What Is an IP Address?

Your IP is: ...

The address is:

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique number assigned to any device (computer, smartphone, tablet) that is connected to the internet. An IP address is a bit like a real-life address. When someone sends you mail, the postman knows where and who to deliver the mail to because he knows your address and name. In a similar way, when your ISP (Internet Service Provider) receives information from a website it knows what device to send it to because it knows the IP address of the device that requested the information.

What Can My IP Address Reveal About me?

Your IP address actually provides a lot more information about you than just which device you’re using. For example, even though your IP address is a digital address, it can still reveal:

  • Your country
  • Your city
  • Your ZIP code
  • Your Internet Service Provider

The websites you visit can also collect detailed information about you and your habits on the internet and build a profile about you by connecting the information to your IP address. Websites usually collect this information so they can show you targeted advertisements, but many sites actually sell your data to third parties, which could be anyone as long as they have enough money. Your ISP knows even more about you than individual websites do. In fact, there’s very little about you that an ISP doesn’t know. In many countries like the UK and Australia ISPs are required by law to log your browsing activities and hand them over to government agencies on demand and without a warrant. Your ISP logs data like your name, address, credit card number, credit history, and so on. It logs what you’ve been looking up online, and if you visit websites that aren’t HTTPS-encrypted it can actually log the individual pages you viewed on that website. Even if the websites you visit are HTTPS-encrypted, your ISP can still see the domain name of the website.

How Can I Stay Secure?

Your best bet is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A ‘normal’ private network connects, and shares information among, devices that aren’t directly connected to the internet. Each device in your home network can communicate with each other, but nothing outside of the local network can see them or establish a connection. Through a VPN your device can connect to other devices on the internet as if they were part of the same private network. A VPN hides your IP address from any outsiders, and it encrypts the data that’s sent to and from your device so it’s hidden from your ISP too. That means that using a VPN you can prevent websites from building up a profile about you and your ISP from logging all your data.

Using Hotspot Shield VPN For A Private Connection

Hotspot Shield VPN is the world’s largest platform for internet freedom and privacy. Our mission is to provide secure access to the world’s information. We protect your personal information by encrypting it so you can safely surf the web whether you are at home, work or in public. If you’re worried about your privacy being breached when you surf the internet, Hotspot Shield VPN provides you with an easy and secure way to surf the web privately and anonymously.