What is an IP address and how can you change it with a VPN?

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An IP (or Internet Protocol) address is what devices across the internet use to find each other when they need to connect. Just about everything on the public internet has an IP address assigned to it, just like every home and business has a street address.

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Where street addresses help you find a physical location on a map, connected devices can use IP addresses to find and connect to a device on the Internet. 

For endpoints like your home’s broadband, an external IP address is assigned by whichever ISP (Internet Service Provider) you subscribe to. 

The ISPs themselves draw from pools of available IP addresses assigned to them by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), a division of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)

Also: ICANN rejects Ukraine’s request to block Russia from the internet

Because of this system, several things can be determined by looking up a given IP address. 

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These include the ISP that manages that IP address – Verizon’s Fios or Comcast’s Xfinity, for instance – as well as the physical location of that address’ current user, usually to within a radius of 25 miles or so.

The IP addresses in use today come in two forms: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is an older format that’s still the most commonly used for home networking

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