The term IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address. It is one of the most important components of online technology and is used by every device that ever accesses the internet.
Every device that has access to the internet has an IP address. This is a unique code that allows it to be identified by the online network. In turn, this is what facilitates all online communications. Not only with the internet itself, but also with other devices through those channels.
It’s not only computers and smartphones that are handed a unique IP address, though. Even printers and accessories that are controlled from other devices need an IP address to communicate on the network.
Users may need to know this IP address for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, though, it allows network administrators to grant access to a new device. However, they are also used for tracking and security purposes. Administrators can also block devices by identifying them through IP addresses. This isn’t only utilised by local admins, but it also commonly used by websites. One example of this is online betting websites that may ban users based on their IP addresses.
IP addresses are the lifeblood of all internet network communications. Without them, the entire online arena simply couldn’t operate.
Static Vs Dynamic IP’s:
IP addresses are broken into two subsections:
- Static IP Address – these are, as the name suggests, IP addresses that do not change. These are most commonly needed when a device or website needs to remember the IP address for security reasons. This could occur when configuring a DNS server or working with a VPN.
- Dynamic IP Address – this is the far more common type of address. Essentially, rather than designating an IP to the device, the device changes its public IP each time it joins a new network. Those addresses are borrowed from a pool provided by the network and change over time.
What does an IP address look like?
The IP address identifier is simply a series of numbers broken into four sections that are separated by dots. Each of those four numbers can be one, two, or three digits long. They will also range between 0 and 255. These can be presented in any combination.
Here are three examples of how your IP address may look:
Both static and dynamic IP addresses will follow the same standard appearance. Moreover, this formula follows all devices whether it’s a wireless printer or a smartphone. The only real difference is that those dynamic addresses will change.
How can I find my IP address?
The process of finding an IP address is pretty simple, but it will vary from device to device. Either way, opening up the settings panel of a network should show both the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Alternatively, you can access your public IP address simply by typing “my IP address” into Google.
Do it from two devices on the same network, and you should see two different numbers.