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Public IP

(also public IP address, external IP address)

Public IP definition

A public IP is an IP address that can be easily accessed over the internet. A user’s internet service provider or ISP will assign a public IP address to their network router so they can get immediate access to the internet. When a connection is established to the internet via the public IP of the user’s router, the private IP of their personal device is concealed from view.

Specifications of public IP address:

  • It’s internet-wide.
  • It must be transmitted via the internet before it can be used online.
  • Doesn’t assign one that's already in use.
  • Can be discovered by simply typing “What’s my IP address?” on Google.

Benefits of a public IP address:

  • Internet connectivity. It's important to note that Public IP has a direct connection to the internet, which allows for further communications over the internet.

Limitations of a public IP address:

  • Security issues. It is visible online and can be used to track and identify you online, potentially allowing targeted malicious attacks.

Tips on hiding your public IP:

  • Using a proxy. Proxy servers use their own IP addresses to connect you to the internet. Internet users using proxies first connect to online resources through the proxy server. A proxy server receives web server responses and returns them to the user, protecting the user's IP address.
  • Using a VPN service. NordVPN hides your IP address and encrypts your data when connected to the internet. Websites only see your VPN server's IP address. Encrypted browsing data prevent certain websites from accessing it.
  • Using a mobile network. If you use mobile data, your IP address can rotate every time. This way, your traffic will be harder to track.

See also: router, packet