Outside of seasoned IT professionals, most people don’t have a broad knowledge about IP addresses and how they can be used to gain information about an internet user. Regardless, understanding the purpose and uses of an IP address is essential to all internet users. So, here are the most important things you need to know about IP addresses. You can also check out our full IP address information guide here!

What is an IP Address?

An IP address is a network address that is used to send and receive data on the web. It’s easy to understand IP addresses in the same way you understand mailing addresses. An IP address is a specific destination in which data can be sent and received, similar to receiving mail at your home address.

An IP address can be in IPv4 or IPv6 format and are numeric (sometimes alphanumeric) values separated by decimal points. It’s unique for every device that connects to the web from smart cars to laptops.

The “IP” in “IP address” stands for “internet protocol,” a set of rules that regulate how data packets are transmitted on the web. These regulations are similar to the standardized way in which we write out addresses on mail, they ensure that addresses are formatted in a way that allows information to travel to the right place.

What Information Can You Get From an IP Address?

There are many misconceptions about IP addresses somehow being a store of information that includes internet usage history and users’ personal information, but that’s not the case. However, there is a goldmine of information that can be found using an IP address.

  • Location: General location at the city or country level. This includes related geographic details such as timezone, latitude and longitude (not an exact physical location), city, country, and postal code.
  • Privacy Detection Data: Whether you are using services such as a VPN, torrenting, proxy server, or other means to shield your identity or IP address.
  • Abuse Contact Information: Generally, ISP contact information to report abuse.
  • ASN Data: The primary domain of the address owner, number of IP addresses owned, business name, and entity type (business, personal, etc.)

IP address information is limited, and an IP address alone is not enough to determine your exact location — rest assured. Check out the information gained from your IP address.

Why IP Address Information is Useful?

The information that can be found using IP addresses that can be a game-changer for businesses in plenty of ways. Here are some of the IP data use cases:

  • The IP geolocation information can be used for website and content personalization. Customization and ease of use are key components to building trust with your website’s visitors, e.g. by including recommending nearby locations, more accurate shipping time estimates, and more.
  • Reporting abuse or illegal activity in crime prevention when others use software or other methods to mask their identity online. Law enforcement can track down criminals during investigations by gaining judge-ordered record logs related to the IP address from ISPs.
  • Improve the efficacy of marketing efforts by obtaining detailed analytics about your customers. You can use this information to build a better demographic report of your customers based on information from their IP addresses.

Key Takeaways

You need the right tools to take advantage of the IP address information — that’s where IPinfo comes in. We’re the experts when it comes to helping businesses leverage data from IP addresses. With IPinfo insights, businesses can customize customer experiences, enhance cybersecurity efforts in fraud prevention, and stay compliant across the globe. Want to learn more? Get in touch today!