IP Address Definition, Types, and Functions
IP Address Definition, Types, and Functions

Introduction IP Address Definition

IP Address Definition or Internet Protocol is an address that identifies all devices that connect to the network. An IP address is not a random number, by using mathematical calculation the IANA can produce and locate the value. What is IANA? IANA or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority is a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is an organization that started in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the internet and allow it to be usable by all. Each time anyone registers a domain on the internet, they go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN to register the domain.

How does IP address work?

Learning Networking
Learning Networking
Do Routers Have IP Addresses?

If you want to understand why a particular device is not connecting in the way you would expect or you want to troubleshoot why your network may not be working, it helps understand how IP addresses work.

Internet Protocol works the same way as any other language, by communicating using set guidelines to pass information. All devices find, send, and exchange information with other connected devices using this protocol. By speaking the same language, any computer in any location can talk to one another.

The use of IP addresses typically happens behind the scenes. The process works like this:

  • Your device indirectly connects to the internet by connecting at first to a network connected to the internet, which then grants your device access to the internet.
  • When you are at home, that network will probably be your Internet Service Provider (ISP). At work, it will be your company network.
  • Your IP address is assigned to your device by your Internet Service Provider.
  • Your internet activity goes through the ISP, and they route it back to you, using your IP address. Since they are giving you access to the internet, it is their role to assign an IP address to your device.
  • However, your IP address can change. For example, turning your modem or router on or off can change it. Or you can contact your ISP, and they can change it for you.
  • When you are out and about – for example, traveling – and you take your device with you, your home IP address does not come with you. This is because you will be using another network (Wi-Fi at a hotel, airport, coffee shop, etc.) to access the internet and will be using a different (and temporary) IP address, assigned to you by the ISP of the hotel, airport or coffee shop.

FAQs About IP Address

Simple IP Address Definition, What is IP Address?

An IP address is a string of numbers that separate by periods. It functions as a house number in an address, in that it ensures that data is sent to the right device. The length of the string is from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.

Learning Networking Concepts

IP Address Definition, Types, and Functions

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