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An Internet Protocol or IP Address determines the identity of a computer. Although every one appears to be anonymous online, the series of figures associated to the computer a person uses can be used to trace their important information.

Every machine that is ever connected to the internet can be traced through the IP address. It is this scheme of numbers that makes it possible for computers connected to different networks to find and interact with each other.

Although the importance of an IP address is such that internet activities would be null without it, it is quite common for people to not be aware of their own IP address.

However, this does not stop other users from viewing an IP address of other people. The internet protocol of any device can be viewed any time by anyone, especially the admins or managers of online networks. This includes e-commerce websites, social networks, and other websites.

Website owners utilize tools and tactics that enable them to locate and monitor the IP address of a user connected to them any activity coming from it. People and networks which use such devices do so in order to maintain security and manage their websites. It is a vital part in keeping away online troublemakers who spam and wreck mischief on websites.

What information does an IP address provide exactly?

An IP address of a computer may not necessarily provide personal information such as name and other identifying details but it can distinguish the current location of its user. This information, though not quite specific, is still valuable in that it helps website owners, especially e-commerce companies and social networks, determine the whereabouts of their most frequent users.

For websites that promote and sell a product, this information can help them in creating marketing schemes that users can relate to locally. It can also help filter out visitors in promotions where location is an important criterion.

What does it mean though for common internet users?

Although regular internet users have the notion that they have the freedom to do anything they want online without taking accountability for their actions, this idea is actually misleading.

Website owners who encounter users who create trouble for themselves and other visitors can trace the identity of the user behind the trouble through their IP. They can then ban the user through their IP address so that they can no longer access the website.

It is possible for site owners to contact the internet service providers associated to the address and ask them to take action in their stead. Records of activities associated to the IP are usually logged by web owners and these can be provided as evidence.

Static vs Dynamic IP Address

A static IP address is reserved for its user fixedly and will therefore not change over time. A dynamic IP address changes every time the user of its device connects to the internet.

Internet service providers grant static IP addresses to their business or commercial subscribers. This is so clients and visitors of these businesses can reach their page online every time they are sought out in the internet. For regular or residential internet users, however, dynamic IP addresses are usually provided. This applies whether the internet connection used is dial-up or broadband.

How does dynamic IP addressing work?

In theory, there are four billion internet protocols available globally. But for various reasons, the number is significantly lower to maintain address space and the leasing of dynamic IPs.

An internet service provider has a pool of dynamic IPs available for all their users to lease. Whenever a user goes online, an address is taken from this pool and is leased by the user for the duration of their internet connection. Whenever the user disconnects, the IP is released and is taken back into the pool. Through this strategy, an internet service provider can have more users than IPs. It makes IP addressing maintenance easy and manageable.

Public vs Private IP Address

An IP Address can either be public or private.

A private internet protocol is a part of a pool set aside for individual networks. It is the Internet Engineering Task Force that designates private IPs to be set aside and used again.

Private addresses of this nature normally begins with 10., 192.168, and 172.16. IP addresses that are set on private mode can only be relevant to local area networks or corporate networks.

Public private addresses are the ones used in order to communicate through the internet. Because there are millions of internet users coming from all over the world, an IP address is therefore unique for every device. When users look up their IP address through the configuration details in the Windows setting, what actually comes up is their private IP address. As private IPs are available locally only, it cannot be reached through the internet.

In order to determine one’s public IP, an IP checking tool needs to be used.

Why You Need the IP Checking Tool

People can do almost anything online without taking responsibility for their actions – that is, until their IP address is checked and their virtual identity recognized.

An IP Checking tool is crucial because it reveals important IP details that can ultimately be traced back to its user. Online activities are made possible through public IP addresses and therefore can be logged and traced when using the correct IP checking tool.

Authorities can zero in on the whereabouts of a criminal through the activities associated to their IP address. E-commerce site owners can use an IP checking service to assess their frequent users for marketing purposes. Website managers can utilize an IP checking tool to maintain site administration and filter out spammers and abusive users.

While it is true that an IP address can only provide the general location of a user, it is all that a person needs in order to locate or identify a user. IP addresses used to communicate through the internet are only leased from internet service providers. The authorities or website owners can contact the internet service provider responsible for the IP address to trace the user should there be a need to uncover them locally.

From maintaining legit business transactions to regulating security in the internet and the community as a whole, the importance of an IP checking tool is indispensable.

How Accurate is IP Checking

In order to determine the accuracy of IP check, it is best to be clear about what it can and cannot give a user.

Here are the details that can be revealed by an IP address check:

  • The country or city of the user
  • The user’s host name
  • The area code for the region or state of the user
  • The user’s internet service provider or organization’s name
  • The user’s longitude and latitude location
  • Any known or associated service running through the IP

Accuracy in terms of percentage:

  • 99% for country detection
  • 81% for 25-mile radius of a region
  • 90% for state recognition

Here are the details that cannot be revealed by an IP address check:

  • The user’s name
  • The user’s street address
  • The user’s email address

Although IP checking is crucial to maintain security and ensure site management, it can also be utilized by other users for dubious purposes. For this reason, an IP address can only reveal enough information without compromising the privacy and safety of users.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IP Checking

To better illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of IP Checking, it is important to note that the privacy or publicity of an address plays an important role in it.

Interaction between private IPs are limited within the computers associated to it. Therefore, external devices cannot interfere or find the IPs. This is normally used by organizations which handles highly confidential and sensitive details. IP addresses which are private have the security and self-containment advantage.

Public IPs can communicate freely in the internet, however, security and detection are possible to be accessed any time. Businesses take advantage of IP checking services for management of their companies online and expansion of their reach from the internet to the physical market. Individuals can benefit from checking IP addresses by knowing their own and finding ways to conceal it from other users.

Legal Issues Revolving IP Address Check

Although IP addresses reveal only general details about the device or user associated to it, it is enough starting point that will open to doors of other important information in the hands of the internet service provider.

Through the IP address, an internet service provider can trace the user’s name, specific address, and other subscriber information like phone number, company name, and email address. In the hands of a web operator, an IP address is enough to profile the user and regulate its access and activity online.

There are different laws governing the privacy of users in how much can be revealed through their IPs. There is the Data Protection Act which controls the collection and use of personal info gathered through an IP. If a user’s data is not recognized as a personal one, then it does not coincide within the Act. However, it is not always clear what distinguishes a data to be personal or not.

It is legal for anyone to track anyone else’s IP address because the series of numbers alone can only reveal general details. However, further delving into the hidden information behind the IP is another thing.

Using an IP address to trace an individual is a two-edged sword: on one hand, a person or organization must first obtain required legal orders or permissions to have internet service providers reveal the identity of the user behind the IP. This method entails time and effort for the part of the pursuant. On the other hand, getting one’s hands on such vital information can provide incredible weight because it logs all online activities done through the address.




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