On our blog we talk a lot about online privacy, anonymity, dangers in the internet. We know that a lot of our visitors is coming to our blog for quick information and advice about how to change IP, how to hide IP, how to be anonymous in the internet. But there is also large group of people, perhaps some of them are among your friends, who do not know what IP is. Why should they worry, why would they want to hide IP address – something so unimportant. In this post, we will try in shortest and simplest way explain all this.
Let’s start with some basics.
IP address, (IP is short for Internet Protocol) is a set of numbers that identifies your computer in the network. In most cases your home PC or device will have two of such addresses. First one will be your internal IP. This IP number represents name of your computer in your home network. If you want to send file from one device to another (let say your laptop to your NAS storage) both those machines need to be able to identify each other. So that the file you are sending is directed at the one, specific device, not all devices in your network.
With external IP things are a bit more complicated. This address is given to you by your service provider. In cease of normal broadband it will be set to your home router that allows all other devices in your network to communicate with outside world. Because it is given to you by your ISP it is assigned to your home address and your name. Identifying what your IP address is very easy. Simply follow the link to check your IP address and look at the top of our website.
Ok, so you know what IP address is (in general) and what is it used for. Question remains why should you want to hide your IP?
All your internet activity is registered to your IP address. This means that your ISP knows every single step you take. Knows what sites you visit, what software you use, even what sort of data you transmit. This might not be dangerous in it self, but we would emphasise on a word “might”. What is worse is that your IP address is also visible to everyone else. All websites you visit, all services. Now, for more advanced user and hackers finding your real life address through your IP address is very, very easy. And again, you might say – so what?
Problem is… that although such information is worthless to you, it might not be to people who might want to hurt you. Steal your data or perhaps even rob you. With your IP known, with your data transfers unsecured it is very easy to find out everything about your activity. It is sort of like walking on the street with your home address and name clearly visible to every one. Would you do something like that in real life?
Also in some cases (when you surf from work, school, certain countries) with your IP it might be impossible to access certain websites or you might not want to know service provider (at work) what services in the internet you use.
Part 2 of this article will follow soon. In the mean time if you got any questions, join us at Facebook or Google Plus (links at the bottom of this site).