An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a logical numeric address that is assigned to every single computer, printer, switch, router or any other device that is part of a TCP/IP-based network.
Don’t worry. Most of the billions of computer users don’t know either, and to tell you the truth, that’s perfectly alright. Because even though it’s your passport to the Internet, you never have to think about it.
Here’s a “pocket definition” that you can use if someone asked. “It’s a network address for your computer so the Internet knows where to send you emails, data and pictures of cats.”
That puts you way ahead of the curve. In fact, 98% of people on computers right now don’t know what an IP address even looks like.
The numerals in an IP address are divided into 2 parts:
The network part specifies which networks this address belongs to and
The host part further pinpoints the exact location.
An IP address is the most significant and important component in the networking phenomena that binds the World Wide Web together. The IP address is a numeric address assigned to every unique instance that is connected to any computer communication network using the TCP/IP communication protocols.
Network nodes are assigned IP addresses by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server as soon as the nodes connect to a network. DHCP assigns IP addresses using a pool of available addresses which are part of the whole addressing scheme. Though DHCP only provides addresses that are not static, many machines reserve static IP addresses that are assigned to that entity forever and cannot be used again.IP addresses falls into two types:
Classfull IP addressing is a legacy scheme which divides the whole IP address pools into 5 distinct classes—A, B, C, D and E.
Classless IP addressing has an arbitrary length of the prefixes.Want to know something extra cool?
Every website (Disney, Amazon, Apple, etc.) has a unique IP address, but it goes by its name instead (Disney.com, Amazon.com, Apple.com.) But without IP addresses you couldn’t connect with them and they couldn’t share information with you.