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What Is An IP Address?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

15 January 2014

You’ll have heard the term “IP address” dozens of times before, but many people don’t actually have a clear idea of what an IP address really is. This is because so much of our web usage is made very easy these days, but if you’re concerned about your Internet security, understanding your IP address is the best place to start.

In the most basic terms, an IP address, or “Internet Protocol” address, basically allows one computer to connect with another, or others, over the Internet. Much like your street address, your computer’s IP address allows it to be found amongst the millions of other computers connecting to the web–except that this way, you don’t need a stamp!

An IP address is comprised of four sets of digits, separated by three periods, and each set has one, two or three digits. Here’s an example:

IP addresses fall into two categories: Static and dynamic. Static IP addresses are unchanging, permanent Internet addresses, like your street address, and in a similar way, they can pinpoint your physical location almost exactly. You can Google most static IP addresses and find out this information, which makes them not very secure.

Dynamic IP addresses, on the other hand, are changing, temporary addresses. This doesn’t mean that you have a dynamic IP address that changes; rather, there are many dynamic IP addresses and every time your computer accesses the Internet, a different dynamic IP address is assigned to it, and is discarded back into the pile when you log off. **


How to Find Your IP Address

These days, finding your own IP address is incredibly easy. Though there are a number of more complex methods, if you are connected to the Internet, you can simply Google “IP address” and the first search result will be your own IP address.

How to Change Your IP Address 

If you are wondering how do I change my ip address? The best way to change or hide your IP address is to use a proxy, or a VPN. A proxy is a server that offers an indirect connection to the Internet; in essence, you connect to the proxy server and then the proxy connects you to the Internet, thus keeping your IP address hidden from the Internet. A VPN (virtual private network), however is a virtual tunnel between your computer and the Internet, and it encrypts all the data that comes in or out of your device, including your IP address, giving you another layer of online protection and allowing you to be anonymous when surfing the web.

You can achieve this very easily with SurfEasy’s free VPN service. Create a free account, download the app onto your computer or device, and regain your Internet privacy in no time at all. SurfEasy allows you to add up to 5 devices to your account, so whether you’re surfing the web on a Mac, a Windows PC, an Android mobile or an iOS device, you can hide your IP address and be sure that your browsing is safe with SurfEasy!

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