The IP address is a number sequence that connected devices use to identify each other.
Its function is similar to physical addresses. It shows the location of the addressee and the sender within a network.
When you type a URL into your browser and press Enter, your computer first connects to a DNS server, which will looks up and send back the requested domain’s IP address.
Your browser is only able to connect to the websites that you’d like to visit, once it received the appropriate number sequence from the DNS server.
There are different kinds of IP addresses. An IP could be dynamic or static and it could also be private or public.
The difference between dynamic and static addresses is that while the former can change constantly, the latter remains the same.
Private IP addresses are most commonly used on internal networks, while public IPs are, not surprisingly, applied on public networks.
For example, our home computers connect to the router with a private and static address while the router uses a dynamic and public address to establish the connection.
Home systems work like this to be able to serve every device with one address, which is only used for a limited period of time.
Contrarily, large corporations or DNS servers use static IP addresses as they tend to be more secure.
There are two versions of IP address, the IPV4 and the IPV6. The IPV4 protocol was developed in the eighties, while the IPV6 was born in the nineties.
The newer version of IP addresses which contain 128-bit numbers was developed because it allowed the allocation of a much larger amount of addresses to the rapidly growing number of internet-enabled devices.
If you’re interested in your current IP address, just type “what is my IP address” into Google’s search bar. You’ll find several pages, that will answer this question. Alternatively, you can apply the ipconfig command line to find out about your IP address if you’re using a Windows device.
In many countries your IP address is considered to be personal data and there are several protocols and applications available online that are able to hide it.