What is: IP Address

IP (Internet Protocol) Address is an address of your network hardware. It helps in connecting your computer to other devices on your network and all over the world. An IP Address is made up of numbers or characters.

An example of an IP address would be: 506.457.14.512

All devices that are connected to an internet connection have a unique IP address which means there’s a need of billions of IP addresses. This requirement is fulfilled by the new IP version IPv6.

There are are two IP versions: IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the older version which has an space of over 4 billion IP addresses. However, the new IPv6 version can provide up to trillions of IP addresses to fulfill the need of all internet users and devices.

The IPv4 version used to configure IP addresses in numerical value (numbers) which may conflict with other IP addresses. That’s why IPv6 adopted the hexadecimal method to provide unique IP addresses to billions of users in the world.

Example of an IPv6 IP address would be:


There are a few types of IP addresses like private IP addresses, public IP addresses, static IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses. Let’s talk about these different types of IP addresses one by one:

Private IP Address

A private IP address is the address of your device connected on the home or business network. If you have a few different devices connected to one ISP (Internet Service Provider), then all your devices will have a unique private IP address. This IP address cannot be accessed from devices outside your home or business network.

For example:

Private IP addresses are not unique because there are limited number of devices on your network.

You can find out the private IP address of your device using a few techniques. If you are a Windows user, then simply go to the command prompt and enter the command ipconfig. If you’re a mac users, then you need to enter the following command ifconfig in your Terminal app

If you are using the internet on a mobile phone, then you can go to your WiFi settings to find out the IP address. iOS users can find the IP address by clicking on the ‘i‘ button next to the network they are connected to. Android users can click on the network name in their WiFi settings, and it will show the IP address.

Public IP Address

Your public IP address is the main IP address to which your home or business network is connected. This IP address connects you to the world, and it’s unique for all users.

To find out your public IP address, simply go to SupportAlly site in your browser, and it will display the public IP, and other browser information.

Static and Dynamic IP Addresses

All private and public IP addresses can be either static or dynamic. IP addresses that you configure manually and fix them to the network of your device are called static IP addresses. Static IP addresses cannot change automatically.

The dynamic IP address configures automatically and assign an IP to your network when you set up the router with internet. This distribution of IP addresses is managed by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP can be your internet router that assigns an IP address to your network in your home or business environment.

This post was originally published in the wpbeginner glossary.

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