What’s My IP Address?

Chyelle Dvorak
Aug 30, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read

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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.

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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 online activity. 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. According to an article about IP address location, 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.

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.

If for some reason you wanted to switch to a different IP address, you don’t have to move house or even get a new router. You just need to sign with a new internet provider.

But again, your IP address won’t reveal anything about you IRL, so you shouldn’t need to change it for privacy reasons.

How can I keep my IP address private?

First off, the terms “private IP address” and “public IP address” are a bit misleading.

From a pedantic standpoint, a private IP address is one that’s connecting to private network, something that’s only connected to other devices and not to the internet at large.

Any IP address that’s connect to the world wide web is technically a public IP address, even if it’s not visible to others.

There are ways to keep your public IP address private, though. 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.

Best VPN services
Brand
Price
Number of VPN servers
Most powerful feature
Details

NordVPN

$11.99/mo.

5200

Free malware protection software

Hotspot Shield

$12.99/mo.

3,200+

Free password manager

ExpressVPN

$12.95/mo.

3,000+

Best interface that’s clear and easy to use

You can also use your internet settings to request a dynamic IP address. To put it simply, a dynamic IP address is a fake IP address that’s temporarily assigned to you to conceal your real one.

However, though a dynamic IP address doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t offer all the protections of a VPN.

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. They also won’t be able to see interrupt your internet connection in any way. For that reason, you should perhaps 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.

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.
Chyelle Dvorak
Written by
Chyelle Dvorak
Chyelle works as a freelance writer for The Daily Beast and edited articles for Forbes, Inc.com, Fox News and other review sites. Chyelle tests, writes, and researches products and services related to internet consumption. She found her passion for public speaking and writing in her childhood when she won the Voice of Democracy speech and essay competition. Chyelle has a degree in International Relations from Crown College, Minnesota. Outside of work, Chyelle loves to spend time reading, kayaking, and running.

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