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The internet and information technologies are the greatest collective inventions of the last few decades. With hardware, capable of accelerating communication and data transmission, modern companies, business-minded individuals, and the average internet user can use the available tools and information systems to improve every aspect of their lives.
That being said, to use these benefits, you must have a device that has internet access. Fortunately, with a wide variety of available electronics in 2023, you can get suitable hardware for cheap, even in less fortunate countries. Modern apps and websites thrive on growing user traffic; therefore they must ensure system compatibility for as many devices as possible.
With everything in check, the information leaving your devices should reach the recipient very fast, even if they are on the other side of the world. But how does this process work? In 2023, we will have more devices connected to the web than people on the planet, so how do their connections always find their target?
In this guide, you will learn about IP addresses – unique identifiers that dictate the laws of the internet. We will cover the different types of IPs and talk about the possibility of running out of identities. Last but not least – you are going to learn to change your IP address and have more control over your connection. For example, you can install a site unblocker if the recipient is blocking your IP. With tools like this, your connection changes its course, and adapts the identity of a remote server, allowing you to reach your destination. To find out more, keep reading to learn more about IPs and how a site unblocker can help your use cases.
What is an IP address?
Just like with people, digital devices need to have unique identities. An IP address is a sequence of numbers that is like a mini passport for your computer, phone or tablet.
IP is short for “Internet Protocol” – a collection of rules that dictates how devices find and interact with each other. There are two different types of IPs that your device can have:
IPv4 address: a sequence of 4 numbers, each separated by a dot, ranging from 0 to 255. For example, an IP can look like this: 10.0.0.1. Data packets that travel between devices use this identifier to always find the right target or redirect it to the router that is closer to its network. Its only downside: is the number of possible combinations – about 4,3 billion unique IPs. Even now, we have more active devices than available IPv4, hence a new solution is needed.
IPv6 address: A much longer sequence of numbers, with 8 4-digit sections split by semicolons. Also, each number is not restricted to 10 digits. With the help of a hexadecimal system, it also includes letters from A to F, allowing 65536 combinations for each number, a massive improvement compared to IPv4’s 256. In total, it creates a much larger address space, allowing up to 340 undecillion possible IPs. For context, that’s 340 with 36 zeros, a number that’s too big to comprehend.
With these two types, you can rest assured that we are not running out of IPs anytime soon.
Why IP addresses are important
Aside from creating identities for more devices than we could ever use, IP addresses are seen by recipients for all of your connections. Also, if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) operates in an authoritarian country, all public IPs that are tied to that region may be restricted from accessing popular websites across the globe.
This connection to one region is dangerous for user privacy, as anyone monitoring it can see your approximate location. While an IP address is not a precise giveaway of where you live, tying internet access to one place allows the government to censor it. On the contrary, some websites may refuse connections from specific users or countries.
After receiving a specific IP address, you are at the mercy of government agencies, ISPs, and recipient servers that can block your access at any time. Fortunately, there is a way to change your IP and browse the web under a false identity.
Hiding your IP address
IP masking is a very common practice used by many businesses and private individuals in 2023. Here are the most popular ways to change your IP:
Proxy servers. Instead of going the standard route, data packets go through an intermediary proxy server And get a different identity. The recipient no longer sees your original address and treats you like a visitor from a new region. Their biggest strengths are abundance and ease of use: the best providers have tens of millions of proxy IPs across the globe.
VPNs: a more expensive alternative that hides the IP and encrypts your internet connection. VPN server fleets are much smaller and slower because they are often overcrowded, with many clients using one IP at the same time.
IP addresses are an essential digital identity component, but exposing them can compromise safety. With the help of proxy servers, VPNs, or any other web privacy tools, you can change your IP and visit any corner of the internet,