What Is an IP Address?
An IP address is a sequence of numbers that identifies a device on the internet.
IP addresses allow different devices (like computers, smartphones, and servers) to locate each other and exchange information.
What Does “IP” Mean in IP Address?
The initials “IP” stand for internet protocol. In simple terms, the internet protocol means rules that devices use to exchange data with each other.
By using the same rules, all devices can communicate successfully on the internet.
What Are IP Addresses For?
IP addresses allow different computers, servers, or applications to connect to each other and exchange information.
For example, when you access a website, your computer looks up the IP address associated with it in order to make a connection. It does this using a system called DNS.
When you send an email, IP addresses work in the same way. The server that receives the email needs to know where the recipient’s mailbox is. It uses DNS to find the IP address so that it can deliver the message to the right place.
Why Are Some IP Addresses Longer Than Others?
There are 2 different formats for IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6.
An IPv4 address is made up of four sets of numbers separated by dots. For example, 18.104.22.168 is an IPv4 address used by Google’s DNS server.
In each section of an IPv4 address, the number can range from 0 to 255. This limits the number of addresses that can be created; there can only be 4 billion unique IP addresses using IPv4. So as we connect more people and devices to the internet, we’ll soon run out of new IPv4 addresses.
To deal with this, there’s a newer version called IPv6. IPv6 can provide around 340 trillion trillion trillion unique IP addresses. As an example of how this looks, Google’s DNS server’s IPv6 address is 2001:4860:4860::8888.