What is my IP address?

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What is an IP address and what does it reveal about you?

Your home has a street address and your computer has an internet protocol (IP) address. This is a string of numbers (made up of four values divided by periods. E.g. and is assigned to every device connected to the internet. It’s a unique identifier—like a digital fingerprint—and allows a system to be recognized by other systems on the internet.

Your IP address can give others more than just a number. It can also reveal…

  • Personal details: A search of your IP address in the WHOIS database for example, could reveal your name, telephone number, or address.  
  • Your location: Details include your country, region, city, GPS coordinates, and telephone area code. Accuracy varies.
  • Your online activities: The information you shared, the websites you visited, the Wikipedia pages you edited… it’s an open door to your political opinions, interests, beliefs, and more.
  • Your email address: If you sent emails while connected via this IP address, your email address is no secret either.    

How can you hide your IP address?

Use a virtual private network (VPN). It masks your IP address and encrypts communications between your device and the internet. All your data is routed via a VPN server, which is why you’re allocated a different IP address and none of your online activities can be traced back to you. 

With a VPN, you’re free to surf anonymously and securely, away from hackers and snoops. Advertisers can’t track you either, so they’re unable to build a profile about you. You’re invisible, without the cloak…


    How does a VPN work?

    After your device and the server have verified each other as authentic, all incoming and outgoing traffic is routed through a secure tunnel and your data is encrypted. The result? No other users and services can trace you, as your device seems to have the IP address of the VPN server. And we really do mean no one:  No spies, hackers, advertisers—in fact not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP)–can monitor your online activities. Your privacy is secured!

    What are the other advantages of a VPN?

    A VPN does so much more than shield your privacy. Whether you’re a movie fan, frequent traveler, or online shopper, the possibilities are endless: 

    Safely surf on public Wi-Fi and bank online

    Surfing online is inherently insecure, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi network (in restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc.). The reason: other people in this network can access and steal your data. Surfing with an active VPN connection solves the problem. It encrypts all the data received and sent, so you’ll protect yourself from hackers and keep your passwords and personal data safe. 

    Bypass restrictions and firewalls

    By picking another server location and hiding your real IP address, you can bypass regional censorship (geo-blocking). For example, if you’re abroad, choose a VPN server in the US to watch an American TV show and beat regional censorship wherever you are. This feature also enables gamers to beat restricted gaming servers and play against competitors around the world. The world truly is your oyster!

    Discover Avira Phantom VPN

    Mask your IP address and surf anonymously

    Why choose free VPN from Avira?

    Phantom VPN from Avira is rated one of the top free VPNs in the world. Plus, Avira doesn’t track your internet usage, meaning your web use is kept safe from ISPs, advertisers, and online snoops. With servers around the world, you can bypass restricted content and censored websites with the free VPN download. Avira is one of the most trusted software brands in the world and has a 30-year history of ensuring privacy and security for its customers.

    You can use Phantom VPN simultaneously on all your devices. The gratis VPN works with Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. There is a new feature: the browser plugin for free, fast VPN, available exclusively with Chrome. Install the software on your PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.