You should know the risks when you order public vs local IP. Almost every Internet provider can offer a static external address. We will tell you what is a public IP address, who may need it, and about the risks it brings.
What Is My IP and How It Works
If you want to send your friend a gift card from your vacation, you should know his address. Without the correct address, the main system fails to deliver your letter. The Internet works the same. All the communication between users requires data sharing between your devices and servers. Every user should have his IP address, which identifies him.
Such addresses are called IP addresses and contain four numbers from 0 to 255: e.g., 126.96.36.199. There are more than 4 billion possible combinations in total. Still, the number of devices connected to the Internet is lesser. Therefore, to save IP addresses, the NAT mechanism (Network address translation) was implemented. The Internet provider uses one external IP address for all its subscribers, once assigning internal ones to them. To check what is my IP you should use VPN IP checker. You can check out your IP and it’s features absolutely free. Such IP checkers give an opportunity to find out if your IP address is safe.
What Is My IP – NAT Mechanism
Once receiving a packet for an external server, NAT remembers which device was sent and substitutes the address number with its address number, and then forwards the packet further. When receiving a response packet, which was originally sent to a public address, NAT substitutes an address in the provider’s internal network. Eventually, the “letter” reaches the device to which it was addressed originally.
Your home Wi-Fi router creates a local network with its IP addresses and forwards packets sent to and from the provider’s network. If it works so well, why then do we need a public IP address? Is a public IP address safe? Everything works fine with NAT as long as all connections are initiated from the internal network. But not if you need to connect to your device from the Internet. All the packets that arrive at the provider’s IP address will go nowhere. Therefore, when you need access to your network from the outside, you should check IP and use a unique public address.
Why Do You Need an External IP
What can someone do with external IP address? At home, this can come in handy. For instance, if you want to access files on your home computer from work or other places, instead of keeping them in the cloud. External IP addresses are very popular among gamers. You can create your server for multiplayer games with your own rules, maps and invite friends to play. You also need an external IP address to stream games from remote devices such as Xbox or PlayStation to your laptop when you decide to play at a party or on a trip.
Sometimes an external IP address is required for the surveillance services and other security systems, or “smart home” solutions. Most modern systems are cloud-based. This means that you register your home devices at a special trusted server with an IP address checker. After that, you send all commands to devices not directly but to this server. In its turn, the devices periodically contact the server and check for received commands. With this approach, a real IP is not required. At all stages, the NAT system knows where to return packets. The only question is left unanswered. Is it safe to give out external IP address?
What Are the Disadvantages of IP Addressing?
The main disadvantage of an external IP address is the same as its advantage. It allows you to connect to your device directly from the Internet. Thus, anyone can reach the address, including hackers. Once using certain vulnerabilities, cybercriminals may get to your files and steal confidential information. The stolen information can either be sold or you can be blackmailed. In addition, hackers can change the settings of your Internet access. They can set your router to give you phishing copies of websites. Thus, all your logins and passwords can be stolen from you, for instance.
How do hackers know who to attack? Firstly, there are public Internet services that regularly check IP addresses in a row for vulnerabilities. The IP address checker allows literally in a couple of clicks to find thousands of devices that have one or another loophole to use to hack them. Secondly, hackers can find out exactly your IP. They can do it simply by using Skype. You can also see your address when you visit the pages of the websites.
Using your real IP address hackers can hack your home network and arrange a DDoS attack. Does your internet service provider offer effective protection against this? Such attacks are often carried out against gamers and streamers. It is often done to throw a strong opponent out of the competition.
How to Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself is not to use an external IP address at all. Especially if you are not sure if you need one, do not get fooled by the advertisements of Internet providers no matter how convincing they are. You can use VeePN. Thus, you will get a free tool to manage your Internet activity. You can learn what is IP and how to protect it from hackers. Besides, you will be able to check IP constantly. The IP checker function is quite beneficial for users. The advanced protection offered by the tool can be very valuable for users.
If you are sure that you need a direct IP, then the first step is to change your router’s default password. This will not protect you from hackers exploiting the vulnerabilities of a particular device model. Still, it will save you from less-skilled attackers. It is a good idea to use the exact router model with fewer known vulnerabilities. It is recommended to regularly update the router’s firmware. The more recent firmware versions have fewer errors found in their earlier versions. Besides, you should turn on all the available router’s built-in protection means.
Finally, do not ever neglect security solutions on both personal computers and mobile devices. These days, they do not simply catch malware but also help to protect against other types of attacks. It includes the hackers’ attempts to redirect you to malicious websites or add malicious advertisements. Be aware these types of attacks are the most common in case your router was hacked. Be attentive to your online security and always use all the available security tools.