If you want to access the internet then you’ll need an IP address, otherwise you won’t be able to connect to anything. That funny little network address is essential in order for you to do anything online simply because no computer would ever be able to find you.
For most us that address is assigned directly from our ISP when we connect up to the internet. Each device is allocated an address from a range and it will use it to communicate online. For many of us that address will not change for weeks on end and forms the basis of our digital profile while we use the internet.
So why would we want to change this address? Why isn’t the IP address we’re assigned good enough? Well the simple fact is that although you have little say in how your IP address is assigned, it does actually affect what you can do online quite significantly. Your address is also used to determine your location which can also have an impact on your online experience.
Take a look at this brief video entitled Online IP changer and you can see some of the situations where it’s actually useful to have the ability to change your own IP address,
As you can see from the demonstration, your address is actually used to block and filter what you access online. SO for example many of the world’s best media site only allow access to their domestic markets. So to watch Hulu or HBO you have to be physically based in the US for example. Even if you are from the US and travel abroad, suddenly you’ll lose access to resources that you were previously able to access without issue. This is because you cannot take your IP address with you when you travel, well at least under normal circumstances.
As soon as you travel to France for instance, you’ll be consider a French person as you’ll have an IP address registered there. Which means you will get blocked if you access a US only website.
This is why proxies and VPNs are so important now as they give people some control over their digital identities. Anyone can use an intermediate server based in a different country in order to hide their location. So a US traveller could connect through a US proxy and enjoy the same access to US media sites that he had previously.