What is an IP address : a simple definition

An IP address is a sequence of numbers assigned to a device connected to the Internet, similar to the address of a house.

You can send and receive data over the Internet with a series of numbers that behave like a street address.

Your Internet service provider (ISP) assigns an IP address to each of your internet connected devices, and each IP address is unique.

You may have different IP addresses for internal purposes, such as identifying your devices on a home network or in a business office.

Most of the time, the router hardware that connects to a local network over the Internet is assigned a local internal IP address. It can also be assigned to your computer’s router hardware, which also connects to the local network.

The Internet knows your IP address because it is assigned to your device and is required for surfing the web.

Thus, your computer network uses IP addresses to communicate with other computers and websites on the Internet.

The history of the IP address and the Internet

The Internet Protocol (IP), from which comes the IP address, was developed in the 1970s.
It is the cornerstone of the Internet Protocol Suite that defines how devices exchange information on the Internet.

Each packet that passes through the TCP / IP network contains an IP address that identifies the device that sent it.

Moreover, it contains information about where it has been routed to and where to go next.

The label distinguishes and identifies the billions of devices that use the Internet.

Be it computers, mobile phones, printers and a the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart homes such as smart speakers, refrigerators, home security systems and much more.

The different Internet protocols (IPv4, IPv6, …) in simple words

We have different types of IP addresses: from IPv4 to IPv6.
The IPv4 version is used to configure an IP address that is a numeric value (number) that may conflict with other IP addresses.
As the number of connected devices increase, the newer version of IPv6 provides trillions of IP addresses to meet the needs of Internet users and devices.

Key Takeaways about the IP address

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses allow computers to send and receive information.

An IP address stands for Internet Protocol address. It is an identification number assigned to a specific computer in its network.

Your local IP address represents your device and its network, while your public IP address represents the face of your network on the Internet. IP addresses are assigned or leased by individual Internet service providers or VPN services.

They are an essential component of Internet access. IP addresses identify where the data originates and to whom it is sent.

They are stored as binary numbers, but can also be displayed in human-readable notation, such as

About the Author


Matthis is a Digital Marketing professional with more than 5 years of experience and a tech-savvy person. He founded Techopper.com in 2021 in order to provide insights on technology and its impact on our society. He writes about tech news and social media trends.

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