What is an IP Address – Definition and Explanation

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Definition of the IP address: The IP address is an identification number assigned to a device connected to the Internet. Having an IP address allows this device to communicate with other devices that themselves have an IP address. You can think of it as one phone number calling another. All IP addresses look like this: 123.45.67.89

The IP address directs the data flow in the right direction

All devices connected to the Internet with which you browse have an IP address. This ensures that the data is indeed sent to the correct recipient. Without you realizing it, the IP address is as useful when visiting a website as when sending an e-mail. It is mostly a combination of randomly generated letters and numbers. The IP address is reassigned each time the router is changed and at least once a day.

Formation of IP addresses

To surf the Internet, there are two types of IP addresses: IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses. IPv4 addresses are the older addressing standards. Each address consists of four blocks of numbers between 0 and 255. Each block is separated by dots. Given the rapid growth of the Internet, another standard has been developed to generate even more new addresses. This is why the IPv6 address came into effect but is ultimately little used in practice. While IPv4 addresses are mostly numbers and periods, newer addresses also contain colons and letters.

Assignment and data protection guaranteed

An average Internet user will see an incomprehensible string of numbers in an IP address. However, the IP address is formed and ordered according to very strict rules. For example, it delivers the name of the Internet access provider and the location of the network access point. Currently in France, each Internet service provider undertakes to delete the data of Internet users relating to the location.

Configuring a server with its own IP address

What is my IP address and how can i find it? Generally, very few Internet users are confronted with these questions. The change of IP address is done automatically without the user even being notified of this change. The IP address is for example useful to install an SFTP server or to access a network game like Minecraft.

Since each IP address is entirely unique to the PC or client to something assigned to it, it can be likened to a Social Security Number (SSN). Switches can distinguish where they transmit data on the Internet through the development of these numbers.

They also ensure that the correct terminals receive the information. A switch needs an IP address to communicate with the mentioned web address, just like a postal station needs a house number to deliver a parcel.

Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle reporter was involved in the creation of this content. The group also declines all responsibility for this content.

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