How to find what my IP is, what it’s for and how to protect privacy

Every time we connect to the Internet we are assigned an IP address, here's how to find it and how to screen it to protect our privacy.

Every time one of our devices, fixed or mobile, accesses the Internet it does so only after it has been assigned a so-called "IP address" (IP Address). The IP address is an identification number of the device, which is assigned so that it is recognizable and can send and receive data.

In reality, there are two IP addresses: the local one, assigned to the device by the router so that it can be identified within the home wireless network, and the public one, assigned by the Internet Service Provider (ISP, i.e. who provides us with the Internet connection) so that it can surf the Web. Without an IP address, in fact, our ISP would not know from whom requests for data come and to whom to send the requested data. It's a bit like holding a letter without a sender. Then there are dynamic IP addresses, which are the ones normally assigned by routers and ISPs and change every time you connect, and static IP addresses that, on the contrary, are fixed.

What is the point of finding the IP address

The whole procedure of assigning the IP address is absolutely transparent for the user, who usually has no need to know what his IP is. In some cases, however, it becomes necessary.

For example, when we need to use a service program via remote desktop: in this case, in fact, we need to tell the technician exactly what device to look for among the billions of devices connected to the network.

Or if we want to use a computer as a local network server, where to put files that can be accessed by other computers connected to the same network.

How to find your public IP

If we need to know what our public IP address is, the one through which we can be found by other devices connected to the Internet, we can use one of the many appropriate services.

For example What is My IP Address, or MyIP, or What Is My IP or one of the many services to create virtual private networks (VPN). Just connect to one of these sites to find out what our IP address is.

What you can know from IP address

Since IP address has an internationally recognized standard format, you can find out many things about your device from it. For example, you can find out the approximate geographic location (at the city level) and the provider of the Internet service used by the user.

Why use a VPN network to hide the IP address

From what has been said so far, one thing should be clear enough: the IP address is the first useful parameter for tracking a user's behavior on the Web.

Because the IP address does not change until we disconnect the device from the network and reconnect it, in fact, every time we jump from one site to another we keep the same IP. It's very easy, therefore, to trace (even if anonymously) our behavior.

To avoid this, for some years now there are VPNs, which screen the real IP address by assigning a different one and changing it continuously. In this way, it is also possible to make the sites we are visiting believe that our origin is different from the real one.

Not for nothing VPNs are often used to circumvent the geographical limits imposed by streaming services, which for copyright issues can often transmit some content only to users who connect from a specific geographical area.