In the physical world, we’re overloaded with ways to identity ourselves. We have identity cards, driving licenses, passports, health insurance cards and a myriad of other forms of identification methods.
It’s tempting to look at an IP address and presume that they’re all more or less the same. The notation is standard across the board something like 192.168.1.23, every address will have the same numerical format. In the event that you’re an IT specialist you will have the capacity to recognize further distinctions, i.e the fact that these addresses are split into different classes – A, B, C, D and E. Having said that to the normal individual these are of limited use and indeed interest.
However there is an awful lot more that an IP address can reveal about the person or machine using it which may not actually be so obvious. For a kickoff, your location – your IP address could be traced back very accurately to your geographical location. With access to the right resources it can be pinpointed to an exact location and device. This is typically a surprise to everyday people who remain at home surfing the world wide web, believing they are fairly anonymous. When in reality your IP address provides the digital equivalence of your postal address, it leads directly to your door.
Web sites make use of this information constantly, to tailor just what you can see and what you can gain access to. One of the most popular strategies is to provide different price lists depending on your location, a simple but efficient profit maximising technique for the company. A web service can probably be sold at a higher price in wealthier countries than it can in poorer ones. The online games retailer will sell a digital copy of a game at a much higher price in Europe than it will in African or South America.
Does not really seem fair does it? Most of us quite possibly expect that we’e all treated equally on the internet irrespective of who or precisely where we are. This on-line business discrimination is remarkably common and despite the fact that there are methods to bypass it like making use of a VPN as detailed in this handy web post about the BBC services, most individuals really don’t have easy access to this technology.
Looking up your physical location really isn’t the only part of data that might be determined from your IP address, there’s more. To on-line businesses and websites there’s another important piece of relevant information that is easily accessible through every address and that’s a specified classification. This is a further category from the subnet addressing reported above, and that’s regardless of whether the address is from a commercial or residential range.
Assuming that you connect to the internet from your home address via a conventional ISP then you’ll have a residential IP address. Assuming that you gain access to the web from your job or college you’ll have a commercial IP address. This is useful particularly for commercial and ecommerce sites as they can figure out who is more likely to become a prospective customer. Indeed many websites have started blocking out access to any IP address which is classified as a commercial address. They’ve done this partly to stop various application and marketing software being able to access the site or undoubtedly people from other geographical locations using VPNs.
Many thousands of people employed to utilize VPNs to get access to the US version of Netflix and things like watching ITV abroad, which is significantly superior to most other provincial variations. In order to prevent this behaviour Netflix blocked out access to all commercial IP addresses that included 99% of all the VPN addresses being used to access Netflix. Indeed now you can only access Netflix through a home internet connection or a VPN with a residential IP. A large number of other large internet companies don’t go to this level, however it’s likely to become an increasing trend.