Just like the address of your place of work, or your home, all devices that are connected to the internet, must have a ‘digital’ address assigned to them. As computers function through numbers, rather than words, this address is in a numerical format comprising of up to 16 numbers grouped into 4 ‘sections. The technical term for this style of notation is IPv4, which is the most widely used system for stating an IP address. This series of numbers make up what is known as the IP (Internet Protocol) address.
The IP address has 2 primary functions: –
- To identify the host device online
- Providing the location of the said host within a network
As there are so many devices that are connected to the internet, the combination of numbers that can be configured within this 16 digit system are more or less endless. Theoretically, this allows each device to have its own unique IP number. Finding out your own IP address is pretty straightforward, simply follow this link (http://whatismyv6.com/) and it will show the IP address for the device from which you are currently working from. It is worth noting, that when you disconnect a device from the internet the, IP address of the device may change. As stated above, ‘theoretically’, there are enough IP address to cover all possible devices that are connected to the internet. As there are so many devices that can be connected to the internet these days, it’s simply not the case that there are enough IP addresses. In fact, there is now a shortage of them, hence, this change that can occur once you log off. In many cases the address that is assigned to you, is often the IP address of your router, rather than separate addresses that are assigned to each of your devices.
IP addresses and their acquisition can become very complicated, very quickly, so I will end this article here. I would strongly recommend reading around the subject should you be interested in how IP address are assigned (IPv4 and IPv6). Please contact us should you need any advice or assistance.
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PS – Did you know that 18.104.22.168 is a valid IP address? This IP address is often used as an internet ‘black hole’