How IP Addresses Work? [Explained]

How IP Addresses work

The internet, information technologies, and powerful gadgets that give us access to the digital world have been simplified to the point that anyone can use them.

You no longer have to be technically proficient to get value from readily available hardware and software.

However, understanding the laws that govern the web is still very beneficial: comprehending segments of digital information that personalize your connection also teaches us to change and manipulate such data.

For most users, especially ones with active social media accounts, digital privacy no longer exists. Tech companies have more than enough data to understand and affect the population.

By grasping the personal information transmitted to the digital world, we can learn to abstain from sharing it or better – change it to alter the browsing experience.

The main segment of data is your IP. Often interpreted as a digital address or the number representing your internet identity, the Internet Protocol address uses sequences of numbers to represent computers and other digital devices on the web.

In this article, you will learn how an IP address works and the different ways you can hide or change it.

For example, instead of establishing a direct link between you and the targeted server, your data packets use a remote server as an additional station that overwrites the information about the original sender.

By using a Japanese proxy an internet user in Europe can change their IP address and enjoy a privatized browsing experience.

But using an Asian proxy can have its drawbacks: the recognized websites will treat you as a visitor from that region. Google can change the search engine language, and some pages may be blocked that you could access with your real IP.

Read more to learn about IP addresses as well as reasons and ways to change them.

How can I see my IP address?

Your IP Address
Your IP Address

To start learning about IP addresses, you can follow your address as an example. Click here, or visit other IP checker websites. They also display information kept in your network identity, but more on that later.

For an average internet user, the IP is just a string of meaningless numbers. The presented sequence is the code seen by web servers receiving user connection requests.

Some addresses may vary in length. The original version of IPs, the Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4 for short), has 4 decimal sections, every 8 bits in size, with numbers separated by dots.

The world has a lot of computers, and each device needs an address. Even with 4 billion available addresses, the shortage of IPv4 IPs was inevitable.

Today, many countries have started using the new version, IPv6. Recorded in a hexadecimal notation, these addresses are 4 times bigger – 128bits, with 16 bits between all 8 sequences.

The new version allows more possible combinations than there are atoms on our planet, putting the worries over IP shortage to rest.

Why would you hide your IP address?

Internet Protocol creates precise rules that allow fast and orderly communication between computers. While the further development of information technologies that use these rules enriches our lives with comfort, utility, and entertainment, large tech companies, government agencies, and website owners collect and use information in our IP addresses.

Even if you do not plan to commit any crimes, the surveillance of your IP, its association with visited websites, used browsers, and interacted social media networks, helps these third parties to personalize you.

By observing your IP address, they can discover other bits of information to use and manipulate it for personal gain. User data is very profitable, as it guides companies in the creation of personalized ads, and many businesses collect it to sell sets to their partners.

The internet user gets nothing for the contributed information, while tech companies fill their pockets and manipulate products to keep users engaged and addicted.

If you do not want to be treated as an asset by tech companies, hide your IP address with internet privacy tools.

Hide your IP with proxy servers

Finally, we come back to discussing proxies. There are different types of proxies you can try, but each type or version will change your address: the other aspects are just technicalities.

The best, most stable proxies come from legitimate providers that have millions of addresses ready to be used by interested customers.

While some companies have customizable features, while others excel at ensuring greater internet speed, their main focus is two types of servers – residential and datacenter proxies.

The latter servers are cheap and fast, but the addresses come in bulk, which means one blacklisted IP can endanger others.

Residential proxies are the addresses used by real devices and sharing them ensures the highest level of security and anonymity.

For beginners, we recommend data center proxies. Make sure to test location changes, their effect on internet speed, and how different the visited websites can become when through different geolocation. Change your IP address to protect your identity and enjoy the flexibility of new addresses.


Abhishek Jariwala is the Founder, Owner, and also Chief Editor at TheAndroidLab and he looks after all the daily stuff that takes place here. If you have any queries related to this site, you can contact him via email at [email protected] or on his Twitter handle.

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