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What Is An IP Address


An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is essentially a unique identification tag for devices on a network, like the internet. It works like a mailing address, but for the digital world.

Here’s a breakdown of how IP addresses function:

  • Identification: Each device is assigned a unique IP address, allowing them to be recognized and distinguished from each other on the network.
  • Communication: When you send or receive information online, your device’s IP address is included in the data packets. This helps route the information to the right destination.
  • Two Main Types: There are two main types of IP addresses in use today: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the older version, consisting of four numbers separated by dots (e.g., IPv6 is the newer version and uses eight groups of hexadecimal numbers separated by colons (e.g., 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334).

While you might not need to know your exact IP address for everyday browsing, it’s a fundamental concept for understanding how devices communicate on the internet.