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What is an IP address (and how to find it)

The Internet Protocol Address or IP address is a numerical code used by all devices (computers, web servers, printers, modems) to surf the Internet and to communicate on a local network. An IP address thus forms the basis for the correct transmission of information from the sender to the receiver.

Types of IP addresses

There are two versions of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6.

IPv4 is the standard version currently used and is made up of 4 series of numbers separated by dots ranging from 0 to 255. Typically the first set of numbers is between 1 and 191 while the other three are between 0 and 255. One of the problems that could be had with IPv4 concerns the limited number of combinations that over time could prove insufficient for the number of devices present in the world. However, at the moment the question is irrelevant as not all are used at the same time and the number of combinations is still sufficient.

IPv6 is the latest version of an IP address and consists of 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits separated by colons. In theory, IPv6 allows the creation of infinite IPs, effectively eliminating the problem that could occur with IPv4.

Public and private IP

The public IP address is an address visible and reachable by all hosts on the Internet, while the private one is used to uniquely identify a device belonging to a local network.

Private IP addresses therefore cannot be used for Internet access.

Static and dynamic IP addresses

IP addresses can be dynamic and static.

The former is the most used and is used for normal online browsing. When a user connects to the Internet, his Internet Service Provider assigns him a random IP address which changes after each session or at regular intervals (every 24 hours). Dynamic IPs ensure greater protection of users’ privacy by allowing more anonymous browsing.

A static IP address, on the other hand, remains unchanged, however, the owner can request that it be changed. Static IPs are mainly used in LANs (private networks) to communicate with a printer or other computer on the local network.

Data and IP protection

IP addresses do not contain particular information or sensitive data, however, through an IP it is possible to trace the Internet provider of a user or determine the position more or less precisely based on its proximity to the nearest point of Internet presence. This type of location becomes much more precise in urban areas, while for rural areas at most it is possible to determine the region or province from which the user is connecting.

Only internet providers can monitor and track the flow of their customers’ data through IP addresses and therefore must undertake to protect them adequately.

How to find out your IP address

There are several ways to know your IP address.

To view a computer’s local IP address:

  • with Windows you have to type the command “ipconfig” in the command prompt. The system will return a series of information including the IP address in use. To open the command prompt you need to press the Windows + R keys and type “cmd” in the console
  • on a Mac computer just go to System Preferences, click on Network and the IP address will be immediately visible.

To find out your public IP address, the simplest method is to use an online tool such as:

  • What is my IP , it will be sufficient to connect to the Lanc remastered to know your IP address plus other information such as the place from which you are connecting and the name of the telephone company
  • IP Location , simple and immediate
  • What is my IP address , the IP appears as soon as you connect to the site and by clicking on it you can get more information
  • IP2Location, in addition to the IP, also indicates the type of device that is doing the search, the operating system and the browser
  • IP Fingerprints on which the IP address and a map showing the location are displayed
  • Find IP Address , in addition to the IP, also shows the location, operating system, language and version of the browser.

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