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What are IP Addresses?
IP Address is short for “Internet Protocol Address”.
You can think of an IP Address a bit like phone number for your computer; it is a number that identifies any device that is connected to a network; although there are a few key differences between phone numbers and IP Addresses.
Devices such as computers (and smart phones or game consoles etc) can be linked up to other computers. This is called computer networking. Each computer that gets connected to a network is given a different IP address, so that each computer can be identified and communicated with individually.
When you link different computers together, a computer network is formed. You can have a computer network contained completely inside your home; in fact, if you have an internet connection at home that gets shared by all your different computers, laptops and ipods then you already have your own network!
In the case of most home and business networks (e. g. your office), all the different computers are joined on a private network. On the private network, each computer will have it’s own “internal” IP Address, but externally, all the computers on that private network will appear to have the same IP Address.
So that’s why if you load this webpage on two different computers on the same private network, it will show the same IP Address at the top: because they are coming from the same network, even though on the private network those two computers have different IP Addresses.
Can my IP Address reveal my physical location?
Essentially: yes. Your ISP knows exactly where you are (because they have your billing details linked to your IP Address), however to most other people, websites and organisations, IP Addresses can usually only reflect an approximate location (perhaps at a suburb level).
Can I hide my IP Address?
You always need an IP Address to do anything on the internet… however it is possible for your internet traffic to appear to come from a different IP Address.
If you don’t want web servers to be able to see which IP Address you are coming from, you can use a ”
” service, which puts another network link in front of your computer; so that it seems like your traffic is coming out of a different location.
The VPN which you use will know your real IP Address but the assumption is that you trust your VPN provider. Using a VPN will not fix all your privacy or anonymity problems, but it is a good start.
Can I get a new IP Address?
It depends your arrangement with your ISP, but in some cases it’s definitely possible.
To understand this you need to understand how you are assigned an IP Address in the first place, and there are a few scenarios regarding how this happens, however essentially what happens is that in some way your Internet Service Provider will provide you with your public IP.
Getting a new IP address involves getting your ISP to provide you with a new one and there are a few ways this can happen: and this basically depends on your arrangement with them.
The situations below are general outlines only: ultimately it comes down to your arrangement with your ISP and if you have any doubts you should contact them for more information regarding your actual situation.
Please note that this is different to “hiding” your IP address (as with a VPN or similar) – this describes simply changing your IP address.
Depending on the type of internet connection your internet has, this may be a “fixed” IP Address. If your IT Team has organised a high bandwidth connection to support tens or hundreds of employees at the same office location then it’s very likely that this IP address would be static and never change; and thus there’s nothing that can be done to change your IP address. Your internet traffic will appear to come from the same place as all the other employees.
In our experience most home internet connections will have a dynamic IP address. This means that every time your home router connects to your ISP it will be given a different IP address by your ISP.
ISPs have pools of IP addresses and will randomly pick one out and assign it to every new internet connection. Often rebooting your router is enough to cause it to be assigned a different IP address. In some cases, while your internet connection technically has a dynamic IP address, even when you reboot your router your ISP will still give you the same IP for a few days, weeks or months.
Some home internet or small office internet connections will provide you with a fixed IP address as a part of your plan with them. You should contact them for more information.
If you work in a smaller office you may be on an internet connection that is similar to a Home Internet connection; a dynamic IP address behind a router and the same scenario applies.
This refers to 3G/4G internet on your Smart Phone or 3G/4G Tablet (and not when you’re connected via WiFi at Home, Work or a Cafe etc).
It’s particularly hard to make generalisations about mobile IP address
What’s the deal with VPNs?
Using a VPN is a trade-off – there are some advantages and some disadvantages – and you need to understand the various reasons why you might want to use one.
Coming from a different geographic location
Some services – commonly gambling or online TV websites – will restrict your access to their services unless your internet traffic is coming from the correct location (eg. the same country). If you try to access their website from overseas, you will be denied.
Using a VPN is a primary way of getting around these kinds of blocks. You’ll need a VPN which has end-points in the country you need to appear to come from – then when you select that end-point for your traffic, when you access that site it should detect that your traffic is local and let you in.
