In the heat of particularly heated Internet discussions, opponents threaten to calculate each other's IP addresses, hinting at de-anonymization. Let's figure out what IP isaddress, why it is needed and what data it provides about the user.

IP-адреса: Що це таке і як його розпізнати

What is an IP address in simple words

IP address (IP) or Internet Protocol is the identifier of your device on the Internet or local network, consisting of a sequence of 4 values ​​in the range from 0 to 255, separated by periods, for example ( Any device with Internet access has an IP address: PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, smart TV, IP-cameras, etc.

Currently, two versions of the Internet protocol are relevant - IPv4 and IPv6:

  • — Example of IPv4.
  • 1090:0:0:0:5:600:800c:326m is an IPv6 example.

The second one appeared because the first one simply ran out of addresses - back in 2011, IANA (Internet Address Space Administration) allocated the last "pack" of IPv4 addresses. In the IPv6 protocol, the number of possible IPs is practically infinite: 300 million (!) for each inhabitant of the Earth.

The IP address is a guide to the location of the device on the Internet and ensures data exchange with other devices.

The structure of any connection looks like this:

User → local network of the user → local network of the provider → Internet network

The ISP's role is to redirect data from the global network to you, and that's exactly what an IP address is needed for. Everything happens automatically in a fraction of a second, if the provider's equipment works as it should. In case of connection problems, the system will offer to contact the provider.

What are IP addresses?

Static and dynamic IP addresses

There are two large groups - static and dynamic addresses. The main criterion for their difference is the constancy of the address assigned by a specific device.

A static IP is assigned by the ISP once and for all, while a dynamic IP changes with each session of connecting to the Internet. Currently, most providers assign dynamic "floating" addresses to subscribers - this is not only more economical, but also more effective from the point of view of network security. Allocation of a static IP is a separate service, usually paid.

You can determine exactly which address you have (dynamic or static) from the provider or yourself by comparing the data in the "Network connection" tab.

Dynamic addresses are assigned by the provider not randomly, but in an orderly manner. There is a pool of allocated IPs for each settlement. The host numbers may change, but the network data will remain the same. Therefore, it is possible to determine the approximate geolocation of the subscriber by dynamic IP.

External and internal IP addresses

According to the level of coverage, two types of networks are distinguished: local and global. The first work within a small area - one or several buildings. Global networks have coverage at the level of cities and countries.

IP addresses that belong to global networks are public - they are visible to other devices on the network, so they are called external or white. Internal IPs are used only within the local network. They are also called private or "gray". They appeared for a banal reason - there are simply not enough unique external IPs for all devices. It is impossible to access the Internet from a "gray" IP. The connection is provided by the provider through the so-called network address translation (NAT), when many "gray" addresses are connected to the Internet through one "white" one. At the user level it is invisible, speed and the quality of the connection does not suffer.

What information is encrypted in an IP address

The digital device identifier is divided by dots into several numerical segments. They are called octets in the IPv4 protocol, hextets in IPv6. They have encrypted information about the network number and the node (host) number.

The subnet mask will help determine which segments belong to the network and which to a specific device. This is a binary value that is "overlaid" on the IP address and defines its node and network part.

Network numbers are distributed by population centers. By IP address, you can find out the city where the device is located, but not its exact location - at least, by the means of an ordinary user, and not by special services or hackers. The approximate location of the subscriber is calculated in seconds using online services.

Why know your IP address?

If it is dynamic in you, then this knowledge will not give anything except the satisfaction of curiosity. But a static IP is actually another key to the device, like a login and password. If you know it, you can remotely connect to your computer using it as a web or gaming computer server. A dynamic IP can be considered safer because the user accesses the Internet almost always with a new address.

How to find out your IP address

External IP

The IP assigned by the provider is specified in the contract. But this document is not always at hand. Therefore, use online services for determining IP addresses. The most popular is "Find out the IP address" on the website.

Визначення IP-адреси

All services work according to the same scheme

Some of them determine information not only about the IP, but also about the provider and the operating system.

Intranet IP

There are 2 quick ways to recognize it.

Through the control panel

Go to the active networks tab.

  1. "Start" - "Control Panel" - "Control Center and General Access"
  2. Select the option “Information …”

Through the command line

  1. Activate the menu item "Command line" (Win+R).
  2. In the window, enter the cmd command.
  3. After the flashing cursor, type the ipconfig command.
  4. The system will issue the data you need

How to find out someone else's IP address

From the point of view of data protection law, there are two ways - white and gray. The first is relevant only if there is e-mail correspondence (one letter from the user whose IP address you want to know is enough).

Open the email and find the "Service headers" item in the settings.

Use the search bar to find the IP data.

The "gray" method of obtaining someone else's IP address involves sending the user a trap link generated by a special service. If you click on a link, you can extract the IP address from the metadata. This method is gray and not black only because the legislators have not yet decided whether to consider IP addresses as personal data. But we are of the opinion that if a user does not feel the need to disclose their IP, they want to keep this information private. Therefore, we do not specify the name of the "trap" services.

Four main points of the article to remember

  1. An IP address is a digital identifier that any device with Internet access has. It can be constant (static) or floating (dynamic).
  2. The approximate location of the user can be determined by IP.
  3. You can find out the IP of your device using OS tools or through specialized online services.
  4. You can find out another person's IP if you have a letter from him. Other methods will not be completely legal.