Waterproof, Water Resistant, Shockproof and IP Ratings Explained

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Most of the Gadgets these days are either Waterproof or Water Resistant and bear an IP Rating. While these certainly instill a sense of assurance that your device is protected, but what do they actually mean and how ‘secure’ is your device? So let’s break things down as we explain what they all indicate.

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Shockproof refers to the amount of impact a device can absorb when dropped or bumped into. The Shockproof label is mostly seen on Mobile cases and covers, as they need to absorb the landing impact and protect the device. The shockproof protection has nothing to do with protection from electric or static damage, it is understandable why it can be easily confused with.

Water Resistant

Water Resistant is often confused with Waterproof; However, they are not the same. When a device is labeled as Water Resistant, it means that the device is able to withstand water up to a certain extent and can resist the effect of rain. It is important to note that it is not completely immune to the effects of water and hence must NOT be submerged.

Note that there are varying levels of water resistance. Not all devices have the same level of water resistance, we’ll talk about the water protection levels and rating in a moment.


Waterproof means that the device can be completely submerged in water. However, it can be submerged only for a limited time, after which the device may no longer be immune to water damage. How long a device can be submerged will again depend on the level and water protection rating of the device.

Also see: Best waterproof phones

IP Ratings

The IP Rating is also called as International Protection rating or Ingress Protection rating. They usually consist of two letters – ‘IP’, followed by two numbers. The first number indicates the device’s protection level against the entry of solids such as dust, while the second number indicates the device’s protection against entry of moisture and water.

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If the letter ‘X’ is denoted instead of a number, it means that the device has no protection against either solids or liquids, depending on where the ‘X’ is.


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