Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your IP Address


AN IP address is quite a popular term, as it plays a crucial role in the way the internet operates. However, many people, especially from the older generations (not like you should feel old while reading this), need more explanation on this.

The IP addresses mostly come up when talking about security tools like VPNs or data-gathering tools like proxies. However, there’s more to an IP address than meets the eye.

So, if you ever asked what my IP address is, this article will explore the details, shedding light on aspects you might need to be made aware of.

What is an IP Address?

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a set of four numbers ranging from to assigned to each device that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. 

It serves two main purposes:

  • Identifying the host or network interface
  • Providing the location for transferring data. 

Your IP address is responsible for ensuring that all of the data you are sending and receiving gets to its intended destination. So, each time you’re browsing the web or sending an email, your IP address works silently in the background to communicate with other networks and guide your data packets.

Types of IP Addresses

There are two main types of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6. 

  • IPv4 is the older protocol. It uses a 32-bit address scheme, allowing for 4.3 billion unique addresses. While this number is fairly small considering the explosive growth of the internet, most IP addresses you will encounter today and into the near future will be IPv4.
  • IPv6 is the newer protocol, developed precisely because of the growing concerns about the limits of its predecessor. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit, significantly increasing the number of possible addresses. Its adoption rate globally is 34% and will likely surpass IPv4 over the next decade.

How Are IP Addresses Assigned?

The process of assigning an IP address involves several entities:

  1. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

IANA sits at the highest level in the assigning process. It’s responsible for the global attribution of the IP address pool.  It allocates large blocks of IP addresses to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) based on the demand in each region.

  1. Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

The world is divided into five regions, each served by a Regional Internet Registry. RIRs are responsible for managing and distributing IP addresses within their respective regions. The RIRs allocate IP addresses to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and sometimes large organizations or government entities.

  1. Internet Service Provider (ISP)

ISPs receive blocks of IP addresses from their respective RIRs. They then assign these addresses to their customers. When you connect to the internet through an ISP, it assigns an IP address to your device. This can be a dynamic IP address, which changes with each connection, or a static IP address, which stays the same.

Lesser-Known Facts About IP Addresses

1. IP Addresses Can Reveal Your Location

Since IP addresses are distributed based on region, they can reveal your approximate geographic location. So, if you were wondering why websites and online services always seem to know your location and give you personalized content, it’s because they do. 

2. Tracking Online Activities

IP addresses are unique identifiers for a specific device on a specific internet connection. Thus, they can be used to track your online activities. IP tracking can tell advertisers which site and pages you’ve visited. It’s different from cookies, which are browser-based and can track more specific behavior.

4. IP Addresses and Internet Security

IP addresses not only help advertisers but also cybercriminals. If a hacker has your IP address, they can launch targeted attacks on your device and possibly attempt to move laterally across your network. A common threat is a DDoS attack, which overwhelms your network with traffic.

3. The Role of VPNs

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can mask your IP address, providing anonymity and security. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic is routed through a server in a different location, making it appear as though you are accessing the internet from that location. This can be useful for accessing geo-restricted content and protecting your online privacy.


An IP address allows you to communicate with other networks and servers, ensuring a smooth online experience. It’s also a crucial component of your online identity. By understanding how your IP address works and can be misused, you can take proactive steps, such as using a VPN, to protect your privacy.

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