What is an IP Address?

What is an IP Address? The “IP” part of IP address stands for “Internet Protocol.” The “address” part refers to a unique number that gets linked to all online activity you do…somewhat like a return address on a letter you’d send out. (All this happens in milliseconds.)

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What is an IP Address

If I’m going to send a package to my friend in another country, I have to know the exact destination. It’s not enough to just put a package with his name on it through the mail and expect it to reach him. I must instead attach a specific address to it, which you could do by looking it up in a phone book.

This same general process is used when sending data over the Internet. However, instead of using a phone book to look up someone’s name to find their physical address, your computer uses DNS servers to look up a hostname to find its IP address.

For example, when I enter a website into a browser, like www.lifewire.com, into my browser, my request to load that page is sent to DNS servers that look up that hostname (lifewire.com) to find its corresponding IP address (

Without the IP address attached, my computer will have no clue what it is that I’m after.

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What is public IP address?

A public IP address is the address that is assigned to a computing device to allow direct access over the Internet. A web server, email server and any server device directly accessible from the Internet are candidate for a public IP address. A public IP address is globally unique, and can only be assigned to a unique device.

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What’s a Private IP address?

Home routers have their local address set to a default, private IP address number. It’s usually the same address for the other models from that manufacturer, and it can be seen in the manufacturer’s documentation.

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What is static IP service?

static IP address is a number is assigned to a computer by an Internet service provider (ISP)

Difference between static and dynamic IPs:

When a device is assigned a static IP address, the address does not change. Most devices use dynamic IP addresses, which are assigned by the network when they connect and change over time.

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One thought on “What is an IP Address?”

  1. Madelyn Todd

    Little but affective summary on IP. But a bit suggestion is there, that on the same page, you should also explain the procedure on how to check your private IP, and also the tool, how to check your public IP. As far as public IP is concerned, there is a tool (https://dnschecker.org/ip-location.php), that not only locates the IP, by getting information from four geolocation databases but also displays the location on Google maps also. So the user has a better estimation of location.

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