What Is An IP Address?
The IP address refers to the unique string of numbers that identifies your devices — such as a computer, tablet, smartphone or smart TV — as they communicate across networks on the internet. In short, IP addresses are vital in getting online and transmitting data.
With totally unique numbers, your IP address may look a little something like this:126.96.36.199
How do IP Addresses Detection Work?
Typically, Wi-Fi networks aren’t examining devices in detail. Instead, they glance at IP addresses to identify a device. Both the Wi-Fi network and nearby devices are communicating, and IP addresses ensure all connections know the others.
From the IP address alone, the Wi-Fi network understands where to send and receive data at any time. Each connection gets assigned two IP addresses, and a Wi-Fi network latches onto them. When setting up your Wi-Fi network or troubleshooting issues, IP addresses are integral due to their representation of all connections.
The IP address “works like a return address would on a piece of mail.” Rather than putting only a name, you write down both the mailing and return addresses so a piece of mail knows where to go and where to return in case of error. IP addresses are similar as they guide data between networks, servers and devices. Without IP addresses, data wouldn’t know where to travel.
Can Someone Track My IP Address' Exact Location?
In short, no – you don’t need to worry about your exact location being found through your IP address. Though IP addresses, by design, can be tracked, the purpose is to indicate your location to Internet providers and other devices when you're accessing the Internet. Without this service, they wouldn’t be able to serve their purpose. However, this doesn’t mean that someone can track you by your IP address.
Your IP address doesn’t contain the information necessary to reveal your exact physical location to anyone who may attempt to trace your IP address and find you. In some circumstances, a person may be able to locate the city or general area you’re in. But they can’t get your physical address; though your IP address links to a geographical location, it’s not specific enough to find you. Anyone tracing your IP address could only get to your Internet service provider.