Be aware that some websites that have these location-based checks, also include checks to see if you’re coming from well-known VPNs as well – and may choose to block you as well, to prevent customers using VPNs to get around their blocks.
Preventing people snooping on your web browsing
Another common reason for people using VPNs is to prevent malicious third-parties from intercepting and analysing their internet traffic.
Any time you connect your computer to a network, you are – at a certain level – trusting that network and their owners to act “properly” – not intercept or tamper with your network traffic. If your computer is connected to your Employer’s network, a University network or a free WiFi hotspot in a restaurant, when you access the internet, your traffic goes out through their router/firewall and reaches the broader internet.
As such, we have to trust whoever is providing that link to the internet… however it is possible for the provider of that router/firewall to keep copies of some or all of the internet traffic that is going through it, without you being aware that this is happening. Fortunately more and more websites are using TLS/SSL to secure themselves and help prevent this from happening, but the firewall would still know that you’re sending some kind of traffic to that website (it just couldn’t see what it was). And not all websites are doing this (or doing it properly). And if your adversary was very determined, they could try to break the TLS/SSL encryption…
So, by using a VPN when you are using an untrusted network, you can “tunnel” all of your traffic out to a different end-point before it his the public internet.
However, as you can probably guess, this then means that you now have to trust your VPN to not tamper with, intercept or store the traffic that is now going over their network!
This is why we say that using a VPN is a trade off – you have moved your trust away from the Free WiFi access point that you’ve connected to in a restaurant to a company that you are paying money to and who should have a vested interest in helping keep you safe.
Never use a “Free VPN”
Some companies offer “free” VPNs, however the wide consensus among techies and security people is to avoid free VPNs.
The old adage “if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product” definitely applies to free VPNs.
Here are two articles about the risks of Free VPNs:
Are Free VPN Apps Worth the Risk? Experts Say ‘No’
Why free VPNs are not a risk worth taking
Get a VPN:
If you have any more questions, use the contact form and we’ll answer it and add your question here.
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Find your IP address – Google Fiber Help
Look up your public IP address online and a Google Fiber device’s internal IP address within your Fiber account.
This article applies to customers who have a Fiber Network Box as their router. If you have Google Wifi instead of a Network Box, you can find your IP address using this article.
Differences between a public and internal IP address
The public IP address of your network is a unique number assigned by Google Fiber. All incoming and outgoing traffic (such as email, texts, web searches, and so on) uses that externally facing public IP address.
The internal IP address of a device on your network is a unique number in a series that is assigned by the Network Box when that device connects to your Google Fiber home network. All devices on your network, including those wired to the Network Box or a TV Box and those connected wirelessly, are assigned IP addresses by the Network Box.
The Network Box assigns IP addresses in numerical order (for example, 192. 168. 1. 2, 192. 3, and so on) and reassigns IP addresses after they are released by devices that are turned off or leave the area covered by the network. So the IP address of a particular device is not necessarily the same every time it connects.
Generally, you do not need to know the IP address of a device. However, you can determine the IP address of any device on your network or your public IP address, if you care to do so.
To check the public IP address of your network
Open a web browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, or any browser of your choice).
Go to one of the following websites or any similar website:
Either of these web pages detects and displays the public IP address of your network.
To look up the internal IP address of a device on your network
Open a web browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, or any browser of your choice).
Sign in to Fiber using the email and password you use for your Fiber account.
Select Network at the top-left corner. (If you don’t see it, click the navigation menu to display the selection. )
Your Google Fiber devices appear on the navigation pane on the left, and the configuration options appear on the right.
In the navigation pane on the left, select the device whose IP address you want to know.
if you don’t see the IP address, select the Advanced dropdown to show the IP address for that specific device.
Technical details about that device appear in the settings pane on the right. The IPv4 address is the common form of IP address. If an IPv6 address has been assigned to the device, that address is also listed.
You can also determine the internal address of your TV Box using your Google Fiber remote. This is the only internal IP address you can access using your remote.
To determine the internal IP address of your TV Box using the Fiber remote:
Press menu; then navigate to Settings > Help & Info > System Info. The System Info screen displays the IP address of your TV Box at the top of the screen.
