Everyone of course has a physical footprint, an address, an educational history and places of employment. Each and everyday we create more and more information which establishes our own personal history. The same is true of our digital lives and actually this is expanding at a much more rapid rate for most of us. The core of our digital presence is arguably the IP address that is assigned to our devices. Although this can alter over time, mostly the address that is assigned to our home connection rarely changes.

It’s appealing to look at an IP address and presume that they’re all practically the same. The notation is standard across the board something like 192.168.1.23, every address will have the same numerical format. In case you’re an IT professional you will have the capacity to recognize further distinctions, i.e the fact that these addresses are split into various classes – A, B, C, D and E. To the normal user these are of limited use and indeed interest.

There is an awful lot more that an IP address can reveal about the person or device using it that may not be so obvious. For a start, your specific location – your IP address could be traced back very precisely to your geographical location. With access to the right resources it can be pinpointed to an exact location and device. This stuff is often a shock to people who remain at home browsing the web, believing they are fairly anonymous. When in reality your IP address offers the computerized equivalence of your mail address, it leads straight to your door.

Web sites utilize this information continuously, to tailor what you can see and what you can get access to. One of the most favored strategies is to provide different price lists depending on your location, a straightforward but effective profit maximising strategy for the company. For example a web service can most likely be sold at a much higher cost in wealthier areas 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 actually seem fair does it? Most of us most likely expect that we’e all treated in the same way online irrespective of who or where we are. Regretfully this online commercial discrimination is quite common and despite the fact that there are techniques to bypass it like utilizing a VPN or even a residential proxy, most people do not have access to this technology.

Looking up your physical location really isn’t the only piece of data that can be determined from your IP address, there’s more. To online organisations and websites there’s another important piece of relevant information that is easily obtainable from every address and that’s a specified classification. This is actually a further category from the subnet addressing reported above, and that’s regardless of whether the address is from a commercial or domestic range.

Assuming that you connect to the world wide web from your home address through a standard ISP after that you’ll have a residential IP address. If you access the web from work or university you’ll have a commercial IP address. This is useful specifically for commercial and e-commerce sites as they can establish who is most likely to become a potential customer. Indeed many websites have taken to blocking connectivity to any IP address which is categorized as a commercial address. They’ve carried this out to some extent to stop various application and online marketing software being able to access the site or indeed people from other geographic locations using VPNs.

Many 1000s of individuals used to utilize VPNs to access the US version of Netflix which in turn is significantly superior to most other provincial variations. In order to prevent this behavior Netflix blocked access to all commercial IP addresses which included 99% of all the VPN addresses being used to access Netflix. Now you can only access Netflix through a home internet connection or a VPN with a residential IP. Most other large internet companies don’t go to this level, however it’s likely to become an increasing trend.

Further Reading: Residential IP Services

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