Frequently asked questions

What is an IP address?
An IP address is a series of numbers associated with a particular internet connection. Every computer is associated with an IP address whenever it is connected with the internet. Without it, web servers would not know where to send the web page you requested.
How private is my IP address?
It depends. The operators of any website that you visit can see it. If you are not logged into Wikipedia, your IP address is publicly recorded with every edit that you make. If you are logged in, your IP address is hidden from all but a very small number of trusted administrators. In some cases, it is possible that the origin of your IP address could be used in conjunction with the pattern of edits in your contribution history to identify you, even by private individuals unknown to Wikipedia. For more information, see Wikipedia:Personal security practices § Logging in.
Why might I need to share my IP address?
IP addresses are used for several administrative purposes on Wikipedia. In particular, sometimes IP addresses are blocked from editing Wikipedia to prevent abuse, and you might be asked to provide your IP address to administrators in order to help resolve a block.
What if I don't feel comfortable sharing my IP address publicly?
You are never required to share your IP address publicly. If you need to provide your IP address to respond to a block, read the block message for alternatives to the on-wiki unblock process. In particular, you may be able to use the Unblock Ticket Request System instead.