Alternatively, you can click Advanced and then click the DHCP tab to display a list of devices that are or have been on your network and some basic information about each device, including IP address.
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Behind the Screens: What happens when you type a URL in a browser
What is HTTP?
These requests follow a ‘protocol’ or ‘rules of communication’ called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This protocol dictates the format of the messages, when what message is sent, appropriate responses, and how messages are interpreted. HTTP messages are of two types: request and response.
An HTTP request message consists of a request line and headers. The message starts with a request line and is followed by headers. Here’s a sample HTTP request:
GET /path/to/file/ HTTP/1. 1
User-agent: Mozilla/5. 0
The request line consists of a request method, a path, and the HTTP version.
The request method, GET, in the example above tells the server what to do. GET, for example, tells the server that the client wants to get the resource found at the given file path.
Other examples of request methods include DELETE, which tells the server to delete a resource at the given path, and PUT, which tells the server to put a supplied resource at the given path. The HTTP version is also specified to cater for the differences between each.
Next come the HTTP headers. Headers allow the client to communicate extra information such as the server type and the date. Each header is on a seperate line and contains a name and value, separated by a colon.
There are many headers which provide different functions. For example, the connection header indicates whether user is on a HTTP connection type.
The server then sends an HTTP response message. Here’s a sample response message:
HTTP/1. 1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15: 44: 04 GMT
Server: Apache/2. 2. 3 (CentOS)
Last-Modified: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:11:03 GMT
[The object/file that was requested]
Response messages consist of a status line to start with, followed by a number of headers, followed by a blank line and ends with a resource if any was requested.
The status line consists of the HTTP version and a status code. There are a few types of status codes. A common example is the infamous 404 Not Found status code.
Here’s a quick list of common status codes and what each mean:
200 OK: the request was successful, and the result is appended with the response message.
404 File Not Found: the requested object doesn’t exist on the server.
400 Bad Request: generic error code that indicates that the request was in a format that the server could not comprehend.
500 HTTP Internal Server Error: the request could not be completed because the server encountered some unexpected error.
505 HTTP Version Not Supported: the requested HTTP version is not supported by the server.
Next, the browser receives the response, interprets it and displays something accordingly to the user. For instance, if an HTML page is returned, the browser interprets it and displays it accordingly.
However, most websites today do not consist of simple HTML. This scenario is extremely oversimplified and this actually happening is very rare. Real world websites often consist of other resources such as images which are requested from the server via subsequent HTTP requests.
Wrapping up and what to learn next
There are many reasons why you would want to learn more about networks.
Whether you’re just starting out or already a veteran dev, a strong knowledge of networks will help to set you apart from the crowd of engineers, especially in web app development teams.
This knowledge is also essential for working in cyber security. Network security is a very exciting discipline. As cloud-computing expands and larger networks become more present in daily life, this knowledge will soon become required learning across many different positions and companies.
To invest in this increasingly demanded field, see Educative’s course called Grokking Computer Networking for Software Engineers.
This course will walk you through advanced networking concepts like the role of each network layer, socket programming, and different IP version uses. Over 115 interactive, text-based lessons you’ll gain all the background knowledge you’ll need to feel at home working with web development and architecture.
Continue reading about networking
Guide to Cyber Security: learn how to defend your systems
Roadmap to Cloud Jobs: how and why to become a Cloud Engineer
Computer Networking 101: Terms, Tools, and Getting Started
Frequently Asked Questions about my ip browser
How do I find my browser IP address?
Find your IP addressOpen a web browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, or any browser of your choice).Go to one of the following websites or any similar website: whatsmyip.org. whatismyip.com. Either of these web pages detects and displays the public IP address of your network.
What is my current browser?
In the browser’s toolbar, click on “Help”or the Settings icon. Click the menu option that begins “About” and you’ll see what type and version of browser you are using.Apr 18, 2019
Does browser have IP address?
Websites exist on powerful computers called servers. … Your computer has an IP address too. . Note that all Internet-enabled devices have an IP address but not all of them are servers. If your browser knows the IP address of a website’s server, it will be able to access it.Nov 19, 2019