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What is an IP Address?
An IP Address, also known as "Internet Protocol", is a unique identifier assigned to a user browsing the internet through their Internet Service Provider (ISP). Just as we use an email address or phone number to identify a person, an IP address is linked to an individual user and can be associated with their online activity. A reputation can also be established with each IP address to make it easy to identify high risk users. It can be difficult for users to frequently switch an assigned IP address from their ISP, which is why internet users often use proxies, VPNs, or Tor to mask their identity.
What is a Proxy Connection?
Proxies are used to mask the identity of a user by processing the internet connection through another server. A proxy connection is made via a proxy server, which serves as a hub through which internet requests are processed between websites and the end user. Websites receiving these requests would only see the proxy server's IP address and not the user's real IP address. Therefore, a user in another country could mask their true location details to bypass geo restrictions and remain anonymous. Abusive users also utilize proxies to engage in fraudulent activity such as creating duplicate accounts, posting SPAM, or generating fraudulent transactions from different proxy IP addresses without revealing their true identity.
What Info Can I Get From an IP Address Lookup?
Many users are surprised by how much data they can gain by performing an IP Address lookup. Location information may be one of the most useful data points, and is usually accurate within 25 miles of the actual user. IP address lookups can also provide more technical data points such as the Internet Service Provider (ISP), time zone, Autonomous System Number (ASN), blacklist status, hostname, device details, and the status of the IP address as a proxy connection.
Our IP lookup details also provide a Fraud Score and overall risk analysis which determines how likely an active user on this IP address is to engage in abusive behavior. Unfortunately, it is not possible to extract a person's name, physical address, email address or phone number from an IP address.
Does Proxy Detection Work?
Proxy detection can work exceptionally well with the right service provider to uncover users hiding their identity behind an anonymized connection. The worst offenders of fraud can control millions of IP addresses at one time. This is a great challenge for proxy detection service providers that must monitor IP addresses 24/7 for newly compromised devices which could serve as a proxied connection.
IPQualityScore provides the most accurate proxy detection service in the industry, detecting mobile & desktop devices as soon as they become compromised by botnets or malware, exhibit high risk activity, or allow users to tunnel into a connection. IPQS even detects IP addresses that serve as residential proxies and private VPN servers.
What Types of Connections Do Proxies Use?
IP addresses that function as proxies or VPNs use a wide range of connection types. Residential proxy connections are the most favored since they are very difficult to identify as a high risk IP address and tend to be very costly to access. Data center IP addresses are by far the cheapest and most abundant, since they are the easiest to access. Tor connections are also a very popular source, yet they are have a very obvious footprint which makes it easy to identify Tor IP addresses.