What’s My IP Address?
An IP address (internet protocol address) is a sequence of numbers that reveals the name of your computer when you’re connected to the internet. When you go to a website, it usually needs to know your IP address in order to send your computer the information.
The internet uses IP addresses to talk back and forth to your computer and smart devices. It’s how information is sent and received. The most intriguing thing about IP addresses is that they are pretty much public information.
Here's your IP address
Did you know you can use a VPN to hide your IP address?
Why does my IP address matter?
Everyone needs an IP address to go online. Although an IP address might sound concerning at first, people are rarely able to access someone else’s IP address. It’s rare that someone will find your IP address, and even if they do, they wouldn’t be able to get your actual address.
That being said, there’s still some information someone can find out about you from obtaining your IP address. They might be able to see what internet service provider (ISP) you use, and hackers can look at your typical internet activity.1 Thankfully, there are ways to stop hackers from ever finding your IP address. Just use a VPN.
Can someone find my name from my IP address?
No. While someone might be able to detect which ISP you use and see trends in your activity, they cannot find your name. However, it’s a little startling how much information someone can see from just using your IP address. A hacker who obtains your IP address could see what websites you visit, put together who you communicate with, and be able to see your zip code.2
If you visit any websites, hackers will automatically have access to your IP address. So in reality, it’s pretty much public information. If you enter any personal information on a website, someone could potentially use that information along with your IP address to steal your identity. But in order for someone to find your name or physical address, they need more than just your IP address.
How can I keep my IP address private?
The best way to protect your identity and keep your IP address private is to use a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN keeps your information secure online through encrypting your data. Every device you use to access the internet has an IP address. In order to make sure no one is using your IP address to find your personal information, download a VPN and use it on all your devices.
When you use a VPN, you’re connecting to another server away from your physical location. This stops people from being able to see your IP address. However, keep in mind that with a VPN, your IP address still exists. It’s just hidden. Also, no matter whether you use a VPN or not, your ISP will always know your IP address. They need to know it in order to provide the internet for you.
If you’re not sure about which VPNs to look into, here’s a few great options to start.
Is it necessary to hide my IP address?
Keeping your IP address hidden through using a VPN will increase your internet security, stop hackers from finding your information, and protect your privacy when using public Wi-Fi.
Besides seeing your IP address, there are many more important things hackers can steal if you’re not using a VPN. For example, whenever you use public Wi-Fi, you’re giving anyone connected to the same network the chance to steal credit card information, personal identity, and bank account information. For these reasons, hiding your IP address shouldn’t be the only thing you’re aware of.
If someone obtains your IP address, the information they can see is limited. You should be more concerned about protecting your overall privacy on the internet. Good thing it’s easy to hide your IP address and protect yourself with a VPN.
PureVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN are some of the best options for privacy. These VPNs use up-to-date encryption software. Find a VPN with a solid no-logging policy. This means that the VPN company won’t be able to store your data or sell it to anyone.
Now that you know, here are your next steps.
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1. Cale Guthrie Weissman, Business Insider, “What Is an IP Address and What Can It Reveal about You?” May 18, 2015. Accessed July 31, 2020.
2. ExpressVPN, “What Is My IP Address Location?” Accessed July 31, 2020.