Why hide the IP address?


James Hunt


What is the IP address?


First, an IP address is a number assigned by an Internet service provider (ISP) and connected to every online device. The purpose is to communicate effectively with other online resources. There are two types of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6. To learn more, check out our blog post on the differences between IPv4 and IPv6.


Think of an IP address as a personal ID card that categorizes each device connected to the Internet. In a sense, it functions like a physical address, identifying letters, packages and other items.


Why do you want to hide your IP address?


One reason: geographical restrictions and censorship. For example, some places, some content is banned by the government. If you can hide your real IP address and make it look like you're browsing from somewhere else, you can get around these restrictions and see blocked sites. Private companies also often geoclock their content, making it unusable in certain areas.


Second, another reason to hide IP addresses is simply to better protect your privacy and prevent misuse of your personal information. Whenever you visit a site, the connected server records your IP address and appends it to all the other data the site knows: your browsing habits, what you click on, how long you've been on a particular page. They then sell that data to advertising agencies, which use it to tailor your ads. So online advertising is personalized.


Even when location services are turned off, your IP address can be used to track you. Anyone with your IP address can do this, and while it won't reveal your real home address and name, anyone with access to your ISP user data can easily find you.


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