An IP address is often heard and used, yet do we know what your IP address reveals? To send a package to a friend living in another country, you must know their exact location. That’s what an IP address is all about – it identifies a particular internet user.
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What Is an IP Address?
The web is made up of networks that are interconnected. Therefore, it requires a system that ensures that there’s excellent communication between these networks. That’s where an IP address comes in. The Internet Protocol, abbreviated as IP, is the technology that ensures there’s communication between these networks – you can call them system identifiers. IPs define, structure, and deliver data from one point to the other. Every device accessing the internet bears a unique number known as an IP address – you can’t access the internet without it.
Ways of Masking Your IP Address
Here are some of the ways of concealing your IP address:
Use A VPN
One way to bypass IP bans and geo-blocking is by using a VPN service. A VPN service will ensure that you:
- Hide your IP address – the VPN will change your IP address and allow you to browse anonymously.
- Encrypt your data – the service ensures that you are always protected from any attacks.
- Get around IP bans and geo-blocking – you can bypass any restrictions from the government or institution.
Use A Proxy Server
Proxies work in a similar way as VPNs. These servers will hide your IP address, allowing you to browse anonymously. To read more on what is a proxy visit Oxylabs’ blog. Generally, a proxy server will:
- Mask your IP address – your IP address will never be exposed. Proxies ensure that you are always protected every time you are online
- Help you get around geo-blocking, IP restrictions, and bans
There are many challenges that you face by exposing your IP address. Thus, to ensure that you are always protected every time you browse the internet, use proxies.
What Does Your IP Address Reveal?
IP addresses are sensitive numbers. They can show your exact location and your online activity. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the website you are accessing can be able to tell your physical location by just looking at your IP address.
There are a lot of challenges that you encounter by just exposing your IP address as you browse.
Challenges of Exposing Your IP Address
As highlighted earlier an IP address bears some vital information, including your geo-location details such as:
- Zip Code
- Latitude and Longitude
It can be damaging if your IP address information falls in the hands of an online predator, such as a hacker.
There are even more challenges for you to face when exposing your IP address:
Institutions, organizations, and even governments often use IP addresses to block users from accessing some specific kind of information. For instance, the government can restrict certain content from being accessed by its citizens. They will simply block all IP addresses originating from that specific country from accessing such information. This is common in countries such as China, Russia, and at times, the United States.
Institutions such as colleges and universities often pull this card and meddle with the internet access of their students. For instance, many educational institutions have banned video game access.
IP Bans and Geo-Blocking
Some sites make use of user location to restrict certain information. Therefore, you can be denied access to a particular type of content simply because you are browsing from one specific country or region.
For example, Netflix uses the location of a user to allow or restrict content. A person in the US has a different film library than a person in Russia. A movie might be available on Netflix but not available for you to watch simply because of your area of residence. Sounds unfair, right? Especially given that all users pay the same amount of money for the services regardless of your region.
Cybersecurity has become more important than anything else. Data loss, theft, and hacking have become rampant. Therefore, you must always remain vigilant in safeguarding your data. Someone can target you to launch specific attacks by simply using your IP address. Being targeted by a cybercriminal can lead to lots of losses for your business.
How then can you overcome such challenges? The best way is by hiding your IP address and ensuring that every time you access the internet, you do it anonymously.