VPN provider offers many benefits and one of them is that it works as an IP changer. VPN service providers have external VPN servers that users’ can connect to. As a result, they can acquire a new IP address from a different location.
What is an IP address
IP address stands for “Internet Protocol” which is a unique number that is assigned to your online activities. Regardless of the way how your computer is linked up to the Internet, when you access internet whether you are using it to read news, chat with friends or do online shopping, the request is always sent to the right destination and the response always has to return directly to you. IP address plays an important role in this process. Internet Protocol is in charge to provide you with precise online requests.
The network you source your internet from at home is your Internet service provider (ISP). At work it is your company’s network but in public places like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls it is a wifi network.
At home, your Internet service provider assigns an IP address to your computer. All your internet requests and activity goes through them and they send responses back to you.
Even at home, your IP address doesn’t always stay the same. It can be changed by switching off and on your internet modem or router. You may also request your ISP to change it for you. Plus, if you use the internet outside of the house, your IP changes and is linked with another service provider.
Why is it important to protect your IP address
Having an IP address is just like having a home address. The only difference is that when you are at home, it is unlikely that someone will spy on you in your own home, where having an unprotected IP address online is just like opening your house door and letting anyone in to see what you are doing.
IP monitoring by country
It’s not difficult for internet hackers and snoops to find out your IP address. Hence it is easy to track what you are doing online. This, of course, poses a high security risk. Plus, your ISP can be even a bigger threat when it comes to your online activities. Each country has different regulations when it comes to IP monitoring. Below is a list of some of the countries with the strictest data retention laws.
Data Retention in Europe
Data Retention Directive (DRD) in the European Union was issued in 2006. According to it, EU member countries had to keep any e-communication for minimum six to maximum 24 months. The stored data would help to investigate, detect and prosecute serious crime.
However, in 2014 this directive was repealed. But some EU countries nevertheless take measures to make sure that its ISPs and other telecom service providers collect and log its subscriber personal data, including IP address, location information and phone numbers for inclining and outgoing calls.
Data Retention in United Kingdom
Just recently, both House of Commons and the UK House of Lords gave the thumbs-up to the conclusive version of the Investigatory Powers Bill. It is also known as “Snooper’s Charter”. This means that all telecom companies including internet service providers are required to store records of its subscribers’ internet surfing history data for one year.
This also means that 48 official bodies will be able to track you. Hence giving them some of the most extreme surveillance powers in the western world.
To protect your online identity, use a VPN service to change your IP address.
Data Retention in Australia
Australia introduced its extremely controversial metadata retention scheme only at the end of 2015. Under data retention laws, all its Internet Service Providers are required to collect and store two years’ of Australian netizens’ email and internet traffic data, this includes the date, time, IP address, Email address, duration of a communication, download and upload volumes and file formats of all attachments.
Data Retention Laws in United States
The good news is that currently in the USA there are no data retention laws that requires ISPs to store its customers’ data. However, there is a Stored Communication Act in place. This act requires those ISPs who do record and store subscriber data, allow the government to access it any time. But sadly, most of the internet providers in the USA do store its users’ IP address and their internet activities. Most of the providers keep logs for minimum six months.
Also, some of the US telecom companies have similar policies in regards to text messages and cellular data services.
If you wish to find out what information your internet provider log then the best is to call them directly. Since it’s rare to find this kind of information on service providers websites.
Data Retention in Canada
Just like the United States, also Canada doesn’t have any data retention laws that require ISPs to track its users and store this data. However it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. For example, Bell which is a popular internet service provider in Canada stores its users IP addresses for a time period of one year.
Canada has also passed Bill C-11 which is a Copyright Modernization Act. This means that if you have been found violating copyright laws, no matter who your internet service provider is, they are required to track you and keep your internet browsing logs for a minimum of six months.
You can avoid being tracked while using torrents to download copyrighted material. Using a VPN service you can hide your IP address.
Hide your IP address with a VPN
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to stop your government from changing laws and stopping your internet service provider from logging your internet activities. You may try to sign petitions and take the streets to protest. However, changing laws positively if at all, may take years. And recent activities in the UK and Australia only indicate that things are going downhill. As a result, internet surveillance in the world is only increasing.
Not getting involved in politics, but using a VPN service is the easiest and fastest way to protect your internet identity. Encrypt your internet traffic and hide your IP address from your ISP and government.
Not only government organizations but also internet hackers and corporate spies can easily access your internet activity. The more information you share, the more data can be accessed. There are many computer softwares and systems that allows information gatherers to easily get hold of your private information.
Take precaution with a VPN and don’t compromise your private information. A VPN service is a secure and easy way to hide your IP address and keep your information only to yourself. VPN service allows you to hide your location by changing your IP address and securing your internet activities.
How to change your IP address
If you are unhappy about mass surveillance in your country, internet censorship or you are worried that you might lose your financial information to internet hackers then VPN service is what you should use to secure your internet identity and protect your personal information from fraudsters.
VPN service not only allow you to hide your IP address but it also changes your IP. In addition, it gives you an extra layer of security by encrypting your internet traffic.
Using a VPN service and changing your IP address provide many benefits including:
- allows you to securely purchase things online
- protect yourself when using a public internet network
- keep your internet activities completely anonymous and secure
- download and transfer files securely
A VPN with many IP addresses lets you change your IP address and share it between many other internet users.
IP changing to unblock sites
Another major VPN service benefit that most of the users really enjoy is changing an IP address to unblock sites and services that are blocked by your government due to high levels of censorship or Geo-restrictions. By changing your IP you can unblock even the most popular sites. This includes websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Vimeo, Dropbox and others. The VPN service lets you to keep in touch with your loved ones even in the most censored places in the world. Changing your IP address also allows you to purchase cheaper flight tickets and book hotels at lower rates.
VPN Shared IP address vs Dedicated IP address
Many VPN service providers offer shared and dedicated IP addresses. What does this actually mean and which one is better?
Shared IP address
Shared IP address provided by your VPN provider means that you are actually sharing your new IP address with other VPN users. Most of the VPN providers offer this IP type. Sharing an IP address, provides you an extra anonymity. While, it also has some disadvantages such as getting blocked by Google due to other users’ past activities or even fraud or spamming. Another drawback is that using a shared IP address can mean reduced internet speed. Hence, it can be especially annoying if you use VPN to stream live sports online or other video services.
Dedicated IP address
Dedicated IP address on the other hand, are allocated to a single VPN user. This is an exclusive feature and typically to get a dedicated IP address would cost slightly more than when signing up for a shared IP address. Dedicated IP address is especially useful for anyone who needs to access private and secure accounts or even telecommute. Dedicated IP provides faster internet speeds, but less online anonymity.
As this is an exclusive feature, then some of the VPN providers offer dedicated IPs only by request.
Hopefully this article has provided you with a better understanding what is an IP address and why it is important to hide your IP address. As the data retention laws around the world keep changing it’s important to use a VPN service to change your IP address and protect your internet identity. The list of the VPN with most IP addresses allows you to find the best service providers with both shared and dedicated IP addresses.