questions such as “what is my IP” and “how can I leverage it”.
So, keep reading!
What is IP Address?
Internet Protocol address can be best defined as a unique string of characters that is used to identify each computer device connected to the internet.
When you are connected to the web, your IP address helps the internet to recognize you among other users. It’s more like your device’s physical address than the identification number.
Basically, it’s the IP address that enables computing devices to send and receive data across the web. If it isn’t for the IP address, you may not be able to communicate effectively over the internet.
There are two versions of the IP address which include IPV4 and IPV6.
Take into account that IPV6 is the most recent and more effective version that facilitates communication and location systems for computer devices over the web.
Let’s move forward to discuss the types of IP addresses so that you can have a better understanding of them.
What are the Types of IP Addresses?
There are two types of IP addresses which include Public IP addresses and Private IP addresses.
Here’s a quick view of the types of IP addresses:
Public IP Address
A public IP address is specified to the network router. For instance, your home’s wiFi. It has a unique public IP address that its service provider assigned to it. Every device connected to it shares the same IP.
In case you are wondering what my IP address is, then you can search on Google or use an online tool to check it.
Keep in mind that the internet you use at your home has a different IP address than the internet you use at the office or any other place. This means that your public IP address changes when you change your internet connection.
The public IP address is further categorized into static and dynamic IP addresses.
Static IP Address
Static IP address never changes, making it easier for the devices to be identified on the network. Once it is assigned to a device, it becomes permanent and remains the same.
Dynamic IP Address
A dynamic IP address is more like a temporary address that keeps changing with time. Dynamic IP is preferable to static because it makes the devices invulnerable to hacking attacks.
Private IP Address
A private IP address is assigned to every device that is connected to a private or local area network. It lets the devices communicate over the private network, prohibiting any outsider from tracking it.
Why Should I Know My IP Address?
Knowing the IP address can be very useful especially if you are an internet nerd. There are limitless possibilities of what you can do with the IP address. Most importantly, you must know your IP address if you want to hide your online presence from others. You can mask your IP address only when you know it yourself.
Take into account that an IP address comes in handy whenever you are required to:
- Troubleshoot Network Errors
If your internet is not working and you are unable to find out what’s wrong then there might be a problem between the router and network. You can use your IP address to ping and trace the internet’s route to validate the issue. This is the easiest way to get back online.
- Trace a Device’s Location
The location of a network device can be traced if its IP address is known. There’s a possibility that it might only reveal the country and city. However, if someone knows their way with networking then they might be able to trace the exact location of a device by using its IP address. That’s why it is imperative that you know “what is my IP address” so that you can hide it.
- Track an Email
It is no surprise that IP addresses can be used to trace the location of an email sender. Yes, whoever sends an email can be tracked down by its IP address. Anyhow, it might not pinpoint the exact location of the sender. It may only highlight the region of the server that the IP is using. You can make use of it in case someone sends you abusive emails or there’s some important client you need to track down.
- Identify Intruders
If anyone attempts to intrude on your network or send you abusive messages then you track their IP address to get back at them. Once you know their IP, it will be easier to trace their geolocation. You might be able to get more information that can help you identify the intruder.
- Control a Device Remotely
Knowing your IP can help you take remote control of your computer devices even if you are miles away. This is very helpful as you can use your computer remotely from any other location. For instance, you have an important file to copy from your personal computer but you are stuck at the office. You can simply use your IP address to get on your PC while sitting in your office.
IP addresses are the most important and incredible asset of the web. No online activity can be performed well without them. From facilitating communication across the web to helping track down important information about computer devices, IP addresses serve various useful purposes. If you want to check your network device’s unique identifier then you can leverage “what is my IP tool” or simply go through your internet settings to find your IP address.