Do you want to know what is an IP address? You must have seen these infamous numbers 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.254, 192.168.0.1, 192.168.2.1, 10.0.0.1, 192.168.8.1, etc. somewhere on the internet and wondered what they are.
What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a set of numbers assigned to a particular device like router, mobile, computer, etc which further connects to a network. You can check the 10 best gaming routers for 2019 from here.
This IP address is basically used for two basic reasons: for addressing a location and for identifying a network. An IP address is made up of some numbers which are called octets as they consist of eight positions with 32 bits.
Types of IP Address
There are actually two types of IP addresses. One is the local IP address or private IP address. The other is called external IP address or the public IP address.
1. Local IP Address
Your router’s IP address is called a local IP address. It is basically used within a small network.
Your house or a building using a centralized internet connection with a Wi-Fi or LAN connection (wired) is a network that uses local IP address. It is used to communicate through all the devices connected within a single server or router.
Local IP address can be modified or change. This is possible when you configure your router properly.
2. External IP Address
The external or public IP address is the IP address that your computer or smartphone use to communicate in the World Wide Web. The external IP address is only provided by your Internet Service Provider or ISP.
How to Find My IP Address
As we have mentioned earlier, there are two types of IP addresses. The local and external IP address. They are different from one another.
The local IP address is provided by your router and can be modified at will as long as you have access to its web-based utility interface.
The external IP address, on the other hand, is fixed given by your ISP. You cannot change it at will. But if you really want to have it changed, you will need to contact your ISP and have them agree on your request. Now, if you want to know your local IP address, check out these articles:
If you want to find out your external IP address, just click this link. External IP address is a vital information when you go online. This can be used to locate you or even steal access to your computer or smartphone.
While that is a bit unlikely, it is still possible. So be careful with unknown websites that you visit.
How to Hide My IP Address
This question is only applicable on external IP addresses. Since it is only the one that is prone or exposed to outside entities, users should always apply caution when browsing online.
Now, if you are the type who visit suspicious websites like torrent sites, we highly suggest that you hide your IP address. I can’t tell you enough how serious and dangerous those sites are.
Please read these methods on how to hide your IP address. And please, make sure to apply them when necessary.
1. Use VPN
One of the easiest and most sought out way to hide an IP address is through the use of VPN. It is much safer and more convenient.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network’s main role is to change your IP address and location at the same time. That means you could appear to be in USA when you are actually in India.
Your IP address will be masked, hidden, and nowhere to be seen. That is what a VPN can do for you. Here are a few of the great and reliable VPN apps that you can start with:
2. Connect to Mobile Data
If you are using DSL or Fiber-based internet connection, then the mobile data is an alternate way to change your IP address. This could be a Wi-Fi dongle (Jiofi.local.html), your smartphone’s mobile data, or your friend’s mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
While these options might not be for large data capacity activities, they are good for quick visits on websites. This is true for websites that you want to hide your real IP address.
3. Connect to Public Wi-Fi
Another way to use a different IP address is to connect to a public Wi-Fi such as from Starbucks, and other public establishments. Although they are not very ideal, it is still an option nonetheless.
Just do not access your financial accounts like bank and credit cards when using public Wi-Fi. You never know who’s snooping and waiting for you to enter your login information on one of your accounts.
4. Ask Your ISP
While this may raise some questions from your Internet Service Provider, it is still worth the shot. When you do call your ISP, expect some questions about your intention why you want to change your IP address.
Always remember, asking nicely goes a long way. When you are off to a bad start, you might not get your new IP address anytime soon.
5. Refresh Your Router/Modem
If your ISP gives you a dynamic IP address, there is a good chance that you could change your IP address just by unplugging the router/modem. This is like resetting your router but on ISP level. Disconnecting your router usually triggers the ISP server to refresh your IP address.
There is a caveat for this, though. To make this work, you need to stay unplugged for a couple of hours. No exact amount of time but to be sure, an overnight thing will do.
When you go to sleep, unplug your router/modem. By tomorrow when you go back online, you should have a new external IP address. Et Voila!
We hope that this has been enough for you to understand what an IP address is for and why it’s so important. To make it short, it is the equivalent of a person’s residential address.
It is used to identify and locate you at any given time with the right tool. So we advise that you do not broadcast or in anyway publicized your IP address to avoid being hacked or targeted by online criminals.
Your IP address should only be known by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and yourself. That’s all.