An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label. Every device that is connected to a computer network is assigned an IP address. It uses the Internet Protocol for communications. Even the device you are viewing this article on has an IP address. So, you might be wondering what exactly is this IP address and what’s my IP address?
Don’t you worry, this article will take a shallow dive on both the topics. For now, to those who don’t know what IP address is. Let me brief you about it.
What is an IP address?
IP in IP address as mentioned before, stands for Internet Protocol. You might have come across many protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, etc.
These are what responsible for making and establishing strong, solid connections over the internet.
If you want a device to communicate with another device, it must have an IP address. You can say that IP address is the name of a particular electronic device, by which it is identified.
There are basically two different types of IP addresses, public and private IP addresses. Just as the name suggests, one is for private networks and the other for public networks.
All IP addresses are made up of numerical. Specifically, there are 4 sections of numbers ranging from 0 to 255. Each section of an IP address is separated with a full stop(.).
IP addresses originally originated as there were no domain names back then. This was because of how few sites were present back then on the internet. This is also the reason that IP addresses were originally only 32 bits in size, now they are 128 bits. As with every new divide being added to the internet, it has to be baptized with a new name.
As of now, your IP address will also contain alphabets in addition to the numbers.
What’s my IP address?
Let us now come to talking about your IP address. You might be wondering what did the people name your device. Well, you can easily do it by reaching out to your user manual.
You don’t even have to enter any details, just click on the link and you will be presented with your IP address. In addition to that, you are also presented with more data about your device. Such as city, region, country, country code, ISP, latitude, longitude.
How cool is that?
But, you still might be having the question of why IP address and web domain are related.
Relation between IP address and a web domain
In the initial life of the internet, there were not many servers. And to access those servers you will have to know the exact public IP address. This originally was not hard when there were no domains and very few active servers.
But as the internet grew, more and more servers started getting added. It came to a point where knowing the exact number of every server would be next to impossible to remember. This gave birth to domain names as we know them today.
The Domain Name Servers(DNS) mock the IP address with a domain name. Essentially doing the same thing of identifying your device, but in a different manner.
More about IP address
You can use two distinct devices with the same IP address using software. That means that another device on the network will see both the devices as one device.
The private IP addresses are not accessible from the internet, and these are fixed for every device.
Your IP address is also used for the geo-location tracking.